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bipolar disorder
March 20, 2000
8:37 pm
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chris-tina
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i was just diagnosed with bipolar disorder and have to go for a bunch of tests next week. is there anyone else out there with this? i'm really scared.

March 21, 2000
7:10 am
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hazza
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Hi there,
Bi-polar is what used to be called Manic Depression. Which means, probably, you find yourself either very depressed and down, or quite happy and excitable but not finding a balance inbetween.
This is caused by an imbalance in your brain chemistry, it is not nice, but please don't be scared.
The tests you will have will be to confirm the diagnosis and to find out what treatment will help you. There are many good medications for this and just like a diabetic may need to take insulin, you may need to take a medication to even out your brain chemistry. Please dont worry too much, when you find the right treatment, you will feel alot better, so it will be worthwhile won't it?
Peace
Hazza

March 23, 2000
8:57 pm
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LMWoods
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Hey Chris,

My fiance has bi-polar and had been diagnosed over 10 years ago. It has taken him quite some time to come around and accept his illness, but with the love and support of his friends and family he has managed to do so. My best advice to you would be to get a solid support system of those closest to you to help you through all that you will be facing. You are headed in the right direction. Just keep a positive attitude and also, be sure to TAKE YOUR MEDS, after you are prescribed them. Some have some not so nice side-effects, but there are plenty to choose from so don't get discouraged. Take care of yourself and listen to your doctor(s).

Regards,
LMWoods

March 27, 2000
5:26 am
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Gorki
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Christina
I was diagnosed for 12 years ago.

March 27, 2000
5:29 am
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Gorki
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think of:
medication(lithium)never miss it.
maintain your live in order:
slepp, when you eat, and watch out for things that might unballance you. It is all a question of ballance.but most inportant , be responsable with yourself, it is all about fine tuning and knowing yourself. It can be a blessing also , remember
good luck , greetings from iceland

April 11, 2000
10:35 pm
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chris-tina
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Thanks! It helps to know that there are other people out there... I feel so much less alone than I did a year ago. I've moved twice recently so I've seen several different therapists and psychiatrists. I'm finally permenantly situated, but the switches have been difficult and unsetteling. Between all of my various doctors, they have thrown around so many diagnoses. . . major depression, adjustment disorder, codependancy, OCD, bipolar II disorder. It is confusing me so much. Depression and bipolar are the only two that I've been officially diagnosed with. the others have just been thrown out and explored for now. But, everytime they throw out another one of these it REALLY scares me. I don't know what is wrong with me. I just want to get better, but I seem to be getting worse the more I try. I'm not sure what scares me so much about the bipolar diagnosis. Maybe it sounds too real. Maybe too insurmountable. I don't know.

April 12, 2000
7:26 am
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janes
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As a teacher who works with several parents who are bi-polar...take your meds...Please!!!!!

I have done a little internet research on this and if you just type in "bi-polar" you canfind a wealth of resources from chat lines to medical school monographs.

Nover let it scare you... more and more they are discovering the problems of brain chemistry.... it can be controlled and helped.

sure is scary though.

Good luck!!!

April 12, 2000
11:11 am
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Cici
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The difference between biplor I and bipolar II is pretty simple:

Bipolar I has the highs and lows of mania and depressive episodes, bipoar II has amnia and depressive episodes and a consant level of dysthymia (a constant feeling of beeing low, tired, fatigued, a little bit depressed but not a full-on downward spiral).

Goo luck, take your meds, read some good books, try to reduce stress levels.

April 18, 2000
4:04 pm
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SKIP
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Everyone who has expressed their opinion have told you to take your medications. This is good and you should take them. There will be times that you are going to get tired of taking them but just remember that it would help you to get better. Hopefully your family is there to support you . Take care.

April 18, 2000
5:20 pm
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soos
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Cici--what is amnia?

April 18, 2000
9:09 pm
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infaith
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hmm im skeptical, little is really known about the human mind and it is not situated in the brain only.
Everyone advocates meds, but our emotions and behavior are telling us so much more than chemical imbalance..like we are ignoring our feelings, needs, thoughts etc.
Our emotions are such vital clues and doorways to our wellbeing and healing. I am not a big med advocate, it is helpful to get on top of things so you can do the work but to cure..i dont think so

April 18, 2000
11:49 pm
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janes
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Chemical imbalancees are real. The brain is an organ full of chemicals as dopamine and serotonin and nerves that run on and react to those chemicals. If the chemical balance is off...like a diabetics insulin, produced by the pancreas is "off" havoc may occur.

They have found, in the brains of schitzophrenics...to much dopemine (the feel good chemical) and too much serotinin. Inhibitors given to these patients give them an opportunity to lead normal lives.

I deal with parents daily who refuse to "drug" their children...and we in schools agree..children should not be drugged.

