View Full Version : Bipolar, but hidden about it?


icarusinflames
05-08-15, 09:18 PM
Hello!

I was wondering if it is possible to be bipolar but nobody knows about it.

How would a bipolar person hide their mania times? If they are generally seen as depressed, but they can put the mania into a solitary pursuit? Does that ever happen like that? I am just curious because my father who is a retired LCSW said that he thinks I'm bipolar (this was BEFORE i figured out that I have ADHD which he now accepts, although he would have never guessed it)

Thanks & bliss!

namazu
05-08-15, 11:04 PM
There are different flavors of bipolar disorder.

Some people experience more depressive episodes and have hypomania (which is basically "mania lite", and typically doesn't involve psychosis, though by definition it's still impairing).

Some people have what are called "mixed episodes", which involve both manic and depressive symptoms at the same time. For example, a person might be simultaneously agitated and have insomnia and also feel hopeless and suicidal. (In some cases, this can be difficult to differentiate from ADHD + depression + anxiety or similar combinations, and of course they can coexist with bipolar disorder.)

And there are some other diagnoses, like cyclothymia (which involves cycling between mild depressions and hypomania), that I think (but am not sure) may have been rolled into the bipolar diagnosis in the last revision of the DSM.

It would be somewhat uncommon to reach age 40-something with "classic" bipolar disorder (the flavor involving both full manic and full depressive episodes) without having experienced at least one episode of mania already, since onset is usually in the teens / young adulthood, but that's not impossible, either.

Did your dad say why he'd pegged you as bipolar?

icarusinflames
05-09-15, 02:30 AM
Did your dad say why he'd pegged you as bipolar?

He thought my emotions were so extreme, I believe, and it was perhaps feeling to him like the first time that he saw me that way. But he forgot how I was when I was a teenager, and I've been feeling this weird "return to teen" thing lately. I am speculating it's worsening ADHD, due to high stress and also, sadly, early menopause perhaps.

But he didn't say all this. I had to intuit it, as usual! :confused:

InvitroCanibal
05-11-15, 10:06 AM
When you learn to hide it, you learn to be self aware. When you feel manic you have to redirect your anger into exercise. I worked out till I was sick though often enough. No one asked questions around me. I think my way to hide it was to keep people at a distance as well. I still do that. It sort of leaves one with the feeling of never being themself around anyone.

I hid my depression as well. When I was manic people just thought oh, he's finally not bein lazy and sleeping so much. It really depends on how steep the slopes are. I'm closer to bipolar 2.

Typically I just take lamotrigine but I have lithium, and depakote if I feel any mania coming on. I am aware of myself and I suppose that's the key.

icarusinflames
05-14-15, 12:12 PM
When you learn to hide it, you learn to be self aware. When you feel manic you have to redirect your anger into exercise. I worked out till I was sick though often enough. No one asked questions around me. I think my way to hide it was to keep people at a distance as well. I still do that. It sort of leaves one with the feeling of never being themself around anyone.

I hid my depression as well. When I was manic people just thought oh, he's finally not bein lazy and sleeping so much. It really depends on how steep the slopes are. I'm closer to bipolar 2.

Typically I just take lamotrigine but I have lithium, and depakote if I feel any mania coming on. I am aware of myself and I suppose that's the key.

You're pretty much an amazing human being. That was good to hear. thanks! There is something so negative at times about my general mood or reactions. I remember when I was younger, wondering if reincarnation was true, because that would explain why I sometimes walk around feeling like a boulder may drop on me at any moment, but I'm wishing it would drop on everyone else. lol

Fuzzy12
05-14-15, 01:58 PM
Before I was diagnosed with ADHD, I was diagnosed with BP II (which as Namazu said involves mainly periods of depression and (often) fewer episodes of hypomania). I've always been extremely moody since childhood and there's no doubt about the depression but I've probably had a few episodes that could be classed as hypomania as well. It also made sense because my mom (according to me:rolleyes:) has more typical BP II.

The psychiatrist who diagnosed me with ADHD though thought that my mood swings are more likely to be caused by severe issues with emotional dysregulation, more characteristic of ADHD than BP. Now, I think, he's probably right and interestingly since I've started taking stimulants I've not experienced any episodes of neither depression nor hypomania (apart from what might have been a mixed episode when I initially started taking stimulants) and my mood has greatly, almost shockingly, stabilised.

But then if I remember correctly BP is a spectrum disorder too and I'm guessing I might be somewhere on the spectrum though I doubt it really warrants a BP II diagnosis.

