Asks if Physical Symptoms that Look Neurological Could be Due to BP
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Q:  Asks if Physical Symptoms that Look Neurological Could be Due to BP

I have not been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder but I am seeing a psychiatrist for depression, extreme agitation & constant burning sensations in my feet, legs, arms,hands, around my mouth & in my eyes. (current medication Trileptal after Depakote did no good) The pain is to the point of intolerable. I have experienced these symptoms for over a year now. I sent you an E-Mail about my situation when I weaned myself from a 1 1/2 year everyday usage of clonazepam for insomnia (MD prescribed) after an 8 year usage of paxil for panic disorder. You suggested I read your book especially chapter 3. I've read it inside out. I'm still confused. Since your reply E-Mail, my M.D., 3 Neurologist, & 2 psychiatrist have not remotely been able to diagnose my situation. I've had every blood test & mri imaginable done, all negative.I keep telling them after reading your book that I must have some NOS Bipolar condition with Protracted Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndrome. I feel horrible, not sad,  with these constant symptoms.

My question to you is, have you ever heard of physical symptoms that look neurological as I am describing  in any cases due to Bipolar Disorder. The symptoms look more like Protracted Withdrawal  yet none of the doctors here will recognize the syndrome, and are still puzzled with no answer. I discussed possibly flying from Texas to see you if necessary. Desperate for a reply or direction.    


Dear Mike --
Sorry to say, physical symptoms such as you describe it should prompt looking beyond a bipolar diagnosis for something else that might be the basis of such a problem.  In other words, almost the reverse of what you asked is true.  Rather than thinking "bipolar" in the face of physical symptoms, I would be thinking "what else is going on here?" 

I generally discourage people from flying a long way to see me, as I've tried to put most all of what I think I have too offer on my website and in my book.  Right now, I am not taking consultations anyway.  But even if I was, unfortunately I would not be encouraging you to come up here, as this just doesn't sound right, to think that this could all be "bipolar".

Sorry not to be of more use here --

Dr. Phelps

Published November, 2008


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