Feelings of Intense Dread/Fear
[Home] [Bipolar News] [Bipolar Disorder] [Medications] [Treatments] [Bipolar Disorder/Job/School] [Disabilities] [Ask the Doctor] [Ask David] [Self-Injury] [Personal Stories] [Graham's Column] [Steven's Column] [Storm's Column] [Columnist Archives] [Suicide] [Community Support] [Family Members] [Expressions] [Greeting Cards] [Books] [Awards] [Links & Rings] [About Us] [Contact Us]


Q:  Feelings of Intense Dread/Fear

The other day I started to experience a feeling a dread. Intense fear that I was going to die or my son was going to die. I cannot shake this. I feel like I'm on death row waiting to be sentence to death.  I went to my doctor and she increased some of my medication. I have no interest in things I used to. My thoughts are "what does it matter". I am starting to pull away from my family. Have you ever heard of this? And what did they do to pull out of this?
Thank you.

Dear Mr. P' -- 
You indicated "been diagnosed", I presume with bipolar disorder from the context here; and so you're asking if I've heard of this kind of thinking in patients with bipolar disorder?  Absolutely, very commonly.  There is an obvious depressive feel to the content of these thoughts, no?  So most psychiatrists I think would regard this as depressive thinking, i.e. thinking bipolar depression.  They might even consider adding an antidepressant, and would probably be looking at antidepressants that affect serotonin, because they would listen to this and hear an "obsessive" component also. 

As you can gather, I find such thinking frustrating to hear because it leads toward medications that can make the manic side of things worse, or cause "mixed states" of depressive symptoms and manic/hypomanic symptoms together.  So I would look closely in you for any other signs that this thinking could also be somewhat "manic-side" in nature, to makes sure I didn't make that mistake.  I'd look at your sleep, which on the basis of this I'd suspect was decreased or much more broken up (as opposed to increased, which is what it's supposed to do in a relatively pure bipolar depression).  And your other activities; your speech rate; what your significant others might say about how you've been acting lately (more revved up? irritable? agitated?)  Only if I found nothing along those lines would I consider an antidepressant.  Otherwise, I'd be thinking, as your psychiatrist has probably already done, about increasing the mood stabilizers and making sure nothing else was exacerbating cycling: sleep deprivation, alcohol, some modifiable stress source, steroid, travel -- that kind of thing.  Good luck with that. 

Dr. Phelps

Published April, 2004


Bipolar World   1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Allie Bloom, David Schafer, M.Ed. (Blackdog)
Partners:  John Haeckel, Judith (Duff) 
Founder:  Colleen Sullivan

Email Us at Bipolar World


About Us  Add a Link  Advance Directives  Alternative Treatments  Ask the Doctor   Ask Dr. Plyler about Bipolar Disorder   Ask The Doctor/ Topic Archives  Awards  Benny the Bipolar Puppy  Bipolar Chat  Bipolar Children  Bipolar Disorder News  Bipolar Help Contract  Bipolar World Forums  Book Reviews  Bookstore  BP & Other mental Illness   Clinical Research Trials & FDA Drug Approval   Community Support   Contact Us  The Continuum of Mania and Depression   Coping   Criteria    Criteria and Diagnosis  Criteria-World Health Disabilities,  DSMV-IV   Dual Diagnosis  eGroups  Expressions (Poetry, Inspiration, Humor, Art Gallery, Memorials  Family Members   Getting Help for a Loved One who Refuses Treatment  Greeting Cards  History of Mental Illness  Indigo  Job and School  Links  Manage Your Medications  Medications   Medication and Weight Gain    News of the Day  Parent Chat  Pay for Meds  Personal Stories  Self Help  Self Injury  Significant Others  Stigma and Mental Health Law  Storm's Column  Suicide!!!  The Suicide Wall  Table of Contents   Treatments  Treatment Compliance  US Disability  Veteran's Chat  What's New?