However...if these same children have a sniffle...out come the drugs...

what about epilepsy...take those drugs away too? Itt's all in their heads! Diabetes? No insulin?

If the problem is correctly diagnosed.. and MEDICATIONS have been prescribed..then they should be tried.

Many mental disorders/illnesses will not benefit from talk therapy without the use of MEDICATIONS.

SOMETIMES IT SEEMS LIKE IF IF WE CANNOT SEE THE PROBLEM .....IT DOESN'T EXIST.

Medications play a role..just a role..in the proper treatment of many mental disorders and illnesses. They are a tool just as therpay of any kind is a tool.

However..(and I may be off base) I do feel that some disorders NEED to be medicated for the individual to truly benefit from other tools that may be available.

Just my two cents.

April 19, 2000
12:39 pm
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infaith
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Chemical imbalances are usually the result of long term depression, trauma, unresolved grief etc.
Most children are not born with chemical imbalances and much research is pointing to schizaphrenia being the result of severe childhood abuse.
Chemical imbalance is not really the cause but the result.

April 19, 2000
12:55 pm
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Cici
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infaith,

I beg to differ. As a psychology student, I am required to take calsses about biological psychology. What I've learned over the past three years is, of course, way too much to put down on one simple post. To put it bluntly, schizophrenics have been shown to have structural differences in their brain. Many schizphrenics did not experience severe trauma as children at all. This is in the line of older psychiatric theories that gay men were raised in homes with domineering mothers and absent/passive fathers. Of course now we know that this is not true, and to make such broad statements is to invite intellectual criticism.

How do you explain autistic children? We're talking about chicken adn egg thepry, but a good psychological practitioner takes in consideration the physioloigical aspects of psycholigcal disorders.

Many studies have shown that injecting animal brains with different neruotransmitters and hormones causes different behavior.

A controversial study done during the 1940s showed that the source of a lot of fear/anxiety disorders lies in the amygdala, part of the brain. Electrical stimulation of this area causes the relaease of certain neurtotransmitters which cause human patients to behave aggresively and/or express intense fear.

Of course, opinion is opinion and should be treated as such. I was always taught to back up my sources and my theoretical standpoints.

For more information, check out one of my current professor's websites dealing with physiological psych: http://www.psych.ufl.edu/~dpde.....b3004.html

Under the different subject headings there are some interesting links to other sites about this field of study, which is pretty interesting.

April 19, 2000
8:15 pm
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infaith
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"Some research had indicated that genetic factors affecting serotonin may be important, but recent studies have not confirmed these findings. (Serotonin is a critical neurotransmitter that affects both depression and sleep.) When inherited, the disease may increase in severity in subsequent generations. High-risk individuals may wish to seek counseling for guidance, education, and reassurance about available treatments.

Environmental factors also play a role, since not all cases of bipolar disorder are associated with a family history of the disease. No single cause may ever be found for this complex disease."

April 19, 2000
8:20 pm
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infaith
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I thought I would include this as an example of what I would call "bipolar hysteria" For example, the below questionaire indicates, if you answer anything other than "not at all" you are bipolar.
Ridiculous!

MANIA QUESTIONNAIRE
Goldberg Mania Inventory
Ivan Goldberg

Use this questionnaire to help determine if you need to see a mental health
professional for diagnosis and treatment of mania or manic-depression or bipolar disorder.

Instructions: You might reproduce this scale and use it on a weekly basis to track your moods. It also might be used to show your doctor how your symptoms have changed from one visit to the next. Changes of five or more points are significant. This scale is not designed to make a diagnosis of mania or take the place of a professional diagnosis. If you suspect that you are manic, please consult with a mental health professional as soon as possible.
The 18 items below refer to how you have felt and behaved DURING THE PAST WEEK. For each item, indicate the extent to which it is true, by checking the appropriate box next to the item.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. My mind has never been sharper.
Not at all
Just a little
Somewhat
Moderately
Quite a lot
Very much

2. I need less sleep than usual.
Not at all
Just a little
Somewhat
Moderately
Quite a lot
Very much

3. I have so many plans and new ideas that it is hard for me to work.
Not at all
Just a little
Somewhat
Moderately
Quite a lot
Very much

4. I feel a pressure to talk and talk.
Not at all
Just a little
Somewhat
Moderately
Quite a lot
Very much

5. I have been particularly happy.
Not at all
Just a little
Somewhat
Moderately
Quite a lot
Very much

6. I have been more active than usual.
Not at all
Just a little
Somewhat
Moderately
Quite a lot
Very much

7. I talk so fast that people have a hard time keeping up with me.
Not at all
Just a little
Somewhat
Moderately
Quite a lot
Very much

8. I have more new ideas than I can handle.
Not at all
Just a little
Somewhat
Moderately
Quite a lot
Very much

9. I have been irritable.
Not at all
Just a little
Somewhat
Moderately
Quite a lot
Very much

10. It's easy for me to think of jokes and funny stories.
Not at all
Just a little
Somewhat
Moderately
Quite a lot
Very much

