Archives for November, 2011

Opinion

Bipolar Recovery as Transformation

I always thought of recovery from bipolar disorder as a return to the BB (before bipolar) era, but as Class 10 of NAMI's Family-to-Family course points out, recovery doesn't necessarily mean going back to the "good old days." It's often healthier to look at recovery as moving forward – a process of transformation, of becoming a new you, accepting your new reality, embracing fresh dreams, and drawing up new plans. This seems to be true both for the person with bipolar disorder and his or her loved ones.
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Diagnosis

How Were You Diagnosed?

In Bipolar Disorder For Dummies, we point out that as part of the initial work up for bipolar disorder you really should have a complete physical first to rule out any potential medical issues. Other possible diagnoses that may be considered by your doctor include the following:

Thyroid malfunction
Hormone imbalances
Diabetes
Mononucleosis
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
Lupus
Cancer
Cushing’s Syndrome
Hepatitis
HIV/AIDS
Rheumatoid arthritis
Medication or other substances that could have triggered symptoms

Sometimes we wonder whether doctors, including psychiatrists, follow the proper protocol in...
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Helping Loved One

Bipolar Disorder Q&A: Son with Bipolar Disorder Not Getting Treatment

Maggie asks...

My 21-year-old was diagnosed with Bipolar I after an extreme manic episode (he was hospitalized). It was a long and difficult few months (awful treatment, bouncing around to different doctors, etc.) during which his mania tapered down, and then turned into a deep black depression, which he is out of now. No one can persuade him to take medication. Now that he's feeling normal again, he seems to think that he doesn't need medication. So no meds, no therapy, no treatment of any kind. And I am quite sure he's self-medicating with "other" substances. (He lives with us – me/mom, younger brother, step-father.) Advice?

Dr. Fink answers...

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