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Messages By: mustbecrazy

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August 18, 2006, 3:08 pm CDT

extremes are not enough

Quote From: singer45

From one who was diagnosed 15 years ago with bipolar illness, believe me I do understand.   I thought the cases on the show were very extreme and not representative of patients as a whole.


As someone who is a native Texan I understand completely how the Texas state government has

labelled the mentally ill.  Also,  the treatment of  such people and the emphasis placed on good healthcare.   Texas is probably at the lowest or the lowest at funding. 


Dr. Phil might want to go to the BiPolar/Unipolar association meetings at UT Health Science Center.

Perhaps the wonderful psychiatrists who devote a lot of their time to this group might help.  


There really are bipolar patients who live productive, useful lives.   We take our meds the same time every day, get our blood levels and see our doctors.   One other thing that has helped me is renewing my faith in God and singing in choir.


Thanks for your email and don't give up.  Thanks to  the education about lithium I was able to do a lot of forgiving I needed to do.


Bless You,


 I have had Bipolar patterns all my life, and was diagnosed 10 years ago, after having bad labels from  bad, inconsiderate doctors.  Now that I am  seeing good doctors, and a knowledgeable and compassionate mental health provider, I am now on a good set of medications, and am most of the time pretty stable.  I DO NOT foam at the mouth, dance naked on a roof top, or anything really outrageous, however, when I tell people that I have Bipolar, and have been in the psych ward, they take a step back, as if I might be contageous.

I agree that only showing the extremes is irresponsible.  There are people out there who may not know  the difference between normal and abnormal feelings and thoughts.  If they are not as extreme as the people shown on TV, they may not seek help until it is too late.  When I was first diagnosed with major depression, back in 1991, I was insulted at being sent to a psychiatrist (stigma), and had no idea what depression was.  By the time I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, 5 years later, I had already been in the psych ward multiple times, with multiple (thank God not successful) suicide attempts.

I would hate to see somebody not seek help because their feelings and behavior are not as extreme as those seen on TV.  Being Bipolar is not a bad thing...feeling suicidal is not a weakness, it is a symptom that should not be ignored.  Dr. Phil, please don't go down the tubes like Phil Donahue, who, near the end of the show rotated between 5 topics, and only showed the extremes and seemed to like it when people stormed off stage. 

I watch the show for entertainment, and for tips on staying on track.  I can identify with many of the guests on the show,  and would like to see the line between "normal" and "abnormal" explained more thoroughly, rather than seeing the extreme cases.  I really like the show...keep it real.
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August 18, 2006, 4:55 pm CDT

doing great on Lamictal

Quote From: brsdnotbroken

I took lamictal for only about two weeks several years ago and winded up in the mental ward at the hospital for about a week because it caused me to hallucinate and have delusions.  I am not writing this to scare anyone I just felt that my extreme reaction was weird and wanted to know if there was anyone else out there who has had a similar experience with the drug.

I'm glad you're doing well on Lamictal.  It's the best Bipolar medication I have tried.  I've been on many other medications.  Risperdal made me gain 50 pounds, and Depakote made me gain even more weight.  Since going onto Lamictal, I have been able to go off of everything else except Temazepam for sleep.  I have lost 50 pounds in the last year, and have only 20 to go.  I also started on Provigil for Narcolepsy.  Between getting off of Depakote and onto the right meds, I have much more energy.  After being emotionally "numb" from my former cocktail of drugs, it is great to feel again.  I have started painting again...I do animal portraits.  I hadn't touched a paint brush in 10 years, due to depression and/or emotional numbness.


It is a really good thing I got on the right meds when I did.  I have been through a rough year.  I was diagnosed in March with Breast Cancer and had a mastectomy in April.  Because of a heart condition, I could not take the Tamoxefin that is normally prescribed for the type of cancer I had, so the alternative was hysterectomy with ovary removal.  Actually, I don't miss the extreme highs and lows caused by PMS hormones...don't miss the heavy bleeding either.  I was unstable before, on the old drug cocktail, still having extreme highs and lows...not a good way to be when cancer strikes!  I thank God every day that I was emotionally stable at the time of the diagnosis.


Cancer has really changed my outlook on life.  God has shown me that He wants me to live.  I have 3 kids and would hate to leave them with a legacy of suicide.  I've been in the psych ward numerous times, and the last time, I took myself because I was suicidal, but too depressed to act on the thoughts.  I was afraid that when I came up a little, the psychotic suicidal thoughts would win out.


