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Does Bipolar Ii Need Meds? Or Can It Be Solved In Other Ways Like Depression E.g. Cbt


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Hi guys,

I've got a feeling I might be Bipolar Type II - but currently only diagnosed with depression anxiety. I've done a bit of reading and a few tests - definitely had some form of hypomania. I have no psychosis.

Anyways, as I'm uneducated in this one, I wanted to ask if it's a condition that needs meds more than depression i.e. mood stabilisers? Or can it be solved through CBT or other therapies. Is it considered more serious? Or just another mental health illness. On SSRIs at the moment... need to wait for NHS CMHT assessment next week, but I don't think they deal with Bipolar there.

Sorry if wrong forum or already answered again (sorry mods! ). Not good at searching for info today.



Edited by tekgrl
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Bipolar Disorder is a very complex illness. Most suffers of a form of bipolar that I know of take an antidepressant and mood stabilizer. Some may take something for anxiety and sleep. I'm bipolar 1 and take 5 meds as that is what I need for stability. This is not case with everyone because we are all so different and treatments are individualize.

Your doctor will need to take a thorough assessment of your mental health history and monitor your symptoms to determine whether you have a form of bipolarism. I wish you the best with your upcoming appt.


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I agree with Linda. I was diagnosed with Bipolar II with rapid cycling about a year ago, and after some trial-and-error, my pdoc ended up actually removing my antidepressant. He said in some cases, mine included, it can make the irritability/agitation of hypomania worse. So I am on two meds regularly and two as needed. I take 2mg of Klonopin to help me calm down and to sleep better (I also have a sleep disorder, so it helps there too), and I take 200mg of Lamictal, which is a mood stabilizer. I take that at night, too. If I ever detect that I am going into hypomania, I can take Ativan, but it doesn't seem to do much. And finally, if I find myself spiraling quickly, I can take 10mg of Zyprexa, which is basically a tranquilizer, and it knocks me out for 12 hours.

My hypomania usually starts out with just a feeling of being "off" in the morning...maybe a little anxious (I called in sick to work a couple days ago because I was nervous about going). Now, you'd think I'd recognize that right away, but instead it's always in hindsight. Then, about 3 or 4 p.m., I start feeling irritated and a little fidgety. By that point, I pretty much have to ride out the evening for a few hours because I don't want to take my Zyprexa and be asleep at 5:00. When I'm in this state of mind, I typically feel like everyone is plotting against me - my family, my friends and even strangers. I don't want to be around anyone I know, but not because they're plotting against me, oddly enough. It's because anything they say or do will irritate me and make me angry, even if it's not directed at me. For example, my wife could decide to change the channel on the TV (that I am not even watching) and it will irritate me. She could call her mom and that would irritate me. She could walk past me, and that would annoy me. Because I am afraid those things will eventually build up and I'll lash out at people, I choose to remove myself from the situation. I have to leave the house. Now, my wife does not like that because she is worried I'll hurt myself or do something reckless, and she has every right to feel that way. However, she has severe anxiety that she is able to keep controlled pretty well with meds, so she does understand some of the things my mind goes through. So she has learned to let me do what I need to do.

I have started going to the gym when I am in that state. I don't always work out. Sometimes I just sit in the hot tub for a while and try to relax. It gets me through until 7 or 8 p.m., when it's late enough to go to bed.

Sometimes, I do have symptoms of full mania. Mostly I will make a list of 100 things I'm going to accomplish that day and I'll start doing them all at the same time and not finish any of them. Then I hit a big depressive slump because I realize I didn't accomplish anything at all.

For the most part, though, my meds keep it fairly controlled. I'd say I only get to a truly hypomanic point two or three times a month. And when I say rapid cycling, I mean that a complete cycle of anxiety, nervousness, hypomania and depression ends up taking just one day. Once in a great while, the severe depression will continue into the next day, but I seem to handle that better than the hypomania.

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