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 Brad The Therapist Your Own Question

Brad The Therapist
Brad The Therapist, LCPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 549
Experience:  10 years of experience in working with youth and adults
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Brad The Therapist is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have been told I am bipolar 2, before it was just depression.

Customer Question

I have been told I am bipolar 2, before it was just depression. I am now on 300 lamotrigine and 300 bupropion and added lexapro which I think I will not continue. I exercise but still gaining some weight, and the big prblem is the Anhedonia just wont lift. it has been years.

What to try?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Brad The Therapist replied 3 years ago.

Brad The Therapist :

Thank you for your post. Have you considered therapy? If not, why not? Also, when did your symptoms first started? What was happening in your life during this time?

Customer :

Yes I have been doing therepy for the last year or so.

Brad The Therapist :

Has it been helpful?

Customer :

I cant remember when I was not depressed or taking meds since I was 35

Customer :

for family issues yes

Customer :

May ask what are your credentials

Customer :

And I will apologize in advance for all the mistakes I will make typing

Customer :

I have had a few tramatic incidences in my life that made it a bit worse

Brad The Therapist :

I have a Master's in Psychology and in Psychiatric Rehabilitation. I'm in graduate school for a doctorate in psychology as wel

Customer :

Do these degrees give you knowlage on psychophamicolory?

Customer :

logy

Brad The Therapist :

Yes, my current training for a doctorate requires me to take classes in psychopharmacology

Customer :

My younger brother was dignosed with bipolar 2 with psychotic features

Customer :

he was a achoholic

Customer :

so is my other younger brother and he to is depressed

Customer :

I am now with my family and granddaughters and should feel great

Customer :

It seems when I exercise to much I become even more depressed and my immune system tanks

Customer :

I am 52, never been married, had 4 disfunctional relationships

Brad The Therapist :

When you exercise, you may feel a "high" because of the neurotransmitters firing and when you top, the neurotransmitters are depleted so you may feel depressed.

Customer :

same with to much coffe,. I have switched to green tea

Brad The Therapist :

caffiene also has the same effects as well.

Customer :

I beleive most of my problems fit well in to one of the catagories of attachment theroy

Customer :

anyway the Anhedonia

Customer :

I am sick of being blaaa

Brad The Therapist :

tell me more about the attachment theory

Customer :

cold mother, never said Iove you, showed her love through food mostly. Never was proud of us but what we did. that sort of thing.

Customer :

In my relationships fist thing I wanted was sex

Customer :

so they were never going to last

Customer :

that is the way I got my comfort, my antidepressant , if you will

Brad The Therapist :

Do you have contact with your mother, currently?

Customer :

when I lost my first girl friend I was never the same, I was told, I suppose it was a bit freudian , losing my mother type thng

Customer :

Oh yes

Customer :

we speak on the phone for a few min, then I talk with my father much longger

Customer :

some important info you may need

Customer :

I have been living in Asia for the past two years

Customer :

most recently cambodia, Project manager

Customer :

I cannot be sure about thier medication , but I am pretty confident it is real

Customer :

I have come back becasue my younger brother died on fathers day

Customer :

I am the oldest so....

Customer :

I am greiving , but I am well aware of the difference between that and depression and anhedonia

Customer :

oh yeah , I also have tinnitus, not sure which drug does it

Brad The Therapist :

I want to make sure I understand you correctly, you feel your unresolved issues with your mother is affecting your anhedonia. Is that correct?

Customer :

I am not sure that is the case, my understanding is that it is a symtom of depressioin, and may it could have something to do with it. But there have been times when I feel "OK" but never "Carpe Diem"

Customer :

I definatley feel better when I am working,

Customer :

or have a job

Brad The Therapist :

What is your hypomanic symptoms like?

Customer :

If I have any at all it would come out in the for of anger.

Customer :

Irritation

Customer :

I felt like Bupropion exsaserbated that at one point

Customer :

now that I am here it seems ok, but still seem to have put on a few pounds and have to force myself to go to the park or out to dinner etc...

Brad The Therapist :

So currently, your symptoms has decreased for the time being

Customer :

the depression has come to visit twice one day each.

