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Bi-Polar II and not ADHD?

Bi-Polar II and not ADHD?2011-04-03T21:30:06+00:00

The Forums Forums What is it? Co-morbidities/Secondary Disorders Bi-Polar II and not ADHD?

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    Patte Rosebank
    Post count: 1517

    There’s so much overlap between ADHD, Bipolar/Bipolar II, Depression, and Anxiety that it’s easy to be misdiagnosed. Or to have more than one of these conditions.

    As for the drugs, you shouldn’t rule them out completely, but you definitely need to do your homework.

    An example:

    Effexor (Venlafaxine) and its new cousin Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) are actually the same drug, just in a slightly different formulation. Wyeth-Ayerst just invented Pristiq in order to mitigate its losses when the patent on Effexor expires, which is very soon. The same drug, with the same nasty withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms which were seriously downplayed when Effexor was first launched, and, I’m sure, when Pristiq was first launched too. (Google “Effexor withdrawal”, for the whole gory story of how Wyeth deliberately mis-stated the actual percentage of users who were suffering withdrawal symptoms.)

    How do I know about this? Because, after being on Effexor XR (for Depression, and then BPII) for many years, I was diagnosed with ADHD, and my psych & I decided it would be best if I went off the Effexor before starting on Ritalin. What we’d thought might take a week, actually took over 2 months, with me having to count out individual beads from each of the lowest-dose capsules I took, for the final 3 weeks. And I continued to get the “brain zaps” and teariness for many weeks after I’d fully weaned off.

    The topper was, in talking with some of my co-workers about the withdrawal symptoms I was then-having, I discovered that several of them had been on Effexor, and had also experienced those symptoms. If ALL five of us who took it, had major withdrawal symptoms, then it can hardly be described as having a “low risk of dependency”, as Wyeth-Ayerst had claimed.

    The Effexor XR was quite effective on my Depression, but I feel very angry that I (and my doctor) were not given the true facts about it, from the beginning.


    Post count: 14413

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could count on the pharaceutical companies to be totally transparent with us on what they know?

    Oddly enough, my dear friend’s a husband works in pharmaceutical industry. His job? His sole purpose is to calculate the monetary risks for the company should one of their drugs have a ‘catastrophic issue’ once it’s released to the public. Tired old lady with brain fog cannot remember the correct title for that kind position.

    Apparently, it’s a rather small little field


    Post count: 140

    Sandra, you are newly diagnosed with hypothyroidism, which is a well known cause of depression and mood swings, weight gain and changes in appetite. I honestly don’t understand how a physician could possibly think you have been correctly assessed with any mood disorder as long as your thyroid function is out of whack (and until your TSH is shown to be back within normal range).

    First, be *very* sure that you are not taking your thyroid medication at the same time of day as the Lamotrigine. The thyroxine needs to be absorbed on an empty stomach and 2 to 4 hours before you take anything else, including vitamins. It can take several weeks for thyroid meds to work, and then the dosage usually needs adjustment.

    Second, consider doing some reading on TSH levels and thyroid treatment, as you may need to be your own advocate if you have a doctor that follows older guidelines that recommend undertreatment. (Too high TSH = low function or hypothyroid, while too low TSH = hyperthyroid.) Most lab ranges still list the upper limit of normal as being around 4.5, but most people feel better under 2.5 to as low as just under a 1.) Any perusal of forums for people with thyroid disease will show you a large number who were misdiagnosed with mood disorders before receiving adequate thyroid replacement therapy.

    Third, when you go back for follow-up bloodwork, ask to have your ferritin tested. Your hemoglobin may have tested fine, but that isn’t the right test. In people with autoimmune thyroid disease, iron deficiency is almost universal and shows as low ferritin (which is an indication of the iron stores in your bone marrow). If you have low ferritin, you will continue to feel fatigued, depressed, foggy and achey.

    It may take months, but once you get all three of these things where they should be—your thyroid, vitamin D and iron stores—AND get through the last of the effexor discontinuation symptoms, then it’s a good time to reassess whether you have other mood disorders besides ADD. You should be feeling WAY more functional at that point.