Some people are taken off of Lamictal if they get ANY type of rash, Stevens Johnsons, or not.  Although all rashes should be checked out while on this drug, not all rashes warrant stopping the drug.  My last trip to the psych ward was due to a reduction in the dose of Lamictal because of a rash that turned out to be a Viral Rash and not related to Lamictal.  When I went back up in the dose (200 mg 2X/day), my moods again stabilized.


I have been married for 25 years, and my husband (God Bless him) has lived through all of my manic and depressive episodes.  He usually recognizes when I am manic before I realize it.  I guess mania is too much fun.  I must be a little manic now...I'm going on and on.


Good luck with the Lamictal...Keep your communication with your doctor clear and accurate.


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August 18, 2006, 5:06 pm CDT

don't give up

Quote From: renees_life

I have know my husband for about 10 years, and have been married for four.  He has days, sometimes a week or so of being "normal".  Then it is followed by eratic behavior, such as going to bed at 7p.m. and staying in bed most of next day.  He won't tell me what is wrong, just that I am "bitching" at him every time I speak.  Then he insults me about ironically the things I feel are my best qualities ie. being a mom, taking care of the house, and working.  It also seems these are the things he is really poor at, but insist on blaming me.  He never says he is sorry, and will just pretend these episodes never happen.  He has been very loud and yell at the top of his lungs at me almost like he is out of control with his emotions.  Then he always rambles on even on good days, he can't complete a sentence.  He describes it as his thoughts are way to fast to verbally get them out, and also he is so smart, and most people especially me are not fast enough to keep up with him.  It is destroying me emotionally,  I am exhausted from walking on egg shells, and constintly agreeing with him, to avoid any conflict.   He has been diagnosed with different things over the years, bi-polar being one of them.  Currently he is taking aderall for ADD and valium for anxiety.  I see some difference in his focus, but he still is up and down, Also everytime he takes meds, even if family sees improvement, he will soon say "I am losing my mind, this medicine doesn't do anything" The Valium I am sure has destroyed his liver, and He is most definatly addicted to it.  I have been around him when he takes stints with out it, and I much prefer when he has it!!!  He can ping of the walls and talk 90 miles an hour, with out ever completing what he originally started talking about. 

So I now about once a month, wish I could save money to move out..  I am tierd of dealing with his issues. 

If your husband is Bipolar, he may not recognize it in himself.  I have had bipolar patterns since I can remember, but they went unrecognized until age 35.  I was terribly insulted to be referred to a psychiatrist.  Perhaps you could print out a good artical from a Bipolar web site, and give it to your husband when he is in a "normal" mood.  He may just see himself in there and want to seek help.  Legally, you can't force him to get help...he has to want it.  Don't wait until he becomes suicidal.  My psychiatrist said that no person with Bipolar disorder didn't have ADD first.  Adderall can cause mania and anger did for my some research on's the best Bipolar drug I've ever been on.  Please stick with it and give some encouraging words.  God Bless You
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August 18, 2006, 6:06 pm CDT

new subscriber

I am today new to the Dr. Phil web site.  I have posted replies to a few of the messages I saw today.  I have been to a lot of bad doctors who don't take mental status into account.  If there is "no physical finding" then there is nothing wrong.  If you have a doctor like this, please find a new one.  I finally have a great doctor and a psych provider who is very knowledgeable about women with Bipolar Disorder.


I was on Risperdal for 9 months and gained 50 pounds.  The (male) doctor I was seeing at that time said that because the medicine was helping, weight was not an issue.  Because of the extreme weight cholesterol levels went haywire, my knees were painful, and I was depressed about my appearance.  The Risperdal sent my prolactin hormone levels very high and caused leakage of breast milk (and I had long stopped nursing my children).  The gynecologist thought I might have a pituitary tumor because of the high prolactin levels.  It turned out to be the risperdal.


I am now on Lamictal, and after gaining more weight on Depakote, after the Risperdal,  I am finally on track.  I went off of Wellbutrin, Geodon, and Depakote, and changed to Lamictal only.  I am on meds for other medical conditions as well.  I also take Temazepam for sleep.  For anybody not liking the medication you are on, ask your doctor about Lamictal.  I have lost 50 pounds since getting off of the other meds and onto Lamictal (a little over a year ago).  My moods are much more stable now, although I still have less dramatic ups and downs (maybe that's what it's like to be normal.)  I have my creativity back, which was lost for 10 years of bad medications which made me feel emotionally numb.  I am now back to painting animal portraits and much more.


I was diagnosed also with Narcolepsy, just recently.  I am on Provigil for that.  It also is working to further insulate against depression.  I have so much more energy now.  I'm not sleeping all day anymore.


I still can't handle being around people for very long at a time.  I prefer to isolate myself.  I am married and have 3 boys, and we have such a messy house, that we never invite people to come over.  That is just fine with me, because being around people outside of my family makes me manic and then I can't sleep. 


