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Priscilla86
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 6:35:37 AM

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How do you know if someone is bipolar or just moody?

The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 6:59:03 AM
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Well when a bi-polar person is on a 'high' they have delusions of grandeur: - they're ready to take over the world; they throw money around like there's no tomorrow; they speak so fast all their words run together; they can't sit/stand still for even a second; they do totally bizarre or anti-social things; they don't sleep.

When they're on a 'low' they often can't even get out of bed. Or at least out of the house. They obsess about suicide; they often self-harm; they're continually in tears; their memory goes; they get hysterical easily........

If anyone you know behaves like that and has not sought a medical diagnosis and so accessed help, it would be a good idea, as a friend, to persuade them to visit a doctor.

There is a tendency in modern society for people who are volatile or moody to self-diagnose themselves as bi-polar when that is just their natural personality. But there is a huge difference between moody and bi-polar.

Bi-polar is often referred to as the "killer" mental illness: it has the highest suicide rate of any other illness. So if you've a friend you suspect as being affected this way it really is crucial that you help them to get help.
sureshot
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 7:48:38 AM
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Priscilla86 wrote:
How do you know if someone is bipolar or just moody?

___________________________________________________________________________________

A person who is “moody” often changes quickly from being in a good temper to being in a bad temper. He can also be called temperamental. Every individual has normal ups and downs from time to time; but these are short-lived and soon the individual becomes normal. The mood change is not one of extremes. On the other hand, a “bipolar” individual suffers from a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. The primary symptoms of bipolar disorder are dramatic and unpredictable mood swings that range from mild to severe. A severe mood swing can cause risky behaviour. One’s family and friends are often able to recognize the severe mood swings and can reasonably conclude that the individual is not moody but is actually suffering from something more severe i.e. “brain disorder”. A persons suffering from “bipolar disorder” can have damaged relationships, poor job or school performance. Some even show a tendency for suicide. The disorder can be treated with therapy and medication. However, bipolar disorder usually lasts a lifetime. Episodes of mania and depression typically come back over time. In between such episodes, the individual is free of symptoms, but some people may have lingering symptoms. Bipolar disorder tends to run in families. The diagnosis and treatment can best be done by a medical specialist. Brain-imaging tools, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), are used to take pictures of the living brain at work. These pictures/scans help the doctor in diagnosing the ailment.


Axel Bear
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 8:42:08 AM

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Bipolar is a very serious disorder indeed.

Above is written: "The diagnosis and treatment can best be done by a medical specialist"

I would submit that diagnosis and treatment SHOULD ONLY be done by a medical specialist.



Toute nation a le gouvernement qu'elle mérite: Joseph de Maistre
Priscilla86
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 9:31:16 PM

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But I suppose the psychotic break doesn't happen overnight, does it? Things must have been building up for a while? Is there ever a time in someone with bipolar disorder's life when the symptoms are just mild that it is not really distinguishable from being moody?

I'm wondering if a psychotic break must have a trigger (usually some kind of stress) or will it happen no matter what? Meaning, even if there is no particular stressor in the person's life.

I guess I'm interested to know how much external factor has a role in the development of bipolar disorder.


The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
Romany
Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2015 4:48:06 PM
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Priscilla -

There is NO psychotic break. A bi-polar person is always a bi-polar person. It doesn't come on in fits and starts. It's as much a physical illness as any other (there is a "short-circuit" in certain synapses in the brain}.

So no, outside influences do not cause a high or a low. INSIDE (the brain) influences whizz one from up to down - sometimes often in the space of a day; sometimes for months. e.g. you may have heard of the actor/comedian Robin Williams? When he committed suicide friends said "But his life was going well. He had a great family and was loved and admired. We just can't understand why he did it." He was bi-polar. That's all the explanation that's needed.

A nervous breakdown, however, can be exacerbated by outside influences on a bi-polar person.

Because I'm not ashamed (and also because I think it helps others when one tells them) I have never made any secret on TFD of the fact that I'm bi-polar. People here know that my absence from the forum for so long this year was because I had a breakdown. I still have not recovered (hence the spelling errors and the times when my posts aren't very clear). But I was diagnosed at the age of 12 (very unusual for a kid to be diagnosed in THOSE days!) and during the course of my life have only had a half a dozen actual breakdowns...and each time it was because of unbearable external circumstances. But I'm ALWAYS bi-polar and, before I learned to live with it I tried to suicide many times....not just during a breakdown. THAT feeling (suicidal) is ALWAYS in the mind of a bi-polar person - even during a high.

And on one point in particular I would dispute S.S. - bi-polar people do not, usually, have poor records at school - and certainly not in their jobs. They are most represented in The Arts. Van Gough, Einstein, Winston Churchill, Virginia Woolf, and our own British "National Treasure", Stephen Fry were/are all bi-polar.
Romany
Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2015 4:53:55 PM
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S.S. - could you please make an effort not to use "he" as the inclusive pronoun for all people. You have made the point that you, personally, don't agree with it. But others - not just I - on this forum have explained that it is the only acceptable usage. We've had many discussion on it and pointed it out to you. In the light of all that, it seems extremely disrespectful and rude to continue this usage.

