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Bipolar diorder

Please help ,my 18 year old son has just been diagnosed with this disorder.I don't want him to be a "ZOMBIE" on the med's that they will give him.We have a doc.'s appointment today.I am sad and worried.Please advise
13 Responses
212753 tn?1275076711
there are many meds to pick from.I went through several till I got on the celexa/zyprexa combo.I am doing great but dont dispair if you dont get the right med first. work with your doc till you find the right one. be sure your son eats healthy exercises and get regular rest. this will help him tremendously. good luck to you both and let me know how he is Also give the meds at least 4 weeks. It takes this time to get the full effect of the med.
Love Venora
Avatar universal
THANK YOU so much for your advice,and concern.I will keep in contact
                             Love Jodiee
Avatar universal
Can my son survive his Bipolar disorder without med.s
212753 tn?1275076711
No bi polar is for life. the meds do for us what our brain doesnt.but a great quality of life is possible with the right meds and therapy.
Love Venora
324388 tn?1194297539
if you dont treat it does it get worse?
212753 tn?1275076711
yes it does been there ,done that, never gonna do it again.
Love Venora
Avatar universal
My oldest son will be 18 next month and was diagnosed when he was 12 as bipolar.  The meds have been a life saver in all ways.  If your son doesn't take his meds, he is at risk of being suicidal.  I have read that bipolar is a form of a seizure and that it can cause damage each time they have seizures(mood swings) if it isn't treated as soon as possible.  My other son who is 12 is also bipolar, and we have been trying to find the correct meds for about a year now.  We are still searching for the right combo, but I know that without them, he would be in a lot worse shape than he is now.
Avatar universal
Let me say something about my 64 years of BPD just to let you know there are no "quick fixes,"at least none I know of.... I'll post my story here in a series of "short"(!!!) instalments to make it easier to take in.-Ron Price, Tasmania.
___________________________
1.1 This is both a longitudinal account, going back to my birth, and a short term account taking in my most recent experiences in the last eight months(4/07-11/07)with manic-depression(MD) or bipolar disorder(BPD) as it has come to be called in recent years.  Some of the personal context for this illness over the lifespan in my private and public life, in my relationships of family of birth and of marriage, of work and now retirement are discussed in this document.  I also include some discussion of (a) my personal circumstances as they relate to my values, beliefs and attitudes on the one hand--what some might call my religion as defined in a broad sense—and (b) my wife’s illness and my/our many moves over the years on the other.    This lengthy account should provide: (i) mental health sufferers, clients or consumers, as they are now variously called these days, with an adequate information base to make some comparisons and contrasts with their own situation, their own predicament whatever it may be, and thereby gain some helpful knowledge and understandings; and (b) those assessing my suitability for work, for public or private office with a useful document for making their decision an informed one.

1.2 Many do not feel comfortable going to doctors, to psychologists and/or to psychiatrists.  Perhaps this is part of a general distrust of certain professional fields in our world today.  Perhaps it is part of a general public being more critical. Still others do seek help; others try to work things out themselves and there are, of course, various combinations of the two approaches.  Many often find the journey through the corridors of mental health problems so complex, such a labyrinth, that they give up in despair.  Suicide is common among the group I refer to here—the sufferers from MD and BPD.  This account may help such people obtain appropriate treatment and, as a result, dramatically improve their quality of life.  I think, too, that this essay of over 16,500 words and forty A-4 pages(font 14) is part of (a) my own small part in reducing the damaging stigma associated with BPD and (b) what might be termed “my coming out.”

