Tag Archives: Bipolar disorder

the path around lake 22

followup–trip to the psychiatrist

went to see my psychiatrist yesterday. i get started on lamictal tonight. it is an anticonvulsive medication.

the history on anticonvulsive medications is they were originally developed for seizures people with epilepsy. there were enough people with epilepsy and bipolar. while taking the medication they experienced relief from both their convulsions and bipolar symptoms. when that happened, they also started using the medication for bipolar only with similar success.

it is similar to the story on lithium. in the 1880’s lithium had been primarily used for gout. the belief of the day thought bipolar disorder was gout of the brain. for that reason lithium got prescribed for bipolar disorder. it had great success it treating the symptoms.

as research continued, discoveries separated  gout from bipolar disorder. with that discovery, lithium fell out of favor as a treatment for bipolar disorder. in the 1950’s, the world “rediscovered” lithium success with bipolar disorder and it became the primary medicine for bipolar disorder.

my psychiatrist gave me an article that tracked some 450 patients in europe over decades. it kind of pisses me off on the power of marketing. while antidepressants are pushed big time in todays’s day ant time. the long terms study sows how the antidepressant drugs don’t “cure” depression, they only shorten the cycle. the additional problem arise when antidepressants are continued after recovering from the depression. the drug also shortens the period of time between depressive cycles. antidepressants have great short term success but the longterm study showed time and again how they screw up longterm cycles.

i plan to do a complete writeup on the article later this week.

in the meantime, i am thankful for the psychiatrist i have. he came highly recommended from my gp. also got a strong recommendation from our marriage counselor. He is  the psychiatrist that gets used when all other method seemed to fail. and he also had great record of success.

so, i have hope that my stubborn depression might actually see some control.

blue boat getting away?

letter to the family

this is an email that i sent to my family letting them know of my new diagnosis.

title: Good New!


I’m bipolar.

I bet your reaction was similar to a good friend of mine. His wife has struggled with depression much of her adult life only to be diagnosed bipolar. He initially replied to my diagnosis , “I’m sorry.”
You see, even he, who deals with this disorder every day, still fits into societal stereotypes. Society has preconceived, misconceived, and ill–conceived notions of Bipolar disorder, bpd as I’ll refer to it.
Bpd, or its equally other maligned name, manic depressive disorder, for to long has had stigma of wild and nearly uncontrollable moods swings from depression to manic.  Along with that, comes with someone unable to deal with society and best be locked away. If that’s the case, better get ready to throw away the key, because I’d be headed to the loony bin.
¿Fortunately?, my manic swings are nearly non–existent. That lead me and me docs to believe that I only had struggles with episodic depression. Because of that, my real problem had gone undiagnosed for years.
An additional “side effect” of the treatment of my depression with SSRI’s potentially shortened the times between my episodes of depression.   Oh what joy!
With a proper diagnosis, there are some “mood stabilizers” that will help restore some balance to my life. With that, comes a good prognosis.
With my new found discovery, I would like to pass along some advice. If you or someone you know has been struggling with on and off depression, it might make sense to schedule a trip to a  psychiatrist to review if there might be a misdiagnosis, similar to what happened to me.
It would also behove you to add this to your medical history; there is a genetic component with this disorder. Studies with identical twins show that if one twin has bpd, there is a one in three chance that the other twin of suffering with the disorder at some level, also.
My psychiatrist has given me a pretty extensive package of information on bpd and its treatments. If you would like to see them, just let me know and I can forward them on to you.
It has been a long a rocky road. There is a new found hope that perhaps, with a little bit of roadwork, I’ll finally have a smoother ride. Let’s hope so. I’ve already worn out one too many sets of shocks!

hang in there…a little tree hangs on to a rock


i am a big fan of transparency. i try to be open about what is going on in my life. i try not to hide portions of my life. i try to always let my left hand now what my right hand is doing.

i participated in a writers group. The group mixed people writing for business, pleasure and personal writings. some people wanted to keep the personal writings separate from business writings. they felt like their personal writings my negatively affect what people would think of them and have an adverse affect on their business.

when i had the chance, i would advise them against that. “maybe something personal you wrote would strike a positive chord with someone, and the personal writing my bring you more work.”, i would conjecture. “maybe by showing who know are through your personal writings, connections to more business would occur.”

i really saw no reason to keep personal writings separate from business writing…until now.

too many members of the public know too little above bipolar disorder, or its equally maligned name manic depressive disorder. Their thoughts go to one flew flew over the cuckoo’s nest.  or living on some ward wearing pajamas that don’t even cover the backside.

they visualize

jack nicholson in one who flew over the cuckoo's nest

jack nicholson in one who flew over the cuckoo’s nest

even if their thoughts don’t go that far off the deep end, there is still a level of uncomfortableness with unknown things. too many people know too little about bipolar and are likely to make judgements before knowing the whole story. for that reason, at this time, i am choosing to segregate my bipolar life.

that doesn’t mean it always is going to be that way. i am wise to the ways of the internet and know how to connect bipolar sojourner back to ste… oops, almost let my real identity slip out there.

truth be told, i guess it is partly with me becoming comfortable with my new tag. I hate tags. I have been doing some work recently with  get out of your mind and into your life: the new acceptance and commitment therapy by Steven C. Hayes. he would suggest against tagging and would suggest a statement of something along the line that I struggle with bipolar disorder. guess i am still learning and trying to apply ACT.

please understand my anonymity as I get accustomed to this new part of my life.

purple berries…

getting started

recently, i got diagnosed with bipolar depression. it actually feels like a little bit of a victory. you see, i have been struggling with episodic depression for some 12 years.

it started innocently enough with a season of sad, seasonal affective disorder, followed by another season. or was it two? they all blend together. then i broke loose of those surly bounds and started having episodes any time of the year.

it has got to be about 10 episodes now. episodes for me can last from 4 to 6 months.

the feeling of victory comes from being treated for the wrong thing for years. there is a new–found hope that being treated for the right thing might lead to better results. perhaps i can finally have some freedom from this gloom, this fog, that has visited far too frequently.

my posts at bipolarsojourner.wordpress.com will be a place for me to recollect and write about my journey. I hope you join me.