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New DX: BP II Depressed Phase


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;) Just got diagnosed as bipolar. I'm not going to go through my symptoms. I'm on seroquel 300mg at night, Klonopin 0.5mg twice a day and Remeron 30mg at night. I'm kinda freaking out. I've never gone to a pdoc before or taken meds with the exception of ativan 1mg as needed for anxiety. My husband thinks I should not take the meds or go to a pdoc. He said that I haven't been the same since I was hospitalized and been on these meds. I've been taking the meds for 8 days now. I can tell a difference - less racing thoughts, less obsessive thinking. Still feel depressed and cry easily, also, irritable at times. I guess I'm scared of going to see a pdoc and being on meds for the rest of my life. I kinda think they make me feel a little better but then again I have a hard time waking up in the morning, hard time driving (dizzy at times) and at times low energy. Help!! need advice. Keep taking the meds or stop? Make an appt with a pdoc or not? Or has anyone struggled with suddenly being dx as BP? Never went to a pdoc and I'm 39. sigh :)
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Hmm. A few different issues here. Lessee...

I look at your meds. ALL of these can cause drowsiness to one degree or another. Seroquel? Hell, I used to take that for sleep--the one time I took 300 mg at once, I thought I was dying! Meds can always be changed, there are less sedating meds and meds that are typically used more..."appropriately" is the word I will used, though I am biased.

Leading to...should you call a pdoc? Well with meds like that, I would have thought you were already seeing one! Absolutely, make an appointment, it's the only way you can get the targeted treatment such a condition needs. I bet you'd get your meds changed and your alertness etc. would improve.

And of course, you haven't been the "same". Isn't that the whole point of treatment? I changed. I went from a guy whose mother and fiancee both thought they'd get a beatdown at the drop of a hat to, y'know, a normal type of guy. My drinking dropped by 80%. Etc. etc..

It sounds like you've got a decent start. Some meds, some effectiveness. A diagnosis. Move up a level, to a mental health professional, and take control of tis. You can do it, and once you do, you'll realize the stark difference between life *now* and life *then*.

Good luck, keep us informed!

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Yes and yes. Take the meds, call the pdoc if you need to. When is your next scheduled appointment?

Having just gotten out of the hospital, I would expect you to be seeing the pdoc weekly for at least a couple weeks, then every other week for a bit.

I wasn't dx with bipolar (or any MI) till I was 43, so yes it happens. And dear, I'm sorry but med changes just aren't the most fun things we do. The first week is ususally the worst, maybe two, then things improve after a month, and hopefully you are getting some real results by around 3 months. Those are just my personal rules of thumb.

Pills for the rest of your life? Standing appointments with pdocs? Yes, those are going to be part of your life from now on. And, yes your life has changed. If you are willing and work with your pdoc and therapist, it will change for the better. It's all going to take time.

For info on BPII, check out Dr. Phelps website: www.psycheducation.org

Also, go beg borrow or buy Miklowitz's Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide It's available thru the CrazyBoards bookstore. Probably the single best book on bipolar disorder for both patients and families.

It's late, welcome, let us know how you are doing.

a.m.

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Help!! need advice. Keep taking the meds or stop? Make an appt with a pdoc or not? Or has anyone struggled with suddenly being dx as BP? Never went to a pdoc and I'm 39. sigh :)

Well just a disclaimer: I'm not bipolar, and I'm 20--BUT I do have a few years more experience with meds and pdocs than you have so far so I thought I'd contribute my 2cents just in case you find any of it useful ;) First of all, I might have misread, but it sounds like you don't have a regular pdoc yet? That is the very first thing you should do for yourself. Having someone who knows bipolar's ins and outs well and is familiar with the medications and their combinations know you and listens to how they are affecting you is a great resource and asset to have on your side. I know that this is all very new to you and having a pdoc might make it seem more 'real' or like a bigger deal, but really, when you're dealing with your health, wouldn't you go to a specialist? If you had a specific heart disease or even an issue with your vision-- you'd go to a cardiologist, you'd go to an optomologist, you wouldn't just schlep yourself to your general practitioner and hope that they happen to read up on heart or eye health.

Although changing meds around is a pain in the butt, and takes some time and a good deal of patience, when you find the right combination or one medication (which will be a LOT easier with a pdoc) then the difference will amaze you. really. It will probably be a gradual thing rather than waking up one day and going "OH! I'm all better now!" but eventually you'll notice a change, and then another, and it will be natural to be able to feel good. I've been dealing with depression for quite a while now and I remember SO clearly one specific day: it was the summer, I got up at about 9am, took a shower and got dressed and then went on a walk with my dogs. When I got back to the house and sat down on the porch in the sun with the doggies, it hit me: did I just DO that? I got up and out of bed and took a shower and didn't even blink? waking up was natural? taking in care of myself wasn't torture? you mean I got dressed and went outside of my own free will? wait! you mean that was ME that was smiling and calling the dogs outside? that was ME?? It had been so long since I'd felt that way, almost normal- liking me, liking being awake. I'd been doing things like this more and more but it didn't really *hit* me until that day for some reason. Anyway, enough babbling about me, I just want you to know that as scary as all of this is- having an official doctor, swallowing pills and dealing with side-effects-- it really can be worth it and I hope you find a doctor that you can work with and who can help you.

