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Does BiPolar get worse with age?
I have seemed to get worse through the years, even though, I was just diagnosed (20 years as depression before now at BP1), it does seem that the episodes got worse and worse through the years.

As my father got older, he seemed to get worse, and worse (he wasn't diagnosed or medicated), and I just wonder what it's going to be like as I get older.  What does my family and friends have to "look forward to"?

I know we can get "stable", but does it continue to get worse?  Also, I have a history of dimentia in my family - I wonder if it's linked?

Thoughts???
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I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 when I was 48,and ADD at 55. My life is so much happier,  ut I know that if I had been diagnosed earlier I would not have gotten as sick.
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I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 when I was 48,and ADD at 55. My life is so much happier,  ut I know that if I had been diagnosed earlier I would not have gotten as sick.
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My husband was diagnosed bipolar a few years ago, but he can't admit he has it and it is ruining our marriage.  He's been to two doctors and both prescribed seroquel but it doesn't seem to work and neither doctor followed up to make sure it was working.  He is going to a new doctor in 2 weeks and I am wondering if there are some meds I should ask about.  How can I get him to understand he has this and that he needs help?
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i am 17th yare girl i tahnk madec for deprecen  i thank i have bipolar what sing of bipolar  hoe can u tell if ur bipolar i thuor sulfe i cry for noronze at all i whant to sellp all the time  i am  deprost all the time i get mad at pople for no reze at all
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Hey all
I do not have BP but was in a relationship with a man who does. He left me a couple of days ago - I'm pregnant with his child, but he's cut me off entirely. He has significant stress financially and from a previous marriage.
He claims he brofe it off because we are incompatible. What I don't understand is that he has vascillated between 'You're the love of my life, I can't wait to be a family' and 'You're manipulative like my ex wife, you're sick. I wont put up with it'. I would like to go on record as saying - yes  have my flaws, but l am nothing like his ex wife, based on his opinion of her.
Here's my question. Is the bailing because of bipolar and he really can't help himself or take on the stress of a child? Or is he - and I'm sorry to say this - using it as an excuse? He's generally quite functional. Holds a steady job, makes decent money. I have seen his episodes, but somehow he manages to put on the act when he needs to get things done.
I have been super supportive of him, have done tonnes of research on it, have made lifestyle changes to manage his symptoms and even went to counselling with him.
He is out of my life and has made it clear he will have minimal involvement with the child, if I choose to keep it. He has in fact suggested I put it up for adoption.
I dont understand the sudden switch, the total cut off and the emotionless way in which he is managing this.  
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585414 tn?1288944902
Yes the difficulty in expressing emotions appropriately and having difficulty relating to people can be part of bipolar at times.
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If you are in a study, you would have to drop out to add more medication. I am surprised that the study does not include a mood stabilizer, unless they are trying to show that Abilify stabilizes mood... I take it and it doesn't stabilize my moods.
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The pdocs don't follow up unless YOU make an appointment and go in. Follow-up starts with your action.
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Please try running/jogging for 15 minutes to half an hour every day in a park with trees. If possible find a jogging companion. Don't worry about getting jogging gear. Just run for the fun of it. do it today, now!

It will help more than you realize.
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Exercise, especially running/jogging during daytime increases serotonin naturally. Running/jogging/brisk walk in a park with greenery and trees has the same calming effect as meditation. Don't worry about gear, just do it in a relaxed, non-stress way.

