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I am 24 and was diagnosed bi-polar when I was 18. I know ive struggled with life in genral becuase of my brain and the way I think. So far I have yet to meet someone that analizes and pays attention to things as close as I do. I stress myself out over things that most would say are insignificant. I've been in very hard relatinships since ive been 16, every one lasting more than 2 years. I've tried many different med's and Dr.S. For the last 5 months I have been dealing with a break up from a girl I lived with. I have been on a super mild medication (lexapro) becuase i've been able to control my impulses and moods more now that i'm living alone and have more time to myself. Somethign im dreading thats causing much pain in my heart.

I find myself alone in this world...Feeling out of place as maybe I should be locked up or in a ward. I'm becmoing very lonely and am starting to think I scare everyone off. I look like im 18, keep myself in good shape and healthy. Have a good job and am thankfull for holding my life togher as much as I do now. I am off the meds and starting to go out more and socialize but find myself so intense that it scares most people off. When I talk to a girl I dont hold back I like to talk. I'm not intrusive or aggresive, im a perfect mix of passive and aggressive and have very good "talking" skills but I still get 2 into things. I find myself wishing I didnt think so much about things. I still get totaly worked up over my ex being with someone eles or reverting to her permiscous past. I have no contact with her but it tears me apart. I started posting on this forum monday and already feel alot better just reading everyones post, replying with what knowldge I have. But I cant get this whole thinking thing out of my head.

This is what I do best is ramble on in cycles about nothing. I'm not sure if its the best thing to get off the meds but I feel that this is the best time, when I have no distractions from myself. I really hate the way medication makes me feel, im very aware of whats in my body and its alwasy been very apparent of when the meds start kicking in.

I just need some advice about getting off my meds. My psy and dr think its not the best idea but they both know how I have been my whole life. Ive never been alone and now I am and I know its helping me day by day without the meds.

Ultimatly I want to live this life bi-polar....But chemical free....Am I dreaming?
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replied January 23rd, 2007
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Hi color,
i'm not bi-polar but have a friend who is 24 and bi-polar and she is having a great deal of success using cbt to supplement her meds and is hoping to eventually get off of her meds which she has been reducing. I suffered from panic, anxiety and depression and cbt has changed my life more than I ever thought anything could this past year. I highly recommend giving cbt a try. If you can't afford a cbt group pick up a copy of been there, done that? Do this! By sam obitz (tao3.Com) and start doing the tea form exercise in it. We started with this book in my group and it is a easy read and teaches you how to counter your thoughts in the middle section. The more you work on the exercises the more relief you get, I am still improving today. Hang in there and let me know how you are doing.
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replied January 24th, 2007
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Johnr thank you very much. I am ordering the book by sam obitz. I have read a few books on self control, inner happiness and what not but this does give me something to look forward 2. I will post soon on how things are going. This looks exactly like what I was looking for. Its very frustrating when ever single person who knows my situation thinks I need to stay on the meds.....You have givin me some light ^_^
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replied January 24th, 2007
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Color of Paper
First of all who put you on lexapro? The doctor that diagnosed you or another doctor? Lexapro btw is a very strong drug. I know I was on it for 4 months. It's one of the fastest acting anti-depressants out there. But if you are bi-polar you should not be on an anti-depressant, it could make you worse and and that is usually when they know for certain you are bi-polar because on an anti depressant you won’t be able to sleep and your symptoms will actually get worse. If you are bipolar you need to be on your meds at all times. This is something you must live with and get used to now. Going on and off the meds is never good advice. I would suggest you track down a bipolar specialist in your area who can properly diagnose you and get you on the right medications. Lexapro is not the proper medication for you
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replied January 24th, 2007
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John
That may be good advice for someone with mild depression, etc, but I have never read a true success story from someone that is bipolar treating themselves only with suppliments. Again, color, seek the advice of a specialist. Suppliments will help, but you have a chemical imbalance that will get worse with age and worse if left untreated correctly. Don't waste years of your life trying to treat this illness on your own
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replied January 24th, 2007
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I woudlnt say you have been on it if you have only givin it 4 months adnor, meds can take a very long time to reach full effect. Ive been to many dr's and have been steady with one for the last few years. Lexapro has no sideeffects with me, it actually helps me sleep and keeps me very level headed. Ive been on sevral medications for each over a year. My current psychologist is very well known for dealing with bi-polarity disorders. Currently i've noticed that living by myself has helped me more than antying I have ever done. I will not look at myself as having a problem that can only be "helped" by chemical medication. Thank you for all of your responses though this is giving me so much insight.
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replied January 29th, 2007
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color of paper wrote:
johnr thank you very much. I am ordering the book by sam obitz. I have read a few books on self control, inner happiness and what not but this does give me something to look forward 2. I will post soon on how things are going. This looks exactly like what I was looking for. Its very frustrating when ever single person who knows my situation thinks I need to stay on the meds.....You have givin me some light ^_^


