Free from Anxiety Meds? : Types of Bipolar Classifications
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Q:  Free from Anxiety Meds? : Types of Bipolar Classifications

I have DSM Type ? of Bipolar, and I am near mania most of the time with about 10% or less depressed.  I also have sleep apnea, mild acid reflux, and GAD.  My questions are these;
What Type of Manic Depression classifications are there under DSM? I II and II?
If So Which kind am I?
Is it possible to be drug free from Anxiety meds?
If So I was only every SSRI and many other (20) different drugs that all helped but later did not.  I now maintain anxiety with Lorazapam, and take 0.5 mg prn, and Lithium 300 mg 2 x a day.
Unfortunately I keep getting migraine headaches, but truthfully I spend alot of time online developing pages.  I never had the headaches until I got off Effecor 37.5 mg 2 x a day, and started relying exclusively on Ativan 0.5 mg prn.
I am going to see my Dr. and see if I can get off this horrible drug.  Any suggestions on how to wean off it, and be Anxiety drug free?
Thanks and I appreciate you website, if u ever need some special effects or stuff, let me know!
Merry christmas - Happy Holidays!


Hello Mr. M' -- 
There are several questions there so I'll just stab at a few.  What types of bipolar classifications?  You have probably run across that in numerous places on the web.  In brief, as now conceptualized anyway, there are two main types that seem somewhat but not perfectly separable:  Bipolar I and Bipolar II.  Everything else is a variation on these:  cyclothymia is mild cycling with no mania, so a relative of BPII; rapid cycling can describe both (technically more than 4 episodes per year, although some people cycle within a day, so-called ultrarapid cycling, or sometimes called "ultradian" -- more than one in a day -- cycling), and is much more commonly associated with bipolar II.  

To be free from anxiety medications?  Yes -- if you have bipolar disorder, you usually get to that goal by making sure you're not having any cycling (by adding or raising doses of mood stabilizers); then if you still have anxiety, which would be unusual, you might try adding just a bit more mood stabilizer, under your doctor's supervision of course.  

Good luck and thanks for the kind words.

Dr. Phelps

Published January, 2003


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