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Rethinking bipolar disorder http://wp.me/p5nnb-9iJ


GiaK
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new post...thought I'd share Rethinking bipolar disorder

I’m reposting the below post from about a year and a half ago and then following it with a collection of links to other posts from the Beyond Meds archives that look at that which gets labeled “bipolar disorder” from different perspectives. That diagnosis did me nothing but harm and it tragically results in similar iatrogenic injury for far too many others. There are other ways to view whatever phenomena is getting labeled bipolar and likewise much safer ways of healing. Indeed within the psychiatric model people are told to expect to manage being ill until they die. Many of us have discovered this is simply not necessarily true. It’s possible to get well and it seems the psych drugs can seriously impede that process if used for long-term maintenance.  Also, it’s clear that the collection of phenomena that is labeled bipolar varies from individual to individual and they have many different etiologies. Labeling them as if they are all the same monolithic thing only serves to muddy the waters and often serves to trap the individual in a toxic prison of confusion.

 

This post with the collection of links that follows will be part of the navigation menu at the top of this website for those interested in getting alternative perspectives on those phenomena that are often labeled bipolar disorder. 

 

If you want to simply see the collection of titles on the subject of that which gets labeled Bipolar Disorder, scroll down past this opening post. 

Bipolar (being grossly over-treated) everywhere

Jill Littrell at Mad in America writes about the epidemic of bipolar diagnosis and questions the legitimacy of expanding the diagnosis back in 1994. It’s worth a read, especially if you’re new to these ideas.

 

A short excerpt here of her damning conclusion…lots of folks on medications means lots of harm:

 

 

Bipolar everywhere

Of course, the consequences of being wrong in diagnosing a person as Bipolar are steep. The drugs for Bipolar have serious side effects. Lithium has been estimated to destroy kidneys in about 12% over a 20 year period (Presne et al., 2003). Atypical antipsychotics will shrink the cortex taken over a two year period (Ho et al., 2011). Anticonvulsants can cause damage to the liver and pancreas and induce depression (PDR). Then there is the issue of potential withdrawal symptoms when you discontinue the medications. These dangers are not trivial. The practice of diagnosing Bipolar is now epidemic. The label will probably shorten the lives of many people who would otherwise be resilient in the face of adversity. (read more)

 

 

I unfortunately know many people who have succumbed to such iatrogenesis. I regularly lost clients this way when I practiced social work. It’s devastating and heartbreaking. Some of these people are dead, grossly prematurely. And not by suicide. Nope it was, kidney failure, cardiac arrest caused by the complications of massive weight gain and diabetes from anti-psychotics…etc…People who should be alive today had they not taken toxic medications for so long.

 

I would also ask what is Bipolar 1? (In the article I link to above Jill Littrell looks at the history of Bipolar 1 and Bipolar 2, which she argues are not even etiologically related.)  Bipolar 1 is the “classic” manic depression. Some think that is the only real bipolar. But, really, I ask, should anything with the Bipolar 1 label be treated with long-term psychotropics in any case? There is a lot of evidence that suggests it makes no sense at all.

 

Robert Whitaker found studies that indicated that before psychopharmaceutical treatments even the more extreme behavior that gets labeled as bipolar seemed to run its course in most people suggesting maintenance long-term treatment with neurotoxic drugs is over-kill pretty much always.

 

 

Polypharmacy/Bipolar illness

A. Bipolar Illness Before the Psychopharmacology Era

Prior to 1955, bipolar illness was a rare disorder. There were only 12,750 people hospitalized with that disorder in 1955. In addition, there were only about 2,400 “first admissions” for bipolar illness yearly in the country’s mental hospitals.

Outcomes were relatively good too. Seventy-five percent or so of the first-admission patients would recover within 12 months. Over the long-term, only about 15% of all first-admission patients would become chronically ill, and 70% to 85% of the patients would have good outcomes, which meant they worked and had active social lives.

B. Gateways to a Bipolar Diagnosis

Today, bipolar illness is said to affect one in every 40 adults in the United States. A rare disorder has become a very common diagnosis. There are several reasons for this. First, many drugs–both illicit and legal–can stir manic episodes, and thus usage of those drugs leads many to a bipolar diagnosis. Second, the diagnostic boundaries of bipolar illness have been greatly broadened.

Lastly:

In a review of 87,290 patients diagnosed with depression or anxiety between 1997 and 2001, those treated with antidepressants converted to bipolar illness at the rate of 7.7% per year, which was three times the rate for those not exposed to the drugs. click here for links to numerous studies

 

 

 

God knows I don’t have anything resembling a mood-disorder anymore (I was diagnosed after a recreational drug reaction) and I took potent neurotoxins for 2 decades that rendered me physically disabled the last 5 years…for what?

 

The doctor I now work with has in fact undiagnosed me of bipolar and any other psychiatric illness. See here for where I cut and paste his letter that states I have no psychiatric disorder, but only iatrogenesis (medically induced illness) from psychiatric medications.

 

We need to make some changes because we’re seeing a “new holocaust” happen as Grainne Humphry spoke about in this interview when she speaks of the destruction of her partner and the father of her son. It sounds hyperbolic, but it’s not, I’m afraid. I know far too many people who have been gravely harmed. Thousands now. It’s just largely invisible to those outside this world because people are in denial.

