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Old 03-26-2009, 11:36 AM   #1
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Question CONFUSED about BP

I was just diagnosed with Bi-polar the end of Jan I am 38. Pdoc working my meds right now, feeling a little better than I did in the beginning of the week.
Anyways, here my concerns. I just went to a tdoc for the first time last night. I told her being diagnosed as BP has literally freaked me out, you see I used to drink very heavily and take lexapro and it made me manic ( I didnít know this until it was explained yesterday)..So that being said I have not had a drink since Jan, and my tdoc told me itís harder for newly diagnosed recovering alcoholics to deal with this?
I told her I am fine one day then the next Iím having alot of anxiety and depression, and that i am scared I will end up in a hospital..she told me that the BP does get progressively worse as you age if left untreated, but I didnít have anything to worry about, since I stopped drinking and am on meds now. She added that my nervous system is all wacked out form the alcohol so many years, and its learning to do without it, on top of adjusting to meds, and this can be bringing on my anxiety? Who knows..I always had a touch of anxiety but since starting meds and not drinking its been bad. Although today I only took one Avitan this morning early and it was a .5 so I must be doing betterÖ
I guess Iím just so freaking paranoid about getting locked up in some Hospital. I was diagnosed BPII so far. Never had suicide -thoughts or hallucinations in my life. I donít meant to sound freaked out its just ever since I started reading these boards I see so many people who have been committed and sound really bad? Can the BP get worse if your newly diagnosed at 38 and never been treated till now? Heck I didnít even know I was BP until my BF told me he thought I might be? I had my suspions but never really THOUGHT I would be..

 
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Old 03-26-2009, 12:37 PM   #2
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Re: CONFUSED about BP

I was diagnosed at age 18, began treatment for it, stopped my meds a few years later and had to restart them a few years after that. I have never been hospitalized. So, just to let you know, not everyone is hospitalized with BPD. I too have BPII but have had suicidal thoughts in the past (when I was first diagnosed) but have never had hallucinations. Everyone is different just remember that! I have realized that as scary as it may seem at first it's also relieving to know what is going on inside that head of yours. Why you are the way you are. If that makes any sense. Good luck on your journey! It may be a bumpy ride to find the right meds but once you reach your destination it's well worth it to find some semblance of "normalcy" (whatever normal may be LOL). I've found the posters on here to be very supportive and helpful so definitely ask questions on this board and of your doctors.
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ages 6 (Autism & Asthma) and 8 (Bipolar and ADHD)

 
Old 03-26-2009, 12:47 PM   #3
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Re: CONFUSED about BP

Quote:
Originally Posted by hjjasnell View Post
I was diagnosed at age 18, began treatment for it, stopped my meds a few years later and had to restart them a few years after that. I have never been hospitalized. So, just to let you know, not everyone is hospitalized with BPD. I too have BPII but have had suicidal thoughts in the past (when I was first diagnosed) but have never had hallucinations. Everyone is different just remember that! I have realized that as scary as it may seem at first it's also relieving to know what is going on inside that head of yours. Why you are the way you are. If that makes any sense. Good luck on your journey! It may be a bumpy ride to find the right meds but once you reach your destination it's well worth it to find some semblance of "normalcy" (whatever normal may be LOL). I've found the posters on here to be very supportive and helpful so definitely ask questions on this board and of your doctors.
Thanks so much...Im feeling better already...and who is normal anyways?LOL

 
Old 03-26-2009, 01:09 PM   #4
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Re: CONFUSED about BP

Cattownfl,

Hi, good job on your post you gave us lots of info, to work with. I was dx'd BP 20 yrs ago, I've been med compliant and when I thought I was "healed" stopped all my meds, I've done this several times. I've been totally med compliant for the past year and a half when my dx was changed to BiPolar with severe med resistant BiPolar suicidal depression. Which would be considered an atypical form of BP since it doesn't fit in categort I or II. I have only been hospitalized twice in 20 years and those were both for suicide attemps of which there have been 6 total, the last one being last July, and that was my last hospital stay. So not all BP'ers are hospitalized it's just depends on the case and how bad it is. The best way to avoid that is to do what your pdoc says, be very proactive in your care, and stay med compliant to try and achieve as stable a personality as possible. Having said that sometimes you do have to go In Patient, but it's not the end of the world, some people find it a relief to be able to go to a place where they can get the help they need to finally get their meds staight and get stable.

