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Lorraine-NL
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 7/15/2008 6:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Hmmmm, where do I begin? I live in a small town. I have to travel to see a Psychiatrist. There are only 2 to choose from. I was seeing the other Pdoc a few years ago. He liked to hear the sound of his own voice I think. He'd drone on and on about this , and that. He also like his prescription pad. Every time I saw him, he'd write new prescriptions for me. I use to see him weekly. It got to the point that I was taking so many different meds that I was like a zombie pretty much all of the time. I couldn't function as a human being. Out of a 24 hour period, I had maybe 4 hours that I could actually think for myself. I finally stopped all treatment out of frustration. I was spiralling into a deeper depression because I couldn't function in every day life. I stopped all of the meds, went through the withdrawls and started to feel fine. I thought everything was ok until I started to have rapid cyclling episodes. I ended up not being able to deal with every day life. I contacted child protective services and had my children put into protective custody because I was afraid of what I might do to them. I had such violent mood swings at the time. My kids were in their early teens. Through CPS, I started seeing a wonderful psycologist, along with my children and we slowly started to work towards making me better. The psycologist made a referral for me to see another Pdoc. I have been seeing him now for about 2 years or so. He is a very quiet, soft spoken person....very reserved. Now, the trouble with this is, I find it very difficult to express my feelings, and he doesn't ask alot of questions. Our appointments usually last no longer than 10 minutes. I find this very frustrating and just don't know how to express myself to him.
 
I'm taking Lithium 300 mg in the morning and 450 mg at bedtime....along with 1/2 Clonazepam 0.5 mg at bedtime. I also have Ativan Sublingual 1 mg for anxiety, to take as needed, which isn't often thankfully. I was taking Temazepam 30 mg at bedtime because I wasn't sleeping and sometimes suffer from bouts of insomnia, but 2 months ago, my Pdoc asked me to stop taking them because he thought that I didn't need them. I still have sleep problems and find that I have restless sleep patterns just before I have manic episodes. When I try and relay what I think I have been experiencing....i.e....manic episodes....rapid cycling etc....I get the impression that my pdoc don't believe me. I usually leave the office feeling ignored. Now maybe that's just my imagination, I really don't know. I was taking 1200 mg of Lithium, but I had so many side effects that the doc decided to try something different. Unfortunately, I'm prone to side effects and the other medications I tried, didn't work. I was recently taking Risperidal, and I was like a mad woman while taking it. My moods were so severe that I attacked my husband one evening to try and get the phone away from him because he wanted to call an ambulance for me. I told my Pdoc this, and he didn't even bat an eyelash. He simply said, we'll need to try something else...that's when he started me on the Lithium again. My hair is still falling out and I have a very short memory, which are 2 of the side effects that I had when I was taking the higher dose of Lithium.  I just don't know where to turn or what to do anymore.
 
Any suggestions? I'm open to almost anything!
oh, I almost forgot...I see my Pdoc tomorrow at 1pm.
 
Sorry for rambling on but it feels good to finally vent my frustrations.
Thanks
Lorraine
Bipolar II
FMS
Lithium; Clonazepam; Ativan


little b
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 135
   Posted 7/15/2008 7:05 PM (GMT -7)   
you have every reason to be frustrated; you've been through a lot. i have a doctor for my meds and a doctor for actual talk therapy. the med checks only last about 10 minutes and we don't talk about much except side effects and scales from one to ten pertaining to mood. my therapist is the one i talk to, she listens and asks questions but she does much more talking than i do. maybe you could benefit from a set up like that. i'd definitely try to get a new doctor though.. you should never feel ignored by your pdoc. good luck!
to suffer is not enough.


Lorraine-NL
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 7/15/2008 7:31 PM (GMT -7)   
There are no therapists in my area. The psycologist that I was seeing worked with CPS. We don't have any intervention with CPS now as my kids are ages 21 and 18. There isn't another Pdoc in my area either, only 2.....I have seen both. The nearest Pdoc would be 5 hours drive away, and protocol here says I have to see the one closest to me. This is such a small area with very limited healthcare options.
Bipolar II
FMS
Lithium; Clonazepam; Ativan


CapninHapnin
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 7/15/2008 8:04 PM (GMT -7)   
I used to live in a small town as well, and it was difficult to get treatment.