hi color,
i hope the cbt exercises are helpful to you. Let me know how it goes? I think you will enjoy the book and find the exercises like the tea form in the middle section useful like my other bi-polar friend has. I'm not against meds but feel that they can become a crutch and were for me before I learned cbt. Take care and let me know how it is going for you.
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replied February 1st, 2007
Yes, Agreed Johnr
The obitz book can help to reduce resentment, which compounds all of our health problems. This whole medication industry is a self-perpetuated scam, and we are all making ourselves dependent victims with each passing year.
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replied February 1st, 2007
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Trying to cope...I disagree. Some cases must have medication. I mean there brain is really "not right". I know who am I to say someones brain is not right? Well its not wright when they are hurting for no reason other than a chemical imballance they have. There are many people out there that need constant attnetion and meds...I'm super lucky that ive been very aware of myself for a very long time for someone my age. I have been working through the book and its o so lovely. Ill post an update in a few weeks once I have a few things worked out. Thanks everone!!! You mean the world.
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replied February 1st, 2007
Colour,

i have been medicated for rapid-cycling bipolar for the last 7 years. First off, your psychiatrist should know better than to put you on an anti-depressant for bipolar when what you really need to be on is a mood stabalizer such as ability, lithium, topomax, etc. I have kind of the same background that you described. I would get angry/frustrated over things that were trivial to other people, i've also been in a lot of hard long-term relationships of which my bipolar, even while medicated, took its toll on. And in 7 years I have only come off my medication one time and it was a 2-3 month period in june of 06 where about a week after coming off my meds my life very quickly started to spiral downward. I was engaged up until about 3 weeks after I came off my meds, and that went to hell, and I ended up being institutionalized for a month for trying to take my own life. I strongly urge you (its your life you're obviously going to do what you want) to find a new psychiatrist and get on some medication that works well for you. It often takes trying a few medications to find one that really works for you because bipolar disorder is a progressive illness, it only gets worse with time (especially during periods of not being on medication). People who suffer from bipolar disorder need to take medication for the rest of their life. And i'll bet the lexapro actually did work for a while for you for the depression aspect of the disorder but at the same time probably made your manic episodes more intense and more frequent. And if you don't find a medication that works for you right off the bat don't give up on it just yet, as we grow our brain chemistry is constantly changing so a medication that may have worked for you in the past may not work for you again because your brain chemistry has changed. There are some excellent bipolar meds out there right now that start to work in a matter of 2-5 days, even when you're working your way up to a therapeutic dosage.

I just want to leave you with a few statistics before I end this ridiculously long reply though...

The annual average suicide rate in males and females diagnosed with bipolar is 10 to more than 20 times higher than that of the general population.

And...