Bi-polar people are NOT just men. As I have just explained, I'm one too. And I'm a woman. Your use of "he" serves completely to negate me and every other female who has this illness.
Axel Bear
Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2015 6:24:53 PM

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Its always disappointing to read about somebody being openly chastised on this forum, especially when they are only doing their best to help others.

On the other hand, it could be the normal reaction of somebody with health issues.




Toute nation a le gouvernement qu'elle mérite: Joseph de Maistre
Priscilla86
Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2015 10:53:24 PM

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Location: Lavender, Singapore
Romany wrote:

Priscilla -

There is NO psychotic break. A bi-polar person is always a bi-polar person.


Ah, my apology. I must have been getting my information wrong. Perhaps what I was looking for was 'nervous breakdown'.

Romany wrote:

Priscilla -

But I was diagnosed at the age of 12


If you don't mind my asking, what caused you to be diagnosed at that age? Had the illness been interfering with your life that badly?

As for myself, I'm only asking about bipolar disorder here because it seems like all the symptoms fit me with one exception: I have never, ever had any suicidal thoughts in my life, even in my darkest hours.

I don't know if I have mental illness. I did go through tough times growing up, it's messed me up psychologically. The immediate male figures in my life (my dad and bro) abused me physically and emotionally. My mom never stopped them. She only interfered once when my dad wanted to beat me up pretty badly over nothing. Now that we're all adults they don't do that anymore but it has severely impacted my self-esteem.

I never realized how bad it was until several years ago, I had this male client. He was a nice guy, always smiled and said hi to me even though I was just a junior architect. One day he came to the office. When I saw him, I instinctively ducked behind a wall. That's when I realized my self-esteem was so low, I was avoiding him because he was nice to me! (And in hindsight, he wasn't even really being nice to me, he was only acting like a normal person).


The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
Absinthius
Posted: Friday, October 23, 2015 3:12:13 AM

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I think it is very dangerous to talk absolutes on these kind of topics. One person might manifest different symptoms than others. As with pretty much everything like this, mental disorders and their specific symptoms fit a bell curve.

I would very strongly recommend to go see a medical specialist. Whatever people on forums might tell you, they are most likely not equipped to give you any kind of meaningful diagnosis. At the very least they quite simply will not have sufficient information, a medical specialist will ask you questions and do tests to obtain this information.

Hopefully you will not base your decision regarding visiting a medical specialist on anything written on a forum like this. If you are unsure and have a serious concern, take the safe route. Always!

Look, how about this? Let's pretend we've had the row and I've won. See? It saves a lot of effort.
Priscilla86
Posted: Friday, October 23, 2015 3:19:57 AM

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Sure, Absinthius. I should assure you that I am in a good place right now and that I am not using this forum to make a decision in any aspect of my personal life. Perhaps the conversation has veered off course a little bit. I genuinely was just wondering the difference between having a bipolar disorder and being moody. It's just a conversation, nothing more.

The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
Romany
Posted: Saturday, October 24, 2015 12:36:34 PM
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Priscilla -

It's hard for me to evaluate how my behaviour struck others when I was only a kid. But yes, the year I was 12 was one which I DO recall of constant panic attacks I still remember vividly, and kind of aberrant behaviour (which, of course, I saw as perfectly normal); and many things which now add up to conclusions which would never have occurred to me at the time.

My parents didn't tell me about the diagnosis at the time, and I didn't know that the "vitamins" I took daily were for a mental illness. Conversations about mental illness were not common then as they are now, and biPolar people were referred to as "Manic Depressives" and feared within the community. It was still common to use frontal lobotomies as a "cure".

That's why, once I became an adult and knew about my own illness (and after 4 suicide attempts) I began to work with Mental Health departments everywhere I lived and to campaign for openness, and more understanding of different illnesses. I'm still doing it to this day although now there are millions of people everywhere doing, and the stigma has disappeared in many countries and communities.

As Absinthus pointed out, mental illnesses present in different ways with different people - one can't make blanket statements - but if you have really never contemplated suicide I wouldn't think you have any fears of being mentally ill - just a moody person, as you say. Like millions of others: it's just a personality trait - or even just a phase: you may become a completely different kind of person as you go through life. I know events through my life have changed me a lot from the person I was in my mid-twenties to who I am now.

One thing that is common to all biPolar people however, IS - to put it bluntly - a frequent wish to suicide. For some, it may come in cycles, for others in constant flashes, in still others as a secret obsession.

DO NOTE - that I'm not saying that one is constantly thinking of doom and gloom and ending it all. Just that the THOUGHT of suicide is just a part of one's thought processes. As I said, these thoughts don't only occur on a downer: they manifest themselves even in moments of intense elation. Like "Oh Wow! What a moment to go out on!"

So that, really, is what it's like to live biPolar. - Experienced unanimously by all bi-Polar people. Seldom reported through text-books.

