new to bipolar-LONG POST

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sdgirly
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 1/5/2006 11:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I am new to the bipolar forum but have posted a bunch in anxiety forum. Anyways I am a 20 year old girl who is just feeling miserable. I have had pretty severe panic disorder since july 2005. I went to the ER a bunch of times(always sent me home saying your healthy) and a bunch of dr's who did not know what they were talking about. The family dr. tried to put me on paxil which i totally flipped out on and stopped taking it after five days. I felt like i was on speed and made my panic disorder ten times worse. Then the dr. tried to put me on zoloft which the same thing happened again as paxil but this time it was worse. I only took 25 mg and was like wow I thought i had to go to the ER again-diarrhea, skin crawling, panic attacks so sever oh man it was bad and I also broke a mirror ha ha my b/f was not happy. So, the family dr. said he thinks i might be bipolar since i had like a manic reaction to the SSRI's, and wanted to try me on lamictal which i said no and totally never went back to him, because i didnt not trust him. So, i started going to a therapist which helped but after three months of therapy I still have not gotten control of this panic disorder. Maybe I have been half-assing what she tells me to do, so she told me to go to a psychiatrist and no one else! So, today i went to the psych and she told me that she thinks i could mixed states bipolar(have no clue what that means) because my panic disorder is severe and also since i flipped out on SSRI's. She wants to put me on depakote ER which i do not know anything about and wants me to take klonopin in the morning and noon. I am not scared of the benzo's though because I have taken them in severe times. Ughh I am just so frustrated with all of this and feel like my life is at the end and I am only 20! I have lost everything in my life due to this and feel like I cannot go back to school and am currently unemployed. I am SCARED of taking anymore meds!

Can I make these mental problems go away naturally?
Please help anyone with some good advice. I am too scared of the possible side effects of trying new meds.

jet61
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/6/2006 6:35 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Sdgirly

I am new to this board, just joined this morning. I am 45 with bipolar and have gone through extensive med combos, 27 ECT's in the early 80's, hospitalizations too many to count, pharmacologists and the leading expert at Mass General in Bipolar. I have had the same Psychiatrist for 8 yrs now and the same therapist for 15yrs. For the last 5 yrs I had been stable with minor ups and downs until Thanksgiving when I tragically lost my 4 yr old dog who was my best friend and a very special dog. She was a visiting nursing home dog and was loved by all. I slowly fell into a depression so deep like never before. I landed in the hospital for 2 nights and now I have been in a hospital day program which I have to go to now.

I wanted to give you hope....The meds you have to try, a psychiatrist is where you need to go, Now this is not advise but just a suggestion. I take meds and will my entire life but they help me to lead a normal life 90% of the time.

I will write again when I get home. Please think about a proffesional, I don't feel any of us can do it alone.

I'll be thinking of you and keep your head up you are not alone

jet61 :-)


This illness has taken me on many paths while teaching me how to live with it, not fight it.


sdgirly
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 1/6/2006 11:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much jet for replying. I am just at my ends wit with all of this. At night I have been so anxious that my stomach is hurting every morning and I feel like throwing up. See, I could live with being bipolar ha ha cause my moods arent that bad, but i just want the panic disorder to go away. however, the dr's told me they think that is the cause of the panic disorder me being bipolar so I dont know. thank you for keeping me in your thoughts. I just want to try everything else before I try the meds, because I feel like they do more harm than good. Maybe that is just my opinion. But, I mean the weight gain and everything you guys talk about on here is just scaring me. Plus I read with depakote ER it can hurt your pancreas and liver.

SMSIRL
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 1061
   Posted 1/6/2006 10:01 PM (GMT -7)   
The stress you are suffering can also hurt your body. When stressed we produce corticosteroids and this has a lot of bad health effects [see the side effects of steroid drugs]. Furthermore, it is interfereing with your life and all the dreams you have. I can understand your fear of drugs. Unfortunately being put on anti-depressants without being on a mood stabaliser for many Bipolar people is an all too familar receipe for disaster, and makes one reluctant. However, to your advantage you are still young and they now realise that you are inclined to swing. So, the medications if you go with them will be better tailored to your needs. The interesting thing about this illness is that the sooner you get the swings under control the less longterm impact they have. Many people including myself suffered greatly with anxiety and panic when swinging. Getting under control can have a major impact on the level of panic you experience. I've seen many totally transform their lives with appropriate help.
 
