Are Telling Lies and Agressiveness Part of BP?
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Q:  Are Telling Lies and Agressiveness Part of  BP?

I get times when lies just trip off my tongue without me even thinking about it - saying things which are just fantastic stories and get me into trouble when I have to apologize later on for saying things and having no idea why I had said it.  This usually happens a lot over several weeks and then I can go by without telling any lies for months. (By the way I find lying very horrible). I also get episodes of aggressive thoughts, ie I'll see someone get onto a bus and think that they are looking at me aggressively and if they say anything I'll stick a knife into them - even though I don't carry any knives on me! I've never acted this out however, I do have times when I feel very aggressive and get verbally aggressive with my family.  I'll also get obsessional thinking about a person and can't get them out of my mind, to the point it stops me from doing things.  

Are these things all part and parcel of the bipolar illness?  

Dear C' --

I would assume that this was the case until there was good evidence otherwise. The best evidence, in this respect, would be the presence of these symptoms when there was no other hint of "mood cycling". For example, I would suspect that the aggressive thoughts and the tendency to tell lies would both tend to appear at the same time, generally, and to be accompanied by other manic-side symptoms such as decreased sleep. If only the lying was to occur, with no other mood symptoms at all (including irritability and the aggression which I would expect is generally accompanied by irritability), then that might be a different matter. Even then, however, given that you have "been diagnosed" according to the form you completed with this question, such cyclic changes in your experience of the world I think would very likely be part of the illness itself. If everything else got better with treatment comment except that, then you might have something separate you needed to worry about and discuss with your psychiatrist. Good luck figuring that out; I hope it all makes more sense soon.

Dr. Phelps

Published July, 2007


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