Run to lower BP! Run for your life! Run for your health and peace of mind!
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3112922 tn?1341774610
im  bipholar and adhd  and i have tiny bit, of skitzafrania this is something you don't just make up everday as a just a disease  it's  through  not  just through what we've been through but also trying to remember or move on to the future not what happend in the past i was diagnosed from birth to 3days old  with bipohlar adhd alpesia  and amenisia  disease called short term long term memory loss  and  asthma  and adhd  and bipohlar and    a lil bit of autism and skitz afrania speech probs since  birth to age 14 in a half which is how old i am now  and people think it's just a made up believe or myth were making up  and they act it out on television it's making not just our lifes or feelings but those diseases worses  think  about the people who have it and what they must be feeling in  their everyday  schedule and life proposales with these type of disabilaties and functional diseases they may go away and sometimes they never do so its not funny at all.  you have to take risks and alot of  things in your life serious  theirs time for the happy sad emotional moments and then theirs    times to worry about what's going to happen to us  when wer'e older and how much more time do we have before it can be healed  coming from someone like not just me angelrayejohnson but alot of people in your everyday night and life  and your surroundings with the same not just issues but who live with  some  of the same symphtoms  or  diseases  or diff  more far  uncontrollable  diseases and   are afraid to face whats  infront of them  in their lives  ik i still am  trying to face whats in store for me and everyone else day to day i'm yea i;m overprotective sure but   if u  saw  how much a family or firend ro someone close to you goes through  nm what symphtom or disease or disabilaty might be  maybe  you see our gifts inside our out of our  everday and nighteveryday*  lives and maybe you wont  hate or critize. everything or anyone  with diff or   higher disaabilaty confirmation   u seen in rl maybe u won't  take advantage of us anymore   look outside the box even if you dont see one  at   livestakes or if isa broken or stuck lockt o open your heart please look  healing comes and goes to heal some uf but does it heal us all  love angelrayejohson123   with all of most of the symphtoms   since birth aand 3 days old with friends with diff ones looking for hope jsutt like evryone us and   do they heal us all or treryt o even if it can or cant be done im  14 ina half  since  3 days old and  birth iv'e deal t with no  just biohlar short term longtermmeory loss h
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Lithium settles my mind down so I can sleep. You chould look in to that. Anti-depressents and bipolar proceed with caution!
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I am so happy to have found this thread - so many nice and well-informed people.  I just returned from a trip to see a relative and had a major episode. I left the home, drove around a large city - in dangerous places of the city for 11 hours.  Then, I was at LAX for 7 hours waiting to get a plane at 6:00 a.m. It was also a dangerous place to be.  This episode was caused by my guilt over my treatment of a close family member who I continue to disappoint. I take Lamictal.  I am 60 years and seem to be getting worse. I have run up debt again - $80,000 7 years ago and then, bankruptcy. Now, about $15,000 and I am becoming successful in paying it down. I haven't told my husband.  I am so tired of being mentally ill. I don't feel suicidal - just tired and like I am not worth anything to anyone. I feel so sorry for my family. I have no more friends. I will read this thread, hoping for new posts and will make every effort to be of support to others. This is a very lonely disease.
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3231134 tn?1347622836
I have been diagnosed with BP and have struggling with impulse control, even though I am not manic right now. A therapist recently told me that he thinks I'm in a mixed state, however, I'm having trouble understanding what exactly is a mixed state. I know that you show both symptoms of depression and mania. I am having trouble identifying the symptoms. Everytime I decide how I'm feeling it seems to change. I do have an appointment with my pdoc today and hope I can explain it to him. I'm taking Cymbalta and Abilify and thought it was working pretty well but then started doing things impulsively that I know I shouldn't but do anyway. I just want to know if anyone else suffers from mixed states and how they know that that is what is going on and how they deal with it.
