choosing a treatment

Antipsychotics Should Be Used for Non-Psychotic Depression Treatment

→ February 6, 2017 - 7 Comments

Antipsychotics Should Be Used for Non-Psychotic Depression Treatment

While some disagree, it’s important that people understand that antipsychotics need to be used for non-psychotic depression treatment, when appropriate.

At any one time, 14 million people suffer from depression but only 60-70% of these people respond to antidepressant treatment. Of those who do not respond, 10-30% exhibit treatment-resistant symptoms including “difficulties in social and occupational function, decline of physical health, suicidal thoughts, and increased health care utilization.” Treating these people presents a huge issue for healthcare practitioners and one of the options they consider is the use of a medication class known as antipsychotics.

Recently, a group called the Therapeutics Initiative wrote a letter entitled Antipsychotics should not be used for non-psychotic depression. Their conclusions are as the title suggests: this body found little evidence to support the use of antipsychotics in the treatment of non-psychotic major depressive disorder.

And while I respect the work of this body and while they have considered some evidence (in the case of quetiapine [Seroquel], an antipsychotic), there is more to consider on the issue.

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Real Patient Experiences with ECT and Perspectives on ECT

→ April 24, 2016 - 35 Comments

Real Patient Experiences with ECT and Perspectives on ECT

It’s difficult to find real patient experiences with, and perspectives on, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) online. Well, it’s easy to find patient experiences and people’s perspectives on ECT but what tends to happen is that those that scream about ECT the loudest are the only ones people hear. I suspect this is thanks to the extreme animosity held on at least one side of the debate.

I aim to change this with real data from real people who have experienced ECT. What I want is data that will prove or disprove the assumptions that people make about ECT. I really hope you’ll support me in this effort.

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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation vs. ECT for Depression

→ April 11, 2016 - 21 Comments

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation vs. ECT for Depression

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is an option for depression treatment and may be an alternative, for some, to electroconvulsive therapy. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (when used as a treatment for depression known as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation or rTMS) is actually similar to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in that it’s also a neuromodulation technique. It does differ, though, as rTMS is much less invasive and has a very favorable side effect profile, particularly when compared to ECT. There are reasons that people aren’t flocking to rTMS as a depression treatment, though.

[Note: I am running a survey on real patients’ experiences with, and perspectives on, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). If you’ve had ECT and want your voice heard, please take the survey here. More detailed information on the ECT survey can be found here.]

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Why Do People Refuse to Try Psychiatric Medication?

→ July 21, 2015 - 125 Comments

Why Do People Refuse to Try Psychiatric Medication?

I take psychiatric medications daily and what I want to know is, why do people refuse to try psychiatric medication for serious mental illnesses? Why do people think they don’t need it? Why do people think they should ignore their highly-trained doctor’s advice? Why do people feel that taking psychiatric medication makes them less of a person? Why is it okay to take heart medication but not psychiatric medication? Why do people think that psychiatric medication doesn’t work? Why do people think that I know of some secret alternative? Why do people refuse to even try psychiatric medication?

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Pros and Cons of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

→ May 19, 2015 - 30 Comments

Pros and Cons of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

The pros and cons of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) are actually quite numerous but in this post I will try to, unbiasedly, lay out the basic pros and cons for anyone considering ECT as a treatment. I am likely uniquely qualified to do this as I am very educated about ECT (Yes, I still have that book in the works. Did I mention I’m really busy?) and I’ve also had ECT. This does not mean it’s right for everyone, however. Do consider the pros and cons of electroconvulsive therapy carefully before you make your own mind up with the help of a doctor.

[Note: I am running a survey on real patients’ experiences with, and perspectives on, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). If you’ve had ECT and want your voice heard, please take the survey here. More detailed information on the ECT survey can be found here.]

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Fear of Bipolar Medication Treatment Changes

→ March 23, 2015 - 52 Comments

Fear of Bipolar Medication Treatment Changes

I have a fear of bipolar medication treatment changes. I do. You’d think after 100 changes to my bipolar medication treatment plan I would be used to it, and while I supposed I’m used to it, it doesn’t destroy the fear. I’m so scared that a bipolar medication treatment change will make me worse. I also fear the hope that a bipolar medication treatment change offers.

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I Have Bipolar Depression – Should I Take an Antidepressant?