You're off to the right start it seems, you've got a pdoc and a tdoc which I've always thought having that team is essential to effectively treating BP. You're being med compliant and doing all that you can. And major congratulations on quitting drinking, that's a big step in conjunction with all else you're dealing with. One big piece of advice I'll offer, be proactive in your care, you don't have to do everything your pdoc says, just because he's a dr. You can question him, you can research your meds and help make the decision whether they are right for you, this is your mind and your body and you have a right to help heal it. One thing your tdoc was very accurate about, BiPolar does get increasingly worse as you age, especially in women, if it goes untreated, just something to keep in mind.

Other than all my wordiness welcome to the board, ask anything you want, if we can we will help. Feel free to offer support also, most of us can use it sometimes.

Kat

 
Old 03-26-2009, 02:48 PM   #5
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Re: CONFUSED about BP

Quote:
Originally Posted by katlin09 View Post
Cattownfl,

Hi, good job on your post you gave us lots of info, to work with. I was dx'd BP 20 yrs ago, I've been med compliant and when I thought I was "healed" stopped all my meds, I've done this several times. I've been totally med compliant for the past year and a half when my dx was changed to BiPolar with severe med resistant BiPolar suicidal depression. Which would be considered an atypical form of BP since it doesn't fit in categort I or II. I have only been hospitalized twice in 20 years and those were both for suicide attemps of which there have been 6 total, the last one being last July, and that was my last hospital stay. So not all BP'ers are hospitalized it's just depends on the case and how bad it is. The best way to avoid that is to do what your pdoc says, be very proactive in your care, and stay med compliant to try and achieve as stable a personality as possible. Having said that sometimes you do have to go In Patient, but it's not the end of the world, some people find it a relief to be able to go to a place where they can get the help they need to finally get their meds staight and get stable.

You're off to the right start it seems, you've got a pdoc and a tdoc which I've always thought having that team is essential to effectively treating BP. You're being med compliant and doing all that you can. And major congratulations on quitting drinking, that's a big step in conjunction with all else you're dealing with. One big piece of advice I'll offer, be proactive in your care, you don't have to do everything your pdoc says, just because he's a dr. You can question him, you can research your meds and help make the decision whether they are right for you, this is your mind and your body and you have a right to help heal it. One thing your tdoc was very accurate about, BiPolar does get increasingly worse as you age, especially in women, if it goes untreated, just something to keep in mind.

Other than all my wordiness welcome to the board, ask anything you want, if we can we will help. Feel free to offer support also, most of us can use it sometimes.

Kat
Wow, seems like you know your stuff here..Just curious when you say med resistant..does that man you can not tolertate meds well? i am confused? Also are you saying soome people with BP may go to inpatient to get their meds adjusted? Or is this more like some sort a breakdown a person may have?

 
Old 03-26-2009, 03:22 PM   #6
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Re: CONFUSED about BP

cattown,

Med Resistant means that my pdoc has a hard time finding a medication that combats my suicidal depression, so I have to switch meds and have my meds changed quite frequently, for the past 2 months or so, my meds have been changed weekly or biweekly. It's a real pain having to get used to new meds so often, but the alternative for me can be life threatening.

I also am a Self Injury/Self Harm sufferer, so that also has to be taken into consideration and they try to find meds that keep my anziety/anger/fear/stress under control so I don't get the urges to cut myself.

Unfortunately the only reason I sound very versed in this particular is because I've had it for so long and have learned most of the tips and tricks. Also, the reason I say be proactive is because pdocs are human and sometimes they make mistakes in rx'ing meds that they think will work for us or that we think we will tolerate. I used to be a "yes" person because I was so intimadated by my doctors and believe me I have alot of doctors. But one of the first things my pdoc worked on with me and taught me was that I had the right to question my doctors including him. I never had to just say, "yes I'll take that if you say so". Matter fact if I say that to my pdoc instead of agreeing to research a new med or treatment, he won't give it to me until I can come back in a week and tell me what I know about the drug in conjunction with the other 9 meds that I take daily.

How is your relationship with your pdoc and tdoc?

kat

 
Old 03-26-2009, 04:22 PM   #7
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Re: CONFUSED about BP

Quote:
Originally Posted by katlin09 View Post
cattown,

Med Resistant means that my pdoc has a hard time finding a medication that combats my suicidal depression, so I have to switch meds and have my meds changed quite frequently, for the past 2 months or so, my meds have been changed weekly or biweekly. It's a real pain having to get used to new meds so often, but the alternative for me can be life threatening.