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I totally understand you! I am 28 years old and a US war veteran. I began noticing my symptoms towards the end of my first deployment at age 21 but because I had deployed, I was diagnosed with PTSD because of combat. I noticed the constant mood swing. I woke up one day and wanted a divorce, I became more and more impulsive, very irritable, detached, I couldnt sleep. I was a mess. I racked up debt, lost my apartment, my cars, the savings and pretty much ended alone. I had access to good doctors through the VA system but I felt bad and useless as a young man. I couldn't keep a job and the only reason I didn't commit suicide was because they taught me at church that if I did, I would burn in hell for ever and that scared me more than my pain. Coping with my symptoms has not been easy. Im currently married and I see the effects in my wife and our marriage, in the life of my step kids and in my own. I have very productive moments when my mind is functioning at high levels and its hard for me to sleep with all the racing thoughts and my depression gets worse and worse. I could be driving and happy like a dog and someone could cut me off and I can go into rage. I know all this sounds bad, but its not that bad. I learned that one of the first steps is to realize that we do have a condition just like if it were cancer, a broken bone or something visible. I learn to recognize my mood and find things that calm me down like music or my pet chocolate lab. Pills and more pills are not the only treatment, they go hand and hand with our lives. I find ways to keep my mind busy but in a productive way like taking classes, interacting as much as I can even if I dont feel like it and it irritates me because I realize that it is a battle of the mind. Everyday for me is a battle and sometimes I get discouraged because I just turned 28 and I think about the future a lot even more when I feel like my condition worsens. But I know I must continue everyday like when I was deployed in Iraq. MIND OVER MATTER!!! Find ways to fight even if people don't understand you, even when you want to give up,keep fighting. I joined a military community help group of people with mental health conditions and in someways it has help. Find people that are like you and are productive and they will be an inspiration. I just want to tell to simply not to give up. Stay blessed    
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I Am glad to hear a positive response and perspective about this.  My mom was diagnosed bipolar at onset, then unipolar.  She took so many meds and her worst episodes occurred in her late thirties, forties and fifties. I believe God spared her in a sad way by giving her cancer.  She passed at the age of fifty seven.  Strangely, she was more herself and rational during chemo and as the cancer spread.  My fears were always that I would also get sick, but I suffered severe depression at age 35 and since, I have been on antidepressants that seem to work.  Unfortunately, my 16 year old daughter did get the gene.  When I was 37, my husband was in an accident, almost died, and became permanently paralyzed.  This traumatic event coupled with genetics set the stage for our then 13 year old.  She has struggled without meds for two years, and at age 15 we started her on meds after she attempted suicide.  It has been triple turbulence in our home before and since.  She has gained over fifty pounds, lost all self confidence and worth, took on a bf with lots of co dependent issues, drug abuse, and, she has rages once a month for weeks at a time that usually end with calling the police or taking her to the er if we can take the beating long enought to get her there.  
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I'm 21 years old and I was diagnosed BP at 19. I am ADD as well. I struggled in school with serious concentration issues. When I hit preteen years i knew something was wrong. I found myself to be constantly up and down to the point to where i was ALWAYS emotionally exhausted. I constantly found myself drawing conclusions with people, taking things things wrong, randomly becoming enraged by the smallest things and I was never able to sleep bc my mind would run at night. I'm still not sure whe I have episodes. Everyday of my life since around 12 I have felt an exteme high of explosive happiness and be extemely hyper then crash and wind down really fast and want to cry. This happens at least 4 times a day. I hide it well. I was always scared of what people thought of me so I tried to behave to get accepted. I'm only 21 and mentally and physically im 17. I started working at 19 bc i was nervous about struggling to hold a job bc of my emotional problems. I've read all these comments an i can relate in some sort of way. I'm nervous about the future bc i feel like I'm not gonna be able to support myself :( any advice?
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585414 tn?1288944902
   It would be worthwhile to see what effects you in the workplace and see if you can set up a reasonable accommodation that could help you be able to cope with it.
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I have just started to believe i am bipolar and it is because my moods have gotten so much worse. I'm 35 and until 4mo ago never connected my moods to bipolar. I'll admit I'm scared to death of being bipolar. Even scarier is if I'm not. I don't understand my rage and can't control myself at all sometime. I have lows beyond anything remotely normal. I have just started my process, call mental health today, waiting for a reply. I have know idea what to expect, I just know I can't be normal.    
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love your post, i have bipolar II disoder and i agree the meds are side effect hell for sure,
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love your post, i have bipolar II disoder and i agree the meds are side effect hell for sure,
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I have bipolar II and my illness has gotten much worse with age (I'm 47). I just found out, though, taking SSRIs may have been causing it to get worse, so I'm coming off my citalopram and going to be put on lamatrogine.