The divorce rate for couples where at least 1 spouse is bipolar is 90% which is nearly double that of the general population (which is estimated to be at about 50%).
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replied February 1st, 2007
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Wow thank you for the reply loadedgun. You sound very similar to me. One thing though is I was on lithum for 2 years. Ive been on depakote(sp), topomax, etc. I've alwasy giving meds at least a year as I understand they take time to work...And take time to adjust your life. The reason I hate meds is becuase im super super hyper. Anything I take makes me hyper...I smoke pot and it makes me hyper. I dont have add...If I take redilin(sp) or any other type of adhd meds it makes me hyper...I have way to much energy and this doesnt go well with my bipolar. I do agree on seeking a new psy becuase I know there are meds out there that I havnt even heard of etc. But that is a very hard track as we all know. I am trying the cbt thinkg right now, reading a book constantly when im home and just getting really involved...Keeping my mind super busy.

These forums have helped me more than anything in the last few days since I joined. Thank you again for your reply and the facts at the bottom. Its sad people dont wait to get married Sad
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replied February 1st, 2007
Its funny you should mention marriage because i'm actually engaged right now with my fiance and my first child on the way.

I can definately understand what you said in your initial post about feeling when the meds kick in when you've been on lithium and depakote. I was on both for a while and especially the lithium I was really turned off too. I felt like it really made me numb and like I was more of a spectater in the world rather than a participant. Same thing with the depakote. I just got on a newer medication, that none of my family who are just about all bipolar and I have some friends who are as well, called abilfy and it has worked wonders for me. Its a bipolar/schizo med. They make a 5,10,15,20,30mg tablets and for me I only take the 15mg and it works so great for me. But there have been a lot of new meds that have come out in the last 6 months or so that are supposed to be groundbreaking.

As for the hyper thing, being on a unipolar antidepressant with our condition can really horribly aggrevate it and push you into an almost perpetual state of mania. You mentioned that adhd meds make you even more hyper but ritalin is not a very good drug for a bipolar person as it is a stimulant, that too can put you into a perpetual state of mania. I have add and I have tried just about every single add/adhd medication under the sun! And it was hard for me to get my doctors to realize that for instance, the strattera they had me on wasn't giving me any results. They now have me on the 30mg adderall xr which has worked wonders and it took me like 6 different add meds to get one that worked. That was the last medication they were going to have my try basically because its an amphetamine derivitive and I struggled with a substance abuse problem (cocaine) which is why my bpd progressed to rapid-cycling so quickly for my age. I just had to reassure him that if I felt it starting to aggrevate my condition that I would immediately cease taking it and get in for an appointment. It really is worth it even if it takes years to get onto a medication that works for you (and once you do and that one stops working they have a better idea of what to put you on next because they can use meds from the same family) and at least in my case I am leading such a happier and more full life then I ever have now that i'm on a good combination of meds, so please dont give up on them just yet :d

a couple questions though...

During your periods of hyperactivity:

do you find that you need a lot less sleep and still are rested the next day?

Do you find yourself with more self-confidence than normal?

Often kind of stubborn and/or irritable?

Like you get more stuff done?
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replied February 1st, 2007
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Congrats on the engagment and the baby!!! Thats so awsome ^_^.

My hyperactivity is very odd. Its not an anoying uncontroled hyper...I just am bursting with energy. I would consider myself a very confident person but not egotistical at all. I'm never stubborn but I do get irritable when i'm depressed....Very irritable.

I took the redilin just for the hell of it...It wasnt perscribed but it was just a test....My heart almost poped out of my chest.

When I was younger I would get hyper and lose my impulse control and do very odd things. I would climb things or break into someones house...No bad intentions...Excpt to get into a locked house. Most of my friends have made comments on me possibly having terrets(sp) becuase I have huge outbreaks where I will just start doing something very odd (making faces, or being super silly and goofy, screaming really lound).

These outbreaks or intense energys I have never interfierd with my profesional life, I can keep them under control but it feels good to release this energy I have. Also if I dont release it it builds up and I use it on thoughts and thinking.

I tend to ruminate about things and overthink everything....I'm just a very intense person regardless.

I will deff have to look into the meds you noted. Thank you for your help, we sound alot alike in certian ways. And congrats again!! Im so happy for you that you've got your stuff together and have a little one on the way...Hopefully I can someday also ^_^
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replied February 1st, 2007
I just am bursting with energy. I would consider myself a very confident person but not egotistical at all. I'm never stubborn but I do get irritable when i'm depressed....Very irritable.

