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patthepoltergeist

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  1. I was doing fine on Seroquel. Lamictal 100mg and Seroquel 50mg. I stopped the Lamictal two months ago and was just on Seroquel. I guess he wanted to keep me on some sort of mood drug? He is still pushing the bipolar route even after I told him my concerns. He was basically like "Do nothing. Or do this?" I slept maybe 3hrs last night. Missing the Seroquel really hurts. Maybe it will get better soon.
  2. So, my pdoc just switched me from Seroquel to Latuda. I was taking the Seroquel for sleep. I do not see much on Latuda for sleep? We were initially going with a bipolar diagnosis but I have totally stopped cycling after I started sleeping ok. I know Seroquel is a mood drug too, but I was only on 50mg at my max, and he said that it wasn't really effective for mood stabilizing at that low of a dose. So I am really starting to wonder now. What is he doing? Is he treating for bipolar or sleep? He also placed my grandfather on Latuda this week. But not for bipolar. My grandfather has delusional jealousy. They are sending him for a scan to check for dementia / Alzheimer's. I read that Latuda is specifically NOT for people who may have dementia or kidney trouble. My granddad has both!! So Latuda for my sleep, and Latuda for granddad's delusions.... It sounds a bit hokey to me. I just want to go to sleep once in a while :(
  3. Ok, now I understand what you are saying. Someone takes one med as a booster and once over "the hump" can discontinue and be fine. The secondary issue is a product of the original meds and when meds are stopped it goes away. A permanency issue as opposed to a terminology issue, basically. It does seem that a lot of folks want to treat psych disorders as permanent and unchanging. But, if we can declare that a cancer patient is cured, why cant we say that a bipolar patient is now cured as well? Or, say, call the temporary stuff a different label until it is proven to be permanent. The reason behind the diagnosis is not important to me. If it looks like bipolar and responds the same with the same treatments, then call it what it is. "SSRI induced hypomania in patient. Underlying bipolar disorder is suspected. Patient treated with mood stabilizer. Pre SSRI symptoms were not sufficient to produce a bipolar diagnosis." then "SSRI and mood stabilizer has been discontinued. Symptoms have not returned." Or for a real bipolar case: "Patient presents symptoms consistent of bipolar disorder. Treated with mood stabilizer.... All meds discontinued. Post med symptoms insufficient for bipolar disorder." I think this will get better over time. Psychiatry is just now beginning to branch out past the extreme "classic" ailments and into the more subdued areas. DSM V seems to have quite a few more detailed diagnostic breakdowns and terminology changes than the previous version. So, at least it is getting better. I am concerned about this idea of permanency too. While I totally accept and believe that I am bipolar, I am not convinced that it has a fundamental brain chemistry/architecture cause. I was not bipolar from the beginning. I started with depression and it grew into bipolar cycles. Even my depression was not spontaneous. I know what caused me to trip, I simply didn't get back up like I normally would. So, if a few years from now I can stop the meds and be perfectly fine, am I still bipolar? I say no. You only have a problem if your symptoms match the diagnosis. If you don't have symptoms, then you don't have a problem. If you do, then you do. Treating psych disorders this way will solve a lot of problems. One of the main reasons that I waited to seek help until I was at rock bottom was that I simply didn't want to take meds for the rest of my life. And, I didn't want people to find out that I was seeing the dreadful psychiatrist. Like he was Dr. Frankenstein or something. When we can start treating psych like the other specialties things will get better. The general public is more accepting of the field than they used to be. So, maybe soon.....
  4. I am currently on Lamictal 100mg and Seroquil 50mg. I am much more stable than before. I feel like I did back in high school for the most part. My doc is concerned that the depression is still present. My problem is that I have no idea if I am still depressed or not. I was never a particularly happy bouncy guy. My teachers named me "the little professor". I spent my lunch hour playing chess in the library. I spent the few minutes before class in the teacher's lounge talking to them rather than the other kids. I absolutely hate to hear a bunch of teenagers quacking around and making useless noise. This is how I have always been. Mellow, reserved, and the definition of self control. Much older than my age. You get the picture. I suppose it is possible that I have simply not been happy enough to notice being down. Bouncing into hypomania like I do does not count. I know when I am unusually perky and always managed it like the abnormality it is. Prior to puberty, I was a absolute fire ball. I could be running a triple digit temperature and bouncing off the walls at the same time. Nothing slowed me down. Puberty changed that like flipping a switch. The only time I really feel happy is when I go manic. I cant decide if I stabilize low, or if this is normal.
  5. I respond strangely to medication too. I have had a ton of dental work over the years. Every time they have given me narcotic pain meds to take. When I had my wisdom teeth removed, they gave me three Xanax and two Oxycodone (one before and one after) including the local anesthesia. I walked right through all of it and had to go under general anesthesia half way through. Even then, I bounced up and was feeling fine within a couple hours. I can pop Lortabs like gummy bears. But, 50mg Seroquil knocks me out in nothing flat. It is like someone hits the off button in my brain. I cant explain why. I don't know if that is your issue or not, but it is a possibility.
