Bipolar II- I want to try Zoloft..... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 27 Old 11-17-2008, 10:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was dx'd last year as bipolar II. I have always had problems with depression and I suppose I may get hypomanic from time to time but thats not an issue- just the depression. I didnt take the script they gave me for Lamictal because I was BFing and just didn't feel comfortable with it. Instead, I started taking high dose of omega 3's and other vitamins- I modified my diet in every way possible and started working out frequently. I quit eating chocolate, payed attention to my sleep cycle and tried to avoid stress. And all of this seemed to help for awhile. BUT now I am depressed and I just cant handle this anymore. I am sick of feeling this way and I am ready to try meds. (I've been dealing with depression since I was 15 and I have never taken meds).

Problem is we do not have insurance anymore so Lamictal is absolutely out of the question.....its just too expensive.

To be honest I kind of doubt the dx of bipolar and I am just wondering if a regular anti-d would help. Not to mention I can get Zoloft rather cheap.

I just don't know what to do. I need help mamas. I just cant be the mother I want to be when I'm feeling this way.

any ideas/advice?
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#2 of 27 Old 11-18-2008, 01:22 AM
 
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I totally hear you in fact I could have written your post.

I have gone back and forth with Bipolar II myself (no pun intended).

I never really bought it either. I've tried again and again and again to treat myself holistically, with omega's diet, amino acids, St. John's Wort inositol. I have gone on and off meds when those things fail...on when I am feeling very bad and off when I feel better and so on.

I just went off of Lamictal because of the side effects. They are too severe. I have an appointment tomorrow to discuss it though. I also take Welbutrin.

I hate taking drugs of any kind. It goes against my ideals, but as a mother, I just don't have the luxury of not coping while I figure it out. And history shows that I haven't been able to do that anyway.

I still advocate holistic, natural treatments and methods wholeheartedly and I think that if I were dealing with something less multifacted than Bipolar, it could be perfect.

Its hard to accept a label. Especially when one loathes labels in general, much less one with such stigmas attached. But if the shoe fits (and you aren't functioning!) it may be time to come to terms with it.

I think Bipolar II has its own special difficulty specifically because its not as pronounced, not as severe. Its easier to mask it, call it something else...many other things in fact!
Its taken me years to be able to admit it. I still haven't fully come to terms with it. Its a long process, one which the illness itself makes more difficult.

There are people in my immediate family who don't even know. I'm actually not thrilled discussing it on the internet either but your post just grabbed me so hard because its so much my own story.

I had to do some serious introspection and actually try and see my life from an outside perspective as well. My whole life, my past, habits, relationships, tendencies, everything.

Zoloft may not help if you are Bipolar because it is an SSRI and only treating that can actually worsen your symptoms. I've been on and off of that several times. I took it because I was breastfeeding and it always helped at first but it all kind of came creeping back pretty quickly.

PM me any time. You're not alone


ETA sorry to write a book in your thread.
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#3 of 27 Old 11-18-2008, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much Mother Wren.
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#4 of 27 Old 11-19-2008, 12:41 PM
 
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You're welcome.
Sorry to write a book on your thread
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#5 of 27 Old 11-19-2008, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MotherWren View Post
You're welcome.
Sorry to write a book on your thread
oh no....your comment really comforted me.


I just don't know what to do. I cannot afford the Lamictal and I already have the Zoloft. I just know I need SOMETHING. The natural txs are just not working anymore. The past few months have been fine. I have felt wonderful, been proud of myself as a mother- planning to homeschool, planning playdates- just feeling good in general. and now I'm back in that sinking pit of depression.

and I'm tired. I'm tired of going through this. I just want to lead a normal life. I want to like myself, enjoy my children.... maybe knit a hat or two.

I am leery of taking the Zoloft but I just keep thinking 'what if I'm not bipolar and all I need is a little anti-d?"

I've never tired any mental health med- I've always been too afraid.

anyways thanks for listening.
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#6 of 27 Old 11-19-2008, 06:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by organicmama328 View Post
oh no....your comment really comforted me.


I just don't know what to do. I cannot afford the Lamictal and I already have the Zoloft. I just know I need SOMETHING. The natural txs are just not working anymore. The past few months have been fine. I have felt wonderful, been proud of myself as a mother- planning to homeschool, planning playdates- just feeling good in general. and now I'm back in that sinking pit of depression.

and I'm tired. I'm tired of going through this. I just want to lead a normal life. I want to like myself, enjoy my children.... maybe knit a hat or two.

