LEXAPRO: Judge Experience​s Antidepres​sant-Induc​ed Hypomania

A doctor who is telling the truth about the hypomanic episode this
judge experienced from his antidepressant?!!!!! How refreshing that
the patient is getting the truth rather than being told he had an
“underlying” Bipolar Disorder that was manifest by his antidepressant
use!!!!! Why can’t other doctors be as honest and come right out and
tell the patient that their Bipolar symptoms have been brought on by
their antidepressant?

BUT when a patient experiences mania or hypomania from an
antidepressant, it is ABSOLUTELY INSANE to think they will not
experience it again on a different antidepressant! He and his family
had better hold their breaths!

What a shame when this happened that he did not have a copy of my DVD,
“Bipolar, Shmypolar! Are You Really Bipolar or Misdiagnosed Due to the
Use of or Abrupt Discontinuation of an Antidepressant?” If he had, the
DVD would have served as a warning for him about this common reaction
to both antidepressant use and abrupt withdrawal from antidepressants.

Why are these “Bipolar” patients not told they are suffering
continuous mild seizure activity which is what Bipolar Disorder is – a
sleep/seizure disorder brought on by the drugs?! ANTI-depressants are
stimulants, stimulants over stimulate the brain producing seizures.
The one time of day we all are in seizure activity is during REM sleep
– the dream state. So antidepressants are basically chemically
inducing the dream state during wakefulness.

By the way, the names “Mania” and “Hypomania” should be changed to
“Shear Hell on Earth!!!!!!!”

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org & www.ssristories.drugawareness.org
Author: Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin
Nightmare – The Complete Truth of the Full Impact of
Antidepressants Upon Us & Our World & Help! I
Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!

First, there was his heart stent surgery in the spring of 2009.

Following surgery, he found himself feeling depressed, a scenario
experienced by some heart patients, he later learned. The depression
was compounded by the death of a good friend, he said.

Next, came a period of his taking an antidepressant, Lexapro,  that he
found helpful. But, he said, he stopped the medicine, on his own, too
quickly.

What happened next, he said, was later diagnosed as an episode of
hypomania, an expression of bipolar disorder. . .

Blanche [Downing’s physician], though, describes the episode as a case
of antidepressant-induced hypomania, attributing it to a second
antidepressant that Downing was later prescribed by another physician.

“Medications can commonly cause hypomania, and it’s not really
understood why,” said Dr. Mark Townsend, a professor of psychiatry at
the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans.

Antidepressants can bring on hypomania, as can steroids, he said.

“There’s really not a diagnostic category for antidepressant-induced
hypomania” in the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders, Blanche said, but he predicted there will be one in the
manual’s next edition.

Find this article at:

http://www.2theadvocate.com/features/people/Handling-hypomania.html?showAll=y&c=y

Former Judge Bob Downing explains episode that led to his resignation

By ELLYN COUVILLION
Advocate staff writer
Published: Mar 13, 2011 – Page: 1D

Comments (3)

Bob Downing, former 1st Circuit Court of Appeal judge, whose sudden
resignation from the bench last summer was surrounded by confusion,
can sort  out the events on a kind of timeline.

First, there was his heart stent surgery in the spring of 2009.

Following surgery, he found himself feeling depressed, a scenario
experienced by some heart patients, he later learned. The depression
was compounded by the death of a good friend, he said.

Next, came a period of his taking an antidepressant, Lexapro,  that he
found helpful. But, he said, he stopped the medicine, on his own, too
quickly.

What happened next, he said, was later diagnosed as an episode of
hypomania, an expression of bipolar disorder.

During the episode that lasted approximately three months, Downing
spent money wildly, alienated family, friends and employees and
resigned from the judicial bench, about the time he was hospitalized
and treated.

“It was a short period. It seemed like an eternity,” Downing, 61, said
recently from an office at the law firm of Dué, Price, Guidry,
Piedrahita and Andrews, where he’s working in an “of counsel” status.

In that capacity, Downing said that attorneys with the firm will work
with him on cases he brings in, but he is not on salary at the firm.
Downing handles personal injury cases.

