Posted by: deepak | 2003/03/16

Ultra rapid cycler,Bipolar

Presently on Lantanan,Fluoxetine,Lithium & Epilum for the past 6 months.Tried 0ver 60 AD's and 15 mood stabilisers over 10 year period to no avail.Previous episodes -1975 -76 and 1885 -86 lasted max 0f 18 months - was not even hospitalised then.In these last 10 yrs ,i have seen approx 6 psychiatrists,been to 4 hospitals and had ECT's on two different occasions.I live in Ladysmith and my psychiatrist travels 100km from Newcastle every 2 weeks to see us.I am aware that the emphasis is on psychopharmacology now and not psychotheraphy but i'll give my right eye to get off this roller coaster.

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Our expert says:
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Dear deepak,
I can understand your annoyance and frustration. Bipolar Disorder is one of the most difficult to endure and manage, even with good expert advice and assistance. What a good combination of medications can do, if not to "get you off the rolercoaster", is at least to make it a smoother ride --- to have less ups and downs, and to make the swings ahallower and easier to cope with when they occur. Personally, I'm not convinced that ECT is particularly useful in Bipolar Disorder as such, in this role. I congratulate you on your persistance and continuing effort, in exploring the various options.
Most experts tend to agree that psychopharmacology is usually an essential part of managing this disorder. But, especially, when it comes to understanding it, and finding better ways for you personally to find more fuitful ways to think and behave during mood swings both up and down, psychotherapy, especially of the Cognitive Behavioral CBT model, can also be very useful. The limitation is that many psychiatrists and psychologists have not been trained in this technique which has good evidence to support its efficacy, and those that have, are not well distributed geographically.

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