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Stress-Induced Bipolar Disorder

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Stress-Induced Bipolar Disorder

Postby EarlGreyDregs » Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:20 pm

I was diagnosed with this the other day after a serious & long assessment & working together with my new psychiatrist. I have to say - it fits. I'm finally in agreement with a diagnosis.

I don't mean to continue labeling myself which I brought up in another thread but I just wanted to know if anyone else has this diagnosis.

Stress-induced manic-depression (hopefully I describe this right) is when continued stress (in my case, years of abuse & an anxiety disorder) changes the brain's chemical balance & imbalances it. In some cases, it can cause Bipolar Disorder with a predisposition for it in the brain. The cause of Bipolar Disorder - apart from being genetic - is quite unknown. But my doctor seems to think this is what happened to me.

Does anyone else think stress & a predisposition caused Bipolar Disorder in them? I hope I'm not the only one with this strange "cause" for manic-depressive illness.
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Re: Stress-Induced Bipolar Disorder

Postby Living Well » Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:41 am

This is an important time, where you are trying on your new diagnosis and adjusting to it. It is an important process and can't be hurried or short-cut.
You have a lovely curiosity to you about life and it is no surprise what so ever that you are intrigued about the cause of your illness. After all, it is a $#%^ of an illness, of course we want to understand why we have it. That knowledge DOES help us endure what we do as part of the illness we have.
You'll prolly find when you get your head around the diagnosis (and it does take time) your attention will start to move towards treatment and management mode. (At least it did for me but everyone is different).
I'm going through a pretty okay time now after a very deep depressive episode for three months, so just excuse if my posts don't seem to really be where you at right atm. It's just the we are at different places in the same bipolar cycle to each other just atm. Make sense? :shock:
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Re: Stress-Induced Bipolar Disorder

Postby jilkens » Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:28 am

When the doctors in the hospital diagnosed me as bipolar, it wasn't easy for them. Nobody in my considerably large family had ever been diagnosed with it before and bipolar tends to be genetic. I was still young and hadn't disclosed the abuse.

Over time I've learned ways of dealing with stress and practice healthy living as much as possible. The bipolar diagnosis no longer fits.

I've never heard of stress-induced bipolar disorder before but it makes sense. One psychiatrist took the effort to explain how my brain was sensitized to stress from repeated trauma and how that could cause mood swings & psychosis during severe mood states. The sensitivity also created extra difficulty with the kindling effect.

About 10 years ago it all definitely presented as bipolar disorder, no doubt about that.
Blame it on me, but know that I won't regret one iota.
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Re: Stress-Induced Bipolar Disorder

Postby EarlGreyDregs » Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:59 am

Living Well wrote:This is an important time, where you are trying on your new diagnosis and adjusting to it. It is an important process and can't be hurried or short-cut.


Haha. Yes, I'm still adjusting. I definitely have a curiosity about how I came to be how I am.

ladyswan - I think thats quite amazing that you no longer fit the criteria for Bipolar after you handled your stress. It sounds like yours could have been stress-induced, indeed.

-MM.
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Re: Stress-Induced Bipolar Disorder

Postby crazymonkey » Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:52 pm

I definitely think stress can induce mania and maye trigger an underlying bipolar. Maybe if certain stressful events haven't happened in my life, I think I would not have become so bad that I needed Meds and completely fell apart. Good luck to you.
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Re: Stress-Induced Bipolar Disorder

Postby Moses » Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:23 pm

I was reading (don't remember what site) that a lot of psychiatrists believe bipolar disorder is genetically inherited then also needs some sort of stress to induce it. Not all the time, but in most cases bipolar disorder patients were abused in some form as children. I am somewhat surprised at the people who are not diagnosed until their 40's but this can be explained by the disorder growing worse due to lack of medication and also by being triggered through some form of stress later in life.
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Re: Stress-Induced Bipolar Disorder

Postby EarlGreyDregs » Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:07 pm

Moses - I totally agree. All the Bipolars I've met in my life happened to have past abuse. Maybe perhaps the genetic predisposition came out with the extreme stress that they experienced. It certainly makes sense to me. I do believe that there needs to be a genetic predisposition for people to develop most disorders.
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Re: Stress-Induced Bipolar Disorder

Postby Living Well » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:30 pm

...and the line between bipolar and bpd blurs even further...
Sometimes I wonder whether in the "DSM X" for example - it will become the same illness....
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Re: Stress-Induced Bipolar Disorder

Postby EarlGreyDregs » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:36 pm

Living Well wrote:...and the line between bipolar and bpd blurs even further...
Sometimes I wonder whether in the "DSM X" for example - it will become the same illness....


People with BPD don't experience mania, I believe? Nor are their mood swings cyclical. Nor do they benefit from medications aimed at Bipolar as much as people with manic-depression.

All we are saying is that Bipolar could have been triggered by acute anxiety in the past & it could change the brain chemistry.
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Re: Stress-Induced Bipolar Disorder

Postby Living Well » Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:31 am

EarlGreyDregs wrote:People with BPD don't experience mania, I believe? Nor are their mood swings cyclical. Nor do they benefit from medications aimed at Bipolar as much as people with manic-depression.

All we are saying is that Bipolar could have been triggered by acute anxiety in the past & it could change the brain chemistry.


Yeah, that's prolly true... that pwBPD mightn't get manic. Never thought of that. Ta :) I get sooo confused about what is hypomania and what is anxiety/anger. I also get soo confused where the line is between normal energy, clear head and good mood and hypomania. I really appreciate your help in teasing one out from the other because I genuinely find it so hard to understand what is what within my multiple diagnoses.

Not meaning to usurp your thread MM - I agree stress induced bipolar as opposed to genetically induced bipolar is an interesting thing to ponder. The nurture/nature debate may continue to the end of time, but that does not make it any less interesting or important. In 20 years I imagine we may be at the same place we were 20 years ago, that both genetics and environment play a role in varying degrees for each individual; and that both medication and therapy are effective in varying degrees to treat each individual. I am not as young and vital as you, I think I may lost my sense of wonderment through the years somewhere :| My sense is "a rose by any other name smells as sweet".. meaning, I'm more focused on how to get well, rather than getting off on the allure and mystery (and inexact science) of psychiatric diagnoses. Not saying that you shouldn't - just explaining why I might come across as a bit "crusty" to you, when I really don't mean to. Hugs x

I do really appreciate your clarity with bp and bpd. Thanks :)
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