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  #1  
Old 03-03-11, 10:20 PM
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Cyclothymia & ADHD Diagnoses

I was diagnosed with Cyclothymia and ADHD today. My doctor was saying that I have to treat the Cyclothymia before I can treat the ADHD. So, here is the million dollar question here.

How did it affect you?

When did you start noticing changes?

Are you at a point of treating the ADHD yet?

Anything I need to know?

Thanks!
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Old 03-03-11, 10:57 PM
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Re: Cyclothymia & ADHD Diagnoses

At least it isn't full-blown bipolar 2. Cyclothymia, while certainly a very distressing and impairing disorder, has significantly less of an effect on functioning and mood, and often a better prognosis (much lower suicide rate unless it progresses to bipolar 2, which it does in about 1/3 to 1/2 of cases), than bipolar 2 or 1.

I do not have cyclothymia, although I pretty much definitely have a cyclothymic temperament, meaning moods that shift readily, up and down, in response to external circumstances or internal feelings. I probably have a bipolar spectrum disorder, based on my atypical depressive features.

Your doc is right, you need to treat the cyclothymia first. Treatments are generally the same as for full-blown bipolar, and they probably reduce the possibility of the worsening of cyclo into full-fledged bipolar.

Once your mood is stable enough to the point where your functioning, judgment, and mood are not significantly compromised on a routine basis, you can then treat the ADHD with stimulants. Even with your mood being stable on meds, however, you still run the risk of triggering a hypomanic or mixed episode.
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Old 03-03-11, 11:37 PM
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Re: Cyclothymia & ADHD Diagnoses

I want to say first off, thank you for the response, this seriously scares me, and it is making me really gather as much information as I possibly can.

Believe it or not, I have actually gone untreated (correct diagnoses) for almost my entire life, and have been able to operate a tractor trailer without any real issues. Driving was one of the few things that I was able to do because of the fact that the stressors where not prevalent whereas the stressors in a normal work environment would whip me into a frenzy.

Just going to the doctor today to get this diagnoses was very trying and I was starting to stress out because I could not get my bearings in downtown Seattle. Once I got my bearings, I started doing what I did when driving truck... Retracing my steps and we got back to where I needed to be.

I am hoping that I will never go into full blown BP because it is already debilitating as it stands now.
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Old 03-04-11, 12:24 AM
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Re: Cyclothymia & ADHD Diagnoses

I'm sorry if that post scared you; it wasn't intended to.

How old are you (or roughly), if you don't mind disclosing that? The older you become, it may become less likely that you develop bipolar disorder. And when did your mood oscillations/swings start? Cyclothymia usually starts in early- to mid-adolescence.

As I mentioned, cyclothymia tends to respond to the same treatments as bipolar disorder. It's good your doctor has properly diagnosed your condition; that's a critical launching pad. Now you can begin treatment. Be optimistic and hopeful! You have every reason to believe medication will significantly improve your life--the right medication. This is a new and opportunity-filled chapter in your life that may never have happened if you hadn't taken the step of seeing the doctor and getting diagnosed properly.

BTW, I love the avatar.
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Old 03-04-11, 02:49 PM
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Re: Cyclothymia & ADHD Diagnoses

It's not a problem, it was more of a wake up call for me.

I honestly think that my Cyclothymia started when I was in my adolescence years. I know I had started showing signs of some type of depression in 1989 and never really did anything about it from the standpoint of proper treatment until now.

As I am 35 right now, I have really began to notice them for the past 10 years and always thought they where normal, but after talking to the doctor yesterday, I truly think it goes back to when I was really young.

I am being very positive about this change in my life and will do everything I can to conquer the Cyclothymia & AD/HD. I refuse to use these two things as crutches and will learn from them.

Thanks for the compliment on the Avatar, I tried to find a Linux Penguin with the AD/HD tee but no such luck... I may have to make one LOL
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Old 03-04-11, 03:35 PM
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Re: Cyclothymia & ADHD Diagnoses

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Originally Posted by danielj View Post
It's not a problem, it was more of a wake up call for me.

