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Old 09-02-2007, 06:26 PM   #1
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Just diagnosed with Bipolar Type 2! No clue what I am in for!

Hi. I am 21 years old. I went to Mayo Clinic, and was sent to a psychiatrist. He said that I have Bipolar Type 2. He said that he wants me on a mood stabilizer as well as an antidepressant, however, he didn't prescribe a mood stabilizer, just an antidepressant (vanlifaxine 37.5 mg), which I am taking twice a day. He said to wait for the mood stabilizer until I get to a psychiatrist. I have been calling around for a psychiatrist, and the closest I have come to an appointment is October 18th!! Oh, and I only have one refill on the antidepressant, so what should I do? I am so confused!!!

 
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Old 09-02-2007, 07:10 PM   #2
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Re: Just diagnosed with Bipolar Type 2! No clue what I am in for!

Hi there....welcome. I can understand how scarey this all must be for you about what to expect with the meds and what Bipolar is all about and how to best handle things. I might suggest that you get your hands on as much information about BP and educate yourself as much as possible. The more insight you have as to what is going on the faster you will be able to find the meds that best work out for you in terms of stabilization.

I am suprised that the psychiatrist that saw you at the Mayo clinic didn't put you on a mood stabilizer first since an antidepressant alone could induce a mania AND that he didn't cover you with enough meds in terms of refills when he must know that it sometimes takes months to get an appointment with a psychiatrist which you are now facing.

I would see if you can call your regular GP and see if he/she could cover you in terms of your perscription explaining to them your diagnosis and inability to get into a psychiatrist in time for a refill.

I have a 16 year old daughter who was diagnosed a little over a year ago with Bipolar NOS (Not Otherwise Specified). Before she was properly diagnosed they treated her for depression and put her on an antidpressant which only worstened things and made her more impulsive, irritable and eventually suicidal. That was when we discovered how somebody who is Bipolar can experience a mania without a mood stabilizer in place. Although it was a scarey occurrance for her and our family it did help us get her diagnosed sooner. She is now on Lamictal and Seroquel which are working out wonderfully for her.

So there is hope...it will take alot of patience because one med doesn't work for all and it will take time to find the ones that will help you reach stability. Some things you can do to get there is to keep careful track of the meds you are starting and record your response to them remembering that it sometimes will take weeks sometimes even months to start feeling better. The meds will more often make you feel worse before they make you feel better so don't give up on them before giving them a fighting chance.

Go to the library and get as many books about Bipolar as you possibly can. Learn about the meds and their side effects and how they work so that when you go into your doctor you will have a basic knowledge and be able to work as a team in finding the right ones.

There is also a wonderful organization called NAMI that offers lots of information as well as support groups in your area. Get in touch with them and see if you can find a meeting nearby. Come here whenever you have a concern or question and there are many people who will share their experiences with you.

I have found this board to be a wonderful source of support and knowledge and hope that you will too.

I look forward to seeing more of you around here and hope that you will find yourself less worried about what lies ahead. With proper treatment and meds as well as insight about BP you will have a good future ahead....the key is being proactive and doing all that you can do to get yourself stable. Once you do you can lead a pretty normal life....there will be ups and downs but it will be manageable.

((((HUGS)))) ~ Goody

 
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Old 09-02-2007, 07:24 PM   #3
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Re: Just diagnosed with Bipolar Type 2! No clue what I am in for!

Thank you so much! I appreciate your advice! I am trying to educate myself by doing some online research. I am glad that your daughter is doing better! I was suicidal a few weeks ago, but I ofund that talking to people helped a lot. My mom was also just diagnosed with Bipolar (I don't know which type). I am hoping that I don't get into a manic phase! Doesn't sound to good at all. I will be trying to get in with the psychiatrist sooner, but I don't know if that is possible or not. Oh well. I will talk to my doctor though when i get up there, and see what he thinks I should do, or if he can call a psychiatrist's office and get me an appointment sooner. I found that sometimes doctors offices are willing to get you in sooner if hte doctor calls for the appointment. Hmmm... I will be watching myself to try and see how my mood goes.

 
Old 09-02-2007, 07:39 PM   #4
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Re: Just diagnosed with Bipolar Type 2! No clue what I am in for!

I am glad that you feel a little bit better about things. Wow....so your mom just got diagnosed as well??? Well there's your support....nobody knows better about something better than another who is walking in the same pair of shoes.

Does your mom live closeby??? Just be VERY careful with the antidepressant...if you start to have an abundance of energy and can't seem to stop needing very little sleep OR get extremely impulsive and start spending lots of money and getting quite irritable unless you get what you are needing to have done at any given time that could be a sign of hypo(mania). You will need to get a hold of your doctor quickly because shortly after mania there will be a decline towards depression and just prior to that there is a strong chance of having suicidal thoughts. Antidepressants already carry a black box warning regarding the risk of increased suidical thoughts/tendencies and if you are BP the risk is even greater. So do be careful when you are on the Effexor alone without a mood stabilizer in place.

If you find yourself depressed try your hardest to be around people. Don't go off to be alone....take a walk and listen to some upbeat music. Remember that it won't last forever and things will get better.

You sound like you are going to find out as much as you can so that you are one step ahead of all of this and that is a GREAT way to be. I KNOW that with that attitude that you are going to do well. ARe you in college still or are you working????

You have taken the first step towards getting better and that is realizing that you have BP and that it is a treatable disorder.

Hang in there and know that there is alot of support here. Just keep on asking and sharing and others will be more than willing to help you through.

~ Goody

 
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Old 09-02-2007, 08:10 PM   #5
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Re: Just diagnosed with Bipolar Type 2! No clue what I am in for!

Hey, welcome to the boards.

I'm seventeen, dx'ed at fifteen (also BP II, but with anxiety), showed tendencies since I was ten, and mild symptoms before that. <---Long story short.

Anyway, I've done soooooo much reading on the subject. And I was originally dx'ed with depression as well and Zoloft made me manic. :S Which is when the dx changed. Anyway, I'm also good on Seroquel (100mg) and Lamictal (400mg), but I also take Abilify (1-2mg) for anxiety during the day and Klonopin (1mg) at night for anxiety. Good luck and I agree with Goody - try to get to someone, even if it's a GP to get help if the antidepressant worsens things....So, keep posting and keep us updated.

~~Paige
__________________
Bipolar Ultradian Cycler
400mg. Lamictal
600mg. Seroquel
1mg. Klonopin
0.5-1mg. Ativan
I'm not crazy ~ I'm mentally interesting!

Last edited by Paige1989; 09-02-2007 at 08:10 PM.

 
Old 09-02-2007, 11:04 PM   #6
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Re: Just diagnosed with Bipolar Type 2! No clue what I am in for!

Thanks guys!!
Goody, I am living with my parents right now, but am moving out today. We found out about my mom being Bipolar after she started drinking and cutting and we put ehr into Lifestream. Luckily my depression did not go that far. I was getting suicidal while driving, but now to counteract that, I talk on my cell phone if I am driving to stop from thinking about it. Seems to work for me. I am not allowed to go to school this semester as I am pretty sick, and trying to figure out what is wrong (that was actually the reason I am going to Mayo). I thought that that was why I was depressed. Two years of being sick for no apparent reason, and then pain in my back that no one could diagnose can make someone depressed! But now they are figuring out the pain (I had kidney stones, and as they were passing they damaged teh muscles) and getting me all straightened out, which is good. So, in January I am going to go back. I am moving in with one of my friends from school this semester, until I can move ack into the dorms. I have no choice but to go back to school next semester, as I lose my health insurance if I don't.
One thing that I have noticed is that I am ALWAYS irritable. Have been all summer, especially when I am really depressed, but that seems to be a sign of hypomania. I don't get it.

Paige, I am glad that you have found what works for you! That is great! Sorry that you are so young! I am hoping to finally get squared away.

Tsohl, thanks for those websites! I will look at them for sure! Yeah, I have been having a hard time with finding out what is true and what is not. The psychiatrist I saw was at the Mayo Clinic, however, he had the GIM order my medication. I called him because I knew he had said that he wanted me on a mood stabilizer as well, and he said that I should find a psychiatrist for that, because that is an expensive medication, and maybe I could get samples of it or something. But my thinking is that I should probably have started on both of them at the same time! Especially now that I know that it takes forever to get an appointment with a psychiatrist. At least one good thing is that I have been in counseling for a couple of years, but I have taken the summer off, as my counselor is near my school, and I have an appointment with him on Tuesday. Although my counselor can't prescribe medications or anything, he can at least sort of monitor me and such.

Last edited by bananarama; 09-02-2007 at 11:15 PM.

 
Old 09-02-2007, 11:14 PM   #7
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Re: Just diagnosed with Bipolar Type 2! No clue what I am in for!

I think you will find that when you are on a mood stabilizer, the irritability will lessen or go away entirely.

Did anyone mention that it is really important that you try to keep your sleep schedule as normal and "routine" as possible? This is something that college kids aren't very good at, but it is really important.

Also be sure to drink plenty of water, avoid caffeine and sugars and eat a nutritious diet. These things will be especially important when you begin taking meds for the bipolarity.

Last edited by tsohl; 09-02-2007 at 11:19 PM.

 
Old 09-02-2007, 11:18 PM   #8
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Re: Just diagnosed with Bipolar Type 2! No clue what I am in for!

I edited that post before you posted your reply.
I can't wait until the irritability goes away! It is ruining relationships. I am always fussing at everyone! I can't really help it. I try so hard not to get so upset about little things. I am going ot ask my GP to help me out.

 
Old 09-03-2007, 05:48 AM   #9
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Re: Just diagnosed with Bipolar Type 2! No clue what I am in for!

The irritability can be a part of depression and/or hypomania and is a big part of BP. My daughter also hates when she gets this way and how it affects her relationships. We notice that it gets bad when she is tired from not getting enough sleep (BIG with teens AND College kids ) OR when she misses her meds.

As a mom I often question her need to be on such strong meds but the good Lord always gives me a sign. Just the other day she went off to work and forgetting to take her morning dose of meds. I could have brought them to her but figured the one time wouldn't make a big deal and she could take them when she got home which she did. We decided that she would take her bedtime ones a little later than usual.

Well off she went to spend some time with her boyfriend. When it came time to pick her up she snapped at me over the silliest thing which was pulling into the driveway rather than parking in the street. I mentioned how I always pull in the driveway, that didn't make a difference and only had her yelling at me some more. I let it slide a little but she persisted with her ranting until I pointed out how unwarranted it was. She started to cry and apologized saying that she didn't know what was wrong and that she had been nasty to her boyfriend most of the time they were together. I comforted her and mentioned that perhaps it was because she had been off with her meds.....she was actually relieved to hear that and agreed surprising us both that missing just one dose of meds could throw her off so much. It was a sign for both of us how much better the meds make her life in terms of stabilizing her moods.

So....I thought I would share that with you because that's another important thing once you reach stability. Alot of people have shared here how once their meds started working they actually stopped taking them only to find their lives turning upside down and it taking a long time to get things squared away again. Luckily for me & my daughter we have gotten a little sample of just how quickly things can go from good to bad when you do that.

I sure hope that there is someway that you can get on that mood stabilizer soon so that you too can start feeling better.

It is good that you decided to hold off a semester until you get things more under control. Adding stress to the situation will only make it more difficult to get yourself stabilized. Another thing to add to your knowledge.....you must try to avoid stressful situations as much as possible and identify your "triggers" and healthy ways of coping. Your therapist can help you with this because even when on meds a "trigger" or stressful situation will cause some breakthrough depression and/or hypo(mania). Identifying them and finding ways of avoiding them at all costs is so important to maintaining your stability.

Well, that should be alot for you to digest for a while.

Feel free to ask any questions you may have while trying to get stable. It's so much easier when you have others around you to help you along the way. I have found that out while my daughter was reaching stability and it sure makes it easier to go through the bumps on the road when you have others around to help carry you through.

((((HUGS))))) ~ Goody

 
Old 09-03-2007, 06:13 AM   #10
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Re: Just diagnosed with Bipolar Type 2! No clue what I am in for!

Thank you guys so much! I appreciate your support!
I have already started avoiding caffeine and sugar, as I am diabetic as well, and caffeine (well, most things with caffeine) cause kidney stones, which I have a history of, so no problem there. The drinking water...ummmm...that is a hard one for me. I have been trying to drink more water, but that is just SO hard to do. I have never really felt thirsty, and since I don't like water, I find it difficult to drink it without being thirsty. I guess that I will be having to try even harder now, as almost every health problem I have needs me to drink more water. Oops.
I am going to try and get on a normal sleep pattern. I am movingtoday, after going to visit one of my parents friends in the hospital (yeah, and I still have yet to pack). I don't really know what my schedule is going to be like up there. Right now I am under a ton of stress, as I am trynig to locate new doctors, figure out how I am going to be able to afford them, especially with the fact that I cannot work to much, due to a horrible back pain. I have freinds that will be watching me pretty carefully, as they were actually going to baker act me a couple of weeks ago, before I found out about the bipolar. It is nice to haev freinds.
I am glad that your daughter and you realized that taking your meds on a routine was important. I am lucky that I am already having to get used to taking them on a schedule (although it is still hard sometimes).
I can't wait until I can become stable for once. That will be nice! I hate that I snap at my parents and friends over nothing. What makes it really hard is that with people I don't know, I pretend to be happy, so when get home I am so tired of pretending that I just snap even more.
Things will get better! I am so glad that my GIM up there sent me to the psychiatrist, and they figured it out. I would never have known.
Thanks for being here! I appreciate it. I don't know how often I will be getting on when I move, as I have to go to the library to get on the internet when I move. Fun times. OK, well I will update you!!
Daisy

 
Old 09-03-2007, 06:46 AM   #11
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Re: Just diagnosed with Bipolar Type 2! No clue what I am in for!

Hi Daisy,

I have NO DOUBT that you will do well when you get the proper meds in place. As I hope you know, BP is a biochemical imbalance in the brain. It is not caused by some sort of emotional problems, etc. Unknowing people will say "Snap out of it," or "Just get over it," or, my personal fav., "Stop being SO moody." But you must know, and you must educate your friends and family to understand that it is a "real" biological disease, just like diabetes, that requires treatment. But, the good news, is that you can and will feel better.

In your case, with your inquisitive mind and willing spirit, you are half-way there. The major problem we see here on the board is the number of people who are in denial and refuse to believe that anything is "wrong" with them. They blame their problems on their parents, their boy/girlfriends, spouses, etc. If you can accept the situation and take it by the horns and deal with it head-on, you will succeed.

My son was diagnosed at about your age, while he was a junior in college. Prior to then he was self-medicating with pot in an attempt to smooth out all the agitation and irritability he was feeling. It took him a few bumps in the road to get things worked out, but he is doing very well now and will lead a "normal" life now that he has the proper meds in place and has learned that he needs to be "clean and sober." He will be starting a Ph.D. program in the fall of '08, has a long-term relationship and is happy and well.

I hope you will check in when you can. You are just beginning your journey down this sometimes bumpy road. Learn everything you can about BP, help your friends and parents to learn as well so that they can be a support system for you and you will do just fine.

Good luck with your move and please get some sleep!!

xxoxTsohl

 
Old 09-03-2007, 10:50 AM   #12
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Re: Just diagnosed with Bipolar Type 2! No clue what I am in for!

bananarama -
I'm honestly glad I was dx'ed when I was...otherwise, it'd make things much worse later on. And, like Tsohl said, you're on the road to stability just by educating yourself. As for the water thing, I'm not a big water fan either, but I LOVE Vitamin Water - it comes in several flavours, doesn't have much sugar in it, and the only one that has caffeine is the "Energy" one. You might want to look into those...or Life Water (I think that's what it's called), which is basically the same thing except it's clear and it's put out by Sobe. And, I don't want to sound negative, but just to prepare you. It sometimes takes a couple years to become completely stable. A lot of that is in the pdoc's and your decisions on medications, but the biochemistry is sometimes really hard to achieve. It took my mom (also BP) three years, and took me 2.5ish...but it doesn't always take that long!

Anyway, I hope you find stability soon and keep posting.

~~Paige
__________________
Bipolar Ultradian Cycler
400mg. Lamictal
600mg. Seroquel
1mg. Klonopin
0.5-1mg. Ativan
I'm not crazy ~ I'm mentally interesting!

 
Old 09-03-2007, 01:07 PM   #13
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Re: Just diagnosed with Bipolar Type 2! No clue what I am in for!

Thanks!! I have learned the hard way that educating yourself is the only way to make sure that the doctors will take you seriously (well, some of them). Now I am constantly trying to educate myself about any health problems that come my way. Thank you for the encouragment that Bipolar isn't just me being moody. My dad keeps asking me whether I took my meds, because he keeps saying that I am having a Bipolar day. So irritating. Oh well. I will be leaving in about an hour for my new home. Yippee. I will make sure to sleep. I hope that it doesn't take too long to reach stability. I am going to help out in whatever way that I can in my treatment.
Thank you so much for helping me out! I appreciate it!

 
Old 09-03-2007, 01:20 PM   #14
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Re: Just diagnosed with Bipolar Type 2! No clue what I am in for!

Best of luck to you. Please keep in touch!!

Also, remember if you don't hit it off with the first pdoc, keep looking around. Many of them just aren't that great at treating bipolar patients.

(((HUGS))) to you and much good luck in your new home,

xxoxTsohl

 
Old 09-04-2007, 09:17 AM   #15
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Re: Just diagnosed with Bipolar Type 2! No clue what I am in for!

Thanks! I will keep you guys updated! I am hoping that finding a pdoc will be pretty easy. Thanks for all of the support!!

 
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