Q: Unipolar Depression? BPII ?
I would like to know if Dr. Phelps thinks I have bipolar disorder. My
psychiatrist (Dr. Howard Rosenbaum) just put me on Lamictal and Provigil
(because I need to take long naps during the day after sleeping all night.
He just took me off 60mg of Ritalin a day because I was STILL tired.) I
also take Paxil (40mg) and Wellbutrin (300Mg.)
I have recurring depression. I have been on SEVERAL antidepressants.
I recently had a severe depression lasting 18 mos. I was unable to
work, and for part of the time very anxious, and part of the time very
lethargic. I don't think I experience any mania. I have a lot of
education and am fairly ambitious when well. Dr. Rosenbaum has been
treating me since 1997 and last Thursday suggested that I may have Bipolar II
because of the "tenaciousness and recurring nature of my depression."
I oversleep A LOT - last Jan. I slept almost whole days and nights (getting up
at 2pm or even 5pm). And, when awake feeling tired and fatigued. (which
sounds like bi-polar from your site). But, honestly, I don't think I have
even mild mania. I am very reality based.
I am confused and am wondering whether it is more likely that I just have
treatment resistant unipolar depression or Bipolar II? From your website,
it seems that you may decide by whether I respond to mood stabalizers. Out
of the last 9 yrs. I have had depression for 7 of the winters. It usually
starts in Oct and gets better in April. I tried light-therapy, it didn't
help. I have been in psychotherapy for the last 3 yrs. and got sick of it
and quit when I was feeling better in April. I have gotten out of bed to
exercise strenuously for an hr. and then gone back to bed. I have tried
everything you can think to get over the depression when I am in it (except ECT
- but I will do that if I revisit hell).
My dad committed suicide and his brother (my uncle and his kids) all are on
anti-depressants. My uncle has had ECT. My 2nd cousin is on
anti-depressants too. My mom did not suffer from depression.
Any help you can give would be greatly appreciate. I am afraid I will only
enjoy a few mos. out of the yr.
Dear Ms. N'
Here's another perspective on the diagnosis, one I particularly like (I hope you
can work your way through the jargon; it was written for psychiatrists.
Maybe Dr. Rosenbaum could "translate" sections for you if needed.
This is Dr. Ghaemi,
he's a Harvard researcher -- i.e. very well trained and known and
Ask Dr. Rosenbaum (he and I have met) what he thinks
about this new information on thyroid
(you could print this out for him?).
Published November, 2001