February 13, 2007



SOS = Stamp Out Stigma even in the medical community where our General Practitioners are not even remotely trained [or required to be trained for ongoing licensure renewals] to field, identify and secure referral of patients to appropriate professionals in the mental health field in a timely manner rather than to themselves display discomfort when patients attempt to express their inner turmoil and inter-related physical symptoms to them. 02-15-07

Posted by: Lani MacDonald at February 15, 2007 11:37 AM

I just came back from visiting my son in the "hospital" after a "relapse" into mania while on his maintenance pharmocotherapy.
Another semester of school down the tubes. Why even bother taking the medications if they are so inadequate? Does anyone else dx bipolar get angry because after agreeing to these mind altering drugs they end up back in the hospital anyway?
Mmmmm. Does the word iatrogenic mean anything???
My husband and I had many questions for the psychiatrist and clinical psychologist. Guess what? They had no answers. And these are professionals with how many years of education??? Could it be that psychosocial functioning is lessened when your cognitive skills and emotions are stifled from these tranquilizers. These are tranquilizers, folks, they don't "fix" anything.

Posted by: Cheryl Froehlich at February 20, 2007 4:59 PM

Perfect. This study has me hoping that my son's illness is due to a brain tumor. Isn't that pathetic? Wishing your child has a tumor, just so there is a physical something that can be removed and explain all the skewed mental processes that go on inside his head. I am simply fed up with the medical profession and wish i could get access to a prescription blank and could order regular lab tests.

After the past year and a half, i am certain i could do no worse.

Posted by: luther Garcia at February 25, 2007 7:23 PM

I was dx'd with bp disorder in late 1997/early 1998. Looking back I realized my disorder was actually childhood-onset, which meant I'd suffered for over thirty years. I've been down the pharmacological route just before and ever since. I've been tested, drugged and tested again.

I became "relatively" stable on Depakote, Wellbutrin and Effexor; meaning I still had mood swings, mostly depressed, but not as badly as before. I hung in there, discussing options with my p-doc on a regular basis.

Meanwhile I raised both of my sons to adulthood. The oldest has severe bp disorder and the youngest has High-Functioning Autism/Asperger's Syndrome, along with dysthemic disorder.

Once the younger son, Bobby, had overcome his problems then the older one, Rich, deveoped juvenile onset bp disorder. He was in and out of the hospital, on different medications, and we hung in there, hoping for the right one. Meanwhile I dropped him out of high school due to his being so discouraged that he couldn't make progress. He then went on to get his GED.

Finally a local clinic doc put him on Seroquel, along with Wellbutrin and Effexor. Immediately my son stabilized. He occasionally has manic episodes, mostly under heavy stress, but overall is so stable that unless you knew him personally you'd never know about his disorder.

Rich, btw, is a straight-A student at a local business college, where he is studying to become a paralegal. He eventually wants to become a lawyer by the time he's in his forties, and I have no doubt he can pull it off.

Bobby, the younger brother, is an Honor Student at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where his high intelligence has garnered him a near-free four-year ride at one of the best universities in the US. So much for autism being hopeless.

Last December I once again discussed my options with my doctor, and asked about Seroquel, since my son was doing so well on it. He agreed that it was worth a try and we began the process of weaning me off of Depakote and adding Seroquel to the mix.

Within a day I began to feel a difference. With each increased dose of Seroquel and subtraction of Depakote I felt myself become a new person.

It's been three months. I am the most stable I've been since I was six years old. My doctor is extremely pleased as well. My family is thrilled.

The whole point to this ramble is that it's not unusual at all to go through medicines and doctors until the right mix comes along. The best thing a bp person can do is become very aware of triggers and overall mood state. The more aware you are, the better you can help the doctors. A strong support system in the form of friends, relatives, groups, whatever, is essential.

Don't let this study discourage you from seeking help for you or your loved one. Change doctors (three-four doctor changes are the average), keep informed, and research.

Oh, and for the record - the meds *unless stated otherwise* are *not* tranquilizers. I took a few tranquilizers in my early teens but haven't had a one since. Some are given tranquilizers for anxiety and sleep issues, but mood stabilizers and antidepressants do *not* fall in that category.