Now being treated with medication for what was likely a one-time event
and back to feeling like himself, Downing said he recently decided to
speak out about his experience for several reasons.

“For people who have open heart surgery or stents, watch out for
depression,” Downing said.

One in five people experience an episode of depression after having
heart surgery, according to the website,http://www.psychcentral.com,
an independent mental health and psychology network run by mental
health professionals.

Downing also advises people taking antidepressants to stay in touch
with their doctor.

And, he said, “If you start feeling really wonderful and start
spending a lot of money, you need to see a counselor,” Downing said.

Hypomania is “a condition similar to mania but less severe,” according
to MedicineNet.com, a physician-produced online health-care publishing
company.

“The symptoms are similar, with elevated mood, increased activity,
decreased need for sleep, grandiosity, racing thoughts and the like,”
the company reports at its medical dictionary
website,http://www.medterms.com.

“It is important to diagnose hypomania, because, as an expression of
bipolar disorder, it can cycle into depression and carry an increased
risk of suicide,” the site reports.

Bipolar disorder is marked by periods of elevated or irritable mood —
the mania — alternating with depression, according to the National
Institutes of Health.

The mood swings between mania and depression can be very abrupt, it reports.

“Whether it’s hypomania or mania is a matter of severity,” said local
psychiatrist Dr. Robert Blanche, who is Downing’s physician.

“In general, it’s an elevated or an irritable mood that’s not normal
for the person,” Blanche said.

“In his (Downing’s) case, he was irritable and also, maybe the word is
‘expansive’ in his affects, (showing) euphoria, elation and
excitement,” Blanche said.

“He had never had a history of this before,” Blanche said.

Downing theorizes that his stopping his antidepressant too quickly, on
his own, led to the episode.

Blanche, though, describes the episode as a case of
antidepressant-induced hypomania, attributing it to a second
antidepressant that Downing was later prescribed by another physician.

“Medications can commonly cause hypomania, and it’s not really
understood why,” said Dr. Mark Townsend, a professor of psychiatry at
the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans.

Antidepressants can bring on hypomania, as can steroids, he said.

“There’s really not a diagnostic category for antidepressant-induced
hypomania” in the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders, Blanche said, but he predicted there will be one in the
manual’s next edition.

Blanche said the only way to arrest the condition of hypomania is for
the person to go into the hospital so that their medications can be
adjusted.

During his own hospitalization, Downing was prescribed a mood
stabilizer, Depakote, classified as an anti-seizure medicine and the
medicine most commonly prescribed for mania by psychiatrists, Blanche
said.

The medicine acts to bind up what can be described as “excitatory”
chemicals in the brain, Blanche said.

Ultimately, though, that can result in a depletion of those chemicals
and a person can slide into a depression, Blanche said.

“If (a patient) is on a mood stabilizer, you can introduce an
antidepressant,” he said.

Downing said that his current antidepressant, Wellbutrin, is working
well for him.

After living through a hypomanic episode, some patients choose to stay
on the medicine, Blanche said.

“Some people will actually choose to stay on the medicine, just
because they don’t want it to ever happen again,” he said.

Fortunately, the condition “is one of the most treatable conditions in
psychiatry,” added Blanche, who serves as the psychiatrist at the East
Baton Rouge Parish jail and is the medical director of an emergency
psychiatric treatment center affiliated with the Earl K. Long Medical
Center.

Downing’s experiences this summer seem to have had all the markings of
manic episodes of bipolar disorder.

“Around the first of June 2010, I started feeling really good, started
talking a lot more, making big plans,” Downing said.

Around that time, he went to speak at a law conference in Carmel, Calif.

“I went to Yosemite, it was beautiful. I would wake up at 3 o’clock, 4
o’clock, 5 o’clock (thinking) ‘You need to retire, buy some foreclosed
properties, fix them up and make money to help people in India dig
wells,” Downing said.

“I was making grandiose plans,” he said.

Usually frugal, he started spending money, too, he said.

Before the episode was over, he had run up debts of almost $100,000,
buying such things as a 1971 Rolls Royce, three Harley-Davidson
motorcycles and a 1952 police car, he said.

