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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 35604
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
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Hello, ive recently been diagnosed as having bipolar affective

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Hello, i've recently been diagnosed as having bipolar affective disorder by a consultant psychiatrist in the uk. I was a little taken back by the diagnosis even though i guess i knew this was a possibility....most of my life has been like living on an emotional roller coaster and ever since adolescence life has had uncertainty and instability abound. Nevertheless i've had a successful career although i sometimes wonder how i've gotten through it all. I have a family and i don't know how they've put up with me.
Thing is i don't have grandiose ideas and i don't think i'm the messiah or anything like that.
I do become very speeded up and irritable and i have to force myself not to get into physical confrontations....Other times i am absolutely brimming with confidence and nothing can phase me or dampen my high spirits. When i am feeling high spirited i have great confidence and feel more sexual than usual.
Then there are periods when i have neither the high spirits/confidence nor speeded up/ irritable mood. I am taking sodium valproate and my moods are much more stable now although when i first started taking it my moods cycled really fast, sometimes several times in a day until i was up to 1000mg/day for a couple weeks.
My i ask do you think this does sound like bipolar affective disorder even though i don't go completely over the edge and i manage to hold onto my family and job?
Hi--you talk about cycling moods but you didn't mention any down/depressed times. Is that the case with you--just the highs without the lows?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, no i spent 6 months with depression off from work, only extended period of absence in 30 years. Do suffer from periods of depression as well. Sometimes i feel as though there's a very large black cloud over my life and have been prescribed anti-depressants in the past.

OK--yes this definitely sounds like bipolar disorder but it sounds as though your "highs" don't go above the hypomanic state into true mania. Quite often hypomanic individuals are very active, energetic, effective and most times charming and fun to be with. If by chance you later experience truly manic states you might need to have Lithium added to the sodium valproate
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