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Welcome to my blog. I hope we can help each other endure the pain of the addiction of a daughter or son.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Old Paradigm

Thanks to Megan I just found out that Beth has been medicated following an out of date guidelines for medication management. I did some research and found guidelines by three major authorities and they all agreed with Megan. Antidepressants are not usually tolerated by people with bipolar disorder even with the addition of a mood stabilizer. The American Psychiatric Association, The Texas Medical Algorithm Project and the Expert Consensus series all agree.

Since, Beth just started her Prozac a couple of days ago (it does make her happier), I shared this info with her and ask her to cut down or cut it out until we get an updated medical opinion. I am going to write to Megan's doctor and ask him to suggest a colleague in my area.

A similar situation happened with my diabetic husband two years ago. He had never been able to control his sugar. He was suffering multiple and dangerous complications including eye bleeds and kidney insufficiency. A friend of Beth's who was an EMT talked to my husband Dave. He said, "Dave you are following a paradigm that is 30 years old. Go to Jefferson or U of Pennsylvania. No one does it the way you are at the major medical centers.  You are following an old paradigm."

I talked to my friend the school nurse about all of this and she said to go see a diabetic educator about insulin and carbohydrate counting. My husband spent 3 hours with this woman. His sugar has been right ever since!
We tell everyone if you can not control your sugar get on insulin, see a diabetic educator and learn to count carbs and make adjustments to your insulin.

I really thought I was up to date on bipolar disorder but apparently not.

Thanks Megan, you might have saved a life. At least there is hope in the protocols that we have not even tried.



  1. Its very disturbing to me that we need to be not only pro-active but aggressive in our own healthcare. Its scary that doctors are still doing things that they should know better about. I wonder if Keven should be on Welbutrin????? He was taken off Lithium yesterday and I have no idea what that will do to him, but he still takes Risperdol. Its so confusing.

    So glad you were able to get this info from Megan.

  2. The antidepressants are ALWAYS tried and too often in conjunction with mood stabilizers. When that doesn't work (most of the time), a whole array of other meds are thrown into the mix. It is an old protocol but still being used at Menninger in Houston and Austen Riggs in Massachusetts. Antidepressants are rarely successful and cause side effects. My daughter was on them on and off until one day she did research on her own and discovered that all signs point to her being intolerant of SSRI's, very common among bipolar and the borderline population. She would have two weeks grace period when they worked and then the original symptoms came rushing back in, worse than before.
    Sometimes I am reluctant to tell my daughter's story because everyone is different. There is always hope that something will click into place and make life easier.
    I hope that your husband is doing better.
    xx kris

  3. You are so welcome Anna. Every bipolar person has a unique chemistry, which is why we go through so many med trials, but for whatever reason the ADs seem to destabilize rather than help in most cases. That is often how one finds out that they are bipolar. They are diagnosed for depression, go on ADs, then swing into severe mania after a few weeks. Then the diagnoses changes to Bipolar Disorder. This happens with ADHD stimulants as well. This happened to our dd at age seven while on Zoloft alone, and the AD caused her to think she was superman, ending with hospitalization. We have tried introducting Welbutrin in the past, but with ill effect.

  4. I have learned quite a bit from this post. Thanks for sharing the information.

  5. Yikes - this is scary. Unfortunately, I've always found that I need to do my own research - that the so-called "experts" and professionals aren't necessarily current. My daughter just entered a treatment program. Shall I ask what meds she's on - and question them? She will hopefully have a psychiatric assessment soon - and then, we'll see what's what. Do you have a good resource/website for the most recent data and treatment approaches for bi-polar, borderline personality disorder, etc.? Peggy (P.S. couldn't seem to post this comment using my wordpress ID, so here is my blog site: