Am I misdiagnosed?

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New Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/4/2007 3:19 PM (GMT -6)   
I’m perplexed. I was diagnosed with Bipolar I in July 2006. I went thorough a fair amount of medications in a short amount of time (I feel like a lab rat) which was making my moods/behavior bounce all over the place. Finally, my pdoc settled on Lamictal (300mg) at the end of December. It’s the only medication I’m currently taking, except for a .5mg dose of lorazepam as needed for the now very rare panic attack. I’m wondering if perhaps I’m misdiagnosed? Of course, I’ve made some really poor decisions at certain points in my life, but hasn’t everyone? I wouldn’t think that I could be “maintained” with a single medication, and if I could, wouldn’t that make my particular diagnosis less serious? I’m afraid that I’m just looking for a reason to not take my meds, because Lamictal is a terrible pill to swallow. But what if my current run of stability would be happening even if I weren’t medicated? Is there anyone who has struggled with this same sort of situation, and what did you do about it? Any insight would be most helpful. It’s nice to have my family to bounce ideas off of, but I think it would be tons better to talk about it to people that know what place I’m coming from.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 5/4/2007 6:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Teefa,
I went through the same thing your going through a few years ago. My doctor put me on Risperdal, and I gave it a good 2 months and decided it made me a zombie and stopped taking it.
Then I started thinking that it was the medicine that made me worse and maybe nothing was wrong to begin with. Well I had this theory for a couple of years while I was going through the same thing I was before that had me put on medicine in the first place.
Now I'm on Lamictal too. That the only thing I'm on also. Only 25 mg once a day. I go up to 50 mg in a week. My pills are super tiny though, so I can swallow them easy.
I'm always looking for a reason to stop taking my medicine. But thankfully my hubby reminds me how bad I felt before I started taking it. Because I try to trick myself with "It wasn't that bad"
I would really enjoy bouncing ideas off of each other especially since were on the same medicine. I was diagnosed w/ Bipolar II. I still wonder if they are right. But I'll keep taking my medicine just incase they are.
What sort of symptoms do you have?
28 Years Old - Suffering from Panic Attacks since I was 18
Diagnosed w/ Panic Disorder, OCD & Bipolar II
Prescribed 25mg Lamictal every other day - will increase dose gradually

olivia of course
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 5/4/2007 9:07 PM (GMT -6)   
For almost a year in 2005-2006 I was taking only Lamictal went up to 300mg, but after that it was not enough and had Lithium added. (I took Lamictal for over 1 1/2 yrs in the past)
But it is possible to be on only one mood stabilizer, and I was diagnosed as BP I in June 2005.  Right now I am only taking Lithium 900mg, and so far so good.  You'll know if you med is not working, and your pdoc most of the time can detect if things are not going well.  You can always get more added if need be.
I have had few moments in the past 2+ years of taking meds, that I stopped taking them completely.  Mostly because I hated taking pills, or just the thought of taking them on a long term.  I usually did this without my pdoc's consent.  But the good moments only last a few months, so I have learn to accept that I need to be on meds.  Especially with the false hope of stability without them, I learned I can't do it alone.
Hang in there!  :-)

@~ Olivia

"Don't let your yesterday, ruin your today"

New Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/5/2007 9:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Olivia and Zomese,

Thank you for the insight. I've never known anyone who is bp, and I've been lurking here for a few months. I see the support and inspiration you all give each other, and it makes me have a little faith that it's going to be alright. I know deep down that my hope for a misdiagnosis is just wishful thinking. I guess it's part of coming to terms with the fact that I will have to deal with this for the rest of my life. I beat myself up on a regular basis for having to put the people that I love so much through the heartache that I cause when I become manic or the "pity parties" that they have to endure when I feel all is lost. My current husband, who has saved me from myself more than once, is a constant reminder of why I take my medicine religiously and why I try very hard to be the best person I can.

As far as symptoms go, it started out when I was about 18 (May 1998), when I quit school two weeks before graduation (I was an honor student), and instead chose to drown myself in alcohol and recreational drugs of all sorts. I came out of it after about 4 months, and went back and got my diploma, and spent several months with my head hanging in shame and wondering if my continued existence was the best thing for my family. But then came a good run of "normal" life, in which time I got married and had two beautiful wonderful little boys. But things were going well, and for some reason, I just can't leave well enough alone. So in the summer of 2003, I became a little worst than the last "episode". I left my family, drank constantly, used more substances that damaged myself and my life, quit my job that I had for 5 years, and chose another career that to this day, I have no idea how I even made it through the first night. I made less than responsible choices in companions (there were many, and I did not know some of their names). I spent money I didn't have. I would have rather run a large tab at the bar or bought very revealing clothes than pay my rent or light bill. This lasted about 8 months. I did these things because there were "other-worldly" beings that were guiding me to the "right path". All of these things caused me to lose my kids, my home, and my self-respect. But I met my now husband, and he helped me pick up the pieces (yet again). I then spent another half a year in shame for the things I did, and wondered again whether continuing to put my precious family through all this was fair to them. Things were good for a while, and then last summer, I started to become very agressive and confrontational. It took my husband walking away from me and telling me that we needed to take some space for ourselves to open my eyes and see some sort of pattern. Something was wrong. So I went to see my family doc, and he put me on Paxil. Both my brothers have chemical imbalances, and Paxil works for them. The doc said that it usually runs in families and we'd try the Paxil first. I turned into a complete mess. I was climbing the walls, crawling out of my skin and mind, and didn't sleep for a week. He sent me to have an eval, and they sent me straight to a pdoc. After hearing my story, she said it was a wonder that I made it through. The diagnosis was classic bp I. So then began the struggle for a "cocktail" and the rapid cycling that followed were some of the worst months of my life. Sometimes I just think that some of it was just bad judgement. Maybe I made a bigger deal out of it than it really was. Like you said Olivia, maybe it wasn't that bad. It's such an internal struggle, and it's days like today that make me feel very tired of fighting so hard. Sorry for such a long post. You're the first people I've ever spilled this to that weren't directly related to me. It's too scary to put myself out there and risk people pointing and whispering behind their hands. Is that something you get used to as well?

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 5/6/2007 10:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been stable on just Lithium as the only medication for almost 4 years now.  I have accepted what I have, and that the medication does help.  These four years have been wonderful, and I pretty much function normal.  Sometimes, I would like to think that my diagnosis was just a mistake.  That I was young, and maybe it was all a result of situational circumstance.  However, the reality is that I know what I have and I know the medication helps.
One time when I was 19 I was on depakote.  I didn't believe that I had bipolar and went off my meds.  It was almost four months before the psychologist found out.  Strangely enough she thought that since I had been off meds for a few months and was doing fine that I didn't have bipolar.  She didn't even try to convince me to go back on meds.  Let me tell you that she was very wrong.  I went 11 months off meds, and then I crashed.  It was a horrible experience, and it took a long time to heal.  Ever since then I know that I need to be on meds, and that I have bipolar.
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