Newly Diagnosed Bipolar

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Learning2deal
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 8/6/2007 8:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello all, I am newly diagnosed. I would love some advice. Diagnosed about 2 months ago. Been taking Lexapro for a while, doc added Lamictal. Started at 25mg daily for 2 weeks, then 50mg for 2 weeks then arrived at 100mg. After adjusting to 50 I felt hyper. I sang in the school supplies at Walmart (loudly). Laughed through the mall with my aunt. A NICE CHANGE from the depression that I have delt with on and off since childhood. Well when I got on 100 of lamictal I felt a bit worse again. So doc said to take 150 mg. Is it just me or would you think to take 75 mg? A happy medium maybe? Well after 2 doses of the 150, the next day I was very depressed. Spent 6 daylight hours in bed. So my next dose of lamictal I made it 50mg. I will call the doc tomorrow. I am feeling a bit insecure about how to talk with my doc. I would like to have something to take as needed to supplement the Lamictal/Lexapro. But they don't seem to want to give me anything like that. My sleep has been greatly affected some nights. I have been staying up til midnight or later (late for me). How can I affectively assert myself with the doc? Thanks for your help.

olivia of course
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 8/6/2007 8:45 PM (GMT -7)   

Learning2deal,

Welcome to the HW family, I hope you find the support you are looking for here.

First, everyone is different when it comes to meds.  What affects one person might not affect the next person.  With that said, most meds take 6-8 weeks to work as they should.  I have taken Lamictal in the past (almost 2 years) and the lower the dose the higher the side effects.  I used to have an upset stomach and/or a migraine when I was on 25, 50, and even on the 100mg.  But when I went up in dosage it stopped.
 
You should not switch your meds, before talking to a doctor.  The worst that can happen is that the Lamictal is not for you and you have to switch meds.
Olivia
Moderator, Bipolar
 
Dx:  Bipolar 1, Anxiety-Panic Disorder
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Shuree
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/6/2007 9:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello learining...,
I've been diagnosed with bipolar for about 8 years now.  I'm 39.  I went through probably a year of changing and adjusting meds until I found a mix that works.  It really stinks going through all the ups, downs and sick days.  I'm not toatally fine, but I'm good enough that we don't want to tweak anymore.  I have developed IBS as well so it's been an ordeal dealing with both.  I hope you have a good support system.  My husband is good, (even though he doesn't understand).  My two teen kids are good because they live it.  The rest of my family have opinions and judgements.  Being told you have bipolar can come with a stigma, but I would rather be taking pills and seeing a shrink then not.  You'll get your groove.  If you truely feel you've been correctly diagnosed, then do whatever you can to find your mixture of meds.  It's hard I know.  You'll do it.  We bipolars have a strength in us that can handle alot.  One more thing, expect during your everyday life to feel blue or even a little high.  My doc doesn't worry unless my down days have dark thoughts with it.  So being blue is ok...black not so good tongue .
Have a good day and take care,
Shuree
(sorry for spelling errors)

mogli
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1191
   Posted 8/7/2007 5:54 AM (GMT -7)   

Hello Learning2deal,

Welcome to HW :-) Definitely give those meds time to work, it takes a long time...6-8 weeks like olivia said.  Do not  do anything with your meds until you talk to your doctor, ever. :-)   Didn't mean to sound harsh, but you cannot be changing any doses, going off meds without talking to your doc.

It's hard though to talk to some of these docs sometimes and I understand that.  The solution to that is just to be firm in asking questions and getting answers.  Don't feel bad, don't be afraid.  You are the patient.  If you don't speak up, then you run into problems.  It took me a lot of time to speak up with my pdoc, mostly b/c our appointments are literally 5 minutes long, and I always feel so rushed that I can't say anything.  Now I just spit it all out whether he likes it or not.  It's my appointment time and I am going to discuss what needs to be discussed.

Your doc will listen to you.  Prepare a list of questions and bring it with you.  If you have an opinion on a med/dose, tell him/her.  I do that all the time.  Sometimes my pdoc agrees and goes with what I want, sometimes he does not, and if not, then I do my best to respect his opinion, b/c he is the professional.  And I do trust him.

Hope this helps.  Give those meds lots of time, it's tough.  Keep posting and let us know how you're doing.


Mogs
 
Bipolar II, Anxiety/Panic Disorder
--currently not on meds for bp--


Learning2deal
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 8/7/2007 6:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for the reply. It is wonderful to talk to someone who has BP. I went ahead and took my accurate med. Olivia conviced me. I guess there is an adjustment period? I am 29 for one more week. My counciler thinks things have intensified because of repressed memories coming to light (sexual / "emotional" abuse). It is hard to know what is chemical and what is emotional. I have allot of family with depression. How long did it take you to come to terms with your diagnosis? Is there any hope of normal? Is normal something else?

olivia of course
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 8/7/2007 7:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Learning2deal,
 
I really depends on the individual, it took me almost a year after being diagnoses to come to terms with the illness.  I guess it ia hard to accept when you have been diagnosed for depression for a long time.
 