→ March 24, 2014 - 49 Comments

I Have Bipolar Depression – Should I Take an Antidepressant?

Would you like the short answer or the long answer? In short, if you have bipolar disorder, no, you shouldn’t be taking an antidepressant – even if you’re depressed – in many, if not most, cases.

The long answer is, naturally, more complicated.

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What I Know about EMPowerplus by Truehope that You Don’t

→ December 17, 2013 - 224 Comments

What I Know about EMPowerplus by Truehope that You Don’t

(Prereading: What is EMPowerplus by Truehope and Why am I Taking EMPowerplus?)

I’ve ordered EMPowerplus by Truehope now, and so, as a buyer, I know a few things that you can’t find out on their public site.

The Experience of Buying EMPowerplus by Truehope

The experience of buying EMPowerplus is exactly what you would think it would be – you go online and you buy it. There is one difference though, and that difference is that someone calls you to follow-up.

The morning after I ordered the product, the Truehope follow-up person called and started asking me personal questions and confirming information I had already given them. Then she asked my diagnosis. I hesitated as I don’t really think it’s any of her business, but then said, “bipolar.” Then she asked me what medications I was on. I told her I was on several and I didn’t want to enumerate them. She said something along the lines of, “our support staff can’t help you if they don’t have a full picture.” I asked her what her qualifications were to be asking such questions and she said that she simply, “set up the file.” Then I asked her what qualifications those support staff have. She said, “they’re educated on the product.”

In other words, the follow-up person has zero qualifications and the support people who will be counselling you have zero qualifications also. (This is true, by the way, it’s just a call center.) And she wants me to hand over my personal, medical information to these people. I don’t think so.

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Why Take the Alternative Treatment EMPowerplus for Bipolar?

→ December 10, 2013 - 61 Comments

Why Take the Alternative Treatment EMPowerplus for Bipolar?

(Preread: What is EMPowerplus by Truehope?)

I’m not doing well. I haven’t been doing well for a long time. It’s quite simple really, every day I fight the bipolar and at the moment, the bipolar is winning.

And when this happens I know what I have to do. I know I have to find an effective treatment. In my 15 years of being treated for bipolar disorder, I can tell you what pulls me out of a depression: medication. Nothing else ever has. Ever. I’ve done everything (believe me) and nothing works except finding the right bipolar medication. I know people don’t want to believe this, but it’s true.

But unfortunately for me, we’re out of bipolar meds. My doctor is out of ideas. I have no good ideas either. If I wanted a drug, my doctor would give it to me, but there’s simply nothing to want because there’s nothing with any evidence behind it that I haven’t tried. And there’s no combination (or combination of combinations) that I haven’t been on. Really.

And the other night I was in my apartment, suicidal as you please, and I desperately decided to try this EMPowerplus stuff. Because, according to some anecdotal evidence and case studies, it appears to have worked for a few people.

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Truehope and the Bipolar “Treatment” EMPowerplus

→ December 9, 2013 - 37 Comments

Truehope and the Bipolar “Treatment” EMPowerplus

I have been wanting to write about the Truehope people (makers of EMPowerplus) for years but I haven’t because, well, I didn’t have anything nice to say, so I didn’t say anything at all. I knew that any critique I made of these people would be met with a slew of hate mail and, really, I get enough of that already.

But now I’m ready to go and at the bottom I’ll tell you why.

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A Bipolar Life Without Medication – a Possibility?

→ December 2, 2013 - 103 Comments

A Bipolar Life Without Medication – a Possibility?

As people who read this bipolar blog know, I’m on medication, lots of it, actually. Nevertheless, many people (philosophically, even me) wish to be medication-free. I’m the first one to say this usually isn’t possible; however, today I’m talking with CEO and Medical Director Dr. Kim Dennis from Timberline Knolls (a sponsor) about bipolar disorder without medication.

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What Types of Therapies are Taught to People with Bipolar at Treatment Centers Plus More

→ October 24, 2013 - 2 Comments

What Types of Therapies are Taught to People with Bipolar at Treatment Centers Plus More

Today’s article is another in the series on inpatient treatment facilities. These questions have been answered by the staff at Timberline Knolls – the Bipolar Burble blog’s new sponsor. These questions were submitted by readers and cover bipolar treatments, length of stay, mental illness life skills, and use of discipline.

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