I also am a Self Injury/Self Harm sufferer, so that also has to be taken into consideration and they try to find meds that keep my anziety/anger/fear/stress under control so I don't get the urges to cut myself.

Unfortunately the only reason I sound very versed in this particular is because I've had it for so long and have learned most of the tips and tricks. Also, the reason I say be proactive is because pdocs are human and sometimes they make mistakes in rx'ing meds that they think will work for us or that we think we will tolerate. I used to be a "yes" person because I was so intimadated by my doctors and believe me I have alot of doctors. But one of the first things my pdoc worked on with me and taught me was that I had the right to question my doctors including him. I never had to just say, "yes I'll take that if you say so". Matter fact if I say that to my pdoc instead of agreeing to research a new med or treatment, he won't give it to me until I can come back in a week and tell me what I know about the drug in conjunction with the other 9 meds that I take daily.

How is your relationship with your pdoc and tdoc?

kat
I just seen my tdoc for the first time yesterday, been seeing my pdoc since Jan so she seems in tune with me. This is all new to me. I am getting ready to take my lactimal in a few mins im on my 21st day of it..anxiety can be bad at times, other times I feel like I am outside of myself cant describe. tuesday and wed I couldnt go to work woke up crying and couldntget out of bed, But today wnet to work and was fine? So weird I dont UNDERSTAND how this can happen.
Been hard fro me to work the past few weeks. I usedto self medicate myself with alcohol so i am just getting used to dealing with things sober on top of the bi-polar. My pdoc kinda rushes me in and out of her office doesnt talk much to me other then the meds. Thats why i got a therapist now.
So are you working? I tell ya, you sound like a very strong person..

 
Old 03-26-2009, 04:46 PM   #8
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Re: CONFUSED about BP

Hi Cattown,

Just chiming into what Kat has said as I have been BP since 14 diagnosed for about 10 years now. I can also be medication resisitant especially here more recently it has been tough finding a drug or combo of drugs to combat my self harm and for me I have been dug into a deep depressive state.

I have learned my tips and tricks to along the way as you will. One comment I would make to you about a Pdoc who rushes youu in and out may not be the right combination for you. When you are just starting down the road you need one that can listen to the symptoms, side effects, etc., that you are having on the meds..... just my two cents worth....

 
Old 03-26-2009, 04:51 PM   #9
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Re: CONFUSED about BP

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigger5150 View Post
Hi Cattown,

Just chiming into what Kat has said as I have been BP since 14 diagnosed for about 10 years now. I can also be medication resisitant especially here more recently it has been tough finding a drug or combo of drugs to combat my self harm and for me I have been dug into a deep depressive state.

I have learned my tips and tricks to along the way as you will. One comment I would make to you about a Pdoc who rushes youu in and out may not be the right combination for you. When you are just starting down the road you need one that can listen to the symptoms, side effects, etc., that you are having on the meds..... just my two cents worth....
Ok, thanks for that info...I think I may look into getting another pdoc. One closer to my house also. She seems over worked to me. Have you been on Lactimal?

 
Old 03-26-2009, 05:21 PM   #10
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Re: CONFUSED about BP

Quote:
Originally Posted by katlin09 View Post
Med Resistant means that my pdoc has a hard time finding a medication that combats my suicidal depression, so I have to switch meds and have my meds changed quite frequently, for the past 2 months or so, my meds have been changed weekly or biweekly.
Kat,

How are you able to adjust to new meds when they are adjusted so often? I thought it takes anywhere from 6-8 weeks for a med to work.

By the way, I'm not criticizing you or your pdoc. I'm just curious because I always thought it took 2 months or so for a med to start working.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

Last edited by dreams in neon; 03-26-2009 at 05:22 PM.