Anyway, I'm blabbering. What do you think? Do you have fairly distinct episodes that can be classified as depression and mania / hypomania and are not necessarily related to your current environment (though they can be triggered by certain events)? Being extremely emotional and reactive, I think, might just be due to ADHD. My psychiatrist back then explained the difference as the mood swings in ADHD being related to current events and appropriate in type to what is going on even if they are disproportionate in their extent (e.g. you feel sad when bad things happen, happy when good things happen) whereas in BP they are more irrational in the sense that they don't necessarily depend on what is happening (for example, with my mom, a sad event, like bereavement can trigger hypomania, even if it's not the happy kind of hypomania and her episodes seem to occur regularly but fairly independent of what's going on in her environment, i.e. they are not caused by anything specific or different or negative).

InvitroCanibal
05-16-15, 12:03 AM
There is something so negative at times about my general mood or reactions. I remember when I was younger, wondering if reincarnation was true, because that would explain why I sometimes walk around feeling like a boulder may drop on me at any moment, but I'm wishing it would drop on everyone else. lol
I am glad I could help.

That last part is actually very witty.

I do appreciate the compliment but I really don't want to be defined by my actions though. I'd rather my actions be defined alone and i'll let life define me by the rest.

sarahsweets
05-24-15, 06:27 AM
I am not trying to say your father is wrong but it strikes me as one of the many misunderstandings people have about bipolar. Its almost en vogue now for people to be bipolar. People think because you have mood swings or strong emotions that its bipolar. Clinical bipolar isnt so easy to detect.


He thought my emotions were so extreme, I believe, and it was perhaps feeling to him like the first time that he saw me that way. But he forgot how I was when I was a teenager, and I've been feeling this weird "return to teen" thing lately. I am speculating it's worsening ADHD, due to high stress and also, sadly, early menopause perhaps.

But he didn't say all this. I had to intuit it, as usual! :confused:

InvitroCanibal
05-26-15, 09:12 PM
I am not trying to say your father is wrong but it strikes me as one of the many misunderstandings people have about bipolar. Its almost en vogue now for people to be bipolar. People think because you have mood swings or strong emotions that its bipolar. Clinical bipolar isnt so easy to detect.

I avoided getting treatment for that reason actually. That it'd be seen "in vogue." I don't blame people either, a lot of doctors are lazy or incompetent. However I think the main thing as a client is to go into a doctors office that you trust. Look for any writing by that doc and make sure he/she is competent. Try to find out how long their intake appointment is. If it is less than an hour, do not waste your time getting a diagnosis from that doc. A correct diagnosis requires a doc to take their time and ask the right questions.

It also requires your own awareness, and a family member or someone close to say what they have observed. That one used to make me afraid because I kept my disorder from my family.

Last thing is, that more people will tell you what your problem is than actually listen. So don't tell anyone unless they need to know or you know they would understand.

Ultimately, I think I live every day with the shame that the doctors could be wrong and I ultimately am just crazy, lazy, or have not tried hard enough. That i'm just diagnosed because it's "in vogue" for either the doctors or for me.

And that's something you will have to live with and be reminded of every day in life and on these forums.

fracturedstory
06-08-15, 09:55 PM
Well, some people don't think I have bipolar despite having many suicidal days and mania/psychotic episodes. OK, I've had few psychotic episodes.

People don't even begin to wonder why this extremely introverted person started to talking to people more. I remember when it started to happen. I was very suprised my voice was so loud.

Geez, I wish I could get a lazy doctor that just labels me as bipolar. I'm kind of in great need of treatment.

Lizzie80
06-24-15, 07:33 PM
I avoided getting treatment for that reason actually. That it'd be seen "in vogue." I don't blame people either, a lot of doctors are lazy or incompetent. However I think the main thing as a client is to go into a doctors office that you trust. Look for any writing by that doc and make sure he/she is competent. Try to find out how long their intake appointment is. If it is less than an hour, do not waste your time getting a diagnosis from that doc. A correct diagnosis requires a doc to take their time and ask the right questions.

It also requires your own awareness, and a family member or someone close to say what they have observed. That one used to make me afraid because I kept my disorder from my family.

Last thing is, that more people will tell you what your problem is than actually listen. So don't tell anyone unless they need to know or you know they would understand.

Ultimately, I think I live every day with the shame that the doctors could be wrong and I ultimately am just crazy, lazy, or have not tried hard enough. That i'm just diagnosed because it's "in vogue" for either the doctors or for me.

And that's something you will have to live with and be reminded of every day in life and on these forums.

I find looking for reviews on the doctors online to be pretty on-target, too. That can be a BIG help in weeding out the bad apples, especially if there's a lot of reviews to go on. I live close to a major metro area in the States, though. I realize this might not be good for everyone, as sometimes there's little choice of who to go to. I really like seeing what people have to say about any provider I don't have knowledge of personally. Generally what's written by others has been consistent with my own experience, if it is a doc I know.