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Topic : 08/01 Extreme Highs and Lows

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Created on : Friday, March 03, 2006, 12:43:32 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Air Date: 03/07/06) Dr. Phil explores the ups and downs of bipolar disorder. This illness takes its victims on an emotional rollercoaster ride -- from elation to extreme irritability, intense rage, or devastating depression. First, Cathy was diagnosed with Bipolar II, 10 years ago and claims she goes from zero to psycho in 15 seconds. Dr. Phil takes a look at the toll her disorder takes on her two boys, and brings the family together for a dramatic moment of emotional healing. Then, during various manic episodes, Fred has stolen a taxi, crashed into a Starbucks, and climbed to the top of a church. He hears voices and believes that movie stars like Denzel Washington and Robert De Niro are talking to him through their movies. Still, Fred thinks he’s ready to move out of his parents’ house and live on his own for good … but should his family let him? Talk about the show here.

 

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March 6, 2006, 6:52 pm CST

Lamictal

Quote From: bipolaroso

I too was taking  Lamictal and it helped so much! I am glad to see someone else who takes this medicine is doing well with it! I quit taking it cause my Doctors office would not see me no more cause I missed to many appointments. I do miss feeling good. I have 3 small children & sometimes I feel like I am letting them down. Just make sure your hubby contuines to take the meds. It really truely is a way to make life easier!

I also take Lamictal and I have to say it has been the best thing for me.  I am also on Wellbutrin XL, Paxil CR, and Xanax(only at night).  All these meds together help all the different chemicals in our brains.  Wellbutrin for depression, Paxil for anxiety, and Xanax at night to help with my insomnia and anxiety about sleeping.   

  

Please who ever reads this I am not a doctor so please seek professional help.  I guess it wouldn't hurt to ask your doctor.  

 
March 6, 2006, 7:11 pm CST

Type II Bipolar Disorder

Quote From: janejr

I was diagnosed bipolar II last year.  After several medication trials, we finally hit on the right combo. of Trileptal, Wellbutrin, Topamax, and Lexapro.  My doctors made clear that the "type" I have does not require hospitalization, does not cause hallucinations, etc.  At my worst (undiagnosed), I was having rages - but these were ONLY directed at my husband (poor guy), and only escalated to physicality once and at that, it was unintentional.  Yes, I threw things when I really got angry, yelled a lot (I am normally not a yeller), etc.  I knew something wasn't right and immediately sought help.  I had been diagnosed with anxiety and depression before but the bipolar II diagnosis threw me for a loop.  Again, the doctor was very clear that bipolar II was very mild compared to bipolar I (manic-depression).  And that has been the case.  I have required no hospitalization, have NEVER been abusive in ANY way to my young child, have no trouble keeping jobs, have no manic episodes, deep depressions - though I have had a few deeper depressive episodes, triggered by changes in meds. and/or marital problems.  But never suicidal ideation, inability to get out bed, etc. 

  

I am sure hoping that Dr. Phil presents accurate information tomorrow, as he always seems to.  I am surprised by the postings so far, though.  It seems that the people who are posting with bipolar II are more severe.  So does the woman who will be highlighted tomorrow, although the commercial did say she was off meds.  But again, even off meds., I was never like her.  Makes me doubt my diagnosis - her diagnosis - some of the other posters here....?  I will be very interested to watch tomorrow's show.... 

I took this quote directly from a reputable Web site about bipolar disorder: 

  

Hypomania and Bipolar Disorder Type II. Bipolar disorder type II is characterized by at least one episode of hypomania and at least one episode of major depression. With hypomania the symptoms of mania (euphoria or irritability) appear in milder forms and are of shorter duration. They do not affect social or work life as dramatically, and hospitalization is not generally required." 