He also bought a $1,000 commercial pressure washer, a large lawn
tractor and expensive new tools to help put a formerly homeless man
into business, he said.

“He just wasn’t himself,” said his wife, Pam Downing.

The couple will have been married 30 years on March 29.

“When the person is in that condition, you really can’t reason with
them,” Blanche said.

“The amazing thing about it is that it robs the person of their
insight,” he said.

In contrast, people are “painfully aware” of the other aspect of
bipolar disorder — depression, Blanche said.

Physicians and employers may miss a condition like hypomania, said
Townsend, because, like most people, “we like happy people, perky
people.”

“There’s a little more-rapid thinking, (rapid) speech, a decreased
need for sleep” in someone with mania, he said.

“When it becomes a condition is when it affects functioning,” Townsend said.

“It’s wonderful that the judge is willing to be an advocate for
bipolar disorder” awareness, Townsend said, referring to Downing.

“It’s very common, and people with it can be very productive members
of our society. It’s all around us,” he said.

Downing’s symptoms brought along misunderstandings among friends and
family members and conflicting ideas on the cause and solution of the
situation, he and family members said
Downing said he refused to seek treatment.

Finally, at one point, his eldest daughter, Kathryne Hart, 27, after
consulting with a physician, sought to have her father committed to a
hospital. Hart’s efforts came after Downing threatened suicide if
there was any more talk about his going to see a doctor.

“She was very brave,” Downing said.

But Downing wasn’t at home as expected when sheriff’s deputies arrived
to bring him to the hospital.

Pam Downing, who supported Hart in the decision, had taken the
couple’s son, Wes Downing, then 24, to visit a relative in Missouri
and to get away from the stressful situation at that time. The
Downings also have another daughter,  Kiera Downing, 26.

Shortly afterward, a group of Downing’s friends brought Downing to see
Blanche, who then admitted Downing into a psychiatric hospital, and
Downing began the recovery process, Kathryne Hart said.

Hart said that the threat of her father taking his life was something
she couldn’t ignore.

When she was in middle school, she said, two fellow students killed
themselves within a week of each other.

“I couldn’t take that chance,” she said. “I was going to do anything
to save him.”

The family said it took about a month after his hospitalization for
Downing to begin seeming like himself again and to understand what had
happened.

Downing said he has struggled with guilt over the debt he accrued
during the manic episode.

He’s taken heart, he said, from something he read in the book “Words
to Lift Your Spirit” by Dale Brown:

“When we do experience failure in our jobs or in our personal lives,
we must not shackle ourselves with guilt, because it can lead to the
silent suffocation of our spirit.”

Downing said that his speaking about his experience is a way to bring
something positive from it.

“He’s 100 percent better,” Hart said. “He’s completely back to normal.
He’s reconciled with all of us.”

“Something like this either tears a family apart or makes it
stronger,” Pam Downing said.

For them, the experience has made the family stronger, she said,
adding that they received a lot of support from the pastors of their
church, First Presbyterian.

Downing, who receives a pension for his years of public service,
served as a district judge for 15 years and as a 1st Circuit Court of
Appeal judge for 10 years.

Over the years, he also worked in various volunteer programs for
prison inmates, such as a Bible study and a program that prepared
inmates for getting jobs when they were released.

He also previously served on the boards of Cenikor, a treatment
community to help people end substance abuse, and the Baton Rouge
Marine Institute, now AMIkids Baton Rouge.

Looking back on the events of last summer, he said, “Twenty-five years
in public service and, then, at the end of my career, people are
going, ‘What’s happening? Something’s wrong.’”

Looking ahead to the future, Downing said, “I’ve been a positive
person most of my life. I can see light at the end of the tunnel.”

Bipolar disorder, classified as a mood disorder, affects about 5.7
million Americans or approximately 2.6 percent of the U.S. population.

The disorder, which affects men and women equally, involves periods of
mania — elevated or irritable mood — alternating with periods of
depression. There are two types. Bipolar disorder type I involves
periods of major depression and was formerly called manic depression.
Bipolar disorder type II involves hypomania, with symptoms that aren’t
as extreme as the symptoms of mania.