There's some research now that SSRIs and SNRIs can exacerbate bipolar and if you're BPDII it's often misdisagnosed as depression and SSRIs prescribed, which can lead to rapid cycling and a worsening of your symptoms over time.
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You might find a benzodiazepine such as diazepam would help with the racing thoughts...

Obviously I would never recommend this but I was self-medicating bipolar symptoms with heroin for years and wondering why the methadone didn't work for me (I felt depressed out of my mind on methadone). Eventually I gave up heroin but became psychotically manic. When I did take heroin on top of mania the one therapeutic thing it did was to make my crowded brains suddenly feel crystal clear ~~ in effect the racing thoughts had stopped.

I'm thinking maybe a benzo would do a similar thing. Drs don't like prescribing them as they're addictive if used every day for any length of time. Also if you do take them every day they become markedly less effective, so they're much better retained strictly for PRN use.

Hope this maybe has helped...
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1255505 tn?1272822715
Does BP worsen with age? I read that it does, in my case it has, and in my sister's case it has. Of course, two anecdotes and a vague remembering I read something somewhere isn't all that definitive.

My last mania (which was about three years ago) included delusions, which was a first for me. I also went AWOL (from work not the military) for two weeks and ended up across the country. But I soon crashed into a mixed state and really didn't require any intervention. No lasting harm done, except for maxed out credit cards.

My sister's most recent mania (a month ago) resulted in a 10 day hospitalization, a first for her. She also lost her apartment, car, and came very close to a 6 month commitment. Also bear in mind she was on Tegretol and high doses of benzos at the time.



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My mother is 78, is a unipolar manic. She has manic episodes that last from 6-9 months with little to no depression, about every 3-4 years. I can't go into all the details (would be a book). She never admits what she has, although was formally diagnosed in a hospital where she admitted following prison for calling the police nonstop. That was about 20 years ago, she was put on lithium and cleared right up, but of course stopped after she was released. My dad is a co-dependent, just moves away when she is bad. She is also a servere alcoholic. Now she is in a manic episode, going on for about 3 months, living in her house in Tahoe with 4 other homeless people she says she is "saving", including my brother who is also BP. She has been smoking and drinking throughout her life.

My sister and I have given up trying to help, we have gotten verbal abuse over it for over 35 years, you can only take so much. If my dad passes first, it will be a living nightmare for my sister and I since my mom as never paid a bill in her life, my dad handles all their finances.

It is so sad, she would have been an awesome mom if not for the BP.
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I am not sure why but I feel like even waking up is a struggle. I am bi polar and I don't take my medicine like I should bc I can't afford it. I am so tired of this lonlely, empty life I am 42 and I just ready to sleep.
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585414 tn?1288944902
    There are still options as regards coverage for medications. If you dont work you might be Medicaid eligible. ff you do work and your state has it you could be eligible for the Medicaid Buy in for Working People with Disabilities. Also there is the Patient Assistance Program where the specific pharmaceutical company can provide the medication without cost dependent on eligibility factors. There are other insurance options as well. There are agencies that could help in this regard. It is worth finding out about. When a person experiences the depressive aspect of bipolar a sense of hopelessness and sleep disruption are common concerns. There should be a way you could get the help you need.
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In my opinion, he ejected because he's bipolar.  Deep down, he knows who or what he is and thinks you will have a better chance on your own, especially with a child.  I am 51 years old, and was diagnosed with BP2 last week but I've had suspicions for years. At age 30 I was diagnosed with depression.  Your ex-boyfriend's behavior sounds identical to mine.  That's the biggest frustration.  We can fake it most of the time, especially at work, but not all the time and we take it out on the people we love most.  It burns up energy and we're only human.  I hope you can forgive him and yourself.  I want to be "normal", just realizing it probably won't happen.  And the worst is that I have a son and I'm learning I may have passed this on to him.

I don't know if you'll read this or if it helps but I wish you the best.  Thanks for listening, or if you don't read, then thank you, Universe, for letting me say this somewhere, somehow to someone.
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In my opinion, he ejected because he's bipolar.  Deep down, he knows who or what he is and thinks you will have a better chance on your own, especially with a child.  I am 51 years old, and was diagnosed with BP2 last week but I've had suspicions for years. At age 30 I was diagnosed with depression.  Your ex-boyfriend's behavior sounds identical to mine.  That's the biggest frustration.  We can fake it most of the time, especially at work, but not all the time and we take it out on the people we love most.  It burns up energy and we're only human.  I hope you can forgive him and yourself.  I want to be "normal", just realizing it probably won't happen.  And the worst is that I have a son and I'm learning I may have passed this on to him.

I don't know if you'll read this or if it helps but I wish you the best.  Thanks for listening, or if you don't read, then thank you, Universe, for letting me say this somewhere, somehow to someone.
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hi almost30, I am 34 and I am having the same trouble as u, I was diagnosed at 18 and I havent taking any meds since 21.... I thought I could handle it too.... but now more than ever I think I need help .... I have been on the edge of a breakdown for 3 years now... and I am scared and dont know what to do... please msg me and we will talk more
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hi almost30, I am 34 and I am having the same trouble as u, I was diagnosed at 18 and I havent taking any meds since 21.... I thought I could handle it too.... but now more than ever I think I need help .... I have been on the edge of a breakdown for 3 years now... and I am scared and dont know what to do... please msg me and we will talk more
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To the readers,

