Discussions By Condition: Mental conditions

Bipolar or brief psychotic episode?

Posted In: Mental conditions 7 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • February 22, 2007
  • 11:06 PM

How does Bipolar Disorder differ from a brief psychotic episode? My husband, age 35, has experienced his first event of manic psychosis, following extreme stress and sleep deprivation, lasting 2 weeks and continuing. being treated with zypexa which is slowly straightening his thoughts etc. There is absolutely no history of depression in him or his family. Yet psychiatrist is preferring diagnosis of bipolar disorder at present. From my research bipolar disorder does fit many of the symptoms he presently has but I am having real difficulty accepting that he will have a long term depressive illness when he has previously shown no sign of this and there is no family history. He is a remarkably level headed moderate and completely consistent man normally.

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  • this is a remarkably measured statement in view of how you must be feeling.let me say first that everyone is "bipolar"to a degree,so it is safe to say.though you tell me that he has always been remarkably even tempered hitherto.so i accept that it is unusual for him.sleep deprivation is well known as a catalysing factor in episodes such as you mention,and i think that you realise that "extreme stress "can have unpredictable and unpleasant outcomes too. i think you must,must, organise to avoid a repetition of these provocations for him. easy in theory.but if you will pardon my presumption i think there is something else going on.related to his age and character.my understanding here derives from two workers ,first carl jung,who said that:the first half of life belongs to this world ,the second to the next..."(possibly this is not exactly verbatim but it will do.)his age ,at 35 puts him on the classic dividing line......a lucky few like him get a sort of reminder of the facts ,to help them reorganise for their next big job on this earth.there are dangers in ignoring the tap on the shoulder. jung goes on to say that he has never encountered a case of disorder in the second half of life which was not caused by an attempt to live it by the standards and values appropriate to the first.martin amis is more blunt:"there are those who have had the information, which comes in the thirties or forties,and those who have not.the information is nothing,and it comes at night." it is a shock and one does not know ,necessarily what has done the shocking.he can not hope to become the man he was.an aspect of the events is that he could no longer stand it. he will have to remake himself.the natural world can help,and so can poetry.he should avoid a rush to religion,though contemplation should be encouraged; but if the experience of prayer is helpful ,why not.it does not need to be transitive.perhaps as a target a less controlled,more spontaneous character may be encouraged to emerge.some transformed though recognisable ,in time perhaps improved version of the man you evidently love will come forth.a good guide for the years to come would be "rational emotive therapy"by albert ellis.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • some further thoughts for you.first ,some questions.is he capable of humour?was there achildhood activity or passtime which he enjoyed and which was obviated by the urgencies of adult life?what is he like now ,in his daily activity?does he show concern for others?is he capable of sustained attention?is alcohol involved?any new opinions from his doctor?how are you feeling?.........try to continue to emphasise the developmental aspects here,rather than allowing him to cultivate the sense that he is a passive victim of some "disease".
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • hi I experienced a "psychotic episode" after being under a lot of stress and not sleeping properly for 2 weeks. I was diagnosed with depression, and when the anti-depressants i was on weren't working, I was given the diagnosis of "mild bipolar disorder". The reason why I am responding to your post is because a couple of friends recommended to me that I try a particular psychotherapist they had been to. I have been seeing her for 6 years now (I am imagining you might feel slightly appalled at that! ;-) but the things I have learnt are immeasurably valuable. Things like: 1) putting my health first (eg. making sure I get enough sleep/saying "no" to working long hours/not letting people try and "guilt" me into behaving the way they wanted)2) saying "no" to people (I was the sort of person who was always there helping others...) 3) learning to have boundaries (eg. There were situations where I was getting involved in people's personal problems and not saying to myself "that's their responsibility"./learning how to teach people how to treat me)4) learning to be kind to myself and accept mediocrity (I had VERY high expectations of myself, and tended to harshly chastise myself inwardly when I failed at something)5) learning to be honest about what i was feeling (i tended to hide anger, thinking it was "wrong" - and then suddenly attack, shocking people at the vehemence, because I wasn't communicating early enough eg at the point of annoyance!) I am listing these for you - because it sounds like outwardly your husband has had everyone relating to him as the strong, reasonable guy....(i was outwardly usually cheerful and nice!) ....when actually something very different may have been going on for him inwardly for a while. But, to take things away from a behavioural level, I am currently looking on the web and researching the effect of a lack of specific minerals (magnesium, zinc etc) on the body.... Perhaps this is also worth looking into. I hope your husband feels better soon, and that you are coping ok. It must be a tough time. Best regards, gingergurl
