How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Susan Ivy Your Own Question

Susan Ivy
Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4057
Experience:  BSN, MSN, CNS
8413180
Type Your Health Question Here...
Susan Ivy is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How do I find a balance of meds for Bipolarism II and mania,

Resolved Question:

How do I find a balance of meds for Bipolarism II and mania, my biggest concern are the intense, horrible, scary panic/anxiety attacks
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 4 years ago.
Hello rebelly,

Thank you for writing to JustAnswer Health with your concern.

It can take some time to get the proper "cocktail" of medication for this disorder. Although it is not commonly known by the general public, intense panic attacks are often seen in those with bipolar disorder.

Is your current regimen a new one? If so, I would hold on for a longer period of time to see how it works for you. Lamictal can be quite helpful in Bipolar II, but must be started out at a low dose and gradually increased, otherwise the side effect of skin rashes may develop.

It is important to keep the line of communication as open as possible with your Psychiatrist or CNS regarding your medications. You also have to continue in your patience. If this regimen does not work, there are options such as Lithium or Clozaril. It will also be very helpful, if you are not already, do make use of certain therapeutic techniques, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, Emotions anonymous or Bipolar support groups, and journaling of moods. Regulation of sleep and maintaining a constant daily schedule can also be much more assistive in mood regulation for Bipolar individuals than in the general population.

This non-profit website also has excellent information self-help with mood dysregulation. See: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/bipolar_disorder_self_help.htm
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

When I read the word Lithium I begin to cry immediately and almost go into a panic attack because I don't understand Why i feel this way and why I'm so scared and sad and what is wrong with me that I would need something like that. I have been on the regiman for at least a yr, why do things get better, then worse, why is there only anxiety or apathy, no in between, I don't want to have to take anything. Is it common to abruptly stop meds because you are trying to find yourself and not loathe myself? My last Dr. put me on Klonopin and Seraquil, then took the Klonopin away and want me to take the

seraquil during the day, this scares me and I have recently stopped it, Im so sorry to just go on I just feel that happiness is the absence of anxiety and that I will never have that

Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 4 years ago.
I am sorry that you are so distraught. I do understand though, and know how difficult this can be. I do hope you go to the web site I gave you above because there is wonderful information as well as tips that will help you.

It can be helpful for you to know that some of the worlds most creative and successful people have bipolar disorder. Sometimes those that experience difficulties end up having much more appreciation for life. The ones that remain successful though tend to continue to treat their illness and have regular check ups with their doctor.

You do need to understand though that this is a biological disorder, a disease like diabetes or any other disease where you must take your medication. This is what I meant by keeping the lines of communication open with your doctor. Instead of stopping your medication you must talk to your doctor about whatever side effect that it is that is bothersome to you. You must also know that sometimes you must wait up to 3 months to get the optimum effects, and if you stop too early, you will disrupt the whole process. At the same time, again you must communicate to your doctor if there are side effects that are intolerable, so that the doctor can adjust the dose.

It is true that it can take some years to get the right medication combination that will work the best for you.

It is common for those Bipolar individuals that are frequently in the hospital to stop their medications abruptly. And those that do this usually have a worsening progression of the disease and may incur more debilitation and progression of the disease, than the individuals that do not go on and off of medications. Studies have been done that prove this.

Again, although this is a biological disorder and you will have to continue medication and close monitoring by your physician, once you do get to a stable state, you will likely be high functioning and have a life span that is normal. But as stated above, for those that do not comply with the medication regimen, there is most often a progressive worsening of the disorder and shorter life span.

Besides the medications, involving yourself in the support groups and learning how to track your moods and regulate your sleep can help you .... in fact if you do these things you may not need as high as a dose of medication as you will if you are not learning how to maintain a schedule, get adequate rest, and use techniques to decrease your anxiety. Finding an outlet such as exercise or a creative out let can also help. If you do something that you really enjoy or are good at when you feel the anxiousness, often you can turn this energy into something that will be much more productive.

This can be a very difficulty thing to live with, but it does not half to be; remember there are other diseases that could be even worse. At least you have a very good chance to become stabilized and to live a normal life, as long as you follow your daily medication and schedule - similar to how a diabetic must take their medication and follow a schedule of meals and snacks.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I definately know about giving medication a chance to take effect, in your opinion, should I continue the Seraquil to help me sleep and is there anything I can do or take, other than keeping journals, breathing techniques, meditation, etc, believe me I don't want to feel this way, contrary to what some may think. It is just that I am harming myself when these panic attacks occur and I get in such a state sometimes I don't even remember things I have done and said, and I can't lose another person in my life. You mentioned Lamictal, I currently take 300mg a day, should I increase? My Dr in Oklahoma suggests I take a Seraquil during the day, but that scares me. I am in California where there is a better acceptance of this condition and am just trying to find some relief but feel like I'm falling back into a deep depression
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 4 years ago.
It is important that you follow with a doctor that can evaluate you in person. Really doctors in any state should be up on the current treatment. Seroquel can be a wonderful treatment for anxiety. This is something you can try if your doctor is allowing you to take it as needed -- and if it makes you too drowsy cut back or only take it at night. You should never increase a medication like lamictal without your doctor being aware, and also knowing the exact doses and times of everything else you take.

There is a log more that you can do besides breathing techniques and meditation, there are things you need to do to regulate your schedule and if you look at all the information for bipolar on the link I gave you you will find more about this. By journaling I was not referring to just writing free form, but writing down moods and schedules related to the times you are taking your medications and sleeping.
Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4057
Experience: BSN, MSN, CNS
Susan Ivy and 5 other Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Nurse Milli, RN

    Nurse (RN)

    Satisfied Customers:

    4043
    20 years experience in many areas of Nursing. Both Hospital and Private Practice experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NU/nursescare4u/2013-3-31_03429_JApic.64x64.jpg Nurse Milli, RN's Avatar

    Nurse Milli, RN

    Nurse (RN)

    Satisfied Customers:

    4043
    20 years experience in many areas of Nursing. Both Hospital and Private Practice experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/agketch/2008-7-14_184046_drketchresized.jpg Dr. Ketch's Avatar

    Dr. Ketch

    Doctor

    Satisfied Customers:

    102
    Medical Degree, Former Assistant Professor at School of Medicine at Yale University
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FA/FamilyPhysician/2013-8-31_191624_JA550x500Photo.64x64.jpg Family Physician's Avatar

    Family Physician

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    5622
    Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/drphophalia/2007-08-23_095626_dr._arun_phophalia.jpg Dr. Arun Phophalia's Avatar

    Dr. Arun Phophalia

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    17025
    MBBS, MS (General Surgery), Fellowship in Sports Medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VA/VANP/2012-6-6_235535_Skye2.64x64.jpg A. Schuyler, NP's Avatar

    A. Schuyler, NP

    Nurse Practitioner

    Satisfied Customers:

    12170
    Board Certified NP, MS, RN. Private practice & hospitalist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TA/tazechip/2012-6-7_135230_drpic.64x64.png Dr. Chip's Avatar

    Dr. Chip

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    10029
    Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/neurosurg/2009-10-06_120923_profile.jpg Dr. Mark's Avatar

    Dr. Mark

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    6234
    U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery