Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org

Why do people still have symptoms in spite of medication?


Recommended Posts

If there is I haven't found it yet.

 

The same question has occurred to me a lot, I've always been medication compliant, yet I am still heavily symptomatic. Maybe it's because I haven't found exactly the right medications yet??

 

Also, my personal opinion is that medication on it's own doesn't do all the work in MI's. There's also the therapy component too and they both work hand in hand to help you achieve the life goals you desire.

 

I wonder if it's also because life has it's natural ups and downs and external stressors that we can't predict???????

Link to comment
Share on other sites

edit: crap, soz...i didn't see the section before i posted...i don't have bipolar... apologies

 

for me:

stress can bring breakthrough symptoms

medications can crap out after awhile

sometimes for no identifiable reason at all

discontinuation and then trying to go back to the same medication

always results in it never being as effective as it once was

a history of discontinuation in general can reduce overall treatment responsiveness

it left me with refractory psychosis after years of doing it

and, finally, the longer you remain untreated or inadequately treated...the harder it is to entirely remove certain symptoms

and you can start to build your life habitually and framework wise on delusions that end up unlikely to ever be fully resolved

plus...the longer you're sick the fewer people and functional components of life you have to return to 

 

so, in short: stress, discontinuation, not everyone is medication responsive or fully so to begin with (severity and tolerance of meds play a role there...as do the nature of the symptoms themselves...some just aren't really well treated as they simply haven't figured out how to do it) and duration/extent to which i've decompensated contribute most to my having breakthrough symptoms.

 

i'm sorry you're struggling with them and hope you get relief soon.

Edited by mellifluous
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I personally (even though I haven't done it long yet) believe therapy will be a huge piece of the puzzle. I can be in what I percieve to be a hypo manic state (which could just be because I had a good day and I am happy, which is normal) and have someone burst my bubble and pop into a really bad mood (which I could perceieve as depression. 

 

Reality in the above situation is that is not my BP. I react so severely and my moods swing so hard because I am BP, however those are normal emotional changes due to external situations. Therapy helps address THOSE SITUATIONS. Medication helps the extremity of them as well as helps with swings that are not due to external situations. 

 

To be honest I am realizing as time goes on a lot of what I attributed to my illness is just me having thin skin. It is not BP mood changes rather my hyper sensitivty to how my day goes. 

 

Being BP I am still going to have good news which causes good days and bad news which causes bad days. Therapy teaches me how to deal with this stuff without letting it go to the extremes. Without therapy you can let these normal emotional swings go full blown and cause BP to actually "kick in" 

 

In other words - some of what we perceive as symptoms could be due to just normal life events. And beyond that, personally I have not found the combo to be 100% effective but my mood is more stable today than it was 3 days ago due to med changes. I doubt I will ever be symptom free, but learning to cope with them after proper medication will give me a life I can live - I hope at least :o)

 

Again, this is my limited guessing per what I am learning about myself lately.

Edited by lanry78
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its like playing a game of "Whack a Mole", one symptom emerges while another recedes.  I think this happens because: a) medications aren't perfect and its difficult to find just the right combination to bring about a complete lack of symptoms and b) our illness is always tossing new symptoms (or old ones) to the surface and those have to be dealt with via meds and therapy.  Coping skills have to be employed on a daily basis to keep symptoms in check.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Phoenix, I love the Whack-a-Mole analogy- so true.

 

Current medications are far from perfect. I'm sure there are plenty of people with bipolar who are on meds and DO live symptom-free lives for long stretches of time, and I know someone personally who does. But this is a very complex disorder, one science is only just beginning to understand more fully, and there are many variations to it, so medications are more of a stopgap than a permanent solution. For me, what I hope for from medication (and what I've mostly found) is to lessen the severity of episodes to a point where I can deal without my life falling apart. Mood swings still happen, breakthrough symptoms still happen, but they're nowhere near as intense and all-consuming as they were prior to being on the right meds.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We don't know what causes bipolar in terms of knowing the intricate brain chemistry that applies to all people with it. There is no blood test or scan for diagnosis, you will have been diagnosed by assessment and your own situation treated. Psych medicine is different because to some degree, we don't know what is happening for people, just what it looks like and what it responds to. It's true that physical medicine has this going, but we know more/there is more commonality with how most people get physically ill. We have tested ways of looking at what is happened and classifying it. It is totally unrealistic to view bipolar as you view heart disease or diabetes, you're NOT going to get a cure. There isn't one. As yet, bipolar is treated and managed with meds, but we have no magic bullet. 

