Sometime CFS Feels Like Bipolar Disorder to Me

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by greatgran, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    I found this article and it really hit home with me and wanted to share it and see if any of you can relate.

    Sometimes CFS Feels Like Bipolar Disorder to Me

    April 13, 2010 by Sandy Robinson
    Filed under Symptoms

    1 Comment

    There have been many times during the past 20 years that I have been sick with ME/CFS that I have wondered if maybe I have bipolar disorder. I will have many times over the years where I have experienced the extreme highs of energy and where I can’t sit still only to be hit with the debilitating fatigue and the lows of ME/CFS that make me feel like a totally different person.

    When I am feeling really well, which doesn’t happen very often, I am so excited about life. I want to take on the world, I make plans to do all sorts of things, and I fully intend on doing all of them. Then the bottom falls out of my world, the CFS sucks the life out of me, and everything I wanted to do just a few days before no longer holds any excitement for me. Everything that I was hoping and dreaming to accomplish all of a sudden seems overwhelming and too big to tackle – even for a type A like me.

    For a short time, I can pretend to be a normal person and I console myself with the fact that this is probably who I really would be if it weren’t for the CFS and other problems. The high is so good that I don’t sleep and I don’t want to sleep because I don’t want to miss out on any time feeling well. Feeling well is such a fleeting moment for so many of us that when we have a taste of it, we crave it immensely and want it to last on and on.

    When the CFS crash hits, it is as if those days never existed and all I can concentrate on is how bad I feel. I hate life, I hate everything. I just want to sleep and hope that when I wake up it will all be better. But it’s not. The crashes take longer and longer to recover from the older I get and they seem to come closer and closer together. Here is a brief excerpt from a bipolar website on the symptoms of bipolar disorder:

    Bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) causes serious shifts in mood, energy, thinking, and behavior–from the highs of mania on one extreme, to the lows of depression on the other. More than just a fleeting good or bad mood, the cycles of bipolar disorder last for days, weeks, or months. And unlike ordinary mood swings, the mood changes of bipolar disorder are so intense that they interfere with your ability to function.

    The main difference I feel is that I never have any periods where I feel well for weeks or months, as in people with bipolar disorder. I may have a few days occasionally where I feel on top of the world and at these times it is when the crashes are even harder to deal with.

    Depression is normal in people with chronic illnesses like CFS. I have been dismissed many times as just having depression when it was so much more than that. But bipolar disorder is a whole different story from depression. I have been told by my husband and others that I am like two totally different people at times. I feel like two people most of the time. Normal just isn’t in the cards for me, however.
  2. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    The highs and lows of life w FM/CFS are so hard to cope with. I am also diag w major depr disorder...this was my main diag for several yrs before FM/CFS were diagnosed. Of course, like many of us, they blamed my physical symptoms on my mental illness.

    The few days that I have where I feel good are such a relief. I also tend to overdo it and get less sleep when in one of these phases, then comes the crash. I feel like I have to try and get caught up w housework, etc during the good days, and want to enjoy every second of it. Then, when the crash hits, I beat myself up mentally and fall back into a depr and my self esteem plummets once more.

    It's all a package deal for me it seems. A never ending cycle where I just have to wait it out thru the rough patches and hope for a good day here and there. And, like you said, the good days seem to be fewer as the yrs wear on. Not a fun way to live, huh?

    My dd is bipolar, she can cycle rapidly during each day. For her, it's all mood swings, no physical symptoms that I know of. She's like Jekyl and Hyde, she has unbelievable fluctuations between rage and "happiness". I know I'm not bipolar like she is, but have low and lower mood swings, meaning the depr state is always w me at some level.

    One doc said I could be considered as a type of bipolar, I think he called it Unipolar depr. Bipolar is in my gene pool, from my dad's side of the family (also depr and anxiety disorders were present in his siblings). Oh, lucky me;) I have tried many meds for depr, and have been on Prozac for several yrs.
  3. lisadot

    lisadot New Member

    I understand the frustration of having zero energy one day, and then when you do feel good overdoing it because you just don't know when you're gonna feel good again. BUT, bipolar disorder and mania or even hypo-mania usually triggers other problems. Hyper-sexuality (cheating on a spouse/partner), spending recklessly, getting into trouble in relationships because there's not a clear sense of right and wrong or a concern you'd get in trouble for poor decisions.

    I can imagine CFS makes you feel not normal, as I don't feel normal having fibro and all that goes along with it. Of course, it's possible to have both bipolar disorder and CFS and/or fibromyalgia. Also, unipolar depression is not the same as bipolar disorder. And certainly with depression often goes a lack of energy.

