KansasTherapist : I'm guessing both psychiatrists you've seen did a through assessment before determining that you have depression rather than bipolar illness.
KansasTherapist : Did you express your concern that you might have bipolar because your daughter has it?
Yes, to both Psychiatrists and the family counselor. But my daughter is adamant I continue to see someone more knowledgeable about the intricacies of this disorder. And I mean adamant!
KansasTherapist : She is correct that if you have bipolar taking an antidepressant would cause problems. However is it certainly not a sure thing that you have it just because your daughter does.
KansasTherapist : It is generally best to follow you doctor's recommendations and take the medication as prescribed. Are you seeing the counselor every week?
Previously my wife almost ordered me to take an anti-depressant and I stopped taking it (a Zoloft generic alternative) and an anxiety reducing drug (a Xanax generic ) as I saw no real reduction in symptoms and the costs were prohibitive as her health plan reduced subsidies. I only got to this site in error when seeking a questionaire which purported to enable one to determine if BiPolar Disorder might be present. I kind of expected you to ask such questions as were put to me by the psychiatrists to suggest if another one is appropriate to seek out.
KansasTherapist : I could ask you those questions, as I would think the doctors did. Have you ever had a time when for days or weeks, you slept very little but didn't feel tried? If so, during that time did you have racing thoughts, anger outbursts, impulsive behavior such as spending a lot of money, indiscriminate sex or gambling, or alcohol use?
KansasTherapist : Did you have big ideas and make plans that turned out to be unlikely to succeed?
Yes, those questions were addressed and I answered that I have not really had such episodes, though I have a short temper, often directed at myself or inanimate objects that do not function (like computers or fax machines), but rarely do anything in the presence of others. I am able to restrain myself in public situations and rarely get excited in the presence of others. Most people belive I am very easy going because I keep my feelings inside. I was a Parole officer in New York CIty for 15 years, after earnng a MBA, I got into mortgage banking, a stressful job which I worked at successfully for 22 years then retired at 59 and 1/2 as the industry was dying. My wife worked three days a week as a physical therapist but could not tolerate me sitting at home "doing nothing" in her eyes while I was trying to sort out my future. She literally coerced me to work, first job available was as maintenance man at golf course in South Carolina in August. I have 4 herniated discs in my neck, a surgically repaired left knee and right shoulder. That was a bad decision for me to agree and after 4-5 monthes my right arm and hand was atrophying form the hard manually labor. That was when i was coerced into the liquor business. Oddly, she always complained I was never home for the precious 37 years, she was encourtaging me to work 6 days and 10-12 hours a day. Then she went to a new supervisory position with way more hours, over 48, five days a week and decided to get her Doctorate in Physical Therapy on liine with Boston University. She could hardly get email so it was stressful and she vented all her frustrations on me. That was why she did not confront me directly about the check book incident nor ever apologized when proven it was a bank error. Now she is convinced, as she has done with our daughter, that it is me and only me who is off balance and in need of psychological care and medication. All is quite frustrating and depressing in combination with all that precedes it. So, any other questions to enable me to ascertain if I have BiPolar Disorder? Incidentally, I type slowly and poorly as I only have 9 fingers, having lost my left index finger in an accident 2/1/2010.
KansasTherapist : Unfortunely, it is still possible you have bipolar illness. You may have either had an episode that was mild that you don't remember, or the illness has just never expressed itself. I can't give you a definate diagnosis either way, as that would be unethical to do over the Internet. Are you still seeing the counselor you mentioned?
KansasTherapist : What seems most reasonable to me is to see the counselor weekly if possible and start taking the meds the doctor prescribed. At the same time, be aware of your mood, sleep, and behaviors. Seeing the counselor would allow her or him to assess these things with you so that if you were slipping into a manic episode, it could be caught and you could go back to the doctor to change your meds. Considering that you have been on an antidepressant in the past that didn't cause mania, this seems like a fairly safe plan.
KansasTherapist : You certainly have a number of reasons to feel highly anxious and depressed. The level of pressure and life problems you're experiencing would be difficult for anyone to manage. It may be that an antidepressant will be of limited use until some of the issues you face can be resolved. If you work with your counselor on these issues, that may be of more benefit in the beginning.