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Old 10-04-2002, 07:08 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: California
Posts: 9
angeltoopie HB User
Question medication?

Can anyone tell me the difference between bi-polar and depression? My husband has felt "blah" he says most of his life but the last 1 1/2 years it's gotten worse. He started seeing a therapist (1 appointment so far) and the next appointment I go with him. The therapist has not yet suggested he take drugs for anything but the therapist did mention that drugs could be an option. I told my husband that I didn't think that drugs were the answer and he said to me that if they would make him feel better then he wants to take them. Am I wrong to want to cancel out drugs all together or is my husband jumping in to fast to the conclusion that he needs some form of medication? Part of my reluctance is based on a childhood friend who's father was on prozac and it made him worse. The worse he got,the more you couldn't tell him he was getting worse. Due to the psycologist/patient confidentiality agreement his wife could not discuss it with the doctor(or the psycologist wouldn't discuss it). My friends dad hung himself and I think I'm afraid that the same scenario will happen with my husband. If medication makes him worse, I'm powerless about it. I also saw a commercial about people being misdiagnosed with depression (and meds. made them worse) when they were really bi-polar. Any advice?

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Old 10-04-2002, 07:35 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: calif. usa
Posts: 421
1goodgirl HB User

Bi-Polar is when a person goes from being depressed to being manic (extremely euphoric) and back to depressed again. The length of time of the depressed/manic episodes varies with different people.
And sometimes even varies in the same person. But it is a continuous up, down, up, down, up, down, etc.

Depression is continuously being depressed, with no manic episodes. ( Sometimes it is called uni-polar.)

Many depressed people think it would be great to be Bi-polar, because then you would at least be "up" some of the time. Having observed my daughter, who is Bi-polar, the manic stage can be very bad.

Lithium is generally given to a patient who is Bi-polar. It sometimes helps to get them on an even keel, so to speak.

Hope this has been some help in explaining the difference.

Old 10-04-2002, 07:58 PM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 26
tgan HB User

please don't push the idea of medication to the curb just yet. Depending on the type of depression your husband has and how long he's had it, and if it may be able to be controlled with just therepy is still a question. When your given an antidepresssant or any other psychotropic medication, you are monitored very carefully. And if there is any adverse reaction they will discontinue it and try something else that will work for your husband. The spouse is also very involved in the treatment of the other spouse, so If you were to see any adverse reaction with your husband before the Dr. did you could call and make them aware of it and they will step in right away.
Take Care

Old 10-06-2002, 03:46 PM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: D.C.
Posts: 73
axolotl HB User

you have to take what you see in the media with a grain of salt, because as with any other issue they are focusing on a relatively small proportion of cases.
A skilled psychiatrist will not diagnose your husband quickly, but will take several sessions to diagnose him. This way he will probably not be misdiagnosed as unipolar if he is bipolar. The doctors to watch out for are the ones that have him on medicine after just one session. If this happens, take him to a different doctor.
Another issue is that the manic states are not always characterized by extreme euphoria. For example, they may be characterized by starting projects with great enthusiasm and then never completing them. You should read abouth the symptoms in DSM-IV (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) in order to educate yourself, although you should not try yourself to diagnose your husband. Only a skilled doctor can do this.
Finally, as mentioned above, several medicines may have to be tried before one, or a combination, that works is found. Patience is required as it takes at least several weeks to notice the full effect of any single anti-depressant.

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