About Me

From the time I was 16 to age 24 I was hospitalized 6 times.  The first 5 time the doctors said I had Schizophrenia.  They put me on Thorazine and after a few months I went back to normal-until the following summer.  All of the hospitalizations took place in the spring or summer.  Finally in 1981, the last time I was hospitalized, I was told I had the bi-polar form of manic depression.  They put me on Lithium.  For the next 7 years I was almost cured.  But at the age of 30 the symptoms started to return despite being on the proper dose of Lithium.  I again had to use Thorazine to control the mania, and Doxepin to control the depression-along with the Lithium. I was unable to work and had to go on disability, but I was going to college.  In April of 98 I had to get off the Lithium because my hands shook so bad I couldn't write or hold a cup still.  I now have Diabetes Insipidus (this is a condition which causes frequent urination and constant thirst-it is not the Diabetes that has to do with sugar or insulin-that is Diabetes Mellitus), and Hypothyroidism-These two conditions are from 17 years of Lithium use, and are now permanent despite being off Lithium for over a 3 years. (I don't want to scare anyone from using Lithium.  Lithium is a good drug which can control bipolar well.  Not all people will get these side effects).

I am now using Depakote (1000 mg) in place of the Lithium.  The Depakote did not control the mania and depression by it self in my case, so I had to use a combination of drugs.  In the summer I used Klonopin with the Depakote to control the mania.  It worked well but, it can be addictive, and I gained 20 lbs.  When the winter came I needed to take an antidepressant.  The doctor tried me on Serzone for 8 weeks.  This drug did not work at all for me.  In Nov 98 I started using Remeron (30 mg).  This new drug worked well. It had few side effects.  I stayed on it all winter.  I wasn't sure what would happen in the spring when I usually get mania.  I was able to stay on the Remeron and Depakote throughout the spring and summer with no mania. I graduated from college in Jan 98 and then started going for my masters degree.  I got off disability and  I returned to work in July 99.  I worked full time until July 2001, when I was laid-off.  I am looking for a new job and continuing with my masters degree.  I was able to lower the dosage on my medications to Depakote (1000 mg) and Remeron (15 mg).  I have been on this combination for over three years and it has been controlling both the mania and depression.  I am experiencing few side effects.  I believe that age is a great factor in bipolar.  Most bipolar people will have there toughest time in there early 30's.  I am now 43 and the illness has gotten much better.  (See Clinical Description Page 1).