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 Dr. Brims Your Own Question
Dr. Brims
Dr. Brims, U.S. Licensed Physician
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 9616
Experience:  U.S. Licensed Physician, general surgery and internal medicine experience
14307416
Type Your Health Question Here...
Dr. Brims is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Bipolarism: A close relative was just diagnosed with -polar

This answer was rated:

Bipolarism: A close relative was just diagnosed with bi-polar disorder last January . He is 26 years old and was found wandering around the dock area of NY City where he lives, totally disoriented. He was not on drugs. He was taken to a psychiatric hospital where he spent 12 days. Prior to that time he had displayed zero symptoms of ANY KIND.
He is also a recent honors college graduate from a top NY school of Arts.
Since the 'episode' he has undergone a personality change which ranges from a real low of affirming that he is an incompetent fool who will never be able to make a living, or at best a very low level subsistence type of living, to sounding fairly reasonable when he is holding a job. He has held a number of minor temporary jobs that he has done well at.
Sometimes, when he is affirming his own stupidity, I see him reading Nietzsche for his own entertainment. When I remark that few 'idiots' tend to be interested in Nietzsche, he assures me that he does not FULLY understand Nietzche. (as if anybody does).
He sees a psychiatrist regularly but for medication only.
He SAYS his psychiatrist told him to take his medication ONLY IF HE FEELS THE NEED FOR IT.
Right now he has finished his last temporary job and he is back to his LOW.
Questions:
1. Is bipolar disorder a 'continuum' type of condition where a person could be affected mildly or severely?
2. If so, what are the indications that establish the place in the continuum?
3. Is it possible that a bipolar person would be told to medicate himself only AS HE FELT THE NEED? I have a nephew who has been on bipolar medication for 30 years. He hates its side effects, but not taking his medication once resulted in severe bad consequences and a return to the hospital for 60 days.
Dr Brims :

Hello, welcome to the site! My name is***** and I will try to assist you with your medical question, and any medical information you seek

Dr Brims :

I'm sorry to hear about this situation

Dr Brims :

1. In Bipolar disorder, an individual can be affected severely or mildly, but it does not decrease intelligence, the persons level of functioning is affected by the acts they carry out during mania, and the lack of motivation the experience during depression

Dr Brims :

It is not reasonable for a doctor to tell a patient to only take their medication when they feel the need, that does not make sense, the symptoms can come at any time, and the medication is used to prevent the symptoms from starting, so the medication should be used consistently

Dr Brims :

Can you see my replies?

Dr Brims :

Are you there?

Dr Brims :

Hello?

Dr. Brims and 2 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Are you able to see my replies in the chat session?