Posted by Barbara Cat on April 28, 2003, at 13:24:44
In reply to Re: Cyclothymia mood stabilizers, posted by SeaShell on April 27, 2003, at 19:03:23
I'm jumping in here. Has your daughter ever tried an anti-bipolar med? I can relate to her since my symptoms started early and presented as a very difficult adolescent and teen. My dx is finally bipolar-II instead of major depression for which I'd always been unsuccessfully treated. Lithium, along with a tricyclic has saved my life after having been on every SSRI out there.
The reason to consider meds is that in any mood disorder there is not only the discomfort and physical stress to deal with, but there is a maladaptive learning process that takes place. Almost as if the circuitry of the brain is being hardwired and sensitized to disordered thinking. Whatever reasons stress is created, whether through our thinking or through life events, the body reacts by producing cortisol. Too much cortisol has shown to be damaging to neuroreceptors. Over time and too much mental stress, the amygdala, the brains alarm center, becomes overly responsive and 'learns' to maintain a constant state of anxiety, learning to kindle at less and less stimulus until the voice of the reasoning rational cortex gets drowned out. The sooner you quench that kindling and learned helplessness effect the better. She may decide to try it on her own later in life, but if she's been on successful med therapy for a few crucial years, she'll have had a stable structure as a reference point. But for now her brain is still growing and needs to be protected from chemicals that are much more destructive than the chemicals one finds in mood meds.
If she is bipolar then chances are she has a progressive condition that, if left untreated, will only progress and become less responsive to treatment. I wish my parents had looked beyond the rebellious wild child and seen that I desperately needed help. To think that I could have spent those thirty years learning how to be successful and well adjusted rather than becoming an expert at trauma, disorganization and thwarted talent. I could have realized early that my dark moods weren't the result of some warped twisted furtive thing that was all my fault.
Definitely high dose fish oil (omega 3) will help her overall brain health.