  

I'm not a doctor but based on what you are saying and what I have read it does not appear that Type II is as severe as Type I.  How can this woman claim to go from zero to psycho if she never experiences true mania? Is psychosis even possible in hypomania? I found that in a hypomanic state I am more charismatic, often times more productive.  And if she is irritable, it would be a milder form as the quote suggests. I hope Dr. Phil sheds some light on this for us. I'm curious to know if he thinks this is the illness or this lady has serious anger problems separate from the illness. 

  

I was watching the trailer today and he asks her if she thought she would kill her kids? You should have seen the expression on my face. I can't believe they're going to put that on the air. I have Type 1. I have been hospitalized 8 times and I have experienced all manner of oddities as the result of mania and sometimes depression. But never in my most manic of manic experiences did I feel homicidal. Especially towards my loved ones. And they know that. So I have a difficult time believing that this woman is stuggling with urges to kill based on her form of this illness. I just can't believe that that is possible. And I hope Dr. Phil makes that clear. 

  

Again, I'm not a doctor and maybe off her meds anything is possible. But I still have real concern that this episode will show the worst extreme of this illness and not truly characterize what the illness really all about. 

 
March 6, 2006, 7:17 pm CST

take care

Quote From: bipolaroso

Bipolar people can not control there ups & downs without meds. I sure am glad you are not my mother! To be a ggod mother & friend to your Daughter you need to encourage her to get help! My mother has MPD & she still stands by me & helps me when needed...Mothers Should never turn thier back on thier kids. You statement concerns me alot!

My daughter is in treatment.  She is  taking medication. and in therapy.  The doctor said the medicine is doing all it can do and she needs to help herself.   

  

I have helped her quite alot...........taking her to doctor appointments,  keeping her son for weeks at a time when she is down.  Paying her bills because she can not keep a job,  buying clothes and food  for the both of them.  I guess  I want to hear and see some thank yous from her  instead of  

mean and hateful comments 

 
March 6, 2006, 7:33 pm CST

Question

Bipolar disorder is a serious illness and it manifests itself in all manner of serious ways, but let me ask all of you this. Do you think that sometimes people use the illness as an excuse for their shortcomings? Like a catch-all for all of the things they don't want to be held accountable for. Why did you do that? Umm, I dunno, must be the bipolar disorder. You really hurt my feelings. Yeah, well, I'm bipolar. I mean, it's a total slippery slope. 

  

I don't know what tomorrow's show will hold, but keep that in mind. A trailer where Dr. Phil asks, "Are you afraid you're going to kill your kids," sends shivers down my spine as it should to every bipolar person in America watching that show. I was so excited about the show, I told my friends to watch it. Oops! Now I have to explain to them, "No, I've never wanted to kill you or anyone else." It's just frustrating to me that we have this time in the spotlight and this is what we are showing America. 

  

I have a very severe form of this illness. I have been acutely psychotic in both mania and suicidal depression. I have never wanted to kill anyone else, on meds or off. I encourage those of you that have had the same experience with this illness to write a note so the people who make this show know how many non-violent bipolar people there are out there. 

 
March 6, 2006, 8:28 pm CST

Wow!