I am leery of taking the Zoloft but I just keep thinking 'what if I'm not bipolar and all I need is a little anti-d?"

I've never tired any mental health med- I've always been too afraid.

anyways thanks for listening.
Again your post is so familiar. That's how it always is with me too. That's kind what I meant about BP II being particularly tough because our manic states can seem like other people's normal. The thing to watch for is the cycling. Is this a pattern? I get hyperfocused on topics or causes and I talk quite a bit. I also either have a high sense of well being or I am extremely agitated and irritable. Then depression comes back.
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#7 of 27 Old 12-06-2008, 11:14 PM
 
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i must be bipolar II then too...although my moods can rapidly cycle thruout the DAY. it is not like i'm up for 2 days or 2 weeks...i'm up for maybe (if i'm lucky to feel up) an hour or so...but usually i'm either on the fence or down...easier to go down then up. i could relate to this, motherwren, my fellow lisbeth!

as for zoloft, i've been given this too and i think its made me worse. or at least it isn't helping. not even w/ the depression side of it all...lexapro was the same as the zoloft. and i don't like how i get apathetic/dissasociative. i need more. i so don't want to wean. i'm so scared not to. but...i want to take a mood stabilizer AND nurse my son. oh but i don't wnat to hurt him w/ these meds...am i selfish to not give up nursing??? ugh. anyway i wanted to add that zoloft in itself is not known to be effective for cycling like you mentioned, poster.

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Originally Posted by MotherWren View Post
Again your post is so familiar. That's how it always is with me too. That's kind what I meant about BP II being particularly tough because our manic states can seem like other people's normal. The thing to watch for is the cycling. Is this a pattern? I get hyperfocused on topics or causes and I talk quite a bit. I also either have a high sense of well being or I am extremely agitated and irritable. Then depression comes back.
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#8 of 27 Old 12-07-2008, 12:00 AM
 
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something else we have in common.
I don't think you have to wean. Have you checked Hales?
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#9 of 27 Old 12-07-2008, 12:34 AM
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You may want to try taking Vit. D:

http://stanford.wellsphere.com/chron...n-women/505433

Also perhaps get your thyroid checked.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#10 of 27 Old 12-07-2008, 12:19 PM
 
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yes...but is his research to be trusted...i mean, why aren't dr's referring to his research, then??? what's up w/ that???

my friend, what meds do u take now and are they helping? i can't remember which ones you take.

:

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something else we have in common.
I don't think you have to wean. Have you checked Hales?
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#11 of 27 Old 12-08-2008, 01:22 AM
 
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For BP2, if u do just antidpressants u will still crash. U need a mood stabilizer to stay even. My family member takes Wellbutrin, Zoloft, and has just recently switched to Abilify from Lamictal. Right now is a tough time because the Lamictal has petered out and the Abilify is not strong enough yet, so they are pretty down right now. The anti depressants did not keep them up alone. U may find that Zoloft alone will not help and as pp has said may make it worse.
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#12 of 27 Old 12-08-2008, 01:17 PM
 
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yes...but is his research to be trusted...i mean, why aren't dr's referring to his research, then??? what's up w/ that???

my friend, what meds do u take now and are they helping? i can't remember which ones you take.

:
I don't know why Dr.'s don't quote Hale. I just assume its one more thing that Dr.'s don't know. It doesn't make sense that they just take the cover your rear end route instead of taking time to delve into the research but its no surprise really. Its certainly not the only area where they do that.

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Originally Posted by taterbug1999 View Post
For BP2, if u do just antidpressants u will still crash. U need a mood stabilizer to stay even. My family member takes Wellbutrin, Zoloft, and has just recently switched to Abilify from Lamictal. Right now is a tough time because the Lamictal has petered out and the Abilify is not strong enough yet, so they are pretty down right now. The anti depressants did not keep them up alone. U may find that Zoloft alone will not help and as pp has said may make it worse.
: and the rest of what you said is me exactly! Although I am not down, just having horrible anxiety (probably caused by the welbutrin) and I no longer take Zoloft.
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#13 of 27 Old 12-08-2008, 03:36 PM
 
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Organicmama, I just wanted to share my experience with Zoloft. All I took was one pill and I had a manic episode so severe it took my breath away. It was astonishing. And I'm not bi-polar!

