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General Discussion / Re: How is everyone doing
« Last post by paulm on February 21, 2018, 06:50:04 PM »
Hello Mark. Peace has given you a pretty good answer. I'll try and add a little. My experience has been that everyone is different, but sometimes docs try and treat us all the same. It's been my experience that each doc has several medications that they prescribe first. That is fine as long as they are willing to change them up when they don't work. I would have gotten a lot better , a lot sooner if I had made my docs change my meds quicker when I was really ill.  If a medication is going to work for you, you will generally show a large improvement in how you feel within 60-90 days from the time you reach maximum dose. I don't know how many times I went 6mths or even more than a yr(s) with a medication that only slightly improved my moods.

 Basically if I wasn't suicidal my doc didn't want to change my meds. That can still leave a person feeling pretty low. In order to get better I had to try many different meds in a variety combos and I went with the "if I don't feel vastly better in 90 days I want something different " attitude and that helped a lot.

 Of course I had to do some difficult things myself , like life style(exercise , sleep habits, etc) and diet changes (less booze, less sugars and chips etc) in order to make it all work, but changing my meds helped considerably.

 Which ones to take? Unfortunately everyone is different, so what works for one won`t work for another, however it may help to try different classes of medication. For example Sertraline is classed as a  SSRI, so maybe an NDRI (wellbutrin) may work for you. Each class of medications anti depressants works in a slightly different manner. That doesn`t mean that another SSRI may not help you (such as cipralex).  Wikipedia has a not bad primer on various classes of antidepressants https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antidepressant . It certainly is not the last word in antidepressants, but it may help. Take Care. paul m
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General Discussion / Re: How is everyone doing
« Last post by Peace on February 21, 2018, 11:21:55 AM »
Hi Mark,

Nice to meet you! Welcome  :)

I didn't answer your question right away because I was having a not very good day when you first posted, so I was hoping someone else would reply.

I looked back on your previous post because different meds help different conditions, and saw that you said you struggle with depression with an alcohol problem. I am alcohol dependent and had treatment for it myself last year, so anything I say to you in relation to alcohol is in no way judgement of you.

My diagnosis are OCD, agoraphobia with panic, PTSD, and depression in order of severity. If you can and haven't already, try to find an experienced psychiatrist who will take the time to talk to you. I wasted many years receiving treatment for depression and anxiety only which did nothing to help, and in fact was detrimental, to my primary diagnosis of OCD. I've heard many stories of people who have bipolar disorder getting treatment for depression alone, which only makes their condition worse because anti-depressants trigger mania. An accurate diagnosis is crucial.

On to medication. Each of us is different. Sertraline has always been the best medication for me. I've been tried on many, and always return to Sertraline. A higher dose is known to treat OCD, but the problem with that is I've had instances of medication induced mania, and I'm also highly sensitive to medication, so higher doses make me very ill. None of us have the same chemicals or the same conditions, so what might work for me, could be detrimental for someone else. I know someone who prozac has helped their OCD, whereas prozac made it so I couldn't leave my home to even go into my neighbours backyard, I was having so many panic attacks.

Does anyone else in your family of origin have mental health or brain disorder conditions (OCD is a brain disorder). If yes, and they are taking medication, it's known that what helps one family member has been known to help another. My sister and brother's depression are/were both helped by Wellbrutin.

Not a lecture at all, as I said I'm alcohol dependent, which is in remission - please try to work on alcohol intake if it's still a problem. Alcohol and medication together can be very dangerous, and decreasing my alcohol intake has drastically improved my mental health. Alcohol is just a very temporary fix that in the long run is detrimental.

Medication on average is at best 20% of recovery. Recovery includes medication, lifestyle changes, and the therapy that treats your diagnosis with the right person.

I apologize for not listing medications you could try, our diagnosis are different, and we are all different. Hopefully someone diagnosed with depression will also respond.

Good luck to you!!! We are all in this journey together and we all understand.




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General Discussion / Re: How is everyone doing
« Last post by MARK HEITHORN on February 19, 2018, 04:52:22 PM »
so so. Thinking of changing meds. Currently on 150 mg on Sertraline and 100mgs
of Lamotrigine. Having issues coping with Depression. Can anyone suggest new meds?
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General Discussion / Re: Getting help for spouse
« Last post by momfellinglost on February 06, 2018, 11:33:16 AM »
 I wish I had some suggestions to help you find a solution. Make sure you take care of you too. Seeking help for what is happening at home and knowing that it isn't your fault. If you husband has a mental illness talking to your doctor about what is going on could help. It can be hard to admit how you are feeling on his part. He needs to know that there is help if it is a mental illness and he didn't do anything to cause it. Drinking can be used to mask how they are feeling. And I hope that you can find a way to work through this with or with out him living in your home. I hope you will keep coming here and posting this is a very safe place and is filled with some real good people who will help with information.
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General Discussion / Re: How is everyone doing
« Last post by Dragonfly on February 05, 2018, 08:31:25 PM »
Momfellinglost,
 Beekeeping seems like a very interesting hobby. Yes, animals do give unconditional love. I have two cats. I can't wait for spring. Then my family and I can go camping again.

