Friends and family doubt there is such a thing as Bipolar?

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kittycat27
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 5/17/2005 8:03 AM (GMT -7)   
 Hi everyone. I am 27yr old mom diagnosed with bipolar for two years. I am new to the site , but have been reading what's been posted. I figure I had bp, before being diagnosed but that a trauma might have triggered it. I am really unsure. My pcp diagnosed me and were still working on my" cocktail mix". Currently on topamax 100mg.We will try more now that I have insuranse , topamax alone costs 176.00 a mo. Anyways, I had a terrible experience with an ex, and he was physical, and verbally abusive. Well it got so bad he put a loaded gun to my head 2 yrs. ago . I did everything I could, except take the stand. I emotionally couldn't handle it. At that time I was a mess and still am. It really just is hard to forget. Oh the nightmares. Anyhow, I went a long time without telling people I was bp and when I did, it wasn't what I expected. They ask what the hell is it, it is just something else for the drs. to get more money and mess your head up.  Well I tried to just not take my pills , because of the negative reaction , and I was more depressed than anything. I see shadows , have periods of extreme hyperness, I am extremely paranoid, can't sleep, talk really fast, and then I get really low. I go to school for Surg. Tech. and try and keep my mind off my friends negative reactions but I feel like , they think I am lieing. Help?                                   

psychnurse
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 5/17/2005 8:21 AM (GMT -7)   

Kittycat,

I am sorry to hear your story.  It's a darn good thing you got out!

Unfortunately, I have learned the hard way over the years, the only people you tell are your spouse and MAYBE your immediate family, although that's not a good idea much of the time.  Never tell your friends, unless you have a very close intimate friend who has noticed your strange behaviour and mood changes and actually says something to you about it.  There is a huge stigma, people think you are using it as an excuse for your behaviour, or you are "thinking negatively", or are just irresponsible, or that you do drugs.  Many people as you have noticed don't believe in it or most any psychiatric problems.  Just don't tell.  When you get stable, it will be much less noticeable.

Why don't you have a psychiatrist (pdoc)?  GPs don't have the expertise to treat BP effectively - it's a very complex mental disorder - the hardest to treat of any.  It usually does have to have a cocktail and there are TONS of possibilities.   Have you tried lithium?  It's very cheap and it works!  Also, depakote is available generic and is extremely effective.  Topomax is the last resort, it slows your mind down, and is called "dopomax" by pdocs LOL!  If you are in school, you can't afford that.  If you aren't stable, you are on too low a dose, and the more you take, the slower you get in your cognitive abilities, especially memory.  Stable does NOT mean slow!  It means not depressed, not manic.  You should feel very good.  How long have you been trying to get stable?  I really recommend a pdoc, this is their specialty, GPs are not trained, they only know about the highs and lows in general and usually treat one or the other, and that's not correct in the overwhelming majority of cases.

I am concerned when people aren't feeling right and are being treated by a GP, it doesn't have to be that way with a good pdoc.

Also, it seems that you are much more concerned about  what your friends think than your illness!  Since they are not supportive, what kind of friends are they, really?  I wouldn't even think of wasting my time with people like that, and didn't when my friends showed their true colors.  Concentrate on YOU!  You are the most important person in your life.


kittycat27
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 5/17/2005 10:06 AM (GMT -7)   
 Psychnurse thanks for your advice. I think your right about people thinking you might use it as excuse. I am just one of those people concerned with explaining my behaviors. i shouldn't be that way , it just seems to be my nature. I really am working on " self ". My GP asked me and advised me to see a pdoc , but at the time I was extremely nervous about that and had no insurance. But I do now. I really like my GP, he does ask alot of questions pertaining to my swings , when, how long what happens before that, etc... I was on Depakote but gained quite a bit of weight , Gp got nervous, because I am also have Type 11 Diabetes. I maintain it through diet and exercise ( when I 'm not too tired). I check myself 3-4 times a day.  I have been trying to get stable since being diagnosed. Never tried Lithium. My GP says that sometimes it is hard to find the proper dose, but when we do I will feel much better. I just got bumped up to 100mg. I was on 75 for 2 weeks, now 100 for 2 weeks. Gp, said he would not like to see me go on anymore than 200mg, and then combine it maybe with something else. Would Lithium be ok. Is 200 too much ? So far I haven't had any problem with word recollection or really any side effect. But I don't know long term effects. Thanks pyschnurse, you sound well educated.

clic
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 5/17/2005 10:25 AM (GMT -7)   

HI Kittycat:

