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I'm Bipolar


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Although I didn't know it until yesterday, my pdoc has suspected bipolar for a couple years. I kept wondering why he's pushing these antipsychotics and mood stabilizers on me. Is he getting a commission for them? A few weeks ago I finally suspected bipolar and he confirmed it yesterday. At first I thought this was good because now maybe there is more clarity and reason for the ADs not working well. But the reality is really setting in, there is no cure for bipolar and my doctor was telling me how difficult it is to manage all these symptoms at once (depression, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, mood swings). I feel like I now have a life sentence.

I always reserve the right for God to heal me but until then it's just a long term juggling act. First step is raising the Risperdal and waiting a couple months to let cycles play out. Then maybe other changes after that. I'm in a down cycle right now so everything looks bleak. By Monday I'll probably be wondering what the problem was.  ;)

Just ranting. I know many of you have it worse.

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I always reserve the right for God to heal me but until then it's just a long term juggling act.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thanks for sharing. And I'm sorry you're in a down cycle.  I, too, have a relationship with God.  It's a wonderful thing to hope that he will heal you, don't get me wrong, but you have to take things as they come and one day at a time.  Indeed, the meds require you to juggle side effects with results.  It's so easy for me to say, "Hey! I feel great!" and then stop my meds.  But then the euphoric, yet manic, high wears off and you're back to where you started.  I've had problems since I was young and have only recently been on meds.  And I'm soooooo thankful for them and for my pdoc because I finally feel stable.  And for that, I very thankful to God.  THanks for "ranting."  This is the best place to do it!

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"I feel like I now have a life sentence. "

My hubby's life sentence has included bipolar, true....but it has also included his own business, a 19 year marriage, 2 sons, lots of friends, family who cares about him...so yeah..the bipolar can really suck, but it isn't the only factor in a person's life.

If you are a believer, you might want to believe that God made psychiatrists for a good reason. In case there is no miracle, trust in his creations. Your odds of successful treatment increase if you have good care and stick with it.

And please, rant any time. That is what this place is for. When you relate your experiences, people learn.

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Just ranting. I know many of you have it worse.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hi and welcome.  Bipolar is a spectrum disorder but really, no one can measure anyone's suffering.  Don't feel like you have to compete with anyone here.  Your comments are just as valid as anyone else's.

With the confirmation of a diagnosis, hopefully you can work toward a suitable treatment regimen and you will stabilize and start to feel better...hopefully soon.

Take care,

Karen

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Hi Lemonflavor,

Yes, I think most people have rather a shock upon recieving the BP diagnosis, and it can take a quite a long while to really accept without fighting it.

The flip side is that you now have a diagnosis definite meaning that your doctor can tailor medications that are known to work, and you no longer have to worry about the unknown.

As far as the symptoms you are no longer trying to treat each one individually.  The Pdocs talk about the Bipolar continuum, like a wave. The target is overall mood stability, smoothing things out.

I strongly encourage you to get a copy of The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide by Miklowitz. It is truly outstanding with practical suggestions.

Hang in there.

A.M.

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I just tried to reply to this and the damn internet went awol on me.

My pdoc told me today I'd be on medication for the rest of my life. I knew that already, but having it spoken out loud, confirmed? It was strange.

I think in a way getting diagnosed with something like bipolar, the process after is a little like a grieving process. I think it takes time to come to terms with what you've lost (ie your old life, any chance you had of your future life being exactly like your old life) and accept the future.

Or maybe I'm just babbling on about rubbish. Hope you feel better soon.

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I guess I'm kind of different in this regard. I don't know, maybe my different point of view might be useful. Maybe not. Just disregard if it isn't.

By the time I was finally dx'd with BP, I'd had about 45 years of misdiagnosis and mistreatment. And I already had several medical problems that require lifelong meds. Hypothyroidism, hypertension, etc., so I'd dealt with the issue of having to take meds forever before.

Given all this, I was basically grateful to finally have a dx that made sense and treatment that actually works. I know if I think about it, I can easily get into that dark place where I feel morose and "defective". On the other hand, if I'm at the right level of Lamictal, that doesn't happen.

Granted, I'm pretty new to this and, fortunately, Lamictal has been working well. And I know there are much more difficult forms of BP to treat, where it's always going to be a juggling act. I don't mean to diminish how scary this is.

Though of course I'd rather not have to deal with this, I'm relieved to finally know what the problem is.

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Heya lemonflavour,

I'm with both revlow and AM on this one, I think.

Bipolar *is* a crappy diagnosis.

But.

When I owned up to it, and someone *else* confirmed it, it made *so much* sense.

And my whole life made sense all at once.

I'm not big into boxes in DSM, and neither is my psychiatrist.

But.

The treatment I'm on helps, oh holy mackinaw, it helps.

--ncc--

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It's scary and can feel damning to get a new diagnosis. But sometimes knowing what the problem is can be the start to having a life instead of a life sentence.  You can get appropriate medication and it can at least damp down the problems...or even drive them into full remission.  The better they are under control, the more of a real life you can enjoy.

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