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TOPIC TITLE: Bipolar 2
Created On 3/2/13 2:40 PM
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Lasthope
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3/2/13 2:40 PM
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Has anyone heard of or been diagnosed with Bipolar 2?
 
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wishtobehappy
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3/2/13 7:29 PM
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Hi, welcome to the forum! I have been diagnosed with bipolar II. not fun.
 
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Lasthope
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3/3/13 1:33 PM
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What are your symptoms? What do you do/take to treat it?
 
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wishtobehappy
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3/3/13 2:27 PM
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I'm 28 now and was diagnosed only in my twenties but my symptoms started when I was in my teens. I used to feel moody and depressed, lack of interest, low energy = depression, alternating with feeling very irritable, sleep disturbances, fast thinking, panic attacks = hypomania. I also had many fears, very bad social anxiety, and mild ocd. In the chaos that was my home, I managed to hide it all and push through school marriage and two children, until I crashed around 5-6 years ago. It was horrible as in suicidal, self-injury, eating disorder etc. I went through more therapists and psychiatrists than I care to count. Tried various meds but most just made it worse. The ssri's (prozac, zoloft, lexapro etc.) made me manic and the psychiatrist said that's a sign of bipolar. the only medication that helped me get out of the black pit was lamictal, but I had side effects and eventually got off of it.

Over the years, I've gotten rid of much of the baggage and negative emotions that either triggered or worsened depression and learned to identify and deal with the negative symptoms and my depressive episodes have gotten much less severe. The hypomania has also evolved into something much more pleasant. Still with plenty of sleep disturbance and irritability but often also with creative and insightful thinking, flight of ideas, great mood, hyperspirituality, accomplishing a lot in a short time etc. The last psychiatrist I saw, suggested natural alternatives when I was very ambivalent about meds. I take a cocktail of calming herbs, fish oil, EPO, b vitamins and also lithium orotate - a natural alternative which doesn't have the side effects of lithium. It's still a daily struggle dealing with moods while raising kids, though, and I still feel very overwhelmed often but I don't experience that terrible hopelessness, blackness and despair I did in the past. Life definitely is less dreary and looks more promising than it did not too long ago. When I feel really down I know it'll pass instead of getting stuck in it. I wish you all the best in dealing with it. If there's anything I can do to help let me know.
 
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Lasthope
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3/3/13 2:51 PM
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Wow sounds like youve really been through a lot. I was on lamictal also combined with lustral (i think thats zoloft) and that was the one combination that helped me get back on my feet after my first kid and eventually be stable enough to have another kid. But i guess it stopped working cuz eventually i changed to lithium. I was only diagnosed with Bpll a year or so ago after years of just being treated for depression. I wonder if the ssris triggered mania. I havent had the mini manic episodes in a really long time though and im just stuck in deep dark depression and only taking lithium now. Well, i might be doing TMS so who knows maybe that will make all this just a bad dream.
 
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wishtobehappy
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3/3/13 10:57 PM
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I read your story in the depression section. sounds like you've been through a lot too. lithium is more for the mania than the depression, while lamictal is supposed to be more for depression. It's also what got me back on my feet.

I hope TMS works for you. I never tried it due to financial constraints but from what I've heard, it has helped people. An exercise regimen also does wonders for moods if you're up to it, as does a healthy lifestyle in general. Also, are you or have you been seeing a good therapist to help you deal with the past and the present?

Good luck. Hope you get back on your feet soon!
 
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Lasthope
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3/4/13 1:06 AM
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I was wondering about the lithium. My doctor told me Lithium also helps depression but it doesn't seem to be doing much by itself. I do have a wonderful therapist who I've been working with for a while, but we seem to get stuck when my depression gets really bad. I can barely think straight and therefore talk straight so then talk therapy becomes kind of useless. I have been seeing therapists for 11 years, switching every time I moved places. And they have all been good. I've done a lot of talk therapy and trying to work through the past, but it seems that theres this sickness in my head that just talking can't really get rid of. I started seeing a cranio sacral therapist who believes I have trauma held in my body. I was in a car accident that killed my father when I was a kid so she thinks the accident is still in me etc. She started working on me but so far nothing doing. After my fourth session I woke up the next morning and could barely even move. I was so paralyzed by fear or living it was so difficult to do anything. My husband, bless his soul stayed home from work that day. He told me its ok and not to feel guilty and all that and I ended up sleeping most of the day while he took care of the baby and the rest of the kids later. But I kept waking up with heart palpatations, I can't even sleep. Every half hour or so I wake up with my heart beating like crazy and this intense anxiety, like my whole body is a ball of fear. Fear of life.
I'll let you know how the TMS goes...if I do it... I dont even know if I'll be starting soon because Pesach is coming and its supposed to be at least 20 uninterrupted treatments.. so I gotta just hold on through this hell a little bit longer...
 
