Q. Dear Dr., Thank you for being here for sufferers. My girlfriend was diagnosed. with bipolar disorder II. I have obsessive compulsive disorder, chronic depression & panic disorder. We have a lot in common. I have read numerous articles on various brain disorders.

In one, a researcher was proposing for the up-coming DSM V, a description for a more positive form of bipolar disorder II. I believe he called it Bipolar II b. In this, the manic episodes are high but not as delusional as in other forms. The depressive part is not disabling. This article spoke of treating artists & high level business executives w/ lithium to suit their special form of Bipolar. So their MDs let them lower the dosages at times to allow that creative surge. Then adjust dosage when that "wave" passed.

Have you heard of this? I can't remember where I read it & my friend is so curious.

Also: could someone w/ my complex of diagnosis be misdiagnosed. & actually be manic-depressive? My husband Peter, my Mom and I all thought my diagnosis would come out as bipolar. But it was this weird combo.. I do trust my MD & had good cognitive therapy & am on meds that help ... but wondering


  A. . The trouble with any psychiatric disorder, is there is no guarantee how it will evolve. I would personally be opposed to allowing people to monkey with their medications without strict supervision. In early phases of bipolar illness, mania is more common than depression. Later in life, the bipolar illness "matures," and depression seems to be a lot more common. I would hate to stop someone's medications so they could be creative and have them get depressed and suicide. This could happen if they transition into the phase of their illness where depressions are more common, and we did not know about the transition to a more mature form of bipolar illness.

There are a lot of theories and a lot of medications. If you have something that works, stick with it. I am not aware of the author of the theory you discuss, but will look to see if I can find anything.