Q&A Articles

Difference Between Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

palmRecently on our Facebook Page, Vicky posted the following:

I was diagnosed bipolar II at the age of 20 but because bipolar type II is so similar to borderline personality disorder its difficult. I have had two diagnoses of bipolar type II and one of BPD.

What exactly is the difference between bipolar II disorder and borderline personality disorder?


Bipolar Disorder Q&A: How to Get Help for a 24-Year Old with Bipolar

Monday, February 10th, 2014

hands

Kim Asks…

My nephew is 24 years old. He tried to kill himself. This has been going on since he was 17. Just Saturday he took 80-85 pills of antidepressant, very close call to his death but he made it. My questions is how can his mom and dad get help for him because of his age? He really needs to stay in the system, not at home, to be a better person.

Dr. Fink Answers…


Med Shadow Interview Part 2: Treating Bipolar Disorder

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Please check out Suelain Moy’s excellent interview of Dr. Fink, “Treating Bipolar Disorder: A Q & A with Dr. Candida Fink, Part 2.” Dr. Fink’s answers cover medication, therapy, self-help, and the benefits of having a strong support network. After reading the interview, please return here and let us know what you think.


Bipolar Disorder Q&A

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Please check out “Q&A: Dr. Candida Fink on Diagnosing Bipolar Disorder” conducted by writer Suelain Moy for MedShadow Foundation.

Do more women than men suffer from Bipolar Disorder? At what age is it diagnosed? Can it be faked? We asked psychiatrist Dr. Candida Fink, a leading expert on Bipolar Disorder and the co-author of The Ups and Downs of Raising a Bipolar Child and Bipolar Disorder for Dummies these questions and more.

Please check it out and let us know what you think.

This is Part 1 of a two-part piece. Part 2 will be more about the treatment side of bipolar disorder. Stay tuned.


How to Deal with Mail Order Prescription Delays

Friday, January 20th, 2012

mailboxes

Maggie asks…

I’ve messed up my meds by going cold turkey due to difficulties with insurance and lack of funds. Now I have to wait for the mail order prescription and I have not had any lithium for a month. This week I started noticing some of my early signs of my hypomania returning. Tonight, I’m not sleeping.

I don’t have a psychiatrist right now since my insurance wouldn’t cover his $300 office visits. I’ve just started with a new primary MD.

What are my options until I get the meds and get them to a therapeutic level? I really want to sleep! I start struggling with anxiety, agitation, and irritability that can escalate to rage. I’m more than a little nervous at this stage. Can you advise?

Dr. Fink answers…

Your best option at this point may be to contact your primary care physician and explain your situation. Your doctor may be able to provide you with samples or a short-term prescription you can have filled at your local pharmacy to carry you through until your mail-order prescription arrives along with something for the short term to help you sleep.


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

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

disturbed young man

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…


Son Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 5th Grade Now Adult

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

bipolar son

Gwen writes…

My son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the 5th grade. He is now about to turn 21. He cuts and he cannot hold a job or finish a class at the local community college.

His bipolar disorder seems to be more depression-based than manic, or maybe the lithium and Abilify he takes helps the mania but doesn’t treat the depression.

Are there any medications recently developed which can help the depression? I know there is a study underway looking at this problem, but I can’t find out much about it. Sam took the initial test and they said that he qualified, but is no longer interested in participating in the research.


Bipolar Disorder Q&A: How Should Parents Help Child with Serious Problems and Multiple Diagnoses and Meds?

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

girl with bipolar disorder

Cathi asks…

My friend’s 9 year old has had severe behavioral problems and several alternating diagnoses. The Dr. has prescribed Focalin, Trileptal, Lamictal, and Seroquel. She has no concentration, violent outbursts, hallucinations, etc. She has been diagnosed, at present, with ADHD, Bipolar, ODD, and PDD. She will not do work at school; instead, she sits and picks at her skin. She has been violent and tried to choke other individuals. Mam says she can’t even leave the house with her.

My friend has no money. The state has removed an older child due to DMH reasons. She is afraid of the state agencies, but has nowhere to turn. Court appointed attorney said to call if she won the lottery. What happens to these children? These medications seem excessive and risky considering her age, the possibility of adverse interaction, and off label usage. Any advice or help. We are desperate. Thank you.

Dr. Fink answers…

This is an all too common situation in children with multiple levels of developmental, emotional , and behavioral symptoms, especially when the family’s resources are limited. The first place to start is with the current doctor to get a clearer picture of the reasons for the current medications and to express clearly the ongoing symptoms that are not being addressed.


Bipolar Disorder Q&A: Can Long-Term Acute Pain Lead to Bipolar Disorder?

Monday, July 11th, 2011

bipolar and long term pain

Chris asks…

Can long term (decade+) acute pain from an artery joining a vein directly in the spine that causes legs to not work very well lead to bipolar? Person has master degree in Mech Engineering and a MBA. Started to make poorer decisions which led to job loss, went on disability, divorce, severe ruminating, depression, possible suicidal thoughts, inability to think things through, sense of being lost and blaming one’s self for all that has gone wrong, fear or what is going to happen and impulsive behavior that cost his life savings.

He knew what to do but didn’t do it to prevent such a large loss of savings. He is seeing a therapist for mental health reasons and a regular doctor for his physical impairments. A lot of his symptoms I’ve seen in several bipolar individuals who I am familiar with. He asked me if he could be bipolar. Therapist thinks pain.

Dr. Fink Answers…


What Should I Do When Bipolar Medication Is Not Working?

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Kelly Asks…

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.


Bipolar Beat


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Candida Fink, M.D. and Joe Kraynak are authors of
Bipolar Disorder for Dummies.


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