Posted by morganator on December 15, 2009, at 21:44:36
In reply to Re: Atypical Depression versus Bipolar Depression » morganator, posted by SLS on December 15, 2009, at 6:03:02
That's funny, I see the pot-kettle thing. I also know that these things have not just helped me but a few other people I know suffering from bipolar and depression. This is one reason why I really believe exercise and therapy may be helpful for many sufferers, not all, but possibly a significant number. Anyway, I know this is not the topic.
>What symptoms or features of your illness suggests that you are bipolar?
>What symptoms or features of your depression do you think might help one differentiate it from unipolar depression?
I think answering the first should answer the second. I have had 3 periods of mixed states in my life, I am sure of this. The last mixed state was horrific and if it went on any longer I may have started to experience psychotic symptoms. It went on much much longer without being treated than it ever should have. I finally had to decide I was going to the hospital after not being able to find a psychiatrist who had the ability or balls to try to give me the right medication to bring me out of the episode. What symptoms did I experience during this last episode? I could not stop obsessing and regretting things I had done. I could not slow my mind down. I could not sleep for more than 3 hours a night. I was extremely agitated, depressed, and manic all at the same time. Actually, I was probably feeling the agitation and mania more than the depression. You could say that the racing thoughts, extreme fear, agitation, and mania were a manifestation manifested out of a very deep but fairly brief state of depression that came first.
Over the years I've been able to stay on an antidepressant alone and function at a fairly high level. But when I look back on my behavior during those I realize that I was hypomanic much of the time. I often engaged in risky sexual behavior and I at times acted like a raging lunatic(it was all in fun and entertained people around me but it was definitely indicative of a certain type of bipolar. Actually, most of the friends I grew up with and hung out with through the years were on the crazy wild side with very exuberant personalities, including my brother. None of them were bibolar. I tended to take it to the next level and was less in control of it). I had a ton of energy throughout the years and often could go without sleep easier than the average person. I would experience this even more sometimes when I was drinking heavily, believe it or not.
I have always had issues with depression and anxiety and they always coexisted. I remember in college when I was very depressed and obsessed with death I reacted to it by behaving in a more hyperactive manner and I would stay up very late(I know, everyone stays up late in college). No one would have ever guessed I was that depressed. I remember thinking about death and getting old at a very very young age. Not sure if this has anything to do with having a bipolar predisposition.
People who have unipolar depression simply experience the depression and maybe some anxiety. They do not have tons of energy, periods of hypomania or mixed mania, and they do not cycle in and out of depression in brief periods of time. Unipolar depressives are not likely to go around having unprotected sex like stray dogs in an alley.