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Old 01-13-2009, 04:38 PM   #1
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In desperate need for advice...Is he REALLY Bipolar?

A friend of mine recently confided in me that he is Bipolar. He has often admitted that his difficulties at work and difficulties with relationships have always been his own fault. He realizes that he "derails his own train" so to speak and has admitted this often. He also often refers to himself as being "crazy". I don't know much about the disorder, but I am wondering whether most people with Bipolar realize that their illness causes them difficulties? I was always under the impression that most people with mental illness do not realize that they are mentally ill...Any thoughts on this are appreciated

He was diagnosed in his 20s and has been taking medications for Bipolar. The meds do not seem to be helping him. He takes Seroquel, Lamictal, and Cymbalta. Throughout the months I've known him, I have seen him exhibit manic-like symptoms and he has had difficulties at work. He did confide in me once that his mom was always a proponent of medication and since he was a little boy, she would always challenge the doctor and try to convince the doctor to provide him with stronger meds (for pain due to sports injuries, etc).

I am just having a hard time believing he is Bipolar after reading about this disorder on the web. He seems to have a real conscience and knows he is to blame for things that have gone wrong. I know that every case is different, but is this typical of people with this disorder?

Thanks in advance for your help and sorry this is so long!

 
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:01 PM   #2
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Re: In desperate need for advice...Is he REALLY Bipolar?

I have atypical bipolar I disorder with ultradian rapid cycling. Despite that, I have alot of insight into my illness. Both my tdoc and pdoc are impressed with the level of self-awareness I have since I am able to recognize when I need help and should be hospitalized. The only thing I struggle with is knowing when I'm manic, so this is where my tdoc comes in.

I believe every case is different. Some people have more insight than others. Some people with bipolar have so much difficulty that they need to be constantly reminded of why mania is dangerous and needs to be controlled with meds.

As for your friend being bipolar or not, I can't say since I'm not a doctor.

However, if his meds aren't working effectively, he might want to let his pdoc know so that they can be adjusted or changed.

How long has he been on meds? Sometimes it can take 6-8 weeks before they start to take effect.

It's also important to realize that some people with bipolar will still show symptoms even when on meds. I'm a rapid cycler and because of that, I experience severe mood swings on an hourly basis despite being on meds. My meds do slow down my cycling, but they do not eliminate it completely. This is completely normal, to be expected and what is referred to as "bleedthrough symptoms."
__________________
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

 
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