Quote From: heren44

There is NOTHING worse than being BiPolar, except BiPolarII.  I have been diagnosed as BiPolar II, and it is a HORRIBLE disease to try and live with!  My youngest daughter was diagnosed at 13,  before I was-and I went thru a living HELL with her.  In and out of hospitals; every other day taking her to counselors; twice a week taking her to phyciatrists; holding her and loving her with all I had when the voice of "Weird Al Yankovich" took over her head!  The first time she was hospitalized, they diagnosed her as phscofrenic-that scared me to death.  Then the second time she was hospitalized, they said no-she was just suffering from depression; then finally, we got a wonderful Dr. that came from the Queens in NYC and believe me; she had seen everything!!!!  She said absoulutly NOT; both of the diagnosis given to my daughter was wrong-and the 12 pills they had her on a day had to stop.  By this time, she had stopped going to school because all the kids in school had found out she had been hospitalized in the Mental Behavior Hospital, and they were all making fun of her, and calling her names-even her so called 'friends'!  This Dr. put her back in the hospital one day, after we (my daughter & I) were shopping and she snapped, and lodged herself between 2 pop machines outside the store, and was yelling at people to help her that I beat her!!  After about 3 minutes, she snapped out of it, and wondered what she was doing  inbetween the pop machines and came out and got in the car.  She was totally exhausted, and I had contacted the Dr and they said bring her straight to the hospital for a direct admit.  On this admit, she was combative.  But, this Dr diagnosed her as BiPolar II; with extreme depression-ADD; and extreme anxiety disorder.  At that point, her concentration time was 6 minutes.  This school district in North East, approximately 10miles east of Erie PA, that she was attending told me they could not do anything for her; they were not equipped to handle a child with her problems; so we had to move.  When we moved to Jamestown NY, she still could not go back to school, as she was deathly afraid of all the new kids.  When we went into the school to register her, you could literally see her chest shaking.  I home schooled her until she turned 16; then she gave it up-as much as I begged her; her faith in herself was completely shot.  And the worst part was; she was an A-B student!!!
After that, about a year later-I had a nervous breakdown.  My family Dr immediately sent me into counseling and that was 6 years ago.  I am still in counseling; and seeing a Dr once a month.  I am also BiPolar II; with extreme anxiety disorder; and extreme agoraphobia.  It is living hell!  I can be sitting there fine; and all of a sudden, something washes over me, and I just want to throw something-wreck anything I can get my hands on!!  And I can't understand why this happens; I am on 5 different physic meds-but it doesn't completely take care of everything.  All I know is it would be much worse if I was not on my meds!!  There are chips out of my tiles in my kitchen where I have thrown cups; chips off my wall where I have thrown things; holes in my doors where my daughter and I have punched them.  And Lord help us; it's nothing that at the time, we can control!!  The feelings go away after a few minutes-but during those few minutes a living hell!!  There are times I just feel like giving up; stop taking all these meds I'm on; and just let go; I CAN NOT STAND LIVING WITH THIS MENTAL ILLNESS ANYMORE!!!!
I would like your help if at all possible.  I'm sure there are MANY people out there much worse off than me, and God knows my heart goes out to them, but I honestly can see how some people just end it all!!!!  It gets to that point in my feelings alot lately.
Thank you for your time; and please; have a nice day.  And again, thank you for listening to me!

heren44@hotmail.com  
hchilds@stny.rr.com
heebee44@yahoo.com
 And I thought I was the only one living life like this.  Out of all the quotes, yours is the closest in similiarities.  Except for my daughter is 18 and has been diagnosed with Bi-polar I.  We need to support each other.

 
March 6, 2006, 9:42 pm CST

03/07 Extreme Highs and Lows

Quote From: janejr

I was diagnosed bipolar II last year.  After several medication trials, we finally hit on the right combo. of Trileptal, Wellbutrin, Topamax, and Lexapro.  My doctors made clear that the "type" I have does not require hospitalization, does not cause hallucinations, etc.  At my worst (undiagnosed), I was having rages - but these were ONLY directed at my husband (poor guy), and only escalated to physicality once and at that, it was unintentional.  Yes, I threw things when I really got angry, yelled a lot (I am normally not a yeller), etc.  I knew something wasn't right and immediately sought help.  I had been diagnosed with anxiety and depression before but the bipolar II diagnosis threw me for a loop.  Again, the doctor was very clear that bipolar II was very mild compared to bipolar I (manic-depression).  And that has been the case.  I have required no hospitalization, have NEVER been abusive in ANY way to my young child, have no trouble keeping jobs, have no manic episodes, deep depressions - though I have had a few deeper depressive episodes, triggered by changes in meds. and/or marital problems.  But never suicidal ideation, inability to get out bed, etc. 