    Hang in there.


    Post count: 14413


    1.) Nutrition has a lot to do with your concern of “disfunction” try this eliminate potato, soda, breads, sugar, artificial sweetners;

    2.) Put yourself onto Solfeggio freguency – These original sound frequencies were apparently used in Ancient Gregorian Chants, see internet for Free Samples, also plenty of good relaxing Neural Reprogramming FREE … Holosync sample is really good, others too;

    3.) Talk to strangers, open up and be frank, journal your life, write letters, notes, keep track of yourself and what your goal is for each day;

    4.) Start putting yourself back together … Put pictures around you, favorite songs, anything that reminds you of what you want your life to be like, what you want to achieve …;

    5.) Discover the Shift Movement, open up to the micro molecular miracle of your being, a spiritual energy, start looking more into that

    aspect of being energy and the universe is energy and the connections;

    6.) Everything you have said means one thing only … you are aware of yourself and how you relate to yourself and how others

    may perceive you are In Your Hands;

    7.) Be grateful for being able to discover new insights and new ways of considering you are awakening out of a shell that not a lot of

    people truly understand;

    8.) Practice little steps of freedom, throw out positive energy, it comes around – smile, others will too, do little things that give you

    immediate feedback and notice you can accomplish bigger thoughts of projecting positive energy and YOU ARE IN CONTROL;

    9.) The Whole World is on drugs doesn’t that tell you something, everybody is being diagnosed with this and that … really?

    10.) Forget the genetics stigma … clean the slate, clean your mind, connect with unlimited resources of the Universe, the power

    of the universe is directly connected to your heart (5,000 times stronger magnetically than the mind)

    post back here in 30 days


    Post count: 14413

    I haven’t been on here for a couple of months. I just finished reading all of your responses. Let me tell you, I teared up because of the support, the suggestions, and the words of encouragement. THANK YOU!

    To catch you up, I’ll tell you what has been happening. I had started the Lamotrigine, and was at 50mg. I’m now taking 150mg. Truthfully, I’m not sure if it’s working or not. I don’t really understand what it is supposed to be doing, and only know that it is a ‘mood stabilizer’, whatever that means.

    I had my dosage of the Armor Thyroid med bumped up from 60mg to 90mg daily. I’ll be tested again next week. Also My Vitamin D levels went from 11 to 33, and I’m trying to get more sun, while we actually have it! I also learned that my iron stores were indeed low. So started on iron pills too!

    The interesting part to this is that my Dr. did start me on ADHD meds. She felt that I was doing better, mood wise, and that since I still had the ADHD symptoms, would try stimulants. So, she prescribed me Focalin. I couldn’t believe that I actually started to dive into various projects, and even completed some! I was unsure if it was the med, or just that I was feeling better. Then a week later I felt suicidal and like a loser again. The thing about that is that there was a situation that I fell apart over, and blamed most of it on myself being defective. I’ll describe it, as it may help you understand how a huge disappointment or failure can cause one to do a backslide.

    My son didn’t graduate high school, and was also turned down for a special program that would help him finish his diploma. I was crushed that he didn’t graduate. He didn’t do the commencement ceremony, and walk to receive his diploma, and well, it just hurt deeply. I cried and cried (when he wasn’t around).

    So, we found out about a high school completion program at the Tech College. It allows the kids to earn their HS diploma, while earning a Certificate or a AA degree. It is completely funded by some major orgs like The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, for one. He had to write essays, take a test called the Compass Test, and be interviewed. He did a great essay, he scored super high on the Compass, and was not as great in the interview, mostly because he was so nervous. Anyway, I called to find out if he got in and was told no.

