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Unread 06-24-2013, 09:08 PM   #1
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Default Non bipolar mood swings vs ultradian cycling?

How do you distinguish from a few weeks of mood fluctuation, and actual bipolar mood swings?

Several times a month I experience a flare up of negative reactive moods swings, sometimes multiple times a day for weeks, but they seem heavily circumstantial and thought-dependent. Then I also get these euphoric bouts of energy and giddiness, but they come onto me almost instantly and I feel them more in my body. They come on very abruptly and don't change in intensity unless they start alternating quickly which stresses me out more and causes a feedback loop. I'm really thinking the euphoria might be a physical thing since ambien and Tylenol or other nsaids also trigger the euphoria.

I also don't behave or appear depressed/dysphoric/manic or behave differently, I just get triggered and lose my mental resilience to aggressive negative thoughts. I was diagnosed bipolar 1 because of these types of mood swings (supposedly having a mixed episode) but the really confusing part is that I do get major depression every few years and I just recently had a 4 month episode of what was probably mania with psychosis (making BP1 a valid diagnosis), but it's apparent to me now it's the chronic symptoms that were mistaken for bipolar, while I get treated for it which does nothing since I wasn't having a bipolar episode, but a very bad flare up of something else.

Is it possible to have two types of mood disorders? Could I have some cptsd? Am I just a super rapid cycler (who doesn't respond at all to meds?) Could it be borderline pd? My thyroid is always normal but I'm never convinced they've been thorough enough in eliminating physical causes. I feel like I would be a new person if I developed amnesia and stopped using the hamster wheel in my head.

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Unread 06-24-2013, 11:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: Non bipolar mood swings vs ultradian cycling?

As an ultradian cycler (with mixed episodes,) I have a definite cycle. I have a pattern. It's pretty obvious when I track my moods. There are the occasional trigger eruptions. But even after these I tend to fall right back into my pattern pretty quickly. My pattern is about 3-7 days long with continuous cycling. I often can't tell if I'm manic or depressed and usually feel both (which is the mixed part,) but I usually feel more one than the other.

For me, it's normal. That's just how my brain malfunctions.

I also want to say that due to being mixed, my high moods don't appear as high as someone who isn't mixed, and may be more "hypomanic" by appearance. But, I think if I wasn't mixed I'd go much higher.
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Unread 06-25-2013, 01:54 AM   #3
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Default Re: Non bipolar mood swings vs ultradian cycling?

I thought you still hadn't received an official diagnosis and were still waiting on the neuropsych eval?

You've vacillated a lot here on whether you experience mania at all or if some form of it, to what extent, if your moods are reactive, etc. I know it can be very confusing! I would keep a mood chart, try to be as accurate as possible, in preparation for the evaluation which will probably give you some answers. Have any meds or therapy helped you thus far?
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Unread 06-25-2013, 02:27 AM   #4
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Default Re: Non bipolar mood swings vs ultradian cycling?

As we all know, it IS possible to over-think things.....in fact, bipolars are notorious for it. Sometimes, though, we simply have reactions that aren't related to our illness at all, but to what we're going through at a given time---bad news, loss, change, financial problems etc.

The hard part is learning the difference, and that takes time. Somewhere between being hypervigilant about examining ourselves for any sign of an impending mood episode and utterly ignoring the oncoming train that's about to hit us, lies a healthy medium; our job is first to find it, and then use it to gauge where we are on the emotional spectrum. Not everything is a 'mood swing', thank God.

BTW, it takes a long time to learn all this. I've gotten much better at monitoring myself over the past few months, but also better at distinguishing what's just everyday emotion as opposed to a sea change in my mental landscape. It'll happen for you, too.
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Unread 06-25-2013, 03:30 AM   #5
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Trig Re: Non bipolar mood swings vs ultradian cycling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ultramar View Post
I thought you still hadn't received an official diagnosis and were still waiting on the neuropsych eval?
I was diagnosed BP NOS then BP1 "mixed-severe" a month later in another inpatient hospital, both of which were sham diagnoses made without any real evaluation or in depth discussion. Complete BS.

It's been two weeks since I got the referral for both the test and therapy, no one has called to schedule them yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ultramar View Post
You've vacillated a lot here on whether you experience mania at all or if some form of it, to what extent, if your moods are reactive, etc. I know it can be very confusing!
I contradict myself a lot because I think every opinion and subjective experience I have is fake or wrong. My mood changes rapidly and sometimes my attitude towards certain things changes (I'm bipolar, no I'm borderline with delusions, no I'm just looking for attention and for a diagnosis to call mine, all therapists and pdocs are incompetent or too biased or incompatible with me or will misinterpret everything I say, or I'll be unable to not lie to them.....)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ultramar View Post
I would keep a mood chart, try to be as accurate as possible, in preparation for the evaluation which will probably give you some answers.
Too inconsistent and I don't trust myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ultramar View Post
Have any meds or therapy helped you thus far?
Nope. Nothing at all. The meds target different symptoms than what I seem to struggle most with, and therapy has gone no where. 10 plus sessions with one guy when I was 16 and I was in a turtle shell until I stopped seeing him altogether. Same thing with all other therapists. I also think therapy is just going to keep me anchored into a negative mind set. I always pull through by myself and with no meds. I often think medication and therapy has been damaging to me because I've been dragged through it since I was 11 years old, and it's always been a negative experience for me. I usually don't want to get better by the time I'm involved with these things. The hole process is a major source of stress and triggers me. Even taking meds makes me emotionally unstable and disgusted with myself.
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