This is a blog where posts are made by people who are not doctors.  I notice there is an urban legend growing here with Rach as leader that the disorder gets worse with age, but there is no relevant age range mentioned.  My experience of 45 years is that as my body has aged, my ability to sustain mania has diminished.  My first psychotic episode was at age 24 and the last at age 50.  I am 63.  It is important to follow a medication schedule, but also to learn and then avoid your triggers.  Mine was sexual affairs outside of marriage.  It also helps to avoid alcohol and drug abuse.
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I have been on Lamotrigne for 5 years, a psychotic medicine that is a generic, 400 miilirams now for my manic. My psychiatrist has been raising my dosages, slowly in that time frame.  I was also on cymbalta for depression.  Because of the sexual problems it can cause e.d. and such, He lowered the dosage, and now take it when needed.  One of my symptoms is I cannot manage money very well.  That gets me depressed because I cannot support my family.  On a daily regiment, the cymbalta elevated my heart rate.  So I take only when needed.  To tone down my rages, i take a mild tranquilizer known as clonozapam once a day. It evens me out quite nicely.  When the daily aggravations of life hit me, I go into a tail spin. These drugs have helped me. I just hope I can keep on supporting my family without going into the poor house.  I have learned to accept what is, my wife and daughter love me unconditionally.  Married 17 years, have a daughter everyone loves and says she is an amazing kid.  So I try to look at the good side which is very good, and I exercise almost daily and that takes my mind off mysef, plus I watch a lot of old detective shows on netflix and spend lot of time with my family which helps me feel safe.  My 12 year old daughter thinks  I am king, despite my disorder.  Keep on the meds and see your psychiatrst when he reccomends it.  Even if you cannot afford it. They will work with you. He may have some contacts.  Mine is very good he knows what he is doing with me.  Do not try to get treatment from your primary care doctor.  They just cannot help, but keep him informed when you see him.  I am 52 and was diagnosed at 40 or so.
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6043517 tn?1378621561
I just found this site today because I was searching for information of how my Bipolar disease will affect me as I get older.  I was correctly diagnosed in (98) at  40 yrs old. I am 55 now. My Psyc. told me years ago that it would get worse as I got older and that's why it was important to keep a long term treatment plan in place.  I was notorious for missing appts. and ending up in the Psyc. wards.  Medication therapy will change over the years as my condition changes.  
Several years ago I was able to get into a program at the VA Hospital that has given me a full time case manager who is responsible to insure I have medication and that I go to my appts.  He also does home visits.  My condition has improved greatly since then.  However,  my thinking and agitation plus depression has been changinging.  I've started to rage on people for things I think they have done to me and these episodes have increased over the last 2 years.  All my symptoms has seemed to intensify lately.  My Psyc. is aware but can only adjust meds.  I'm afraid that the Psych.Ward will be my Retirement Home.
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My dr also said it would get worse with age. I have gotten worse with age most definetly.
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As I take inventory of the last 22 years since I knew about my bipolar. I think it is harder to deal with. Never took meds, had lots of consequences, and I am having a harder time coping. I don't know if I'm worse or I have more responsibilities and less youthful strength. It's been awhile since I had a full type 1 delusional experience, though I cycle more now. Better, worse, or different? Hard to say really. The brain is like other organs in that it does wear with age bipolar or not. I am finally going on meds, mostly to protect my family. I will rethink this later, but at 42, it seems to have changed, but I can't say the bipolar is worse. I can say life is worse, I still can't rely on myself and have not been able to live my dreams to the fullest. Disappointment and legit depression are always there right now, which makes the hypo mania less fun or productive. So far, I think the bipolar has stayed the same, while my life has changed a lot, making it feel worse. It probably is worse, I'll enjoy this denial as long as I can.
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I was coming off a combo depressive/manic episode a few years ago and was put on Risperdal.  After reading about it, I understood why my doctor put me on that specific drug.  As I said earlier this evening, don't let it throw you when you find out it's an anti-psychotic.  Initially that didn't sit well with me because, well, psychotic really implies different things.  Yet, I've been on the Risperdal, 1 mg in the evening, for 7 years.  He led me to believe it would be a temporary solution but I seriously believe I can't nor want to go without it.  The way I describe it is that it helps me think more clearly, not be in a fog as much, particularly on those really down days and in the evening, it can relax you and help with sleep.  I think sometimes it helps with the irritability.  When I was prescribed it, my main symptoms that bothered me was irritability and not being able to concentrate, i.e, racing thoughts.  Maybe you can ask your doctor about Risperdal (generic is Risperidone).  
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I just turned age 63 @ only found out about a year ago I have bipolar. Wife said doc said I had Bipolar 1 @ 2 but I thought 2. Doing very well with my meds so far. No longer drink any, and gave up cigs. Taking RISPERIDONE, DEPAKOTE, CITALOPRAM, & TRAZODONE. Hope I do not get worse with age.
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26 year old college student; studying IT with absolutely no interest in it. What you said; bless the fact you have kids, is something I can COMPLETELY relate on. Atleast from this standpoint; and my moodswings and depression is getting worser and affecting me professionally.

