Abnormal Fatigue Episodes a Form of Bipolar...?
[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:  Abnormal Fatigue Episodes a Form of Bipolar...?


Our daughter was diagnosed with Dysthymia about 14 years ago, when she was 11 years old.  She has been on anti-depressants almost continually for the last 14 years (Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Celexa).  About 10 years ago she started have abnormal fatigue episodes even on the medications.  Increases in the medication has not improved the situation.  For the last 5 years the episodes have been worsening dramatically.  For 3 weeks out of every month she is "normal"... eats well, exercises, is social etc.  For one week each month, she can not get out of bed, her speech slows dramatically, she at times eats and drinks so little that her electrolytes go down to the point that she has seizures.  It is possible that the fatigue cycles could be tied to her cycle, but it does not always coincide.  The symptoms are much worse in winter than summer.  At time she has 2 cycles of fatigue in a month.  Could this be a form of bipolar II, maybe mixed with seasonal disorder as well? 
 

Dear Ms. L' -- 
The short answer: "yes", it certainly seems possible this is a "bipolar variation".  Your having included the emphasis on her antidepressant treatment suggests you are already wondering whether the antidepressants could be making things cycle, which I too would wonder, although I should emphasize that I would not necessarily start by assuming that "bipolar disorder" is needed to explain what is going on.  

For example, I just read an old colleague's analysis of vitamin D levels and how they might relate to both depression and seasonal affective disorder.  He's been pretty careful with his literature review, it looks like;  although he's a rather unusual fellow himself, as I think he might be the first to acknowledge, so I'd take what he's saying with a big grain of salt until some more mainstream psychiatry types look over his hypothesis and start commenting on it, which, if he's right, they will eventually do, but probably not soon enough -- especially if he's actually right! 

Dr. Phelps
 

Published October, 2004

 

Bipolar World   1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Owners: 
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?