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Can people get completely well from Bipolar?
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slc33 posted:
I am wondering if people who have Bipolar I can "grow out of it", or get completely over it and live normally without medications or psychotherapy? I was diagnosed with Bipolar I back in 2000, and I have slowly been reducing my medications with the help of my psychiatrist. I currently take Abilify 30mg, Lamictal 200mg and Prozac 10mg. I see my therapist about every other week. I have tried a few times without success to completely go off my medications. In the past, I have had two hospitalizations for mania and one near miss. I have tried a lot of different medication combinations and have tweaked them to the point of the bare minimum. I have been in the mindset for quite some time that I can completely go off of my medications and therapy and live normally. My therapist says I should just accept the fact that I have Bipolar I disorder, and get out of denial. I have been seeing her regularly for over four years and she knows me quite well by now. Also, my wife of 22 years knows when I am cycling before I do. I think I have been mis-diagnosed.

Could this be true? What are some of your thoughts?
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slik_kitty responded:
if you're bp you can't go off of your medication. you might feel ok for a while, but it will always come back and bite you in the butt. if you can go off of your meds and be ok, then the diagnosis is wrong.
 
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DizzyJgirl responded:
For me personally, I do not think it is possible to "grow out of it or get over it". I do believe there are ways to successfully live with it though. I do still struggle with it at times but also feel it is a matter of balancing meds with therapy for me. It is a balancing act. I have learned what my triggers and limitations are and what I can reasonable deal with.
Given your description of your ups and downs, why do you think you were misdiagnosed? And do you think there is another dx?
Live Life Loud
 
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slc33 replied to DizzyJgirl's response:
I guess I am and have been feeling fine for quite some time. I also have sleep apnea which flows into excessive daytime sleepiness. It is bordering narcolepsy. I have tried Adderall (sp), without no avail, and I am now taking dextroamphetamine, both of which they are handling with kid gloves by slowly raising the dose. They told me that it would take a while for the mania to kick in if it does happen. My regular psychiatrist has been out on maternity leave, and she backs this 100%. Her colleagues, in the interim, have displayed doubt that this would be the right solution. I have tried the other treatments like Nuvigil and Provigil, and they didn't work too well. I have yet to become manic, even doubling the Adderall dose on my own. I know that wasn't such a good idea, but I needed to know if it would give me relief. The dextroamphetamine isn't doing much better, and the next step is Ritalin. I guess, since I haven't displayed any signs of mania (maybe some insomnia and ever so slight agitation), that maybe I kind of "got over" the Bipolar. Deep down, I know I probably haven't, but I guess I just needed to hear it from someone else. I have only displayed the "classic" signs of Bipolar disorder growing up, through my mid-thirties until I was officially diagnosed and started therapy. Then it was ups and downs and lately (past year or so) it has leveled off. I feel okay on my current therapy, but I want to feel even better. Follow?
 
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slik_kitty replied to slc33's response:
it happens to alot of people with bp. you start feeling fine on meds and think that it is all better now and that you don't need meds any more. so you go off meds and then all hell breaks loose. bp is not curable.
 
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Anneinside replied to slc33's response:
I also have sleep apnea. I take no drugs for it but do use a CPAP machine every night. Has your doctor talked to you about this/are you using a CPAP?
 
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ladyfox7 responded:
I have taken meds. for a long time at the time I was not diagnosed with anything. I was a experimant for all to see. as far as ure meds. I would not stop or play with them in any way....I know if i dont take them u better get away from me I become a real monster. if u have a family ure mood will change on a dime...think real hard before u do this!!!!!
 
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ddnos responded:
hello, just side note re sleeping - i know this is not for sleep anpnea, but for your excessive day time sleeping has your doctor ever mentioned Provigil? If not, you might want to ask if it would be something appropriate for you to try. I obviously don't know you or any other health issues you have, but it would be worth asking your doctor about. Provigil is a medication for sleep disorders (certain ones) but can also be used for other reasons. I have on occassion had problems with sleeping all day for various reasons and so was given provigil. I don't have to take it everyday and actually, haven't taken it for about 2 months, but it sure works when I need it.

Just a thought

Debbie
Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different --Unknown
 
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lexismom11 responded:
As much as I hate to say it, you can't just get over bipolar or grow out of it. Someone else said that if you can go off of your meds and not have an episode, then you have been misdiagnosed. I agree with that. The meds are what keeps you stable. It is possible to have an extended period of time where you do not have an episode because you treatment plan is working. That is the goal of treatment though so you are doing the right thing if you can go for a while without having an episode. Sometimes it takes someone else to tell us we are having an episode because we don't realize that our behavior is changing. Good luck.
 
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slc33 replied to Anneinside's response:
I use a CPAP machine along with the medication. It helps, but the combination of the CPAP and medication makes the borderline narcolepsy tolerable throughout the first five - six waking hours of the day, but after that I am toast. I've read two studies on how stimulants (ampheta/combo, dextroamphetamine and Ritalin) can actually curb the depression portion of bipolar. That may be part of the reason I have such doubt that I am still bipolar, but from what the people are saying here, there is no way to "grow out" of bipolar.
 
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slc33 replied to ddnos's response:
Debbie - I have taken Provigil and Nuvigil (not at the same time) and the Nuvigil didn't work at all so I went back to the Provigil which was doing fine for about three hours of the day. All of the stuff I have tried so far seems to either not work or only work for part of the day - and then I'm falling asleep at work, etc. Thanks for the input. I posted just a minute ago that I read two studies on stimulants and bipolar. The studies show that although the stimulants are notorious for causing mania, they do curb the depression side of bipolar. I have found that while talking the stimulants that I am less depressed. I guess in light of the things I am reading here, I am stuck with being bipolar for the rest of my eternity.
 
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slc33 replied to lexismom11's response:
Thanks for the reply. I appreciate the input, and have realized that the diagnosis, although tough to swallow, is probably correct. I have brought up to every psychiatrist I have seen the fact that I may no be bipolar anymore. They ask why I am thinking that way and entertain my responses, but confirm that whether or not I am in an episode, I am still bipolar based on my past psychiatric history. I am starting to agree with them and the people's responses here.


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