Right Track for Treatment?

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yogamom
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 9/26/2007 9:05 AM (GMT -7)   
I've been on Lamictal and Seroquel for about 6 months now.  I eased on to Lamictal 200mg/day and then was cut back to 100mg/day (jitters/anxiety) than back up to 150mg/day.  I also take a bout 150-200mg/day of Seroquel.  To be honest I often keep the seroquel in my purse and "pop" an extra 25mg when I feel anxious (I have both 25 and 50 mg tabs)
I see a psychiatrist twice a week for an hour.  He does pschotherapy and adjusts my meds accordingly.  My husband is totally not supportive to me.  When I was hospitalized for 5 days he didn't even want to visit me.  Now his attitude is "get off the meds" and "a psychiatrist twice a week is excessive".  I like going to the psychiatrist because it's "one stop shopping" and because I have no one else to talk to (i'm so glad to have found this web site).  Even my 15 yr old daughter said the other day "No wonder mom needs a pschiatrist, you never listen to anything she says dad".
What do any of you think about what I'm doing for treatment.  I'm at the point where I barely trust myself to figure it out, and I do have to go it alone.  Am I just being self indulgent...I honestly feel terrible and cry a lot at least once a day.  I have been emotionally "sick" off and on for years and there is a (strong) family history of depression (sounds more like bipolar II now to me, which is more genetic than other depressions anyway).  I relate to everything all of you are saying about symptom, frustration etc. Help!
Thanks to anyone who can give me some insite. confused

serafena
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 9/26/2007 9:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Yogamom,

Not having family support makes this SOOOO much harder, and I'm sorry you have to deal with that. Why do you think he's so resistant? Why would he want you to get off the meds if they're helping you?

Going to the psych twice a week does seem like a lot, but if it makes you feel more secure, you can afford it, and if your husband isn't helping you, then go with what works. He's probably charging you a lot more than a therapist would, and most people who have therapy only see their pdoc for the medical side of the disorder and have a separate therapist or go to a group. You said yourself he urged you to come see him because you have good insurance. I'm not suggesting he doesn't have your best interests at heart, but it's something to consider.

You might also consider joining a bipolar support group for some extra back up if your husband wants you to cut back to once a week with the doc. I personally like having the two separate (pdoc and therapist) because it gives me just that much more perspective. For example, it was my therapist who helped me realize that my old pdoc wasn't helping me when he refused to consider any other diagnosis or treatment than depression and prozac. How would I know? He was the doctor, right?

"Self-indulgent" sounds like your husband's word. Is that what he says? Getting help for a mental disorder is not self-indulgent, it's crucial. Bipolar disorder has terrible outcomes if left untreated. Could you get your husband to come to the doctor with you just once to have the doctor try and explain why it's so important you have treatment?

Finally, if you're still crying everyday and feeling that depressed after 6 months of treatment, something isn't working. (Feel free to correct me here if you think I'm wrong, board, ) but I think most docs would probably have tried new drugs by now. Would you consider a second opinion?
Serafena
Bipolar Forum Moderator

Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!


yogamom
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 9/26/2007 9:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you Sarafena, this is exactly the kind of help with my perspective that I need right now. I am planning on cutting back to once a week with my psych. after I feel stable on meds. He has tried Resperdal (sp?) but I had a horrible reaction. He has also suggested Lithium, which I'm terrified to go on. Right now I am reliving a family trauma that happened 2 years ago involving a horrible car accident and 2 deaths of people close to me. I was doing better but right now I think I'm just plain old depressed because of the time of year, which is another reason I "need' my pscychiatrist right now. I also have to be strong for my family, because they are reliving the accident as well. I am planning on going to a bereavement group that starts next week too. I've been thinking too about bringing my husband with me to the doc. It might help. It's just his upbringing that makes him doubt my condition...If you ignore something and don't talk about it then it doesn't exist, or at least will go away quicker. For years I've been self-medicating with alcohol, along with the zoloft...that numbed me out enough to tolerate his behavior, and in some ways made it more understandable to him. Thank you again. I'm trying to stay positive...yoga helps immensely too (hence the name..)

loving frustrated wife
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Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 9/26/2007 12:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Yogamom, while I don't often do yoga myself as I have a bad back and am still healing from surgery, I agree that the benefits of yoga for any brain balance issues are excellent. It gets everything in the body working in the right direction so it supports chemical wellness. I am a wife and mother to BPII's. While they both see a psychiatrist for meds, they both also have a separate therapist for the emotional processing stuff. I think Serafena brings up a very good point that seeing the pdoc 2 times a week, where he has access to be adjusting meds THAT often may actually be working against you a bit. I know you say your insurance is good, and that is really important here, but then that should also cover therapy with a therapist who is well versed in BPI or II. Plus, I don't know how wise it is for you to be in a situation that you are "popping" meds if you feel you need a little more here or there. Isn't that counter productive to keeping level even and balanced? I mean if one day you have a little more, one day a little less, how is our body ever going to level off and give you the stability you want? If a medication is offering side effects that are too difficult to live with, there should be countless others the pdoc can shift to. The idea being - keep you on as little as possible to create the ultimate balance and correction. My son takes a cocktail of 4 meds, my husband I think 5. Both are stable, both take their meds morning and night and that is it. My husband, if anxiety hits, occasionally take and additional drug specifically for that which does not throw off the balance of the others. But, he does not change the basic cocktail or he'd never be stable. I think it also wouldn't hurt to find another pdoc for a second opinion that is an objective view of you. If he confirms he would treat the same way, great. Stick with it. If not, hear what he has to say, see what makes sense to you and you can either ask the current pdoc to consider this input, or shift doc's or get a third opinion and go with the 2 out of 3 method. But either way, you now are having some balance of opinion to your treatment plan. Also, from what I have seen, good support groups are is also enormously helpful.

