I have always thought I was depressed but was just diagnosed as bipolar and given lithium. Lithium seems to make me tired and I was already fatigued from depression and hypothyroidism. Do you think lithium is right for me and can I be bipolar without knowing it? What is a mild manic flare like? Neither I nor my family/friends have ever thought of me as bipolar. I'm always just tired or extremely tired. Thank you in advance for your input!
Depression vs Bipolar?
- 14 Oct 2011 by tiredgirl67
- 14 Oct 2011
- depression, bipolar disorder, lithium, hypothyroidism
Added 14 Oct 2011:
Just wanted to say thank you to all of you who have responded to my question! You guys are great! I will find out more from my psychiatrist about her diagnosis. I'm just very scared of feeling more tired than I already am by taking the lithium. I need to get energized but will hope lithium will do that for me with time. And I'll hope to be able to give back to everyone once I know more. Let me know if you guys haveca hypothyroid question, that I could answer! :-)
Yes tiredgirl, if they gave you lithium, then it's the oldest and most tried and tested drug that there is. Sure it is possible to be a bit manic, without yourself or even those around you seeing it... you may just seem to be a bit more productive, have energy bursts, be a bit buoyant, and have a very happy feeling about yourself. Or alternatively get a little too agitated. Did the dr. mention to you whether you are bipolar 1 or 2? To answer some questions you may have (if you suspect that they got it wrong!), why not take an online bipolar test, and see how that comes out? You may be surprised yourself by the questions asked, and how many times you do things which you don't realize.
i think that people sling around the word bipolar. depression causes tiredness or the inability to find pleasure in activities. i think bipolar is severe depression at times combined with occasional hyperactive/manic episodes with lack of impulse control which causes problems with family, ect. hypothyroidism can cause the tiredness as well. lithium can be a dangerous drug, so constant monitoring with your doc is important. i've been told the same thing. i have anger issues and depression. if they feel the need to name me, so be it. but i never heard of bipolar that never had some manic episodes. i hope this helps.
Hello tiredgirl67. I understand, for years ago I was also on lithium. Its not uncommon to feel tired, run down. Its reported that almost 11% of people that are taking it are always almost tired. But to be fair to the drug, give it a fair shake. (there are other drugs, and combinations of them to help combat bi-polar, be it 1 or 2) My fatique started to subside somewhat and that was after being on it, at that time for several months. very best wishes to you.and try not to be to worried, things will improve, all be it it might just take a tad longer sometimes.
You may want to adjust your question to "Depression vs Bipolar 1 vs Bipolar 2". The difference between the types of bipolar could explain a LOT.
"Bipolar I Disorder is mainly defined by manic or mixed episodes that last at least seven days, or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care. Usually, the person also has depressive episodes, typically lasting at least two weeks. The symptoms of mania or depression must be a major change from the person's normal behavior.
Bipolar 2 Disorder is defined by a pattern of depressive episodes shifting back and forth with hypomanic episodes, but no full-blown manic or mixed episodes.
Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (BP-NOS) is diagnosed when a person has symptoms of the illness that do not meet diagnostic criteria for either bipolar I or II. The symptoms may not last long enough, or the person may have too few symptoms, to be diagnosed with bipolar I or II. However, the symptoms are clearly out of the person's normal range of behavior.
Cyclothymic Disorder, or Cyclothymia, is a mild form of bipolar disorder. People who have cyclothymia have episodes of hypomania that shift back and forth with mild depression for at least two years. Howeve, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for any other type of bipolar disorder."
So, you may want to ask your doctor to clarify which type of bipolar they are treating you for. Never be afraid to question your treatment OR diagnosis. Contrary to popular belief, doctors are human too and CAN make mistakes! The worst that can come from asking questions is that they explain things in a way that you understand better. I also would suggest searching around the internet for more detailed information about the different possibilities before AND after you talk to your doctor. You can also read about a lot of different people's experiences on this site.
Good luck to you. If you have more questions about bipolar 2, let me know! :)
- Lithium Information for Consumers
- Lithium Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Lithium (detailed)
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