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Forums > Social Discussion > Therapies for Bipolar Disorder

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i8beefy2
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA

Total posts: 674
Posted:So Im learning all about BD for a friend and was wondering if anyone had some personal accounts of their treatments that they might not ming sharing. She seems to cycle through extreme moods very quickly (days / weeks at a time). She also doesn't want to go on any drugs if she can avoid it, mostly because she is afraid they will take something of who she is away from her. To be honest, as I never really liked the idea of medical psychoactive drugs being prescribed either, I can see where she's coming from.

I've read a lot of things about it, and possible therapies. For instace, there is one theory linking the mood swings to a messed up biological clock, prescribing extended forced periods of darkness during normal night-time hours, which seemed to level out the moods of several of the people in the study... Anyone else heard of this?

Im also trying to get her to start watching her diet a little, and engage in a regular exercise regimen, as these seem to help with some cases.

Obviously the usual course of treatment is pharmecuticals. Im sure there will be mixed opinions on that, and Id love to hear them all. I really want to be able to provide her with a good idea of how they have effected other people who have been diagnosed with it. Like how it effected your general responsiveness to things, do you feel like yourself, etc. As long as the dosage is right, from my general understanding of Biology, mood stabilizers shouldnt cause tremendous changes in the person, but then I have no first hand experience to pull from.

Also, I wonder if anyone can comment on alternative treatment options as well. I know a lot of people have trouble believing in that sort of thing, but Im not looking for questions about their relavence: I'm just looking for people's opinions on what may have worked for them.

Any helpful information, especially first hand experience, would be wonderful! biggrin


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ledieudufromage
SILVER Member since Nov 2004

Corvus
Location: Seattle, USA

Total posts: 1
Posted:well you seem to be posting in the right place for the treatment I use. whenever I feel a swing starting I just grab my practice poi, or clubs, and go spin/juggle for a while. I would just suggest to her to take up some form of mediation (for me through poi), and to focus all her energy (positive or negative) into that when she is feeling out of cycle.

other than that, just some release, like going outside and sitting somewhere for longer than she could possibly bear, and just staring at one area, it may sound boring and difficult, but it really helps me.

good luck.


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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Written by: i8beefy2

She also doesn't want to go on any drugs if she can avoid it, mostly because she is afraid they will take something of who she is away from her. To be honest, as I never really liked the idea of medical psychoactive drugs being prescribed either, I can see where she's coming from.




My reaction is:

Tough.

This is like saying that someone has severe asthma but doesn't want to take drugs for it.

I can't emphasize this enough: "BIPOLAR DISORDER IS A POTENTIALLY LETHAL DISEASE." I have seen the results of what happens when a bipolar patient has tried to commit suicide because he couldn't take the pain anymore... or when she drove her convertible over a ledge because she was so manic she was sure she would fly.

You don't mess around with a true diagnosis of bipolar disorder. You get treated, or you risk winding up committed, dead, or worse. It destroys lives, it kills people, it maims them, and it used to be untreatable and people wound up all of the above.

The drugs to treat it suck, I'll agree. We haven't found the magic "SSRI" silver bullet. Lithium and valproate have nasty side-effects, the second-generation antipsychotics less so, but still not insignificant.

And yet it's better than going for a swim in an icy river because "I can handle the cold!"

You'll also hear from people who suffer "mood swings." In true Bipolar disorder, the fastest the cycling should be is on the order of weeks. Otherwise you're looking at the range of personality disorders.

Not everyone with swings is Bipolar and the meds for bipolar only work with true bipolar.

But if the diagnosis is correct, you don't muck around with this one.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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jo_rhymes
SILVER Member since Apr 2005

jo_rhymes

Momma Bear
Location: Telford, Shrops, United Kingdo...

Total posts: 4525
Posted:get the drugs. The disease will take her away from herself, not the drugs. believe me, I avoided taken anti depressants for 2 years, but i have been on drugs now for 5 years and feel like me again.
smile


Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

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Bubbles_
SILVER Member since Nov 2004

Bubbles_

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: mancunian, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3383
Posted:theres a few types of drugs for bipolor which include lithium and anticonvulsant drugs (like depakene, depakote) which was mainly for epilepsy but blockes certain messengers in the brain. food wise, omega 3 fatty acids are effective but im not too sure which foods contain them... ill go have a look.

my opinion though, although i dont have bipolar but do study it, you cannot live wiothout the drugs. i know theres the image of drugs being pumped into people who are ill, and it can have negative affects, but considering the fact it is a serious condition, and there is no way a person with bipolar can live a normal life without risks, drugs are a necessity. one of the biggest problems with bipolar though is that when the person is on a 'high' they feel they dont need them anymore, and that they are fine, and thats where friends and family come in. a bipolar person may need drugs etc but support is so important! its good of you as a freind to be looking out for them and researching this because there are so many conditions that very few know about, and therefor cannot handle or help (if that makes sense).


Disclaimer:im not responsible for what i say or do whether it be before,during and after drinking alcoholic substances (owned by BMVC).
Creater of Jenisms(TM)
Virginity like bubble,one prick all gone.