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HopefulMommy
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3/4/13 6:34 AM
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Wow! Of course, the trauma is in your body. But you need to go to somebody who specializes in releasing trauma. It has to be done the right way, so that it doesn't overwhelm you. It makes perfect sense that bringing that trauma to the surface paralyzed you. Have you seen a therapist who specializes in trauma? I've heard that energy psychology is good for that. Have you tried it?
 
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Lasthope
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3/4/13 7:20 AM
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I have not tried energy psychology. What is that? I have done emdr which wasnt effective. I think i may need to revisit the trauma and somehoe get it out of my system. But its been 20years! I heard that whats good for trauma is telling the event over and over. Ive done that but probably not enough. What confuses me the most out of all this is where is my depression part bipolar stuff coming from. Would i srill have had it even without the accident and loss of father?
 
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wishtobehappy
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3/4/13 9:21 AM
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Wow. That sounds heavy duty. hopefulmommy is right, releasing trauma has to be done slowly, so it doesn't overwhelm you. I've also done something similar to craniosacral therapy and the person did it slowly so I would be able to handle it. The trauma for me was different so I don't know if maybe that was the reason I wasn't paralyzed when he released it. It was watching and being abused etc. For me, talking didn't help that much because I barely remembered a lot of it, and trauma that is so deeply ingrained for so many years, very often doesn't respond to talk therapy. I think it depends on the nature of the person also. When the trauma is released, though, you feel SO much lighter, that I think it's totally worth it. It's like waking up, and the world suddenly seems alive and full of color.

As for the bipolar stuff, it's a great question, and I've racked by brains over it too. I don't think we can no for sure but it's very likely that depression might not have been triggered altogether, or you might have had just a very mild and barely noticable version of it. Lots of people go through life with occasional downs or mild mood swings which doesn't interfere with functioning. That's the way I understandd it, at least, and have also been told so by a psychiatrist.
 
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HopefulMommy
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3/4/13 7:40 PM
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Here is the energy psychology website: http://www.energypsych.org/

It's not enough to just talk about trauma. You can talk or think about something, but still suppress the accompanying emotions. You need to let the emotions out. One way to do it is to relive the trauma (google Peter Levine). The advantage of energy psychology is that you don't have to relive it fully. You just need some tiny piece of those emotions in order to release them.

My personal favorite way of dealing with old baggage is through the Inner Torah process: www.innertorah.com. But for something this serious, I wouldn't try it on my own. You need somebody very experienced to guide you through the process.
 
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Lasthope
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3/6/13 2:24 AM
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i checked out the website. I've heard of EFT but not the others. It seems very similar to Cranio Sacral Therapy. SO if this is what I need then why would I spend thousands of dollars on TMS?
 
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wishtobehappy
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3/6/13 5:39 AM
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If you're doing so bad right now, than you might need something more aggressive, like TMS. These techniques are usually effective for addressing the underlying issues - the root of the problem, so that you don't end up feeling chronically depressed and you're able to enjoy life. That's my understanding of it, at least, and I may be wrong.
 
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HopefulMommy
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5/1/13 6:12 PM
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Tell me more about Bipolar 2. I just switched to a new psychiatrist, for insurance reasons, and he thinks I might have it. How do you know? When does it begin?

I have a second cousin with actual bipolar, with manic episodes and so on. Does it run in the family?

I've never had full blown manic episodes B"H, but I tend to obsess about things. I used to think it was OCD, but then I read that those kinds are obsessions are accompanied by anxiety. Mine are actually exciting. I can get really into something, like a story I'm working on, and think about it day and night. Does that sound like Bipolar 2?

My doctor also said it might be ADHD. He said the only way to know for sure is to try mood stabilizers, as well as stimulants.
 
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wishtobehappy
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5/2/13 4:07 AM
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I think that everyone experiences it differently, but what you're describing may or may not be bipolar II. The difference between bipolar I and II are that in bipolar II you get hypomania, which doesn't interfere with functioning as opposed to full-blown mania. It may be harder to recognize. The depressive episodes are the same or even worse than in bipolar I, though.

