Our expert says:
What does your shrink say ? Bipolar disorder is beyond the skills of aGP to diagnose or manage except between visits to the shrink, to write prescriptions - the mayter is just too complex for General practice.
The episodes you describe sound like Manic episodes, indeed.
Bipolar Disorder, by definition, has 2 poles, so one's mood may go up and down. But some people have primarily manic episodes, and they are described as hypomanic if relatively mild, and Manic if more severe - and one can easily have both types of episode - the one does not exclude the other.
If your disorder is currently well controlled, a new doctor may indeed not have seen a full-blown manic episode in you.
Because Bipolar disorders can be hard to get under control, it's understandable that your shrinks are reluctant to change the combination of meds that seems to be helping maintain control. With a typical history, a diagnosis made by a previous doc who did see you during an episode, and apparently good response to a relevant medication, it's probably wise for them ( and you ) to accept the diagnosis, as if one allowed the disorder to slip out of control, it could become more difficult to manage it.
I'm not quite clear what medication you are receiving for the Bipolar Disorder, presumably the Zymprexa ? Ativan and Stilnox are merely sedatives, having no specific anti-manic properties themselves. YOu mention 3 mood stabilizers, withou mentioning which, but if the combination is poducing apparently good results, one would be reluctant to change it.
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