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mania and depression - are clusters a bi-product of bi-polar


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I just recently had one of the worst cluster periods aft e two years of keeping them at bay.  But I've noticed a pattern for me.  When I feel the clusters coming, I feel a wave of mania, typically around doing art, maybe buying stuff, rearranging my house.  And then when they are in full swing I feel like my brain loops thoughts, ie. songs, ideas, stories or conversations.  And my dreams are out of control.  I also go through a huge depression, but I guess that's to be expected.  I'm just trying to understand, could the headaches be a part of Bi-polar disorder or is it just that the clusters are contributing to this behavior?  Is anyone out the Bi-Polar and have clusters?  Does anyone feel the way I feel?  Should I look into this? 



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Hi Monica,

Sorry you are having a hard time. I don't think there is much of a correlation between CH and bi-polar. Some studies have been done on the subject and it seems that a very low percentage of CH sufferers are afflicted with the disorder (around 6% or so). It seems that migraine has a higher association with bi-polar. Depression however is something that many with CH suffer from, myself included. Either way it couldn't hurt to talk to your doctor about the sort of feelings you are experiencing.     


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That is an interesting pet hypothesis; however, causation is not correlation. I have been through it all with psychiatric issues. Mine began with the misdiagnoses of Bipolar I, Rapid Cycle with Mixed States. At that time, 1997, Dr. DePaulo the founder of the Mood Disorder Clinic at Johns Hopkins called it Manic Depression. This is a complicated story.

By 2001, they suspected that I was emerging Borderline. Both the Manic Depressive and Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis were off. It took a psychotherapist to figure it out, Adult Attachment Disorder with Generalized Trauma-last month. 

Anyways, the amphetamines and SSRI antidepressants, even the tricyclics foment mixed episodes where I am both manic and depressed. This also foments chronic end-stage catatonia depression, which leads to electroconvulsive therapy. I can tell you when in mixed states my migraines with aura, and the cluster headaches become intractable. When off all those drugs, the headache medication and magnesium place me in near remission-it is interesting. 


I was heavy into amphetamines, blow, hard drugs, running shine to pay, and yeah “Left Turn at A Red Light, Rickey Medlocke sums it up. That may have been part of it.  There is a price to being a rambler, a Southern Outlaw, I'm past the point of no return, so I live as an outlaw. The hell with it, if I go back to the joint, so what. My idols are Waylon Jennings, Johny Paycheck, and David Allan Coe-I strive to live my life as they did. 

I wonder if those 60 Electroconvulsive Shock Therapy Treatments altered my tolerance to Toprimate.  Before ECT, I could not titrate Topomax, after ECT, and a two year process, I am comfortably at 100mg, damn near remission. It’s flipping odd.

And, I have compression of the spinal cord in the neck, and I have potential ACDF and TLIF (both multilevel) if the spinal canal closes further. I’ve had a laminectomy already, wait was it 2? I don’t remember they removed a few vertebrae to open the spinal canal. Similar shit in the neck.  

I can’t out rule a psychosomatic factor, in fact there used to be expurgated evidence to substantiate this. Yet, I threw it out. You will have to take my word. 

The question posed should be how does trauma correlate with Cluster Headaches and Migraine? It does not have to be complex PTSD, generalized trauma is bad enough. Shell shock (combat PTSD) really does shit, though my friend won’t admit it. Trauma causes all types of emotional and physical pain, that I know. 

I notice pain reduction with attachment therapy, exposure therapy, transference focused psychodynamic therapy, and interpersonal psychodynamic therapy. I’ve witnessed EMDR therapy stop peoples and treat peoples migraines, if trauma related. Shapiro was a fucking genius. All the psychotherapy’s help. The cognitive therapies (CBT, DBT) don’t seem to help. 

I hope this answers the question to some extent. 

Edit: On top of this psych issue I am Italian, Croatian, Irish, did time in Max Security with triple lifers carrying a blick in case someone tried to chop me up. Most of us had some makeshift swords, my point is I admit to a temper from all the trauma and genetics.

When I fly off the handle and destroy things I get a massive attack. I am down to flipping a shit a few times a month, meaning that is when I get nailed. There is something to be said for that matter as well. Anger, Trauma, and Psych issues all correlate. As does being on point after being bunked with true antisocial murderers that did not understand why their crimes were wrong. 

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