Bipolar Could I still have Bipolar 2 if one of the things is wrong?

LittleBigFoot

MyPTSD Pro
I was recently diagnosed with bipolar 2 and I’m still struggling to accept that. The big thing that doesn’t fit is hypomania lasting a minimum of 4 days. Mine, if it *is* hypomania lasts about a day maybe 2. So that pushes me out of the criteria right? Except when I do the self tests I score consistently high for everything except that one point. So i don’t know. Does anyone have any experience here?
 

joeylittle

Administrator
I was recently diagnosed with bipolar 2 and I’m still struggling to accept that.
Three questions - was it diagnosed as co-morbid with PTSD?

And, were you told anything about mixed features?

Finally, how are you evaluating your hypomania durations? (Like, diary entries, or patterns of behavior, or....?)

Except when I do the self tests I score consistently high for everything except that one point. So i don’t know. Does anyone have any experience here?
I'm pretty confident in saying that accurate self-testing for identifying one's placement on the bipolar spectrum is very difficult. Self-testing to understand in a big, basic way whether you may be dealing with bipolar? That's easier. But some aspects of bipolar diagnosis can't be done without the outside eye and judgement of the clinician; and even then, their experience level with bipolar in your particular demographic (gender, age, etc.) will influence which way they interpret you.

It's easy to get bipolar wrong. AND, it's really useful to know where your clinician stands on the subject of bipolar spectrum vs. bipolar classification.
 
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LittleBigFoot

MyPTSD Pro
was it diagnosed as co-morbid with PTSD?
Yes. There is bipolar 2, ptsd, MDD, and gad.


were you told anything about mixed features

No, but I will look them up.


how are you evaluating your hypomania durations? (Like, diary entries, or patterns of behavior, or....?)
Guessing 😬 based on when I have a really good day and get a lot of things done in that day.

I suppose I should talk to her and see where she was coming from with the nuances of it. I think part of this is I’m in denial because it’s one more label and one more *thing* to garner attention from people. Even though that’s not my intention, that’s how my family sees it when I share anything and so when labels keep getting added I’m like 🙄.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
Yes. There is bipolar 2, ptsd, MDD, and gad.
Yeah, I'd say talk with your doctor.

It's likely the MDD and GAD diagnoses are for insurance purposes only. Bipolar crosses out MDD (or MDD, bipolar) because they exclude each other. It's hard to know about the GAD while you have PTSD. As far as actual labels go, I don't believe it's possible to be clinically diagnosed with all four of those at the same time. BUT - carrying those diagnoses will allow for different kinds of medication combinations and will instruct the insurance you have to cover a wider range of medications.

Bipolar and PTSD do have some overlapping features - that's why it'll be helpful for your doctor to really walk you through all this stuff.
Guessing 😬 based on when I have a really good day and get a lot of things done in that day.
That's how a lot of people do it, and it's not wrong - but if you want to get a more accurate reading, it'd be useful for you to keep a daily log of your feelings and how they connect to your actions.

Your psychiatrist will also have advice, I'm sure. Don't be afraid to ask very specific questions - it's your health, you absolutely have the right to be informed.
 

LittleBigFoot

MyPTSD Pro
carrying those diagnoses will allow for different kinds of medication combinations and will instruct the insurance you have to cover a wider range of medications.
This is interesting, I didn’t know that. I’ve always been like meh about having the MDD and GAD because even before the BPII diagnosis I felt like they were just part of PTSD and that it was stupid to have all of that. But if it’s an insurance thing that makes a lot of sense.

I could see about doing a log. I feel like I have to do a lot of tracking already and feel resistant to adding more. *But* it wouldn't really be that much more. . . Anyway, thank you for the advice it was very helpful.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
I could see about doing a log. I feel like I have to do a lot of tracking already and feel resistant to adding more.
I understand that, very much. And really (to go back to your first question) - yeah, you could still be within the bipolar 2 profile while having shorter episodes of hypomania...it's dependent on a number of variables, and will probably be something of a mystery until you proceed a little further along with your overall PTSD/general mental wellness stabilization (which you seem to be working on very actively right now).
 
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