The New Bipolar Planet Bookstore

January 15, 2014

Change Your Brain, Change Your Life An Unquiet Mind Manic: A Memoir The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide Bipolar Disorder Your Drug May Be Your Problem Touched with Fire The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide The Bipolar Workbook Page 2 Page3 Shopping Cart The New Bipolar Planet Bookstore Page3 Image Map
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Self-Righteousness

November 20, 2009

Self-Righteousness stems from mental illness, from boundary issues. If you don’t own it, stop trying to control it.


How to Save Money on Meds

October 22, 2009

If you usually traipse over to your local Rite Aid to get medications, you can easily save money.

Number one is to get generics where available.

Lamictal 200 mg 60 tablets $389.99
Lamotrigine 200 mg 60 tablets $323.14 :: cheaper

Number two is that your drugstore probably sells drugs online for at
least 10% lower than at your neighborhood store.

Number three is to buy larger pills and split them. If you took 100mg doses:

Lamictal 100mg 100 tabs $533.32 $5.33 per dose
Lamictal 200mg 60 tabs or
120 doses
$389.99 $3.25 per dose :: cheaper

Number four is to save by buying in bulk. Check before you order as it’s not a given.

Lamictal 200mg Tablets
60 tabs $389.99 $6.50 ea
180 tabs $1,138.09 $6.32 ea :: cheaper

Number five is to buy from overseas pharmacies, and remember they are NOT TAX-DEDUCTIBLE.

Lamotrigine 200mg Tablets
Drugstore.com 240 tabs $1,156.51 $4.82 ea
Canadadrugs.com 280 tabs $425.60 $1.52 ea :: cheaper

Remission in Bipolar Disorder

November 3, 2006

If someone figures out how to “cure” genetics, let me know. You can’t exactly pick up a bottle of Grecian Formula for Brain at the local pharmacy.

Remission is another thing altogether. That simply means that you are having an extended symptom-free period. Given that the DSM-IV bipolar criteria only require that the patient have ONE episode of mania or hypomania, some folks may remain in remission for the rest of their lives even without meds.

Science *is* empiricism. I would like to suggest that a large percentage doctors are not particularly careful in their application of the science of medicine. If they were scientific, they’d test and retest the bipolar patient’s continued need for meds instead of following the bizarre rule of thumb that once you’re on meds you need them forever. The killer is that as long as the illness is masked by drugs, it is impossible to practice “evidence-based medicine” as they disparagingly call it.

None of us on meds is being treated in an scientific manner. It isn’t scientifically valid to say that bipolar disorder causes cognitive deficits if a large percentage of the patients in the study were on meds. Antipsychotics have been *proven* to reduce the IQ by affecting the short-term memory. They aren’t the only drug to cause cognitive deficits. Lithium makes you feel as if your brain is wrapped in cotton wool.

I don’t believe that it is scientifically valid to say that bipolars must be on meds for life. If the patient stops the meds and experiences a return of symptoms… well, you’ve rewired the brain. The drugs themselves create a continued need for themselves by reconfiguring the brain’s neurons to need higher levels of serotonin in the synapses. The symptoms are bound to return, and much worse than before the drug did its damage.

Another thing about remission is that so many things besides bipolar disorder cause mood swings. Bipolar disorder has periods of remission. Things like the personality disorders, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, PTSD and any of a hundred organic illness all cause mood swings. But they don’t necessarily have periods of remission, and in many cases remission just doesn’t occur.

Here – this is my particular manifestation of bipolar disorder. Three-year cycles. They come no matter what, but fortunately the meds attentuate the episodes. On the other hand, until I was on meds the cycles didn’t seriously impact my salary.

I think that it’s important, if a bipolar isn’t having remissions, to figure out why. Ultra-rapid cycling could be caused by an antidepressant, particularly in women. Newly-diagnosed bipolars often experience a great deal of fear or anxiety that might be better treated with therapy than with additional meds. Antipsychotics may ruin the patient’s ability to effectively manage the illness by dumbing them down. Sometimes it isn’t the illness, it is the meds that make bipolars disabled.

Are your drugs masking periods of remission?

Sometimes I get tired of the reverse stigma that I get for taking fewer meds so that I can continue to have a life. Isn’t that the purpose of treatment? If not, what is?

Most bipolars have the so-called milder varieties of the illness, and many of them are unfairly overmedicated and isolated from society for no good reason. It is unbearably sad to see that happening. So if I can tolerate psychosis instead of trying to medicate away every little nuance of mood or emotion, does that make me somehow inferior? I don’t f*cking think so. It isn’t pathological until it has a negative effect on my life.