 

The bipolar collection:

 

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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Excellent info and I also found years of unneeded drugs for a wrong psychiatric diagnosis a shame causing me great harm.

Unable at this time to correspond by private message.

 

Link to my Introduction thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2477-aria-my-psych-journey/

Reading my psychiatric records: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5466-drugged-crazy-reading-my-psychiatric-records/

My Success Story is listed under "Aria's Recovery".

 

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Excellent, GiaK.  

 

I agree especially with this point:

 

 

 

it’s clear that the collection of phenomena that is labeled bipolar varies from individual to individual and they have many different etiologies. Labeling them as if they are all the same monolithic thing only serves to muddy the waters and often serves to trap the individual in a toxic prison of confusion.

 

Here I think is the crux of modern psychiatry, the attempt to replace the actual experience of millions of people with theoretical concepts.  Psychotherapists were aware of this danger and made allowances for it, always ending theoretical discussions by referring back to the concrete psychiatrist/patient relationship.  Modern psychiatry treats mental health concepts as real and the particularities of experience as somehow secondary or unreal.  The problem is one of reification, which I see as rampant at all levels of our society.  

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

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And there is this:

 

“Are there Benefits to having Bipolar Disorder?”

 

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/health-matters/201007/are-there-benefits-having-bipolar-disorder

 

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/bipolar-advantage/201306/advantages-in-bipolar-no-longer-if-why-and-how

 

It might be helpful to consider a reconceptualization. Perhaps instead of it being a disorder, we can think of people with bipolarity as having access to unusual potency. This potency will find a way to be outstanding-either in a destructive way, or in a constructive way. If such a choice is presented to the person, perhaps it can open some doors.

Tapering Zoloft, Dec 2014

Started Lamictal

Re-started Zoloft mid-Oct 2014, 25-50mg

Stopped Zoloft end of Sept 2014

Started Zoloft July 2014, 50mg

Stopped Prozac from 3mg May 2014

Stopped Effexor Dec '13 Started 10mg Prozac

Reinstated Effexor 15mg on Nov 2013

Stopped from 21mg on Oct 2013
Effexor 112.5mg, since Dec 2012

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yes, absolutely...but I have ceased to call my potency bipolar at all (psychiatry owns that bullsh*t)...I find that attaching myself to any concept of pathology is harmful and it seems to be that way for many folks...there is no need to see it as pathology at all...ever. That said since so many people have drunk that kool aid, people who want to start there and spread a message of healing...well, that's all good too...for those who respond to that line of thought...

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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There are a lot of people who really identify with the "disease" model of bipolar and who will get very defensive when told otherwise.

Tapering Zoloft, Dec 2014

Started Lamictal

Re-started Zoloft mid-Oct 2014, 25-50mg

Stopped Zoloft end of Sept 2014

Started Zoloft July 2014, 50mg

Stopped Prozac from 3mg May 2014

Stopped Effexor Dec '13 Started 10mg Prozac

Reinstated Effexor 15mg on Nov 2013

Stopped from 21mg on Oct 2013
Effexor 112.5mg, since Dec 2012

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Another relevant site:

 

http://rethinkingbipolar.com/ 

I am not a medical professional and nothing I say is a medical opinion or meant to be medical advice, please seek a competent and trusted medical professional to consult for all medical decisions.

 

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^Excellent, thanks.

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

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^Excellent, thanks.

No problem!

I am not a medical professional and nothing I say is a medical opinion or meant to be medical advice, please seek a competent and trusted medical professional to consult for all medical decisions.

 

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Since joining this forum and reading links like the one above  I seriously doubt my

bipolar diagnosis. For too many years I have been affected by drugs and side effects

plus withdrawals from them all.  My problems were not really mood swings as such

but would be more creative and energetic at times, often staying up all night to 

finish projects but that can be said for a lot of artistic people. My dons weren't always

'sad' or even depressed but complete exhaustion and inability to function. I always

thought I was ill but was eventually told it was actually depression. I did have a severe

depressive episode 20 years ago when I was hospitalised and that is when the drugs

started coming and now I can see the pattern that emerged. New drug, getting better,

side effects, then off drug and withdrawal , always put down to return of depression.

Mania caused by some of the drugs, then others to bring down the mania.

 

 I can't wait to be finally completely drug free again and coping like I did before the 'label'

Now I know much more about nutrition and healthy lifestyle, allergies etc I am convinced

I can overcome that label. 

 

Thank you for this topic and all the info on it. 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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yes! mamma...you're getting it...there are so many much better empowering ways to understand the fluctuations in energy that often get pathologized...sounds like you're on your way to shedding the psychiatric chains...

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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I have it in my head more than things I do. When my brain is flying...I see new insights....and I have "rubbish" thoughts too. I told my husband he'll just have to work it out with God himself....because I could be bringing the best or worst idea. But this, in one form or another, is liberally sprinkled amongst my grandmother's descendants, to her great-grandchildren. My dad was a wonderful person who suffered a lot because his brain wasn't quite steady....many have told my sisters and me that he was the best man they knew....but he lived far below his potential. He took little medication, but he didn't do anything else to cope better. Lithium does make me feel much better. But I have only been certifiably manic under ADs that affect multiple neurotransmitters. I am trying to not even think about the lithium until I finish the other drugs. I wonder if life without drugs will take too much of my time and energy.

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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