    gingergurl 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • gingergurl, I relate quite a bit to the symptoms you have described. Has there been any luck in finding a related mineral deficiency? I would be very eager to try just about anything to stabilize myself. There have been quite a few MAJOR changes in my life recently, which could be an underlying cause to bring out symptoms (discontinuation of both tobacco (9+weeks and cannabis 2~weeks). The high expectations you wrote of, well, mine apply not only to myself, which I find I tend to fall short of on a regular basis, but I seem to be setting these standards for the people I care most about. I am always irritated that they cannot live up to these standards. I found myself having to leave home early today to avoid yelling at my 2 year old. That's not healthy. As I drove to work, I intentionally cut off another driver, and when he honked at me, I had an overwhelming desire to hurt him. I have been the most peaceful person around for as long as I can remember. I have always been the "go to guy". People needent ask twice for my help, and I have always been eager to lend a hand. I am paranoid all the time. "The people I love are setting me up for a fall". I feel worthless and unhappy. I don't seem to enjoy the company of people I usually have. Its like the more I know someone, the less I enjoy their presence. I just started a new job, and I can joke freely with my co-workers, yet with family and long-time friends, I feel mundane at best. I feel like I overstay my welcome in a matter of 20 minutes. I want so badly to not be a burden to others, that I am destroying myself.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 31, 2008
    • 00:45 PM
    • 0
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  • This is my description of my illness. Could you tell me what you think the diagnosis is? Schizophrenia or Bipolar with psychotic features?? I sit alone all the time now but it was never like this before. Before. Before. Before I knew anything was wrong with me. Before I ever thought about the delicacy life holds. Before I ever truly appreciated unconditional love. Before I was ever aware of anything at all. I’m better now as a result of the aftermath of everything that has happened. There is no doubt in my mind. My character has grown as a result of the tumbles and curve balls I encountered. I learned to stand tall despite traumatic setbacks. You have to keep truckin’, as they say. Life goes on, with or without you. No one is sure what my diagnosis is. I don’t really fit into anything. They said schizophrenia at first. Then, they said bipolar with psychotic features. Now, it’s back to schizophrenia due to the fact that I believed cameras were on me. Cameras. All day, everyday I believed cameras were on me, watching me. And that the media had gotten a hold of this situation and were then trying to talk to me and invite me into their conversations via the radio and the television. I thought a DJ and Marshall Matthers were fighting over me and I was doing my best to make the most intelligent, spiritual choice because I thought I was giving birth and inviting ****s into the world, to bring about spiritual union and to embrace one another as the loving beings we truly are. I was sick as a dog. And that is the only way to put it. Whatever the diagnosis may be is questionable. The doctor says the only real important issue is that I am now stable and he wants to keep me that way. He told me that my disease could have been brought on by alcohol. Not likely was my first thought because I only started drinking when someone’s blog had told me to. Mind you, not directly. But I thought it was an encoded message for me. And I followed suit and began drinking and corresponding with this person by writing in my journal for eight hours straight, explaining my entire childhood to someone I thought was finally listening. Except, there was no one on the receiving end of that and I was just writing to myself. I know this now. But it took four and a half years to figure out that my imagination had taken over my mind. Four and a half years. Four and a half years, I believed that someone existed for me and that we kept in contact through my computer journals. Never did I ever receive a response from this person. I just assumed that it was taking place, because I was so important to him. I assumed he wanted to hack into my computer to keep tabs on me because he was obsessed with me. I’m a private person and I kept this all to myself. It started to worsen because one day, I suddenly thought there were cameras on me. This is about three years ago. Just like when suddenly I thought there were secret messages to me through a person’s blog, I suddenly thought there were cameras on me. These are delusions I had. Suddenly, my belief system changed on me. My imagination started to take over and I never questioned it. I never questioned where the logic was in these thoughts. It was completely irrational. Completely an emotional experience. But when my thoughts expanded and expanded and grew to the point where I thought I was ****s’ special messenger and that I was married to him spiritually and figuratively… and that I was going to give birth to ****s… Again no logic is within these thoughts. No logic can be found. Purely emotional thoughts, delusional thoughts. When my thoughts became this extreme, I was finally no longer functional in society. No longer was I able to hold a job or keep the information to myself, because I did for years, for fear that I would appear crazy… Never thinking I was crazy. But that I would appear crazy to others… Finally, the information was just too much and I began talking to everyone about it like they all understood it and knew what I was talking about. Because I assumed everyone did, due to the cameras that were on me and the daily broadcasting that was done to all who watched on the internet site that was created to inform the world that ****s was on his way back to earth via my personal body… I started to act out the delusions in my head. Scary stuff, a chemical imbalance is. It will take you on a trip of highs and lows that will blow your mind. It’s like, everything becomes a movie and I had the