I honestly think that my Cyclothymia started when I was in my adolescence years. I know I had started showing signs of some type of depression in 1989 and never really did anything about it from the standpoint of proper treatment until now.

As I am 35 right now, I have really began to notice them for the past 10 years and always thought they where normal, but after talking to the doctor yesterday, I truly think it goes back to when I was really young.

I am being very positive about this change in my life and will do everything I can to conquer the Cyclothymia & AD/HD. I refuse to use these two things as crutches and will learn from them.

Thanks for the compliment on the Avatar, I tried to find a Linux Penguin with the AD/HD tee but no such luck... I may have to make one LOL
Your positive attitude is a great start and certainly something you have working in your favor! Best of luck with the treatment and keep us posted!
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Old 03-04-11, 05:41 PM
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Re: Cyclothymia & ADHD Diagnoses

I have no choice but to be positive. I have seen too many people use their "Disability" as a crutch and a way to make people feel sorry for them. I intend on keeping on trying to be as "Normal" as I possibly can and continue doing the things I love to do!

Thank you for the words of encouragement!
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Old 03-04-11, 05:48 PM
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Re: Cyclothymia & ADHD Diagnoses

It's okay for you to feel positive for yourself and try to be as "normal" as you possibly can, but there's really no need for you to start trashing other disabled people for god knows what, because I find it impossible to take this at face value:

Quote:
I have seen too many people use their "Disability" as a crutch and a way to make people feel sorry for them.
Often, I find that what people perceive as the above tends not to be what it is reported as at all, and I do not see the point of trying to dissect whether people who have actual impairments that make certain aspects of their lives more difficult are supposedly using those impairments as a way to "make people feel sorry for them" or whatever. Generally speaking, disabled people need more support and assistance to achieve the same things as abled people, so what's the point of excessively criticizing what you think they're doing in the first place?

You can totally be positive about yourself without needing to tear others down for something that is likely not even a legitimate problem.

Also, crutches are positive things that help people with mobility difficulties. They're something you use because you need to use them. It's contrary and bizarre how they've become such a negative metaphor.
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Old 03-04-11, 06:13 PM
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Re: Cyclothymia & ADHD Diagnoses

I am a little confused here. There was no bashing going on.

Please understand that I have worked with disabled people as a professional. Some of the coolest and most independent people I have met are disabled.

Also understand that I have also seen the opposite first hand. Am I putting everyone who is disabled into the same category? No, but what I am saying is that I refuse to let myself get to the point where I have to rely on other people when I am perfectly capable of helping myself.

I hope this clarifies the confusion.
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Old 03-04-11, 06:15 PM
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Re: Cyclothymia & ADHD Diagnoses

By the way, how do you know when you have cyclothymia or a mixed manic episode? HOw do you distinguish racing bipolar thoughts from racing ADHD ones? How would I know if the cheerfulness I'm feeling on the med is not cyclothymia?


I've done tests on the internet because I was wondering if I have more than ADHD. I notice there are certain times I go down in mood and can feel I will be going down a few weeks before but they seem inconclusive, and say I have it to not having it to having hysteria(eh?) to BPd which I'm sure I don't have and it only pops up when I respond to the question about relationships.

How did your doctor figure out you had cyclothymia? And how is it distinguishable from ADHD?
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Old 03-04-11, 06:19 PM
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Re: Cyclothymia & ADHD Diagnoses

You complained about disabled people using disability as a crutch to get sympathy.

People who do need assistance typically don't get there because they're too lazy, it's because they have impairments that complicate independent living. I don't see the point of suggesting they're using this as an excuse.

And:

Quote:
No, but what I am saying is that I refuse to let myself get to the point where I have to rely on other people when I am perfectly capable of helping myself.
I find people often assume that others are perfectly capable of helping themselves when they are not, in fact, perfectly capable of such things. I don't trust that judgment at all.