When I am manic, I talk too much, and then later feel a little like a vampire, sucking up people's time.  I don't keep the Bipolar disorder a secret, and some people seem a little disturbed by the news.  I try to educate those I can that I am not harmful to others, and won't have any really crazy outbursts.  I have learned to recognize my own symptoms, and that is really the biggest thing that helps me cope (and the medications).  I can tell myself that the Bipolar disorder is causing me to feel manic or depressed and that I can live through it.


I'd be interested to know if anybody else is having success with Lamictal.  I am sensitive to medications and usually have major side effects.  With Lamictal, I haven't had any really noticiceable side effects.  My vision was blurred for a couple of weeks, but that cleared up after that.  


I'm keeping an eye on my 3 boys for Bipolar Disorder.  My 12-year-old appears to have extreme mood swings (based on his behavior), but he denies any mood swings.  I'm not sure he recognizes his own moods.  He has violent outbursts when his little brother bothers him.  He is terribly ADHD, and is barely passing school, in spite of being very intelligent. He cries when he gets frustrated about the smallest of issues.  The psychiatrist is reluctant to diagnose him with Bipolar disorder because he doesn't seem to have the hypersexuality.  However, we are watching him close, and the psychiatrist said that nobody with Bipolar Disorder didn't have ADHD or ADD symptoms first (diagnosed or not).  We have recently found out that our son has Restless Leg Syndrome, a sleep disorder, which can cause these symptoms.  Initially, the medication for that seemed to help, but, now we seem to be back to the old patterns.  He also has Esophoria, a vision problem that causes ADHD-like symptoms.  We wil see if vision therapy improves the symptoms and his school performance.  I don't know what to do with him some days.



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August 20, 2006, 12:45 pm CDT

bipolar meds and weight gain

Quote From: chula2q4u

I have been diagnosed with Bipolar I.  I seem to have my good days and bad days. I have gained a lot of weight over the last 13 years.  I take a lot of medicine and I have been told that some of the weight gain has come from that.


I wished that I had been born normal!!!

I have Bipolar disorder and have been on combinations of meds that caused a huge increase in my weight, which was very depressing in itself.  Risperdal caused a gain of 50 pounds, and Depakote added to that.  There are some new medications that do not cause weight gain, or the fatigue that just adds to the problem.


I started on Lamictal last May (2005) and have since lost 50 pounds (1/3 of my total body weight), just by not being so hungry and not having an insatiatable craving for sweets.  I February of this year, Abilify was added.  I also take Temazepam at bedtime, and Provigil for Narcolepsy.  The Provigil has antidepressant effect, even though it is not precribed for this reason.  I was able to go off of the awful cocktail of meds I had before, and I feel much more stable and energetic.  I have my artistic creativity back (which had been gone from me for 10 years, since I was diagnosed and put on those drugs.) 


I have tried Lithium, Geodon, Amitriptyline (horrible), Nardil (worse), Paxil, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Risperdal, Depakote, and the list goes on.  None of these drugs were acceptable, as many have caused bad side effects, including the horrible weight gain.  The doctors said that I would have to accept the weight gain.  I say that is BS. Do some research on the newer meds, and ask your doctor about Lamictal an Abilify.  They are working great for me, and I no longer have "obesity" listed as a diagnosis on my medical chart.  Also, my cholesterol scores have improved so much that I no longer have to see the Cholesterol specialist.


Good Luck.  I'll be praying for you.

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August 20, 2006, 12:53 pm CDT

I'll be praying for you

Quote From: fiddlertart

I am a mom of three girls and I have Bipolar.  I am still in the works of getting the right combination of medicines to keep me better balanced.  This week has been a test for any medicine.  Monday (14th) afternoon I received news that I lost my 16 year old nephew.  He was more than a nephew; he was always at my house.  He confided in me and there were times that I was the only one he felt he could rely on.  Our bond was more of a motherson than auntnephew.  I haven't been handling it well and can't ever imagine moving on.  I haven't been able to eat or sleep and  I don't think I've been able to muster a smile and I feel myself sliding downwards faster and faster.  I know he wouldn't want me to be like this but I can't seem to climb out of this hole that I am in.  He was the sweetest kid with the absolutely sweetest smile and I love him so much.   Every thing and every place brings back a memory of him.   He lost his life in a car wreck along with two of his friends; another one is in the hospital withstand one surgery after another and the driver that was driving way too fast on a dangerous highway is home doing fine (actually laughing and being flip about the wreck).  The girls are lost too and they have so much anger towards the driver and towards God for taking their cousin away.  He was their "big brother" and they miss him like crazy.  I can't find the words to help them because I am so angry too.   I don't know why I am writing here but I had to let it out somewhere because I feel like I'm about to explode or implode.  Kelley

