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Inflamed Mood: Autoimmune and Bipolar PT 2

Updated on June 9, 2015
RM Nash profile image

R.M. Nash MA CMHC, primarily writes articles related to mental health, education and relationships. Founder of Creating New Pathways LLC.

Inflamed Mood: Autoimmue and Bipolar Pt 2.

Voice of Bipolar Disorder


“Feel super energetic”

“ don’t feel need to sleep”

“ unable to sleep”

“mind is ON all the time”

“ creative thinking “

“ feel like always moving but really not getting anything done”

“ able to do what normally take multiple people to do, but I pay for it when depression hits”

“nightmares, hallucination, paranoid”

“ friendlier”

Depression: “ need to isolate”

“don’t care about anyone or anything”

“ exhausted, sleep to much”

“No sense of hope, feel like falling into a never ending hole.”

“ feel worthless”

“ cry hysterically”

“ Feel like sinking into a tar pit that just can’t get out of.”

“ Loose all ambition”

“ feel a need to curl up, make self-smaller in a dark room.

“ don’t want to live anymore.”

The voices are from a film called “Up and Down.” When the clients were asked about treatments they are or have been on and why they do or don’t take the meds. The majority said they were on medications. Some were also in psychotherapy which is the recommended combination for treatment. Most of the participants had some experience with psychotherapy, and felt it was beneficial. Some felt no benefit. Sadly others said that they felt it was beneficial but could not afford the service. Not all participating patients on medication, some by choice due in part because of the side effects of the drug treatments.

Additionally, many of the participants report not sharing their condition information with others out of fear, embarrassment and their experience with others when they have opened up about their condition. Many report having initial relief at finally having a diagnosis and learning they can get help. Others lived in denial until a major event in life changed their thinking. Part of the denial stems from issues outlined above, for others it is fear that they can never live a normal life. The reality is with treatment, many have fulfilling life.

Current Treatments

National Institute of Health, Retrieved 6/2/15


Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Psychoeducational Therapy

Family Therapy


Prozac Paxil

Zolof Wellbutrin


Lithium is most widely used and studied for Bipolar. It is prescribed to reduce severity and frequency of the manic symptoms of Bipolar. Lithium may also relieve or prevent Bipolar depression reducing risk of suicide. Lithium takes several weeks for full effect to be noticed by the client. While taking lithium regular blood test are required since lithium may affect on kidney and thyroid. Seventy-five percent of individuals on Lithium experience side effects. The side effects include: hand tremors, increased thirst, diarrhea, vomiting, weight gain, impaired memory, poor concentration, drowsiness, muscle weakness, hair loss, and acne and decreased thyroid function. Retrieved 6/4/15.


Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) (most research has been for unipolar: depression and not on bipolar). TMS uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of severe depression.

TMS sessions are generally 40 minutes each for 4 to 6 weeks. The person is able to drive self to and from procedure. TMS is relatively new procedure and often not covered by insurance. TMS only reported side effect is mild headache; can have normal conversation etc. during procedure.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Retrieved 6/4/15.

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ETC) is used in severe depression. In ETC a controlled electrical current is administered to the brain. Ultra brief pulses are recommended in order to reduce cognitive side effects. ETC requires the client to be sedated for 5 to 10 minutes. The individual is given muscle relaxant to avoid body jerking during procedure. The proceeded

intentionally causes a seizure. Cardiac pads are put in place and heart is monitored. After the procedure client recovers in a recovery room until blood pressure and breathing return to normal.

Some reported side effects include nausea, headache, muscle ache and soreness, and may have disorientation and confusion. ETC may be covered by insurance. Some may memory loss and other size effects. A client participant in “Up and Down: Bipolar” ( Retrieved 6/1/15.) a documentary tells her story of post ETC. In this she describes how the depression was relieved very quickly at least for a while. The side effect she reports feeling was memory loss. Not remembering who people are, or remembering them but not significant things about their relationship. Difficulty with finding places that she use to know for example. Retrieved 6/4/15.


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