Anonymous asked this question on 4/18/2000:
They suspect I have bi-polar. I have over acheived for years with high levels of energy only to enter a depression cycle the past two years (42 now). My cycles vary from one day to two weeks, although slowly narrowed the past several years from once a year to every six months, to every three months, and on down. I am on Wellbutrin with Nuerontrin as the stablizer. It works but doesn't always hold me so we have tried Lactimal and now Depathal in addition to the Nuerontrin. We are now considering using Lithium which concerns me. I am also involved in meditation, yoga, and have studied Budhism and American Native traditions. What are your thoughts on the medication. It seems to help me a lot in functioning in my present job which is financially related with a lot of stress. thanks
pain1 gave this response on 4/18/2000:
many thanks for your question..it draws many differing thoughts up.
I suspect that to be bi-polar your changes would need to be much better defined. Being depressed is, on its own, dificult to define by degree. The fact that your up's and down's are still there it is probable that you are simply, if simply can ever be connected to depression, anyway it looks, to me, and remember I am a sufferer and not a docor of phyco..anything...so back to the plot..I think you are floating between "flare up's" and "set backs" the difference, as I am sure you know, is just the length of time they last. If your depression lasts for 1 or 2 days it could be termed as a "flare up" ie. temporary. If, however, your depression lasts for several days, even weeks, then it could be termed as a "set back"
In order to keep the levels of depression stable then it is my opinion that drugs, in the right strength, can have good to excelent results. In addition to the drugs there is a need for the sufferer to be aware of the signs and constant thoughts that come with the rising levels of depression. At ever stage we have thoughts and feelings...again both are there and both have to be seperated if there is any hope of helping ones self.
Often out thoughts, when depressed, are unhelpful ones...."I am sick of this feeling all the time..I have had enough" being an example of that..In order to prevent that part of the problem from becoming dominant we need to challenge it, a helpful thought...."I am fed up with feeling like this all the time but I know it will lift..it always has" the later is a statement of fact as much as a thought but, I hope you can see, it is also a challenge to the unhelpful thought??
Nothing is easy when dealing with depression...many people seem to forget that when depression sets in we are unable, at times, to think logically. I have a list of thoughts and feelings..feelings being exactly that.."How do I feel" this follows on after the thought...it is a result of the thought if you will...anyway I have found that because I update my list after a bad period it is there in black and white showing me I had been there before and...more to the point...I had, yet again, come through it.
As I say it is not easy once we are in that state and this, I feel, is where the proper use of drugs come in. I am on many, for many differing reasons...but, and without any doubt, Prozac saved my life..quite literally. I also use other traquilizers...unfortunatley the names change each side of the big pond... I hate pills..I curse them evey day..but...they do a fantastic job. They are the one thing that allows me to remain just above water when things are really tough, they allow me to attack my thoughs and feelings...they keep the edge off the depression and prevent it turning into madness......
I have little, if any, side efects from the drugs and, as you state, have found them of benefit...I for one will always say "there is no need to suffer so much because there are drugs to help" If they are not affecting your work, or life, then I say keep on them. I do, however, see a picture starting with the swapping and changing you speak of. I feel that once a drug has been found to help it is often best to stay with it...changing all the time can, and often does, cause the body to stop reacting so well to them. Any additional thearapy you can do..the yoga and so on, can only be good. I use relaxation to music as well as exercise and challenges to keep my body, and mind, busy. I am disabled by the injury and the pain from it, and now by the depression, but I feel an active mind has less chance of sticking in first gear all the time...read depression in place of first gear, because of the slow, dull empty days.
Your best move would be to get to see someone at the hospital who deals solely with this issue...a phycotherapist or such and allow them to set you a stable course of medication, one you know works, and add to the benefit by teaching you further ways to keep ahead of the depression.
Nothing is easy when it comes to dealing with depression and we all have different ways that work for us. I guess that of all the people I mix with, at the hospital and on courses, those best able to manage are those willing to continue with a regular drug routine, again built on with extra activities for the body and mind. Rule nothing out unless you have tried it and refuse nothing unless you feel the risks could be high.
My own opinion of your method is that you are doing all you can to help yourself. All you need now is stability with the drugs and additional help with ways to deal with things mentally.
I wish you continued success and hope this may be of some help when deciding the next move.
Anonymous rated this answer a 5.
thanks for the compassion and sharing the understanding. also the good ideas on handling a very difficult and personal subject.