My response wasn't based on the assumption that you were criticizing all disabled people. My response was based on the perception that what you said is typically used to shame disabled people, whether all of us at once or just those who have difficulties with independent living. Why bring it up? Why make your intent to remain independent about people who aren't even in this conversation?
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Old 03-04-11, 06:21 PM
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Re: Cyclothymia & ADHD Diagnoses

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marspider View Post
By the way, how do you know when you have cyclothymia or a mixed manic episode? HOw do you distinguish racing bipolar thoughts from racing ADHD ones? How would I know if the cheerfulness I'm feeling on the med is not cyclothymia?


I've done tests on the internet because I was wondering if I have more than ADHD. I notice there are certain times I go down in mood and can feel I will be going down a few weeks before but they seem inconclusive, and say I have it to not having it to having hysteria(eh?) to BPd which I'm sure I don't have and it only pops up when I respond to the question about relationships.

How did your doctor figure out you had cyclothymia? And how is it distinguishable from ADHD?
I am still learning that as we speak.

Right now here is what I have noticed:
  • Manic: When I don't sleep but 2-4 hours a night and am very energetic and almost obnoxious. I am strangely happy about something that there should not be overly happy about.
  • Depression: When I am on a low it is usually indicated by every neuron in my head firing at once, my head feeling like it wants to explode, my mood going down the tubes, and the overwhelming feeling of wanting to be left alone.
I will let you know when I start finding out more information.
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Old 03-04-11, 06:26 PM
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Re: Cyclothymia & ADHD Diagnoses

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marspider View Post
By the way, how do you know when you have cyclothymia or a mixed manic episode? HOw do you distinguish racing bipolar thoughts from racing ADHD ones? How would I know if the cheerfulness I'm feeling on the med is not cyclothymia?


I've done tests on the internet because I was wondering if I have more than ADHD. I notice there are certain times I go down in mood and can feel I will be going down a few weeks before but they seem inconclusive, and say I have it to not having it to having hysteria(eh?) to BPd which I'm sure I don't have and it only pops up when I respond to the question about relationships.

How did your doctor figure out you had cyclothymia? And how is it distinguishable from ADHD?
what daniel said

plus, adhd mood swings are reactive and not as severe as bipolar spectrum disorders


cyclothymia is defined as cycling mood shifts for days months weeks and even years

the moods should not be reactive

cyclothymic people can not have been normal for more than two months

im not sure what racing thoughts youre talking about in adhd , so i cant answer that right now
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Old 03-04-11, 06:49 PM
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Re: Cyclothymia & ADHD Diagnoses

ill try my best to describe the hypomanic /manic flight of ideas i have experience


the elation began in the middle of the night , i woke up and started exercising

i wanted to do anything and everything to be around people

my social anxiety that is usually severe , completely disappeared , i was talking to everyone i saw

my music was full blast and it felt like i could feel the music(best way i can think to describe it)

after awhile ideas started flooding my head from every direction, it was like i could see them flying around the inside of my head to fast to keep up with

i had a feeling of things were just coming to me, solving lifes mysteries , and being i read so much about psychology , i felt i was solving all the mysteries of it

like i was piecing it all together and making connections that have never been made



this was going on for hours , then it was almost like it wore me out, the good stuff went away and was immediately followed by rage and a constant VERY high level of irritability that lasted for days


i wanted no around or to even look in my direction



so that is the best i can sum it up
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Old 03-04-11, 08:16 PM
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Re: Cyclothymia & ADHD Diagnoses

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Originally Posted by Marspider View Post
By the way, how do you know when you have cyclothymia or a mixed manic episode? HOw do you distinguish racing bipolar thoughts from racing ADHD ones? How would I know if the cheerfulness I'm feeling on the med is not cyclothymia?
ADHD thoughts do not "race." Racing connotatively implies competition. They speed. They are all over the place, on a million topics "at once," but they are still serial. "Crowded thoughts" is the more accurate term for depressive "racing thoughts," since the effect is rather analogous to being on a phone call where many people are trying to talk at once and over each other, and you can't make sense of any of them. You also seem to lose your "grip" on the thoughts due to the neuropsychological deficits found in depression and often, you can't even remember what you were thinking about. That's incredibly frustrating.