My only suggestion is to watch the lithium. A 750mg dose is high. You need to have your liver levels checked at least once a week at that level. I highly recommend discussing that issue with your pdoc.

Good Luck

Cap
I want "I wish I had one more day to spend at the office" on my tombstone.

I used to be crazy, but now I have enough money to be called eccentric.


Lorraine-NL
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 7/15/2008 8:41 PM (GMT -7)   
I thought it was a fairly high dose as well, but my Pdoc doesn't seem to think so. When I was taking the 1200 mg/daily, I would get my thyroid levels checked once a month....I was also taking Synthroid for hypothyroidism because of the Lithium. I didn't realize I should be getting my liver functions checked also...thanks for that piece of advice, I will surely mention it to my Pdoc tomorrow.
Bipolar II
FMS
Lithium; Clonazepam; Ativan


Lorraine-NL
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 7/16/2008 5:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Well the day is here.....I'll be leaving for my appointment in a couple of hours. I still have no idea what to say to him. I have all of these emotions bottled up inside of me and I wouldn't be able to begin to describe how I"m feeling.....only frustration because I'm always at a loss for words at times like this!!! ughhhhh! mad
Bipolar II
FMS
Lithium; Clonazepam; Ativan


little b
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 135
   Posted 7/16/2008 7:50 AM (GMT -7)   
best thing to do is be honest!
to suffer is not enough.


marthamae
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 7/16/2008 11:51 AM (GMT -7)   
I might be a little direct here, but your mental health is extremely important.

If you had cancer, you'd see a terrific specialist wouldn't you? You wouldn't say..."well, I live too far from a good cancer doctor so I'll just see the crappy one close by and hope my cancer doesn't spread!"

If you've been so ill that CPS was at one time involved and you are on that way high dose of lithium then IMO you have a serious mental illness. (I oughta know...I have one myself!)

Do you have insurance? If you do, tell them your current doctor stinks and you need help.

I would take charge of my own healthcare and decide on the closest big city and call around and find a good psychiatrist there. Then do what is needed to see him/her. Find someone who is good with drugs. You shouldn't have to visit them too often once you are stable. Don't accept sub standard health care just because you live in a rural area. I think your brain is a dangerous thing to mess around with.

And I agree, that lithium level seems high unless all other drugs have been tried.

It's easy to sit in inertia, but don't give up until you are being treated properly.

Lorraine-NL
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 7/16/2008 1:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Good advice marthamae.....and no, I don't have insurance, unfortunately. Another thing is, I live in Canada....Newfoundland to be precise. Here, we can't just "find another doctor". We have to wait for referrals, and the medical protocol says it has to be someone within my area. It sucks, big time! Funny thing is, even when CPS was involved, I was never hospitalized, even when I showed up at my family doctor's office, feeling like I wanted to kill my family, including myself. The healthcare system here leaves alot to be desired.
 
In the meanwhile though, I did see my Pdoc today, and he has prescribed Lithium 600 mg/daily instead of the 750mg/daily because of my failing memory and hair loss. He also prescribed the anti-depressant Celexa 10mg/daily, along with the clonazepam that I've been taking. I asked about something to help me sleep but he was hesitant and wanted to wait and see how my body adjusted to the Celexa. He also raised the dose on the Ativan sublingual to 2mg as needed.
 
Anyone familiar with Celexa? I did a little research on it and am nervous about starting the medication because of the longgggg list of side effects.
 
Any input would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks
Lorraine
Bipolar II
FMS
Lithium; Clonazepam; Ativan


Carenpolar
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 672
   Posted 7/16/2008 1:30 PM (GMT -7)   
 I am so glad that your pdoc visit helped you..I am sorry that your healthcare
system is so difficult. My daughter goes through the same hassles with her insurance here.
She has to fight for her healthcare....
 
Caren... Bipolar1- zyprexa 5 mgs

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 7/17/2008 8:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Don't hesitate with the Celexa because of the long list of potential side effects. Every medication has that same list. Trust your doctor, give it a try, see how it goes. If it doesn't work you can stop.

I'm sorry you've been having trouble with your meds, but just to remind and reassure you, we've all been there. The process of finding medications that work can be a long and tiring one. Hang in there.

As to finding a therapist, some therapists will do phone sessions. If you can afford it or get a referral to a couple in the closest city, call and ask if they will do phone sessions with you.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

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