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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Suspected Bipolar- NEED HELP!

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Author Topic: Suspected Bipolar- NEED HELP!
k-lyme
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Hiya Guys,

UGHHHH! Now another curve ball has been thrown at me. My therapist ( Yes I am not perfect, I have to see a therapist, well she is a Registered Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse) strongly suspects that I am Bipolar (AHHHHH! ) Unfortunately, I have a pretty good family history for it.
What really has sparked this suspicion is the fact that I go through antidepressants really FAST. I have been effexor, Wellbutrin, and Symbyax all within a period of 7 months. I am also starting to exhibit like 4 other symptoms. My pain doctor, (Who also treats the psychological aspect of the picture) also suspects Bipolar as well.

ANYWAY!!! Both of these health care proffesionals are not versed on how Lyme contributes and affects things.

SO, I need stories from all of you Lymies, CHAPTER AND VERSE, if possible. I have seen how this Bipolar disease afects people, and if my story fits with all of yours, then maybe things might be alot more clear!

Thank you so very much and GOOD LUCK!

K-lyme


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janet thomas
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If she does not have experience with Lyme and is unfamiliar with the psychiatric manifestations then who gives a d*** what she thinks?

Send her to the duck pond.


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duramater
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Wow - that Janet Thomas is one harsh cookie....again.

At any rate, here are links to full text articles that discuss the the neuropsychiatric manifestations of Lyme. They are peer-reviewed and thus appropriate for any physician.

Also, as mine did, your doc who is interested in learning and finding out optimal treatment plans can consult directly with Brian Fallon @ Columbia University. My guy just called him and they figured out a few treatment options -- quite effective actually. Great for symptom control until the antibiotics did the trick.

I hope your docs are interested in a more complete understanding of all the factors going into your situation. These papers should certainly be good springboards in that regard.

Best of luck.
http://library.lymenet.org/domino/file.nsf/bbf2f15334c1f28585256613000317cc/87e8dfed931381b7852567c70012001f?OpenDocument
http://www.wadhurst.demon.co.uk/lyme/lyme101.htm
http://www.angelfire.com/biz/romarkaraoke/lymeart.html


Posts: 689 | From western MA (we say buttER and pizzA) | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
auntybiotic1499
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Hi,

You say you have been thru antidepressants..............along with lyme I also would suspect that the "bipolar" is being caused from antidepressant withdrawal.

How have you gone from one antidepressant to another?

My daughter is tapering off of Lexapro and she is exhibiting bipolar signs also but is is due to the withdrawal.............she has mania during the initial taoer then sometimes sad or apathetic.

This lasts from the sixth day of the taper to about the fourteenth.

Have you had any of the other withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, sleeplessness, nightmares, dizziness, weight gain?

What antibiotics or other medicatins are you also taking. There are many medications that interact with the SSRI's,

I would not think that you truly have Bi polar. Tell me what the symptoms and when they occur and what medications you are currently on.

Many doctors mistake advers reactions to SSRI's as bi polar or OCD.
aunty


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perplexed
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My therapist strongly feels that I am bipolar, but he is very sympathetic with the fact of my having Lyme and knows the psych meds do a number on me.

We have tried 4 different psych meds for the bipolar and the side effects are awful. They make my Lyme symptoms even worse and eventually I have to stop them.

My therapist is very curious and anxious for me to finally see the LLMD in MO and find out if the Lyme has caused the bipolar symptoms along with the anxiety and panic attacks. I am anxious to find out also because no psych med seems to help me except xanax and very little celexa.

Jean


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perplexed
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My therapist strongly feels that I am bipolar, but he is very sympathetic with the fact of my having Lyme and knows the psych meds do a number on me.

We have tried 4 different psych meds for the bipolar and the side effects are awful. They make my Lyme symptoms even worse and eventually I have to stop them.

My therapist is very curious and anxious for me to finally see the LLMD in MO and find out if the Lyme has caused the bipolar symptoms along with the anxiety and panic attacks. I am anxious to find out also because no psych med seems to help me except xanax and very little celexa.

