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Bipolar 'type 2'

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Nothing irritates me more than this diagnosis, except perhaps that 'Oppositional Defiant Disorder' BS (Is there an authoritarian parenting disorder? Nope). While I have a different view of mental disorders and the whole 'brain theory' (and an elaborate one at that, rather than a simple "IT DOESNT EXIST!"), there are certain diagnoses that just strike me as a 'cop out' in a way.

As far as I know for this diagnosis, you don't even need to have been manic to get it. You just need to have been 'hypomanic' once, meaning 'not depressed or manic, but simply in an elevated irritated state' in the middle of depression. Irritable breaks from depression aren't normal, or a normal part of being depressed at least? It's like they slap it on anyone suicidal as an easy diagnosis when they do not fall cleanly into pure 'depressive' but also are clearly not manic, and not only that, they use it as a catch all to basically dismiss the legitimacy of the person's crisis. They did it to me too, five years back. Therapist agrees that I am not bi-polar in any way, but rather that I suffer from existential depression and anxiety (not that I give a crap about labels either way).

Worse yet, it carries the huge stigma of bi-polar disorder even if the person is absolutely not manic in any way. It was apparently the new 'chic' diagnosis in the 1994 DSM-IV release and they're jonesing to include all these splintered additional ones in the DSM-V which is being release in 2012. You have issues that drive you towards suicide? Bipolar type 2. It doesn't matter how legitimate they are.

I don't have as much of a 'the whole mental health system is trash' view as I did before, but I seriously think that this kind of labeling is just lazy, misunderstanding, and harmful. I'm sure people in 2200 will realize this, even if few realize it today.


Well-Known Member
An "up" phase is NOT required to indicate the presence of bipolar - bipolar is neurological and expresses itself however the fuck it wants, sometimes causing only manias, sometimes manias aren't expressed at all and it's simply cyclical depression! But the appropriate treatment is the same no matter how it's expressed.

A minor up phase is a strong indicator, because people don't undergo periods of agitation for no reason. It doesn't happen. Agitation in the vast majority of people occurs in response to an external stimulus.

Depression not responding to antidepressants is enough of an indicator to diagnose bipolar, IMO, but the DSM suffers from a major inadequacy in that symptoms are not sufficient for diagnosis. Treatment resistant depression responds very well to bipolar treatments...

You claim you're not bipolar - make a mood journal, keep it for a year, two entries a day. You'll probably be surprised. 1 is ready to kill yourself, 10 is completely out of your mind manic. If you're unipolar depressed, you'll stay in the low range. If you're bipolar you won't.

Another thing to do would be to have a go at Seroquel. It works as a unipolar antidepressant so it'll replace your pure antidepressants adequately... If you're unipolar depressed your condition should remain more-or-less the same. If bipolar, it could improve.

By the by, my first therapist - even faced with a wildly varying mood journal - saw me as unipolar depressed and interpreted my clear cycles as responses to my life. I thought the same. But we were both very wrong and I suffered much harm because of it, I only discovered it when a coincidental up phase followed something that should have depressed me severely.

Personally, I think your psychiatrist has done you a great service by diagnosing you with bipolar 2 rather than just thinking you have treatment resistant depression.

And I find it very hard to believe that bipolar 2 is a nonsense diagnosis because so many (my mom and brother, e.g.) with that diagnosis respond very well to bipolar treatments - and very poorly to depression treatments.
And how do you know there is no reason? Of course people don't undergo agitation for no reason. They might not know the reason because it is subtle or subconscious, and a psychiatrist who is so stuck on labels will certainly miss anything like that. Few people figure themselves out because it's painful to do so. That's the whole point. People think linearly and fail at unintuitive or 'abstract' thinking. They look for things that make sense within their little realm of understanding and do not try to expand it. This is especially true of linearly intelligent folks such as mathematicians and medical professionals, ironically. The mind works in elaborate and twisted ways, particularly the subconscious ways. It can defy explanation until you really iron shit out in the raw. Change hurts, especially the ego. Therefore, figuring out difficult things is usually not undertaken because it damages the ego. I was not talking about myself primarily by the way, just that I see the diagnosis as mostly nonsense since it not only stigmatizes people who fail to meet the 'manic' criteria (people identified as 'bipolar' are typically thought to be pretty out of control, so applying the label to someone who is mostly depressed with bouts of irritation is certainly a very negative thing) , but claims that these people have some kind of defect that has no identifiable cause.

All mental disorders are neurological in a way, as are all thoughts, feelings and issues. The reason is because the brain is the manifestation of the mind, and vice versa. This is where the 'chemical' view is both horribly wrong and technically correct at the same time. An imbalance in the mind will present itself as a deficiency or excess of some chemical(s) in the brain. This does not make the neurology the cause, or an 'aberration'.

