First of all you can't "halt" a crash. When you try to do that, the patient remains manic or hypomanic and they never stabilize. Crashing is a fact of BP. If you are not willing to pay the temporary price, you will never get well, it is as simple as that.
I was afraid I would piss somebody off here - truly that is NOT my intension. People who "struggle" to get well are usually guilty of blindly following whatever the doctor says and just tolerating whatever meds they are given. I am not saying that's what either of you are doing - but it sure doesn't help when you are being treated by a doc who doesn't understand the complexities and different levels of illness BPs face. They are NOT up on the latest meds, treatments and discoveries, because it is not their job to study psychiatry. They are totally overworked and have little time to read up on their own area of medicine - that goes for all docs. No, not all pdocs are perfect, but there is a way better percentage of people who get better, and much quicker because they see someone who is thoroughly trained and specialized in this field. Did you know that regular doctors outside of psychiatrists spend almost no time on this area in medical school? They are only introduced to serious illnesses like BP and schitzophrenia and then only touch upon the main characteristics and more traditional treatment, whatever has been popular at the time they were in school, like lithium and haldol. Sure, they try new ones that they hear of, but that doesn't mean it jis appropriate for that particular patient. It is also up to the patient to be constantly communicating with the doctor. They usually end up referring you to a pdoc anyway if they have much trouble.
The reason I am so passionate on this subject is becuase I have seen it time and time again!!!!!! 7 years in psych, you see a lot! Why keep f******* around while they guess? He doesn't even have you, Ellie, on a mood stabilizer. Duh, that is about the ONLY required med for BP. There are many to try, not just depakote and lithium. tegretol, trileptal, Lamictal, combination lamictal/other stabilizer for antidepressant effect, Topomax, Neurontin, Gabitril, the list of combinations is endless. It is also NOT wise to put a BP with mania as severe as yours on an SSRI, ESPECIALLY without a stabilizer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO pdoc would do this!!!! It is a catastrophe in the making. If it doesn't happen, I would be shocked. And no, it may not happen right away. A wise doc would take a wait and see approach at best with the 37.5mg dose. Not plan to double it in a week! It won't even be at full capacity at 37.5 for at least 2-3 weeks.
He has already proven he doesn't know how to treat your particular form, or even basic BP. You don't just throw SSRIs at BP depression, it isn't the same as other people's depression! He didn't even try Lamictal, which works for almost every BP. He doesn't know that, because it doesn't work on regular depression, which he sees every day. He doesn't know that it will probably take a combination of welbutrin with it, to control any manic symtoms the welbutrin may cause, but it isn't nearly as bad as SSRI, and well controlled with lamictal, since it is already an anticonvulsant (stabilizer).
I know that some people do OK on SSRI, type IIs but they still have to have a stabilizer. Type I is a different story. Does he even know what type you are? GPs really aren't taught how to tell the difference, and they quickly forget out of school since they rarely see it and usually never treat it.
Getting stable takes work and time for every BP, but it's much quicker and easier with a pdoc.
I hope no one is pissed; I only want to see people succeed, after all that's why I chose to be psych nurse. The other 3 years I spent in Internal Medicine, which sees everything, including depression almost every day, and bipolar on occasion. Internists are specialists at treating and diagnosing more serious illnesses of every kind, except psychiatric ones. GPs are considered the starting point of any illness. If it's not an obvious diagnosis, they send to an internist to find out. Then, depending upon the severity or complexity, the internist MAY refer to a specialist; otherwise they treat, still they refer serious mental illnesses.
I am not slamming GPs or internists at all - some are more up on the latest conditions, but not psychiatry - it's not what they do.
I'm sure my little "lecture" probably won't change your mind, but you need to know why I harp about this. I am telling you as an insider, you are getting free advice from a medical professional. At least try a pdoc. Really talk to them about your hopes and fears - they will understand every word you say, it's their job and they know BP all too well. Find one you like, you may even like the first one you get. Perhaps you will be more comfortable with a female, they are oftentimes more sensitive to your feelings. A younger one of either gender is also good, as they have learned the more recent findings and treatments in school and aren't burnt out yet,hehe. Call around before you decide. You are very lucky you have insurance, and thus a choice. Take advantage of what is available to you.
If you had a rickety automobile you couldn't really drive, would you refuse to buy a new car if you had the money?
Again, I want to say, I just want to see people succeed, like I have - it's wonderful but you don't know it yet.
I hope you're not mad at me.