Bipolar C-PTSD vs. Bipolar

Sadielady3

MyPTSD Pro
@grit Your response made me tear up.

As I read your post, I could not help but notice, you may be outsourcing your own inner intelligence to others or professionals and they are diagnosing you with their own judgement and value based on whatever symptom you bring that day. So now it may be that, time is being spent categorizing what they think and what you think rather than spending time (as you suspected) listening to your body that left you long time ago because you were experiencing unbearable trauma against your body. We may give names to the trauma to use language and categorize it so we can talk about it intellectually, but the it gnaws at the body still...and language or diagnosis hardly ever touch the body that was traumatized enough to dissociate.

This hit me hard. I outsource most of my thinking to others. I am extremely approval seeking and lack the confidence to just make decisions for myself. The vast majority of the time I will present my ideas to other people that I trust only to have them agree with what I'm thinking. I know part of my problem right now is that I am having serious vertigo issues but because no one can find the cause for the vertigo, I feel like I'm making it up or wrong about my own experience. I rationally know that just because Urgent Care can't figure out what's wrong doesn't mean that when I see the ENT specialist that he won't be able to figure it out. It keeps feeling like something is crawling around in my ear canal but the Urgent Care doc of course looked and saw nothing. However, someone who specializes might hear that description and know exactly what to look for. I rationally can see the logic of all of that but for so many years, every time I got sick, I was told I was being overly dramatic and would even be punished for getting sick. Now I struggle to accept when I am physically unwell. Whenever I do get physically ill enough to actually seek out medical help, I usually get scolded for not resting or coming in sooner. I don't actually know how to listen to my body. Until fairly recently, I didn't really make the connection. Hearing someone else say that this can be a thing is hard. I know my brain works differently because of the trauma but I mostly just feel like a freak and feel like I should be able to do better, be better, if that makes any sense.
 

Sadielady3

MyPTSD Pro
@joeylittle Thank you for sharing your personal story. I did find that helpful. I have what I think is an excellent psychiatrist. She really does listen to me. When I was first referred to her by my therapist, she actually really listened to everything I had to say. She set my primary diagnosis as anxiety, which my therapist disagrees with, but I think is right because I'm nearly always anxious and it's when I get too anxious for too long or a significant trigger hits my anxiety hard that I start getting depressed. She subsequently then prescribed gabapentin off-label for the anxiety to see what it would do. It seems to help. My anxiety has been lower. Because of the anxiety decreasing, I have some distinct periods where I am less depressed. My therapist is seeing periods where I am more upbeat and positive about life than I used to be. He's thinking these are periods of mania/hypomania. I personally think that these are evidence that, through all of the work I've been doing in my three therapy groups and EMDR in individual therapy, I am actually reaching a better place where things aren't always so dark and hopeless. But of course, with any trauma work, there are going to be low points as well. That's what I honestly think is happening. Even looking up hypmania and discussing that concept with my husband, neither of us sees the happier points as being that. On top of all of that, depression itself can be cyclical in nature from what I've read.

I just need to take a breath and remember that this is a process. It's hard to remember because I've never gone through this process before (first time I've ever really had a psychiatrist involved that wasn't just writing prescriptions for antidepressants).
 

joeylittle

Administrator
first time I've ever really had a psychiatrist involved that wasn't just writing prescriptions for antidepressants
I totally understand. It makes a huge difference - and it sounds like you've got a good one, and she'll be a good collaborator for you. Glad to hear also that you are sharing things with your husband - the observations of an outside eye are useful, as I'm sure you have discovered.
 

Sadielady3

MyPTSD Pro
Brief update- my psychiatrist actually has been emailing back and forth with me today. Not sure why on a national holiday (maybe she's on call or something) but still good to have the conversation. She had me answer a bunch of questions and based on my answers thinks that bipolar is unlikely and is putting that on the back burner for now. She did prescribe lorezapam for the short term to help with the dizziness and vertigo issues.

I really wish there was a blood test or scan or something that psychiatrists could do to determine the diagnosis. Thanks to everyone who weighed in- it helped to keep me from freaking out.
 

EveHarrington

MyPTSD Pro
I’ll share...

my doctor says I have a bipolar type mood presentation, in my fluctuations between normal and depressed, but since I don’t go manic or hypo manic, it’s not bipolar disorder. Since I have mood fluctuations, mood stabilizers help. I take Trileptal and Gabapentin. While they’re in the same med family, Trileptal is stronger in mood stabilization while Gabapentin is stronger in controlling anxiety. I’m off the Trileptal right now and realizing it does work on anxiety more than I thought it did. (I get side effects that cause me to need to cycle on/off every so often. It’s a pain, but necessary as I’m near the end of the med road here.)
 

Sadielady3

MyPTSD Pro
I’ll share...

my doctor says I have a bipolar type mood presentation, in my fluctuations between normal and depressed, but since I don’t go manic or hypo manic, it’s not bipolar disorder. Since I have mood fluctuations, mood stabilizers help. I take Trileptal and Gabapentin. While they’re in the same med family, Trileptal is stronger in mood stabilization while Gabapentin is stronger in controlling anxiety. I’m off the Trileptal right now and realizing it does work on anxiety more than I thought it did. (I get side effects that cause me to need to cycle on/off every so often. It’s a pain, but necessary as I’m near the end of the med road here.)
I'm already on Gabapentin for anxiety. It might be worth exploring an additional med once my physical medical issues are dealt with.
 
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