Alcohol allures us into chasing away the demons,
I have run many different side businesses, quite lucractive; but despite any progress I can get up, I ruin jobs, relationships, friendships, and have no family. What is money without love?

The depression is so overwhelming, fear can be so overtaking, and failing to concencrate has been horrible.

My mother dealt with these things, once a successful poet and editor in chief, now a lost soul on food stamps with no love from anyone. I am fearful of ending in her path.

Now, her issues are creeping into my head and honestly DESTROYING my capability, freedom, and ability to laugh, you know? to see my own color in my eyes again.

I have given myself to god, a higher power, to hopefully open doors to medication or actual SOLUTIONS so I can take on the world. If anyone can relate or speak to me about this please let me know, Merry Christmas.

Anyone who deals with this pain I understand; but our forums are about SOLUTIONS.

Currently on:

Wellbutrin XR 300 mg
Prescribed to God.

Looking to break free-If you know what I mean by this, then let's get working.
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I enjoyed reading your post. It was well thought out and very insightful. I am one of those that have progressed with age. My entire life was ripped apart because of this "monster" I have started being treated 20 years ago. I have had two episodes so severe that it lead me into the hospital for a nice long stay. AND that was while being on medication.

I have been on a cocktail of meds with several doctors who at times throw there hands up saying we can't do much else. Up the dose, lower the dose or trying something new or go back to something previously tried etc.. Medication for me keeps the monster from going to extreme. Sometimes. But it is a daily and I do mean a daily fight to recognize that I am out of my "close to normal" personality range.

I was able to get disability for BP (thank God) to avoid losing yet another job. I am lucky, I have good support group. Friends I have had since I was 13 that have stuck with me even after watching me struggle with this when none of us understood it. Support in new found faith. And support in a wonderful guy in my life who wouldn't walk away even when I told him too.

Thank you for listening.

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Hi Tami - you need Seroquel to calm the mind and racing thoughts. It's an anti-psychotic, but has use in treating bipolar.  Ask your doc.

I know your post was from 2008, just wanted to add this as a current post.  Maybe someone can get some relief from those racing thoughts.  (and grinding my teeth for me)

Pauly
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Seraquel works for some people really great. For me Seraquel caused me a tremendous amount of rage and did nothing to help me. Everyone is different.

