Are You OCD, PDD, MDD or BP? What about PTSD? Do you fart in the morning? Burp in the afternoon? Let’s keep this discussion lite, as none of these mood disorders are laughing matters. All are difficult to deal with, can be very emotionally painful for a sufferer and often do not respond well to available treatment.
Not very funny.
But this is a good discussion to have for those who are learning about bipolar disorder (BP) and want to know more. Maybe they are self-diagnosing themselves, or wondering if they have it.
I’ve spoken out against the over-diagnosing of BP vis-a-vis the new ‘bipolar spectrum’ and will continue to do so.Overdiagnosing of Bipolar via The Bipolar Spectrum Causes Much Confusion With Other Mood Disorders… Click To Tweet
The bipolar spectrum was created by psychiatrists and made official with the 1994 publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (DSM IV).
A 400% Increase in Bipolar Diagnoses
One source cites a ‘400% increase‘ in the diagnosis of BP post 1994. You can read the article here and I plan a follow-up post on the issue: The Bipolar Explosion.
It is ridiculous and also causes much unecessary confusion with other mood disorders.
As someone with BP-1 – actual bipolar or Manic Depression – I will continue speaking out about it and calling out those who are contributing to the misinformation out there such as ‘Bipolar Burple’.
A public personality is fair game for criticism – and depression (what BP-2 is actually, not bipolar) is a horrible medical condtion to suffer from. Natasha Tracey aka Bipolar Burple has publically shared she has been diagnosed with BP-2.
BP-2 is Not Bipolar
But it is not bipolar. BP-2 is major depressive disorder (or PPD) with a little hypomania thrown in. Hypomania often due to a person self-medicating with recreational drugs, being prescribed drugs that can trigger emotional instability and the feeling of ‘hypomania’, etc. But it is not bipolar. It is a form of depression or other mood disorder.
Sidenote: Bipolar Burple writes a lot of great articles on mental health, and on depression. I’ve complimented her on her work directly and indirectly. My HUGE issue with her (besides a personal experience I write about here: Letting Out My Inner Bitch) is that she wraps everything into a BP-2 package – and has little to no real understanding of actual bipolar illness.
You’ll be hearing a lot more from me on this. I consider my writing to be a form of patient advocacy at this point. I think it is key to getting back on track to actual research that is not overly-broad (and engineered that way with Big Pharma backing) to promote development of new drugs and drug patents that do little to help a sufferer, and often cause much harm including contributing to permanent disability.
So let’s get back on track with this article. Lots of acronyms and what do they mean?
Only a licensed clinician can give a diagnosis to someone, whether it is accurate, valid, etc. But we can talk about and educate ourselves about current categories of various mood disorders and what symptoms they may encompass.
I used this source to get basic statistical information on the mood disoders listed below (age of onset, number of sufferers, etc): Anxiety and Depression Association of America. I then did a separate search to find a good resource that describes the symptoms of the condition and list the source with a link so you can click and read more about the disorder if you want to.
What is OCD?
OCD is obsessive-compulsive disorder. There are an estimated 2.2 million sufferers in the U.S. – an approximate 1.0% of the population.
OCD is equally common among men and women with 19 years the median age of onset. Twenty-five percent of cases are estimated to become evident by age 14.
One-third of adults who become diagnosed with OCD first experienced symptoms in childhood.
Symptoms of OCD: paralyzing unending anxiety, obsessions and compulsions that greatly affect day to day functioning and cause the sufferer much distress.
Source: International OCD Foundation.
What is PDD?
PDD is persistent depressive disorder. My guess is many that get a BP-2 disorder could actually have PDD. PDD used to be called ‘dysthymia’.
Persistent is used in the term as it means the depression has continued for two years or more. It is estimated to affect approximately 3.3 million adults age 18 or over (1.5% of the population).
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) the median age of onset is 31.1 years.
Symptoms of PDD: feeling ‘down in the dumps’ daily or more often than not, for a period of two years with no more than a two month remission. Appetite changes (overeating or poor appetite), difficulty sleeping, feeling hopeless, low energy.
What is MDD?
MDD is Major Depressive Disorder. This may also be what somone given the label BP-2 suffers from.
According to ADAA, it affects approximately 14.4 million adults in the U.S. and is sadly the leading cause of disability for ages 15-44.3 years.
MDD is more common in women than men and average age of onset is at 32.5 years.
Symptoms of MDD: depressed mood, loss of pleasure in activities, weight change (gain or loss), sleep issues, slowed down or agitated behavior, fatigue, thoughts of worthlessness, agitation, possible suicidal ideation.
Source: All About Depression.com.
The above is very brief and general information – but gives a basic idea of some additional mood disorders people experience in addition to the over-focus these days on bipolar.
The ‘everything is bipolar’ type of thinking that is not only ridiculous, but gives those who are misdiagnosed via the bipolar spectrum incorrect information and potentially unecessary treatment such as psychotropic meds they do not need to take.
Previous post: Are Your Psych Meds Making You Sick?
If you want more specific information on any of them do a simple Google search. My focus is on bipolar.