But if you can't understand that, or it doesn't reflect your own thought processes then, girl, you are just YOU.

No 'black dog' living on your shoulder. (Winston Churchill used to describe it as his "Black Dog")

Just surround yourself with even-tempered people - it might rub off on you!


Priscilla86
Posted: Friday, October 30, 2015 12:08:30 AM

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Location: Lavender, Singapore
Dear Romany,

Thank you for sharing.

I didn't know that suicide is such a big part of a bipolar's life. I only knew its main defining characteristic which is the moodiness.

Where I live, mental health awareness is mediocre at best. If you are not having a full-on catastrophic mental breakdown, your negative feeling will not be acknowledge. I think we are at worst 50 years behind on these things and other hot button issues such as racism and LGBT. My parents still think going to a therapist is whack.

I wish you well on your journey. I know some demons you just can't banish and that the best we can do is just to manage them.

Cheers!

The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
CoolSmooth
Posted: Sunday, May 22, 2016 6:08:04 AM

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Location: Decatur, Georgia, United States
Hi,Good Morning. In reference to being Bi-Polar in 2016. Before this word Popped up. What was the buzz word for this condition before? The Brain & Humans have been studied since mankind existed,surely this condition or similar conditions have been diagnosed before. So is Manic Depression the same? It's amazing how all of a Sudden ADHD,ADD,etc have come about. What about a Child or Adult who just naturally have a Lot of Energy,like Myself. I'm perfectly normal. Folks get paid to push their own theories. No Doctor is God. No Doctor is Perfect. Thanks. Good Day Mate.'
dedere
Posted: Monday, July 25, 2016 5:03:32 PM

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Applause Excellent! Criticism is one of the many reasons people who are mentally ill do not seek help!
Axel Bear wrote:


Its always disappointing to read about somebody being openly chastised on this forum, especially when they are only doing their best to help others.

On the other hand, it could be the normal reaction of somebody with health issues.


Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, July 26, 2016 5:47:11 AM

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Axel Bear wrote:
On the other hand, it could be the normal reaction of somebody with health issues.

On the other hand it might be the natural reaction of someone whose post and opinions had just been totally ignored by another poster (along with the total dusregard of half the population of the planet).

I'm sure that your own repeated and noticeable willingness to berate others on the forum is not caused by mental health issues - it's just you being you!

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
thar
Posted: Tuesday, July 26, 2016 7:51:14 AM

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Yes, that was just catty. It should be beneath you, even though admit to enjoying causing trouble.
I have seen the whole 'don't blame me for being me' before in other people, and it has never struck me as a reasonable excuse for rude or hurtful behaviour.
TheParser
Posted: Monday, March 6, 2017 7:48:01 AM
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A new neighbor of ours has started to read TFD forums. (I introduced him to TFD.)

He does not want to register, so he has asked me to express his appreciation to everyone in this thread for the information.

He suspects that his wife may be bipolar.

He says that her behavior is becoming more and more erratic.

Their friends are no longer calling.

He has printed out this thread and will take it with him when he goes (alone) to consult a specialist.
Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Wednesday, March 8, 2017 12:12:07 AM

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Location: Jandiāla Guru, Punjab, India


BIPOLAR?

Me Gathering Pebbles at The Seashore.-Aj
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Wednesday, March 8, 2017 6:22:43 AM

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TheParser wrote:
A new neighbor of ours has started to read TFD forums. (I introduced him to TFD.)

He does not want to register, so he has asked me to express his appreciation to everyone in this thread for the information.

He suspects that his wife may be bipolar.

He says that her behavior is becoming more and more erratic.

Their friends are no longer calling.

He has printed out this thread and will take it with him when he goes (alone) to consult a specialist.


Sadly I think that your friends should also ask to have a specialist check his wife for Alzheimer's disease and other associated forms of dementia.
In such patients their behaviour can become highly erratic and upsetting a loss of the ability to control their emotions is common, sometimes they become angry and frustrated as they feel things slip away from them.
This is not something I suggest lightly there is a family history of Alzheimer's and I know I already have some medical conditions that can cause nerve and brain damage that in later life lead to an increased risk of dementia myself.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
TheParser
Posted: Wednesday, March 8, 2017 8:03:55 AM
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Thank you.

I shall pass on that good advice to him.
TheParser
Posted: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 5:24:11 AM
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Joined: 9/21/2012
Posts: 4,669
Neurons: 22,062
TheParser wrote:
A new neighbor of ours has started to read TFD forums. (I introduced him to TFD.)

He does not want to register, so he has asked me to express his appreciation to everyone in this thread for the information.

He suspects that his wife may be bipolar.

He says that her behavior is becoming more and more erratic.

Their friends are no longer calling.

He has printed out this thread and will take it with him when he goes (alone) to consult a specialist.



I am sorry to report that he has decided to leave her.
He says that her paranoia is too much for him to bear.
He also says that he can no longer tolerate her periodic moods of mania, despite medication.
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