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New Bipolar Thread! - Page 3

post #41 of 275
Sleepymama, something to think about.

Talking to Doctors


Quote:
so it looks like baby-makin' time is nearly upon us. Happy happy joy joy!!
Yeah Arwyn!
post #42 of 275
Thread Starter 
Arwyn>> Hooray for you and yours on getting soooo close!!!!! Heres for you to keep in your hearts for when the time is ripe!

I saw my med doc today and she wasnt so keen on upping my meds just yet. she is in team-work with the therapist and I also only had my levels done today so we are waiting for that. The therapist seems to really think I should increase and the med-doc says try and work through it without the meds. Im actuallly a bit surprised at that!!!

What do you ladies know of levels and all that?? I only understand they need to see what is actually in my blood so my levels arent too high. Is there anything else i should know?

~L
post #43 of 275
You're on Depakote, right?

First thing is, the only "appropriate levels" they have worked out are for treating seizures, not bipolar disorder. So even if your levels are "low," they may be just fine for you, y'know?

Secondly, there are risks to your liver of being on Depakote, which is another thing they (should be) check(ing). The lower a dose you can be stable on, the less likely it is to be a problem.

Thirdly, everyone reacts differently to the drugs, and as a result, every physician has a different philosophy about how to manage them. Some are more aggressive, pushing the dose up and up until you react strongly. Others are more subtle, and try to see how low a dose they can keep you on, assuming it still works some. It sounds like your doc is more in the second camp. I actually have a slight preference for the second camp, myself.

That said, how are you feeling? Are you doing a lot of self-work, and work with the therapist, or are you (like my dad and his diabetes drugs, AGH don't get me started) trusting the meds to do the work for you? If you're doing a lot of work, but it isn't, well, working (that is, you're not improving much in terms of stability), then maybe lean on your doc more. There's no reason you should be undertreated because of her philosophy.

If, on the other hand, you are making progress (and it's sometimes very hard to see that), then it may be best to stay on your current dose. After all (at least in my world-view), the drugs are there to help us be able to make the changes we need, not to change everything for us.

Personally, I'd be wondering why your therapist is advising you on medications at all. It's not really within their job description. A good therapist should be performing gentle mental judo, helping you to figure out what you feel you need, not pushing their opinions on you.

Hope some of this helps!
post #44 of 275
Arwyn when you said

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arwyn
If, on the other hand, you are making progress (and it's sometimes very hard to see that), then it may be best to stay on your current dose.
That really spoke to me. I remember going to therapy, listening to her
advice, and living life. All a sudden I looked around and I said to myself
"Huh, I haven't had a panic attack in.....WOW months". Now I was still
(and still do) got nervous, had small attacks, but I hadn't had a attack
in so long, and hadn't noticed it.
Sometimes progress is slow, and then you have this "Oh ah huh" moment,
every so often that gives you a push. We all experience growth different,
but the one thing that the same is if we keep looking, we are all growing.
Fast or slow.
post #45 of 275
Thanks, I think that will help. I have a call in to my regular doc and hopefully she can see me soon so I can bring some of this up. My therapist is on vacation for 6 weeks so she will be a bit surprised when she comes back and I say, hey guess what...? I tried my dangdest to find an osteopath, and one of the docs in my OB's practice is actually a D.O. but they won't let me see him (office policy=you see only your primary doc)

Arwyn, I hope you get pregnant likety split. Secondary (or primary, whatever) infertility SUCKS. And just increases the time off meds. And makes you MORE depressed. I'll stop now, don't want to jinx you!.

My therapist actually wants me to start on some old school tricyclics...but I am reading that they are even worse for mania...I think no. She also thinks ativan will help with my agitation and binge eating. Aaaaahhh! Too much stuff to think about!!
post #46 of 275
Sleepymama: I took Ativan for a while, 4 years ago, and whilst it didn't do much for me moodwise it also didn't promote any hypomania. It might be worth considering.....one of the benefits that older tricyclics have is that there is an awful lot of data on their effectiveness, and safe dosages. They're a bit more of a blunt instrument in terms of the way that they actually work, but ya never know!