I'll stop jabbering on and on, but please just make an appointment (and stay on the medications until then.) and feel it out. Let us know how you're doing. luck,

meg

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Thanks to everyone who replied. No I don't have a pdoc. I went to my regular doctor to get an antidepressant (cymbalta) before my appt with a pdoc. I found that trying to get an immediate appt with a pdoc is impossible so I went to my reg. doc. Anyway, the cymbalta made me extremely suicidal, so I stopped it with the help of ativan. Hmmm

Can't remember dates but weds 16th, took bunch of pills. So, the current meds were prescribed by a pdoc while I was hospitalized. Now, I have to find one who is closer to me. The hospital is in Warner Robins, I live in Forsyth (40 mins away). My plan: make appt with pdoc b4 meds run out, continue to take meds. As I am getting less groggy every morning.

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Ok Cinnpop.

Glad to hear that you are less groggy, so you see things improving. Yes it can take weeks for the initial pdoc appointment. In the mean time, your family doc should be able and wililng to give you refills. Whatever you do, don't go cold turkey on the meds. Not only will you feel lousy, but it can cause a rebound of your MI symptoms, worse than before.

Hang in there. Oh, did I mention: buy The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide! It's only about $15.

best, a.m.

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Hi Cinnpop,

I'm in a similar position, having just been diagnosed as BP (also, interestingly, after a fun experience triggered by Cymbalta) at age 44. I'm waiting for my first pdoc appt on June 4. I've been in therapy for a few years, dealing mostly with family crap (surprise!), and was on meds for depression for a while. But never anything as "official" or "scary" as this dx and having to see a pdoc.

So what I'm saying is I feel ya. At the same time, the BP dx seems to "fit", in my case, and people who've know me a while seem to (kinda sorta) agree. Which is different from your husband encouraging you to reject the dx and the treatment.

I agree with all the responses so far. This isn't something to screw around with. At least get started with treatment and see if it doesn't help you feel better (after a fair try). You can always opt out in the future, if you feel it isn't what you need, but remember these illnesses are tricky - often just when you think you're fine, and were never really sick to begin with, is when your treatment is working and you're at risk of a big relapse if you stop it.

Please know we're all pulling for you. Let us know how it goes.

And btw, A.M. - I plan to go buy the Bipolar Survival Guide at the CrazyBoards bookstore as soon as I can scrape together the $15, lol.

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btw - i plan to buy the Bipolar Survival Guide as soon as I can scrape together $15. hehe As far as my husband, he has a hard time dealing with mental issues. I believe it stems from his childhood relationship with his parents. He did agree to go to therapy with me.

After much reading, I decided that BP d/o does fit, I'm more hypomanic and depressed than hypermanic. My mum agrees also. She said she remembers me being easily irritated, up all night, getting by with little sleep and some others.

Still not too excited about being diagnosed but maybe being normal won't be so bad. Kinda got used to myself. I don't like the anxiety issues I have. Some are pretty silly like: takes me at least 15mins pondering whether or not I should call my friend--something like this: should I call, I might be bothering them, they won't mind, but then they might mind, should I call. Then I might dial a couple of the numbers, hang up then have a go at it. Kinda silly but thats my silly butt. ;)

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A diagnosis can be scary. Remember, however that it is a starting point for appropriate treatment.

Me, I was happy to get dx'ed properly. See,in my early 20s, I was treated for depression. That lasted a couple months; I felt like a zombie in a pink fog. (maybe I shouldn't have drank so much? yeah, like THAT was gonna happen) A few years later, I was having trouble at home. My girlfriend wanted me to get help. Finally, I agreed. I had seen the checklists, and I matched SO many indicators. I said to the pnurse I had been referred to "I think I'm bp". He treated me for sepression--again. Without ever asking about any symptoms. Two years later--things, um...broke. Y'know, jail, suicide attempt, fiancee ending up 3000 miles away. Yeah. So I started seeing a tdoc, who agreed I was definately bp, got on meds, found a pdoc...and here I am, functional and stable, if not entirely happy.

It's tough. I know. BUT I also know that it's a hell of a lot tougher if you're not getting treated. God for you getting treated, excellent for your husband taking steps towards being an active part of your therapy. Family and relations--all are SO very important to your health. I'm quite glad that those around me understand and participate in my journey to stability.

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Maybe you can call the hospital you were admitted to & they could refer you to a local pdoc. Sometimes it's difficult to get an appointment right away on your own. I've been BP since my teens but only got dxed when I was 28.

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