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Old 04-18-2009, 10:08 AM   #1
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bigsky1811 HB User
Unhappy New to the board and feeling lost, needing help

Hi There

I was diagnosed with BP 4 years ago, but recognize that I have had bipolar for the previous 20 years, since I was a teenager. I have been doing really well for the past two years (or I think I have), post divorce, responsible job, no medication (my choice), yet this week, I have hit my brick wall again.

One week's holiday in Wales with my 9 year old son, fiance and mother. My mother doesnt accept I have BP and tells me to pull my self together and get a grip when I can't stop crying and can't cope with life. My fiance didnt know I had BP until I told him this week (in manic state and very aggressive/abusive to him), and now I'm scared he'll run a mile. My poor son just thinks I am nuts.

I am terrified of going back on medication (carbemazepine made me feel like a zombie). I don't have a pyschiatrist in Lancashire. My old one was in Derby and I slipped through the net when I moved, and I feel like I am losing control of a life that I thought was back on track. I have tried to refuse to let BP define me and have tried to act as though I didnt have it at all. Now it is catching up with me, and I could really do with some help. Thanks in anticipation!

 
Old 04-18-2009, 02:47 PM   #2
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katlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB User
Re: New to the board and feeling lost, needing help

Bigsky,

Welcome to the boards. Well, you say you need help....but maybe you're scared that you already know what you need to do to make things better. If things have gotten to the point of cycling in and out of manic episodes, then you probably know that you'll need to be on medication to be stable again. For that you'll need to find a new pdoc (psychiatrist) where you live. As far as your mother is concerned, I'd just ignore her for the time being, you've got enough on your plate, and whether or not she accepts your BP is her problem not yours. As for your fiance, your probably going to have to sit down and have a long talk with him and explain to him what BiPolar is and how it works. Prior to this, you'll need to decide what course of action you're going to take as far as finding a new pdoc and whether or not your goiing to go back on meds, because I'm sure he'll want to know what to expect in the future. As far as meds go, nothing says you have to go back on the same one you were on before, there are many different mood stabilizer's out there, and with a different pdoc, you just explain that you didn't like the last one and don't want to go on that one, you want to try a different one. Some or all of this may not be what you wanted to hear, but you probably know as you get older BiPolar gets worse, and you know it has to be treated for your life to re-stabilize.

kat

 
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Old 04-18-2009, 03:55 PM   #3
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seaturtle HB User
Re: New to the board and feeling lost, needing help

Hi,

Welcome here!
I think we've all been through that feeling (or wish) that nothing is wrong with us, nothing that we can't deal with with our minds and willpower. I used to do that all the time, refused medication for bp and a number of other conditions.

I have come to accept the medication as something that simply makes my life livable and improves my functioning. Probably getting to an understanding psychiatrist would help you a lot. And kat is right - there are all kinds of new medications out there now with minimal side effects. Lamictal is one which I take which has changed my life entirely, no heavy side effects, for me, at least.

I hope you will continue to join our community here. These are wonderful people with such understanding, compassion and support for us all.

Seaturtle

 
Old 04-18-2009, 04:01 PM   #4
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caitlin122 HB User
Re: New to the board and feeling lost, needing help

Bigsky,
Welcome to the boards! You will find great advice and support here. I too was like you where I was off meds for many years, but I have come to realize, just like Seaturtle, that it is a must and a part of my life that I have to accept. What I have learned is the maintence of your meds is the most important part. They will lessen the amount of episodes you have and the severity of them. Even when you feeling good, you have to stay on them. I know it sucks, but I have finally accepted that this year. My tdoc gave me a great way to think about it. He asked me if I had diabetes, would I take my insulin everyday? I said, of course I would. So he said, well why wouldn't you do the same thing for your brain. They are both chemical imbalances, just affecting different parts and functions of the body. I know it's hard when you hit that wall after doing so well for so long, but hang in there. It will pass. One step at a time!

 
Old 04-18-2009, 08:04 PM   #5
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dreams in neon HB Userdreams in neon HB User
Re: New to the board and feeling lost, needing help

Welcome to the board!

Like you, I've also had moments where I didn't think I needed my meds. Not long after I was diagnosed with BPI 3 years ago I stopped taking my meds for a week during a manic episode. It wasn't long before my auditory hallucinations, delusions and paranoia returned. Ever since then, I've been 100% med-compliant.

Research has repeatedly proven that when bipolar is left untreated, it can lead to progressively worse manic episodes as one ages.

If meds are taken, they can help relieve symptoms and in some cases, eliminate them completely.

I've been unstable for the past 1.5 years due to an inattentive pdoc.

I'm now working with a wonderful pdoc who takes my treatment seriously and put me on a new med regimen. Ever since these changes were made, I haven't rapid cycled or had a single manic, hypomanic or depressive episode.

When exploring different med combos, remember that if one med doesn't work, you can always try another.

Most importantly, be patient. If you do, the wait will definitely be worth it.
__________________
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; 04-18-2009 at 08:05 PM.