Customer :

the anhedonia still here

Brad The Therapist :

I find it interesting that you are on two antidepressants and one anticonvulsant (mood stabilizer)

Customer :

well I have been treating myself, no persciptions needed in Cambodia, and my therapist has a social worker back ground

Customer :

My understanding that lamictal is supose to be the cure all for bipolar

Customer :

if I am

Customer :

Bupropion, well I have stopped smoking for quite some time now.

Brad The Therapist :

Yes, lamictal is used as a mood stabilizer, but not a cure for bipolar

Customer :

the lexapro well , I just thought I would try

Brad The Therapist :

Bupropion is used to quit smoking but acts like an antidepressant/antianxiety as well

Customer :

yes I know

Customer :

and according to many , bupropion and lamictal help bipolar, but you are the expert

Customer :

Hell I am not even sure I am bipolar, but the therapist seems to think so

Customer :

perhaps she could give you a better read on me

Brad The Therapist :

Have you tried just taking Lamictal, only?

Customer :

yes, but I may not have given it a fair shot

Brad The Therapist :

Is your therapist can be better at diagnosiing, than I since I would need to see you in person to do this

Customer :

well then I guess I am bipolar

Customer :

the only time I was truly happy very happy was when I was dating a lady I met in Phnom Penh ,from spain

Customer :

that lasted about a month

Brad The Therapist :

If you take both a mood stabilizer and an antidepressant, this may actually increase irritability

Customer :

I was on only lamictal then

Brad The Therapist :

what made you take the antidepressants

Customer :

depression

Customer :

research

Customer :

I was on prozac for years

Customer :

I wish I would have just upped the dose before messing around with this other stuff

Brad The Therapist :

What do you think you will do now?

Customer :

as far as meds?

Customer :

or life?

Brad The Therapist :

yes, meds

Customer :

thats why I am here

Brad The Therapist :

I believe you answered your own question when you wrote that you felt better when you only took lamictal

Customer :

maybe give the lamictal another month, stop the lexapro stay with the bupropion

Brad The Therapist :

Is there a doctor you can consult there in Cambodia?

Brad The Therapist :

A psychiatrist on this forum would say the same thing here as well

Customer :

yes, there are a few. I went one a few times he was from belgum I beleive. I was taking prozac the time with only 100 lamictal, he suggestion was stay with it

Customer :

there is another I will see when I go back

Customer :

So you can not even give hypotheticals on here

Brad The Therapist :

My clinical judgement at this point is to stick with one class of medications. If you are on both a mood stabilizer and two antidepressants, in my clinical experience, I have seen patients experience less side effects when they are on either a mood stabilizer or an antidepressant, not both. My recommendation for you is to obtain a clear cut diagnosis first than choose between the two classes

Customer :

hmmm

Brad The Therapist :

What do you think? Do you have any other questions?

Customer :

well I am not sure what side effects you are talking abuot, but I will see a doctor I guess

Brad The Therapist :

Anhedonia (although a symptom of depression) can be a side effect

Customer :

of shich?

Customer :

which

Brad The Therapist :

The side effect could be from the combo you are taking

Customer :

I have had anhedonia through all combinations

Customer :

ok

Customer :

well I will take only lamictal and mess with the dose

Customer :

what do you recomend to your bipolat patients as a first line of treatment

Customer :

bipolar 2

Brad The Therapist :

First line of treatment is medications, and supplement medications with therapy.

Customer :

which medication

Customer :

I am guessing you are going to say "it depends"

Brad The Therapist :

Since I'm not a psychiatrist, it is difficult for me to say which medications. Anticonvulsants, such as lamictal is typically used for treating bipolar

Customer :

well how do I chat with a Psychiatrist?

Customer :

here

Brad The Therapist :

psychopharmacology is difficult because it really depends on the person, body type, allergies, etc

Customer :

or is that possible

Brad The Therapist :

I cannot say as I would need to meet you in person, first, to do a complete assessment. I am not able to determine if you have bipolar 2, depression, PTSD, unless I do the assessment in person

Brad The Therapist :

do you have any other questions?

Customer :

Well as my reason for coming here was to get an answer on medications, which it sounds like you can not answer as an expert or probably legally, I am going to have to ask that you not charge me for this. Thank you in advance.

Brad :

I will opt out for a psychiatrist to answer your question regarding medications.

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:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education