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Old 10-26-2006, 04:22 PM   #1
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JessiNorth HB User
your experience please!

I was just diagnosed last week as being Bipolar and I have some questions.

1. When you were diagnosed did your doctor do any tests to eliminate other causes for mood swings? What type of things were done to diagnose you as being bipolar?

2. Does anyone manage their moods with something other than a medication? Such as nutritional suppliments, massage, pet therapy, exercise, etc?

3. Has anyone gone off their meds to have children? If so, what is the method of treatment when you're off your medication?

I'd really appreciate any insight anyone can give me! Thanks!

 
Old 10-27-2006, 05:10 AM   #2
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bpd_bipolar HB User
Re: your experience please!

Well, I shall see if I can answer at least one of the questions for you.

#2 - Managing moods with medications and other methods. Yes, my doctor has taught me many ways to manage my mood swings and he has used the teachings of Marsha Linehan to do it. She has written many books on dilectal teachings. The medications can only take you so far, but I can manage my anger better by simple things of counting to 10, or walking away from the situation. What might sound silly, if you practice them actually works. Anyhow, I recommend Marsha Linehans books to everyone. They are a great help along with medication and seeing your doc.

Now, I can't remember what he did to diagnos me as bipolar as it has been over 9 years since he did. I do know that I have tried a lot of medications and we have finally, years ago found the right combo for me (now anyway). I am on Trileptal (mood stabilizer) and Geodon (anti-psychotic). I do also have borderline personality disorder, so to be fair about the medications it is to treat both.

Well, I hope I helped you a bit.

 
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Old 10-27-2006, 08:42 AM   #3
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Re: your experience please!

Thank you for your response! I will look into those books.

With the diagnosis do you remember if your doctor did any other tests? I have read that other conditions can mimic bipolar symptoms. Such as thyroid problems, hormonal imbalances, vitamin deficiencies, etc. I'm just sort of concerned that the diagnosis was rash. I had never seen this doctor before and within 10 minutes she diagnosed me as being bipolar without taking a medical history or seeing if there were any other underlying causes.

I guess that I am not yet convinced that I am bipolar; when and if other things are rule out then I'm willing to accept it and take appropriate actions. But, I honestly feel like it could be a combination of at least a hormone imbalance and a vitamin deficiency. First I believe it to be partially hormonal becuase I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and in previous years my hormones have been all over the place, especially my testosterone (more than 2 times the normal level for females). I believe this is what is causing much of my anger and irratibility. I also believe it could be a vitamin deficiency because my husband and I are going through a very difficult time financially and we don't eat right. Last week we lived off of Halloween candy my mom had given us for trick-or-treaters. Otherwise it is dry cereal of whatever is cheapest.

I also wonder if it is normal to have changes in mood due to life situations. As I stated earlier we are under a lot of financial stress. I have also had some other medical issues that are tough for me to deal with.

I don't know I am just frustrated and confused! I'd appreciate anything you can remember!

 
Old 10-27-2006, 10:46 AM   #4
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Re: your experience please!

1. My doctor had me get blood drawn to check for various things. The tests were similar to those drawn for a physical. She did focus on thyroid function tests.

2. I use medication right now. I'm going to try some mediation.

3. I do plan on having children one day. My doctor prefers that I stay on meds for 1 year before trying. Some meds can be taken while pregnant. She explained the risks to me of birth defects, but if I don't take meds I could end up killing myself or doing things that will harm the baby.

 
Old 10-27-2006, 01:50 PM   #5
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Re: your experience please!

If the diagnosis was rash a cream should do the trick... ...sorry. I don't see how any diagnosis can be made in 10 minutes, that sounds absolutely impossible to me-all the possibilities & an answer in 10 minutes???

 
Old 10-27-2006, 02:57 PM   #6
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Re: your experience please!

I want to respond about massage thereapy. wow what difference a day makes . I had really severe headaches and massage therapy saved the day.It slowed me down and took all thosd muscles that are tight from years of dealing with bi-polar disorder. and over time I saw a huge difference in me..headaches are gone now.

I take Zyprexa. so the anxiety is gone since I have been on this medication.

I was diagnosed with many things. ADHA mimics bi-polar. and others said i didnt have bi-polar. I went to Oregon Health Sciences center in 1990 and took tests all day and the tests are what reasured me that I am Bi-polar.I do believe
these tests are offered in any city. I paid $250.00 out of pocket for the tests.
I do hope this helps. I know if I drink lots of coffee the medciation wont work. so I only drink.3 cups per day.. Caren

 
Old 10-27-2006, 04:19 PM   #7
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Re: your experience please!

Hi JessiNorth

I cannot remember how I was diagnosed, coz I was very ill at the time, but massage therapy, walking and heaps of exercise work wonders for me. I also watch what I eat and have totally cut out alcohol and caffeine from my diet.
Thanks.

 
Old 10-28-2006, 06:10 AM   #8
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bpd_bipolar HB User
Re: your experience please!

I do have hypothyroidism as well, so a suggestion to you, from me would be see your family doc first, have all the tests done for you, then go back to your shrink and give the results of the other tests then talk it out. Make sure they know that you still have questions.

It is very easy to shove people into a group when they have a normal mood swing and just say that they are bipolar. I got lucky with my doc, it took him a long history check and lots of other paperwork, plus I think he did blood work too.........hard for me to remember, but I do remember the paper work...... Some times these docs just want to lump you into something common so that they can give you meds you may not need.

If you take meds and don't need them it will mess you up mentally and a little bit physically. So if you need to, go someplace else and get a second opinion.

 
Old 10-28-2006, 08:28 AM   #9
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Re: your experience please!

I Can Tell You Hormones For A Fact Give You Mood Swings. I Have Been Like That All My Like With My Monthly Period Along With Other Problems. So I Would Go To Your Gyn First. Mine Gyn Helped Me With My Mood Swings And Going Thru Depression. It Was All From My Hormones. My Daughter 13 Has Adhd, She Was Diagnosed In 1st Grade. My Son Had Bipolar And Didnt Start Surfacing Until 8th Grade. I Did Lots Of Research On Both Adhd And Bipolar They Do Minic Each Others Symtoms But Here Is Biggest Difference I Found,
My Daughter Gets Mad And Will Be Angry 20-30minutes. My Son Gets Mad And It Lasts 3-4hours Sometimes Without Meds.....he Along With Meds Is Controlling His Angry. Also Only A Psychiatrist Should Diagnose A Mental Illness Not A Therapist Or Reg Doc. Also I Think Bipolar Is Like Asthma, If My Son Dont Take His Meds, He Dont Function Or Even Want To Live When Off Meds. But He Knows Meds Are Only Part The Rest Is Up To Him. He Sees Therapist Once A Week And Psy Once A Month. I Try To Help Him See This Is A Life Decision To Help Himself And Says He Feels Good Now.
Good Luck
Mslainie
Ps Keep Coming To Board It Always Helps Me.

 
Old 10-28-2006, 02:33 PM   #10
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JessiNorth HB User
Re: your experience please!

Thank you everyone for your responses they were very helpful. I am trying to get a second opinion but am running into road blocks!! I have no insurance and the clinics here won't tell me the price of an office visit. I also have tried to get into a psychiatrist (there is an awesome one here that also deals with neurology...I've also had a major head/brain injury...so he would probably be able to help a lot) but I can't get an appt until Jan 4. So I wait.

I have started exercising twice a day and my mood has been significantly better. I have also scheduled several massage therapy sessions, which helped in the past (got them in college every semester before finals!).

Again thank you everyone for your responses!

 
Old 10-28-2006, 02:41 PM   #11
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bpd_bipolar HB User
Re: your experience please!

you are more than welcome. I am glad that you have come to the board and that some of the advice has helped out.

Take care of yourself.

 
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