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Unread 09-17-2012, 06:29 AM   #1
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Default Does Bipolar get worse with age?

Hi all, I got DX Bipolar1 in 2004 (26yrs old) hospitalized in a very serious full blown mania, after that came depression. Been on meds since then, get a yearly swing every February (big swing) and been up and down all these years but within limits of being seriously ill- due to preventive meds.
For the last 2yrs I´ve been rapid cycling/mixed state with a lot of anxiety.
My life got more complex 2yrs ago and that´s when the anxiety and panic attacks kicked in.
Now at 34yrs I´m only getting worse, no job, took time off from uni, and getting more insecure- have a 6yr old, single mom.

My pdoc once told me that with every serious episode, you´ll get a bit worse! Like your brain gets a little scar each time you get sick!!

Have you heard this before?

How is it for you? Do you get worse with age?

I know there are always new meds coming in, our health deteriorizes... but how do you experience your illness...is it getting worse?

Thanks in advance for your replies
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Unread 09-17-2012, 07:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: Does Bipolar get worse with age?

Quote:
Originally Posted by polar_bear1 View Post
Hi all, I got DX Bipolar1 in 2004 (26yrs old) hospitalized in a very serious full blown mania, after that came depression. Been on meds since then, get a yearly swing every February (big swing) and been up and down all these years but within limits of being seriously ill- due to preventive meds.
For the last 2yrs I´ve been rapid cycling/mixed state with a lot of anxiety.
My life got more complex 2yrs ago and that´s when the anxiety and panic attacks kicked in.
Now at 34yrs I´m only getting worse, no job, took time off from uni, and getting more insecure- have a 6yr old, single mom.

My pdoc once told me that with every serious episode, you´ll get a bit worse! Like your brain gets a little scar each time you get sick!!

Have you heard this before?

How is it for you? Do you get worse with age?

I know there are always new meds coming in, our health deteriorizes... but how do you experience your illness...is it getting worse?

Thanks in advance for your replies

from my personal exerience, i'd say yes. bp2, female and have been med. compliant every single day since this disorder. i have researched this illness and i am informed. i know my triggers..avoid them as much as i can, and no longer work, have a good, long-term marriage, and have a lot of control over my external world in order to stay stable. diagnosed around 35, and am now 66. hormonal changes during perimenopause created upheavel til i was put on hormones, and this past year anxiety has worsened (have meds for that) but the mania has come more frequently and sleep issues have become major when in the past, never had a problem. i would be curious hearing from other long-timers of this illness. believe it's called the kindling effect.
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Unread 09-17-2012, 07:38 AM   #3
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Default Re: Does Bipolar get worse with age?

I feel like mine is getting worse but I think, also, there are some things you do during a manic phase that ppl kind of overlook or look at as youthful folly when you are younger that you just cant get away with at my age so it starts to "stick out" more.
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Unread 09-17-2012, 08:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: Does Bipolar get worse with age?

Yep. Unfortunately, there are even research studies that document this to be true.

It has been my experience too. I made it to 22 without meds and now if I stop I become dangerously depressed.

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Unread 09-17-2012, 09:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: Does Bipolar get worse with age?

I have heard that people with bipolar disorder have a really high increased chance to end up with alzheimers and dementia in old age.
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Unread 09-17-2012, 10:02 AM   #6
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Default Re: Does Bipolar get worse with age?

It doesn't have to. There is research claiming that if diagnosed young, you can "outgrow" the disorder.

Or you simply learn to cope better with being *you*. You come to better place in your life.

I do think episodes leave impact, but rather on soul on brain... you sometimes are in strange places with your mind... so it does leave an impact... do they scar brain? I don't know... all I know is that once you grasp your life into your hands... chances are it's gonna get better on all fronts. Imho, the worst about our episodes is not the chemistry processes but the real life aftermath anyways.
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Unread 09-17-2012, 10:05 AM   #7
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Default Re: Does Bipolar get worse with age?

I really like your point of view on this. It's encouraging! thank you!
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Unread 09-17-2012, 10:27 AM   #8
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Question Re: Does Bipolar get worse with age?

Quote:
Originally Posted by polar_bear1 View Post
Hi all, I got DX Bipolar1 in 2004 (26yrs old) hospitalized in a very serious full blown mania, after that came depression. Been on meds since then, get a yearly swing every February (big swing) and been up and down all these years but within limits of being seriously ill- due to preventive meds.
For the last 2yrs I´ve been rapid cycling/mixed state with a lot of anxiety.
My life got more complex 2yrs ago and that´s when the anxiety and panic attacks kicked in.
Now at 34yrs I´m only getting worse, no job, took time off from uni, and getting more insecure- have a 6yr old, single mom.

My pdoc once told me that with every serious episode, you´ll get a bit worse! Like your brain gets a little scar each time you get sick!!

Have you heard this before?

How is it for you? Do you get worse with age?

I know there are always new meds coming in, our health deteriorizes... but how do you experience your illness...is it getting worse?

Thanks in advance for your replies
I definitely think mine has... I was diagnosed in 1994 and with in the last few years ... I know it's worse. I cant function like i used to. I can't follow thru with things.. I cant work anymore.. I sometimes cant even carry a conversation without the topic changing several times and then drifting off trying to make myself remember what was the original question.. It is embarrassing at best around my family.. My household knows me I have lived here with a significant other for fifteen years.. but when I leave my safety zone.. I have to really watch my words and my actions.. Good Question
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Unread 09-17-2012, 01:00 PM   #9
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Default Re: Does Bipolar get worse with age?

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Originally Posted by landskaperdan View Post
I have heard that people with bipolar disorder have a really high increased chance to end up with alzheimers and dementia in old age.
New research show that Lithium is preventive when it comes to Alzheimer and dementia... so I´m not worried about that. Been on Lithium from day 1.
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Unread 09-17-2012, 01:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: Does Bipolar get worse with age?

Quote:
My pdoc once told me that with every serious episode, you´ll get a bit worse! Like your brain gets a little scar each time you get sick!!
yes mine too. its called kindling.
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