I guess I should have read the second part of the last p-docs report a little more closely. She says it’s not bi-polar, but Persistent Depressive Disorder. I’ve never been manic and the hypomania symptoms I’ve experienced are common with Borderline Personality Disorder, especially as one comes out of a deep depression. So the official diagnoses are as follows: Borderline Personality Disorder, C-PTSD, Persistent Depressive Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. What I’m really curious about is how, if I’m not bi-polar, the atypical anti-psychotic is working. I’ve done some research into it, and as best as I can figure, it acts as a mood stabilizer, even in the absence of bi-polar or schizophrenia, as an adjunct to the anti-depressant. Which may or may not work without it. I’ll find out soon enough. My GP has a referral in for me to talk to the p-doc about lowering my medication. I’m on 20 mg of escitalopram (Cipralex), 20 mg of aripiprazole (Abilify), 4 mg of prazosin, and 1mg of clonazepam (Klonopin) as needed. The prazosin and clonazepam I’m fine with. I enjoy my nightmare free sleep. And I only use the clonazepam once in a while. I’ve been using a lot of it for my dentist appointments, but now that I have my partials, I only need to go every four months for cleanings. It’s the aripiprazole that I’m mostly concerned with. It’s a strong dose to be on, especially if I’m not bi-polar. I’ll probably need to be on an anti-depressant for the rest of my life, I can understand that. But if possible, I’d like to minimize the doses. The longer I’m on the aripiprazole, the more likely I am to get Tardive Dyskinesia. I’m already starting to get very slight hand tremors. Not bad enough that my doctor is concerned, but they’re still there. We’ll see, I guess.

4 thoughts on “SO IT’S NOT BIPOLAR…

  1. Does it feel important to you, what your diagnoses are? I go back on forth on that for myself, whether or not it matters. Something I think, who cares what they call is, as long as I’m getting some kind of treatment that seems to be working for me? Other times I think, without a well-substantiated diagnosis and some good evidence about effective treatments, is everyone just making things up as they go along?

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    1. I’m like you. I waffle on the importance. The therapy I’m in is working wonders. But I’m really struggling with the medication piece. I don’t like having to take them, despite the fact that they may be working. The diagnoses affect the meds they try. And heavy duty psychotropic meds are the first line of defence in bipolar. Not so much the rest of them. So I’m torn on the importance of the diagnoses.

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      1. You are right–if the diagnosis is accurate, you are more likely to get matched up with meds that could be helpful. Or at least the probability is higher, for some diagnoses. For depression, that’s not really so true, since there are lots of different anti-depressants and, I think, still a lot of luck involved in finding the right one.

        Lately, though, I’ve been so disenchanted with most psych meds that I kind of wish I wasn’t taking any at all. It’s hard to get off them, however, once you get started, so even though I’m still trying to wean off the Effexor, I may be on it the rest of my life. ?!?!

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      2. I’m lucky that we’ve found a cocktail that works. Unfortunately, the doses are high and leave me foggy and with short term memory issues. So I’m going to go down a bit. And, like you, it’s a huge probability that I’ll be in then the rest of my life. Even when I’ve done my trauma work.

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