Hypomanic or manic (not mixed) racing thoughts, as I alluded to above, compete for attention but are generally lot more sensible, coherent, and "crisp." They are often creative, associative, productive, and enjoyable. They seem to be profound. The person experiencing them often feels like they are unlocking the underlying, deeper meanings or secrets of the universe, as Dave mentioned, or creating something truly extraordinary. Irritable hypomania can manifest differently, although I'm not exactly sure how (it isn't necessarily a mixed state, but often the devolution from euphoric hypomania or mania). Still, in most true hypomanias or manias--not mixed states--there is an element of euphoria, at least initially (http://apt.rcpsych.org/content/vol12.../110_fig1.jpeg).

That's not to say racing thoughts in (hypo)mania can't be unpleasant. They can be; they often prevent sleep, even if the person wants to sleep (lack of sleep, even though (hypo)mania conduces it, sometimes prolongs or worsens the hypomania). They also entail having a mind that never ceases to be active during the episode, even if the person sometimes wants a break. When the person becomes less euphoric and more irritable or dysphoric, these racing thoughts become more muddled, negative in nature, and are often unwanted. Panic attacks are fairly common during (hypo)manic episodes, and OCD-spectrum or impulse control disorders like trichotillomania and skin-picking as a manifestation of psychomotor agitation sometimes occur--as they do in mixed states, as well.

(Interesting study on nosology--racing thoughts vs. crowded thoughts: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19515428)

Mixed episodes and ADHD symptoms are so different as to not even belong in the same sentence. Mixed episodes are insufferable. They are the most suicidal of any bipolar state. You feel the relentless, hopeless weight of depression as well as the increased energy and psychomotor agitation of (hypo)mania--so you feel like you need to "complete" something or act on your thoughts... usually suicidal ones. It takes a brave person to endure a severe one that lasts beyond a few days without a hospitalization or acute treatment.

However, even minor mixed states are very unpleasant. The depressive and hypomanic symptom severity and weighting merely shift, e.g. more severe depressive symptoms with less severe hypomanic symptoms, less severe depressive symptoms with less or more hypomanic ones, etc. Any combination and gradation are possible.

Cyclothymic depressions are less severe than bipolar depressions. They are often not suicidal, although they are still impairing; they do not exhibit all the symptoms of major depression. The hypomanias are comparable to those found in bipolar 2, although they may occur more often in relation to the depressions than the hypomanias found in bipolar 2.

Quote:
I've done tests on the internet because I was wondering if I have more than ADHD. I notice there are certain times I go down in mood and can feel I will be going down a few weeks before but they seem inconclusive, and say I have it to not having it to having hysteria(eh?) to BPd which I'm sure I don't have and it only pops up when I respond to the question about relationships.

How did your doctor figure out you had cyclothymia? And how is it distinguishable from ADHD?
Borderline PD can pretty much be ruled out (at least, as the primary cause of the symptoms you describe) if your symptoms last for weeks. Even if they are triggered by rejection, atypical and bipolar depression can often be triggered by the same phenomena. If there are, in fact, mood oscillations that impair your life, you should really get those checked out, regardless of the time period over which they occur.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fortune View Post
You complained about disabled people using disability as a crutch to get sympathy.

People who do need assistance typically don't get there because they're too lazy, it's because they have impairments that complicate independent living. I don't see the point of suggesting they're using this as an excuse.

And:



I find people often assume that others are perfectly capable of helping themselves when they are not, in fact, perfectly capable of such things. I don't trust that judgment at all.

My response wasn't based on the assumption that you were criticizing all disabled people. My response was based on the perception that what you said is typically used to shame disabled people, whether all of us at once or just those who have difficulties with independent living. Why bring it up? Why make your intent to remain independent about people who aren't even in this conversation?
I think you might be overanalyzing what he said or meant, although perhaps his wording could have been a little clearer. From my interpretation, he just meant that he doesn't want to let his disorders rule his life; he wants to take control of them, live a normal life, and feels empowered to do so.
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