I know a couple of you mamas here have mentioned obsessions: is anyone else here diagnosed OCD? (I am, unfortunately.)

Arwyn: great news about TTC! sending you tons and tons of

and of course, love and wishes for wellness to all....from me, just taking it all one day at a time.
post #47 of 275
Thread Starter 
Carmen> HI and WELCOME! I understand your uncomfortable feelings over this. I only recently went through- and sometimes still go through it yet- the acceptance and questioning phase where it just might not "seem" right to label yourself this way. Not sure if that's you but have read it's very normal to have a period of 'settling in' to the diagnosis. Personally, sometimes it feels good to finally have something of an answer to issues that have been there for so long and other times i just think im using it as an 'excuse' and yet other times i'm thinking "oh, no, I am just NORMAL" (yeah, right :LOL ).
Try to let go of the shame. understand the shame is only from long-standing stigmas around mental illnesses. Coming here may help with that.
My care includes: pshychiatrist for meds., Therapist for talking and they supposedly work together, the mood stabilizer and antideppresant.
I think it was great/good that he offered a referral to the womens clinic to help with medication choices. If i were you, I'd do my own research, knowing that many professionals arent up on or even in agreement with what is safe or safest while nursing.
~L
post #48 of 275
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arwyn

Secondly, there are risks to your liver of being on Depakote, which is another thing they (should be) check(ing). The lower a dose you can be stable on, the less likely it is to be a problem.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>
Yes, I am aware of the liver contraindications and wonder if there is a separate test to determine the health of liver. My accupuncturist says mine is weak. Maybe i should check back with her again.( Lauress quote)



That said, how are you feeling? Are you doing a lot of self-work, and work with the therapist, or are you (like my dad and his diabetes drugs, AGH don't get me started) trusting the meds to do the work for you? If you're doing a lot of work, but it isn't, well, working (that is, you're not improving much in terms of stability), then maybe lean on your doc more. There's no reason you should be undertreated because of her philosophy.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>
I am doing some work but would love to have a better therapist. I feel I am able to stay at this dose and still work on the issues as they come up.(Lauraess quote)



Personally, I'd be wondering why your therapist is advising you on medications at all. It's not really within their job description. A good therapist should be performing gentle mental judo, helping you to figure out what you feel you need, not pushing their opinions on you.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>
YeP, Im really trying to find it in myself to loose this guy.(Lauraess quote)


Hope some of this helps!
Yes Arwyn! You are sooo helpful! How'd you get so smart?!

~L
post #49 of 275
Thanks!

I dunno. It helps that my mom's a family doc, my dad and his dad are/were both BPII, my brother's been hospitalized twice for mania, and I've been living with this disease for nearly ten years and the diagnosis for the past five. At some point y'just get really good at talking about the elephant in the living room, out of self-defense if nothing else. 'Cause when y'talk about it, it shrinks, and I was tired of getting my feet stepped on and walking around in all that dung...

Ok, that was one metaphor I took way too far. :LOL

Really, though, I felt like it was this (becoming knowledgeable about the disease and easily able to talk about it), or I die. Either figuratively, by not being able to live a real life, or literally (I fall into the category of the disease that has the highest suicide rate), and neither really appeals to me (most of the time, anyway).
post #50 of 275
Hi Carmen!
post #51 of 275
Oh, and lauraess: There are blood tests that will reveal any allopathic signs of liver damage. You should be getting those 1) shortly after going on Depakote 2) after increasing your dose or adding on any other med 3) if you're showing any signs of liver damage (whoever's handling your meds should be watching for that), and 4) every year or two while you're on Depakote.

The chinese concept of "liver" is a little different from the allopathic definition of liver. I'm not sure whether what the organ of the liver does, in the allopathic viewpoint, is included in the chinese view of "liver." I think it is, but the "liver" also includes several other body functions that, allopathically, have little to do with that squishy organ.

However, acupuncture can be really awesome at helping with things like bipolar disorder and at helping the body cope with the poisons/medications we give it, so it's definitely worth pursuing if you can.
post #52 of 275
Thanks for the thread,

I will be reading for in site and support. At this time last year I was suffering so much and I am happy to say that I currently doing well like lauraess. However, always worried that things will get crazy again.
post #53 of 275
Letting go of that worry is one of the last, most difficult steps on the path toward wellness.

