View Full Version : cyclothymia or bipolar II?

May 8th, 2011, 12:26 PM
my dads recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and is on anti-depressants. Looking back ive always known my Dad was different and have encouraged him to get help for years. Now he finally is and im very happy for him. But its also strange admitting he wasnt quite normal, because we lived with it for so long and my immediate family told me it was normal behaviour. My Dad and I have always had a strained relationship because apparently we're 'too similar'.

I have BDD [body dysmorphic disorder] and looking at my moods am beginning to wonder if i have a mild form of bpd. I guess I hide it particularly well because if I'm feeling depressed i try my hardest to hide it and put on a happy face. And if i'm feeling overly positive everyone is just so pleased i'm happy.

I often become depressed because of my BDD. But looking at it i also have frequent days, or even a couple weeks of out of character optimism where ill do loads of college work, excel in class, go out with my friends frequently, be chatty and joke
but im always on edge because i know ill slip into depression in the end even though im desperately hoping i wont.

but it doesnt work, something will trigger it [the end of a relationship/arguments with my family/friends] or sometimes nothing at all. and i fall back into depression where i dont leave the house, get panick attacks when I do and self harm, no motivation.
i can never have relationships for more than a few months because sometimes when im 'up' im very affectionate and loving, when im down i push people away and cut people off from me.

i dont know if i am bipolar or anything. all i know is right now im on a 'downer' and am having suicidal thoughts. i wont carry them through. but i'm looking for ways to help me cope
at the moment ive been making myself throw up [makes me feel better] self harming, smoking, drinking alcohol to try and numb myself to get through the day. Obviously not all excessively, I alternate.

May 8th, 2011, 02:32 PM
I'm osrry to hear about your dad and your BDD for that matter. Cyclothymia IS on the bipolar spectrum. The fundamental difference between cyclothymia and bipolar II ultimately lies in the severity of the depressive episodes. Cyclothymia causes dysthymic episodes which are, by definition, milder than full-on depressive episodes. However, from what you've said here your depressive episodes sound quite serious indeed and so I'm inclined to think bipolar II.

Bear in mind, I'm no professional, so I'd strongly advise you see one. Are you in contact with psychiatric services for your BDD?

Best of luck.

May 10th, 2011, 04:00 AM
Thanks for your reply.
Yes I have CBT counselling for my BDD, I recently re-visited my doctor and she prescribed anti-depressants and seemed to believe I was similar to my Dad.
I will mention the mood swings to my counsellor. I have a hard time accepting that my depression is severe, or admitting that theres something wrong with me. At the same time I recognise my behaviour is indicative of a very depressed person, but its what ive grown accustomed to. If that makes sense. I sort of don't know what its like to feel 'normal' or 'happy'. Because my happiness is so brief I don't even know if its real.

Also living with someone who is bipolar, sort of normalises the moodswings. Because you've been brought up with it -it feels like regular behaviour. Even though rationally, I know that most people don't behave like this.

thanks again for the reply.

May 10th, 2011, 04:08 PM
Good! Do mention them next time you see your therapist. I know what it's like. I've grown up around depressives and manic-depressives and it does indeed normalise that type of behaviour. But you say you've been feeling suicidal which is most certainly not normal behaviour.

I'm not bi-polar, I just get depressed, but I can tell you that we do have a tendency to underestimate the severity of our own depression. If you've been prescribed anti-depressants be very careful. SSRIs and most other common types are designed to treat major depressive disorder ("uni-polar") and can actually make manic depression worse. Please mention this to your doctor right away if you think you may be bi-polar.

Once again, best of luck!