Guide My Bipolar Patient (True Stories of Life in a Psychiatric Hospital Book 7)

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Your perception is that you have no control over the situation. That is true, but you have power, the power to advocate for their right to receive the care they require from their medical team. Use that power and you can provide the emotional support they need fight the fight.

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Remain consistent in how you relate to your significant other, which is most difficult when you find yourself under constant stress. The treatment of bipolar disorder is difficult by itself, but when coupled with OCD or other conditions, such as substance abuse, it becomes extremely difficult. As their advocate, there will be times you need to challenge the doctors in a positive manner as to their therapeutic approach. You have seen your loved one when they were good and when they were bad.

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You have their medication history, knowledge of their previous hospital stays and access to their medical records. As the significant other, husband, wife, daughter, brother or wife you need to work diligently to maintain your health during this period of illness. Being a caregiver is a great responsibility and also a drain on your emotions and health. Above all, you must take care of yourself before you can take care of someone else. You need to access the services of a behavioral professional to ensure you have an outlet for your frustrations and concerns.

You may need medication to aid you in recovering from the strains of being a caregiver. Joining a support group through NAMI or another community organization will provide the information, training, references and emotional support you need to continue the journey. You need to sleep, eat right and exercise in order to maintain your strength and health.

Know that some of your friends will understand your plight but others will not be able to identify with your situation. Be aware that mental health challenges are very scary to people who have not been exposed to someone who has one. You need their emotional support to make it through this period of uncertainty.

Guilt and shame needs to be confronted and discussed with your behavioral professional. As the significant other, child or caregiver, you feel a great sense of guilt that you cannot do more for the one affected with bipolar. And, tools like the app 18percent that facilitate immediate peer to peer support can make all the difference for those struggling. The difference in openness around mental illness today, compared to when I was growing up, is incredible.

I bought five copies of your book—one for everyone in my family.

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Thank you. Note: This personal story was prepared by its author in his or her personal capacity. The opinions expressed are the author's own and do not reflect the views of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

2. Myth: Bipolar disorder is just mood swings, which everybody has.

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Join NAMI. This is what a hypomanic episode looked like for me. They're more productive than usual, they sleep a little less, they have more energy.

List of people with bipolar disorder

They and lots of people around them would say, 'Gee, they're doing great. There's nothing wrong with them. Under Wellbutrin's influence, I stayed up until 4 AM one night completing projects for my apartment. I DIY'd a chalkboard frame, painted a new tray for our coffee table, backed up all the files from my laptop to an external hard drive, and organized all the shoes in my closet, carefully labeled with washi tape and a Sharpie marker. It was the most productive I had been in ages.

I was also more emotional than ever. As someone who has struggled with anxiety since her first depression diagnosis, I found myself routinely overcome with unexplained feelings of nervousness, sometimes with my heart beating so fast I thought I was having a heart attack.

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Other times, I would be so angry and irritable, I would lash out at my live-in boyfriend. For someone who used to be so laid-back and even-keeled, this felt like an out-of-body experience. Turns out, manic stages can also manifest themselves as feelings of irritability instead of grandiosity.

So I found another psychologist covered under my insurance and snuck away to his office on the Upper West Side during my lunch break. After explaining my symptoms of both depression and what I thought was mania thanks to Dr.

The Challenge of Going Off Psychiatric Drugs

Google during the patient intake, he asked what the most irrational thing I had done was. I knew my form of mania was more subdued i. Regardless, he bought it. He prescribed me Equetro, an anticonvulsant used to treat seizures and bipolar disorder. When treating bipolar patients, Equetro is usually paired with something else, such as an antidepressant. My doctor said to come back in a couple weeks to see how I was doing on the medication and if we needed to combine it with another prescription.

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We never got that far. He didn't have a receptionist, so there was no one to take my calls to schedule a follow-up appointment, and he wasn't returning my voicemails. Meanwhile, taking Equetro felt like I was shot with a horse tranquilizer or, what I imagine being shot with a horse tranquilizer feels like. I was constantly tired, and my depression was worse. Every morning when I woke up, I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I had to literally peel myself out of bed, barely making it through brushing my teeth and dry shampooing my hair before slogging towards the subway. It's not safe to take yourself off medication without a doctor's permission, but I couldn't spend one more day of feeling like a zombie. She seemed to believe me when I explained my hypomanic symptoms and prescribed me Latuda. Latuda is used to treat bipolar depression, which is different than unipolar depression, or what people normally think of as standard depression.

Although I was doing all right on Latuda, I wasn't taking anything to address the mania and irritability. I was able to focus at work and get up in the morning after a good night's sleep feeling refreshed, but the side effects weren't great. My doctor instructed me to take Latuda at night with at least calories, so I popped one in with dinner; eating another heavy snack before bed wasn't ideal for someone who has always struggled with her weight and had to count calories diligently.

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Within an hour of taking it, I would get a weird sense of foreboding and dread, like I couldn't even fathom brushing my teeth or washing my face. This isn't that uncommon of a symptom, according to drug forums I read.