There. Said my piece. :-)

Posted by: Linda at March 3, 2007 11:46 AM

I was dignosed with bp in 190 at the age of 40. My mother also had the disease and died at 39 yrs. of age. I am sure looking back at my childhood I was un-diagnosed forever and a day. I have tried to commit suicide more times than I can remember. I have been stable now on my meds. for many yrs. but find it is very irritating to me to have to take all these things every day and especially bothers my partner, when I get depressed about taking meds all the time. I just want to encourage everyone witht the illness to keep on fighting and good luck to all. I am truly ready again to just give up. No one wants to live with someone with this illness and neither do I.


Posted by: Janice at March 7, 2007 1:38 PM

Sorry was diagnosed in 1990*

Posted by: Janice at March 7, 2007 1:39 PM

I have been with this woman for 1 and a half years, she went through huge depression last year and I had a hard time of it. She finally got insurance and some help, but almost immediately broke up with me to start dating some one else with bipolar disorder. The reason she left was we were not intimate any more, I put up a wall after the long period of her depression, where with out help or anything to do I couldn't take the pain any more. Now that she is getting help and I got some time to think and recoup I am ready to make it work. She won't talk to me, and sadly we have to see each other any way as we do martial arts together. This is sad for me because I love her, and want her to be well. I not only want her by my side, but want to help her. I was there through the bad, now I want to help make things be good and happy.

Posted by: Brett at March 12, 2007 9:53 AM

My story is that I'm 33, was diagnosed with BP in 1993 but actually first showed signs of BP in 1978. A course of Prozac helped in 93 but an episode in 95 meant my GP attempted to treat with Prozac again, the result being I had a severe episode and swallowed 90 pills and got hospitalised. I've managed to survive more by luck than judgement till now. But I'm going to go back and have another try at getting some treatment. What I wanted to say was, if you are trying to deal with it, just keep trying, because there are so many people out there who know what the depressional hole is like to be in, and anybody who can get through it is a total hero.

Posted by: Alistair at March 15, 2007 7:39 PM

For those of you wanting to get through the depression stage, remember it is just that, a stage. It will pass.
I think to myself "Here we go again, tomorrow is another day"
You keep saying that like a mantra and don't forget to laugh at yourself. Do that and you get to see a ripe old age with family and all the good stuff.

Good luck

Posted by: Charlie at April 5, 2007 11:36 AM

Anyhoo...I figure if I wake up everyday, it's a good day. I'm a functional person with a semi-functional job-helping middle-schoolers with their everyday problems. I have two beautiful adult boys who are extremely intelligent. One married, with a baby on the way; one schizophrenic and bi-polar, with....Anyhoo... I'm rambling. If it wasn't for the skewed genes, the incest, the divorce, the alcohol, the single parenting and to top it off living in what has to be the most unintelligent state in the union-Arizona - I think we might have had a shot. Have a good day:)

Posted by: sue lord at June 10, 2007 3:28 PM

Take My Meds. Forgetfulness won't do - and it isn't just the meds. I have not been taking my multi-vitamin tablet and fish oil capsules daily of late. The fish oil in particular is an essential for me!

Posted by: ankh at July 13, 2007 8:01 AM

My 17 year old daughter has been recently diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. We endured 3 years of hell and now it has a name!! My question is: Are there treatment facilities available for this age group? Do they accept insurance?

Posted by: Yvette DeSanctis at August 9, 2007 11:40 AM

I exhibited b.p. symptoms from the time I was 8 or 9. I remember the horrible depression that inhabited most of my life. I was a h.s dropout. I never could understand why I felt so sad. I slept away about a third of my life up to that time. I had the high mania as well but that would only last for short periods of time. I self medicated---smoked large quantities of cannabis daily for 23 years. eventually I overcame my deficiencies and went to school. I struggled on a daily basis to maintain my life despite the daily thoughts of suicide. I developed several different plans to do so. I even played Russian roulette once. I know I am a mental defective but I am also a survivor. at age 35 I finally realized a life long goal and today I am criminal defense attorney. I was not treated until I got a job with health insurance at age 34 and was able to go to a doctor. I went thru 4 docs before I finally found the right one at age 48. this dr. knows his biochemistry. I take trileptal, lamictal and lyrica. I am never tired, "tranquilized" or spaced out. I do not experience any ill side effects. I still get depressed but never for more than a couple of days. the difference now is that I come out of my hole. the highs, well they are exquisite!!! especially when I am in trial.

