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Medical Bi-polar early stages?

  1. Mar 19, 2006 #1
    Alright so there is this girl. she's around the age which bi-polar disorder starts to develop.

    Code (Text):
    Bipolar disorder typically develops in late adolescence and early adulthood,
    So well im not her. But ive been noticing a good number of symptoms which would indicate bi-polar or something related.

    Such as massively major mood swings ALL the time. Not a monthly one type thing.

    Where she one second will say very nice/good thing about her friend. But the next second saying how that very same friend is stupid and blah blah blah, and should die and such.

    she also has alot of times where her self-esteem is bigger then the universe itself. She thinks she is the most important person anywhere.

    as for sleep, i cant really say but i can say that she doesnt get much sleep at all.

    and rationality is non-existence at time.

    We went to a nice restaurant and she looked at the menu. She wasnt sure what she'd like to eat. So she asked the waiter what she would like to eat.
    I was talking to a Sargeant in the Marines. and She thought he was a marine-biologist. and she was asking questions like. So you like work with seals and stuff? which is a somewhat understandable. But then she started saying things like. seals are so cute, with their mustaches and how whales are cute also. So we explained how hes not a biologist, but in the military and she just couldnt rationally grasp it.

    What im wondering. is if she's younger like at an early stage of bi-polar. Could she be bi-polar with alot of the symptoms. But not alot of the more self-destructive or depressive symptoms. which if you give it time she will eventually develop such symptoms.

    And if she were very likely bi-polar. what could i do to get her help? Is there any sort of hotline or thing that can be done through the highschool system? Ontario-Canada
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 19, 2006 #2
    The mood swings of Bipolar disorder don't usually occur from one moment to the next. A manic or depressed episode usually lasts at least days, often longer.

    Not all mania is "happy" mania, though. "Manic" generally refers to an excess of energy applied to anything the person does. In what they call "mixed mania" a person can swerve back and forth from being critical to enthusiastic, to irritable, to euphoric, to hostile. Yet all these changes are still part of the manic episode having the energetic drive of mania behind them. In a depressed episode the person becomes withdrawn, quiet, often fearful, wants to sleep all the time, has no energy.

    The kind of thing you're describing could easily be mixed mania, but it could also be the emotional lability of the aftermath of a seizure she didn't know she had. Alot of people have seizures in their sleep and if a seizure involves the temporal lobes it can leave a person in a kind of hyper-emotional state for a week or more afterward. Their emotional reactions to everything can be as exagerated as if they were drunk.

    The behavior might also be the result of an organic problem like a tumor or cyst, a thyroid condition, or several other things that would have to be checked for. Drug use, of course, is a possibility.

    You can't get someone to a doctor against their will unless they are a danger to themselves or others. So, the first thing to do is to find out if she is aware that she's acting erratically. If she realizes it, it ought to bother her to some extent and the suggestion she see a doctor might be easier to take. If she denies that she has any problem then there's not alot you can do except keep an eye on her as best you can.

    If she goes to a doctor it has to be someone who is going to check for all the possible organic causes, someone who'll give her an EEG for seizures, an MRI, and blood tests for hormone problems.
  4. Mar 19, 2006 #3
    infact i cant exactly say for sure. but there are times. where she simply skips school and stays in bed most of the day.

    usually she only gets 1-2 days before she's forced to goto school.

    this has been a thing that has been getting more worse consistantly over the last year.

    She definately could be going this road. But as far as i know she only does weed and alcohol. She also doesnt really go overboard like doing it everyday or anything.

    She believe she is perfect. That everyone around her are the ones with problems. and she isnt a danger to anyone. So well thats not good.

    What im wondering though. Is it possible that it can be developing into something worse? be it simply because of continued drug use, or her body working against her essentially?
  5. Mar 19, 2006 #4
    This still could be a seizure thing. After a complex partial or even more severe kind of seizure people often feel stupified and just want to sleep. When they sleep off the initial grogginess they can still be left depressed enough to want to stay in bed.
    Alcohol and weed tend to make people with any disposition to neurological or psychiatric problems worse. These are probably not the cause, but they aren't helping. The kind of drug I was thinking of when I mentioned it was methamphetamines or hallucinogens: stronger stuff which can cause someone who's normal to become erratic and act and think strangely.
    No, this isn't good. It means she has no insight into how she's acting.

