Bipolar Nurse

  1. Hello everyone,

    I was wondering if there are any Bipolar nurses out there. I have been going through some cycles and have been diagnosed with having a Bipolar personality. Its not a severe case. I was wondering how other nurses that might suffer from this are dealing with their disease, and if there are any ideas for treatment out there. I am currently on Zyprexa, but I really don't like the side effects, I am considering Lithium, let me know what you think.
  2. Visit MarcusKspn profile page

    About MarcusKspn

    Joined: Sep '02; Posts: 173; Likes: 5
    LPN, Volunteer Fire Fighter


  3. by   Sleepyeyes
    Yup; I have a friend who is bipolar. I met her when we were going to school. She's a great nurse, and really knows how to talk to people. Hope that helps
  4. by   LoisJean
    Hi, Marcus--

    I am not posting this to you as a psych nurse or indeed, having any long term experience with psychiatry on a working basis--but, I can tell you a little about me--
    I also have the SYMPTOMS of Bipolar disorder but was diagnosed a year ago with ADHD. This being since childhood, of course--but when I was a child this disorder was not known. I am taking Effexor daily and, when necessary, Ritalin to provide the focus factor when I fly off into outer space. All that means is that when I'm in outer space, I am focused.

    What I want to tell you, is make certain you have a second opinion regarding your diagnosis....are you certain it's Bipolar or could it be Cyclothymic Disorder? Could there possibly another disorder which is mimiking Bipolar activity? I ask because of your mention that "it's not a severe case". Cyclothymia is well controlled with Depakote, to my understanding.

    Try posting on the Psychiatric Nursing site on the BB. Those folks are really up on all things mental!

    Good Luck
    Lois Jean
  5. by   maureeno
    Zyprexa is an anti-psychotic. Lithium is the classic med for bipolar disorder, especially preventing classic mania. LoisJean is wise to recommend a 2nd opinion. Bipolar is being so overdiagnosed it hardly means anything, what are your symptoms? If mild and personality based, cognitive txs offer long lasting change without side-effects.
  6. by   researchrabbit
    Zyprexa is also being used as a mood stabilizer, since the side effects are so much fewer. I think it's already been approved by the FDA for Bipolar.

    I too would suggest a second opinion (never hurts).

    Lithium is very inexpensive and works well. The only problem with lithium, depakote and zyprexa is all of them stimulate the appetite, which means many people gain weight on these medications. Topamax is being used as an add-on therapy and may suppress appetite in some people (so at least you have status quo regarding weight!).

    If you are indeed Bipolar, it is important that you never take an SSRI without a mood stabilizer as this could actually cause a manic state.

    I've also seen Seroquel used with Bipolar. As far as I know it's not being investigated for that at this point, but just because it's being used as an antipsychotic doesn't mean it isn't useful for other indications.
  7. by   maureeno
    researchrabbit is correct, zyprexia has been approved for bipolar...for short term use during manic phases.
  8. by   CATHYW
    My husband is bipolar. He takes Wellbutrin and Depakote. They work very well for him. Good luck with your meds!
  9. by   stressedlpn
    I am Bipolar and for years was being treated for depression, finally got some help about two months ago and am feeling great, i have to stay on my meds or i cant work, I rapid cycle. currently on lithium and have found it to be a lifesaver, no weight gain so far, I have been a nurse for 4 years. just stay on your meds, and get that secound opion, if I would have 10 years ago I might not have gone through all that I have. you have my full support
  10. by   MarcusKspn
    The main thing I don't like about the Zyprexa is that I only take it when I notice that I am cycling into mania. But a lot of times I cycle so fast that by the time the Zyprexa kicks in I am already out of the cycle and then the med knocks me out (It's a great sleeping pill if you want to sleep 16 hours straight). As for symptoms I went through a severe depression for about 6 months earlier this year, got put on Paxil which really screwed me up. During my manic cycles I don't sleep, talk faster than even I can listen, think very fast, can't concentrate, spend money I don't have (hide that checkbook), and become very sexually active. In the most severe times I have haluzinations and delusions of persecution (last time I saw satan coming after me, but after praying he was cast into a giant lake of fire). I got Xanax 0.5 prn to help me with the panic attacks.
  11. by   maureeno
    sounds like you suffer a jumble of problems. Practice routine health habits like your life depends on it: Excercise, stress release, avoid alcohol, keep to a schedule of eating and sleeping. Look into cognitive tx focused on perception, emotion, behavior. Keep a diary including triggers and helps. Good Luck.
  12. by   sphinx
    I assume you've spoken to your doctor about this? Was the zyprexa actually prescribed prn for mania? I used to take it daily(at night), but in my case I didn't take it for mania (long story, posted elewhere...yadda yadda).......because it doessn't sound like it is working well with your rapid cycling. Is the rapid cycling part new? What I mean is, when your were first diagnosed bipolar, did you have a prolonged period of mania, or did you present right away with rapid cycling?
    Are you being treated by your internest or by a psyhciatrist? I hope the latter.....that's my big thing, see a specialist! Anyway, as for lithium, I was also on that at one time.....I know people who are bipolar and it worked wonders. I was put on it to "augment" my antidepressant, and it did not work as well. Plus, it make me "feel weird", in a way I can't really explain.. also, there's frequent blood tests, and you have to watch what you eat, sodium-wise, since lithium is a salt.
    bottom line......if you haven't recently talked to your doctor about yourc concerns, give him/her a jingle. If treated properly, you can certainly work, no sweat. Ever seen that list of famous bipolars???
  13. by   mattsmom81
    I worked with a very sweet new grad who was bipolar. She was extremely bright and motivated and went into my facility's critical care internship. she said it was tough going, but she did well!

    She shared she had to keep up with her symptoms and try to stay a step she could stay in control on her workdays in particular. She dare not 'skip' a med or stay up rapid cycling before a stretch of workdays, she told me...she had to be diligent and work closely with her doc.

    It's do-able...good luck and hang in there!!