In most people with bipolar disorder, there is no clear cause.

The following, though, may trigger a manic episode in people
vulnerable to the illness:

Life changes such as childbirth.
Medication such as antidepressants and steroids.
Periods of sleeplessness.
Recreational drug use.

Symptoms of the manic phase can last from days to months and include:

Agitation or irritation.
Inflated self-esteem.
Noticeably elevated mood.
Poor temper control.
Impaired judgment.
Spending sprees.

Medicines called mood stabilizers are the first line of treatment.
Antidepressant medications can be added to mood-stabilizing drugs.
Other medications used to treat bipolar disorder are anti-psychotic
drugs and anti-anxiety drugs.

Source: The National Institutes of Health

Capitol news bureau writer Michelle Millhollon contributed to this story.

541 total views, no views today

LEXAPRO: Judge Experiences Antidepressant-Induced Hypomania

A doctor who is telling the truth about the hypomanic episode this
judge experienced from his antidepressant?!!!!! How refreshing that
the patient is getting the truth rather than being told he had an
“underlying” Bipolar Disorder that was manifest by his antidepressant
use!!!!! Why can’t other doctors be as honest and come right out and
tell the patient that their Bipolar symptoms have been brought on by
their antidepressant?

BUT when a patient experiences mania or hypomania from an
antidepressant, it is ABSOLUTELY INSANE to think they will not
experience it again on a different antidepressant! He and his family
had better hold their breaths!

What a shame when this happened that he did not have a copy of my DVD,
“Bipolar, Shmypolar! Are You Really Bipolar or Misdiagnosed Due to the
Use of or Abrupt Discontinuation of an Antidepressant?” If he had, the
DVD would have served as a warning for him about this common reaction
to both antidepressant use and abrupt withdrawal from antidepressants.

Why are these “Bipolar” patients not told they are suffering
continuous mild seizure activity which is what Bipolar Disorder is – a
sleep/seizure disorder brought on by the drugs?! ANTI-depressants are
stimulants, stimulants over stimulate the brain producing seizures.
The one time of day we all are in seizure activity is during REM sleep
– the dream state. So antidepressants are basically chemically
inducing the dream state during wakefulness.

By the way, the names “Mania” and “Hypomania” should be changed to
“Shear Hell on Earth!!!!!!!”

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org & www.ssristories.drugawareness.org
Author: Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin
Nightmare – The Complete Truth of the Full Impact of
Antidepressants Upon Us & Our World & Help! I
Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!

First, there was his heart stent surgery in the spring of 2009.

Following surgery, he found himself feeling depressed, a scenario
experienced by some heart patients, he later learned. The depression
was compounded by the death of a good friend, he said.

Next, came a period of his taking an antidepressant, Lexapro,  that he
found helpful. But, he said, he stopped the medicine, on his own, too
quickly.

What happened next, he said, was later diagnosed as an episode of
hypomania, an expression of bipolar disorder. . .

Blanche [Downing’s physician], though, describes the episode as a case
of antidepressant-induced hypomania, attributing it to a second
antidepressant that Downing was later prescribed by another physician.

“Medications can commonly cause hypomania, and it’s not really
understood why,” said Dr. Mark Townsend, a professor of psychiatry at
the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans.

Antidepressants can bring on hypomania, as can steroids, he said.

“There’s really not a diagnostic category for antidepressant-induced
hypomania” in the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders, Blanche said, but he predicted there will be one in the
manual’s next edition.

Find this article at:

http://www.2theadvocate.com/features/people/Handling-hypomania.html?showAll=y&c=y

Former Judge Bob Downing explains episode that led to his resignation

By ELLYN COUVILLION
Advocate staff writer
Published: Mar 13, 2011 – Page: 1D

Comments (3)

Bob Downing, former 1st Circuit Court of Appeal judge, whose sudden
resignation from the bench last summer was surrounded by confusion,
can sort  out the events on a kind of timeline.

First, there was his heart stent surgery in the spring of 2009.

Following surgery, he found himself feeling depressed, a scenario
experienced by some heart patients, he later learned. The depression
was compounded by the death of a good friend, he said.