    Yes, all the things I mentioned can get worse.
  6. Mar 19, 2006 #5
    You said though
    That would seem to say roughly 30 seizures over a year or so. Which indeed is causing damage.

    But you could be right still thought ofcoarse. 1-2 seizures which caused the damage. Then the drug abuse didnt help but continue the damage slowly.

    The weed may have been tainted or something. On TV they have people mixing weed with the stronger drugs. I supposed its possible it could have happened to her.

    I need to trick her into a checkup. The angry mood swings are pretty bad.
  7. Mar 19, 2006 #6
    That, or her recovery time is more drawn out than most. Each person with a seizure disorder tends to have their own peculiar "recipe". Some people, for example, seem more or less normal during a complex partial seizure, and can even continue doing purposeful activities during one, not that they'll remember it. Others are clearly "altered", and appear unresponsive to the environment and may act psychotic or like they're sleepwalking. It would take several books to cover all possible manifestations of seizure activity and post-seizure behavior. Mostly what I want to say is that there's an overlap in the superficial symptoms between seizure related behaviors and Bipolar disorder, and also other psychiatric type symptoms. A person has to be really well tested to figure out the most likely cause.

    In general they now give the same meds to people with Bipolar disorder as they do to seizure patients. Thing is, you definitely want to test for, and rule out, any possible other cause, like tumors, cycts, endocrine problems, drug abuse, etc.
    The other thing is to figure out if there's something real eating at her psychologically that she can't handle: trouble at home, etc.
  8. Mar 19, 2006 #7
    Im not completely sure what your asking. But if your asking if something in her life is making her psychologically disfunct. I highly highly doubt it. Like her life is basically taken care of in any way. and she has complete freedom. And as far as i know nobody is stalking her nor abusing her in anyway.
  9. Mar 19, 2006 #8
    I think Zooby is being generous with his/her advice but I would recommend that you convince your friend, or whoever it is, to go with you to see a professional psychologist or the equivalent. I'm sure you probably know of a few that could help her out. You are her best resource since you seem to know her intimately and can relate her life experience and her general demeaner to the dr. That's my recommendation here.
  10. Mar 21, 2006 #9


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    Zooby and others are mostly correct, however I heard a discussion yesterday about Bi-polar disorder in children - and apparently it can happen very early, and one may be genetically predisposed.

    Here is one site - http://www.bipolarchild.com/

    I will try to find the information I heard yesterday, but a woman has written about here bipolar son, who manifest the behavior as early as 5 years of age.

    One point I remember - in children the manic-depressive cycles can be hourly rather than in adults where the cycles are longer, e.g. daily or weekly. This has been one problem in diagnosing the illness in children. Doctors have apparently treated bi-polar as ADD or ADHD because the kids were in the manic phase when the doctor saw them. Or, the kids are treated for depression, ostensibly because the kids were in the depressive phase when the doctor saw them.

    Good luck with your friend.
  11. Mar 21, 2006 #10
    Yeah, I've read two or three articles about Bi-Polar symptoms in children as young as five, and certainly pre-adolescent. These articles involved kids with one or more Bi-Polar parents. That argues, in my mind, equally in favor of it being genetic and learned behavior in those cases.

    Bi-Polar, like most major mental illnesses, seems to start appearing between adolescence and the early 20's in most sufferers, though.
  12. Mar 21, 2006 #11


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    classic case of labeling

    I find it strange that you're her friend and are diagnosing her. The simple fact is that, no one is really "bi-polar", "megalomanic (which seems to fit some of the description)", "autistic" etc. until he or she is hopelessly damned. The way I see it is that, these individuals, who deserve such labeling, simply don't have what it takes to survive, especially that of intelligence (fluid intelligence) or the emotional capacity (which some people have to make up for the lack of brain power). You have to be strong, smart, and resilient to survive.