1.3 The wider context of my experience which I outline here is intended to place my BPD in context and should provide others with what I hope is a helpful perspective, as I say above, in relation to their own condition, their own problems and situations. This essay, as I say, of over forty A-4 pages(font-14) is written: (a) for doctors and various medical professionals who have dealt with or will come to deal with my disorder and who are now, at this present time, involved with my treatment, (b) for internet sites and those registered/inquirers on the www at a range of health and mental health sites, especially the sections dealing with depression(D), MD and BPD, (c) some of my relatives, friends and associations over the years with whom I still have contact in these years of my late adulthood(60-80) and to whom it seemed relevant to give such a statement; (d) for government departments and Baha’i institutions who require such statements for reasons associated with our relationships and interactions; and (e)  for myself as a reflection, for my own satisfaction, to put into words the story, the results, of an illness, a sickness, a disorder that has influenced my life for over half a century. Originally written in 2003, this piece of writing has been revised many times after further reflection on original and earlier editions and drafts; after feedback from various doctors, friends and internet respondents  and after an increase in my own knowledge of the illness as a result of further study.

1.4 I do not claim to possess a specialized and/or professional expertise in the field of the study and treatment of D, MD or BPD. I do not work with people who have such problems, nor do I have a desire to do so, except as a participant at a number of internet sites concerned with relevant mental health topics and with people who cross my path serendipitously with various related problems.  This long piece of writing, too long I’m sure for some, not as sharply focussed on my actual experience as some respondents on the internet have already indicated, is but one of my many pieces of my writing these days.  The vast majority of my writing has nothing to do with this disorder.  After more than 60 years of dealing with this medical problem in my private and public life I am only too happy to put it to bed, to put it into some final corner and forget it. Sadly I can not do so because I still suffer, even after 60 years, with problems that are part of this disorder’s long history in my life.  I have italicized some of the more important sections toward the end of this document to assist those who are busy and not inclined to read a long statement like this—to assist them in: (a) making whatever assessment they need to make of this account, (b) finding out whatever information they desire that is relevant to their particular situation and (c) and deciding what my present psycho-emotional state is in order to understand why I do not want to: (1)be employed/in a job, (2) serve in a volunteer organization or (3) attend some apparently simple social function.

2. My Experience of Manic-Depression: Phase One--The First 36 Years
                                             1944 To 1980________________________

2.1 In the first 36 years of my life I had many episodes of various kinds of emotional imbalance or disorientation, themselves of varying lengths and intensities, varying from a euphoric, impetuous, expansive or high mood to a depressed, gray, low energy or mood.  Sometimes they affected my day-to-day life severely and negatively and sometimes the affect was insignificant, hardly noticeable. After many experiences on the fringe of a normality that was my usual modus operandi or modus vivendi, as it is said in Latin , on the fringe of what I saw as my general everyday experience of life, an experience that is sometimes called the quotidian by writers, poets and novelists, I was diagnosed as a MD in May 1980 in the process of treatment by a psychiatrist. I had often been on the fringe of this disorder, as I say above, a borderline zone, a limen as some historians call it, a border territory, a zone between normality and various behavioural extremes and eccentricities from my birth in 1944 to 1980.  
____________________INSTALMENT #2 TO FOLLOW AT A LATER DATE___________________
Avatar universal
2. My Experience of Manic-Depression: Phase One--The First 36 Years
                                             1944 To 1980________________________

2.1 In the first 36 years of my life I had many episodes of various kinds of emotional imbalance or disorientation, themselves of varying lengths and intensities, varying from a euphoric, impetuous, expansive or high mood to a depressed, gray, low energy or mood.  Sometimes they affected my day-to-day life severely and negatively and sometimes the affect was insignificant, hardly noticeable. After many experiences on the fringe of a normality that was my usual modus operandi or modus vivendi, as it is said in Latin , on the fringe of what I saw as my general everyday experience of life, an experience that is sometimes called the quotidian by writers, poets and novelists, I was diagnosed as a MD in May 1980 in the process of treatment by a psychiatrist. I had often been on the fringe of this disorder, as I say above, a borderline zone, a limen as some historians call it, a border territory, a zone between normality and various behavioural extremes and eccentricities from my birth in 1944 to 1980.  