Jean


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pippy
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K-lyme
Sorry to hear you also have this problem w/ lyme but glad I'm not alone.
One thing you may consider is co-infection like babesia. It can also trigger/exacerbate genetic predisposition to bi-polar sx.

The other thing is that like auntybiotic said do not go off antidepressants without lots of medical supervision. It can cause a bi-polar flare and worse. I did this recently and folks here know I was NOT ok! huge lesson learned the hard way!

These bugs affect the brain so profoundly!
You might consider trying lithium (natural and been around forever) or neurontin (gabapentin) for protection of brain so you are not so up and down.

These alone or combined with an antidepressant tend to work for lots of people who have bi-polar with depression and lyme/co-infections.
Have you been treated and/or tested for co-infections?


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pippy
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k-lyme,
lots of veterans who had malarial sx in SE asia and gulf war who now have mood stuff.....a lot of it is linked to having had malaria. Babeiosis (from ticks) is v. close to malaria and these guys may have actually had babesia in some cases (its endemic in SE Asia)
note: the "damage" caused is actually inflammation from chronic low grade infection.
this may be reversible with extended malaria treatment


CONTACT: DAVE PEDERSEN
283 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-8032; fax (319) 335-8034
e-mail: [email protected]

Release: Immediate

Vietnam Vet's history of malaria may be clue to health problems

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Cerebral malaria should be considered as seriously as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or Agent Orange exposure as an underlying cause of long-term medical and psychological problems faced by some Vietnam War veterans, according to a study by a University of Iowa and Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) psychologist.

In an article published in the November issue of the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Nils R. Varney, UI adjunct professor of psychology and a staff neuropsychologist at the VAMC in Iowa City, and his colleagues report that many cerebral malaria survivors from the Vietnam War have a number of neuropsychiatric symptoms that can persist for years after the acute illness has been treated.

It is estimated that as many as 250,000 Vietnam veterans suffered cerebral malaria. Contracted from mosquitoes, the illness causes an encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain. This can result in damage to cerebral nerve tissue in the frontal-temporal areas of the neocortex.

"Cerebral malaria does a number of different things to a patient's brain that cause a variety of neurological problems," Varney says. "Clinical reports from 500 B.C. through the 20th century noted that patients who survived the illness frequently developed depression, impaired memory loss, personality change and proneness to violence as long-term effects of the disease. These are symptoms that have been reported by many Vietnam veterans for years and are often treated strictly as PTSD."

The researchers compared the neuropsychiatric status of 40 Vietnam combat veterans who contracted cerebral malaria between 1966-1969 with 40 Vietnam veterans with similar wartime experience who suffered gunshot or shrapnel wounds during the same period. The participants underwent numerous tests for sensory, cognitive and behavioral symptoms.

Findings indicated that, when compared to wounded combat veterans who did not contract cerebral malaria during their service, the veterans who had malaria reported more problems with depression, subjective distress, auditory information processing, memory, emotional instability and seizure-like symptoms.

Interestingly, Varney notes, the malaria-related health concerns among Vietnam veterans are similar to what British troops faced in 19th century India during the height of the British Empire. Nineteenth-century physicians documented these cases and considered malaria a leading cause of mental illness in British-occupied regions. "It's well-chronicled in the medical literature from that period, but basically it's been forgotten, since malaria has not been a major problem in industrialized western nations for decades," Varney says.

The study results may offer new hope to many Vietnam veterans with neurological and psychological problems that have not responded to previous treatments. The findings suggest that doctors consider a history of malaria in any medical, psychological or psychiatric workup of Vietnam veterans because a positive response could change diagnosis and treatment. Anticonvulsant medications can be beneficial in treating symptoms that affect cerebral malaria survivors.

