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Therapist said that to me yesterday, and she used to work at a mental hospital w/ my pdoc so you think she'd know... what's your experience? I haven't really paid too much attention but there have been a few instances where that was correct.

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I don't have that much experience, but I expect someone who does will come along soon enough.

As for me, I consider the following questions:

1. Am I feeling any better on the meds? If so, how much? (How drastic is the difference?)

2. Are there any side effects, and have they gone away/lessened?

3. Have there been any changes for the worse?

4. Do I have any other syptoms that aren't currently being treated?

Also discuss with your pdoc whether you're going to change your dosages, change meds altogether, or just add another med.

Hope that helps.

N

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Yeah, I would still call the doc... I don't need one right now. :) I was really just curious if this was true. Mine seem to be seasonal, change related, illness but other times I never did figure out what happened.

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It depends. I'm always under stress - school stress, family stress, all that stuff - but sometimes I have an episode and sometimes I don't. There have been times when a big situational trigger has knocked me over the edge, but in most instances, it seems to be independent of life stuff. I have a certain time of the year that my brain doesn't like though. brooding.gif

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The thing that makes my bipolar such a thrilling ride is that episodes come and go at random. I avoid the obvious things that I know will make me feel like crap, like having more than one drink or screwing with my sleeping schedule, but those are short-term stresses that usually only mess me up for a few days, maybe a week if I'm really unlucky. The big shit, the stuff that's going to wreck my year, comes out of nowhere.

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My mood changes are sometimes but not always related to stress. Sometimes It is seasonal. Other times bad impulsive decisions on my part like WHAM stopping my Neurontin without Pdoc consult or inhaling a steroid allergy medicine. Or the time I picked up a bottle of supplement stuff with Tyrosine and it tossed me into a manic episode. As my husband says I have a delicate alchemy. I am very cautious now about what I ingest or sniff. Two days of prednisone and then weeks to repair the damage.....:wacko:

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Some have been random, and some have been stress related. But oftentimes I didn't realize it was stress related until looking back on it. It was a 'good' stress, if you know what I mean. By good stress, I mean I was working a lot of hours on an important project I was excited about, and completely neglecting myself. Or I moved around the world to a completely unknown place for a new job, or something else like that.

When I'm having stress like that I tend not to pay as much attention to my mood as I should, and depression is so damn insidious that I'm sliding down the slope before I realize I was anywhere near the edge, much less slipping over.

The good news (I guess) is that I've had enough depressive episodes by now that I'm hypervigilant.

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It's interesting to me how many people with BP seem to have some sort of seasonal cycling. I wonder if that is the same with MDD, or if it's more of a BP thing.

Seasonal affective disorder can occur in recurrent depression alongside the various bipolar flavors. The DSM IV-TR actually discusses seasonal affective disorder in the context of recurrent depressions with recurrent sun induced manias as a side note.

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It's 50/50 for me on whether my episodes are random or triggered by stress. For some reason, I notice the random episodes last longer and are more treatment resistant than stress-induced ones.

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I don't think my mood cycling has anything to do with seasons - it happens every 2 or so months,( going manic or mixed) then with depression or normal in between, no matter what the weather is.

The seasonal swings aren't about weather, they are about the changes in the lengths of days. A lot of BP people have screwed up circadian rhythm, and when the duration of daylight changes, it affects their moods.

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