hello all this is my first post as i'm new..good to see a forum for not only use bipolar folks but people who live with us as well...
I am a 30yr old caucasian male diagnosed with rapid-cycle bipolar II about 3 yrs ago...I had previously been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD(age 17) and I went on and off ADD meds for several years(when add meds wore off i would exp HUGE crash and major depression)....I have also been diagnosed as having depression, gen anx disorder,acute anx disoder, and panic attacks...I am one of those types who wants to know as much as I can and go to a doc 'prepared' with good/reputable research and this has saved my butt many times(esp. with going to other specialists who tried to give me drugs that do NOT combine well with my psych meds)..
anyways i've been on Paxil CR(25mg 1x/day) for 6 years..recently went to 20mg reg paxil(10 mg 2x/day) because I am self employed and don't have med insurance..
I also take Valium(10 mg 4x/day), ritalin(10mg 3-5x/day) and seroquel(was on 300mg at night, just switched to seroquel XR 400 mg at nite)...
it took me YEARS of trying diff meds, research, psych and physical exams, and a cornucopia of doctors to get to the fairly 'stable' point i'm at now. I took every anti-dep from serzone(DONT TAKE THIS) to prozac to zoloft..but both my parents are on paxil so it seems to work best w/my genes..I tried dexadrine, adderall, ritalin, concerta and straterra(all in long acting and reg forms) and finally once treated for bipolar tolerate regular ol ritalin fine..for anx i started on xanax then librium then klonopin then ativan and finally valium(with ativan for beakthru anx/panic attacks)...my point is YOU HAVE GOT TO BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE AND KEEP TRYING TILL IT WORKS!Had I been properly diagnosed with Bipolar earlier I could have avoided a 5 year opiate addiction(started with oxycontin for a broken sternum and went from there..doc gave me 60mg/oxy a day for 1.5 yrs than cut me off COLD TURKEY..needless to say I was sick as hell and got my opiates from the street..luckily I am clean 4 years) but my psychiatrist, therapist, docs, and drug counselors all agree I was using opiates to 1)deal with chronic pain(tons of back probs, etc.) and 2)SELF MED FOR UNDIAG BIPOLAR..I was either going 1000 mph or so down I wouldn't leave my house..when you feel like this opiate seem like a great solution because they make you NOT CARE about ANYTHING AND HAVE NO EMOTIONS. Luckily I survived my addiction and am now properly diagnosed...however I am lucky as I 'died' from ODS several times..
MY POINT IS FIND A DOCTOR YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH AND BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE. I COULD HAVE AVOIDED 6 YRS OF HELL, RUINED RELATIONSHIPS, SPENDING OVER 50,000 AND DOING DAMAGE TO MY BODY/MIND had I BEEN TESTED FOR BIPOLAR!(my drug abuse WAS my fault, but as I was given opiates for a serious injury for so long by the time I had to get them off the street I couldnt get HIGH but had to spend 100+ bucks a day to feel 'normal'...trying to get 'high' always ended up with me coming to in an ambulance..)
hope someone can learn from this...and don't be afraid to be blunt with yer docs, YOU PAY THEM TO TREAT YOU AND ESP WITH PSYCH EVERYONE IS A UNIQUE CASE..and try to take the fewest meds possible(valium doubles as a muscle relaxer so by taking it I stopped taking soma..)
DO YER HOMEWORK AND GOOD LUCK
"when the going gets weird the weird turn PRO" -Hunter S Thompson