Paul,
 I am so glad that 2018 is starting better for you. Congradulations for the Ontario medal you received for good citizen ship. I am sure you are very proud as you should be.

Dragonfly
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General Discussion / Re: Getting help for spouse
« Last post by paulm on February 02, 2018, 04:02:58 AM »
Hello Jane and welcome. That's a tough spot that you are in, but you are taking the right steps. One of the problems with trying to diagnose bipolar is that heavy drinking will often hide the bipolar or it can inflame bipolar. That is , bipolar may only become a problem when alcohol is being used.

 While I'm sure that somebody has gotten better while drinking heavily, I've never met anyone who had a serious mental illness and who got well while drinking heavily. (sorry to say)

 In regards to stopping drinking quickly his doctor may be right, but unless your husband is a full fledged alcoholic, there is no reason why he can't slowly cut back over a couple of weeks.

 I'm sorry that I don't have better answers for you,but until your husband is willing to seek it is a difficult situation. You are correct about seeking help for yourself.

 I sympathize with your situation and hopefully his psychiatrist will be able to talk with him. If he does come down from what you suspect is  manic high, that is the time to talk with him. Trying to talk sense to someone who is on a manic high usually only leads to arguments as they don't see any problem with their behaviours. Good luck and Take Care. paul m
 
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General Discussion / Getting help for spouse
« Last post by Jane on February 01, 2018, 08:40:34 PM »
Hi everyone,

I found this group while searching for how to get started with a possible bipolar disorder diagnosis for my husband. Our lives have been totally chaotic for the past few months and after reading extensively about bipolar disorder, I am pretty sure that is what is going on. He's also been self-medicating heavily with alcohol.

I scheduled him an appointment with his family doctor and he went but requested that I not be present. I respected that wish but now I'm a little nervous that he only mentioned a stomach issue he has been dealing with. He says they discussed it land that he will get a call from a psychiatrist in three weeks and that she said it was better not to stop drinking cold turkey. He's usually very honest and we have never had problems around this but he really has not been himself at all and I don't think he thinks he has bipolar disorder.

I really could use some advice from someone who has already been through this, either support person or person with bipolar. Is there anything else we can do in the meantime? I'm looking for a psychologist but there are so many and I feel lost trying to find a good fit. I also joined Al-anon family groups hoping to get help for myself. I don't know how much more of this I can take. He is very irritable and speaks terribly to me and about me to our young daughter. He is not participating at all in our family life. He sleeps 3-5 hours in the early morning after work (works nights) then goes out all day to run errands or "help" friends. Then he's off to work. Recently he befriended a guy who bought him a $400+ ticket to a sporting event and a $75 team jersey. He says the guy gambles. So now of course I'm paranoid that that could become a problem too. Money is already a very touchy point for us so I don't even want to bring it up.

I feel like giving up! I'm just nervous about sharing custody with him when he is unwell.

Any advice or a point in the right direction would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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General Discussion / Re: Look for suggestions on how to deal with this
« Last post by paulm on January 31, 2018, 08:50:14 PM »
Hello Momfeelinglost. Unfortunately I have no good suggestions, but I can undertand how difficult this must be for you. Take Care. paul m
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General Discussion / Re: How is everyone doing
« Last post by paulm on January 31, 2018, 08:47:04 PM »
Hello Dragonfly. I'm doing not to bad. 2017 was a bit of a bummer and it seemed like there were only downs and no ups. However 2017 ended in a good way with the birth of our second grandchild at the end of Dec. 2018 got off too a good start when I rec'd the Ontario medal for good citizen ship from the Lieutenant Governor in a recent ceremony for all of the volunteer duties I have preformed over the yrs.

 I`m glad that you found the MDAO group interesting. Wish your son well for me, I understand that kidney stones can be very painful. Take Care. paul m
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General Discussion / Re: Look for suggestions on how to deal with this
« Last post by momfellinglost on January 31, 2018, 07:18:24 AM »
Thank you for your input. I really don't want to go any route except to ignore but after more than10 years my sibling just isn't getting the message and I am sure I will wait until she does it again before I act but you are right I can't really win no matter what I do. She isn't good for my health physical or mental so I made the choice to remove her from my immediate life and I don't regret that choice at all ( well I do) no one want to stop talking to family unless they see no other way. But I did end up with a better relationship with my other 4 siblings so there is good that has come out of this mess. Again thank you
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