informal poll - if there were a medication....

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by elaine_p, Jul 3, 2003.

  1. elaine_p

    elaine_p New Member

    Just an informal poll.

    If there were a medication you could take that would allow you to work, but not cure you, would you take it?

    I'm asking because a friend of mine is bipolar and she gets disability. Imho, if she'd take her meds she wouldn't need to be on disability. (Granted, I don't know much about manic-depressives except that many don't like the meds because they make it hard for them to think. Please don't scorch me with my ignorance, but if you want to educate me please do.)

    I see her getting disability when she doesn't need it *if she takes her meds*, and she goes off her meds whenever she darn well pleases. Maybe in situations like that a supervised medication program or something might be the answer.

    I don't really mind that she gets disability. I mind that so many of us who also need it are denied and denied and denied.

    Anyway, just curious what you all think.
  2. nancyneptune

    nancyneptune New Member

    I can't help it I do that everytime someone's name is Elaine, sorry.
    I've known many bipolar persons and to a person(heh) they hate Lithium, or whatever else they have to take.
    You didn't say how old your friend is, but if she's over 40 I'd not worry about her wanting disability. I'm on it too but I'm 52.
    If she's in her younger years then she should work. Wow, listen to me pass judgement.
    I do know how you feel about not being able to get SSD for Fibro tho, and everyone else with a hangnail gets it.
    To answer your question, YES I'd take a pill so I could work! I made big money before, now I'm below poverty level. This sux! N
  3. elaine_p

    elaine_p New Member

    I guess I mean even if the medicine left some of the symptoms or something. (I'd say even if it made it hard to think, like Lithium, but we all have that problem anyway!)

    Nancy--I must not have seen the movie you're talking about, and I'm not too young to have seen it, either! (almost 41)

    I don't mind that my friend gets disability. I mind that she gets it but doesn't need it if she stays on her meds, and that so many of us are denied.
  4. nancyneptune

    nancyneptune New Member

    I know you've seen The Graduate! hehehe
  5. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    As a former Psychiatric Social Worker, I never really understood why bipolar patients would often refuse to take Lithium or Depakote, though I had been taught that the mania felt so good they did not want to give it up. Many of our most famous writers, for example, were/are bipolar, and claim their creativity leaves them when they take drugs. During the mania phase, they can stay up all night and write like the dickens.
    After having fibro for many years, a sleep specialist put me on Welbutrin, and then I found out how bipolar patients feel. The drug made me manic. I could not sleep more than 3 hrs. per night, but the mania made me see that as a good thing. I decided I could go back to work full time and go back to school also, since I no longer needed to sleep, despite the fact that my fibro was still the same. Everything was wonderful, and no obstacles were in my way. It is an intoxicating feeling, and all of my spouse's exhortations that I could not possibly exist on 3 hrs. sleep per night forever fell on deaf ears. Then, luckily for me, on the 42nd day after I started taking the drug, I woke up covered in hives with difficulty breathing and had to go in to the doctor's for a cortisone shot and go off the drug. I now understand the intoxicating pull of mania, and why bipolars don't want to give it up.
    However, I agree with your frustrations. There are many mentally ill people who could work if they would only take drugs. Hebephrenic schizophrenics are notorious for this. Most of them can hold down full time work if they take meds, but many won't, and end up wandering the streets, homeless.
    I would take a drug in a second if it would make me a productive, responsible member of society again, and yes, it angers me that it is so hard for us to get disability, and so easy for them, even though they have other options. There is political background which explains why it's easier to get disability for mental problems, but this is not a politcal forum, so I won't go into that.
    Iwill say that I think we went too far when we closed all the mental hospitals and dumped psychotics out on the streets. Neurotics and those with most personality disorders may be able to fend for themselves, but psychotics need supervision.
    It is very hard for a normal to put up with untreated mania, so I applaud you for staying friends with this person. Maybe you can get her to listen to reason during her depressive phase, or call up her therapist and express your concerns, but I would not count on any changes.
    Klutzo
  6. elaine_p

    elaine_p New Member

    me for staying friends with her.

    I didn't really know she wasn't taking meds at first--I did notice her being extremely vehement against the "medical establishment" and drug companies, and otherwise figured she was just being a dry drunk. Then she was committed for alcohol treatment. THEN she was committed for her bipolar disease.

    I did tell her when she was on the meds that I thought she seemed "healthier"/saner/something when she was on them. Since then, she doesn't call much. I suspect she only calls me when she's on her meds. So there's really not much for me to put up with. :) (Plus, since she was the only person who reached out/back to me after I moved here I didn't have a lot of options. If I find I'm unable to deal with it, I won't stay friends with her, but if I just find it hard to be her friend I will. That's what we all want, right?)

    Also, I'd be interested in hearing the political stuff you can't get into here. If you want to send me an email, my address is in my bio. Just say it's from you. [This Message was Edited on 07/04/2003]
  7. beckster

    beckster New Member

    supplement they are selling now, called Serenity, I believe, they say it is a natural form of lithium. I was
    reading about it, I'm not manic or anything, but they say it sometimes helps migraines. I use pain control for the migraines but it is not total control, and if there is a natural thing for it, that would be better. (But so far this "natural" thing has eluded me.) It sounds kind of a stretch, but I have been a guinea pig a hundred times already, whats once more? But it makes me wonder if its for something severe like mania, if its safe to try for headaches. All opinions welcome! Beckster
  8. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    Dear Beckster - never heard of Serenity. I'll have to look it up just like you did! Have you tried GABA yet? It is all natural, we are proven to be deficient in it, and it is the major calming neurotransmitter in the brain. My migraines got a lot less severe and less often after about 2 months on it. I take the maximum dose of 750 mgs. twice a day. It is cheap and sold OTC at health food stores, and I think Prohealth sells it right here also. It is known in alt. medicine as "the chill pill". The herb Feverfew can also be taken as a preventative, as long as you are not allergic to Ragweed. If you do not have high blood pressure, the amino acid D-L- Phenylalanine can also be helpful, as well as reducing pain and depression. In order to prevent interference with other aminos, it should be pulsed, 8 weeks on and 8 weeks off, but the affects usually stay with you during the off times. It is taken 500 mgs. before each meal.

    Elaine - You may already know this, but many untreated bipolars become alcoholics in an attempt to medicate themselves, without even knowing what their problem is.
    I'll just give you the basics. President Reagan decided to save some $$$ by closing psychiatric hospitals and making it much harder to get SSDI for mental illness. This was directly responsible for about 36% of the homeless population we have. Later on, there was a backlash, with Democratic leadership overly easing up the rules for mental disability in an attempt to make up for Reagan's actions, making it easier to get a mental rather than a physical disability. My own SSDI lawyer told me to try to act mentally ill when I was sent to a shrink by SSDI, in order to help my case. He said it would make it a lot easier than Fibro alone,which none of the judges had ever heard of back then. The games people play!

    Klutzo
    [This Message was Edited on 07/04/2003]
  9. elaine_p

    elaine_p New Member