I have a constant need to explain to the people around me why I am the way I am. Some of them think they know all there is to know and have stopped listening. There are others who feel guilty and don’t want to talk about it.
I have said for a few years now that nothing is working. But recently I have also admitted some things about myself and the people I have blamed. Let me start with some useful information.
LIST OF MEDICATIONS I HAVE BEEN ON:
At this point I’m on a combo of Viibryd, Adderall, and Topamax. Is it working? Not really. I’m not exactly running to tell my Doctor so I can go through another process of horrendous side effects only to have the medication not work or make things worse.
- 50 % of Bipolar Individuals who get to a place of some “normalcy” will relapse within 2 years.
- Clinicians and Diagnosticians can’t agree on a standard definition of Treatment Resistant Bipolar Disorder even though it is often seen in practices.
- The standard practice for medication with Bipolar Patients is to combine several medications.
- There is no set standard on which medication to use first or the dosage.
- Recent studies show that Treatment Resistant Bipolar Patients are at a much higher risk of suicide and 25% of them have an alcohol problem. (This was specific to just alcohol)
Confirming a diagnosis for these patients can take years. These patients do not volunteer information, are poor historians, and need constant direction. If manic they will have a lack of awareness, an inability to know the consequences of their behavior and sometimes show arrogance.
Only 2 medications have officially been approved by the FDA to specifically treat Bipolar Disorder. Seroquel and Symbyax ( Prozac with Zyprexa). Traditional antidepressants have little benefit for Bipolar Depression and may actually cause a switch to mania. Effexor, Cymbalta, and Pristiq have been known to cause this to happen.
Lithium with Lamictal are still considered to be the most effective.
Personally I can’t take Lithium because I only have one kidney. I also realized when reading this that I might have been viewing things the wrong way.
In earlier years when I was forced to go to Therapy or a Psychiatrist I was still drinking and in my late teens, early twenties. It’s possible I didn’t volunteer information or give an accurate history. Most likely I didn’t realize the consequences of my behavior either. I’ve blamed my late diagnosis on the Doctors but I may be responsible too.
If they had looked at my file and seen the drinking, erratic behavior, and read one or two of the forms I filled out it may have helped. There were questions about promiscuity, spending habits, sleep habits, if family and friends sometimes thought you were “too hyper”, and questions about depression that should have set off some red flags.
I’m willing to take some responsibility now. I’m also willing to try again. I don’t want to be estranged from my family. I’m sick of thinking that every time I interact with someone I later overthink it. I immediately think I bothered them, I talked too much, I was annoying, they couldn’t wait to get away from me. I then sit in my car and cry. This isn’t living it’s just existing.