 

Taking psych meds on the same basis you would aspirin or heart medication and expecting to predict the result and eradicate bipolar is one reason why so many people give up too soon on meds, or become disillusioned, because no one has explained to them that this is a brave new world. of treatment. Lithium, the oldest, most studied medication has only actually been in clinical use since the 1960s. Most new generations medications are only twenty or so years old, It's only in the last few decades that people feel able to admit and get medical help with bipolar that wasn't being institutionalized. Lithium only came into use because the Ancient Greeks noticed water containing it had mood balancing properties. It was trialled in the 1960s to sedate guinea pigs, it's only since then humans have used it as part of psych treatment. So we have only had to technology to learn about bipolar and treat it for a very short time.

 

Bipolar is a category that encompasses all kinds of illness manifestations:

Mania/hypomania/depression in varying degrees, mild cyclothymic instability, life long severe mood episodes etc.

People who have a few episodes, recover and are stable forever.

People who have bipolar that lessens for some years and then returns for no reason.

People who have bipolar with other illnesses (psychosis, personality disorders, addictions, anxiety, OCD)

People who are mostly manic or baseline.

People who are most depressed or baseline.

 

We know what tends to kick bipolar into action; genetics, stress, environmental things, substance misuse, age etc but those are the factors to kick it off not the actual brain activity. Until we know what the brain activity it, we won't be able to find a medication that eradicates the illness and cures people.

Edited by Titania
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bipolar is a category that encompasses all kinds of illness manifestations:

Mania/hypomania/depression in varying degrees, mild cyclothymic instability, life long severe mood episodes etc.

People who have a few episodes, recover and are stable forever.

People who have bipolar that lessens for some years and then returns for no reason.

People who have bipolar with other illnesses (psychosis, personality disorders, addictions, anxiety, OCD)

People who are mostly manic or baseline.

People who are most depressed or baseline

le.

. Very interesting explanation Edited by CookieN
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I personally (even though I haven't done it long yet) believe therapy will be a huge piece of the puzzle. I can be in what I percieve to be a hypo manic state (which could just be because I had a good day and I am happy, which is normal) and have someone burst my bubble and pop into a really bad mood (which I could perceieve as depression. 

 

Reality in the above situation is that is not my BP. I react so severely and my moods swing so hard because I am BP, however those are normal emotional changes due to external situations. Therapy helps address THOSE SITUATIONS. Medication helps the extremity of them as well as helps with swings that are not due to external situations. 

 

To be honest I am realizing as time goes on a lot of what I attributed to my illness is just me having thin skin. It is not BP mood changes rather my hyper sensitivty to how my day goes. 

 

Being BP I am still going to have good news which causes good days and bad news which causes bad days. Therapy teaches me how to deal with this stuff without letting it go to the extremes. Without therapy you can let these normal emotional swings go full blown and cause BP to actually "kick in" 

 

In other words - some of what we perceive as symptoms could be due to just normal life events. And beyond that, personally I have not found the combo to be 100% effective but my mood is more stable today than it was 3 days ago due to med changes. I doubt I will ever be symptom free, but learning to cope with them after proper medication will give me a life I can live - I hope at least :o)

 

Again, this is my limited guessing per what I am learning about myself lately.

. Lanry78, in my case it is totally the opposite, I tend to cope with external factors, but is always the internal , my bipolar and mood swings which dont ley me enjoy life.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

edit: crap, soz...i didn't see the section before i posted...i don't have bipolar... apologies

 

for me:

stress can bring breakthrough symptoms

medications can crap out after awhile

sometimes for no identifiable reason at all

discontinuation and then trying to go back to the same medication

always results in it never being as effective as it once was

a history of discontinuation in general can reduce overall treatment responsiveness

it left me with refractory psychosis after years of doing it

and, finally, the longer you remain untreated or inadequately treated...the harder it is to entirely remove certain symptoms

and you can start to build your life habitually and framework wise on delusions that end up unlikely to ever be fully resolved

plus...the longer you're sick the fewer people and functional components of life you have to return to 

 

so, in short: stress, discontinuation, not everyone is medication responsive or fully so to begin with (severity and tolerance of meds play a role there...as do the nature of the symptoms themselves...some just aren't really well treated as they simply haven't figured out how to do it) and duration/extent to which i've decompensated contribute most to my having breakthrough symptoms.

