Q: Hi David i am wondering if you can help me !
I was diagnosed with Suspected bi polar 2 on 23/12/04 I have not taken any meds
for this as yet but my doctor wants me to try lithium. I am pretty sure that the
diagnosis is now correct as my symptoms have recurred since the diagnosis and i
feel i have identified a pattern and the triggers which set of my manic
episodes. (over spending reduced need for sleep ,irritability over talking ,over
emotional crying. etc. my question is this. Stress really affects me. I have
lived a life of stress due to several reasons. I am a 48 year old male.
1. I was asthmatic as a child
2. I believe that i have had attention deficit all of my life.
3. I am addicted to helping others and being thier caretaker even if it hurts.
4. I suffer from Severe Seasonal Affective disorder and am mentaly and
physically disabled during winter. My friends have described me as being nearly
schitzaphrenic at times.
5. Due to my co dependant behaviour i allowed a man 38 to live in my house a few
years ago. he suffered from severe anxiety attacks and did not seem to
understand humour,and other non verbal communication. He was extremely
jealous and manipulative and did his best to sabotage my friendships and
lifestyle. His acute attention seeking and manipulative behaviour eventually
sent me into a deep depression. when i heard from a friend that he was trying to
get me out of my own house. i threw him out !.
I have suffered with obsessive and intrusive thought about him ever since and
have heard that he managed to get someone else to sell thier house and that he
prays on people who are mentally unstable.
1.Have i been suffering from PTSD or OCD ?
2.Do i report his behaviour to the Police and social services.
3. I am just starting to get over what happened to me but cant get him out of my
mind. What sort of therapy should i be seeking ? Trauma ?
4.Is it common for Seasonal affective disorder to be co morbid with Bi Polar
5. I feel i have to relocate to a hot sunny climate next winter to avoid these
recurring symptoms. What do you think ?
Your advice on these matters would be very much appreciated as i am finding it
difficult to access expert treatment and counselling. thankyou
My best advice is simply this.....select a physician or psychiatrist
who is knowledgeable about bipolar disorder and be relentless in getting the
correct diagnosis which it sounds as though you may have already done.
Communicate openly about all of your behaviors and symptoms and again, make sure
you are dealing with a doctor/psychiatrist who is persistent in getting as much
accurate information from you as possible.
I really believe it would be inappropriate and unethical to attempt to
diagnose without a complete psychiatric evaluation/interview and a great
disservice to you. There are some obsessive qualities to your writing and I'm
sure you have been traumatized by your past experiences as you describe them;
however, I would recommend therapy to manage your bipolar disorder and it's ups
and downs, triggers etc. in addition to the other issues you have
mentioned- this could best be dealt with by someone familiar with bipolar
disorder who can also provide a wholistic approach to counseling.
Your concerns and questions are very precise and detailed. In my opinion,
the management of your symptoms matters more than the labels. It is NOT
uncommon for bipolar disorder to vary according to seasons and if you are aware
of these fluctuations, you can coordinate these changes with medication
adjustments along with your doctor. You need not necessarily relocate in order
to avoid climate changes. You may also inquire of your doctor about "light"
therapy during the winter.
Try not to prolong your agony by further dissecting your
situation.......this is a situation that is very familiar to me. With all
due respect, the patient who tries to diagnose himself has a fool for a
doctor. Good luck in your future and I hope things look better for you soon.
David Schafer, M.Ed.
Published June, 2006