I don't have a psychiatrist or take pills by the way (though some ativan for the panic attacks I've developed would probably help shut them up in the short term) - this was 5 years ago at a clinic by some novice who had fuck all idea about what he was talking about...took an elaborate yet depressing essay I had written, tossed it on the table, proclaimed 'classic bipolar'. I was put on a bunch of nonsense pills that made me feel like absolute shit (including mood stabilizers), got over my depression with a huge confidence boost after trashing them (I was primarily depressed back then), but became existentially depressed once I realized too many dark things about the world, our society, and humanity. I have periods of 'restless agitation' based on my distance from these ideas and concepts at any given moment (as well as underlying emotional trauma that failed to be worked out), and periods of 'depression' when I end up consumed by them. This process is very complex and subtle, and if I hadn't spent years of introspection, I would have no idea what was going on and probably proclaim the exact same thing you are. I know personally that if I had had kind and understanding people at that critical point, I would have never slipped much further. I could say the same for most people, but such kindness is severely lacking. You say "You need to be on pills". I say "the world is a toxic hell, but you just don't realize it. Pills aren't the answer to our toxic environment, even if they keep us 'functioning' some of the time." I used to think the pills were complete 99% BS; I don't go quite that far any more, but I dispute that they do any more than treat the symptoms of something far uglier and deeper than most of us can imagine. However, I think one reason people fail to realize that our social environment is so toxic is because it is subtle. There is no slavery, beatings (most of the time), or outright oppression. But the ugliness remains. Especially if you are a very perceptive, abstract, or creatively inclined person, it can severely negatively impact you. That's the point of this. We don't need joke catch all diagnoses that stigmatize the hell out of people who aren't actively manic, and write off their emotional issues as neurological. I suppose this is what they do for all mental disorders, but it's especially dangerous in this case because anyone who has real reasons to feel 'agitatedly depressed' can be written off as 'bipolar type 2' and be given an extremely stigmatizing diagnosis.
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Just my opinion here but I find that often when people are hypomanic/manic, they often write long paragraphs and/or write long, run on sentences.

HawthornePassage, seems like you're doing a bit of that.
Just my opinion here but I find that often when people are complete morons, they label and/or insult people who write elaborate responses to make themselves feel better.

ExtreemWays, seems like you're doing a bit of that.


Antiquities Friend
I think there are some valid points in all these posts and of course we all have very different ideas about things. I think the main point really tho is that psychiatrists shouldnt label us with out trying everything first to see which kinds of treatment if any we respond to and if we are coherent they should definately let us have some say in treatment> i also do not have a psychiatrist but am undergoing further treatment atm. I have to say tho that aoeu has some very good ideas and is always thoughtful in their posts and tries to advise best for the poster so please ppl show some respect for someone who does have experience in these things.I dont mean this in any dissrespectful way but we ask for advice and then dont want to hear the answers ! anyway i hope every one is feeling as good as possible soon
Much love to you all
I think you outlined what bothers me the most. You can be extremely coherent and reasonable, but often you get diagnosed and then all of a sudden everything you say is just a symptom of a 'disorder' and has no logical or rational merit whatsoever to them. The disorder *is* you. And it's especially bad with the BP2 diagnosis because of what I said before; that you may be a very rational and reasonable person suffering through some hard times, but you're slapped with this label that makes you sound crazy.

Personally, I am not entirely against the pills, I am just incredibly against the idea that a person cannot suffer from emotional problems and still remain someone who has completely justifiable reasons for feeling the way they are. It doesn't seem to matter to them why you feel the way you do. You have this pattern. Therefore, you have this disorder. This disorder is shown to have correlations with this blah blah blah (bad science to an extent). Therefore, it's caused by neurology. etc.


Well-Known Member
Just my opinion here but I find that often when people are complete morons, they label and/or insult people who write elaborate responses to make themselves feel better.

ExtreemWays, seems like you're doing a bit of that.
Looks like SOMEONE's just posting in order to cause a fuss.

"I wanna cause trouble. What do I do? Go on a forum likely to have a fair few Bipolar IIs and tell them their condition is a load of nonsense. Perfect."
"I'm defensive about something, so I'm going to bash someone who is saying things I don't like to make them look bad"

You're being a complete fool. This is just my understanding about some of these 'disorders' and how the labeling ends up being stigmatizing and counter productive. I'm sick of people not even taking the time to get to know someone who is having a hard time, and instead just slapping them with some over-reaching 'diagnosis' that could apply to almost ANYONE who has little gaps in their depressive phases for any reason whatsoever. It doesn't mean its not a legitimate problem, it's just being over-medicalized. Then they assume that "ITS FOR NO REASON ITS NEUROLOGICAL" without even trying to really figure out the reason. How can that possibly be productive in any way, shape, or form? These shrinks often seem to think that people are no more complex than lab rats. Our society is sick. Nobody who hasn't really examined it in depth could suggest otherwise. Going to a psychiatrist who acts like Ben Stein/a cyborg can't be emotionally healthy for anyone. I'm not going to say all are like that, but the system is massively fucked up.

If you seriously think I just want to cause trouble, you're flat out wrong or perhaps willfully ignorant. It should be pretty obvious that that isn't the case and anyone who thinks that is being defensive.
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Well-Known Member
I'm not being defensive. You called someone a "complete moron" as opposed to arguing your point with maturity. Seems like you're trying to cause trouble to me.
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