Possible Bipolar

Updated on February 24, 2011
K.G. asks from East Northport, NY
10 answers

I have had depression and anxiety most my life and was on Wellbutrin XL and Lexapro for many years. I wasn't feeling great anymore and decided to go to a Psychiatrist. Long story short, I was diagnosed with ADHD and tried two different meds that either didn't work or put my pulse through the roof. During this time, I had horrible anger/depression and we decided that i was maybe bi-polar. Well, now i've been on Seroquel and don't feel too much better. There are days where I just feel like i'm losing it. Has anyone had any experience like this or with these medications? Maybe I just need to try something different?

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answers from Kalamazoo on

I'm bio polar have been for MANY years. The old fashioned diagnoses was Manic Depressive. Anyway i had to go through many meds. to find the one that worked for me. Don't give up! I know it is tiring and frustrating but when you find the one that works for you it will be worth it! Makes life a lot more stable. Good Luck! P.s. My doctor put me on Pritque and it is working great for me!

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answers from Honolulu on

I have been battling severe clinical depression for years and I know how very frustrating and disheartening it can be to go through several medications before you find one that works. Worse still is when they work for a while and then stop. Don't loose hope, keep at it with your doctor.

That said, what are your symptoms? My doctors are just now looking into the possibility of bipolar disorder for me. I never considered it because I NEVER have those 'high' periods described on internet fact sheets for bipolar disorder. My moods also changed like a light switch several times a day for the most minor things. I would be so upset with myself because I knew the emotional responses I was having to minor things were WAY over-the-top but I just couldn't control it.I have the anger thing too, and I loathe it. ADD medications make it SO much worse, as did Wellbutrin. Zoloft was the only thing that kept that out-of-the-blue temper under control, but then I was unable to feel ANYTHING. You could have told me I just won the lottery and I wouldn't really have cared.

My doctor put me on Lamictal two months ago and it's really starting to help. He said that antidepressants can actually aggravate bipolar disorder, so that may be happening to you. He added Buspar to help with the anxiety/anger and that helps so much as well, and it's not so strong that I can't function. How long have you been on the Seroquel? Remember that with any new medication for depression it takes a few weeks to become affective.

With the medication I have also tried very hard to alter my lifestyle. I make sure I eat better, stay away from fatty foods as much as possible and I try to get in a lot of Omega-6 as that helps brain function. Breathing exercises help a lot as well. I feel for you, I know this journey is a long one and it's soooo hard to stay positive. Feel free to message me if you need someone to talk to. Good luck!

((It's great that Matisse was able to get off her medication! That is what we all really hope for but for some people it's a lifelong thing, or takes a while until you are really ready to shift off medications. I would LOVE to be off my meds, I hate having to take them, but despite a healthy lifestyle and cognitive therapy my brain is just wired the way it's wired. Going off meds for me becomes life-threatening. Her advice is sound, just be sure to have your doctor involved if you decide to try and go off medication.))

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answers from Los Angeles on

There is a form of ADD called "Ring of Fire ADD" which mimics bipolar symptoms. Main difference being it isn't cyclical like bipolar. It doesn't respond well to traditional ADD meds. Might be worth checking out. Look at Amen Clinic website for info. Personally I would try a new psychiatrist, because it never hurts to get a new perspective and you really need a professional diagnosis. There are many possibilities. . .

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answers from Chicago on

I went on Wellbutrin to quit smoking. It made me so angry it was unbelievable. In fact, I'd even say it made me bipolar. In you search, I'm almost positive it's a side effect of the drug. Your problem might be the meds.

I was diagnosed with clinical depression as a teen. When I was 27 or so, I decided to get off all medicine. It was the best thing I ever did. Exercise and sleep have been scientifically proven to be as effective as anti-D for most cases of depression.

If I was you, I'd slowly go off the medicine and see if you can't handle things through cognitive rational therapy and exercise/sleep. I'm serious. The meds make you forget things, etc. and I feel so much better just doing it naturally.

