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TOPIC TITLE: Will I ever go off Meds? B/D
Created On 3/27/06 12:55 PM
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Shmeeloo
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3/27/06 12:55 PM
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I'm 29, I've been diagnosed bipolar since I was 16. Since then I've been taking lithium, and/or valporic acid. Along the way I took various SSRI's to get off the depression after a manic episode. Now I'm taking lithium plus valporic acid, though no antidepressant. My dad had the same condition, yet is now completely off any medication.
All my doctors have said that I'll be on medication my whole life...yet my dad is off his, and his manic episodes were worse and more frequent than mine. What do you think doc?


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Dr. Price MD
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3/27/06 11:30 PM
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I have known insightful people who have learned through cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy (CBT) how to manage their mood swings without resorting to medication. The question is though: are you able to maintain the insight you now have on medication when you slip into the beginnings of an episode? If so, CBT may work for you. It also helps to have the support and feedback of a significant other (parent, spouse, friend, therapist)whom you trust and contract with to inform you of when they detect an episode coming. Your contract would mandate that you abide by their behavioral recommendations to restore your balance.

Rabbi Price, M.D.
 
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Shmeeloo
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4/4/06 5:50 PM
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Dear Rabbi Price,
Thanks for your response! I'm curious to know if your acquaintences were married or single, that they were willing to take the risk. Two 1/2 years ago I had a 'mild' episode that didn't recquire hospitilization (well in any case, I wasn't hospitilized), and it took about a year to get back to my full self, meaning without lingering depression and low self esteem. On the one hand, now that I'm married, I know my wife will notice behavioral changes immediately. On the other hand, with a wife and kid, I have more responsibilities, and feel less inclined to take risks. But I sure I have a heck of a time getting out of bed in the morning, and my minyan attendance is next to nill. But the drugs aren't my whole problem, so I'm thinking probably I should hold off.
shmeeloo


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Dr. Price MD
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4/4/06 11:20 PM
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The most opportune time to consider medication reduction is during a period of relative stability in life i.e. not eruv Pesach. A good marriage certainly helps in this process. Social isolation or a bad marriage may preclude it.

Rabbi Price, M.D.
 
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