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Susan Ivy
Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4058
Experience:  BSN, MSN, CNS
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course, i never forgot my pot) and i have NEVER seen a difference

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i wanted to add some more info to my first question about being bipolar 1 or substance induced mood disorder. i have gone on and off my psychiatric drugs over the years, i have 'forgotten' them while on a 10 day vacation (of course, i never 'forgot' my pot) and i have NEVER seen a difference with or withour them. I have religously listened to my dr. the last 5 years and have taken my pills on a regular basis since that time with an occasional missed dose. i am currently taking lamotrigine 100 mg nightly and i just restarted (by my choice) my abilify 2 mg nightly. my psychiatrist recently, about a month ago, got me off abilify but when i last saw her she was concerned about the amount of pot i was smoking daily and thought abilify might even me out a little. so she gave me samples and told me she trusted me to take them if i thought i needed them. it's been about 10 days since i started them again.
Hello and thank you for using JustAnswer Health for your question.

What is your question? Have you improved since starting the Abilify? Are you still smoking the weed (it works as a depressant, although initially there is some euphoria).

What symptoms are you having?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
my question is am i really bipolar 1 or is it possible i have been misdiagnosed again and maybe i have substance induced mood disorder instead. i can't tell a diiference with the abilify right now and i have NEVER noticed anything different when i've been on all my meds and when i have gone off them, either on purpose or accidentally. i quit smoking dope 3 days ago and only smoke about 5 cigarettes/day since three days ago. i used to smoke at least a pack a day if not more. i currently have no symptoms of depression or mania (my psychiatrist agrees). i physically feel great, emotionally feel great and my overall mood is great!
First of all, it will take much longer for the THC to get out of your system, likely one month at the least depending on how much you smoked daily and the strength of the Marijuana (it stores in the fat, so is metabolized slowly out of the body).

If you are taking the Abilify, and you feel great, then it is likely that the Abilify is helping you. Typically, a person that did not need the Abilify would feel miserable when taking it.

I think it is great that you are listening to your doctor, as well as asking questions here. It would be a worrisome sign if you did not try to communicate about your situation. I encourage you to continue to do this, while at the same time raising any concerns that you have.

If you have Bipolar I (periods of mania) then going off of medication repeatedly could after time allow your brain to deteriorate, and can make your future response to medications less than optimum. That is what has been found in long term studies of those with Bipolar I. In other words, those that complied with medication had a life expectancy which was normal as well as remained functional their whole life. Those with Bipolar I that repeatedly went off medication so that they had periods of mania, more often suffered long term mental consequences and shorter life expectancy.

I am not saying that to scare you, but just to give you information so that you will continue working with your doctors and continue to ask questions rather than making rash decisions.

To respond specifically to whether it is possible that you had a substance induced mood disorder, I'd need more about your history, such as what drugs you were taking when you were first diagnosed, and what your symptoms were when you were first diagnosed.

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