 
Old 04-19-2009, 03:26 AM   #6
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bigsky1811 HB User
Re: New to the board and feeling lost, needing help

HI There

Thank you so much for your reply. It has helped to know that there are other people out there who understand. I know in my heart of hearts that I can't fight my BP, and that I do need to get a new pyschiatrist and try new medications. I will try and be patient, but I have decided that I am going to make an appointment to see my GP on Monday and ask for a referral.

Thanks again for your support

Best wishes

Bigsky1811

 
Old 04-19-2009, 03:29 AM   #7
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bigsky1811 HB User
Re: New to the board and feeling lost, needing help

Quote:
Originally Posted by caitlin122 View Post
Bigsky,
Welcome to the boards! You will find great advice and support here. I too was like you where I was off meds for many years, but I have come to realize, just like Seaturtle, that it is a must and a part of my life that I have to accept. What I have learned is the maintence of your meds is the most important part. They will lessen the amount of episodes you have and the severity of them. Even when you feeling good, you have to stay on them. I know it sucks, but I have finally accepted that this year. My tdoc gave me a great way to think about it. He asked me if I had diabetes, would I take my insulin everyday? I said, of course I would. So he said, well why wouldn't you do the same thing for your brain. They are both chemical imbalances, just affecting different parts and functions of the body. I know it's hard when you hit that wall after doing so well for so long, but hang in there. It will pass. One step at a time!
Thanks Caitlin. I really appreciate your support. You are right about the diabetes analogy. It does make sense to consider taking medication again. I need to be back in control. Best wishes, BigSky.

 
Old 04-19-2009, 03:31 AM   #8
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Join Date: Apr 2009
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bigsky1811 HB User
Re: New to the board and feeling lost, needing help

HI Seaturtle

Thank you for your support. I am beginning to realise that medications could help. I just need to find the right one that will enable me to function and to keep working. I'm planning to try and see my GP on Monday to ask for a referral.

I'm glad that I sent my message yesterday. Just knowing that there are understanding people out there does really help.

Best wishes

BigSky

 
Old 04-19-2009, 03:47 AM   #9
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bigsky1811 HB User
Re: New to the board and feeling lost, needing help

Quote:
Originally Posted by katlin09 View Post
Bigsky,

Welcome to the boards. Well, you say you need help....but maybe you're scared that you already know what you need to do to make things better. If things have gotten to the point of cycling in and out of manic episodes, then you probably know that you'll need to be on medication to be stable again. For that you'll need to find a new pdoc (psychiatrist) where you live. As far as your mother is concerned, I'd just ignore her for the time being, you've got enough on your plate, and whether or not she accepts your BP is her problem not yours. As for your fiance, your probably going to have to sit down and have a long talk with him and explain to him what BiPolar is and how it works. Prior to this, you'll need to decide what course of action you're going to take as far as finding a new pdoc and whether or not your goiing to go back on meds, because I'm sure he'll want to know what to expect in the future. As far as meds go, nothing says you have to go back on the same one you were on before, there are many different mood stabilizer's out there, and with a different pdoc, you just explain that you didn't like the last one and don't want to go on that one, you want to try a different one. Some or all of this may not be what you wanted to hear, but you probably know as you get older BiPolar gets worse, and you know it has to be treated for your life to re-stabilize.

kat
Hi Katlin

Thank you for your reply. I know that you're right about my mother and my fiance. My mother will take longer to get through to, but my fiance and I had a long, long chat yesterday evening, and he has been researching BP on the internet. He is beginning to understand our relationship much better already and knowing that I have BP is making more sense to him. He has reassured me that he loves me and does want to support me all the way, and he has asked to come with me to see the pyschiatrist so that he can learn how best to help me. Thank god!! I know that I will need medication to help me control my behaviour and moods. I will just have to learn to accept that will power alone doesnt work. I feel exhausted today, but better for having talked things through, and very relieved to know that I have support. I have tried suicide twice in the past (aged 14 and aged 22), and both times have been in the springtime, when the clocks have moved forward and there is more daylight. I never want to get to that desperationpoint again, and I have been going down that mental path recently and so I will get help. I need to accept that maybe this time of year is a vulnerable one for me. I don't know whether seasonality affects other people with BP, and maybe I am talking nonsense, but there does seem to be a pattern to my condition (7 yearly and March/April/May being particulary bad).

Thanks again for your advice. I know that I will be okay and I know what I need to do. I've just been in denial and fighting the inevitable.

Best wishes

BigSky

 
Old 04-19-2009, 07:25 AM   #10
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dreams in neon HB Userdreams in neon HB User
Re: New to the board and feeling lost, needing help

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigsky1811 View Post
I will try and be patient, but I have decided that I am going to make an appointment to see my GP on Monday and ask for a referral.
I'm glad to hear that. Good luck and let us know how everything goes.
__________________
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

 
Old 04-19-2009, 10:17 AM   #11
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katlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB User
Re: New to the board and feeling lost, needing help

Bigsky,

There is absolutely no thanks necessary, that is what we are all here for, to support one another. Since we are truly the only ones who understand what the others are going through.

I am so glad to hear that you were able to sit down with your finace and talk, and that he is willing to research and learn and go to your pdoc with you. I think alot of the "gut" reactions when someone special to us finds out is just plain fear, but once they get through that, they realize that it can be okay. I mean hey, he's been with you this long and it's been okay.

