If you have bipolar anti-depressents would have easily made you manic. That's because they are not designed to treat bipolar and can worsen it. Mood stabilizers are. Lithium is a standard mood stabilizer and Seroquel is an antipsychotic used as a mood stabilizer. On that specific combination what side effects were you experiencing then? I would strongly doubt they would worsen mania. How long have you been off them? Because if its been a short time the moodswings could return in full or you could be euthymic (normal affect or mood) in between the manic and depressive phase and one could then hit you. But if you have been off these medications long term you may have cyclothymia (mild bipolar) which doesn't cause that extreme moodswings. But it still exists. And it too would be worsened by an anti-depressent.
You should not rule out the idea of going back on a mood stabilizer depending how you are feeling. But realize the whole time you were on anti-depressents you were probably misdiagnosed as having depression because they may not have been aware of any manic episodes you had if they were mild and thus at that time with an anti-depressent it was worsening things. I would think the Seroquel and Lithium were helpful to some degree. How much? And what side effects did you experience then? As for bloodtests that alone is no reason to go off medication. I needed to get bloodtests for many medications but if you get used to it and don't tense up and the technician does it well its relatively painless. Think about what's going on now in light of all this.
Well sure it sounds like Bipolar to me.
So many people think not taking meds and feeling normal means the doctors were wrong.
I spent 15 years off meds. The doctors were not wrong. And from my point of view the crash is not a matter of if its when.
Fear of needles is an excuse, we make them when we don't want to do anything and want to give ourselves permission to not do something, its a non reason really and if you can take illegal drugs you can take good drugs, all the excuse does is give you a way to bame something else for the problem - "its not my fault I cannot take drugs im afraid of neeedles".
Most class A drugs are incredibly dangerous for people with mental illnesses - using is playing russian roulette with your sanity - coke, meth, ecstacsy, ice, LSD, marijuana can all bring on psychotic episodes and mania and worsen existing conditions.
In the end its your choice, we can advise you to go on meds or get some help or not use but its not going to do anything until you want to do it and I think you are halfway there - if you need some people to talk to and advise on how to make the final step and get medicated we can do that - Lithium is not your only choice either but yes occasional blood tests are needed with most medications.
As for blood tests it does depend on the particular medication. I would advise everyone on medication to get a yearly bloodtest (it can be difficult as regards Medicare and other insurance providers so the best advice is to say its to rule something out or test for something because they won't pay for yearly check-ups which is much to their disadvantage but hopefully they will change that policy but that's another issue). I need to get one for Zofran for liver function. As for antipsychotics they don't require bloodtests except for Clozaril which is weekly, then after six months bi-weekly and then a year monthly (I was on that for 3 years, the bloodtests were a part of life, I got used to them).
But with mood stabilizers Lithium of course requires monthly bloodtests. Depakoate less frequently over time (at least once a month). Tegretol which does require blood tests is being replaced by Trileptal which is chemically almost identical but does not cause the side effect that requires blood monitoring. Lamictal however does not require bloodtests but merely a yearly bloodtest to monitor for liver function. That is used as a first line mood stabilizer by many psychiatrists and has a good side effect profile overall. The risk of a rare rash which can be monitored for goes down markedly after 6 months. If you could not tolerate Lithium for reasons other than the bloodtests Lamictal might be one to ask a psychiatrist about.
Of course recreational drugs can be destructive and some can cause brain damage but they also can hasten the onset of bipolar and worsen it. So yes the outcome could have been worse but you still could easily have bipolar. For more information on mood disorders in general and medications for them google "Depression Central".
I'm terrified of needles, so they do "butterfly" needles, which are tiny, and don't hurt. As well, I used to work myself up before getting poked, I've learned not to do that anymore. You've spent some time doing illicit drugs, not only is that not good for you, but long term it will make your BP worse. You need to stick to the meds, Lithium is a great standard drug, Seroqual sure helps with the mania and anxiety, and maybe get another Mood stabilizer like someone already said like Lamactil (my med godsend) I sounds like you are in a manic phase, and it's inevitable that you are going to crash, better get back on the meds before it's really bad. BP can be deadly without treatment. This is a serious disorder. Please see your GP or pdoc. :)
Ahh butterfly canula's... had about a thousand of them in the last few years - theyre so easy tp put in and they do not hurt that much.
My wife and I were on a medical study and we had bloodtests every week for 2 years and she HATES needles, like has to look away and talk about something else hates.. She never did get used to them.
I look at it this way. Needles VS Mental Ward when it all falls apart. Now if you enjoy laying in a bed listening to a psychotic in the next room scream at the moon the mental ward might be great, personally Ill take the needles and try and avoid the crazy people in the locked roomsm - ive been there and it aint fun.
I would agree but I've been in psychiatric hospitals before recovery and I pretty much got along well with all the other people. The ones that were wildly manipulative or psychotic I just saw as symptomatic and frankly I felt sorry for them that they couldn't be helped. However, in 1993, I fell in with the anti-psychiatry crowd (very briefly but enough to create harm in my life). They convinced me to try some quack remedy called Bach flower remedies would "cure everything" (they worked on anxiety for a few minutes, it may have been placebo effect) and to go off Lithium because it was "dangerous" (although the reccomended lithium oratate, which is dangerous among many other useless natural remedies). I was allowed to titrate downwards from the Haldol by my psychiatrist (not the same one I see now) and then I decided to go off it. Starting to feel wildly manic I thought I "just felt better" and threw the Lithium out and discontinued 1800 mg. in one day (terrible decision). Due to the amount of time it stays in your system it didn't hit me until two weeks later but then I was in a full psychotic state. And in the psychiatric hospital. I admitted myself voluntarily but what I did beforehand impacted on myself and other people. It was totally irresponsible but I had been mislead and in this case I partially blame the psychiatrist I had at the time who said "if you are not taking medication I don't need to see you anymore" which lead me to irrationally boast and emote "I don't need a psychiatrist".
Look with schizoaffective or schizophrenia everyone knows psychosis affects judgement by definition but mania does as well. Its just it creeps up on you and then you do something impulsive and irrational and regret it afterwards. It may not be the psych. hospital, from what I've seen in other people the end results were anything from sleeping around to binge spending to grandiose revenge schemes to run ins with the law (your use of recreational drugs may very well have been a form of self medication) or more milder things but ones that did end up affecting their lives. Its complex. The only known quantity is untreated mania is not a good thing and the depression that follows it is even worse (and always happens eventually).
Monkey you are so right, catch it now and it's better then being next to someone who thinks that their ex is speaking to them through their computer and just doesn't understand why she is in the hospital. It made me even worse feeling, thinking I might end up like that.
I was put on the drug carousel taking 1200mgs/day of Lithium and a tricyclic med until I was 16, I stopped all meds when I became emancipated. I met the "love of my life" when I was 16 and I was sure I was just fine, that ended when I was 20, and by 25 I was depressed constantly, but then I was the life of the party as well, did some pretty stupid things as well. I hit about 29 and everything fell apart, I was suicidal. I had a pdoc and a GP, neither diagnosed me with BP and I went on the SSRI fun run. In August I felt like my head was going to explode, I was hypomanic, anxious and suicidal. I knew something was seriously wrong, couldn't get into my GP for 2 weeks, so I walked into the hospital. I had the rudest front line ER nurse, who I had to tell 4 times, that I was intentending on committing suicide. I told her look if you aren't going to take me seriously I want to talk to someone else. I actually saw her on my way out and told her that she needs to have more compassion and I filed a complaint against her.
So to make a long story short, I've been in your shoes sorta, and I know how tough it is. I went through a long list of denials,including my original diagnosis. Once you get stable you'll feel much better. Hang in there, we're here for you!
Thank you everyone for replying to my post.
Sometime i feel i need to kick in the teeth and a push in the right direction from people.
I know im manic right now but i just hate to believe it im always wishing am normal and try to block out the fatc that im bipolar.
Reading everyones reply has made me relize that i need to sort myself out.
3years ago i was happy to tell anyone i was bipolar i ws on meds and i was sorting myself out and proud of myself that i was now better and was back to work . It all changed about 4 months ago and i stopped taking meds and im become ashamed of being bipolar and somedays i dont want to believe i am bipolar.
Can i cant help for guidence?
I dont know why my thoughts have changed i feel alittle helpless
We all feel helpless sometimes ok, its normal and we all have the times when we just feel so lost and alone and have no idea where to go or what to do.
Sometimes the urge to lie down and cry is so strong... Sigh.
The thing is you do not need to b ashamed to be bipolar, ok so you fell off the horse, time to hop back on and keep riding.
We all wish we were not bipolar but I never wish I was normal. The reason why I dont is something my psychologist loves to say - Define normal.
We are normal. We are mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, to roughly paraphrase something I read not long ago we are the people on the train and the people you work with and some days we are in knock down drag out fights for our sanity and our lives - most people have no idea what it means to be us some days but we do.
There are plenty of people here to offer support and advice, all you need to do is get the help you need. Its just one step. Take it with us.
I'm glad you responded back and are considering treatment. Don't let society's stigmatazation of people with bipolar be a part of it. As a person recovered from schizoaffective disorder I certainly encountered a good amount of that but I didn't internalize it. I just said I am a person with a psychiatric disability and as long as I respect the law and society then people should treat me as an equal. As long as I had self confidence I just saw people who did otherwise as ignorant and certainly for friends and family members who don't understand (which can be a problem, my family was supportive) there are support groups within NAMI for friends and family. However, not taking a mood stabilizer won't stop you from having bipolar. But it will make you become manic. And then at that point you may end up doing things that will alienate people. If your moodswings are under control having bipolar is certainly not a good thing but its part of your life and easier to accept when treatment is working to control the more unpleasent aspects of it.