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Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Depression or Bipolar Affective Disorder



I have been going to the doctor for 7 years off and on for depression. I have taken Zoloft and am now on Effexor and Chlonopin when my anxiety gets too bad (I shake and the side of my face twitches, it used to be just under my eye). Well recently I have noticed that I will be EXTREMELY depressed for a few days and then for a day or so will be "giddy" (that is my husbands term) for about 24 hours and then go back to feeling "normal" for a week or so and then it seems to start all over again. The depression makes it so I can barely function. The "giddiness" day or so I get a lot done. What do you suggest I do or who do you suggest I see. I see my Family Dr. once every 3 months or so as it stands.


Although I certainly cannot diagnose over the internet, it sounds like you may have some components of bipolar affective disorder, which used to be called "manic-depression."  It will be important to talk to your family doctor and describe your symptoms quite clearly, as you have done in your note and ask about possible BAD.  If your family doctor is not comfortable with caring for this disorder, consider seeing a psychiatrist for an evaluation and treatment.  For this illness, medications usually include "mood stabilizers," which are different from traditional antidepressants, like zoloft or effexor, although they are often used in combination.

Check out the website at the National Institutes of Mental Health (see the weblink) for more information.

Good Luck.

Related Resources:

NIMH Bipolar

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Response by:

Nancy   Elder, MD Nancy Elder, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati