I have been depressed all my life, going back to my early teens. Not treated effectively, though, until my 20's. Anyway, I was then diagnosed "bipolar 2" in my 30's, and put on tons of mood stabilizers. Many had horrid side effects, finally today I am on lamictil and abilify. But in the past, I've been on geodon (nightmare drug from hell!!!), topamax, lithium, seroquil, remeron, and others I can't even remember (triliptil, I just did remember.) Horrible weight gain with many.
Anyway, here I am today, 60 lbs more than my "normal" adult weight, which I was before all the bipolar nonsense. The reason I say "nonsense" is that I have never, I repeat NEVER, had a mania except caused by an A/D. That's right -- everything any doctor every dx'ed as a mania was caused by either prozac, zoloft, or some other SSRI, or an ADD drug.
But the doctors keep trying to convince me that I'm really bipolar 2 despite never ever having an episode except when I was on an SSRI. The reason I'm bringing all this up is: 1) I'm sick of being fat 2) meds are costing my family an arm and a leg, and my husband is fed up of paying through the nose for them and 3) and this is the biggie: I have had several friends recently tell me that they were "diagnosed bipolar" years ago, then realized it was all crap, stopped taking meds, and now are fine. I've heard this from several people. Their weight issues went away and they have no mood problems at all.
I'm beginning to wonder if the real cure for all this is natural supplements (I keep coming back to SAM-E, which the best psychiatrist I ever had suggested years ago), COQ10, large amounts of B-12, sunshine (sounds stupid, I know) and alot of exercise. Perhaps even severe diet restrictions. As I said, I've had friends who were told they'd be bipolar all their lives and on drugs all their lives and they basically lived to prove the doctors as liars. I just don't know what to think. Color me confused.