I think normal is a state of mind (even people who are not BP are not normal), having BP definetly changed what you thought was normal.  Sometimes people say that meds are the best thing that happened to them.  It keeps you stabilized, and controls your mood swings.  Mind you it is not a quick fix, or something that will cure BP.  You still have to work with it.  I don't even know what normal means anymore.
Olivia
Moderator, Bipolar
 
Dx:  Bipolar 1, Anxiety-Panic Disorder
Support HealingWell: 
http://www.healingwell.com/donate
"Don't let your yesterday, ruin your today"


Learning2deal
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 8/7/2007 7:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you, this helps. At least I am not alone. Do you find that there are some people who just don't understand and won't?

Shuree
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/7/2007 9:13 AM (GMT -7)   

I think Olivia is totally right about what normal is.  We have to become very atune to our emotions, actions and triggers.  We begin to over analize.  My doc always says, "I don't use the word crazy or normal."  I too have been abused in different ways since I was a teen.  We develope habits with BP.  These come from the BP and the junk/baggage we lug around.  The pills take care of the physical part of BP.  We have to purge the junk we've brought along.  I after years of proding finally went to a councelor.  She has opened my purposely shut eyes to a lot.  It's painful, (especially when they tell you that you are in the wrong), but we have to become better people out of this.  I think we owe it to ourselves, and the people we live with.  Have a great day!

Shuree


jerseycherries
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 178
   Posted 8/7/2007 9:33 AM (GMT -7)   
i just wanted to say hi and welcome here. i was just diagnosed in may so i know how hard it is to be adjusting to this diagnosis. i am also on lamictal and about to increase my dose from 50 to 100mg. when i went to 50 i started to feel good. more like myself so i'm hoping that the next increase will bring me to feeling great. i'm glad you stuck with the dose you should be at. it takes a while to really feel the full benefits from the meds. and i agree with the others that its your apptment so ask the questions you have. be as informed as you can be. writing them down helps i have done it. again welcome here and i hope to see you around more.
I have bipolar disorder, panic attacks w/agoraphobia, social anxiety, diabetes, asthma, and high blood pressure.
 
~ Life is short but I am not. ~


Learning2deal
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 8/7/2007 7:08 PM (GMT -7)   
It's hard to believe that I have become "one of those" who stop there meds. I did it all the time through the years. Now the mood stabilizer has brought me new hope for wellness. But when I became moderately depressed after the second dose of the 150 mg, I guess I over reacted. By the way, what is the stigma with Bipolar?

Shuree
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/7/2007 9:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear learning,
I say that bipolar has a stigma attached to it because of the social view and pure ignorance about the disorder.  When I was first diagnosed my mother flew out from Washington D.C. to Arizona to tell me I'm being "dramatic".  People see that you have a mood disorder and it's thought of as a mental disorder and crazy.  People think everyone with bipolar has phycosis that will make them do crazy things.  My brother-in-law told me I'd end up in a phych. ward because he'd taken people who were off their meds into custody.  He was an officer at the time.  Of course he didn't realize that these people weren't just off their bp meds, they also stopped their phychotic pills as well.  People don't realize how many different symptoms a person may or maynot have.  I have vowed to never stop taking my pills.  I never have, even when I hated them.  As I said in an earlier message, I'm finally on a good mix.  I'm working on the outward stuff now.  I still get blue.  I have anxiety and take the extra pill my doctor perscribes in case I need it.  I have anger mania and even some mood swings.  I don't expect that everything will be gone for me.  Some people will have total relief.  I don't and I have come to terms with it.  It just takes constant care, finding your triggers and trying to work through it all day by day.  Having bp isn't a death sentance.  People who judge us need to be educated.  We vow to make our life better one step at a time.  I always remember that there are people in worse condition then me.  This brings me humility, which for me is good.  I hope I answered your question.  Have a great day.
Shuree

Learning2deal
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 8/8/2007 6:24 AM (GMT -7)   
I realize I have spent my life up until now in depression, or in an angry rage, flying off the handle over basically nothing. I rarely have had times when I was on cloud nine. Maybe 10 times my whole life and they last one day. Not much compaired to the times I have spent days or weeks in depression or anger. I have ruined almost all of my best friend relationships. Except one that is an inspiration. She was very needy in the first 2-3 years of our friendship. Called me everyday at least once. She seemingly "naturally" complained. And also gossiped (which I am dead set against). It got to be overwhelming for me and I tried to back away. Well she "fought" against it and that made me feel trapped. I became very angry at her, not talking to her for months. Then I would call her or answer her call and it would start all over again. Finally she got the point that she needed to be dependant upon God and not me. After that we were able to become friends again. But I was consumed with anger at her everyday for a month and a half. The good part is she found a new dependance on God. And she has proved herself a true friend by forgiving the h**l I put her through. I am so hopefully that this med will help me!!!!!
Thanks for listening...

Post Edited By Moderator (olivia of course) : 8/8/2007 4:31:28 PM (GMT-6)

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