I know that the supplement route can be very confusing and sometimes simply doesn't work. But there are other even more gentle therapies that are much more effective than supplements. Energy balancing treatments like acupuncture, reflexology, homeopathy, Bach flowers, and many others are very effective with mood disorders. In fact, mood disorders are some of the easiest things to treat with these types of therapies. I know because they work for me and I've struggled with anxiety and depression my whole adult life.

If you can't afford to go to a practitioner of one of these things, the best one to start with is the Bach flowers as they are pretty easy to learn to use. And you can also teach yourself some of the principles of reflexology as well.

Also, it's winter where I am and I know so many of us get worse in the winter. A&A might be right, you should try checking your vitamin D status. I always take cod liver oil in the winter and it never fails to keep me out of serious depression.
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#14 of 27 Old 12-08-2008, 08:27 PM
 
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I am major advocate for natural treatments. In fact I recommend them quite a bit. I think that if I only had anxiety and/or depression that it would be a breeze for me to treat, with the amount of holistic healing I have invested in, reading I have done and the many, many different supplement regimes I have tried. I still do my supplements but I have not been able to treat myself naturally with any sucess and I've been trying for years. My thyroid was checked as well, the full panel, its fine.

I have come to the conclusion that there are just too many variables with bipolar. There's a complication with it, maybe the dual nature of it. I am not sure.

Medication is an absolute neccesity for me.

Having to take drugs was/is a tough pill for me to swallow though (literally) and I know it can seem at cross purposes to have so much "drug talk" at a natural family living community like this. I actually didn't used to hang out here because of it but boy did I do a 180!

I am so thankful for the mamas here. :
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#15 of 27 Old 12-09-2008, 06:40 AM
 
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i was on prozac on and off for 15 years and never felt good, but my psych was convined it was the miracle drug. later found out that prozac actaully makes bipolar worse which explained a lot.
i been on lamictal 200 mg and cymbalt 60mg for the past 2 years when i was diagnosed with bp. i cried for days when i found out but after 16 years of misdiagnoses, mania, etc i was relieved to at least be properly diagnosed so i could finally have a shot at a semi normal existence. when i started taking those first my psych had a lot of samples cuz it was a low cost center so i was able to have enough til i started working a full time job with benefits about 7 months the road. cymbalt i had to pay $115 out of pocket every month! it sucked but what could I have done? i feel like i really need the lamictal as it made a huge difference in controlling my mania. took about 6 months to really set in and another 3 months for me to feel half way functioning. but the cymbalta is not doing much for me except bloating and weigh gain. i also got ulcers and am convinced it's cymbalta.
iso want to get off cymbalta but not sure what to try. zoloft is suppose to make bipolar worse? i want to try the natural route but i just cant take the risk of being out of commission. if i lose my job i would lose everything.

sorry for the long vent. just struggling some much too with the med issue.

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#16 of 27 Old 12-09-2008, 09:54 AM
 
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Maybe Welbutrin? There are others too. Your psych should be getting you off the drug you don't like. Sorry you're struggling.
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i was on prozac on and off for 15 years and never felt good, but my psych was convined it was the miracle drug. later found out that prozac actaully makes bipolar worse which explained a lot.
i been on lamictal 200 mg and cymbalt 60mg for the past 2 years when i was diagnosed with bp. i cried for days when i found out but after 16 years of misdiagnoses, mania, etc i was relieved to at least be properly diagnosed so i could finally have a shot at a semi normal existence. when i started taking those first my psych had a lot of samples cuz it was a low cost center so i was able to have enough til i started working a full time job with benefits about 7 months the road. cymbalt i had to pay $115 out of pocket every month! it sucked but what could I have done? i feel like i really need the lamictal as it made a huge difference in controlling my mania. took about 6 months to really set in and another 3 months for me to feel half way functioning. but the cymbalta is not doing much for me except bloating and weigh gain. i also got ulcers and am convinced it's cymbalta.
iso want to get off cymbalta but not sure what to try. zoloft is suppose to make bipolar worse? i want to try the natural route but i just cant take the risk of being out of commission. if i lose my job i would lose everything.

sorry for the long vent. just struggling some much too with the med issue.
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#17 of 27 Old 12-09-2008, 12:39 PM
 
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i couldn't have said that better myself. thank you for sharing this...

i haven't yet tried acupuncture or yoga but i think at this point i'm fed up and tired of being mentally sick and tired...