I know you say you are planning to go to a grief group, and I am so sorry for your losses. Sometimes when we experience loss that is abrupt, it can be harder to process as we didn't get time as we would have during say...an illness would have allowed - emotional preparing for what was coming. But I DO know a lot about this issue and believe with ALL my heart that regardless of the circumstances of how someone passes, their spirits are always with us. If what they see is us being sad to the point that thinking about them doesn't make us smile, because we are too wrapped up in the pain of their loss or how they passed, then they too don't get to smile. The thing is, their spirits want to live through us and if we can find a way to smile from having been blessed by having had them in our lives, then their spirit live on in joy. Otherwise, they are forces to live the pain with us, and if we never allow ourselves to move on from that, we keep them stuck to. They don't want us to be in this pain, they would want us to smile when we think of them, to remember them with love. Our staying in that level of pain does not prove our love for them. It just keeps us stuck. That isn’t to say don’t feel sad at the anniversary every year, have your “moment” of sadness. But don’t let is overshadow you. They want us to hold on to the love and joy. They want us to feel their spirits with us, which we can't do if we allow ourselves to be consumed in pain. I do believe that when you get a chill around you for no reason, you are feeling a hug from the spirit of a loved one present. May sound goofy, but I DO honestly believe this! Also, you can ask them to come visit you in your dreams…just as you feel yourself falling asleep, ask them to come visit you. By morning you will feel the sweetness of their kiss on your cheek. LFW

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 9/26/2007 6:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Absolutely you should get the extra support during this painful grieving period. I'm sorry for your losses. A bereavement group sounds good. Let us know how it goes.

Maybe some of the other people on the board can offer you more feedback on Lithium, I've never been on it. But may I ask why you're especially terrified to be on it? In some ways, it's even better than some of the other meds because it's been in use for so long that docs know exactly what to look for and expect. (As opposed to Geodon, for example -- like Bunnypucker and Olivia's current discussion.) Sure, some people have bad reactions, but that's the case with any medication.

Like your husband, I suspect, my parents were also raised very traditionally, and were also very skeptical when I was first hospitalized and diagnosed. My mother told my husband I was a "selfish b****" who was just doing it for attention. There's still enough of a stigma attached to mental illnesses such that it's almost better to be an alcoholic (both of my parents were) than to have a mood disorder. They thought at the time that I should just "suck it up" and get over it. Well, we both know it doesn't work like that. Seven years later, one parent is now being treated for depression. (Turns out alcoholism is often a symptom of depression. Who knew? *smirk*) They're not so skeptical any more, and really try to be understanding. They don't "get" the bipolar, but they try.

If you think your husband would listen to the doctor respectfully and take his recommendations seriously, then I would definitely take him to an appointment. As you probably saw in Sukay's post yesterday, it is really helpful to have your spouse on your side. He needs to be there to help you recover, not hold you back with his criticism.
Serafena
Bipolar Forum Moderator

Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!


yogamom
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 9/26/2007 7:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you both. LFW, thanks for your kind words about my loss. I KNOW for sure that my girls are always with me and ache to see our grief. It's good to hear someone else say it though.

loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 9/26/2007 7:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Hang in there Yogamom, and take action about balancing out your treatment. It really is important to probably create a circle of doctors - the pdoc, an experienced therapist with BP, your husband, your physician...etc; All working TOGETHER with each other, for you. Create a positive and objective team for yourself. It is probably NOT good to isolate to just one person running the show if you get my drift. When you are ready, bring your husband in when he starts acknowledging the positive change, or just ask him to come and get educated with you. Spousal support is critical as they are your daily stable rod who can keep you focused and on track, and whistle blower when you go off track. That is why it is so important they be part of the team - so they understand what you are striving for and can knowledgably help and observe. Talk to your husbands about what his concerns are and try and address directly. Sometimes if someone who is "locked" in there position on things sees another take their concerns seriously and takes actions on them to find answers to the questions they bring up, they are more likely to be more willing to listen to that person back. Does that make sense to you? In the end, he may come around.

I know when learning about all this for me, it was HUGELY helpful when the doctor explained this is like diabetes, only instead of insulin being off, other brain chemicals are and the medication is what helps readjust it in the brain, the way insulin does for the diabetic. Once I got that, I was no longer afraid of this thing called BP. It helped me to both understand and calm down after my son was first dx, and then my husband. I just realize that the brain chemistry needs the right meds to do the job for them that their bodies aren’t for whatever reason (why is a diabetic a diabetic??? Same thing here). This is no different that someone who’s insulin isn’t working in their body. And I would never keep a diabetic away from their insulin…they need it or they could die. The same is true here – as a person who’s brain chemistry is off can not lead a balanced, consistent happy life without it, and yes it can be very risky because of the behavior or depression that arises. Be well and my good thoughts are with you. LFW
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