5 thoughts on “Bipolar Disorder and Aging

  • October 20, 2011 at 6:26 am

    Why does the author describe the relative as bipolar. I’m bipolar and I know what an episode is like—magnetic, creative and then high as a kite, impaired judgment, some things don’t make sense and happy, happy, joy, joy OR in bed, sad unable to do anything at all. Paranoia and conspiracy theories and delusions of people being after you are typically not involved (although you might see grand and beautiful things that aren’t real now and then)—what this guy has is schizophrenia, NOT bipolar disorder. Nice and reassuring info about lithium, though.

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    • October 20, 2011 at 6:51 am

      You’re right that paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions are more characteristic of schizophrenia than bipolar, but these symptoms are also common in bipolar – more on the manic side than the depressive side. Also, a recent, large study has suggested a significant genetic overlap of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/large-study-strongly-supports-215599.aspx. And some of the medications used to treat schizophrenia are often useful in treating bipolar disorder.

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  • October 20, 2011 at 9:27 am

    I have bipolar disorder and have had psychotic symptoms while I was manic. I do wonder how my illness will progress as I age. It is good to know this research about lithium. As a psychiatry resident, I saw so many people on dialysis from lithium so I was afraid to try it. Now I am stable on Geodon, but maybe I will have to consider lithium in my later years.

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  • October 23, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Am 50 and have been bipolar for 30 years and on drugs for the last 19 years.I was prescribed Lithium for the first time two years back, during one of my acute manic phases and have been on it ever since.I too exhibit psychotic symptoms in mania.There is nothing to be curious about the progress of the disease ,any doc can tell you about it.The range of the feelings is just the same.Only it becomes rapid cycling,depression followed by mania all in a day and the sharpness of the feelings and mood in mania get blunted and depression becomes just a dull ache.Nothing to look forward to.But with support ,right medication and right environment it can get a lot better.

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  • October 23, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Thanks so much for this article. It has been on my mind for years. I am 48 years old, and I take 500mg Seroquel. Even though I’m stable, I often think will I get the dreaded tardive dyskinesia? Will I get dementia at an early age? Here are two facts. My grandmother was on Psych Meds since the 1960’s and had shock treatment many times. She devolped dementia at 83. My mother-in-law NEVER took Psych meds and yet developed dementia at 80. I hope with this website, we can get the message out that we really need research in this area. Thanks Again, Desiree Cart Dugas

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