As for teeth grinding. I have experienced this only on certain meds. Once the med was stopped, the teeth grinding went right away. Many people do not realize that certain meds cause this.
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7471685 tn?1393404378
my personal believe is that every kind of bipolar disorder can be controled. you should try and i am sure it will help.
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Please find the money to get medication at a local country treatment center.  It's like finding money when you were using drugs and alcohol.  It is an inherited disease, whether family members - even distant, were diagnosed or not.  I am 12 years sober and had my first mixed episode at 25 in need of hospitalization therefore, Bipolar type I.  I attempted suicide and 19 and played with an overdose at 13.  Read "Acceptance is the Answer" in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous if you subscribe to that treatment of your alcoholism.  We can't deal with things appropriately until we accept that these are the cards we have been dealt (some people have cancer or disabilities, this just happens to be ours - through NO fault of our own).  Symptoms can be largely relieved often and it just takes trials with medications.  Do NOT be discouraged.  There is a better life waiting for you out there!  Don't give up hope.  It will get better.  An AA group and program can be very helpful IF you don't buy into the fact that the symptoms of your mental illness are character defects.  The character defect is only to find a way to accept the cards you were dealt.  Then move on, take responsibility for them and get treatment.  I wish you the best!  LT
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Can I ask what meds you are on? I'm 40 and been on effexor for 11 years now. For a few years before I had my kids I took it with topamax and that was a good combo except I could not work due to the memory problems from the topamax, so I did not go back on it after my kids. But now I have lots of problems with anger, but at least I'm not suicidal. So I'm looking for a good combo. All my dr can suggest is topamax but I need a job to support my kids. I'm a single mom too. What meds are working for you and what is your low stress job? I didn't know there were any? LOL Thank you
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My doctors tell me that prozac makes mania worse and I have found this on several web pages as well.
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Mine has gotten better the older I have gotten But and that's a big But.  One of my problems happened to be financial.  I won't go into details but I almost caused us to go into bankrupsy.  the federal govt had a lein on our property.etc.  I'm not sure along with the bipolar if I didn't have a breakdown.
bipolar was terrible wide wide swings. My husband stayed with me but was not helpful in helping clear our $ mess.  now after almost 10 years things have finally lightened up and as they say I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I learned many things thru these horrible 10 years (I've been bipolar for years but received treatment for 20 years.  1.  you need to do research on your meds on your own.  I found lamictal on line and requested my doctor let me try it and it is wonderful for me along with my other stuff.. I've tried so many others that the list is too long to list.  
Stress is my major culprit.  If I manage my stress I do fairly well. Don't ever stop researching.  Dr.s don't know everything.
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Hello , I'm 17 almost 18 and also deal with bipolar disorder , I just read one of your post on your struggles of dealing with your disorder and I'm really interested on how you are now , my story is a lot like yours , from 1st grade to 5th grade I had a doctor for severe anxiety and depression , when I was around 11 I told my mom I wanted to kill myself , by the time o was 14 I starting smoking weed everyday and than worked my way up to hard drugs doing cocaine and heroin by the time 16 . I've dealt with depression anxiety and mania all my life but was just diagnosed with bipolar disorder a little over a year ago when I had an episode . I went through 2 months of severe depression not leaving my room than became delusional and starting becoming paranoid and manic and then was hospitalized , I was thankful for my meds they've really helped but I still deal with my cycles , I'd just like to see how your doing today
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I'm so glad I found this forum! So much insight! Thank you all for sharing your experiences; it helps knowing we're not alone. I'm 51 years old, diagnosed at approx 40. I do fear dimentia. Actually think it's started. My body is intolerant to medications... they all made me sick. Lithium gave me tremors so bad I couldn't eat a bowl of soup. I'm unmedicated at this point but I'm also, after many years of treatment, able to 'kinda' feel an episode coming on, not always tho. I also know what triggers me so I stay away from those situations. Sadly that limits my ability to join life.
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I was diagnosed with bp 21 years ago when I was 34 and had a two year old child and a failing business. Additionally I had become involved in an extra marital affair which threw me over the edge. Luckily I wasn't suicidal and have never been hospitalized. Primarily I am depressive with only a very few hypomanic episodes.My psychologist spotted it when even a yoga class would make me dissolve into tears. I was initially started on Lithium but my gastric system could not tolerate this at all. I was then started on Depakote  and Tegretol plus Paxil and Elavil. This worked for about 12 years but once I got into my mid 40's the weight gain was getting out of control so my new doctor switched me to Prozac. Unfortunately within a few months I became hypomanic and we had to change that to Cipramil. At 50 with the onset of menopause everything went haywire again. However then due to dysmenorrhea from a fibroid I was recommended to a medical doctor  who was also a fully qualified Asian trained acupuncturist who additionally prescribed Chinese herbal supplements. Yes I can say that my episodes have increased and become worse since menopause began but the acupuncture detox treatments have worked wonders. They seem to stabilize me when stress levels throw my chemicals out of balance. In the last few years my pdoc has added Seroquel to my regime and due to the extreme stress of a new management position in the last year I am now on this cocktail of 5 meds at the highest doses I have yet to be on. Although I wish I wasn't on these meds as a medical professional I will never forget my first pdocs comments about taking the drugs. He said if you had heart disease or diabetes and could take meds to control it you would, so consider this as the same. Yes depending on your life style it may worsen with age and yes I think it may be somewhat hereditary but be thankful today that there is help and I recommend that one should not be afraid and seek the help they need.
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