I am bipolar and the mom of 3 boys.  I am on a good set of meds, however major life events affect me greatly.  I am so sorry for your loss.  I'll keep you in my prayers for healing and to reconcile with God that He would heal you and help you deal with the loss of such an important person in your life.  When my mom passed away, it took me several years to recover, and I still "see" her when I am in a crowd and when I look in the mirror.  I am still very emotional when I talk about her, and she has been gone since 1991.  Hang in there, and remember that the memories and reliving the terrible events that happened are your mind's way of dealing with your grief.  Each person's grief is individual.  Do what you have to to survive.  God is always with you, even when you doubt His presence and purpose for you.  Nurture and love your girls, and try to answer their questions at their level.  Try talking with your pastor, maybe he or she can help you to find peace and closure.  We'll keep praying.
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August 21, 2006, 7:54 am CDT

post-mastectomy reconstruction

March 2006 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  April, 2006, I had a left mastectomy.  I was very fortunate that the cancer was diagnosed early (because I found the lump myself).  After the mastectomy, I was left with a huge scar and a concave chest on the left side.  A prosthetic breast doesn't appeal to me.  I don't like the idea of wearing a plastic thing in my bra all the time.


I chose to have breast reconstruction, using breast implants.  My insurance will pay for it because I wouldn't have to do it if it weren't for the cancer.  Some people are very supportive of my decision to have the reconstruction, so I can again feel complete.  I know it won't change my life to have two breasts, but I will feel more confident about my appearance. Some family members are not very supportive, saying that the surgeries are not neccessary.  I challenge them to walk in my shoes.


I have recently had a tissue expander placed on the side that had the mastectomy.  The worst part of the post-surgical pain is the fill tube where the doctor will fill the expander with saline solution.  The next surgery will be to have the implants on both sides, so my breasts will match.  The doctor will have to do a breast lift on the right side, due to sagging (age & history of nursing 3 boys).  I am apprehensive about the post-surgical pain on this surgery, and that I will not be allowed to lift my arms, bend, lift, strain, or reach for several weeks.


Again, I wouldn't be doing this if it hadn't been for the mastectomy.  I have been flat-chested all my life.  My husband is very loving, and size doesn't matter to him.  God gave me my body, and as imperfect as it is, it is my body.  We have been married for 25 years.  Before I met my husband, I dated some insensitive jerks, for whom size mattered.  I didn't date them for long.  Accept me as I am, or don't be my friend.


Because I need implants on both sides to make my breasts match, I do get to choose the size and shape of my "new" breasts.  I don't plan on going much bigger that I already had.  I think big breasts would get in the way of my sports activities...cross-country skiing, bicycling, walking, etc.


Before you obsess about having your boobs made bigger, think long and hard about the reasons you want it.  Bigger boobs will not change your life.  Your old problems will still be there, and any shortcomings in your personality will not go away.  Think about it.

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August 21, 2006, 2:57 pm CDT

Hang In There

Quote From: sherri1973

I am a 33 year old other of three who was diagnosed as BPD and Bipolar I about four years ago. I have suffered with depression, intense anger and sever anxiety since I was nine. I had a wonderful dr who helped me so much. But, when I moved to Minneapolis I had to find another dr. Well the first one I found was almost 90 and had very strange ideas to help me. My husband was even concerned of this man. So I found another dr. and he refused to put me back on my meds unless I would commit myself to the hospital even though I thought I was doing very well considering I had been off my meds. I don't like taking the meds but I do know I am much more balanced and I dont cut myself or hurt others when on them. There are times in the past when I should have been put in the psch ward but now is not one of them. I just want a normal dr, and to go back on meds and feel normal again before I completely loose control again. If anyone in my area sees this and knows of a dr please let me know. My e-mail is

I am 45 years old and have also been diagnosed with BPD and Bipolar, and PTSD.  I now have a wonderful doctor. She specializes in Women with Bipolar Disorder, and is very knowledgable about the illness and treatments.


 I recently had a major depressive episode and really should have been in the psych ward, but my old doctor didn't do anything.  I went to the psych ward voluntarily because I really don't want to leave my 3 boys with a legacy of suicide.  I am now on a really good combination of meds (Lamictal and Abilify).