All my best wishes.
 
With respect to natural elements to  mental health - Keeping regular sleep cycle is helpful. If you miss sleep you will be inclined to go high. Avoid illicit drugs even the "simplest". Alcohol can add to your problems if you are going through a bad judgment period, such as when you are over-enthused or when depressed. Exercise helps stress and anxiety.
 
Once again my very best

Post Edited (SMSIRL) : 1/6/2006 10:05:18 PM (GMT-7)


sdgirly
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 1/7/2006 12:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Okay, I understand that maybe the meds will help. But has anyone tried to go the natural route and gotten rid of their bipolar or panic disorder? I read somewhere that the reason there is more mental disorders in this country is due to lack of omega 3's. I mean i just want to try everything before i succumb to meds-like exercise, changing my diet, natural supplements. Does this actually work? I am just curious. Ughh I am so frustrated and so so so incredibly sick right now I am on the verge of just feeling hopeless in this struggle and it has only been six months into this. I just feel like maybe the meds sometimes cause more problems in the end-like on the depakote ER thing it says liver and pancreas could be hurt. Like, I do not want more problems with my body thatn I already have.

jet61
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/7/2006 6:09 AM (GMT -7)   
I've done the natural path way and it only worked for a year. I have to agree with others who are saying that your panic disorder is worsening because you seem to be reading so much about the meds. Also like others are saying the meds are more tailored now and less abusive to your body. As far as weight gain it does vary from person to person. I am on serquol at a pretty high does and supposedly this med is one where you put on weight but with exercise and a good healthy diet I haven't gained a pound. I have been on the med for at least two years. There ae times where I am also on Thorazine an older med and still have been able to keep m weight down. As for my liver, your doctor can send you for blood tests if you are that concerned.
I think if you take into consideration your anxiety over trying the meds and how sick you are now what other option do you have. I have to agree what other people are saying that lives are completely changed by meds....I've seen it numerous times over the last 20 yrs. If you were sick with a heart condition and you needed to take meds what would you do? It's really the same thing, you have a illness that requires help and meds if that is what your doctor is suggesting.
I'm still here thinking about you and will be happy to answer any questions about how meds have affected my life.
jet
This illness has taken me on many paths while teaching me how to live with it, not fight it.


sdgirly
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 1/7/2006 12:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Jet do you have email or a instant messenger of any type? I would like to talk to you more. I hope you have a good weekend! Thank you for all your help.

SMSIRL
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 1061
   Posted 1/7/2006 4:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Bipolar disorder also exist where omega 3's are part of the national diet [italy for example] so the answer is not that simple. Naturally, if one has a tendency towards problems having an unhealthy diet will make matters worse. So, it is well worth while getting your diet up to scratch. Omega 3's have impact on children with behavioural disorders, but much of that is to do with that stage of development. It would be very helpful for mothers-to-be and young children to get a balanced diet. It would also be helpful for mothers-to-be to avoid alcohol. All of these things would help mental health. But this is because the brain is being formed at this time. The reality is that all of this is to avoid damaging the developing brain rather than nurishing. I've known peoploe whoi have taken very good care of their physical health have mental health problems. As Jet said, it is a mater that one has to realise that brains as well as bodies get sick. Why wouldn't they?