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I am major advocate for natural treatments. In fact I recommend them quite a bit. I think that if I only had anxiety and/or depression that it would be a breeze for me to treat, with the amount of holistic healing I have invested in, reading I have done and the many, many different supplement regimes I have tried. I still do my supplements but I have not been able to treat myself naturally with any sucess and I've been trying for years. My thyroid was checked as well, the full panel, its fine.

I have come to the conclusion that there are just too many variables with bipolar. There's a complication with it, maybe the dual nature of it. I am not sure.

Medication is an absolute neccesity for me.

Having to take drugs was/is a tough pill for me to swallow though (literally) and I know it can seem at cross purposes to have so much "drug talk" at a natural family living community like this. I actually didn't used to hang out here because of it but boy did I do a 180!

I am so thankful for the mamas here. :
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#18 of 27 Old 12-09-2008, 03:20 PM
 
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If you haven't tried any of the energy balancing treatments yet, you might be surprised at how well they work.

SSRI's are definitely not recommended for bipolar though. My best friend is bipolar and what worked for her was a combination of sedating amino acids and natural lithium. Without it she cycles really bad and even has hallucinations. A good ND could put you on the right combination.
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#19 of 27 Old 12-11-2008, 02:35 PM
 
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You cant take Zoloft when bipolar-it causes mania. In fact, when practitioners arent sure between a bipolar dx and a depression dx, they often perscribe an antidepressent to see if it causes mania.

You should be able to go to a clinic and get samples of whatever drug you need. Where do you live?
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Maybe Welbutrin? There are others too. Your psych should be getting you off the drug you don't like. Sorry you're struggling.

thanks. i will check that. i'm also thinking of getting pregnant in the next 6 months, so looking at meds that are safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding...

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#21 of 27 Old 12-31-2008, 06:04 PM
 
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I just found this thread while searching on lithium, which I am considering starting.

I just wanted to say that while it's true Zoloft is bad news for many people with bipolar, it's helped me enormously. It's the only thing so far that has, and I feel like I've tried everything. I've been on it for the better part of almost 2 years.

I have a constant underlying depression and mixed episodes where I get hypomanic (anxious, mostly). the zoloft is the only thing that has given me relief from the horrible depression.

I gather, from when I asked my pdoc why I am taking zoloft, that some folks tend towards mania and those would be the ones taht would not do well on zoloft etc. For ex, my sister is bipolar II and she took an SSRI (cymbalta) and didn't sleep for 48 hours straight. but, she has more prominent hypomanic symptoms. In a way we are like flip sides of the same freaky, annoying coin.

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#22 of 27 Old 12-31-2008, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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oh wow, I thought this thread was dead


I did start the Zoloft about a month ago and it has help tremendously but lately I've been feeling a bit hypomanic. I've never had full blown mania but my husband is aware that it could happen. I'm not sure if I'm feeling keyed up because of the holidays and too much coffee. Up until now it has really calmed me down, helped the depression and just put me right in the middle. I was pretty confident this past month that I was misdiagnosed....that I just had PPD and not bipolar II, but now I'm wondering. I've been taking a large dose of fish oil daily too. I have felt so normal on the zoloft I really pray that it doesn't make me manic. I just want to live my life. I cant afford lamictal and fish oil alone doesn't cut it.


thanks mother wren for checking on me : sorry it took so long for an update.
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#23 of 27 Old 01-06-2009, 05:59 PM
 
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Hmm... i've been wondering if I might be bipolar as well. I'm currently experiencing symptoms of PPD and am taking zoloft for it. Unfortunately, it's only made some of it better, and some of it worse! I've had less of the crazy fantasies. But, i've had more of the irrational anger towards everyone, especially my poor DH. I'm trying my best not to be angry... but it's weird... I feel just upset... at nothing at all. A week in a half ago we were on vacation... and I remember sitting in the car just fuming... at nothing. I couldn't find a reasonable explanation for why I was so upset.

And, it's not just the PPD, I have a history of depression. It started when I was 17 where I had some really low lows and didn't want to live. The weird thing is, i've also had unusually high energy at times when I was younger mostly. I'd practically bounce off the walls and wouldn't be able to control myself. I kept having these bouts of laughing hysterically at nothing. I've even had some of these episodes as an adult. My DH has seen it. I don't get them as often now, mostly I just get depressed. I just figured that those times when i'd get very hyperactive were due to something like ADHD. But now that I think about it, it sounds much more like bipolar.