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Bubbles_
SILVER Member since Nov 2004

Bubbles_

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: mancunian, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3383
Posted:here here is a good link, its even got vegan food smile

Disclaimer:im not responsible for what i say or do whether it be before,during and after drinking alcoholic substances (owned by BMVC).
Creater of Jenisms(TM)
Virginity like bubble,one prick all gone.

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i8beefy2
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA

Total posts: 674
Posted:I agree with you to a point Mike. However, I also don't want to recomend something to her that would be worse than the problem in terms of side effects. I have told her that I think she should look into drugs though.

Keep in mind she has NOT actually been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. I am a psych major, which is one of the reasons she came to me about this, but in no way do I feel confident telling her that she is or is not. Judging on the basis of how well I know her, and her behavior, and what I know about bipolar disorder from class and personal research, I am leaning toward that possibility though. IE normally people don't just cry about nothing, but that just may be because she can't pinpoint the causes of her feelings and not because of a chemical imbalance.

I'd like to see her go get a consultation with a psychiatrist, and in fact Im even thinking about consulting with one or two of my professors on this to see if they can recommend a course of action. But I think she still has some other options to TRY before admitting that there is nothing she can do personally to reign her emotional spikes in, which may be better for her in the long run so that if she IS diagnosed bipolar, at least she can go into treatment without delusions about what other things she could stop taking meds to try, etc.

In addition, in her school she sees a lot of kids who go to the doctor to get prescribed things that they just want to take, ie aderol, pain killers (!), anti-depressents, etc. with little or no trouble. In effect, she doesn't trust doctors to make an accurate diagnosis. This might also be my fault to a point, because I've pointed out a lot of studies to the effect that such diagnosises are very... problematic. However Im trying to make it a point to her that though I too have reservations about whether a particular diagnosis might be right or not, that even I would still trust their judgement over my own... but that's been slow going.

In addition, the rapid cycling that she seems to go through has worried me a good deal that perhaps bipolar MIGHT not be right, because she does seem to cycle quite quickly, to the tune of days or weeks. The possibility of other underlying personality disorders has not escaped me, especially given her past (mucho disfunctional family issues, alcoholic mom, etc.). There is ALSO a past history of mental illness in her family.

==

Which is why I wanted to see what other people have tried / what has worked for them. She might only be willing to actually take action with a doctor after she feels she has done all she can alone.

I will pass on some of the diet recomendations, etc. and whatever anyone else posts here. If it really is a chemical imbalance, these might not work, but they may help to return the body to a more normal functioning state. At worst, it can't hurt to try and get her to be more healthy. biggrin


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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:Bipolar is more complex than it looks... in early high school I *looked* like a textbook case.... *every* single symptom listed for bipolar II except halluciations.....

But it wasn't. I don't know if *anyone* is qualified to judge what was going on there (I've had a mess of mental health professionals shy away from it especially as its in the past), but based on current data is an unlikely differential diagnosis at best.

Things can look like one thing and seem to be another. And sometimes weird things happen with meds too, a close family member is on meds for bipolar and doing wonderfully despite a (admittedly shaky) diagnosis of schizophrenia... but the doctors sorted it and its going well. The trick is going to be finding a doctor (she) trusts, who will listen to her, and going thru the whole evaluation and follow-up process...

This isn't to say they nesc going to magically sort everything! Might not happen at all I'm afraid, even less so if she's not open and honest. But they'll be able to catch anything dreadfully major and at least put a start on anything more minor.


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Written by: i8beefy2

I agree with you to a point Mike. However, I also don't want to recomend something to her that would be worse than the problem in terms of side effects. I have told her that I think she should look into drugs though.

Keep in mind she has NOT actually been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.



That's different then. Because many people who think they may have BPAD (Bipolar Affective Disorder) actually have...BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). Lithium helps the former...and not the latter.

But if it is true bipolar, then the drugs are, unfortunately, the only option. They suck, but the disease is a LOT worse. I've seen people wind up homeless, I've seen them wind up maimed, I've seen them wind up dead, and I've seen them wind up worse than dead (like the gentleman who tried to hang himself with an electric cord and failed to kill himself...but managed to stroke out half his brain and wound up being just more than a vegetable). And I've committed them to inpatient psych units for their own protection while we forced antipsychotics down their throats (or injected them with them) to keep them from hurting themselves as they literally slammed themselves into walls.

Name me a drug side-effect worse than that.

Psychotherapy can help with personality disorders, but the evidence for it in Axis I disorders is that it's not terribly effective.

But first she needs a good, competent psychiatrist to come up with a good differential diagnosis and then a good final diagnosis. And until that happens, no drug is appropriate to prescribe.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:Listen to Doc on this one. You don't mess about with bipolar disorder.

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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s1owpoke
SILVER Member since Jul 2005

Member
Location: , USA

Total posts: 11
Posted:My wife has been diagnosed several times by different Psychiatrists with Bipolar Disorder over 6 years ago. I can type here for days and still not explain of what we have been through and tried.



I have learned that the medications are not a 100% fix and tend to have side affects but do not compare to not taking any medications. Bipolar disorder can be deadly and must be treated as any other serious medical condition. I know because I almost lost my wife.



S1owpoke

EDITED_BY: s1owpoke (1128955008)


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