"I would suspect that doctors who treat Vietnam veterans with unexplained and untreatable neurological or psychological problems would find a significant number of them with a history of malaria," Varney says. "And that means there's a different way to assess these cases. It's not solely PTSD or Agent Orange exposure that's causing these problems, which are the only explanations these veterans have had to hang their hats on. Now we may be able to move these patients into a category where their problems make sense, what is wrong with them is known and well-documented, and it's treatable."

The study was funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.


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janet thomas
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Duramater-

I was quite taken back by your comment about me, it was very hurtful and harsh. I only meant for k-lyme not to be discouraged by anything someone unaquainted with Lyme may tell her.

Lord knows, I've been told lots of nonsense by ducks.

janet


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Christine202
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I just spoke with a girl who has many neuropych problems mostly from Lyme.

She was tested for an enzyme in the brain called P450. I guess there are several others that can be tested as well.

People who are lacking in this enzyme usually are not able to tolerate antidepressents well or the antidepressent will not aork well. I cant remember the word for wrod reason. Basically the brain builds up too much toxin from the drug since it lacks the enzyme to excrete it.

This can also hold true for other drugs as well as abx...

I thought it was very interesting and am considering getting tested for it.

I thought I would pass the info along to anyone who is having similar problems.


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BJG
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HI k-lyme

If infact you have Bipolar mood disorder it is NOT to be treated with SSRI's.
They can actaully trigger Bipolar, if infact it is present.

I suggest with your therapist and doc, make sure they check out the criteria for Bipolar.
Remember to be diagnosed Bipolar there is a specific criteria. That includes mania also.
Have you had manic episodes?

Lyme houses all kinds of mental disturbances.
Be very careful before you start on another antidepressant.

After you get stableized then and only then can the possibility of SSRI'd be used, but it is usaully accompanied with a mood stabelizer med.
I hope this helps and good Luck.

Peace,
BJG


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pq
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consider endocrine system work up; thyroid and/or related endocrinal glands,etc.

consider tapering off ssri's, for which physician supervision is often needed, or ask others for one or more 'protocols' who have successfully tapered off the ssri's using their physicians' protocols; while they can be tough to taper off of, many have done so.

[This message has been edited by pq (edited 15 July 2005).]


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Mo
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Lyme or Bartonella or Babesia all infect the central nervous system and limbic centers of the brain that control mood thinking and behavior.

They also -- by way of circulating infection ..toxins from die off.. and
reactive vaso-constriction can cause hypo perfusion to the brain (lack of blood flow).

In my son's case his infections were totally refractory to all psych meds tried ..some of them caused horrific side effects.

Not saying that would be true in all cases but that these infections can surely cause symptoms refractory to these meds.

The cause in that case is organic..REACTIVE to the infections -- and psychotropic drugs do not for instance..address toxins which can be part of the picture nor do they address infection.

Is your therapist VERY Lyme literate ..
This is important..

If not you should consider getting to one who is or yes..having them consult Brion Fallon.

He also has many papers out that you could
refer to.

Have you had a SPECT scan done --

Tho - that too..must be at a facility that is experienced in scanning AND READING the scans.

I'm sure the papers put out by Bransfield and Fallon could help..along with your LLMD.

Lots of what you may need was compiled by Cheryl recently at lymeinfo:
http://www.lymeinfo.net/neuropsych.html

You know..based on much of what I've seen and read I seriously wonder about whether a considerable amount of cases thought to be mental disorders from as 'unknown' or even genetic origin..are actually of organic cause.

99.9 percent of psychiatrists don't look at it from that angle. They treat symptoms never a root cause (other than talk therapy in cases of abuse trauma or grief --confusion ect)..

I think when we have infections some of the treatments if not infection considerate and keeping infection treatmant in mind throughout prescribing and applying the psych meds..
I think sometimes can complicate the diseases further -- absolutely.

I know we had a God-awful time with it.

Mo

[This message has been edited by Mo (edited 15 July 2005).]


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Cheryl
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ILADS Brochures: http://www.ilads.org/brochures.html

What Psychiatrists Should Know About Lyme Disease http://www.ilads.org/PsychiatristBrochure.pdf

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