Next, came a period of his taking an antidepressant, Lexapro,  that he
found helpful. But, he said, he stopped the medicine, on his own, too
quickly.

What happened next, he said, was later diagnosed as an episode of
hypomania, an expression of bipolar disorder.

During the episode that lasted approximately three months, Downing
spent money wildly, alienated family, friends and employees and
resigned from the judicial bench, about the time he was hospitalized
and treated.

“It was a short period. It seemed like an eternity,” Downing, 61, said
recently from an office at the law firm of Dué, Price, Guidry,
Piedrahita and Andrews, where he’s working in an “of counsel” status.

In that capacity, Downing said that attorneys with the firm will work
with him on cases he brings in, but he is not on salary at the firm.
Downing handles personal injury cases.

Now being treated with medication for what was likely a one-time event
and back to feeling like himself, Downing said he recently decided to
speak out about his experience for several reasons.

“For people who have open heart surgery or stents, watch out for
depression,” Downing said.

One in five people experience an episode of depression after having
heart surgery, according to the website,http://www.psychcentral.com,
an independent mental health and psychology network run by mental
health professionals.

Downing also advises people taking antidepressants to stay in touch
with their doctor.

And, he said, “If you start feeling really wonderful and start
spending a lot of money, you need to see a counselor,” Downing said.

Hypomania is “a condition similar to mania but less severe,” according
to MedicineNet.com, a physician-produced online health-care publishing
company.

“The symptoms are similar, with elevated mood, increased activity,
decreased need for sleep, grandiosity, racing thoughts and the like,”
the company reports at its medical dictionary
website,http://www.medterms.com.

“It is important to diagnose hypomania, because, as an expression of
bipolar disorder, it can cycle into depression and carry an increased
risk of suicide,” the site reports.

Bipolar disorder is marked by periods of elevated or irritable mood —
the mania — alternating with depression, according to the National
Institutes of Health.

The mood swings between mania and depression can be very abrupt, it reports.

“Whether it’s hypomania or mania is a matter of severity,” said local
psychiatrist Dr. Robert Blanche, who is Downing’s physician.

“In general, it’s an elevated or an irritable mood that’s not normal
for the person,” Blanche said.

“In his (Downing’s) case, he was irritable and also, maybe the word is
‘expansive’ in his affects, (showing) euphoria, elation and
excitement,” Blanche said.

“He had never had a history of this before,” Blanche said.

Downing theorizes that his stopping his antidepressant too quickly, on
his own, led to the episode.

Blanche, though, describes the episode as a case of
antidepressant-induced hypomania, attributing it to a second
antidepressant that Downing was later prescribed by another physician.

“Medications can commonly cause hypomania, and it’s not really
understood why,” said Dr. Mark Townsend, a professor of psychiatry at
the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans.

Antidepressants can bring on hypomania, as can steroids, he said.

“There’s really not a diagnostic category for antidepressant-induced
hypomania” in the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders, Blanche said, but he predicted there will be one in the
manual’s next edition.

Blanche said the only way to arrest the condition of hypomania is for
the person to go into the hospital so that their medications can be
adjusted.

During his own hospitalization, Downing was prescribed a mood
stabilizer, Depakote, classified as an anti-seizure medicine and the
medicine most commonly prescribed for mania by psychiatrists, Blanche
said.

The medicine acts to bind up what can be described as “excitatory”
chemicals in the brain, Blanche said.

Ultimately, though, that can result in a depletion of those chemicals
and a person can slide into a depression, Blanche said.

“If (a patient) is on a mood stabilizer, you can introduce an
antidepressant,” he said.

Downing said that his current antidepressant, Wellbutrin, is working
well for him.

After living through a hypomanic episode, some patients choose to stay
on the medicine, Blanche said.

“Some people will actually choose to stay on the medicine, just
because they don’t want it to ever happen again,” he said.

Fortunately, the condition “is one of the most treatable conditions in
psychiatry,” added Blanche, who serves as the psychiatrist at the East
Baton Rouge Parish jail and is the medical director of an emergency
psychiatric treatment center affiliated with the Earl K. Long Medical
Center.