jet61
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/10/2006 4:15 AM (GMT -7)   
sorry I haven't posted back. what smsirl is saying about omega 3's which includes the fish oil is right. they did do a study on the fish oil and found that it can help along with meds in bi polar but not cure or alone stabalize the illness. As I said before and Smsirl has been saying a healthy diet, exercise, a good nights sleep, no alcohol or street drugs will benefit both your disorders but will not cure them. There isn't a cure but a balance to help you live with your disease.
I just reread your first post and you mentioned that the psychiatrist thought you had mixed states of bipolar. Mixed states are when you go high and low constantly. Have you been back to the psych doc?
Also the reactions that you had on the ssri's could also have been a real bad panic attack. Most PDoc's don't usually start a bipolar on ssri's right away if ever.....they look for a mood stabalyzer like lamictal, depakote ER and others out there. Some people need other meds mixed with a mood stablyzer like an anti psychotic which is what I need to take.
My best reccomendation to you is to continue with your therapist and see a psychiatrist and be honest about your feelings about meds. Continue to talk to your therapist about your concern about meds. From 25yrs. of experience meds are what have given me a life that I can say I have accomplished a lot and be poud of. Without them I would have ended up living in a hospital on a psych ward.
I can't give out my email because we own our own business and this is the computer I am using and I have to keep the security safe. I'm sorry about that. I soon will be seeting up a new email on my lap top where then I would be able to give it out but until then we'll have to chat here.
Keep working at being open minded to meds...don't give up. Maybe you can find a support group in your area that you can physically go to. You are not alone.
This illness has taken me on many paths while teaching me how to live with it, not fight it.


Putter
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 204
   Posted 1/10/2006 9:38 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Sdgirly,

I understand much of the frustration you are feeling with all that you are faced with. I have to say - I'm on the same train as Jet and SMSIRL - finding a doctor that you feel comfortable with who listens to your concerns is key - so is finding an appropriate treatment.

I'm a 25 year old girl and was confirmed BPII about two years ago. I suffered through years of depression and upset not understanding that this wasn't a normal experience. Finding the right medication was the best thing I could have done for myself. I take depakote and it works well for me. Not much in the way of side effects and the results are profound. I did gain a few lbs but managed to lose it once I was stable. I've also accepted the fact that I would sooner be 10lbs chubbier and happy, productive, outgoing and personable, than be 5lbs underweight, sluggish, upset, panicky, spastic and unpleasant - I've done both so I'm speaking from experience.

In the beginning, I was worried about medication also and all the potential side effects that came with it. I pursued the natural route as best I could with no success. There are no doctors in my area that deal with that type of treatment and my pdoc had no faith in available alternatives. My pdoc had seen many people try natural remedies and solutions, but none had any significant success with many people spending a great deal of money on treatments that didn't work. That's not to say that there aren't alternative therapies, but BP is nothing to be taken lightly and should you pursue an alternate route, it should be done under the care of a pdoc and natural health practitioner. Unattended BP can become disasterous rather quickly and trying to pick up all the dyfunctional and shattered pieces is much more difficult than managing it properly - also speaking from experience.

The big thing for me that I've learned is when I swing to the manic side, I get panicky and anxious. I've done some reading that suggests that anxiety can mask underlying mania in BP patients which can make it hard to get a proper diagnosis and thus the untreated mania can make it difficult to treat the anxiety. Adjusting my mood stabilizer helps to reset that stuff so that the anixety subsides and I can get a grip. I was lucky because finding the right mood stabilizer helped me to reduce the overall amount of medication that I took and helps me to sleep better so there's little need for medication there too.

Having said all that, its important that you maintain a healthy lifestyle as was mentioned earlier. I'm pretty convinced that it becomes a "sum of the parts" type situation. You could have the best care money can buy (natural or conventional), but if you don't treat your body well and take care of all the other systems (rest, nutrition, exercise, etc.) than the likelihood of feeling your best is compromised. It doesn't mean that you have assume a rigid lifestyle, but making small changes can really make a big difference. I'm not great at keeping up with a hard core exercise routine, but a 20 minute trip around the block every day with my pooch does wonders for my health. Same goes for regular sleep routine and eating schedule. 

