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Unread 01-05-2009, 03:07 PM   #1
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Default Bipolar later in life?

I'm new here. I joined yesterday. I am a 49 year old woman, diagnosed at age 29 with Dysthymic Disorder (I can remember beginning to feel depressed at age 6!), but have also had several Major Depressive Episodes, and the occasional panic attack, along with simple phobia, and probably a few more things. Now it seems I might be Bipolar. Can anyone tell me if Bipolar illness can come upon one later in life, or has this maybe been here all along?

Thanks.
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Unread 01-06-2009, 04:39 PM   #2
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welcome to pc! i'm glad you found us. i'm not a doctor so wouldn't want to speculate what might be your diagnosis. why don't you run this by your pdoc and discuss this concern with him?
also there are oodles of info at this site regarding bipolar and there's a quiz you can take to give you some idea of what's going on. mind you it's only a working tool,, not a diagnosis but it would probably help you to see what the results are. check out the quizzes at the community page. hope this helps.
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Unread 01-06-2009, 05:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Bipolar later in life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Songgirl View Post
I'm new here. I joined yesterday. I am a 49 year old woman, diagnosed at age 29 with Dysthymic Disorder (I can remember beginning to feel depressed at age 6!), but have also had several Major Depressive Episodes, and the occasional panic attack, along with simple phobia, and probably a few more things. Now it seems I might be Bipolar. Can anyone tell me if Bipolar illness can come upon one later in life, or has this maybe been here all along?

Thanks.
Songgirl
Hi songgirl, I am 35 and was diagnosed Bipolar type 2 last year. I am on lithium now. I was diagnosed schizoeffective with borderline personality disorder 16 years ago. I might have always had bp...... my GP seems to think so but when you have so many people involved arguing over diagnosis it can become blurry. I am glad I got dx when I was older as I am able to deal with the symptoms a bit better. It was no less terrifying but I am more mature so that helps.
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Unread 01-07-2009, 04:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: Bipolar later in life?

I agree with everyone else. I wasn't diagnosed as bipolar until 2000 when I was 32. Was told I had the same things wrong with me as you were told. I think that it's just that the docs are just now starting to realize how prevalent it really is&have the tools to diagnose correctly. Best of luck
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Unread 01-08-2009, 03:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: Bipolar later in life?

Hi Songgirl,

I was dx'd BP II 3 yrs ago, while turning 55. I'd had it all along- symptoms in childhood obvious now, but I did many things in all these yrs to cope with it and self-medicated etc. It's not strange to either my pdoc or tdoc that it took so long for me to get sick enough to seek help. A major stressor triggered a meltdown and here I am.

I agree that you should talk it over with a pdoc. Good luck...I hope you find a good one!
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Unread 01-08-2009, 08:10 AM   #6
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Default Re: Bipolar later in life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Songgirl View Post
I'm new here. I joined yesterday. I am a 49 year old woman, diagnosed at age 29 with Dysthymic Disorder (I can remember beginning to feel depressed at age 6!), but have also had several Major Depressive Episodes, and the occasional panic attack, along with simple phobia, and probably a few more things. Now it seems I might be Bipolar. Can anyone tell me if Bipolar illness can come upon one later in life, or has this maybe been here all along?

Thanks.
Songgirl
Your post sounds like me. I was dx'd at 44... or so they say...
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Unread 01-08-2009, 11:13 AM   #7
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Default Re: Bipolar later in life?

People say you are born with this disease.
Apparently it's possible that (hypo)manic symptoms occur later so you receive the diagnosis (too) late.

You've found the perfect place for this question
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Unread 01-08-2009, 08:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: Bipolar later in life?

I'm 36 and was diagnosed 2 years ago bipolar I. Before that, they said I had depression- back to at least age 24. I know that symptoms seem to overlap and its hard to pinpoint when things started. When I got diagnosed it was because I was disassociating amongst other things and actually misdiagnosed with PMDD at the time.
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Unread 01-09-2009, 12:25 AM   #9
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Default Re: Bipolar later in life?

Diagnosed at age 19 with Bipolar type I. I suppose that's not really "later in life" and may be more along the typical age of onset.
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Unread 02-15-2009, 05:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: Bipolar later in life?

Hi Songgirl,
I'm also new here and diagnosed with BP I at 45 -- after a manic attack -- maybe caused by SSRIs (citalopram and then bupoprion). I don't know if its something that was lurking my whole life and then was triggered by lots of stress and the medication or if it just happened later in life...
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