Hi wngs --
Welcome to HW! I hope you'll join us often with anything you want to tell us ask or respond to. :)
Yes, there are several different types of bipolar -- types 1 and 2, but all sorts of other variations, like rapid cycling and mixed states. It's always worth finding out a bit more about what those categories mean for you as a sufferer, as knowledge is power in this game! :) Bipolar 2 is essentially less extreme on the manic end than bipolar 1, and these two types often respond well to different medications. How much information do you feel you get from your psychiatrist (pdoc)? It sounds to me like you haven't had the condition particularly well explained, and it might do some good to ask some more questions so that your pdoc realises his/her omission and that part of his/her responsibility is to make sure that you have a good understanding of what it is you're dealing with.
Which part of the cylcle would you say you're in or have most recently come out of? -- Mania or depression? What kind of symptoms?
I would also raise questions with your pdoc about the Abilify in your current mix. -- Check out the manufacturer's web site: http://www.abilify.com/abilify/home/index.jsp?BV_UseBVcookie=Yes
Abilify, by their own admission, is an atipsychotic that is normally used for bp 1, and in two scenarios: either the treatment of acute mania and mixed episodes of bp 1; or as a maintenance med for at least 6 weeks after a recent manic or mixed episode. -- See http://www.abilify.com/abilify/channels/bipolar_content.jsp?BV_UseBVcookie=Yes&channelName=Bipolar/BP_Home&programName=
If you're bp 2 and are in a position to go back to work, it sounds to me like this may be the wrong med for you -- certainly at the moment, but perhaps even always. (I don't want to undermine your pdoc, but this is information that the drug company itself puts out there.) This is one reason why it's so important to find out as much as you can about your condition and the treatments available -- it helps you to ask your pdoc the right questions and get them to explain or rething what they're doing. It *may* be that your pdoc has a very good reason for keeping you on this med, but I would want to know exactly what that is. Perhaps a change in, or coming off, this med would mean that it wasn't only the Klonopin that you felt was working... .
Depakote is a mood stabiliser, and, again, I would check out the manufacturer's information web pages: http://www.depakoteer.com/bipolar_patient/index.html If you do come off the Abilify, monitor things to see if that helps, but if you still feel it's only the Klonopin that's working, maybe have another chat with your doc.
Klonopin is an anticonvulsant of the benzodiazepine family -- good for anxiety but also addictive and associated with dependance, and so not recommended as a long-term treatment. If this is the only one of your meds that you feel is helping, then I think there's another problem, as this should be more of an "emergency" med, rather than an ongoing treatment: there are plenty of meds out there that help with anxiety (many of them anti-depressants too, which often help with bp).
In fact, I think overall, a long chat with your doc about your treatment at present and your options for making it more effective is in order. If you find your pdoc unresponsive or uncommunicative on this, if I were you I'd change pdocs!! That said, you may find that he/she has really good explanations for why you're on what you're on -- in which case great, but it's still important that you *know* the reasons!!
Sorry if that all sounded rather overwhelming! -- Always a danger when people ask me for feedback lol!
People are not like fish: they do not work well battered.
When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded...
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