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Old 10-11-2006, 03:58 PM   #1
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Am I destined to have periodic episodes?

I've heard it said that bipolar episodes come every 4-5 years. Is this true even when I am taking lithium as prescribed dutifully?

 
Old 10-11-2006, 04:26 PM   #2
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Re: Am I destined to have periodic episodes?

If you DON'T take lithium the number of your episodes can go from infrequent (mine was one high & two lows a year) to VERY often... depending on the type of Bipolar Disorder you have.

But to answer your question, I have been on lithium (I'm Type I Bipolar) for over 20 yrs now and I have NEVER had a manic or depressive episode occur.

I DO believe that if I quit taking my lithium I would have another mania or depression within months.

For me, taking lithium is like a diabetic who takes lithium. It PREVENTS the symptoms, but it does NOT cure the disease...
Hope this makes sense!
Ruth

 
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Old 10-11-2006, 05:18 PM   #3
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Re: Am I destined to have periodic episodes?

Thanks a lot Ruth! I am 37 and was dx'd at age 30. Since then I have been on lithium. However, because I had a reaction to blood pressure meds once, my pdoc took me off lithium and reduced my prescription. This was last March. I had a manic episode and went to the hospital for 5 days. It was awful. I vow to never go off my lithium again. The good news on the blood pressure is that I have brought it down with diet and exercise, not needing medication. Thanks again for your encouragement, I hope to never have a manic episode again.
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Old 10-11-2006, 06:02 PM   #4
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Re: Am I destined to have periodic episodes?

Boy do I know that feeling too about not wanting to have another manic episode.
I was diagnosed at age 30 also (I'd been having problems since I was 13 but no one figured it out) and am 52 now.
My manic periods just kept getting worse & worse until my last one, and I had a total psychotic break with reality. It was a miracle that I got help & that I am alive.
I NEVER want to go through that again, and that alone keeps me compliant on taking my meds.
Thanks for being so honest! How old were you when you started having problems???
Ruth

 
Old 10-11-2006, 06:33 PM   #5
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Re: Am I destined to have periodic episodes?

I had no problems that would have hinted at bipolar disorder until my manic episode in 2000. The doctors told my parents it was one of the worst they had ever seen. I don't really remember the first 20 days of my 30 day hospitalization. I guess for me it had lied dormant until age 30 and then came on with a vengeance. It was quite a life-altering experience.
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Old 10-11-2006, 07:28 PM   #6
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Re: Am I destined to have periodic episodes?

I'm terrified of being manic. I've having such problems getting my medications right. Does anyone feel that a psychiatric Nurse Practitioner is qualifed to hand bipolar patients....especially if its been 3 yrs and we can't seem to find the right meds.

Last edited by ChandraS1978; 10-11-2006 at 07:36 PM.

 
Old 10-11-2006, 07:41 PM   #7
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Re: Am I destined to have periodic episodes?

how exactly do they diagnose? does the symptoms mimic pms?
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