Riding the Wave ... And the Trough

I am mentally ill, diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I, OCD, ADHD, PTSD and a vitamin B12 deficiency (a key element in brain development). For over 12 years, I took anywhere from 5-8 psychotropic meds each day, and have been recently giving myself a monthly injection of B12.

In January 2012 I was hospitalized for depression, and management of my currrent med cocktail. Immediately all but two of my meds were discontinued and, after a few weeks of adjustment, and some near hospitalizations, things seem to be going much better.

I have been on permanent disability since January 2010, and am adjusting to life on a very limited income.

My prayer is that in walking with me during the ups and downs of Bipolar Disorder, you might find solace, and benefit through my experiences.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Please, please read the following very carefully, and take it to heart. I hope that by sharing my experience someone might benefit, and not go through what I went through.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I in 1994 and, over the years, have been prescribed over 20 different psychotropic medications. I started out taking one or two at the same time, then progressed to three, four, five until I started taking 8 different psychotropic meds AT THE SAME TIME. Some of these I actually took two or three times a day.

Sounds simple enough, right? I thought so, since these were prescribed by a professional, a psychiatrist with a vast education, and nearly 40 years of experience. If life were only that simple.

Years of abuse (being prescribed medications, even using them as prescribed, can still be called abuse) I trusted my pDoc, and it cost me dearly.

As bipolar, and a rapid-cycler, I am used to a cycle of mania and depression, sometimes slightly higher or lower, I was in crisis, and all my pDoc wanted was to give more meds (two new antidepressants in a two week period.

When I pressed him (after he had gotten up to end my appointment), he decided, I guess through some last-moment revelation inspired by my insistence, to get me into the IOP (Intensive Outpatient) therapy program. I decided that "doctor knows best", and went along his recommendation.

When I returned home there was a message on my answering machine to call the Parkview IOP office. I returned the call right away, and a message stated that they were out of the office until Wednesday, which was nearly two days away. I was in crisis, the worst crisis of my life, and I was told to basically handle it myself.

His office said they did exactly what they were supposed to, exactly what was needed and what was in my best interest.

Some things I learned en route to madness:

1.  Find a pDoc you feel confident with. Check out his/her
    experience, education, clientele. I good rule of thumb in
    identifying a good therapist is how long it takes to get an
    appointment - more clients usually means a longer wait.

2.  Never blindly trust anyone involved in providing for your
    health needs. Trust but verify.

3.  Don't be afraid to ask for what you want, and expecting what is
    best for you. Remember, your doctor works for you.

4.  Don't place your doctor on a pedestal. They simply have
    expertise in a field in which you need help. Don't be afraid to
    ask questions, get a second opinion or simply say "no".

Don't let your life be ruled, let along possibly ruined, by your Pdoc. Take control of your life, as well as your treatment.


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