 
Old 03-26-2009, 05:51 PM   #11
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Re: CONFUSED about BP

We've been on this roller coaster for a while, it's not like he puts me on Lamictal and 3 weeks later we stop it 'cuz it doesn't work. let see if I can give an accurate ex. Say Ive been on Zoloft for 6 yrs and it's not working anymore, we started Cymbalta, why were using the cymbalta and seeing if it would work, we started weaning off of the Zoloft over a month long period, so taht covered a month ofCymbalta which is plenty of time to see if its' working. If there's not a single change in the depression in month then it's not working. We haven't changed my base mood stabilizer which is Lamictal, just all of the support meds. So then when I started weaning off the Cymbalta we added the Abilify, within 3 weeks I was off the Cymbalta and could tell the Abilify was working, the lastest meds that have been being changed around are all SNRI's or SSRI's for sleep, so Iknow if those are going to work within a week, that's how I can go in every 2 weeks and change one of them. Did I explain this okay, I tend to get wordy.

One other thing, when we talk about switching a med we usually pick 2 so that if the one we are tyring doesn't work we have a backup to start on immediately at the next visit.


kat

Last edited by katlin09; 03-26-2009 at 05:59 PM.

 
Old 03-26-2009, 05:56 PM   #12
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Re: CONFUSED about BP

cattown,

Tigger is very right, if you don't have a good relationship with your pdoc then you may not feel comfortable doing as she reccomends or taking her advice. And what happens when you need to talk to here about something specific adn she's rushing you out of the office, that is so not the way to treat a patient. I realize that your pdoc is there for med management, but they should also keep track of your symptoms.

My pdoc appt. last 30 min, we discuss meds at the beginning, then discuss my mood, if we need to tweak the meds to adjust my mood or replace one that isn't working then we talk about that. That usually takes all of 10 minutes then for the rest of the time we have a short 20 min therapy session and at the end recap what meds we're trying or changing and when/how to take them, so we know he and I are on the same page. Now my situation is a little different because my pdoc took over my care last summer for 4 months when my tdoc was out on medical leave, so he keeps up with how all my "stuff" is going. But still your pdoc should at least check how your therapy is going and keep an eye on your moods as well as your meds and not be rushing you out.

kat

 
Old 03-26-2009, 05:58 PM   #13
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Re: CONFUSED about BP

Tigger,

Hey GF, how are you, haven't seen you a bit. How is everything going? have you reaclimated to being out of the hospital?

Give me a yell and let me know how things are going.

kat

 
Old 03-26-2009, 06:25 PM   #14
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Re: CONFUSED about BP

Quote:
Originally Posted by katlin09 View Post
We've been on this roller coaster for a while, it's not like he puts me on Lamictal and 3 weeks later we stop it 'cuz it doesn't work. let see if I can give an accurate ex. Say Ive been on Zoloft for 6 yrs and it's not working anymore, we started Cymbalta, why were using the cymbalta and seeing if it would work, we started weaning off of the Zoloft over a month long period, so taht covered a month ofCymbalta which is plenty of time to see if its' working. If there's not a single change in the depression in month then it's not working. We haven't changed my base mood stabilizer which is Lamictal, just all of the support meds. So then when I started weaning off the Cymbalta we added the Abilify, within 3 weeks I was off the Cymbalta and could tell the Abilify was working, the lastest meds that have been being changed around are all SNRI's or SSRI's for sleep, so Iknow if those are going to work within a week, that's how I can go in every 2 weeks and change one of them. Did I explain this okay, I tend to get wordy.

One other thing, when we talk about switching a med we usually pick 2 so that if the one we are tyring doesn't work we have a backup to start on immediately at the next visit.


kat
So your sleep meds are changed weekly, but your mood stabilizer and anti-depressant (when you were on Cymbalta) are not?
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

Last edited by dreams in neon; 03-26-2009 at 06:25 PM.

 
Old 03-26-2009, 06:50 PM   #15
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Re: CONFUSED about BP

the mood stabilizer has been the same except when we added teh Abilify 6 weeks ago. I was off of all anti'd's which was not a big deal since abilify and Lamictal both are off label for BP Depression. The meds for sleep issues are changed as to whether they work or not, unfortunately my insomnia is very severe so it's been a weekly or bi-weekly change. The only thing that's worked was when I was on a combo of Ambien, Sonata, and Seroquel, but that is also when I took a knife in my sleep and sliced my left arm up so badly that I had to get 26 stitches over 4 different cuts, some being an inch deep. Now I am back on an anti'd, Remeron which is also for sleep, but hasn't done anything for the past 2 nights, so in 3 more days I can double the dose.

Just out of curiosity any reason for all the questions?

kat

 
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