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Old 01-26-2006, 01:43 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 16
danicanni HB User
Newly diagnosed...questions

This morning my boyfriend was diagnosed with bipolar disorder by a Nurse Practioner. She put him on Zoloft as well as Seroquel. I am very concerned for several reasons and any input you have would be greatly appreciated.

I understand that Nurse Practioners are well educated and knowledgable on a wide variety of health areas, but shouldn't he get a second opinion from a doctor?? I see this as a tragedy should he be misdiagnosed.

My second concern is the Seroquel. I've done a lot of reading on this drug today and it seems like very serious stuff...Does anyone know anything about it that could help me?

I'm so nervous about everything for him and I just want him to be well...please help!

Old 01-26-2006, 01:53 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 655
barbaric_yawp HB User
Re: Newly diagnosed...questions

Absolutely, get another opinion--pref by a psych doc., Nurse pract. don't excactly swing it for me. Not sure about the s., I think it is safe as it has been used for many years. That said, it did not sit well with me. All med cocktails are different and he will have good and bad reactions--or none at all. So definitley get another opinion. Keep us posted.

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Old 01-26-2006, 01:59 PM   #3
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Ruth6:11 HB UserRuth6:11 HB User
Re: Newly diagnosed...questions

I would speak to him AND his parents. I've never heard of someone being diagnosed with ANY disorder by a Nurse Practitioner.
And to be honest, I'd be more leery of the Zoloft (which is an SSRI and can cause or increase mania in some bipolar patients).
Seroquel is usually tried when the person with bipolar is a very strong manic phase when diagnosed.

Neither Zoloft OR Seroquel is a mood stabilizer and it always concerns me when someone is diagnosed with a mood disorder and they are not given one of the stabilizers that is available.

Lithium (I've been on it for 20 years with great results)
Valproic acid (Depakene),
Lamotrigine (Lamictal)
Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
Gabapentin (Neurontin) Not FDA approved for bipolar disorder
Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal) Not FDA approved for bipolar disorder
Topiramate (Topamax) Not FDA approved for bipolar disorder

May I ask how old your boyfriend is? You are to be commended for wanting to stand behind him. Bipolar Disorder can be very difficult to keep under control, and it does take skin of Teflon for loved ones of us bipolars to survive...
Your desire to educate yourself, and finding us here(!) is wonderful!!

Last edited by Ruth6:11; 01-26-2006 at 02:00 PM.

Old 01-26-2006, 02:08 PM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 16
danicanni HB User
Re: Newly diagnosed...questions

Thank you so much for your quick responses and your concern. I appreciate it more than words can express!

My boyfriend is 29.

The Nurse Practitioner said that he also had anxiety, so that's what the Zoloft was for. After all of the reading I've been doing though, isn't anxiety a symptom of bipolar disorder also?? I was concerned about him taking two different meds right away, but what do I know?? He hasn't taken a dose of the Seroquel yet, he plans on taking it tonight, but I may ask him to wait until he finds out from a doctor...This is all so confusing and it feels like it's happening too fast...

Old 01-26-2006, 02:20 PM   #5
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 655
barbaric_yawp HB User
Re: Newly diagnosed...questions

Ruth is right taking an SSRI actually caused my first manic episode (maybe not 'caused' since it would have happend anyway, but definitly contributed to my going over the top for a while). My doc put me on Litium to stabalize me but I did not need to take it for long. There are so many options out there, keep us posted.

Old 01-26-2006, 06:16 PM   #6
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,336
Ruth6:11 HB UserRuth6:11 HB User
Re: Newly diagnosed...questions

Two meds are actually more normal than you might think.

I feel fortunate that they used one of the older yet tried and true meds (lithium) on me.
I can handle the side effects and it works like a charm. (and yes, almost every single mental health type drug has side effects since we are dealing with the brain)

I'm just not real happy about the Zoloft. It is also an anti-depressent. Add an anti-depressent to someone who is prone to mania and voila - recipe for a major manic episode.

At 29 if he is just now being diagnosed I would be willing to bet that his life has been a rocky one for awhile. How did you two meet? Have you seen both the highs and the lows of Bipolar Disorder?

When you're ready for a list of reading material just say the word -
Also, check out NAMI - they have groups for family & loved ones of Bipolars along with lots of information for everyone concerned.

Guess that about taps me out for the evening - Like most folks with Bipolar Disorder we do best with regular meals, regular bedtimes, routines that don't vary much, caffeine at a minimum. All that and alot of laughter too!
Good night,

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