Posts Tagged ‘cyclothymia’

I’ve been thinking & I thought I’d do some writing to get my thoughts out. I was thinking about my medication, quetiapine & how I believe it has made such a massive difference to me at the moment. So that led me to wonder if I actually have a mood disorder. I don’t question my bpd diagnosis cos lets face it I’m quite textbook a lot of the times. But what I wonder is if I have an accompanying mood disorder. I’m not seeking labels & more diagnosis’ & I’m not one of those who loves to have every diagnosis in the DSM but I do seriously wonder if I genuinely have a mood disorder. I have had brief thoughts in the past about the possibility of a mood disorder but have never given it a serious amount of thought. I have experienced highs & lows for many years but it’s whether these are distinct from the highs & lows that accompany bpd. What has sparked these new thoughts of having a possible mood disorder is down to the quetiapine I started a few months ago. Medication isn’t supposed to be effective for bpd alone & indeed the NICE guidelines on bpd state that medication is only supposed to be used in the short term for crisis situations as there is no evidence of its effectiveness in long term use. I’ve been medicated close to 4 years now & until I started this quetiapine, medication was all about sedation especially in hospital where I’d be pumped full of benzodiazepines & heavy sedating anti psychotics. Medication never has really had an effect on the mental side of things if I am honest. After being first hospitalised & then being medicated & seeing everyone else around me being medicated, medication just seemed to be the norm. I took it cos it was supposed to help but I knew it didn’t really have much effect, but in time it became a comfort & I couldn’t Imagine not taking it anymore. But then I started on the quetiapine, an anti psychotic like the others I’d been on but also having mood stabilising properties. I started on the quetiapine in the midst of a prolonged crisis. I was suffering low mood & intense emotions & drinking to deal with those & being triggered into repeated self harm. After a while I came around & things got better, then even more better until I got to a stage where I am in a period of exceptional stability for me & a stability I haven’t had in a very long time. It’s impossible to prove but I strongly believe that the quetiapine has played a large part in this current stability. Personality disorder is a cluster of maladaptive personality traits which can’t be targeted & rectified by medication. What I wonder is that the effectiveness of this quetiapine is due to the fact it is working on a chemical in balance which would be a mood disorder. The mood disorder I think most likely if I were to have one would be cyclothymia or perhaps bipolar II. I’ve never had a manic episode so that rules out bipolar I. I’ve had what I believe are hypomanic episodes occasionally, the longest lasting about a month in which I was constantly on the move, feeling happy & being hyperactive & behaving in a silly ways such as often dancing & singing & also at the time i was hardly getting any sleep. This was followed by a massive crash in which I experienced one of the worst periods of my life. The lows are more often than the highs, I experience periods of depression far more often & these can vary in intensity. The question is though are these highs & lows distinct from those of bpd? Are they the depression & hypomania associated with a mood disorder? I’m starting to think they are distinct from bpd mood instability due to the fact that I believe the medication has made such a difference. The highs & lows of bpd are more likely to have external triggers which medication wouldn’t help with so much while those of a mood disorder are more likely caused internally with a higher chance of medication helping. Since starting the quetiapine things have got so much better for me, I actually feel like a new person. My mood is on such an even keel, I feel happy without being too happy & I haven’t felt low in a long time. I’ve even given up alcohol for 10 weeks now. That is helping the stability but if it wasn’t for the stability in the first place I wouldn’t have managed to do it. It’s surprising how easy giving up drinking has been & that’s because I feel so much better within myself. Is that the result of quetiapine? I personally believe it is. Although a mood disorder is separate to bpd being different illnesses /disorders it does not mean they don’t have an effect on each other. The mood instability caused by a mood disorder if I were to have one, would very much be a major trigger for my more bpd symptoms. If I did have a mood disorder & that was under control by medication then I’d have a much better chance at keeping my bpd under control. It could be that a mood disorder has remained undetected & untreated for many years & that’s why I’m not making any real progress & keep hitting crisis & relapsing. But now, now I’m on a medication that is regulating my mood I seem to be doing so much better. If the mood stabilising properties of the quetiapine are really what is making all this difference I suspect that a mood disorder is quite a strong possibility.