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BP 2 +3...Using Atypical AP's and benzos...relief!

Posted by jay on January 5, 2003, at 13:01:01

Well, I start as an outpatient this week at a good psych hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, and tommorow is my last shift at work for a 4 week leave of absence. I will get a good workup with tests and such, but my current doc is about 100 percent sure I am Bipolar 2 or 3. It's taken almost a decade for me to arrive at this..but man treating the BP symtoms rather than just dumping antidepressants on me is SUCH a relief...that is an understatement! I was never actually suicidal until I was prescribed my first antidepressant..Elavil! (This is going back to the late 80's.)

Anyhow..both Zyprexa or Risperdal help greatly with squashing my hypomania quickly, and usually adding a benzo like bromazepam or clonazepam can smooth me out in a matter of hours. I take Risperdal because it is cheaper than Zyprexa, but it also works better for me than Zyprexa.

I've been down the 'mood stabalizer' route...the anticonvulsants, with little success. WAY too many side effects, and it is starting to look like the atypical a.p.'s are working wonders for BP'ers. Being in an aggitated hypomanic state I think is one of the worst nightmares, because it is so damn *physical*. Muscles are bitingly tense, like they feel as if they could 'snap' somebody is running a razor blade over them... and the seething anger is just plain horrid. That description does not even do it justice.

There is so much suffering out there with mental health...and it hurts me to see the pain a misdiagnosis can bring. I really wonder if one of the reasons we still aren't treating all mental illness is because of misdiagnosis. Labeling a BP'er as 'depressed' and just giving them antidepressants is like adding gasoline to a fire.
I pray for much better diagnosis and a very open attitude to treatment, because even most of the psychiatrists in my mid-size town are very uptight about using expert pharmacology and giving a good, rounded diagnosis.

I'd love to hear some other comments...especially from fellow BP'ers, and those with rapid cycling. It's a complex and still grey area of treatment, and I'd really like to hear what has been most helpful..and least helpful. Most of all..though..I hope we can learn from each other.





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