leading part. The plot was intense. My delusions were so out of this world. I ended up studying Nostradamous, the Bible front to back, Acopalytic Writings galore, and made friends in California, Philadelphia and India. I embraced every person I met due to my delusions. I never would have had the confidence I had, if not for my delusions. I would not have taken some scary risks but it was the only way I grew as a person. Living with a chemical imbalance is boring. I take medicine everyday now. I sleep as much as I need with no problem at all and have the craziest dreams, which I adore. Every single relationship has been improved in my life and most have welcomed me back without the slightest flinch of hesitation. What can I say? Chemical Imbalance gave me the greatest trip I have ever had, much like sky diving. If I had to, I’d do it all over in a second. Without hesitation. Sounds terrible. But a lot of positive came out of it as well. Best character building lesson available. Anyway, I am pretty sure the diagnosis is bipolar with psychotic features. But schizophrenia will help me get on social security faster. Doctor doesn’t care which one it is. Just as long as I stay stable. Good doctor. Maybe I was always alone before and just never realized it. Because not much has changed about me except that I no longer have false ideas about reality. I can’t help it. I’ve always had an active imagination. And I have always gotten carried away with emotion. And I think I just let those two aspects grab control of me, and take me on a path I believe I was intended to take. I have discovered myself. Everyone does. I think my process was just accelerated due to the chemical imbalance. I don’t judge my chemical imbalance. I just accept it and deal with it by taking it very seriously. The worst part about the whole situation is the amount of fear and anxiety and pain it has caused my mom. I can’t change that and I wouldn’t because my past made me. The only thing I can do is work everyday to make my mom proud and be the woman she truly raised me to be.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • How does Bipolar Disorder differ from a brief psychotic episode? My husband, age 35, has experienced his first event of manic psychosis, following extreme stress and sleep deprivation, lasting 2 weeks and continuing. being treated with zypexa which is slowly straightening his thoughts etc. There is absolutely no history of depression in him or his family. Yet psychiatrist is preferring diagnosis of bipolar disorder at present. From my research bipolar disorder does fit many of the symptoms he presently has but I am having real difficulty accepting that he will have a long term depressive illness when he has previously shown no sign of this and there is no family history. He is a remarkably level headed moderate and completely consistent man normally.My son has had a similar experience. He began his first week of college and was very excited and stressed at the same time. He had gone about 4 nights with very little sleep and had a pychotic break where he became very paranoid and disoriented. Although his biological father is text book bi polar. My son never displayed any mood swings. He was always well behaved and has a kind gentle nature. He is currently on Abilify which is an anti pyschotic. I am worried about the side effects. His hand tremors and he makes a clicking noise with his tongue which I read can be permanent.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • This is my description of my illness. Could you tell me what you think the diagnosis is? Schizophrenia or Bipolar with psychotic features?? I sit alone all the time now but it was never like this before. Before. Before. Before I knew anything was wrong with me. Before I ever thought about the delicacy life holds. Before I ever truly appreciated unconditional love. Before I was ever aware of anything at all. I’m better now as a result of the aftermath of everything that has happened. There is no doubt in my mind. My character has grown as a result of the tumbles and curve balls I encountered. I learned to stand tall despite traumatic setbacks. You have to keep truckin’, as they say. Life goes on, with or without you. No one is sure what my diagnosis is. I don’t really fit into anything. They said schizophrenia at first. Then, they said bipolar with psychotic features. Now, it’s back to schizophrenia due to the fact that I believed cameras were on me. Cameras. All day, everyday I believed cameras were on me, watching me. And that the media had gotten a hold of this situation and were then trying to talk to me and invite me into their conversations via the radio and the television. I thought a DJ and Marshall Matthers were fighting over me and I was doing my best to make the most intelligent, spiritual choice because I thought I was giving birth and inviting ****s into the world, to bring about spiritual union and to embrace one another as the loving beings we truly are. I was sick as a dog. And that is the only way to put it. Whatever the diagnosis may be is questionable. The doctor says the only real important issue is that I am now stable and he wants to keep me that way. He told me that my disease could have been brought on by alcohol. Not likely was my first thought because I only started drinking when someone’s blog had told me to. Mind you, not directly. But I thought it was an encoded message for me. And I followed suit and began drinking and corresponding with this person by writing in my journal for eight hours straight, explaining my entire childhood to someone I thought was finally listening. Except, there was no one on the receiving end of that and I was just writing to myself. I know this now. But it took four and a half years to figure out that my imagination had taken over my mind. Four and a half years. Four and a half years, I believed that someone existed for me and that we kept in contact through my computer journals. Never did I ever receive a response from this person. I just assumed that it was taking place, because I was so important