Hi Doctor, thank you for taking this question. I am 23 years old and Bipolar. Recently, I was laid off from my job and cannot afford the cobra insurance. BCBS won’t accept my application because of my preexisting condition. I am without professional help and coming off my medication. Can bipolars survive without the extra help? I’ve had the life of a typical bipolar. Irritable at a young age, always high-strung. Bouts of depression that would last 6 months at a time…cutting…followed by an incredible surge of motivation in whatever I would do. I can be abusive or let people walk all over me. As I got older, the symptoms were more noticeable. Incredible surges of energy at work. I could accomplish everything in one day! I would stay extra hours…etc. Then I would slip into depression and tell people to screw off. I got help when I was practically fired. The meds really helped to level me out. Everything was simple, including my happiness. My only complaint is that the Lexapro (although wonderful) would make me feel manic as hell and I did anything I felt like doing…including hurting people’s feelings and hitting my significant other. The risperdal helped but the dose I needed made me feel sleepy and dull. I don’t miss that part of the medication. In that light, I am glad I am getting off the medication. Hell, when I was on it I didn’t even feel bipolar. Now I am getting off of it and I’m worried. Is there any hope for me? I cry myself to sleep because I feel like I don’t have control of my actions anymore. I drink 6 days a week, hard liquor. Other than that I guess it’s not too bad. I do a little work here and there although it takes a lot to get me going. (But when I’m going everything is good!) I can’t sleep but I never could. I have brain shocks. I hope you have an answer for me :-/ Thanks in advance.
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The hard but honest answer to your question is that you cannot live without psychiatric help. The very fact that you are drinking heavily should provide that answer to you. You need to stop drinking immediately and get your self to a hospital emergency room. They will probably admit you in your present condition particularly because you are a suicide risk at the present time. That will worsen as the medicine leaves your body. The hospital can collect their fees by applying for emergency Medicaid for your situation. You really need to go onto disability at the present time because you are not able to work. These are always around the insurance situation but these are not lies. You are extremely vulnerable right now and it will get worse if you do not act.
By the way, it doesn’t seem optimal that the medications you have been prescribed are leaving you feeling manic symptoms. I think it would be a good idea to make sure your doctor knows how the medication is causing you to feel next time you see him or her so that a re-evaluation of your medications can take place. There are many combinations of medication therapy, one of which might be appropriate for your particular condition.
Next, after you are correctly medicated you need to learn about your illness. Medicine alone will not do the job. There is a lot to be learned about bipolar disorder including how to modify your thinking and control your symptoms.
Please, get your self over to the hospital now and start getting some real help immediately.