  6. I am inclined to agree with you. If I developed a fatal infection after taking immune-restricting drugs, I probably had the infection prior. But, under normal circumstances, it would not have been a problem. Therefore, the drugs caused me to be stricken with an ailment that I wouldn't normally have. However, now that I have this problem, what you call it matters very little. I will receive the same treatment, and expect the same basic result. Perhaps you were not bipolar before, but you are now. So, if you are now, what harm is there is saying so?
  7. The issue with bipolar is that it is symptomatically very similar to a number of other depression and personality based disorders. It is often misdiagnosed with said disorders, and it works both ways. Your best bet is to find a pdoc in your area that is well referenced and explain to them all of your previous issues and the details of what helped and what didn't. I would recommend calling a few general practice offices in your area and asking them if they could recommend a good psychiatrist. If a certain pdoc comes up multiple times, then it is worth checking out. Prozac is an SSRI. Those types of drugs, when taken alone, can sometimes cause a negative result in bipolar. Most often this comes in the form of stronger or more frequent mania. (you seem to hint at this happening?) A more common bipolar combination is Prozac and something like Zyprexa taken together. But, as others have said, it is not as simple as a one time visit to "get the tires rotated". You will need to take some time with your new pdoc. Regards, Pat
  8. It is time again to slug through the holidays. Every year it gets harder and harder. Giving of gifts and taking advice. The only time of year when religious family members feel compelled to press the Christmas story and all the guilt that goes with it, and I must either lay down and take it, or be the bad guy again. My (religious) family is all but shattered now. What was once a grand gathering at Thanksgiving and Christmas is now a few small groups huddled at half a dozen homes. I am now the only member of my family who has the freedom to visit all of them. Many will not speak to others even on the phone. It is very sad. As the baby of the group, I enjoy a largely free pass to any of them. But, doing so is like cutting myself over and over. Each visit is like walking into a morgue. Everyone is acting happy when you know we are all thinking the same thing. "Wish we could all be friends again." If that is not enough sorrow. I must also endure the annual reading of the Christmas story and obligatory Q&A session that follows. (I am atheist if you haven't already noticed) This year stands to be one of legendary proportions. I am now seeing a pdoc, who is telling me I am bipolar and pumping meds into me. Meanwhile, my parents are telling me there is nothing wrong and if I would just come back to the church it would all go away. My mother told me it was growing pains. I suppose that is what I get for being so image conscious. I suppress my symptoms to the point that they don't see them. Therefore, if I suddenly come out as bipolar, it must be the devil at work. My step-sister has now gotten married and reaffirmed her faith. So now, I am the only child left to convert. If I resist the pounding this time of year, I am met with even more resentment. Not only am I defying my elders, I am doing it on the most thankful time of year. For a lowly sinner who is so full of Satan that he is cracking up, I sure do shoulder a large burden for the sake of peace and family. I suppose that is the price I pay for following my mind instead of my mother. So to speak. You folks go through anything similar?
  9. Fear, on top of fear, with a side of fear is what I am hearing. I know the feeling well my friend. Fear is a defense mechanism. Fight of flight. It is built into our brains to allow us to recognize danger. The problem is when we fear even if no danger exists. Once we get so low, everything around us begins to change. Our perception of the world changes. Light becomes little more than shadow, a smile turns into a menacing laugh, "hello" sounds like a slap in the face. But what has changed? We have. Our internal structure has slipped a gear or two. The therapist is there to help line us back up. That is why you go see this man right? But, if you are able to express yourself here, and to others in your life, then perhaps you are not the problem. Why does this man make you afraid? Is it his personality? The way he phrases his questions? Or perhaps it is simply the knowledge that he is trained to use your responses to try and change you? Do you feel like he is dominating you like a blacksmith hammers steel? If you don't feel this way with others, then I am inclined to say that there is something about him that makes you uncomfortable. That is not your fault. There are several folks in my life that will never know how I feel. Simply because they make me uncomfortable. I don't like them. Once you can identify what it is that makes you afraid in your sessions, you can develop a game plan. Again, you are not the failure here. You are reacting to stimulus. As we all do. If you are having a problem talking to this guy, then you have a problem. You simply have not found the best battle plan to fight it. Now, you may not recognize this as fear. But it is. You are retreating into yourself like backing into a hiding place. Your mind goes blank, you cant verbalize what you feel because those feeling are intensified to the point that they begin to take over. It is no simple thing to break free of this. Some (like me) find a way to work around the issue. Others will break this hold with sheer force of will. All you need to do is find a way that suits you. That may be a new therapist. It may be writing. It may simply take a breakdown. Cry if you must. Curse if you must. Sometimes we change at the edge. We change when we have no choice but to change. At the best, you get past your troubles and move forward. At worst, some ***** with a title thinks your a loon and you find another to replace him. Win/Win either way.
