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Q. Are my symptoms related to autism or bipolar disorder?

Answered by
Dr. Aditya Gupta
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 24, 2018 and last reviewed on: Aug 10, 2022

Hello doctor,

I am waiting for an assessment of autism spectrum disorder. In the past few years, I have been misdiagnosed with bipolar, and my current diagnosis is borderline personality disorder. But, I am not sure whats going on really. I am 100 % confident that I am ASD, as it covers my "base personality" and all my childhood. But, I still do not know if what I am about to describe fits in with ASD. Perhaps, there is co-morbidity that is not just anxiety n depression? I am not sure whether either of the two psychiatric illnesses, that I have previously been diagnosed with, are quite right either. There is bipolar in my family on my mom's side, that is, manic depression was the diagnosis for my grandma. My uncle and aunt had bipolar disorder. This as well as autism and ADHD diagnosis across the family.

So, that is why the doctors initially looked at bipolar, but they changed their minds because I did not fit the hypomania and good mood state. I think I need to start writing things down, so the doctors can get the full picture because I struggle to explain verbally and lots go unmentioned. Or they just do not ask the right questions and go on what they have. So anyway this is how I have been for about four weeks now, which is the longest I have been like for years.

I will describe what I have been paying attention to, which is different to my usual most stable self. This happens numerous times a year, but usually just lasts a few days or could just be a day or two for so many hours in that day. I am more anxious about having to cope with kids on my own, and I am not getting out with them like I used to. I cannot cope with any difficulty right now, so I am snapping too easily. My mind is racing. I am more productive and creative, and I am looking forward to hosting a party. I rearrange the furniture again once the kids are in bed. My mind is crazy, and I get agitated. I am more talkative, and my whole body starts to shake when I get interrupted. I get angry quickly. I am playing kids games better, which I used to struggle with.

I have to reach certain numbers of followers not out of vanity, but because some numbers look right and others do not. I like the number 750, but I do not like the number 723, so I keep trying to get followers just so the number looks right. I am telling people personal stuff about my thoughts and feelings that I would not usually divulge. I have in-depth conversations with my sister-in-law, who I usually cannot tolerate. I have periods of high sex drive and sexual confidence with my partner. My patience is so very thin that I am hitting myself and silently screaming in frustration behind my kids' backs, as they walk slowly up the stairs or just picking them up and carrying them up in a huff.

I am very irritable and easily becoming angry out of nowhere. I have taken up jogging suddenly. I am not anxious about people seeing. I am enjoying jogging because it lets me run away without me running away. I keep feeling like I want to run away. I keep seeing my kids as just some kids and not feeling the connection that they are mine. It feels as if they are not my kids. I feel like sometimes when the anger hits me, I lose touch with reality.

I do not want to hurt my kids, but the other day, I grabbed my kid's hand so hard as if I am going to hit her, but I ended up hitting the wall. I am here now because I feel like whatever is going on with me is affecting my kids. I am struggling more lately to keep awareness and control over my rage. I am shouting at them easily or speaking to them in a bitchy tone. The worse thing is that I take weeks to feel guilty of what I did. I am worried to tell this to my doctors, as they will want to take my kids away from me. Is this autism-related or does it seem like there is something else going on? If no, then what is it?

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Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

It does not appear to be related to autism spectrum disorder. It goes more in favor of bipolar disorder with a current episode of mania. A personality disorder can also be there. The differential diagnoses are:

1) Bipolar disorder.

2) Emotionally unstable personality disorder.

3) Adult ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder).

What you need is an urgent consult with a pyschiatrist for detailed evaluation,so that a diagnosis can be established and treatment can be started accordingly. Medications need to be started. I suggest you get the following tests done:

1) Complete blood panel.

2) TFT (thyroid function test).

3) Psychological testing.

Yes, I know the previous experience was not good, but it does not mean it will be like that always. It is also for the safety of your family. Without treatment, the frequency and severity of episodes can increase. Remember every problem has a solution, you just need to try solving it and help is just a step away.

Feel free to ask if you have any further queries.



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