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About a month ago, I was taken off my Lamictal, lithium, Seroquel, and Zoloft. I have a new Dr. who has prescribed me 150mg of Wellbutrin SR and 600mg of Neurontin. I became very depressed, had sleeping problems, and then as the third week hit, I became suicidal.
She increased my Wellbutrin SR to 150 mg twice a day and Neurontin up to 900mg (300mg morning and 600mg in the evening). I feel she is not treating me for my rapid-cycling Bipolar. I am either up or real real down, more down moments than my manic high, which often occurs.
Is she helping me or going to hurt me? I do not want to visit any more hospitals as a result of a doctor not giving me the right doses or too little or, as it is now, I have no antipsychotic meds, which is worrying me. Is this why I feel so depressed and suicidal thinking?
Please help. I am 43. I am not a child with Bipolar. Is this weak for my case? I have been hospitalized twice with Bipolar and I really wish to stay out of them. HELP PLEASE!!!!
Dr. Fink Answers...
Hi, Kelly. I am so sorry to hear that you are struggling like this right now. Most importantly, you should continue to express to your new doctor how badly you are feeling and insist that she explain to you what she is doing and why.
Could you talk about the best ways to handle working with the frequent turnover of psychiatrists when getting services at a community-run health center?
I have been going to the only place in town where I can get mental health care at no cost. While I greatly appreciate their services and commitment, they have a steady turnover of doctors. I've been going for close to three years now, and I think I've had 5 (?) doctors.
The problem is that my file is pretty thick. I've been going there for so long. I know they haven't read it, yet they base opinions about my care on what sometimes seems like a cursory glance.
There isn't enough time to really go into my history in these sessions (usually 15 minutes). Basically, I had a complete psychotic break in 2003 and was practically catatonic for a year before I could slowly rebuild my life (and my mind) piece by piece.
Yet, recently, I had a doctor, who all she would do is look at my file and say disapprovingly, "You're too young to be on this much medicine." Her words verbatim.
Over the past ten years of living with bipolar disorder, my wife has seen about a dozen different doctors for about a half dozen different reasons – insurance issues, trouble getting in to see the doctor, ineffectiveness of treatment, moves (us or the doctor), and so on.