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answers from Minneapolis on

When I was diagnosed a few years ago with bipolar, my symptoms were I would be on an absolute HIGH and the next thing I was crashing and nothing could pull me out of it. I've been on Geodon for a few years and now the dr wants to take me off of it because I am having extrememly tight muscles (bad side effect) and starting up seroquel. It can take a month or so for the meds to take full effect. Have you tried Vyvanse? I take that for my ADD and my son takes it for his severe ADHD and it works wonders.

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answers from New York on

It may sound kind of extreme, but you could consider a brief "med wash" and short-term inpatient stay. Most medications have a 1 or 2 yr (at the most) window of effectiveness before the body starts to become immune to the synthetic stimulation, which is why people who require meds will be on a variety over the course of their lifetime.

It sounds to me like you may be bouncing around between psychiatrists and prescribers? I could be completely wrong, but depending on a clinician's training and expertise, they "see what they are trained to see"! I am one of those clinicians and observe this all the time. I see things as being generally "behavioral" while my colleague sees things from a psychodynamic perspective. Same kid, same "symptoms" but two totally different perspectives and treatment plans.

I would schedule an appointment with your current prescriber and discuss the possibility of going off of all chemicals in a controlled and safe manner- invovles titrating and either in-patient or highly supervised out-patient procedures. See "who" you are without anything for a period of time and literally start over.

Good luck-

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answers from New York on

I'm in the mental health field and my mom has had depression for years. Right now she is doing well with an antidepressant and an ADHD medication (Straterra). I've known many people with bipolar disorder to have success with a combination of an antidepressant and a mood stablizer. Which ones depend on the person and there can be a certain amount of trial and error before finding the best combination. Lithium is a mood stabilizer.

Eating well is almost always a good idea and I feel better when I remember to take my multivitamin regularly.


answers from New York on

hey K....
maybe you can try lithium. i'm bipolar and have been on it with no mood swings. good luck!!



answers from Honolulu on

You might consider, checking your hormones.
Hormone imbalance... can cause many of these symptoms, too.
Hormone imbalance, can 'seem' like psychiatric issues, but are not always.

See your OB/GYN, or a Naturopath or Holistic Doctor, depending on your preference.

If your problem is hormone imbalance, these meds won't help, because it does not address, hormone imbalance. Or it can make it worse.



answers from Albany on

Are you willing to try something radically different? Something no conventional doctor would recommend? Functional medicine looks at what is happening in our bodies and works naturally through feeding our bodies and brains the chemicals it needs through food and suppliments rather than manufactured chemicals.

I had chronic fatigue, depression, and anxiety but none of the conventional doctors could help me, and believe me I went to many. I was on Lexapro for a while and it relieved some of the anxiety and depression. But the most amazing thing happened when I went to my new doctor - a clinical nutritionist and chiropractic neurologist. He tested blood, spit and urine to find the exact deficiencies and then corrected them through supplementation of vitamines and amino acids, natural supplements. Also, he tested my blood to see what food I was sensitive to. Turned out that when I eliminated them (gluten, dairy, and eggs) my fatigue completely went away.

In 6 months I was healthy and able to work all day happily.

I recommend this approach for anyone who is finding that drugs have not worked for them. For those hoping to get off drugs, don't quit cold turkey, but there is hope that you may be able to reduce your drugs over time.

Your reaction to those meds sound like what my daughter went through when she tried medication for her anxiety. She is very very chemically sensitive, and cannot take The Pill or any anxiety medication.

Also, I am an educational specialist, author and speaker. There are many causes for ADHD, including hypersensitivity which at the root is caused by a retained moro reflex. This is a reflex that we are born with but which should be "integrated" by 4 months. In many people instead it becomes a startle reflex by adulthood. I have found that by doing a simple exercise called Starfish plus some other reflex exercises, I have calmed my nervous system and have very little hypersensitivity to sound. I used to jump at loud noises and be able to hear whispers in the next room, but not anymore! You can Google "primitive reflexes and ADHD" for more information.

Good luck and I hope you find health and happiness!

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