Maybe, maybe not…

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Don’t really have anything to say. Tired. Very low energy. Low mood. Beginning of a depressed phase? Don’t know. It’ll become apparent soon enough. If It’s hard to wake up in the morning, if it’s hard to get anything done, if I don’t even want to get anything done, if I have lost interest in activities that were pleasurable, such as taking pictures, or singing, then yes it looks like the beginning of a depressed phase. These things have been happening to me in the past few days, but only the past few days so it’s still too early to tell. It may just be a blah period and not the beginning of a real depression. At least Zumba is still FUN! If that stops being fun, then I am in serious trouble…

Also if I do go into a depression, there is one big problem this time: No Zoloft. My psychiatrist will not let me take Zoloft or any SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), because he says that they make people with bipolar disorder cycle more, and apparently research supports his claim. But this is pretty scary for me, because until now, whenever I felt a depression coming on, I would startĀ taking Zoloft and it abated. This time I don’t have that option, that safety net. If I truly do go into a depression, I don’t know what I am going to do. And just this fact is causing me a lot of anxiety and stress.

The drugs he has recommended I go on all have given me very bad side effects in the past. For example Abilify literally gave me Parkinson’s like symptoms, with very stiff muscles, a shuffling gait and muscle tremors. When I took Welbutryn in the past, I thought i was going to burst because of an insane level of anxiety. Latuda gave me blinding headaches and Saphris also gave me a lot of anxiety and severe headaches. Provigil, which is a stimulant is also one that he has suggested, but I will not take it as it can push people with bipolar d/o into full blown mania. I don’t understand how he even suggested that, given the fact that this is a side effect! So there we have it. The one medication I can take without side effects is now forbidden to me and all the ones I am allowed to take are ones I cannot take because of awful side effects. The fear, anxiety and stress of what’s going to happen if I do go into a depression are quite enough to send me into a depression šŸ˜¦

Going to NYC for Thanksgiving. A lot of close and extended family will be there. Hoping I will be fine. I was so looking forward to this trip to NYC with my husband, my son, my stepdad, my brother, my sister, my cousin, her children and many, many others. And now I don’t know. Oh well, all I can do is hope for the best.

Also wondering if it is time to find another psychiatrist. But what if what this one says is true… then it would be unwise to find someone new… going around in circles and have no idea what to do. Even deleted a whole post I’d written because I thought it was garbage… simply going around in circles. Not so bad that it is definitely a depression, but definitely some symptoms, and maybe on my way to a depression.

Oh yes, bipolar strikes again, as usual with its impeccable timing, and all it does is make my life a living hell. Tired, so tired of this. Of fighting depression, of fighting mania, wtf bipolar d/o, leave me the hell alone.

Whether One Takes Medication or Not Affects Outcome of Having bipolar disorder.

Some people with Bipolar disorder are very high functioning. The main thing that distinguishes people who do well from people who don’t is the ability to accept that one has a disease and take medication.

Often, people who have mental illnesses refuse to accept that they have an illness. They refuse to see a doctor and often refuse to take their medication. This obviously makes for a very negative outcome with the illness getting worse and worse and finally hospitalization after hospitalization and maybe even worse. With bipolar symptoms getting worse and worse due to not taking their medication, many people also have problems with the law as in arrests and legal trouble.

As was so tragically illustrated with the death of Robin Williams just recently, mental illness can be a terminal illness.

The best outcomes occur for people who go to their doctor regularly and take the recommended medications at the proper doses. I have found thinking about it in terms of the molecular mechanisms of the disease helps me understand the illness as something totally molecular which is helped by taking medication.

Neurotransmitters such as Serotonin, Epinephrine, Norepinenephrine, and Gamma Amino Butyric Acid (GABA), are the molecules that carry information from one neuron to another. This information may be thoughts, emotions, or feelings.

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Again remember the presynaptic neuron (yellow) and the space which is the synapse, and the post synaptic neuron? Well the presynaptic neuron, upon firing, empties it’s vesicles into the synapse, thereby releasing its supplies of neurotransmitters, eg. Serotonin. The Serotonin then binds to a receptor on the post synaptic neuron and exerts its effect via proteins that are in close proximity to the receptor. How long the Serotonon stays active depends on how fast the post synaptic neuron reuptakes it. If the reuptake is too fast then Serotonin cannot exert its effect. This reuptake is blocked by drugs such as Zoloft, Prozac, Wellbutryn (this actually blocks reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine.) That is how they are hypothesized to alleviate depression.

SSRI stands for selective Serotonon reuptake inhibitor.

SNRI stands for serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inviter.

DRI stands for dopamine reuptake inhibitor.

Soon to come: mechanism of lithium action :-))