11. I have been feeling like "the life of the party."
Not at all
Just a little
Somewhat
Moderately
Quite a lot
Very much

12. I have been full of energy.
Not at all
Just a little
Somewhat
Moderately
Quite a lot
Very much

13. I have been thinking about sex.
Not at all
Just a little
Somewhat
Moderately
Quite a lot
Very much

14. I have been feeling particularly playful.
Not at all
Just a little
Somewhat
Moderately
Quite a lot
Very much

15. I have special plans for the world.
Not at all
Just a little
Somewhat
Moderately
Quite a lot
Very much

16. I have been spending too much money.
Not at all
Just a little
Somewhat
Moderately
Quite a lot
Very much

17. My attention keeps jumping from one idea to another.
Not at all
Just a little
Somewhat
Moderately
Quite a lot
Very much

18. I find it hard to slow down and stay in one place.
Not at all
Just a little
Somewhat
Moderately
Quite a lot
Very much

*

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Copyright 1993 Ivan Goldberg. All rights reserved. Adopted from the printed edition of the Goldberg Mania Inventory for electronic distribution. For personal use only; other use may be prohibited by law.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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April 19, 2000
8:22 pm
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infaith
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whoa, i better curb my spending and happy periods...while im at it, forget my jokes and being funny at parties šŸ™

April 19, 2000
8:25 pm
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infaith
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oh, i am also well educated and have done some studying of psychology, I wanted to say cici, schizophrenia and gay issues were not brought up by myself in my previous post??
curious as to why this was mentioned, but I also believe and know that upbringing is not "old confused theories, but very real TODAY factors that relate strongly to schizophrenia, i could provide links if you wish. Intellectual debate is always welcome. šŸ™‚

April 19, 2000
8:27 pm
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infaith
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oh, i am also well educated and have done some studying of psychology, I wanted to say cici, schizophrenia and gay issues were not brought up by myself in my previous post??
curious as to why this was mentioned, but I also believe and know that upbringing is not "old confused theories, but very real TODAY factors that relate strongly to schizophrenia, i could provide links if you wish. Intellectual debate is always welcome. šŸ™‚

April 19, 2000
8:31 pm
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infaith
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Oh, here is the scoring, zero points for "not at all" one point for "just a little" 2 pts for "somewhat" 3 pts for next answer etc etc

S C O R E S
54 and up
Severely Manic

36 - 53
Moderate - Severe

22 - 35
Mild - Moderate

18 - 21
Borderline Mania

10 - 17
Possibly Mildly Manic
(hypomania)

0 - 9
No Mania Likely

April 20, 2000
1:00 pm
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infaith
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correction, schizophrenia was brought up, sorry, there is still a great consensus that believe environment plays a large part, especially in some adopted and abused children. This is NOT old thinking, but very present day

April 20, 2000
5:23 pm
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chris-tina
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I would have to agree with Infaith in that taking my meds is not enough. I went to one pschiatrist (for 3 weeks.) Every time I saw him he kept increasing my dosage. The last time I saw him he gave me a prescription for an additional medication. None of it seemed to help much, and he didn't care whether or not I was in therapy. The only thing he succeeded in doing was scaring me. I quit going to him and found someone else who immediatly cut my dosage back in half and insisted that I see my therapist every week. I'm still not "better" but I have improved a ton since then. Although I do think that my medication has helped, I agree with Infaith that there is also a lot more to it.

April 20, 2000
8:00 pm
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infaith
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good for you Christina, I am glad you have brought yourself so far. I do believe it is sooo important that people do not just shove pills down their mouths, western medicine is very new and the soul is very real. If all is not right with the soul, the emotions and mind go out of equilibirium, these are signs, warning signals, to bring you back to what is true and real in you.
I am frankly tired of all these pill pushers, it isnt the whole answer, pills can help, but I do not believe pills can cure. It is up to US to learn more about ourselves and why we exhibit these symptoms.

April 21, 2000
3:37 am
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hazza
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Infaith,
i have to agree with you there,
medication can Help some conditions, but too many doctors just give pills and misdiagnose.
at the end of the day, the patient needs to have therapy, their own desire to change themselves too, sometimes it simply IS chemical imbalance, and that it real but many times it is more a case of needing therapy and life change, i agree with that. but there are geniune cases i think where people are just wired diferently and medication can help.
Hazza

April 21, 2000
8:24 am
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janes
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Plus...take into consideration that if the chemical imbalance is real...it has screwed up things in the person's life that may need to be worked on when the chemical imbalance is under control.

One mom I work with cannot be reasoned with unless she has had her meds. If she has taken them she can listen, reason and respond. With out them all she does is lose her temper and threaten to sue us.

It is a tough area to sort out.

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