Just diagnosed with Bipolar and scared!

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Linda C
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 11/1/2005 11:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi all,
Im new to this site and came across it by doing a 'google' search about bi-polor disease. I was just recently diagnosed with having bi-polor 2 and I AM SCARED TO DEATH about it. I guess over the years l knew something was wrong with me. I am married and have 3 great kids and lead a pretty good life. But over the years the depression and everything came crashing down on me. Thankgod l have a great family doctor who helped me get into a mood disorder program here in the city l live in and thats how l was diagnosed with my disease. But what l want to know is about the meds for the past yr l have been on paxil which seemed to work at 'times' but not always, now my dr at the program as put me on lith , 300mg 2 pills a day for now. This is my very first week of taking it and im worried about the side effects and anything else it has in store for me. The dr has told me to be prepared for the drugs and the programs (she suggested we take things slow to start off and then see what works and what doesn't) But that alone is terrifying for me and also my husband is the only one working in our family, if l have to keep changing meds how the hell am l going to pay for it and will these meds be expensive or not?? My dr does give me free samples but she cant always do it and my husband owns his own business without any coverage of any sorts?? Also l was wondering if the Goverment of Canada has any kind of benefits for people like us?? I do hope they have some kind of plans for us cause for the next few months my life is going to be like a roller coaster with me as its only passenger, if anyone can give me some advice that would be great and I am glad l found this webpage!! And l hope l can talk to others that are in the same boat as l am and make new friends.

psychnurse
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 11/1/2005 2:17 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi, Linda - welcome to HW.   Regulars not too active today, but they usually are here most every day, so don't think nobody is responding, OK?

I understand you're afraid, it is a very serious illness.  I have no idea about Canada, but doesn't socialized medicine apply to everybody?  Yes, the meds tend to be on the pricey side, but lith is effective and dirt cheap.  Paxil -  no comment on that med. 

Your doc is right about taking things as they come. you start simply and add as needed.    You can read my post to Troy about the "perfect cocktail" to get more info. How are you doing at this point in time?


Variety is the spice of life, BP is the key


Linda C
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 11/1/2005 2:31 PM (GMT -7)   
HI there,
thanks for responding and our socialized medicine doesnt cover meds , everything else yes and im talking about 'benefits' like for sick leaves or things like that and again thanks so much for responding

Arenace
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 249
   Posted 11/2/2005 4:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Don't be afraid Linda, it just takes patience and time to come up with the right cocktail. You'll have good days and bad, the meds just help lessen the severity of those up and down times. I can't comment on Lith or Paxil I have never taken either one. I personally take Abilify, Trileptal, Wellbutin, and Lexapro. It seems to work pretty well for me, so far. Remember that our body chemistry changes so we always need to be on the lookout for whether or not we need a meds tweak. A little more this, a little less that, you'll get used to watching for the signs. My best advice is to keep a "Mood Chart" because we don't always remember by Friday what we felt like on Monday, if you know what I mean. A mood chart is the best way to see if something is happening that you may not really be noticing. A journal is helpful too. And for goodness sake keep posting here, we will help as much as possible.

Take Care,

Sandra

BP brings new meaning to Life's Little Ups and Downs


Linda C
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 11/2/2005 5:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sandra,
Thanks for responding! I just started the Lith this week and we will see how it goes im afraid of the side effects like the weight gain and seizures l so dont want that to happen. When l started the paxi l gained about 15 pds im 5'2 and 115 pds now l dont want to weigh anymore then what l do now. My physical appearance means alot l know that sounds shallow but being overweight l think would drive me more insane then l already am (joke). But im very happy l found this site and l know its going to be helpfull to me and give me some great advice . I also wanted to ask about therapy groups?? has anyone been to one?? my dr at the mood disorder program suggested that l join a few of them there to help me with the aniexty l have been having and also other issues. Im not one for a big group of unknown people so im really leary about going to this sessions, or should l?? if anyone has any feedback or has been to one please give me a reply back l would love any advice given.

psychnurse
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 11/2/2005 9:38 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi, Linda -

if you are shallow, than i am too! scool    I died when I started Depakote, also notorious for massive weight gain, and gained 30 pounds in 2.5 months! mad    So, my pdoc put me on Trileptal, which doesnt have that lovely feature, and it works very well for me.  I lost all the weight, because i am very vain (you will be too when you turn 40 if you aren't already, lol) and I do work out a lot when I'm not depressed.  I couldn't work out when I first started it because i was in a depressive episode and could barely make it to the toilet, much less even take a worthless walk! confused

Ask your pdoc about trying something else if you start gaining weight and can't control it, besides lith and depakote, there is Trileptal of course, Abilify and Topamax, none of which have the weight gain issue before it gets bad.  Good luck!

Sorry I can't help you on the therapy groups, i feel the exact same way you do. sad


Bipolar disorder in one word:  Intensity


Linda C
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 11/2/2005 3:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi thanks for the reply l dont know if lith is going to make me gain some weight like l did with the paxil?? lets hope not and l am going to ask more about these therapy groups l dont think they are for me but then again who knows.

Linda C
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 11/3/2005 2:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there T,
Well the place im going is runned thru the ontario govt and l think they do have a pharmacy there, maybe l will ask the dr there to help me with this . Ive been taking the lith for 3 days now and so far so good, l gave up the paxil well am giving it up slowly l was not a big fan of it. Too many episodes with it so l don't think its the cream of the crop and it did make me gain weight and paxil is not CHEAP at all!! But im hoping the lith works and the dr also gave me some anti-psycotic sleeping pills which are extremeley helpful. Things look more better when you get 8 hours of a deep sleep!! But another question for you T is do you think our govt. has any benefits for us besides the meds thingy?? My dr at the program said for the next few months she wants me to come and see how things are and stuff like that , but right now l am not working l was too attend the local college here for a program but with my illness that didnt pan out the way l wanted too and im hoping when the winter semester hits l can be able to attend some night classes and see where it goes from there. What im trying to say l heard there is some kind of a program kinda like welfare that they pay monthly for people in our situations?? Do you know anything about this?

psychnurse
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 11/3/2005 6:09 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi, Troy, just thought i would pop in and tell you my thoughts on Paxil, so you wouldn't be mystified, lol.

SSRIs in general are NOT a good idea for BPs, period.  Paxil and Effexor tend to REALLY cause episodes, or extreme anxiety/panic attacks.  We dont' react the same way to anti Ds as other people.  I see it almost every time someone writes in here how they are not getting stable, or are having episodes, they are almost ALWAYS on an SSRI.   SSRIs now come with a warning for docs to screen each patient they see for depression for bipolar disorder before prescribing.  Yet so many do.  Lamictal is an excellent stabilizer with antidepressant effect for BPs, it works for almost all of us, and doens't cause episodes.  Wellbutrin is also a good choice, it doesn't act on serotonin like the SSRIs do that cause the episodes.  The combination of the two is often a really great livesaver.  Wellbutrin CAN cause agitation, too but not practically guaranteed, like SSRI meds. 

If the Paxil isn't agreeing with you, ask your doc about the other two.

So there you have it, partly my opinion and most fact.  I hope you're doing well, other than staring at bobbleheads for 15 mintues, lol

Shannon



Bipolar disorder in one word:  Intensity


Linda C
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 11/4/2005 7:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey T,
You wouldnt be in hamilton would you cause thats where l am from?? and lm not working right now but need an extra income to help with the bills around here. My husband works for himself and we dont have any kind of coverage at all, so we do need the extra cash to help pay for my bills and just things like that?? Thanks for the info and get back to me when you can.
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