    "At this age" many show the symptoms of such maladaptive behaviors and cognitive patterns which characterize mental illnesses. Most of them, find intelligent ways to function, that is learn and establish ways to deal with themselves and survive over time. It's never safe to suspect another, friend or not, of whether he or she has bipolar disorder, one is merely entitled to do so when it comes to the point that he or she must be submitted, than the doctors can use such a classification for their interpersonal discussion regarding options for treatment.

    If you're friend is losing her sanity, that is her mind is losing its grip, or her brain is failing under pressures of her developing years, you should be concerned for her wellbeing; is seems that you're suggesting that she's absolutely clueless at times. That is capable people, always have the power resolve the "problem" and you can help to resolve it. But if no such problem's exist, and it's simply a struggle of self-maintenance due to an fundamental weakness, then you might reconsider your friendship, because none of us are capable of working and helping such a person. But as for her "manic" episodes, it may be just her style of keeping things interesting and upbeat. It seems that you're friend is just fine, in particular, since she has you for her friend and she's sociable, not as destructive as a bipolar episode. She may have such tendencies, but that's for her to resolve, and either change her behavior or find various ways to function. Medication and therapy may just accelerate the progress of her symptoms, while some people would advocate for an early intervention. The thing is, if one submits themself for such treatments, then he or she has to adapt to it; normal people can find regular ways to triumph.
  13. Mar 21, 2006 #12
    I told her to get help today thatshe may be bipolar or something similar. She completely denied any problems. She also called me some names which would get censored.

    GCT you assume its a friend. infact we arent friends. Im not going to say what association i have with her. so it could be my mom or a co-worker down at mcdonalds(its not my mom and i dont work at mcdonalds)

    your arguement basically is flawed.

    You basically are saying that the person might be bi-polar. But until they get it diagnosed they arent bi-polar.

    Which is as good as.

    I take a chainsaw and saw off my leg. It hurts. But i know im not missing a leg because i havent been diagnosed.

    Say the person is suicidal. Its not a "hopelessly damned" kind of suicide. The person hasnt tried to commit suicide. But repeated say things like.

    Now from what i remember in high school. If someone is doing the above list. You fricken tell anyone and everyone, you call the suicide hotlines and get a psychiatrist for them.

    Although the person isn't "hopelessly damned" because the person hasnt actually attempted to kill themselves.

    But you get the person a psychiatrist. and the whole kit and kubbulde. But the person isnt suicidal at all.

    Lastly. and the fact that in all the articles ive read about adolescent bi-polar people. They use the word developing or advancing. which tends to say to me. that its more of a between 0% to 100%. not a 0% or 100%. Black or white. instead of some grey.

    Even if she's wierd enough to think her stupidity is "interesting and upbeat" which is very odd if it is. You can still get her to a psychiatrist and if it turns out that she's just acting like she has bipolar disorder. (Which I assure you she hasnt a clue about bipolar disorders. Other then that the Nirvana guy was.) the psychiatrist will figure out that she isnt bipolar and no harm done. But if she is bipolar. its alot better to find out now then later.

    Alright here is a hypothetical situation.

    YOU HAVE Lethal Illness. You have 5 months 3 days 2 minutes to live(i checked God's reservation book, whatever.) Would you want to know? You have a list of symptoms and someone around you has noticed these symptoms and if he tells you. You wont believe him because the illness only happens to 1 person every 1000 years. However, soon as a doctor diagnoses you, there is a complete cure for it. This person has gauged it RIGHT ON. You definately have this illness. Now if he were to force you to go get a checkup you wont die in 5 months. But since you dont want to go yourself. your just going to die.

    Now I defiantely 11040% would want this person to tell me, and get me help when i deny it. But GCT you seem to want to die. Perhaps your suicidal and need help.
  14. Mar 22, 2006 #13


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    and perhpas you're delusional and need to stop diagnosing people behind their backs
  15. Mar 29, 2006 #14


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    For those with concerns about BPD -

    There is a relatively new book (November 2003) -

    The Ups and Downs of Raising a Bipolar Child: A Survival Guide for Parents
    by Judith Lederman, Candida Fink

    One could find it at most major book stores or on-line.

    And the website - http://www.parentingbipolars.com/index.htm

    A word of caution - one cannot force another person to seek treatment or help.
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