treatment issues

How Likely is a Bipolar Relapse? Avoiding Bipolar Relapse

→ May 19, 2014 - 3 Comments

How Likely is a Bipolar Relapse? Avoiding Bipolar Relapse

Recently, I was asked about planning for the future with bipolar disorder considering the threat of immanent relapse. This individual was in the last year of medical school and wanted to know how to plan the rest of his life, knowing that, at any moment, he might have a bipolar relapse. He was on meds, and they kept him functional, most of the time, but the bipolar medication didn’t prevent two major relapses in the past.

So the questions in this scenario are: How likely is a bipolar relapse? How can I avoid a bipolar relapse? How can I plan a life with such uncertainty?

Read more

What Keeps a Person Sick with Bipolar Going When Treatment Doesn’t Work?

→ May 13, 2014 - 28 Comments

What Keeps a Person Sick with Bipolar Going When Treatment Doesn’t Work?

Some people with bipolar disorder are lucky in that when they get treatment, they find something that works for them within some reasonable period of time (and this might be in a year or two, maybe not altogether reasonable, but on the whole, good). However, not all people sick with bipolar are so lucky. Some people with acute bipolar symptoms don’t find anything that works for them for prolonged periods of time. In fact, for many people sick with bipolar, it seems like they will never find any treatment that will work.

So if you’re in this latter group (and I am) what keeps you going? If you still suffer from acute bipolar symptoms and the treatment isn’t working, how do you keep trying to get better, day after day?

Read more

We Must Aim for Zero Bipolar Symptoms During Treatment

→ April 21, 2014 - 20 Comments

We Must Aim for Zero Bipolar Symptoms During Treatment

Raise the Bar on Bipolar Treatment – Hold Your Doctor to Task

Let me be honest. Even when my treatment is at its best, I never get to the place of zero bipolar symptoms. I’m well, I can handle the remaining symptoms with coping skills, I can be happy but there are always lingering symptoms of bipolar disorder.

And this may be an indicator of being difficult to treat because what we know is that the more you can successfully treat all the symptoms of bipolar disorder, the more likely you are to have fewer relapses. In other words, if you continue to experience bipolar symptoms during treatment, you’re more likely to experience future episodes and we really want to avoid that as each future episode tends to make your bipolar harder to treat.

For this reason, it’s critical to aim for zero bipolar symptoms during treatment, whenever possible.

Read more

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.

Read more

EMPowerplus/Truehope Update Day 11

→ December 29, 2013 - 11 Comments

EMPowerplus/Truehope Update Day 11

I am now on day 11 of my EMPowerplus experiment and, yes, I have talked to my doctor about it (more on that later). Here’s what I have to report about the EMPowerplus:

  • I started on half a dose – that’s two pills in the morning and two in the evening.
  • Pretty much as soon as I started taking the EMPowerplus I started feeling giddy. Not quite hypomanic but notably elevated and different, although not better.
  • On day five I experienced an official rapid cycle from hypomania one day to serious debilitating depression the next day.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Frequently Asked Questions about Inpatient Psychiatric Treatment Facilities

→ October 13, 2013 - 11 Comments

Frequently Asked Questions about Inpatient Psychiatric Treatment Facilities

Today marks the start of a few articles I’ll be writing about private inpatient psychiatric treatment facilities. This is thanks to our new sponsor, Timberline Knolls. The highly-trained staff at their facility have agreed to answer my, and your, questions about inpatient treatment facilities. Today we’ll be talking about the basics of inpatient treatment facilities including services offered, intake, what professionals are there and what it’s like to stay in a residential treatment facility.

Read more

Should People with Bipolar be Forced to Take Medication?

→ September 23, 2013 - 37 Comments

Should People with Bipolar be Forced to Take Medication?

I have written before that you can sort of, a little bit, manage bipolar disorder without medication. There are a few proven treatment strategies that do work to manage bipolar disorder and keep you out of the prescription line at the pharmacy.

Nevertheless, I’m still a big believer in medication. I believe that if your life is out-of-control because of bipolar disorder, then medication is probably the best thing for you. I believe that if you’re in pain because of bipolar disorder, then you should be seeing a psychiatrist. I believe that if your functionality is compromised by a disordered brain, then you should be looking at a medical solution.

But does this mean that people with uncontrolled bipolar disorder should be forced to take medication?

Read more

Page 3 of 1212345678...Last »