OK, I accept the diagnosis. Now what?

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_Christina
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 7/19/2007 11:23 AM (GMT -7)   
I have had my diagnosis switched from major depression to Bipolor II.  I did not like the diagnosis and fought the idea that the meds would work. The antidepressents only seemed to make me worse.
Guess what?  Lamitrical (sp?) and Cymbalta seem to be working.  This "even" feeling is something I don't ever remember feeling before.  I'm "normal" feeing.  I 'm not wonderfull all the time, but I don't feel like I am drowning either.  I don't feel "fragile" anymore.  I feel secure in my ability to deal with what life gives me.
Now that I think back to my past memories of emotion, I think I have always been this way.  I can remember times when I was 12 that would have been a clasic "mania".  I can also remember the amazing depths that I would fall into.  What I thought were "normal" teen moods must have been the Bipolor.  The feeling that I was always dealing with a crisis, one following on the heels of another through my young adulthood could have been brought on by mood cycles and the mayhem that follows them.
Here are some things that I would like to know.  Ever since I started the Lamictrical (sp?) I have itched. The prompt-care Dr says that I have hives, but mostly because he couldn't find a rash or any bumps or anything.  Sometimes I have bumps that are tiny pinpricks that are not colored, but not all the time.  I feel like taking a wire brush to my skin sometimes.  I went and got fake nails that are soft at the end so that I would not tear my skin up while I slept.  Does anyone else deal with this itching?  It's been going on for weeks.
Also, if you have never been "normal" before, but always thought you were, how do you know when the medication make you well?  I've never felt this before.  When I felt good before must have been a "manic" time.
I have always pushed hard and reached for perfection in what I do.  I never get there, but I commonly get further than those arround me.  This may be an effect of the "mania".  The Bipoloar can push people to extremes that other people won't go.  Many of the people who are seen as genuies in their field are actually suffering from a mental disorder.  Those people can use this to be extreamly sucessfull life as long as they can control the lows when they happen.
I don't want to loose my ability to go beyond the normal expectations.  I don't want to loose my drive to succeed in what I do.  What if the Bipolor is realy a gift given to those who can use it to succeed beyond where others are willing to go? 
Now that I am on the medications, can I depend on NOT going through the mood cycles, or will they just decrease in intensity and durration?  What if I have another depressive eppicode?  I don't know how to catch a "manic" yet because I have always seen them as a desired feeling out of the depression.  I can't yet tell what is "normal" and what is "manic".  I've just learned what is depressed and what is not.  
This has been nearly a year long journey of depression that sank so low that I could not function. Life stopped for me.  I was suicidal for a long time.  Longer than my family or friends know I was.  I was actually getting better by the time I told them to seek help.  I have been through several diffrent medications that didn't work.
My friends and family have gotten "support fatigue" and have moved on to other life events. 
Christina
 
When you cannot stand, on whom do you lean?


olivia of course
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 7/19/2007 11:39 AM (GMT -7)   

Christina,

I took Lamictal in the past for about 2 years.  I was getting a rash, or hives a lot during that time.  The worst on was after spending a few days in the sun at the beach.  It is not a permament thing, and the longer I was on Lamictal the less it happened.

You are not alone in the way you feel about your diagnosis, I think most of us here freaked out about it.  I knew I had major mood swings while growing up, but going from a dx of depressions to Bipolar was a bit shocking to me.

Hang in there, things get easier over time, I think.  Also, I am glad your meds are working for you, it is a pain trying to get the right combination of meds.

:-) Olivia

Post Edited (olivia of course) : 7/19/2007 12:57:39 PM (GMT-6)


wspanicgirl21
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 7/19/2007 12:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Christina,
Acceptance is the first step to making yourself better. I'm glad to see that you are. I'min the same boat. They originally diagnosed me as depressed and put me on all these depression medicines. Come to find out I was bipolar and finally I found the right medication. Problem was it made me fat. So my doc took me off it and put me on a medication that sucked... I cried all the time, freaked out on my family and eventually ended up in the hospital. Now they have me on a great regimine of medication and I"m much better than I was.

Keep up hope. And as far as the itching, it'll go away. I was on lamictal for a bit and it made me sad, but it also made me itch.

:)
Diagnosed Bipolar I: On abilify, prozac, gabitril & ambien. Mom to 3 little ones. Separated from the hubby.


_Christina
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 7/19/2007 12:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Now I don't have to give away my cat. I was afraid I had suddenly developed an alergy to him!
I prefer it to be a side effect of the meds that will eventually go away than giving up my cat.
Christina

What about the rest of it? Are you afraid that the bipolor meds will "dumb you down" or take away your ability to do someting special that you would have been able to do on a high if you wern't medicated? Are we medicating a normal part of the human condition?
Christina
 
When you cannot stand, on whom do you lean?


olivia of course
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 7/19/2007 3:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Christina,
 
Being on meds is sometimes hard, and even though they have helped me, I always think about long term affects.  But for right now I think about the present situation, instead of dreading the future.
 
As for med taking away from us, it does hopefully the bad things that plague us.  Like if one was manic, then over time it is controlled by meds.
 
I am taking Lithium and Geodon right now, and I feel a bit slowed down in my thinking process.  But I would rather be a bit slowed down, than not.  When I mean "slowed down", it is not an extreme things.  I just forget words here and there, or what I was going to do.  But it is not that bad, like you don't stay in a vegitative state at all.
 
I hope this helps with some of your concerns, and I feld energetized while I was on Lamictal. 
 
 


~~~  Olivia  ~~~
Moderator, Bipolar

Dx:
 
Bipolar 1,  PTSD,  Anxiety-Panic Disorder
Support HealingWell:  http://www.healingwell.com/donate

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

Post Edited (olivia of course) : 7/19/2007 4:54:18 PM (GMT-6)


Jade11
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 7/25/2007 8:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I have been on lithium for a little over four years. I have reached a point where my moods have completely mellowed out. I confided in a few close friends that I have bipolar disorder and their jaws literaly dropped open. It was a good feeling to know that they had no suspicions that anything was at all wrong. For th most part I feel normal. I just take a couple of pills at night and really this is not so different that a lot of people who simply are on meds for a variety of medical reasons. There is the stigma that can be difficult to live with but it is better than being unstable.

It might help you to join a local support group that meets a few times a month. Internet support groups are a big help but sometimes seeing people in person is helpful. I know that DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance) has many support groups nation wide. If you google DBSA I am sure you could get to their website and check if they have a local chapter in your area. I would also say to have someone close to you who knows what is going on who you can check in with. Sometimes others can recognize symptoms before you will want to admit what is going on.
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