Seasons can most definitely affect BiPolar, S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a very real thing and effects people differently, for me it's winter months that are bad for me, to grey and gloomy. Spring is mediocre bad because of the superpollen and migraines, which are depressing in themselves.

I realize that finding a new pdoc can be scary, but you'll be okay, just explain to your pdoc that based on what they know about you, they need to think about the referral and try to set you up with someone that they think will work well with your personality. And if the first one isn't the right one, don't give up, there's more than one pdoc out there. I know the thought of meds can be daunting, but once again you'll be okay, there are so many new meds out there and they can do such a good job at getting you stable and keeping you stable. You might also consider therapy with a psychologist (tdoc), alot of the time the combination of a good therapist and psychiatrist can mean the difference in great BP care and mediocre BP care....just something to think about.

As far as your mom goes, yeah that can be a tough one, but right now I think you've got your priorities in order. Maybe once you get established with a pdoc you could take your mom in also and let the doc explain to her about your BP, so maybe she could understand that this is definitely a very real disorder and that it effects your life and always will. Maybe then she will be more understanding and cut you some slack. It's always worth a try.

I hope you continue to come to our little community, we welcome new insight, thoughts, and friends. We're always here if you need help, support, or just to rant, rave, or cry.

Congrats again on you and your fiance.

kat

 
Old 04-19-2009, 11:01 AM   #12
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dreams in neon HB Userdreams in neon HB User
Re: New to the board and feeling lost, needing help

Bipolar can most definitely be seasonal. In my case, I tend to be hypomanic or manic during the spring and summer months. From October through March, I'm severely depressed. According to my pdoc, the months that tend to be the most difficult for people with bipolar are February, May, July and December.
__________________
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; 04-19-2009 at 11:04 AM.

 
Old 04-19-2009, 11:10 AM   #13
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dreams in neon HB Userdreams in neon HB User
Re: New to the board and feeling lost, needing help

I forgot to mention that another reason why my tdoc doesn't believe I have SAD is because I still experience mania during the autumn and winter months. People who have SAD don't.
__________________
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; 04-19-2009 at 11:11 AM.

 
Old 04-20-2009, 06:38 AM   #14
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bigsky1811 HB User
Re: New to the board and feeling lost, needing help

Hi Dreams in Neon and Kat

The information about SAD was interesting and makes sense to me, as I definitely seem to have a pattern at different times of the year. I went to see my GP this morning with my fiance, and the GP is referring me to a psychiatrist requesting an emergency appointment. I mentioned to her that I had been on Lamictal in the past (for my underlying epilepsy - not had a seizure for 10 years now and so without meds), and that I wouldnt mind going back onto it, if it could help stabilize my moods. She promises to mention this in the referral letter.

Feeling better already that I have taken some action, so fingers crossed that I get some help soon, although it did feel wierd describing my symptoms to the GP in front of my partner. Bit like being in with the headmistress and having to describe your bad behaviour.

Thanks again for your help. Sorry to keep saying thank you, but this board has been a bit of a lifeline to me over the past few days and I am very grateful that you take the time to respond. Feels wierd to be talking about me, me, me all the time, when I have been dealing with everything completely on my own for a few years. Promise I will return the favour and be supportive to others on here as soon as I have something to add to the thread on any BP topic other than myself!

Best wishes

Sam

 
Old 04-20-2009, 07:03 AM   #15
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katlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB User
Re: New to the board and feeling lost, needing help

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigsky1811 View Post
Hi Dreams in Neon and Kat

The information about SAD was interesting and makes sense to me, as I definitely seem to have a pattern at different times of the year. I went to see my GP this morning with my fiance, and the GP is referring me to a psychiatrist requesting an emergency appointment. I mentioned to her that I had been on Lamictal in the past (for my underlying epilepsy - not had a seizure for 10 years now and so without meds), and that I wouldnt mind going back onto it, if it could help stabilize my moods. She promises to mention this in the referral letter.

Feeling better already that I have taken some action, so fingers crossed that I get some help soon, although it did feel wierd describing my symptoms to the GP in front of my partner. Bit like being in with the headmistress and having to describe your bad behaviour.

Thanks again for your help. Sorry to keep saying thank you, but this board has been a bit of a lifeline to me over the past few days and I am very grateful that you take the time to respond. Feels wierd to be talking about me, me, me all the time, when I have been dealing with everything completely on my own for a few years. Promise I will return the favour and be supportive to others on here as soon as I have something to add to the thread on any BP topic other than myself!

Best wishes

Sam
Hey Sam,

That's great, I'm glad you were able to get into your GP so soon, hopefully they'll get you to a pdoc right quick. I also have a seizure disorder, my mom and siste have epilepsy, but I've only had 3 grand mal's so they haven't classified it as full blown epilepsy, which is fine with me. I'm on Lamictal and Topamax which both do double duty as my mood stabilizes and anti-seizure meds. Ihope things get settled down for you soon, I know you'll feel much better knowing that you can be stable again soon.

kat

 
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