  10. I have a similar problem with my pdoc. I have this automatic reaction that I call my "heart of stone". Anyone I meet sees this face. It has allowed me to hide my symptoms from almost every person in my life. I have learned to do this without thinking. When I go for a visit, I remind myself that I have hired him for his brain, not his approval. Even then, I have a hard time showing emotion purely. I have taken to keeping a small journal and writing a summary of what I think is important, then, when I go in, I will pelt the details at him like punching buttons on a computer. I told him this and he has been very forgiving so far. (at such a high pay rate one would think he could follow me and make his own notes eh) I know that if I try to show him outwardly what I am feeling inside, I will just exaggerate things or show him what I think he wants to see rather than what is actually happening. That is counterproductive. I made a bargain with him on my second visit. I agree to be totally honest and upfront as I can, and in return, he will take what I say seriously and not ask me to get closer than a professional relationship would allow. Every now and then he will sort of poke me and see what happens, but so far our little deal has been working. He stopped asking the same questions three of four different ways and stopped commenting on my body language or facial expressions like he was. I may get comfortable enough to drop some walls, but it will need to be at my own pace and he respects that.
  11. I agree with Sheepwoman, only a pdoc can tell definitively if you are bipolar or not. (and especially what form) It certainly sounds like bipolar symptoms the way you describe. The drugs and alcohol problems are VERY hard on any body system, to include your mind. I would recommend seeing a pdoc first and just telling them that you are trying nonconventional medicine and are not really ready for other medicine right now. You can absolutely control your treatment. If you don't want meds, then it would still be good to have a pdoc to use as a baseline. They can, if nothing else, add a professional set of eyes to keep you on track and see if the treatment is actually working well. It is often quite hard for folks to really see what is happening until after they come out of it. Hindsight is 20/20 afterall. A good pdoc can monitor you from the outside looking in. Then, if you decide modern meds are needed, you can push for something more bipolar oriented like one of the many mood stabilizers the rest of us are on. Lamictal and seroquil are working wonders for me right now.
  12. I have been taking 25mg of the regular type for about 3 weeks now. It felt like anesthesia the first two nights. I couldn't speak clearly and I dropped things. But now I can barely tell that I have taken it. It still helps me sleep, but it is not nearly as potent as it was. As far as side effects, I have a slight shakiness in my hands and a small issue with pressure. When I am pressing the gas pedal in my car, I have a hard time keeping consistent pressure on it. This doesn't happen all the time. It is a periodic thing that is worse in the morning while the meds are phasing out of my system. The only real problem I have had is the price. $90USD after insurance! That is out of my budget.
  13. I am usually very good at evaluating people. I can usually tell when someone is not being themselves. We have all seen that person who acts different than they actually are. Maybe they smile too much or are too bouncy and agree with everything we say just so we will like them. They sometimes try to look smarter or more proper than they actually are. You know the type. All throughout my life, I have pegged these folks with unusual accuracy. I have predicted countless problems over the years by really watching people judiciously. I look not at what they say but how it is said. I watch body language, facial expression, and tone of voice more than words. Most of it comes from being a health care provider myself. I know how to do bedside manner. My pdoc is presenting a good version of this. He tries very hard to be open, approachable, and neutral. He suppresses his emotion and tries to not put anything into the conversation that I might use to change my response. He is a great actor. Most folks would not notice he is doing this. But, having studied these techniques myself, I can see right through it. I want to tell him to knock it off. He doesn't need to put on the gloves with me. I am smarter than that. It is really starting to bother me. I have a hard time opening up to someone who I know is trying to manipulate me to do just that. I am fighting the urge to step into my own "poker face" and play the game too. How can I tell this guy to drop the act without sounding like a gigantic rear? I like him, I trust him, and I don't think he is being "fake". But I can tell he is being careful with me. My craziness is telling me to poke him and see if he reacts lol. This is not as productive as I would like it to be. I cant wholeheartedly trust him like this.
  14. Great! I am on my high note right now too. I actually burst out laughing at my pdoc visit today. He had a female student shadowing him and she mumbled something under her breath at one of my questions. I forget what it was but I laughed like she tickled me. My doc looked like he didn't know what to do. It is so great to be high some times.
  15. I was initially skeptical about my BP2 diagnosis. I was also seemingly missing a lot of the symptoms. My pdoc told me flat out in my last session that I was overthinking it. Do you have periods of unusual energy or elevated mood countered by unusual lows with or without a normal period mixed in? Yes. Ok, then you are bipolar. The speed of the cycles or severity were not very important to him at this point he said. Up, down, up, down, ect? Bipolar. That was the simplest and most accurate picture of me he saw right now. You may have more going on. That is just how my pdoc explained it.
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