  

I am sure hoping that Dr. Phil presents accurate information tomorrow, as he always seems to.  I am surprised by the postings so far, though.  It seems that the people who are posting with bipolar II are more severe.  So does the woman who will be highlighted tomorrow, although the commercial did say she was off meds.  But again, even off meds., I was never like her.  Makes me doubt my diagnosis - her diagnosis - some of the other posters here....?  I will be very interested to watch tomorrow's show.... 

 okay, I must have had the two backwards.  Evidently your Dr. told you bipolar II is "non psychotic episodes" so then type I must be the ones with psychotic episodes which is often found in schizoprenics.  I was almost sure it was the other way around. Hrmm....I will have to consult with my buddy the psychologist to make sure I've got it right.
 
March 6, 2006, 9:44 pm CST

03/07 Extreme Highs and Lows

Quote From: domerdude

Bipolar disorder is a serious illness and it manifests itself in all manner of serious ways, but let me ask all of you this. Do you think that sometimes people use the illness as an excuse for their shortcomings? Like a catch-all for all of the things they don't want to be held accountable for. Why did you do that? Umm, I dunno, must be the bipolar disorder. You really hurt my feelings. Yeah, well, I'm bipolar. I mean, it's a total slippery slope. 

  

I don't know what tomorrow's show will hold, but keep that in mind. A trailer where Dr. Phil asks, "Are you afraid you're going to kill your kids," sends shivers down my spine as it should to every bipolar person in America watching that show. I was so excited about the show, I told my friends to watch it. Oops! Now I have to explain to them, "No, I've never wanted to kill you or anyone else." It's just frustrating to me that we have this time in the spotlight and this is what we are showing America. 

  

I have a very severe form of this illness. I have been acutely psychotic in both mania and suicidal depression. I have never wanted to kill anyone else, on meds or off. I encourage those of you that have had the same experience with this illness to write a note so the people who make this show know how many non-violent bipolar people there are out there. 

 Like I said earlier it tends to be an illness where the person is more of a danger to himself/herself rather than other people.
 
March 6, 2006, 10:43 pm CST

03/07 Extreme Highs and Lows

Quote From: domerdude

Bipolar disorder is a serious illness and it manifests itself in all manner of serious ways, but let me ask all of you this. Do you think that sometimes people use the illness as an excuse for their shortcomings? Like a catch-all for all of the things they don't want to be held accountable for. Why did you do that? Umm, I dunno, must be the bipolar disorder. You really hurt my feelings. Yeah, well, I'm bipolar. I mean, it's a total slippery slope. 

  

I don't know what tomorrow's show will hold, but keep that in mind. A trailer where Dr. Phil asks, "Are you afraid you're going to kill your kids," sends shivers down my spine as it should to every bipolar person in America watching that show. I was so excited about the show, I told my friends to watch it. Oops! Now I have to explain to them, "No, I've never wanted to kill you or anyone else." It's just frustrating to me that we have this time in the spotlight and this is what we are showing America. 

  

I have a very severe form of this illness. I have been acutely psychotic in both mania and suicidal depression. I have never wanted to kill anyone else, on meds or off. I encourage those of you that have had the same experience with this illness to write a note so the people who make this show know how many non-violent bipolar people there are out there. 

Touche!! You caught that too!  Yeah, the commercial sells half the show.  People will probably be watching just so they can here about the crazy woman who wants to kill her children.  The one that's Bipolar.  That sent shivers down my spine as well.  I've never wanted to kill anybody!  I couldn't  even imagine thinking that.  Wanted to kill myself more than once, but never anybody else. Next, on the subject of "people using the illness as an excuse for their shortcomings."  Absolutely!  As a matter of fact when I got diagnosed I asked myself that question.  That's where my alcoholism kicked in.  You see,  I work a 12-step program in recovery.  Bipolar aside, if I don't work these steps in my daily life I stand a chance of drinking.  And you think bipolar is bad...mix it with a 1/2 pint of whiskey and a 12-pack of Bud. Not Fun. But  nowhere in the steps is it okay to lie, cheat, manipulate, coerce, justify, rationalize an on and on.  Not only that but I have a AA sponsor that is also Bipolar  who always says, "Bipolar is not an excuse to hurt people"  Gotta love those sponsors!
 
