For the last 1-2 years, I've noticed I've been having extreme mood swings, which have gotten worse over the last few months.
I've noticed that I'll be on top of the world for weeks/months at a time, life is wonderful. I don't need much sleep during this time [I'll stay up until 2-3, sometimes 4 in the morning and then still get up early]. There have been times I'll be in bed at 1am, and wide awake/wired at 5am. I'll have tons of energy, I don't feel the need to eat much, I feel hyper and have a million things going on at once. I'm ridiculously productive, come up with tons of different plans for things to do, even business ideas to start... but don't follow through on any. I am TERRIBLE at finishing things I start during these periods. I'll be on the go all day and just feel full of energy. I suffer from restless leg syndrome every now and then, and there was one time recently I actually had that feeling in my hands/arms. I felt like I just had to keep moving them and fidgeting. It was really strange.
Then, randomly without warning, other days I will suddenly wake up feeling just unbearably low, feel like all I want to do is cry [which I do, fairly often], I will also sleep an unhealthy amount - I could go to bed at 10pm & easily sleep til 11am/12pm the next day, if not more. During this state, I just feel like everything in my world is crashing down. I feel like when I get in that low place, it's incredibly intense and I can't shake it - I also feel like during these times I almost look for things to be upset about. I usually wind up picking fights with my significant other during these times, I don't want to talk to anybody at all. I also feel like it takes every ounce of energy/strength in me just to get up and go for a 10 minute walk. I don't want to do anything.
I always brushed the mood swings off, I just figured 'oh I'm feeling down again' and thought it was normal. It's really a weird feeling, to be in such an extreme, empty, painful place... and then suddenly wake up a few weeks later feeling totally fine and happy again like nothing happened. I won't lie, it kinda scares me at times. Especially during the crying spells, I get really scared because I feel like I'm going crazy.
It recently got to a point where it started affecting my work, I had to call in sick because I could not stop crying. I've also broken down crying while at work, which is terribly embarrassing. I work in sales, and another thing I've noticed is that when I'm in the up/hyper frame of mind, my sales shoot through the roof. When I'm in the low periods, everything just tanks.
I started to see a counselor, who recommended I meet with a psychiatrist or doctor, because she felt it could be Bipolar
Disorder that I have. I looked up my symptoms online, and frankly, I felt like I could definitely identify with pretty well everything I saw. I felt almost a sense of relief when I started reading up on the disorder. Also, although I've only noticed a pattern these last 1-2 years [ie: depressed for 3 weeks, up for 2, etc]...I do believe it goes all the way back to when I was in high school. Also, my mother has suffered from major depressive disorder
, and it was even thought at one point that she may even have bipolar, but it was ruled out.
I saw my doctor the other day, explained everything, she said it's definitely Bipolar disorder... but she didn't tell me which type I could have. She then said because of the severity of my symptoms, she didn't want me to wait to see a psychiatrist, she wanted to start me on treatment right away. She prescribed me Cipralex, saying that she wanted to ease me into medications, see how it goes and then possibly add
a mood stabilizer in 2 weeks. I take 10mg for 7 days, then 20mg.
My question is... I've read up on the medication and I read that a bipolar patient is usually prescribed BOTH an anti-depressant and a mood stabilizer... and that if the patient is taking ONLY an anti-depressant, it could lead to a manic/hypomanic episode.
Should I be concerned? Is it normal for a doctor to start a bipolar patient on only one medication at a time, just to see their my body reacts, before adding more? I'm sorry this is so long, but I wanted to share my symptoms and everything.
If you need any additional information, just let me know. Thanks so much for any insight you can offer.