(What am I talking about? They're ALL difficult! :LOL)

And welcome, both to the thread and to MDC!
post #54 of 275
Bipolar runs in my family (I think both 1 and 2?). My sister was just recently diagnosed as being Bipolar 2 and is now on meds and is doing WONDERFUL, my mother is Bipolar as well but won't go for any help. I sometimes wonder if I also am....but how do I know?

I have no health insurance so I can't go for any help with this until I have graduated from college (one more year) so that sucks.
post #55 of 275
You could consider checking out student health services. They often have cheap/free therapy and med dr. access.

Also, if you really need help now, county services may be available (they're not generally known for being super great, but one of the best psychiatrist/therapists I know used to work for my County, so you might get lucky).

And, of course, there's us. Feel free to PM me (or probably any of us) if you need anything in particular.

Congrats on being so close to done with college!
post #56 of 275
the only time I was ever ok while not on medication was when I was having weekly acupuncture treatments. But the guy was exceptional and at the same time a prick. He wrote textbooks he was so talented and well accepted...but it all went to his head/ anyway I tried several other acunpuncturist and none did the same level of help. So tryto find the best.
post #57 of 275
I have been using behavior modification successfully for 6 months now. I don't want to go on meds but will. I try to keep close tabs on my emotional state by being very honest with a couple trusted friends and family members. Like other posts I have read, I will often ask if this "whatever" is normal. I understand that this approach may not work for everyone and I am not sure how long it will work for me. My counselor is reluctant to refer me to a psychiatrist for meds since I am currently not showing any clear symptoms.

Bipolar does run in my family. My mom was diagnosed last year after a suicide attempt, it was the push I needed to begin working on myself. I never want to go though one of my extreme cycles again.

Ps. Her attempt was on the 4th of July 2004, I think the anniversary of this event will be hard for me even though, she is doing better now.
post #58 of 275

Wow I not alone

I would love to respond to all of the post here, I identify with so much of what's been said. Like, the fear of passing it on to the kids, panic attacks, and finding balance. Thanks for sharing! Right now I am overwhelmed that there are people just like me.
post #59 of 275
Thread Starter 
[QUOTE=Arwyn]Oh, and lauraess: There are blood tests that will reveal any allopathic signs of liver damage. You should be getting those 1) shortly after going on Depakote 2) after increasing your dose or adding on any other med 3) if you're showing any signs of liver damage (whoever's handling your meds should be watching for that), and 4) every year or two while you're on Depakote.

The chinese concept of "liver" is a little different from the allopathic definition of liver. I'm not sure whether what the organ of the liver does, in the allopathic viewpoint, is included in the chinese view of "liver." I think it is, but the "liver" also includes several other body functions that, allopathically, have little to do with that squishy organ.

QUOTE]

So... I should make sure to get the correct tests for liver damage, not just levels, right? I know my pshych had said something about that months ago but dont think it was on the 'orders' when i went for the blood work.
ONCE Again Arwyn:

Celrae>> WELCOME! I think it is great that you can ask friends what is "normal" . I cant. Im too rebellious and stuck on doing things MY way a lot of the time-- which i kind of like :LOL -Although I should pay attention to some of my behaviors and ask for help a bit too.

Marilynmomma> also WELCOME to you! It really does run in families doesnt it???? ONe thing that comes up for me here is that since I've been diagnosed (whats that abbrev??)- I havent told my family. weird. guess i dont want to talk about it and explain it and deal with their feelings about it.

~g'nite~L
post #60 of 275
Ahhh. It feels good to finally sit down to the computer after running around all evening.

Diagnosis: dx. Or that's the abbreviation used in the med insurance world, back in the day when I was still a bureaucratic cog.

I just wanted to say that not only is it nice to find that I'm not the only one like this, but specifically, I really appreciate hearing from bipolar moms.

Bipolar-specific forums I've visited before are nice, but it's pretty heavy on either the male perspective or young adult/student perspective. Becoming a mother is such an enormous change, physically and personally. It means a lot to me to be able to compare notes and sympathize with you mamas.

Thanks!
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