Downing’s experiences this summer seem to have had all the markings of
manic episodes of bipolar disorder.

“Around the first of June 2010, I started feeling really good, started
talking a lot more, making big plans,” Downing said.

Around that time, he went to speak at a law conference in Carmel, Calif.

“I went to Yosemite, it was beautiful. I would wake up at 3 o’clock, 4
o’clock, 5 o’clock (thinking) ‘You need to retire, buy some foreclosed
properties, fix them up and make money to help people in India dig
wells,” Downing said.

“I was making grandiose plans,” he said.

Usually frugal, he started spending money, too, he said.

Before the episode was over, he had run up debts of almost $100,000,
buying such things as a 1971 Rolls Royce, three Harley-Davidson
motorcycles and a 1952 police car, he said.

He also bought a $1,000 commercial pressure washer, a large lawn
tractor and expensive new tools to help put a formerly homeless man
into business, he said.

“He just wasn’t himself,” said his wife, Pam Downing.

The couple will have been married 30 years on March 29.

“When the person is in that condition, you really can’t reason with
them,” Blanche said.

“The amazing thing about it is that it robs the person of their
insight,” he said.

In contrast, people are “painfully aware” of the other aspect of
bipolar disorder — depression, Blanche said.

Physicians and employers may miss a condition like hypomania, said
Townsend, because, like most people, “we like happy people, perky
people.”

“There’s a little more-rapid thinking, (rapid) speech, a decreased
need for sleep” in someone with mania, he said.

“When it becomes a condition is when it affects functioning,” Townsend said.

“It’s wonderful that the judge is willing to be an advocate for
bipolar disorder” awareness, Townsend said, referring to Downing.

“It’s very common, and people with it can be very productive members
of our society. It’s all around us,” he said.

Downing’s symptoms brought along misunderstandings among friends and
family members and conflicting ideas on the cause and solution of the
situation, he and family members said
Downing said he refused to seek treatment.

Finally, at one point, his eldest daughter, Kathryne Hart, 27, after
consulting with a physician, sought to have her father committed to a
hospital. Hart’s efforts came after Downing threatened suicide if
there was any more talk about his going to see a doctor.

“She was very brave,” Downing said.

But Downing wasn’t at home as expected when sheriff’s deputies arrived
to bring him to the hospital.

Pam Downing, who supported Hart in the decision, had taken the
couple’s son, Wes Downing, then 24, to visit a relative in Missouri
and to get away from the stressful situation at that time. The
Downings also have another daughter,  Kiera Downing, 26.

Shortly afterward, a group of Downing’s friends brought Downing to see
Blanche, who then admitted Downing into a psychiatric hospital, and
Downing began the recovery process, Kathryne Hart said.

Hart said that the threat of her father taking his life was something
she couldn’t ignore.

When she was in middle school, she said, two fellow students killed
themselves within a week of each other.

“I couldn’t take that chance,” she said. “I was going to do anything
to save him.”

The family said it took about a month after his hospitalization for
Downing to begin seeming like himself again and to understand what had
happened.

Downing said he has struggled with guilt over the debt he accrued
during the manic episode.

He’s taken heart, he said, from something he read in the book “Words
to Lift Your Spirit” by Dale Brown:

“When we do experience failure in our jobs or in our personal lives,
we must not shackle ourselves with guilt, because it can lead to the
silent suffocation of our spirit.”

Downing said that his speaking about his experience is a way to bring
something positive from it.

“He’s 100 percent better,” Hart said. “He’s completely back to normal.
He’s reconciled with all of us.”

“Something like this either tears a family apart or makes it
stronger,” Pam Downing said.

For them, the experience has made the family stronger, she said,
adding that they received a lot of support from the pastors of their
church, First Presbyterian.

Downing, who receives a pension for his years of public service,
served as a district judge for 15 years and as a 1st Circuit Court of
Appeal judge for 10 years.

Over the years, he also worked in various volunteer programs for
prison inmates, such as a Bible study and a program that prepared
inmates for getting jobs when they were released.

He also previously served on the boards of Cenikor, a treatment
community to help people end substance abuse, and the Baton Rouge
Marine Institute, now AMIkids Baton Rouge.