Do you have trouble sleeping ever? Do you find yourself irritable or in a good mood for days for no apparent reason, and then plummet into depression for no apparent reason? Do you ever feel much more alive and more creative than usual? Do you ever feel like your mind is taking off in all directions? Do you have times when you get impulsive, scatterbrained, speak rapidly? If it's hard to tell, ask your husband. Mine says I "glow" when I'm in a good mood .

Hypomania can manifest itself in different ways. for some it's irritability alternating with depression, while for others it's persistent elevated mood, alternating with depression. Anxiety and OCD also get exacerbated. Panic attacks are also common. Having less of a need for sleep, or disrupted sleep cycles are also very common. Mine are probably a classic textbook sample. I also get very restless and feel like I'm on speed. After a while I can get terribly tense and stressed out from it and have a hard time coping with anything.

Many people with bipolar do have obsessive tendencies, but many people with obsessive tendencies are not bipolar, so having OCD may definitely be one of the symptoms of bipolar but OCD can also stand on its own. I don't have that much experience with ADHD but my brother had a mild case and it was very different. It's more of an overall lack of focus and concentration as opposed to the ups and downs of bipolar I think.

It definitely tends to run in families. Hope this was helpful. There's lots of information on it out there. You can try googling it. Hatzlacha!
 
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HopefulMommy
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5/2/13 10:18 AM
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Thank you! I'm still not sure. My husband says he doesn't see the difference. But I do have times when I'm excited about life and on a roll, and other times when I have to force myself to get out of bed, and they come out of nowhere.

I found a very informative web site: http://www.psycheducation.org/index.html
 
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HopefulMommy
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5/2/13 11:54 AM
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What's it like to be on Lamictal?
 
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Lasthope
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5/2/13 1:22 PM
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My experience is mostly depression with hypomanias thrown in for fun here and there. My hypomanias consist of: extra energy, doing a lot in short amount of time, creativity, some obsessive thinking, some fast talking, lots of connecting with people. The hypomanias are great. Unfortunately they dont last too long...
I was on Lamictal for quite a few years and it was totally fine, i just couldnt nurse. In fact im thinking of asking my doc to prescribe me Lamictal again to go with this Prizma and maybe ill stop riding a mood roller coaster...
Maybe you have bipolar 2, welcome to the club
How do u feel in general? U ron zoloft right?
 
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wishtobehappy
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5/2/13 1:32 PM
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thanks for the link.

It's very possibly bipolar.

lamictal got me out of a bad depression with a minimum amount of side effects, but didn't really help for anxiety and hypomania - that speeded up feeling. I got off of it after a while because I believed it interfered with my cycles and I was a hormonal mess as is, and it just made my moods worse. Also, I started bruising very easily and got scared, so I quit cold turkey, but that's not a typical side effect. g'luck with whatever you take.
 
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HopefulMommy
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5/2/13 3:33 PM
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Thank you for the info and support!

I'm on Zoloft, and the doctor said l should stay on it for now, and try to add Lamictal. Any experience with that?

I'm doing OK, B"H, but the symptoms are not all gone, just much less intense. He thinks I don't have to settle for that, that I could get even better.
 
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Lasthope
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5/3/13 8:54 AM
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I was on Lamictal and Lustral (i think thats zoloft) together for quite a few years. That combination really helped me until at some point i felt like symptoms were coming back slightly but to a lesser degree like u described. Then my doc decided to try lithium which i dont think made any difference. Plus lithium wasnt goid with weight gain whereas on lamictal i dont think i gained weight. I had terrible constipation on the lustral also. BH prizma has been ok with that. Why dont u give it a try? It cant hurt...
 
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HopefulMommy
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5/3/13 10:14 AM
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Thank you, Lasthope.
 
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wishtobehappy
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6/20/13 2:36 AM
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how's it going hopeful? did you get unto lamictal? have you figured out the diagnosis?
 
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HopefulMommy
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6/24/13 12:28 AM
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No, I haven't done a thing. Except reading an interesting book about the bipolar spectrum, called Why am I Still Depressed. My husband is not excited about me taking another medication, and I haven't really decided what I want. I think I want mashiach...
 
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channafofanna
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6/24/13 4:56 PM
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agreed!!!
 
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Lasthope
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6/25/13 12:55 AM
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Me too!!!!
 
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wishtobehappy
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6/25/13 8:17 PM
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me three!!!!!
 
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