While i've never met you or seen you during an episode that sounds like a state of hypomania to me, not full blown mania but between mania and euthymia.

Hypomania actually has a lot of benefits to it:

its less destructive than mania
generally one experiences less of the symptoms of mania
people experiencing hypomania are often energetic, euphoric, charismatic, confident, and come up with a lot of new ideas and are more productive or creative.

But at the same time irritability and aggression can be associated with it.

But or the 3-4 psychiatrists i've seen over the last 7 years, all of them but one thought that people could possibly benefit from the mental stimulation of hypomania. But at the same time it does carry the risk that it could become a full blown manic episode.

I actually had taken adderall ir (instant release instead of extended release) in high school on a couple occasions when I needed to cram for a test or I had put off writing an essay that was do the next day and I didn't know I had add at the time so I was actually taking what they would basically have me on later. But my body just metabolizes the ir too quickly so I had to be on the xr.

As for the tourettes, that really could just be that you're kinda easy going and have non-destructive ways of excess energy. Could be doing a lot worse things like self-mutilating. But the trouble with impulse control sounds like textbook mania to me. Had your parents when you were younger had you see a therapist or a psychiatrist or anyone in the mental health field? In my case I had and my mom is bipolar and just about everyone on that side of my family is and the psychiatrist I saw actually put me on prozac and depakote but refused to diagnose me as bipolar because the dsm-iv doesn't have specific guidelines for diagnosing children (where children are actually fairly rapid-cycling or mixed-cycling.

Looking back, I think that I probably wouldn't have acted out as much in school as I did and created so much trouble had they not put me on an anti-depressant which I think really screwed with my bpd and caused me a lot more grief growing up then I should have had lol
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replied February 17th, 2007
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color of paper wrote:


i tend to ruminate about things and overthink everything....I'm just a very intense person regardless.


hi you seem like a nice person and I am new to the site and suffered from bad anxiety and depression before I entered cognitive training and discovered the wonders of thought countering in a tea form. I am not bi-polar but we had a bi-polar guy in my group and our therapist said that he was not likely to ever get off meds but he told me the cognitive training worked really well with helping him get out of his head when he was stuck ruminating. I liked the book by sam obitz and could relate to a lot of it but I do not think he was bi-polar like you are so I hope you stay on your meds and use the tea form with your meds so you get more out of them.
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replied February 17th, 2007
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Hi, I really appreciate everyones input...Very much.

Its my friends bday so I dont have much time to respond. I will get back 2 both of you tomorrow. ^_^
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replied February 19th, 2007
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No hurry. I hope your friend had a nice b-day Laughing
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replied February 25th, 2007
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Color of Paper wrote:
Hi, I really appreciate everyones input...Very much.

Its my friends bday so I dont have much time to respond. I will get back 2 both of you tomorrow. ^_^


It's several days later now so that must have been some party Laughing
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replied March 20th, 2007
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Color of Paper wrote:
Trying to cope...I disagree. Some cases must have medication. I mean there brain is really "not right". I know who am I to say someones brain is not right? Well its not wright when they are hurting for no reason other than a chemical imballance they have. There are many people out there that need constant attnetion and meds...I'm super lucky that ive been very aware of myself for a very long time for someone my age. I have been working through the book and its o so lovely. Ill post an update in a few weeks once I have a few things worked out. Thanks everone!!! You mean the world.

I agree and especially with bi-polar I think meds are a necessary component to successful treatment. I am a big proponent of cbt, but cbt without meds for bi-polar disorder is not likely to have the same positive effects it does without meds that it does for anxiety and depression. Used with meds for bi-polar I think cbt can be a big help in dealing with bi-polar though.
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replied April 5th, 2007
Experienced User
Hi Color,
Its been a long time. How are you doing? I know you must have recovered from that party by now Twisted Evil
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