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 Elliott, LPCC, NCC Your Own Question

Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
40019946
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Elliott, LPCC, NCC is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am diagnosed as Bipolar, but I prefer the more traditional

Resolved Question:

I am diagnosed as Bipolar, but I prefer the more traditional name of manic depressive--which describes my condition well. I am medicated on Lithium and Fluoxetine. These keep me on a relatively even keel. But I get lots of side effects from both drugs. Lithium has given me a whole body skin condition like a rash in the hair follicles and also crimson rashes that come and go. Weight gain is another problem. Fluoxetine has other unwonted side effects such as on the libido. I think I have tried all the alternatives presently available for Lithium, and the Fluoxetine keeps me out of depressive episodes (just a fairly even undulation of moods which are mostly OK). Here is my dilemma. The medication does its job well and I value it. But the side effects are difficult (including loss of balance). Are there any alternatives for me left?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dear friend,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe that I can help.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

The current medications are effective but the side effects are not very tolerable.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

There is an alternative to fluoxetine and lithium and that is fluoxetine and olanzepine which actually comes together in one pill called Symbyax.

Customer:

Yes, that's right, and there seem to be no alternatives that I have not tried.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

This would probably maintain your steady state and reduce or eliminate your skin problems. Have you tried it?

Customer:

I've had olanzapine, but my hair fell out and I grew the shape of a potato, despite normally being thin.

Customer:

My problem is that it is tempting to give up medication, but I know from the past I will go on an amazing high that no one will be able to handle.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

That is terrible.

Customer:

There may not be an answer to this dilemma, but I thought it worth contacting the website to see.

Customer:

Is that what you think?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Sorry. We were disconnected.

Customer:

That's OK, it happens.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Have you tried bupropion? It is not an SSRI as fluoxetine (Prozac) is.

Customer:

No, I have never heard of buproprion ...

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

It is an antidepressant with great ability to help anxiety as well. It does not cause weight gain and does not cause libido loss.

Customer:

Lithium is widely hated and stigmatised by patients and their relatives. But I think it is the most effective mood stabiliser known to us. It is just that it is heavy duty and the body can reel from its side effects.

Customer:

Well that is interesting, thank you.

Customer:

That is good. It would be nice to think that there was an effective substitute for Lithium but I have yet to hear of it from anyone.

Customer:

But what you say about Bruproprion is worth investigating. (I hope it does not contain prions, but surely it does not)

Customer:

Buproprion

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

There are other antispsychotic drugs besides olanzepine and lithium. They all have side effects but the thing about psychiatric medication is that different people have different reactions, so so much of it is trial and error.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Bupropion does not contain prions.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Mince, however might (which is why I do not eat beef).

Customer:

I am a vegetarian, as well as mad in other respects. So, that's fine. Thanks.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Me too. On both counts :)

Customer:

Should we assume Lithium is the mood stabiliser that is the answer for me, despite its side effects?

Customer:

I like that comment. :-)

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Yes, it is a mood stabiliser.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

When the shoe fits .......

Customer:

Indeed, it gives me corns but protects the sole (or maybe soul) of my foot.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Corn is a vegetable but I am starting to get corny.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I wish you great success. Talk to your doctor about alternative antipsychotics, and about bupropion.

Customer:

Well, that's true enough, so maybe I should accept the occasional corn.

Customer:

That is very helpful, Elliott. Thank you.

Customer:

I will do that. Thanks.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I shall keep you in my prayers for relief from these symptoms and from the two poles of manic depression.

Customer:

Well that is kind, and going beyond the call of duty--but I thank you very much for your kindness, care ... and expertise.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are very welcome. It has been a pleasure talking to you and I am so glad I could shed some light on this for you. :)

Customer:

Well, if you are as helpful to others as you have been to me you will be a great blessing.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Elliott, thank you for your help. I gave you an excellent rating. I hope this has been properly processed so that you are appropriately rewarded for your work. I also added a 50% tip.


As to Bupropion, I saw my Community Psychiatric Nurse this week (she visits the house regularly) and said she had not heard of this drug. Perhaps, she suggested, it is an American medicine which is not licensed in the UK. But she is enquiring further. She meanwhile suggested that the Psychiatrist may review my Fluoxetine intake, which is pretty high (60mgs)--though given the depressive element of my manic-depression, probably needs to be. This is more of a report than a question, as I shall have to find out what my Psychiatrist says about Bupropion. Meanwhile, many thanks, Bob

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