I’m bipolar now what?

I recently found out that I am bipolar and I’ve found my doctor just pushes pills at me opposed to giving me information on my illness. I just want to know more about what life is like being bipolar and is it still normal to have down days even though I’m on medication

WoW…. What is it like to be bipolar? Well for starters life doesn’t change much in the sense that I am assuming since you were diagnosed bipolar you must have been dealing with most or at least some of the symptoms, the ups (the manic highs) the lows (the depressions) the agitation, the irritability, the crying, the spending sprees, the anxiety….does any of this ring a bell.  Well the good part is now that you are on medication some of that will lessen.   I won’t say go away.  To say go away means cured, and there is no such thing as a cure for bipolar.  There is remission however.  If your doctor finds the right medication cocktail for you then some of your symptoms can lay dormant for days sometimes weeks.  Some people go months without symptoms…. Stability is possible in varying degrees.  It is normal however to still have days where you wake up and just don’t feel right, maybe even want to stay in bed and pretend the world isn’t out there waiting on you.  It is also normal for a down day to turn into down daysssss but if days turn into weeks that is NOT normal, that means you are having an episode so to speak and you need to contact your doctor and let him/her know.  He may need to adjust your medication, change a dosage or even change the medication completely.  It is very important that you have open communication with your doctor.  The goal is to find that just right med cocktail that works for you (and everyone is different) that will make your symptoms less severe.  What works for someone else may not work for you and vice versa.  I take Geodon.  It is an older anti-psychotic that a lot of people can’t take due to some major side effects, but it has been a wonder drug for me.  It has been the turning point in my treatment that has given me the stability that I have found today.  But like I said, it is not exactly a first choice for doctors to use.

Which brings me to your other concern.  Why is your doctor just pushing pills on you?  I’m sure it feels that way sometimes.  Me personally I take a combination of 4 pills.  It didn’t start out that way, I assure you.  But we kept tweaking my meds until we found the right combination that worked for me.  Do I like taking so many pills? No, of course not.  But I do value my sanity and I know it is necessary in order for me to be stable and to function half way normally. Again I stress, it is very important for you and your doctor to have open lines of communication.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Don’t just accept that you have to take a pill because he is handing it to you.  Ask him, “What is this for exactly?”  “Do you know what some of the side effects might be? What should I be looking out for?”  “How long before I should see results?”  NEVER just take something because he’s the doctor, he makes the big bucks, he went to college, he should know what he’s talking about, so he knows best?!?!?!?!  Its your body too. You get an input.  It should be a joint decision.  That’s the great thing about the internet.  Do your own research.  If my doctor wants to try me on a new med he mentions it to me first, asks me to think about it.  I go home and do my own research.  I look online for other’s opinions in forums and group chats who have taken it before to see what their experiences were.  I also look up the drug itself to see what the manufacturer says about it.  There is a world wide web of information out there at your fingertips.  And even if you don’t have the opportunity to look before you START taking the meds, it is still your body if you don’t like what it is doing to you, you have every right to go back to your doctor and ask him to try something else.  Just don’t be hasty.  Most drugs take a little time before you get the proper effect.   Side effects generally fade away after a little while, and it states on most labels it takes 3 to 6 weeks before drugs are at their therapeutic levels.  So don’t make snap decisions.  In all things be patient.  I know that’s easier said than done, especially when your mind is turning in a tailspin.  But it pays off in the end.

So, the best advice I can give you is don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Do your own research.  Have open communication with your Doctor.  Patience IS a virtue. (I know that gets old).  And don’t get discouraged when you still have down days.  It happens to even the most stable of us.  And if you ever have any more questions we’re always here.

 

I’m bipolar now what?

I recently found out that I am bipolar and I’ve found my doctor just pushes pills at me opposed to giving me information on my illness. I just want to know more about what life is like being bipolar and is it still normal to have down days even though I’m on medication.

WoW…. What is it like to be bipolar? Well for starters life doesn’t change much in the sense that I am assuming since you were diagnosed bipolar you must have been dealing with most or at least some of the symptoms, the ups (the manic highs) the lows (the depressions) the agitation, the irritability, the crying, the spending sprees, the anxiety….does any of this ring a bell.  Well the good part is now that you are on medication some of that will lessen.   I won’t say go away.  To say go away means cured, and there is no such thing as a cure for bipolar.  There is remission however.  If your doctor finds the right medication cocktail for you then some of your symptoms can lay dormant for days sometimes weeks.  Some people go months without symptoms…. Stability is possible in varying degrees.  It is normal however to still have days where you wake up and just don’t feel right, maybe even want to stay in bed and pretend the world isn’t out there waiting on you.  It is also normal for a down day to turn into down daysssss but if days turn into weeks that is NOT normal, that means you are having an episode so to speak and you need to contact your doctor and let him/her know.  He may need to adjust your medication, change a dosage or even change the medication completely.  It is very important that you have open communication with your doctor.  The goal is to find that just right med cocktail that works for you (and everyone is different) that will make your symptoms less severe.  What works for someone else may not work for you and vice versa.  I take Geodon.  It is an older anti-psychotic that a lot of people can’t take due to some major side effects, but it has been a wonder drug for me.  It has been the turning point in my treatment that has given me the stability that I have found today.  But like I said, it is not exactly a first choice for doctors to use.

Which brings me to your other concern.  Why is your doctor just pushing pills on you?  I’m sure it feels that way sometimes.  Me personally I take a combination of 4 pills.  It didn’t start out that way, I assure you.  But we kept tweaking my meds until we found the right combination that worked for me.  Do I like taking so many pills? No, of course not.  But I do value my sanity and I know it is necessary in order for me to be stable and to function half way normally. Again I stress, it is very important for you and your doctor to have open lines of communication.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Don’t just accept that you have to take a pill because he is handing it to you.  Ask him, “What is this for exactly?”  “Do you know what some of the side effects might be? What should I be looking out for?”  “How long before I should see results?”  NEVER just take something because he’s the doctor, he makes the big bucks, he went to college, he should know what he’s talking about, so he knows best?!?!?!?!  Its your body too. You get an input.  It should be a joint decision.  That’s the great thing about the internet.  Do your own research.  If my doctor wants to try me on a new med he mentions it to me first, asks me to think about it.  I go home and do my own research.  I look online for other’s opinions in forums and group chats who have taken it before to see what their experiences were.  I also look up the drug itself to see what the manufacturer says about it.  There is a world wide web of information out there at your fingertips.  And even if you don’t have the opportunity to look before you START taking the meds, it is still your body if you don’t like what it is doing to you, you have every right to go back to your doctor and ask him to try something else.  Just don’t be hasty.  Most drugs take a little time before you get the proper effect.   Side effects generally fade away after a little while, and it states on most labels it takes 3 to 6 weeks before drugs are at their therapeutic levels.  So don’t make snap decisions.  In all things be patient.  I know that’s easier said than done, especially when your mind is turning in a tailspin.  But it pays off in the end.

So, the best advice I can give you is don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Do your own research.  Have open communication with your Doctor.  Patience IS a virtue. (I know that gets old).  And don’t get discouraged when you still have down days.  It happens to even the most stable of us.  And if you ever have any more questions we’re always here.

One thought on “I’m bipolar now what?

  1. This is very well-written. However, there is one thing that comes to mind regarding the title. It says “I’m Bipolar”. We are NOT Bipolar. We HAVE bipolar disorder. Do you say, “I am cancer” or “I am Lupus”? No….so we have Bipolar Disorder and not I am Bipolar.

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