Take care of yourself and keep posting,
Putter


sdgirly
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 1/10/2006 1:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much everyone for their input, but i want to wait longer and monitor myself lets say for another year or so to see if I really have bipolar disorder. The dr said shes not even sure if I have it or not and said oh we will find out once you go on depakote ER. I am just too worried about the side effects and stuff, although that is great that medecines helped all of you. It is just that I have also heard about really bad things happening to people cause of psychiatric meds. This week I have changed my diet, been exercising more, taking supplements and I have seen an increase in my health. My anxiety has gone down and I have not had any panic attacks so far. Good luck to me!

michaelrk
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/24/2006 12:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Aloooooooooooha,
My name is Michael and I live in Hawaii. I just thought that I would post this song here for you to hear. I was in the mental hospital for 17 days as they medicated me for Bipolar. For two years now I have been stable and feel phenamenal with no meds. I do take a supplement that one 4 of the last 8 nobel prizes in Medicine though. Well enjoy the song. It's called Bipolar Roller Coaster

michaelrk
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/24/2006 12:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Here it is!!!!!!
www.purevolume.com/michaelkitchen

sdguy2547
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 3/26/2006 11:31 AM (GMT -7)   

Michael,

 

Please share the supplement you take....thanks


dolly vita
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 3/26/2006 11:55 AM (GMT -7)   
hey im really new to this too. I have suffered a lot from it in the past 7 months. I was put on SSRI and it didnt do much at all except make me really more agitated and I started havving really lucid dreams at night and feeling really overwhelmed. My pdoc just recently put me on depakote ER and its been actually helping and its only the 4th day so maybe if he prescribed it for you we might be in similar situations. He realized that my panic was severe too and I told him I was scared of going crazy and he said its normal to feel that way and the depakote should take effect within 10 days. So I'm due to see him in 10 days. I take 500mg at night and 250 in the morning after the 4th day. What mg did your psych put you on?
and don't worry you are definitely not alone on this whole thing.
Keep posting!
"I'd give you everything I've got for a little peace of mind."

    -the beatles.


sinbare
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/30/2006 6:58 AM (GMT -7)   
I feared taking meds, I fought the idea that something was wrong with me and that I need to take medications to make me ok. Being Bipolar is not a curse. Some of my best moments are when I was manic. Many were not. All my life I knew something was wrong. I struggled with feeling "NORMAL" (what ever that means) Finally one day I crashed and burned. Ending up in the local phyc ward. I've been on prozac, depakote, tampicote, effexor, trazadone, lemictal, abilify, lithium, and ambien. Of all these difffernt trial and errors, till they finally got it right. I am now taking lemictal, abilify, lithium and ambien cr. This is what has worked for me. I have been on this combo for almost 2 years now. This is the best I have ever felt. I'm 47 years old and it took this long to feel "NORMAL" Don't wait a long a I did because of fear of medications, now that I've finally arrived I don't remember what all the fuse was about. Relax and give yourself a decent chance. It's noble to want to do it naturally, but this disorder it a chemical inbalance. Your body need the right input. Diet, exercise and sleep are a good start. But even diabetics need insulin. Good luck!

Jade11
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 3/30/2006 12:33 PM (GMT -7)   

I am 23 years old and have been on bipolar medication since I was 20.  The doctors diagnosed me as bipolar when I was 19, but I did not believe the diagnosis.  I went for almost a year without taking medications, and believed that I did not have bipolar disorder.  Then in the spring I had a manic episode and crashed hard.  I had to be hospitalized and it disrupted my whole entire life.  I was lucky that I was able to finish off the semester in school.  Although I did have to withdraw from my hardest class.  However, I was not stable enough to have a job that summer.

Looking back it would have made everything easier if I had just stayed in on the medications when I was diagnosed the first time. Choosing not to be on medications after a diagnosis is very risky.  You might not crash this week, but if you really are bipolar it will happen eventually.  For me my crash was hard, and it came when I least wanted it to.

I currently take Lithium and I don't experience any side effects.  There is a risk of kidney damage but the doctors do blood tests to check kidney function every so often.  If there is a problem they will discontinue usage before the damage is severe.  Not every will experience any kidney damage because of lithium.

I have been stable since I have been on lithium.  I told some people that I have known for about a year that have bipolar disorder and they were shocked.  One friend said that she would never have guessed I had bipolar, if I had not told her.  The fact is there are no symptoms of properly treated bipolar disorder.  I am so glad that I was able to get my life back on tract, and I know I could not have done it without taking medication. 

 

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