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Bipolar Disorder/Bi-Polar Disorder OCD and more

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I am a 31 year old male from Florida.  I have never been treated or diagnosed but believe I may have several personality disorders.  A little of my family history is that my Grandfather had extreme OCD that got worse as he got older he had an obsession with saving small bits of food or anything disposable he would keep pill bottles full of portions of meals and paper items he had sent out or given to others that he hole punched out meticulous portions such as if portions were red black and white he would have to take a piece of each.  Also he would draw barcodes off of items and keep them in a book.  Others on my mothers side suffer from mostly minor forms of OCD.  On my fathers side there are several family members that are Bi-Polar my dad had been diagnosed about 15 years ago and has been taking medication since.  As for me I seem to suffer from both Bipolar Disorder and OCD as well as Social and General Anxiety Disorder, ADHD or just possibly extreme Hypo Mania as well as possibly Asperger's syndrome.  I used to suffer from anxiety disorder as a teen as I was picked on at times but by the time I graduated I felt semi normal and was able to fit in with large social circles.  Immediately after graduating I moved and initially was meeting new people and being social but more and more found that I was getting in with the wrong crowd or that others never shared the same interests and when in social settings found myself bored awkward and almost as if I am a separate entity from what's going on around me.  I have managed for over 10 years with minimal friends, held 2 jobs for 5 years each was able to get a degree but every social situation new or even with close friends and family feel awkward and often will begin to perspire and have rapid heart rate seemingly out of no where.  This same thing happens when I walk down the road and pass others or if I am in a store or similar setting I don't like to make eye contact.  As for the OCD I have many ticks none major but definitely abnormal behaviors.  I check the date on all food and won't eat most anything not prepared at my home or a restaurant. I will only eat something I know has been opened within the few days otherwise I would rather give away or throw out.  I will not eat anything that falls off the plate even if on clean counter or table.  When I feel I am Manic I often get organizational OCD to where I will clean everything throw things away that I feel cause clutter and sometimes get to the point where if there is too much to organize I will begin to forgo it altogether until it builds up.  On the Bi-polar front I feel like I am in Hypo Manic state at almost all times I am constantly in my own head and cannot keep focused on one thing because I always want to multitask doing as many things at once helps to slow my inner thinking down and lets me focus on the other things I am doing.  Also I find myself more and more easily set off where any argument or confrontation leaves me depressed, isolated, and unable to focus on anything but my thoughts.  I quit my job last year after a couple panic attacks because of the stress of the job which involved constant interaction customers that constantly kept me anxious.  I took a couple of months off and then tried to return on new terms with the same employer but almost a year to the date I quit the last time I quit again after another panic attack at work and the continuous anxiety. Both times in October which leads me to believe may have Seasonal depression too as the less time I spend outdoors the worse it gets. I am a generally happy person because I have so many interests to keep me occupied that it is the way I cope. And as for the Asperger's traits I feel socially inept and awkward in all social situations.  I have never dated or been intimate as I can never seem to tell if someone likes me beyond basic friendship although I have had friends tell me they would have dated me from the past.  I become obsessively interested in things especially technology I am self learned in many things and often find when I am in my most depressive states that I am more creative and constantly learning new things to keep myself occupied. I also find that most conversations I have with others revolve around my interests and things I have created I do a lot of different art and like to share but often feel that the people I am talking with are not interested and just listen to be polite. The only trait of Asperger's that doesn't fit me is the lack of empathy as I often am too selfless and put others ahead of myself even if it causes me discomfort or hardship.  I also seem to feed off of peoples emotions I can be happy and immediately go to depressed when hearing others arguing or if I know someone else is in a bad mood.  What it boils down too is I am constantly depressed but content as I keep myself busy enough most of the time to not worry as much, I often cannot sleep until 5 AM or later and will sleep until 2PM but regardless of how much sleep I get or when I sleep I am tired through most of the day and wide awake later in the night.  I don't have a license as I have never felt comfortable driving and my mind wanders so often I don't even think I would be able to safely drive.  Do you believe that the traits I have described are fitting to someone with Bi-polar, OCD, Asperger's and General Anxiety disorder.  What I worry about is that verbal treatment would be of no help and that the only option would be medication which I believe would possibly stifle my creativity, make me even more fatigued and not even feel like myself.  What kind of medication would be prescribed to someone like myself that could cut the anxiety and depression but not at the loss of my character.  I will be honest in that I have used THC products and it truly does help with a lot of the symptoms especially the constant thinking, I quit that for 90 days last time I stopped working and I only got more depressed, more fatigued and stopped doing anything creative and rarely left the house let alone my bedroom.  Once I started with THC again soon after I began working my symptoms occurred much less until anxiety built up over time.  I am 3 days into quitting THC again and although not as bad as the first time I have went from extremely motivated to not wanting to do much at all but lay around and sleep. I know a lot of people see THC as a negative impact substance I have dealt with people on prescribed opiates over years and they seem to be controlled by the pills and I use the THC when I am in a Manic or depressive state and seem to have no adverse effects as it slows my brain down to a point where I can focus on what I want not what my mind decides, it oddly enough helps prevent fatigue and I am far more motivated when I am under its effects.  At this point I am starting to suffer financially and will have to quit the THC.  My depression and symptoms have been getting worse since I quit my job and have been working from home 6 months ago and worry that quitting the THC again is going to only make things far worse.  It would be greatly appreciated any insight or your thoughts on what I have described.