to him. I assumed he wanted to hack into my computer to keep tabs on me because he was obsessed with me. I’m a private person and I kept this all to myself. It started to worsen because one day, I suddenly thought there were cameras on me. This is about three years ago. Just like when suddenly I thought there were secret messages to me through a person’s blog, I suddenly thought there were cameras on me. These are delusions I had. Suddenly, my belief system changed on me. My imagination started to take over and I never questioned it. I never questioned where the logic was in these thoughts. It was completely irrational. Completely an emotional experience. But when my thoughts expanded and expanded and grew to the point where I thought I was ****s’ special messenger and that I was married to him spiritually and figuratively… and that I was going to give birth to ****s… Again no logic is within these thoughts. No logic can be found. Purely emotional thoughts, delusional thoughts. When my thoughts became this extreme, I was finally no longer functional in society. No longer was I able to hold a job or keep the information to myself, because I did for years, for fear that I would appear crazy… Never thinking I was crazy. But that I would appear crazy to others… Finally, the information was just too much and I began talking to everyone about it like they all understood it and knew what I was talking about. Because I assumed everyone did, due to the cameras that were on me and the daily broadcasting that was done to all who watched on the internet site that was created to inform the world that ****s was on his way back to earth via my personal body… I started to act out the delusions in my head. Scary stuff, a chemical imbalance is. It will take you on a trip of highs and lows that will blow your mind. It’s like, everything becomes a movie and I had the leading part. The plot was intense. My delusions were so out of this world. I ended up studying Nostradamous, the Bible front to back, Acopalytic Writings galore, and made friends in California, Philadelphia and India. I embraced every person I met due to my delusions. I never would have had the confidence I had, if not for my delusions. I would not have taken some scary risks but it was the only way I grew as a person. Living with a chemical imbalance is boring. I take medicine everyday now. I sleep as much as I need with no problem at all and have the craziest dreams, which I adore. Every single relationship has been improved in my life and most have welcomed me back without the slightest flinch of hesitation. What can I say? Chemical Imbalance gave me the greatest trip I have ever had, much like sky diving. If I had to, I’d do it all over in a second. Without hesitation. Sounds terrible. But a lot of positive came out of it as well. Best character building lesson available. Anyway, I am pretty sure the diagnosis is bipolar with psychotic features. But schizophrenia will help me get on social security faster. Doctor doesn’t care which one it is. Just as long as I stay stable. Good doctor. Maybe I was always alone before and just never realized it. Because not much has changed about me except that I no longer have false ideas about reality. I can’t help it. I’ve always had an active imagination. And I have always gotten carried away with emotion. And I think I just let those two aspects grab control of me, and take me on a path I believe I was intended to take. I have discovered myself. Everyone does. I think my process was just accelerated due to the chemical imbalance. I don’t judge my chemical imbalance. I just accept it and deal with it by taking it very seriously. The worst part about the whole situation is the amount of fear and anxiety and pain it has caused my mom. I can’t change that and I wouldn’t because my past made me. The only thing I can do is work everyday to make my mom proud and be the woman she truly raised me to be.I can relate with your psychotic episode almost exactly. All of it, the cameras, the connection with God, bringing spirituality to the world, all types of media with special messages directed towards you... I was 29 years old when I had my first (and so far, only) psychotic episode. I had struggled with bouts of depression in my late teens and twenties, but never any mania that I could identify. The psychiatrist who treated me (in my opinion very poorly) at the hospital diagnosed me as schizoaffective. However, the consensus with my doctors since then is that it is Bipolar 1. However, the question you pose about your diagnosis may not be as important as the management of your symptoms. I worry that you aren't doing as well as you think you are. I don't say that to be hurtful, but sometimes it takes someone who has been through the process to identify it. I can tell by the way you write, the way your sentences are formed, and I can almost hear the way your inner monologue was talking when you wrote that comment because I know what pressured speech sounds like and how the manic brain pushes that creativity and emotionality button to a grandiose level. It's a fine line to walk, I know. Part of mania is so welcoming...feeling important, helpful, creative, social, energetic, but it's a slippery slope. I encourage you to continue to research your illness, as I can tell that your experience was very much like mine, but I don't think you are as removed from it as you would like to think you are. It helped me to know that others had mirrored my exact thoughts and experiences during their own episodes, that I was not in fact, unique or chosen. It's a bittersweet moment, one I'm not convinced you've had yet. It took me 2 years to be completely convinced that my grandiose paranoid delusions weren't real. I would recommend checking out the Bipolar forum at about.com and especially looking under the "spirituality" topic, you will find a lot of others, like it or not, who have had the very same thoughts and feelings. Good luck to you.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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