March 7, 2006, 12:41 am CST

03/07 Extreme Highs and Lows

Quote From: maxxy96

My 30 year old daughter is bi-polar.  I guess I do not understand her behavior.  I have seen her really get angry and mad and I have also seen her act okay.  I think she can control herself if she wanted to badly enough.  Recently, to take care of myself, I have told her that she was not going  to be allowed to scream and yell at me anymore.  She would treat me with respect or not at all.   I am prepared to have no more contact with her at all if she does not  treat me right.................bipolar or not! 

maxxy 96. 

Sorry, but I think at this point you should be ashamed of yourself.  Don't get me wrong: this is a result of a lack of education, but you should be ashamed nonetheless.  You don't tell someone in a wheelchair that they can stand up and walk if they wanted to badly enough!  Therefore, you don't tell someone with bipolar disorder that they can control their ups and downs if they wanted to badly enough! 

  

Many people don't look at mental disorders in the same way as, say, a physical disorder.  Mental disorders aren't as transparent.  If someone's missing a leg, you can see that, and if you're good at seeing things from perspective, you can empathize with the person (you may not be able to do so to the point of emulating the exact experience that person had, but...) 

  

Don't get me wrong.  Some people do hyper-exaggerate their limits, making it easy to use their disorders as an excuse for their actions.  Their actions are not any more right because they have a disorder, BUT...if they were able to exercise full control of their actions, it wouldn't be a disorder, wouldn't it? 

 
March 7, 2006, 1:16 am CST

03/07 Extreme Highs and Lows

Quote From: domerdude

Bipolar disorder is a serious illness and it manifests itself in all manner of serious ways, but let me ask all of you this. Do you think that sometimes people use the illness as an excuse for their shortcomings? Like a catch-all for all of the things they don't want to be held accountable for. Why did you do that? Umm, I dunno, must be the bipolar disorder. You really hurt my feelings. Yeah, well, I'm bipolar. I mean, it's a total slippery slope. 

  

I don't know what tomorrow's show will hold, but keep that in mind. A trailer where Dr. Phil asks, "Are you afraid you're going to kill your kids," sends shivers down my spine as it should to every bipolar person in America watching that show. I was so excited about the show, I told my friends to watch it. Oops! Now I have to explain to them, "No, I've never wanted to kill you or anyone else." It's just frustrating to me that we have this time in the spotlight and this is what we are showing America. 

  

I have a very severe form of this illness. I have been acutely psychotic in both mania and suicidal depression. I have never wanted to kill anyone else, on meds or off. I encourage those of you that have had the same experience with this illness to write a note so the people who make this show know how many non-violent bipolar people there are out there. 

No doubt some people do use their illnesses as an excuse for their actions.  By NO means am I implying that EVERYONE with a classified Axis I or II disorder uses their illness as an excuse for their actions.  There's a difference between the following statements: 

  

1) "I do X because I have Y.  Therefore, X is perfectly acceptable." 

and 

2) "I tend to do X because of Y, but I know X is wrong, and I have to do something to fix the Y, so I'm not compelled to do as many Xes."   

  

As far as Dr. Phil's question goes, he may have been questioning the actual fear itself.  She most likely didn't want to kill her children, but perhaps she was afraid of losing control of herself to that degree, even though that most likely wouldn't happen, and that the very fear itself is causing her pain as well.   

  

...although I can understand everyone's concerns, though.  The general public doesn't bother to read as deep into statements as I just did.  If you just scratch the surface of it, then yes, it may spell a misconception.   

  

...same with the word "psycho".  In fact, the general public is often confused about that word's meaning.  When one is psychotic, it means that they tend to have delusions and/or see hallucinations.  It doesn't necessarily mean that they're drastically violent.  However, the confusion may come from terms like "psychopath", which is a person without a conscience that hurts others without remorse (hence the reason it was replaced with the word "sociopath").   

  

  

 
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