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#24 of 27 Old 01-06-2009, 06:32 PM
 
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Hmm... i've been wondering if I might be bipolar as well. I'm currently experiencing symptoms of PPD and am taking zoloft for it. Unfortunately, it's only made some of it better, and some of it worse! I've had less of the crazy fantasies. But, i've had more of the irrational anger towards everyone, especially my poor DH. I'm trying my best not to be angry... but it's weird... I feel just upset... at nothing at all. A week in a half ago we were on vacation... and I remember sitting in the car just fuming... at nothing. I couldn't find a reasonable explanation for why I was so upset.

And, it's not just the PPD, I have a history of depression. It started when I was 17 where I had some really low lows and didn't want to live. The weird thing is, i've also had unusually high energy at times when I was younger mostly. I'd practically bounce off the walls and wouldn't be able to control myself. I kept having these bouts of laughing hysterically at nothing. I've even had some of these episodes as an adult. My DH has seen it. I don't get them as often now, mostly I just get depressed. I just figured that those times when i'd get very hyperactive were due to something like ADHD. But now that I think about it, it sounds much more like bipolar.
It does sound like bipolar. Its not the end of the world but you should get treatment. Do you have a primary who could give you a psych referral? Or maybe you don't need a referral and can just call someone (a psychiatrist) yourself. I guess it depends on your insurance.
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#25 of 27 Old 01-06-2009, 06:36 PM
 
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Maybe you can get a second opinion? What a tough spot to be in. I couldn't read this and not post. Definately get your thyroid checked. Sry I have to go and didn't read all the replies...so hopefully i'm not repeating too much. I'm sorry you are feeling this way
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#26 of 27 Old 01-12-2009, 03:51 AM
 
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It does sound like bipolar. Its not the end of the world but you should get treatment. Do you have a primary who could give you a psych referral? Or maybe you don't need a referral and can just call someone (a psychiatrist) yourself. I guess it depends on your insurance.
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Just talked to my doc about it. He says it doesn't sound at all like bipolar to him. lol. But he did say I could go see a psychologist to see if they can figure it out. I found a great one in my area that i'm going to go see. I just have to schedule an appointment. I already called and left a message. She tried to call back but I was unavailable at the time. She said she'd try again later. So, hopefully i'll hear from her tomorrow, or i'll just call again. I guess the reason my doc doesn't think it's bipolar is because my manic-like episodes only lasted a few hours each time. But seriously, I never hear of any well adjusted adults that aren't bipolar having ANY manic episodes. lol. Plus there's the lack of concentration, being disinterested in any of my favorite crafts, and then suddenly being obsessed with getting all my crafts done so much that I get halfway through one--start another--almost finish that one---start another... etc. And the anger... why do I get so mad? I don't get it. But of course he said all those things can be attributed to depression as well. Sheesh. Well, i'll leave it for the psychologist to figure out.

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#27 of 27 Old 01-12-2009, 10:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by funfunkyfantastic View Post
Just talked to my doc about it. He says it doesn't sound at all like bipolar to him. lol. But he did say I could go see a psychologist to see if they can figure it out. I found a great one in my area that i'm going to go see. I just have to schedule an appointment. I already called and left a message. She tried to call back but I was unavailable at the time. She said she'd try again later. So, hopefully i'll hear from her tomorrow, or i'll just call again. I guess the reason my doc doesn't think it's bipolar is because my manic-like episodes only lasted a few hours each time. But seriously, I never hear of any well adjusted adults that aren't bipolar having ANY manic episodes. lol. Plus there's the lack of concentration, being disinterested in any of my favorite crafts, and then suddenly being obsessed with getting all my crafts done so much that I get halfway through one--start another--almost finish that one---start another... etc. And the anger... why do I get so mad? I don't get it. But of course he said all those things can be attributed to depression as well. Sheesh. Well, i'll leave it for the psychologist to figure out.
I'm glad that you are going. My primary is useless in this regard as well. Its just not her territory. She thought I should take an anti depressant alone, not realizing that it could make BP worse but she probably doesn't think I have it either .
You know, BPII or Soft Bipolar can be harder to recognize. Thats what I have. My mania looks much like others normal because I am SO depressive. Its the swinging of the moods...and the anger, oh the anger. Thats probably the hardest to deal with and what caused me to finally come out of denial and seek treatment.
Good luck and update when you can
MoonWillow is offline  
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