Treatment Concerns

 

There are many, most of which I hit on throughout the pages of this site. For a brief introduction to several of the more onerous ones, please read on.

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Misdiagnosis

The average length of time for a bipolar person to go without the proper diagnosis while under some sort of care is 10 years. Read everything you can here and elsewhere and then download the information you think will be important to show to your doctor. Sometimes psychiatrists and therapists simply miss the connection, but you may be able to get them to look at some information if you can leave it with them. Misdiagnosis often means you're given the wrong drugs and therapy not fitted to your illness at all.

 

 

Medication Management:

For this you need a psychopharmacologist or a psychiatrist, preferably a well-experienced one who is very familiar with treating Bipolar illness. Be wary of the physician who discounts your every word, over-prescribes, changes prescriptions hastily (the old shotgun approach), or prescribes multiple drugs without carefully justifying his/her reasons for doing so. Don't hesitate even a moment to ask for explanations, and if answers are not forthcoming to your satisfaction, then it's time to--Shop-A-Doc.

 

Horror of horrors, guess what? Sometimes it seems it's more a case of unmanageable meds rather than meds managed. The $50,000.00 question is???? Where do the drugs we take begin and the person we knew ourselves once to be end? Or is it that the old us is gone forever? And how we grieve for that old "untreated us." Please check out the section on living well with bipolar illness. Maybe you'll find some cheer, some hope and maybe you'll feel a little less alone too.

 

 

Drug Side-effects:

Very few folks have no side-effects on psychotropic drugs. Side-effects are the number one area of concern for most bipolar patients. On this site are a number of links to papers and articles about various drugs and their effects. Read and learn as much as you can so you are well-armed and prepared to deal with this very troublesome (but absolutely essential) area of treatment concerns. The more you know, the better able you'll be to inform your physician of problems before they become unmanageable and/or result in hospitalisation.

 

Noncompliance:

Welcome to the number one reason for recurrent, often forced, hospitalisation. So...just take your drugs and stay out of the hospital you say. Sounds easy enough, but that's about it. It just sounds easy, but it is far from that. There are physical reasons for noncompliancy, like the side-effects already mentioned, some of which are extremely unpleasant and/or painful, and there are the emotional reasons, a hatred of feeling dependent upon drugs to function when the normies out there don't have to. Add to that the confusion of depression and mania and it becomes increasingly clear as to why compliancy is an oft-spoken of, and even more often, rarely achieved, treatment goal. Most bipolar sufferers will be noncompliant at some point and to some degree with their treatment...and most will suffer the disturbing consequences of that choice. So WHY, WHY, WHY don't they just take their damned drugs and be done with it? Hmmm...maybe you should follow me and feel the fear and grief of those who are bipolar, for only then will you begin to understand the true depth and breadth of this deadly dis(ease). f you are considering the notion of giving up on your drugs for awhile, then you may wish to read my ditty on how to do it the right way. My Guide to Non-compliance can be found by following this link.

 

Irrelevant Therapy

I'll try to tread lightly here, because some bipolars are rather keen on certain New Agey-fied alternative therapies, but not only are some of these useless, they are downright harmful. Without mentioning any specifically, beware the charlatans both within and without the field of psychiatry. For example, a pyschiatrist that sends you for sex therapy when you relate to him/her you're experiencing anorgasmia that started months after you began treatment with antidepressants is a quack! You may indeed need sex therapy, but in the case above, what you really need is some drug therapy or a drug change to counter the sexual dysfunction caused by the existing drug regimen. The benchmark in determining when a therapy is irrelevant is when YOU are uncomfortable with it and your therapist refuses to acknowledge your fears or concerns. Finding yourself in this place means one thing only. Time to....Shop-A-Doc.

 

 

Treatment Concerns Part II...