    If you truly believe you may be bipolar, it warrants a trip to a psychiatrist for further evaluation. Untreated it generally gets worse over time. Two different people due to ability to get things done around the house is not the same as feeling so depressed you can't function one day, and so full of energy and running around spending money, behaving in risky ways the next. And there are types of rapid-cycling bipolar disorder where moods can shift on an hourly basis.
  4. Bunchy

    Bunchy New Member

    I may be way off here (sorry if I am) but I have read so many of your posts and I think you are having tolerance and/or interdose withdrawals to your Xanax.

    I have EXACTLY the same problems as you and realized after a while it is because of tolerance to my benzos.

    After years of lowering my dose and then staying at those lower doses for two more years - I then went through six horrendous months of tolerance withdrawal symptoms earlier this year and have had to up my dose a little to get a little more stable and to reduce the anxiety.

    I still want to come off these things eventually but now is not the time - too much stress and too ill (relapse). I hope to be able to reduce again maybe when all this stuff going on in my life has passed and I feel less unwell again.

    Love and hugs,

    Bunchy x

  5. karynwolfe

    karynwolfe New Member

    Bipolar disorder excludes one from having a diagnosis of CFS, because bipolar disorder is one of those illnesses the CDC claims can explain all the symptoms of "their" version of CFS.
  6. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    You may be exactly right. I was thinking about this last night . I have been on the same dose for over 9 years.. 1/4 mg. three to four times a day even though my Rx calls for 1/2 mg three times a day and my last doctor visit he actually upped my dose to 3 mg a day if needed. Now this is way to much but I am going to try upping and see what happens . Sure can't hurt as I feel I will be on this medicine the rest of my life. The only thing is losing this doctor and not finding one that will give them to me. They will prescribe antidepressants like crazy but not benzos.. Do you mind telling how often and your dose?

    Yep I have a lot of stress and its not the stress it seems I just don't know how to handle it. Heck, CFIDS is enough stress for anyone.

    Then when I have the ear/sinus problems my anxiety/depression is so much worse. So why suffer if upping the dose will help. Will let you know..

  7. AllWXRider

    AllWXRider New Member

    Yes, I had 5 visits with a neurologist. The conclusion of which he stated that I had a virus in my inner ear which explains the dizziness (semi-circular canals of the inner ear sense balance), tinnitis (pressure in inner ear). My sinuses were inflamed and I had anxiety that Zanax didn't help.

    Infection was his root cause conclusion.

    4 months later, another doc finally called everything Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

    I do wonder if its "Mania" or just being so dog-gone happy to out of the CFS cage.
    I have good days usually after a Myer's IV or a hot bath or a few sweaty hours in my sauna closet.

    I have an empty closet w/ a plug in 1500 W heater. Thermometer taped on the wall. 105°F is perfect for me. Lots of smelly sweat, putrid indeed. Doc tells me its a sure sign of toxicity. The sweat glands are the "3rd kidney" of the body.

    Dr Andrew Cutler (No More Amalgams), says sweat is one of the best ways to detox metals.
  8. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    Ok, guess its my brain not working today but was it infection causing all your problems or the toxicity? Sorry, I don't understand..

    I was tested for toxins all negative.. I just don't want to go on an antibiotic unless I know 100% I have to.

    I had a doctor tell me that sweat is the way to get rid of a virus.. Wrap up an sweat it out..

  9. AllWXRider

    AllWXRider New Member

    When a domino gets knocked over, we look to the previous domino and the one before that.

    So far, dental amagams -> mercury toxicity (intra celluar) -> hypothalmus (has an affinity for mercury) -> weak immune system -> infections (EBV, CMV, Candida, HHV-6, No Lyme, XMRV?, HERV-18 ? et al) -> CFS

    Branching off the poor hypothalmus -> low TRH -> low TSH (pituitary) -> thyroid low -> low body temp (infections love low body temp) 95.7°F. I was freezing during a hot Texas summer.

    Imagine the dominos branching out into a chain reaction.

    My fatigue doc talks about a viral die-off reaction. Viruses die and multiply. When they die, they release lots of toxins. When I started on Myer's IV: huge die off reaction.
    When I started Valcyte, another big die off. Body aches, head aches, thirsty, worse depression and anxiety.

    Anti biotics kill only certain kinds of bacteria, not viruses, not yeasts. They kill off good bacteria too (probiotics). Good bacteria compete with yeasts in the gut. So antibiotics encourage yeast overgrowth in the GI tract.

    Heat kills off most infections hence the value of a sauna, hot bath or hot shower. Sweat will detox many die off remains.

    When I started Nystatin to kill of yeasts in the GI, nystatin has a very poor absorbtion rate so it only treats the gut. Another huge die off, but different, I craved sugar soooo bad, I mean like a heroin addict.

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