The treatment regime in 1980 was lithium carbonate, an antimanic medication.  Lithium was the first really successful mood stabilizer used by doctors to treat MD, for an illness that in the 1990s began to be called BPD.   My history to that point had been far from smooth and linear as my remarks above indicate. Those thirty-six years had often been bisected, polarised and traumatised and perhaps at a future time I will attempt a more detailed account of these years but, for now, I outline here a brief sketch of particular episodes.  My experience of these all-too-common everyday personal emotional extremes away form the norm, from my norm, is only part of my story.  Everyone has their story for everyone experiences all sorts of abnormal eccentricities in life, some people of course more than others and some more traumatic and intense than others.  

My account of those years from 1944 to 1980 follows.  I try in writing about and in summarizing these first 36 years of my life, not to overstate my case, nor to understate it, but give an account of those first 36 years which I refer to here in this general statement as phase one of my bi-polar life.

2.2 In some ways the inclusion of the names of those doctors who treated me over the years in this first phase and in later phases would personalise this account, but names are not that important and to include them here in this narrative causes confidentiality problems for some readers and for people in my own past who might not want to be mentioned.  This question of confidentiality is especially true at some internet sites where posts are rejected if names are included in any posting at the site---and so I leave names out.  Those whose names I could mention would not be troubled by their inclusion here, not now, not in 2007 after an extensive destigmatization of the disorder in recent years.  

2.2.1 I certainly appreciate the medical and clinical work of: (a) several of the doctors I went to in my childhood and adolescence, (b) the psychiatrists who have treated me since June of 1968, nearly four decades ago and (c) many family members, friends, colleagues and associations, some known well and others hardly at all, who have helped me ride the waves when the disorder raised its head yet again along the way, the road of life.

2.3  Comments on Childhood and Adolescence: 1944-1963

2.3.1 As I refer to above, I had some experience of what may well have been BPD in childhood as far back as infancy and at the toddler stage, all of the pre-school years, 0-5, of early childhood development.  My mother nearly died in the first month after my birth, the implications of which it is not my intention to go into here, indeed, if there are any significant implications at all.  Before the age of five there is evidence that my behaviour had some of the features of what is now called Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Perhaps in a later edition of this essay I will attempt a more detailed outline of what I recall from these years of early childhood, but my recollections are minimal and it is not my intention to comment further on these early years.

___________INSTMANET #3 to come later ________
Avatar universal
This third instalment comes from the fifth edition of "my story," a story revised many times since its initial edition in 2003.-Ron Price, Tasmania
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2.6 Comments on My Ante-Natal, Neo-Natal,
Childhood and Adolescence Life: 1943-1963

2.6.1 As I refer to above, I had some experience of what may well have been BPD in childhood as far back as infancy and at the toddler stage, all of the pre-school years, 0-5, of early childhood development.  My mother nearly died in the first month after my birth, the implications of which it is not my intention to go into here.  If there are any significant implications and events at all in the ante-natal and neo-natal phases of my life I do not examine here.  I am inclined to think, though, they may be important in the aetiology of this illness.  Before the age of five there is evidence that my behaviour had some of the features of what is now called Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Perhaps in a later edition of this essay I will attempt a more detailed outline of what I recall from these years of early childhood, but my recollections are minimal and it is not my intention to comment further on these early years.

2.6.2 Through middle and late childhood into the puberty cusp of 12/13  in 1956/7 I did exhibit personality features, behaviours or symptoms that    had features of BPD, at least to a limited degree, or so it could be argued if not proved: (a) a lack of control of my emotions, impetuosity, lack of emotional restraint and (b) a far too intense activity threshold what is now called hyperactivity, mild mania or hypomania.   I recall at the age of 12/13, at the onset of puberty, exhibiting inappropriate or precocious sexual behaviour, although the particular manifestations only involved one episode which constiuted groping and an attempt to kiss a girl who did not want to be kissed.  Adolescent BPD presented me with an accentuation of puberty and teen-turbulence caused by hormonal shifts. Society value shifts in the 1960s accentuated my tensions and behavioural problems more, or so it seems to me, as I look back from the perspective of half a century. My mother’s understanding, commitment, perseverance and patience even though she did not know that I even had BPD is now in my memory bank.

2.6.3 Keeping sexual stimuli under control has always been a struggle to regulate so as not to have it claim too great a share of my attention. With the years, the half century since 1960, the opportunities to go over the top and to let physical/sexual temptations assume too great an importance have increased.  My mother took a liberal attitude to my sexual frustrations and this liberal attitude became part of my own attitude to the battles I had to face in this domain of life’s tests.

2.6.4 It was not until much later in life, though, that I began to see my aberrant childhood behaviours and my aberrations at puberty and then adolescence as possibly having a link with my future mental illness.  It was not until I was 19 in 1963 that any characteristics of this illness became quite clearly apparent, pathological and, in retrospect, could be called part of a BPD and given that medical diagnosis.  At the time, though, in 1963 no doctor would have given, or at least gave me, that diagnosis.  Looking back to the age of 19 in October of 1963, I recall feeling a depression so deep it was like ‘a sickness unto death’ that I had never before experienced.  It was a sadness so pathological that it made me feel suicidal, like death not warmed over, as one could say colloquially.

2.6.5 One can read about this intensity of depression in many fields of literature and of mental health.  The desire to die at the time was overwhelming, but little talked about to anyone, except perhaps my mother, although I honestly can not now recall the extent of my openness with her.  She knew I was depressed but neither she nor I really understood the dynamics or the intensity of the depression.   I think it was assumed that I would grow out of it.  And I did. By December 1963 the depression began to lift. I wrote my December exams and I continued with my first year university studies.

2.6.6 These behaviours, this depression, at the age of 19 or any of my behaviour before that last year of my teenage life(1963-1964), did not result in my receiving any medical attention.  The first formal diagnosis of my illness was labelled a schizo-affective disorder(SAD) in 1968. In retrospect, I now see the autumn of 1968 as the first formal mis-diagnosis of my BPD.  At the age of 19, though, I was given lots of advice from religious to common-sensical: diet, exercise, prayer, vitamins, interesting leisure distractions/interests like horse-riding, watching TV, music, et cetera.  After several months to several years, 1963 to 1968, the emotional aberrations disappeared or could be said to be sub-threshold at least for a time.  My episodes over those years and in the years December 1977 to June 1980 seemed to exhibit quite separate and distinct tendencies and patterns.

2.6.7 Hypomania(H) was always characterized by elation and D was always characterized by varying degrees of very low moods. Such an observation seems now to be so obvious as hardly requiring a mention, but at the core of my experience of this problem was either D or H and the impact of their various symptoms.    Within those five years 1963 to 1968, though, the permutations and combinations of emotional variation were enough to being tears to the eyes of a brass monkey, as my mother used to say and, as I say, looking back in retrospect.  It was a miracle I ever got my degree and my teaching qualifications labouring under such emotional chaos from time to time and often, week after continuous week in a variegated pattern.  

2.6.8 Sometimes there was a return of incapacitating symptoms; sometimes I simply exhibited impetuosity or lack of emotional restraint; at other times my moods were expansive, quasi-manic.  Perhaps, as some of the BPD literature suggests, I was affected sporadically by the extremes of a psychomotor retardation and agitation which is characteristic of this illness. Combinatory, lateral, uneven, unusually sensitized thinking, particular sensitivity to energy levels and a state of increased awareness were all part of my experience in these five years. It is difficult to describe these five years in retrospect given the bizarre and chaotic nature of the experience. Given, too, a general context of a degree of normality and the inevitable routine and quotidian nature of life that went on inspite of everything, inspite of the emotional problems makes the description, after forty years, difficult.
Avatar universal
I shall post no more instalments on my story. If anyone wants more of the sotry, just write here.-Ron in Australia
Avatar universal
These days meds have changed quite a bit, and there are a lot of them out there. Which form of Bipolar was he diagnosed with? It also depends on the severity and if he's manic or not. Some BP's love the mania, so they may be unhappy they don't have it, because it most cases even when they are delusional they don't see what's wrong with it. My hypomania comes with anxiety so it's no fun for me, and I know I am going to crash into a depression, so I've asked for my meds to be upped. So I'm not the life of the party anymore, but I appreciate the stability I now have because of the meds.
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