Posted by: sgt pepper at December 1, 2007 6:09 PM

How to you convince someone that they are bipolar?

Posted by: Deborah Boerner at January 30, 2008 8:12 AM

I am 45, live in Los Angeles, bipolar since 1997.

Anyone out there that is making it, working or having a high functioning life?

I slipping into a deeper depression, feeling hopeless and do not know what to do with my life.

Help, feedback, advice, support, friendship.

Thank you,


Posted by: MIchelle at June 9, 2008 11:32 AM

Hi Michelle, I hope this message finds that you are doing well? I have been searching for information to help my son whom has bipolar. He hasn't been depressed for a while just manic,severely that is. I am afraid that he will continue to push the limits of at risk activities simply because as he says he is meant for something great, and that he knows that just about nothing will kill him.He says he doesn't want to die but does seem to be helping it along with the things he does. I keep hoping that the medications he is taking will stop his manic phase in hope there will be a medium phase so that we can recoup. I am exhausted,ut keep trying. I wish I could give some advise to you, some words of wisdom to help you. Just know everyone dealing with bipolar are my heroes. i can't even begin to understand the difficulties that are faced every day. My thoughts and prayers are with you! kelley

Posted by: kelley at July 20, 2008 8:09 PM

Linda (above) is absolutely correct. It's important not to lose hope. No two people are alike, and balancing and individual's brain chemistry is as much art as science. Pharmacotherapy is only one part of what must be a multi-pronged attack on this disorder. I've found that exercise is as essential to my well-being as any drug I take. So is a regular sleep routine and planning (as best I can) for any situation with the potential to disrupt my healthy routines. Travel? I don't stay in any hotel without a gym. Work? I've got to plan as best I can so that I can get a full eight hours of sleep. Bipolar disorder is scary. It's a tough diagnosis. But with vigilance, a supportive family, a good doctor (or doctors) and taking a proactive approach, this thing can be managed. I find it helps to think of bipolar disorder as being like diabetes -- it's a lifelong illness, and the treatment has to change to keep up with changes in health, weight, age and metabolism. It's frustrating as hell, but the alternative is . . . well, there's no alternative, is there?

Posted by: Joan at July 23, 2008 11:22 PM

Someone asked if anyone was making it despite the symptoms...I can say it is a struggle but outwardly I am productive, well employed and raising a daughter competently. (I hope! It is always difficult to tell but she is 17, doing well in school and college bound in a year.)

I work as a computer programmer and make a competitive wage. I have a decent place to live and all the usual comforts.

It hasn't been easy. And, medication did not work for me. I learned of the diagnosis at 42. I tried medications for a year. It wa a nightmare. I seem to have had every negative reaction in the book, and none of the benefits. If anything, it was more difficult to cope with the symptoms than ever before. During that year I was on disability, lost my job, and was in financial trouble from being out of work. I was unable to concentrate due to the medication, or to do the complex mental tasks demanded by my work.

I made a very tough decision, not one I recommend to anyone, ever! I talked to my Dr and went off the drugs. She was against it, and I did notice side effect increase despite the tapering schedule. It was a rough couple months.

That was 2 years ago. BP does not go away. I still have the symptoms, but I am functional, working and living a life.

All I can say, is do what works. If its meds, go for it and stick with it! If the meds don't work, and the doc can't find a combination that does...then it is up to each of us to choose whether they are worth the side effects.

Good luck to us all! And keep on fighting.

Posted by: darkharp at August 15, 2008 9:13 PM

I am SO thankful this website exists. It's like a big hug when I feel all alone. Thank you

Posted by: Kristi at December 13, 2009 8:35 PM

I am living in Japan. Age 28. My biporlar seemed to started when I was 19. My OCD started when I was 14. Last September I slashed my face and now I am on medical leave from job. I do not know when I can go back to our company.
I entered this company without telling my diseases. So under normal circumstances I may well be fired.
Anyway I try to rehabilitate myself.

Posted by: Kazuyuki Sekino at December 19, 2009 10:42 PM

Some time before, I really needed to buy a house for my organization but I did not earn enough money and could not buy anything. Thank goodness my mother suggested to try to take the mortgage loans at reliable creditors. Thus, I acted that and was happy with my short term loan.

Posted by: GardnerAnna20 at November 1, 2010 11:07 PM