Is there a local chapter of NAMI in your town?  Try looking them up on the web.  They may be able to refer you to somebody in your area that you can get along with.  It is tough having to deal with a new doctor.  The mental health cilinic I formerly went to seemed to cycle through doctors quickly.  My old doctor would leave, and I would get a new one.  The doctor who refuses to give you your meds unless you go to the psych ward is playing with fire.  You really need to be on your meds. How long did the doctor say he wanted you to stay in the psych ward?  At our local psych ward, in Yakima, WA, you have to be suicidal or a threat to others even to be admitted. 


If your doctor wants you to go to the psych ward, maybe it is just to see how well you react to your meds.  Some people go suicidal when they start a new med.  A few days in the psych ward is better than not getting your meds.  Please don't wait until you get suicidal, or feel like cutting.  While you are at the psych ward, you could ask other patients who their doctors are, and how they like them.


I'll be praying for you.

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August 21, 2006, 3:18 pm CDT

don't go into debt

Quote From: daisybud78

How do you get a loan for plastic surgery?  I had to file bankruptcy last year due to getting divorced from a bum husband who completely put me in debt and now I can't qualify for loans.  I'm looking for a loan that I can actually qualify for.  Any advice?

Yeah.  Don't go into debt to get new boobs.  Try saving the money by putting money away each month in a bank account.   When you've got the money saved up, you may decide that you'd rather make a down payment on a house, or have a hot tub or something.  If your bank won't approve a loan, take that as a signal that getting a loan in the first place is a bad idea. 


When you have the S-load of medical bills that our family has, from real medical problems, not cosmetic surgery, then you will be glad you saved your money.


There are plenty of credit card companies who would be glad to loan you the money, and have you pay a lot of interest for a long long time.  Call Capital One, or Chase, or Providian...we get their advertisements all the time. 


Think about this:  If people won't accept you exactly as you are right now, are they really your friends at all?  I've been flat-chested all my life, and I have been married for 25 years, and my husband loves me no matter how small my boobs are.  I've met lots of people in my lifttime, and nobody has ever said "my, what small boobs you have".  I posted this morning about why I am having plastic surgery...not a situation I had much choice over.  Read it and think.


If bigger boobs are really important to you, get a padded bra to wear for awhile.  See if people treat you differently because your boobs look bigger.  If they do, then they are really shallow.  I'm sure that you are a wonderful, funny, and beautiful woman just the way you are.  Think about this:  Do you look a people you meet and mentally critisize the way they look? Probably not.  You like them and look at the whole person, not just the body.  Start seeing yourself in the same light.  



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August 21, 2006, 3:36 pm CDT

I'm feeling much better now

I am 45 years old and was diagnosed last year with Narcolepsy.  I also have Bipolar disorder, Fibromyalgia, Long QT syndrome,  Breast Cancer,and a few other things.  I have had a lot of bad doctors in my lifetime, who didn't pick up on the clues.  My current doctor is very understanding, and listens to me. 


My doctor referred my to a sleep specialist in Yakima, WA, near where I live.  Dr. Deshpande did a complete sleep study, nighttime, and daytime.  I was diagnosed with Narcolepsy.  He prescribed Provigil.  


I used to have to sleep all day.  I could not drive without falling asleep at the wheel.  I would have to nap for a couple of hours just to function for a little while.  I would get up in the morning to get my husband off to work and my kids off to school.  Then, I would go back to bed until noon or later.  I would be tired and groggy and need another nap around 4:00.


I was really ashamed of sleeping so much.  I felt lazy and useless.  Provigil has changed my life.


My husband has obstructive sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome.  He uses Requip and a C-Pap machine.  His legs still get restless.  He finds that exercising in the evening helps a lot with the restless legs.


One of my three boys has Narcolepsy, which had been mis-diagnosed as ADHD for years.  Although some ADHD meds can be used for Narcolepsy, they have awful side effect, like bad tremors.  Since going on the Provigil, he has started making the A honor roll.  I wish that the psychiatrist who was treating the ADHD had tested more thouroghly.


My two younger boys both have restless leg syndrome, which was causing them to be hyperactive, inattentive, and terribly grouchy.  They are now both on Requip, and although we still have normal sibling rivalry, we do not have such a time with yelling and hitting each other.  My younger two boys also have Esophoria, which is a vision problem that can cause ADHD symptoms because it causes problems with reading and writing.  


Our middle son was on ADHD meds for years, and now it turns out to be a sleep problem.   We haven't completely ruled out ADHD, or Bipolar disorder in him, but it is a big frustration that the kids were automatically diagnosed with ADHD, when there should have been a lot more testing to find the underlying cause of the problems.  Because of a newly diagnosed heart arrythmia, our son can no longer take the ADHD meds, much to his teachers' dismay.  Between getting the sleep problems treated and treating the vision problems, we hope to see improvement in the kids' school performance. 


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