 

i'm sorry you're struggling with them and hope you get relief soon.

. Do not apologíze what you wrote still applies perfectly to bipolar and meds
Link to comment
Share on other sites

. Lanry78, in my case it is totally the opposite, I tend to cope with external factors, but is always the internal , my bipolar and mood swings which dont ley me enjoy life.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

I understand, believe me I truly do. I say this as I am in one of my rare "pretty stable" phases. Which are, well .. RARE lol

 

I do not think therapy is nearly as important as medication. For me it is a very important part though as it could reduce my minor symptoms. My minor symptoms are what turn into major symptoms. Again, I am only able to say this as I am fairly stable at the moment. 

 

The reason I am fairly stable is recent medication adjustments. No other outside influences therapy would of helped with. Sounds to me like there are more medication issues that need to be taken care of before you can worry about what sets off the episodes. 

 

The truth, on top of that, is we will still have episodes ... always (most of us!) no matter how well educated we are. There is no easy answer here. But to answer your question, the reason we still have symptoms is because there is no perfect medication for BP - and in my lifetime I don't expect there to be. Meaning even in our best medicated state .. we are still prone to episodes outside of anything therapy can effect. Harsh truth, but it is a reality.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is just me, but I try to keep in mind how much of my mood I can positively influence and control.

I REALLY recommend Wellness Recovery Action Planning. It has kept me out of hospital and crisis since 2010. It is a system developed by Mary Copeland to teach people that mental illness often has stages from early signs to a crisis. She developed a paper plan for individuals to fill out (with their pdocs if need be) to identify:

What am I like when I am well?

What helps me stay well?

What are the early warning signs I am becoming unwell?

What triggers an episode and what can I do about that?

What are the more serious signs of an episode?

What does a crisis look like, and what do I want to do to treat it?

It includes info for caters on your wishes, a crisis directive, a plan for dealing with the after effects of crisis, numbers for people you can ask for support. The idea is when you notice things slip, you already have a written plan that can guide you through it. Because you wrote it, it is relevant to you. And by writing it, you learn to identify your own illness.

If you Google free wellness recovery action plan pdf, you can download and print one to start. It is the single best thing I ever did for my bipolar.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think there is. Also, a lot of the symptoms are just stronger versions of feelings that everybody experiences. Anxiety (to some extent) is a normal reaction to stress, changes in mood are normal for everyone (again to some extent), even some amount of hallucinations (being scared in the night for a second because that wind howling sounded like someone trying to brake in or whatever) are normal for people. Of course, in the mentally ill, all of these normal human reactions are somewhat out of control and too strong. Medications can help deal with the symptoms, lower the anxiety, stabilize the mood, lower the ability to hallucinate, but if the meds work 'too well', they take away things that make us human, they can zombify. And meds that treat some symptoms make others worse (treating depression can cause mania, treating psychosis can cause numbing and worsen depression and so on).

 

There might be some magical way to get just the right balance and be absolutely symptom free, but I highly doubt there is, at least not for everyone. And to be quite honest, I'd rather be slightly under-medicated and find ways to deal with my BP (sports, eating, therapy.....) than have all my symptoms and my humanity wiped out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is just me, but I try to keep in mind how much of my mood I can positively influence and control.

I REALLY recommend Wellness Recovery Action Planning. It has kept me out of hospital and crisis since 2010. It is a system developed by Mary Copeland to teach people that mental illness often has stages from early signs to a crisis. She developed a paper plan for individuals to fill out (with their pdocs if need be) to identify:

What am I like when I am well?

What helps me stay well?

What are the early warning signs I am becoming unwell?

What triggers an episode and what can I do about that?

What are the more serious signs of an episode?

What does a crisis look like, and what do I want to do to treat it?

It includes info for caters on your wishes, a crisis directive, a plan for dealing with the after effects of crisis, numbers for people you can ask for support. The idea is when you notice things slip, you already have a written plan that can guide you through it. Because you wrote it, it is relevant to you. And by writing it, you learn to identify your own illness.

If you Google free wellness recovery action plan pdf, you can download and print one to start. It is the single best thing I ever did for my bipolar..

 

 

I agree - I am going through a group WRAP which also introduced me to NAMI. Well worth developing a WRAP plan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...