Answer
Hi Bill,

This is a lengthy post and it is clear to me that you have emotional problems. You bring up quite a few possible diagnoses, but I tend to pay less attention to particular diagnoses or psychiatric labels than underlying causes. I aim at treating mood disorders without recourse to drugs or medications as far as this is possible. You resort to THC (Cannabis) is your attempt to self-medicate against mood disoders, and like medicinal drugs usually do little to address the underlying metabolic abnormalities that are responsible for your mood changes.

I suggest that you test yourself with

Testing for Hypoglycemia by Questionnaires
  Nutrition-Behavior Inventory (NBI)
  http://www.hypoglycemia.asn.au/2011/the-nutrition-behaviour-inventory-nbi/

  Hypoglycemic Questionnaire (short test)
  http://www.hypoglycemia.asn.au/2012/hypoglycemia-questionnaire/
  
If you score high it may be an indication that you could be  hypoglycemic (http://www.hypoglycemia.asn.au/2011/what-is-hypoglycemia/)  This is a silent disease that is responsible for excess production of stress hormones - like adrenaline and cortisol - and which may trigger depression, anxiety or a low self-esteem and OCD.

This can be treated by going on a hypoglycemic diet (http://www.hypoglycemia.asn.au/2011/the-hypoglycemic-diet/)

Also read:
Beating Anxiety and Phobias
         http://www.hypoglycemia.asn.au/2011/beating-anxiety-and-phobias/  

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Nutrition
  http://www.hypoglycemia.asn.au/2011/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-and-nutrition/

Depression is a Nutritional Disorder
  http://www.hypoglycemia.asn.au/2011/depression-a-nutritional-disorder/


and discuss these with your doctor or get a referral to a Nutritional Doctor.

For more questions go to the under-mentioned Facebook page.

_______________________________________________
Jurriaan Plesman, Nutritional Psychotherapist.
Emeritus Editor of
The Hypoglycemic Health Association of Australia.
http://www.hypoglycemia.asn.au/
Author of "Getting off the Hook"
Freely available at Google Book Search
Skype: jurplesman
Also at Facebook for more questions: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Mentalillnessnutrition/

Bipolar Disorder

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Jurriaan Plesman, Nutritional Psychotherapist

Expertise

Have worked as a psychotherapist for overv twenty years, dealing with many personality disorders

Experience

I have a degree in Psychology from the Sydney University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Nutrition. I am also the author of “GETTING OFF THE HOOK” which deals with the nutritional and psychological treatment of personality disorders. It is freely available on the internet at Google Book Search. I am interested in the relationship between nutrition and behaviour, and as a Probation ans Parole Officer facilitated groups for offenders, many of whom were alcoholics and drug addicts, sex offenders or compulsive gamblers, as well as the whole gamut of “personality disorders”. I am also the ex-editor of the Hypoglycemic Health Association of Australia Newsletter, a quarterly publication dealing with hypoglycemia and related health problems. Its web site, together with a shortened course of PSYCHOTHERAPY can be visited at: http://www.hypoglycemia.asn.au

Organizations
Editor of the Hypoglycemic Health Association of Australia. Its web site is at:

http://www.hypoglycemia.asn.au

Publications
Author of the book "Getting off the Hook", It is freely available on the internet at Google Book Search. My articles can be found at: https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1M3x0ciu21Q8-KJO3tcIuxE-Mn97OIxCKzuhHDY8umrU#id.m9k24s-yjf9sc

Education/Credentials
BA (Psych) (University of Sydney), Post Gad Dip Clin Nutr (International Academy of Nutrition)

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