I too have had friends and family "doubt" my diagnosis. Initially, I think it scared them, especially considering that all they knew about was what society portrays-the scarey, strange things. It is never pleasant to admit that your loved one has a chronic disorder that initially is difficult to stabilize. The more I spoke to them about it and the more educated they became, the more comfortable they were with it. Psychnurse raises a very good point with the Topamax. After trying a lot of meds, I was  put out on Seroquel (an antipsychotic), Mirapex (antidepressant which seems to work fabulously), and Lithium. I was expecting all of these scarey side effects with Lithium and have expereinced few, and it is working very nicely. I was titrated up from 300mg eventually up to 900mg . During the first week I had some brain fog, but that has disappeared. And like psychnurse said, it is dirt cheap b/c it has been around so long! Anyhow, everyone has their own special cocktail that works for them, and it just takes time to find it (that is what I found most frustrating). A pdoc is wonderful, their experince is golden. You guys must be in the states, in Canada, pdocs are covered by our government insurance. No one should have to go without proper treatment! Anyhow, I wish you all the best-oh, by the way,, are you seeing anyone for counselling? Your experience was horrific, I wonder if you may be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder as well???

Take care,and all the best!


kittycat27
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 5/17/2005 10:39 AM (GMT -7)   
 Hi , in response to possibly having PTSD, I can't answer that because I am not aware how long that lasts. I sought a little counseling at the domestic violence center. I quit because I kept getting angry with the amount of women that came in and justified their husbands or others actions.It was too much at the time, I was tooooooooooooo angry. I do live in the states, but have insurance now , I go see my GP next week. Maybe i should get that referral for a pdoc? I am just nervous. You make a good point about how society portrays things. This is a disorder, and sometimes I get did you take your pills today? It's annoying. If they could get in my brain for the day , they might have an inkling for what I go through. I will be ok. I am a pretty strong person. Extremely frustrated that's all!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
  Thanks for your words of advice too. I am happy to be here with people who understand.

psychnurse
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 5/17/2005 10:46 AM (GMT -7)   

Kittycat, you might try lithium on its own, personally I have never seen lithium combined with another mood stabilizer.  Like nrs2b said, you can definitely get a brain fog while you get used to it, but at the right dose it usually goes away.

There is another option if you can't tolerate lithium or depakote, Trileptal.  I couldn't take either of those, either (weight gain and hair loss with depakote *shudder*).  Trileptal was the only option I had left, so I tried it - wow!  Works as well as the others (for me), huge range of dosing, no side effects except marked drowsiness, which is perfect at bedtime, so that's when I take it.  No weight gain, either. It's newer, so no generic yet.

The antipsychotics are used frequently with mood stabilizers - examples of some of them are Zyprexa, Seroquel, Risperdal and Abilify.  They work wonderfully for most, but usually aren't recommended for diabetics, tend to raise glucose levels.  But you may be alright since you are controlled without medication.  Zyprexa causes  massive weight gain in most everyone who takes it.  Risperdal can too.
 
Nrs2b is right about the counseling!  Trauma like that doesn't go away with meds! 
 
I hope you can see a pdoc soon and feel better, we all know what you are going through.  That's the beauty of this board - people here DO understand exactly how you feel! :-)

mhowdy
New Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/30/2005 10:39 PM (GMT -7)   
hi new 2 this i;ve been digonsed with bi polar manic dressive severe panic attacks.have been hospitalized before.they now have me on lexapro xanac neurotin lamictal riddlin.still feel like im sinking again confused i  have a son who has cerabal palsey just got out of a very abusive marriage.a daughter that is so very angry at 12.that she has also been digoned with adhd.what else can i say except im so alone at least i feel this way.i love my kids alot but there days that i want 2 throw my hands in the air sad got any clue 4 me?

psychnurse
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 5/31/2005 6:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, mhowdy!
 
Have you gotten a therapist yet?  With all your very severe stressors, you really do need one.  You also need to just get away from it all a couple times a week.  Can your son watch your daughter, if she still needs looking after?  Just try to get out for a few hours, go to the mall, the park, the lake, whatever you think would make you feel peaceful.  Go to lunch with a friend.  Or go visit someone you haven't been able to.
 
Also, it would be a good idea to call your pdoc, if nothing else has changed to cause this problem in your mood, your meds may need adjusting.  In case no one has told you, it is normal, even expected, that you will need med adjustments frequently, especially in the beginning.  Keep in close contact with the pdoc, don't let it go on more than a few days, because it can quickly spiral out of control, making it harder and a longer time to get stable.
 
Welcome to the world of bipolar disorder!  We are glad to have you!!! :-)
 
Best wishes,
 
Shannon
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