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Archives for June, 2017

Bipolar Laid Bare

How Effective is Abilify?

Medication is the most effective way to treat bipolar disorder, but it’s not a cure. Most people still have symptoms even when taking medication as prescribed. That’s just how bipolar disorder works right now. There are three different types of medication used for depressive episodes, manic episodes and maintenance therapy: lithium, mood stabilizers and antipsychotics. Most patients take a combination of medications. One such antipsychotic is aripiprazole (brand name Abilify).
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Bipolar Laid Bare

Vanity Vs. Sanity? Medication & Weight Gain

I’ve gained about eight pounds ( kilos) in the last month. I’m putting most of the blame on my new antipsychotic. Part of the blame is my compulsive eating disorder and just not making healthy eating choices in general. However, unhealthy eating is likely not the only problem. I’ve actually been doing better as far as eating habits since I started taking Rexulti. That’s why I’m leaning towards blaming the weight gain on the...
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Bipolar Laid Bare

Types of Therapy Used to Treat Bipolar Disorder: Part I

Bipolar disorder can be difficult to treat. Despite the variety of medications taken on a regular basis, people still suffer from depressive and manic episodes. Even time between episodes can be difficult when there are still depressive symptoms or problems with cognitive functioning. Because of this, many people with bipolar disorder need to seek additional help. Most of the time that comes in the form...
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Bipolar Laid Bare

4 Concerns Women with Bipolar Disorder Have About Family Planning

The decision to have a child is not one that should be made lightly by anyone. Those with chronic illnesses have more to consider in the decision than the average person. Bipolar disorder comes with its own set of challenges. It’s difficult enough to manage even when it can be the first priority. There are medications to be managed and mood shifts to navigate. It is also imperative to have a routine. All of...
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Bipolar Laid Bare

Trying Rexulti as a New Medication: Part II

This article is Part II of “Trying Rexulti as a New Medication.” You can read Part I here.

My psychiatrist recently decided to change my medication regimen almost completely. I was taken off aripiprazole (Abilify) and sertraline (Zoloft) completely, my dose of lamotrigine (Lamictal) was lowered and she added a fairly new medication called brexpiprazole (Rexulti). There are several concerns when making medication changes including withdrawal effects,...
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Bipolar Laid Bare

Experiencing Bipolar Disorder: Personal Stories Part I

Everyone experiences bipolar disorder differently. There are at least three types of bipolar disorder: bipolar I, bipolar II and bipolar not otherwise specified. There is also cyclothymia. Within each of these categories, the diagnosis becomes even more personal. Do you suffer from psychosis? Do you experience euphoria or irritability? How long do your depressive episodes last? Which symptoms are most prominent? The answers to these questions also inform the way we respond to...
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