    I spoke to the lady who did the interview. She said he could reapply for the Winter quarter. I asked why he didn’t get in, and she said there were only 5 spots left, and he didn’t interview well. I asked her what he could do differently/better next time so he gets in. She said that when he came in for the interview, she looked at his info and saw that in school he had an IEP, and that that raised a ‘red flag.’ Now, we went to an orientation, and they said that they accept kids with IEPs. So I told her that. She said that they have a ‘list’ of red flag items, and IEPs are on it. The fact that he has ADHD and Aspergers, made her believe he couldn’t do the program. I, after having to take some very deep breaths, asked her if they have ever accepted any kids with ADHD, and if so, what percentage of them passed. She guessed about 60%. She gave me some other suggestions, like he could take a class, and prove to them that he can pass. I asked what kind of class and she said maybe organization. Well, in the orientation they said that the first term was teaching them organization and other college prep skills. Anyway, we talked for a while longer and then hung up. After a while, I really started to get pissed.

    She had referred to him having an IEP like it was a huge disadvantage, and even a guarantee that he would not succeed. Also the contradiction of what was said in the orientation and what she told me about the ‘red flag’ list just didn’t sit right with me. So, I composed an email with the intent to express my ‘opinion’ about the situation.

    I Googled the name of the program and found the name and email of the President of it. It’s a Nationwide (US) program, and in WA only 2 schools offer it. Anyway, I sent the email to her. She replied by 7am the next day. She said she forwarded it to the Dean of High School Programs of the college (I didn’t know there was one).

    THAT’S when I really lost it. I was sure that I had just ruined my son’s chances of getting in for Winter, because I impulsively wrote that email, and now it was in the hands of the Dean of that program. At least the email was professional, and no cursing or anything was in it. I stated, without saying so, that he was discriminated for his ADHD and MILD Aspergers. And I mentioned the other contradictions. I asked for help/advice on what type of class he could realistically take to help him get accepted for Winter quarter.

    I cried and tore myself a new one, so to speak. I berated myself for hurting his chances, and for passing down my defective genes to him. I wanted to die and free him from having me as a mother. I felt I had done way too much damage to him his entire life, and on and on.

    The next day that Dean called and actually sounded sorta nervous and concerned. She said that she was changing the terminology, and would have more specific details at the orientations. She offered for my son to be re-interviewed. I asked her why, if the 5 remaining spots had been filled? She didn’t really have an answer. She offered to meet with us, and to help find him a class at the college that would help him for Winter quarter.

    Anyway, sorry for the long story, it’s just that the situation, up until the Dean called me, was extreme. I even called the Suicide Prevention line. I was a mess. When I called, I had to do the whole press 1 for this, and then please wait while we transfer…, and then ‘We are currently helping others’, and then the line ringing for minutes and minutes. I finally just hung up. Then I laughed! If I was that person who was right at the edge, that call would have been the last straw.

    So I sent them an email too.

    When I went back to the doctor a few days later, and told her all of this, she told me that I was amazing for championing my son, and that I was not a loser for doing so. I had a hard time believing that, but compliments are hard to take.

    After I told her about the thoughts of suicide, she said she was taking me off of the Focalin, and putting me on Adderall (Focalin is Ritalin I guess, and Adderall is a different class of stimulant, I believe). She thinks the Focalin caused me to feel suicidal. I’m not sure. I went through one of the biggest disappointments in my life, the son not graduating, and then the whole college/IEP/Email thing, and didn’t know how to process it. Couldn’t it just be situational?

    Anyway, I started the Adderall this morning. Getting that prescription filled was like getting Top Secret clearance to a National Archive or something! I’m not a young person, so I had to have Pre-authorization. Even then, they won’t give me the extended release, and had to get a new scrip for the other one. Then had to go through the pre-auth again, and it took a week as they were trying to pre-auth the wrong med! I hope it works.

    So, for the most part I am doing better. I am going to start therapy as I need help dealing with the big issues, and need someone to listen, help and guide me. Also, I have been making changes to my diet, though I’ll admit, that’s not easy!

    I’m really hoping that the Adderall works as well as the Focalin did.

    What a long journey.


    Post count: 14413

    life is a journey. amazing, sandra. you are an A CLASS advocate!!!! what we could all use more of . . . thanks for sharing your diificult, but inspiring, story. peace.

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