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Super Confused, do I have this or not?


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What kind of doctor did you see? You need to see a psychiatrist to get a proper diagnosis, If you haven't already. You just need to be honest about your symptoms, past and present, in order for your pdoc to know what's really going on with you. If your pdoc thinks you should try Lamictal, maybe you should give it a go. It's ultimately your decision, but if your symptoms are interfering with your life, which it sounds like they are, trying to find a med that will help you might make your life a little easier.

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If you've been having mood problems since you were thirteen, it doesn't really seem so likely that they're going to somehow resolve on their own. Lamictal is a med that can be great for either bipolar or depression. I don't see any reason why it wouldn't make sense for you to try it. Though CrazyCatLady is absolutely right that you really need to be working with a psychiatrist, rather than a GP.

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If you've been having mood problems since you were thirteen, it doesn't really seem so likely that they're going to somehow resolve on their own. Lamictal is a med that can be great for either bipolar or depression. I don't see any reason why it wouldn't make sense for you to try it. Though CrazyCatLady is absolutely right that you really need to be working with a psychiatrist, rather than a GP.

Ditto to what Sasha said.

I do have something I am kind of wondering about / want to clear up:

So, lately I've been in treatment for recurring depression that I've had since about 13 (I'm 20 now.)

[...]

And I had kind of a ridiculous reaction to Wellbutrin, the one and only antidepressant I've ever tried.

If you've had recurring depression for the last seven years, what kind of treatment were you receiving that you only ever tried ONE antidepressant ever?

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Thanks everyone for the replies. As for doctors, now a therapist and a psychiatrist...come to think of it I haven't been to a GP in a while. And Ophelia....nothing. I just kind of did the whole grin and bear it and don't kill yourself kind of thing until my hallmates intervened in my freshman year of college (I'm a junior now). It was never anything that was diagnosed, but I just figured that it wasn't normal to feel that way. It was also the kind of thing that tended to get better and worse on its own. After a while I realized I could just wait it out and I'd feel fine eventually - then worse again, but then fine again etc.

I guess what's scaring me is the fact that there is no clear test for anything like this you know? It's not like they can just test my urine and give me an answer and that freaks me out a little bit. What if this is the beginning of me being on drugs for life and it turns out that I don't really need them?

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I guess what's scaring me is the fact that there is no clear test for anything like this you know? It's not like they can just test my urine and give me an answer and that freaks me out a little bit. What if this is the beginning of me being on drugs for life and it turns out that I don't really need them?

Come on ! When your hall mates have to intervene you need something, that is for sure. In psychiatry they treat symptoms, not the disease itself. There is a lot of overlap in treatments, in that a treatment is not specific to an illness.

So they treat mood, mania, anxiety to name a few symptoms. Not depression or bipolar. It is true some diagnoses have meds that do or don't work, in most people. So finding the right med is hit or miss. You just have to try some meds in order to discover what works for you. You will know when you are better, the change is significant when the right meds kick in.

nf

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The concentration problems and not finishing projects is a sign of ADD. I have ADHD in addition to bipolar. I would try the Lamictal. What do you have to lose? The diagnosis is not so important as relieving your symptoms. Hang in there.

You do not have to be ADD to have concentration problems, or to not follow through on projects started. These symptoms can be caused by bipolar illness alone, while one is episodic.

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So y'all never felt painted into a corner when confronted with the idea of meds? For life anyway as my therapist put it?

No, Not remotely. The idea of endless crazy is SO much scarier to me than meds could ever possibly be.

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So y'all never felt painted into a corner when confronted with the idea of meds? For life anyway as my therapist put it?

I'll jump and not look back at any opportunity to get better and do better. The other option is to suffer. I think the choice is clear and you need to just get on with it.

nf

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If you don't get help from a qualified professional, chances are pretty good that you will continue on this shit life you live now. If a medication or two would make that better, wouldn't you jump at the chance? And so what if you have to take it your whole life, there are a lot of people out there who have to take medications (cholesterol, diabetes, organ recipients, etc.) their whole lives and we are just the same as they are.

In no means does acceptance come immediately. I denied my diagnosis when it first came up, and I was flaming crazy when I was diagnosed. But it gradually starts making sense, and so with it comes acceptance and ability to accept treatment options. This is true for no matter what flavor of mental cooties you have.

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Everything you're saying makes sense. I guess it's one of those things where either way I have to change my life right? I'll see where sleep management and general healthy living - no drugs, booze or caffeine - get me and if nothing changes....then I guess I have to try it. Or at least another antidepressant.

Thanks guys

- Z

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zoe,

I understand your hesitance, medication is a scary prospect. But it doesn't have to be forever. There may come a point where you reach a solid period of stability where you can reduce and even come off medication if that is appropriate and right for you. You could trial medication and see how it goes. I too have had recurrent depression since I was 13 and was unmedicated for many years. I've made far more progress on built a life worth living on medication than off it and putting a brave face on it.

By trying medication, you're not committing to it for life.

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So y'all never felt painted into a corner when confronted with the idea of meds? For life anyway as my therapist put it?

i was scared sh*tless by the idea of being on an antidepressant. but when i think about what it was like in the months preceeding that, i have no idea how i functioned.

now i'm on lamictal. we'll see where that takes me.

oh, and i was just diagnosed 2 months ago. as my pdoc said, it will be awhile that i will be on meds, like years, but it doesn't have to be for life.

trying meds is a scary thing. somedays i'm glad i did, though.

(edited so that it makes more sense)

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Of course, doing all of those things can only help, but there is no comparison to a good med cocktail. I won't kid myself into believing that someday I could be off meds. It could happen I guess, but if I counting on it and it never happens there is that element of disappointment... so I'll keep the expectations low. ;)

And lamictal is a good med, if it works for you. I've been on it for over a year and so far so good. Not really any side effects, the only time I have any brain fog is when I'm having an episode.

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So y'all never felt painted into a corner when confronted with the idea of meds? For life anyway as my therapist put it?

Bipolar is for life, whether you treat the symptoms or not. There isn't a cure, but meds can let you enjoy life. Without meds I would have been dead a long time ago.

Google 'bipolar kindling' and then reconsider your treatment plans. Bipolar is nothing to play around with. I wish I had gotten treatment when I was your age.

Lamictal has been a great drug for me. It takes a little while to work up to the correct dose, but well worth it in my opinion.

Sleep management and healthy living are important, but without meds all the sleep management and healthy living isn't going to help what ails you. You will feel so much better once you are stable, you won't believe it.

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I also am at a stage where I doubt that I have bipolar.

I have struggled tremendously in the past couple of years, but have been stable for so long, that I am considering a meds reduction.

Sometimes when I see my p-doc, he says... I wonder if you have bipolar. Then I freak, because he got me addicted to all these bloody medications, NOW he doubts that I HAVE bipolar? Then he jumps up and says "No No No,we are not changing your meds, stay on it, they keep you stable, no no no...".

I just feel disconnected to real life. It is all happening ... THERE.

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