Looking back on the events of last summer, he said, “Twenty-five years
in public service and, then, at the end of my career, people are
going, ‘What’s happening? Something’s wrong.’”

Looking ahead to the future, Downing said, “I’ve been a positive
person most of my life. I can see light at the end of the tunnel.”

Bipolar disorder, classified as a mood disorder, affects about 5.7
million Americans or approximately 2.6 percent of the U.S. population.

The disorder, which affects men and women equally, involves periods of
mania — elevated or irritable mood — alternating with periods of
depression. There are two types. Bipolar disorder type I involves
periods of major depression and was formerly called manic depression.
Bipolar disorder type II involves hypomania, with symptoms that aren’t
as extreme as the symptoms of mania.

In most people with bipolar disorder, there is no clear cause.

The following, though, may trigger a manic episode in people
vulnerable to the illness:

Life changes such as childbirth.
Medication such as antidepressants and steroids.
Periods of sleeplessness.
Recreational drug use.

Symptoms of the manic phase can last from days to months and include:

Agitation or irritation.
Inflated self-esteem.
Noticeably elevated mood.
Poor temper control.
Impaired judgment.
Spending sprees.

Medicines called mood stabilizers are the first line of treatment.
Antidepressant medications can be added to mood-stabilizing drugs.
Other medications used to treat bipolar disorder are anti-psychotic
drugs and anti-anxiety drugs.

Source: The National Institutes of Health

Capitol news bureau writer Michelle Millhollon contributed to this story.

1,351 total views, 3 views today

MEDS FOR PTSD: Soldier with brain injury, treated for PTSD commits suicide

Note: Anyone who has suffered a brain injury should never be given an antidepressant according to Dr. Jay Seastrunk, a neurologist. It can lower the seizure threshold and produce seizure activity faster than normal.

Also keep in mind that antidepressants affect memory so strongly that “amnesia” is listed as a “frequent” side effect. Combine that with the information we have that Alzheimer’s is a condition of elevated serotonin levels and antidepressants are designed to specifically increase serotonin levels and you can see how many of the problems Ray was dealing with we being caused by the medication he was being given.

Dr. Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director, International Coalition for Drug Awareness, www.drugawareness.org
____________________________________________________________________________________

In the very hours we were celebrating Andrew in Washington, tragedy was unfolding in Texas. Lt. Col. Raymond Rivas, a 53-year old civil affairs officer who had dedicated his career to rebuilding war torn countries, was found dead in his car in the parking lot of Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio Texas.

Colleagues of Ray’s said prescription pills and notes he wrote to his family and wife, Colleen, were found. A military source told me all indications are Ray took his own life.

His devastated family understandably declined to talk publicly, and the military won’t discuss the case citing privacy concerns. But friends and colleagues I spoke to confirmed that Ray had suffered multiple blast injuries to his brain from bomb attacks during several deployments over the years.

In October 2006, Ray survived an attack in Iraq that rendered him briefly unconscious. He was transferred to Europe but somehow talked the doctors into sending him back to the war zone. A week later, ill and confused, he was sent back to the United States.

A close associate tells me that at first, despite being diagnosed with traumatic brain injury in Iraq, some doctors thought Ray might be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. They didn’t realize he had all the symptoms of traumatic brain injury. He had trouble talking, reasoning and remembering.

He was sent to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio so he could be near his family, but for the first few months he just sat in his room. Fellow soldiers helped him with his bathing, dressing and eating.

Finally, Ray was assigned a case manager, and things began to move rapidly. He got therapy and was able to go home.

But by all accounts from his friends, Ray had become seriously debilitated by the injuries to his brain. A private email shown to CNN revealed that Ray had been diagnosed with rapidly emerging Alzheimer’s disease. The cumulative impact of all those bomb blasts were destroying his brain. Colleagues say Ray knew he might have to move to an assisted living facility.

Ray’s doctors are not discussing his treatment because of privacy concerns.

A colleague told me Ray was tired and in pain on the night of July 15. He was found in his car in the parking lot at the army hospital where he had spent so long trying to get better.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/07/27/starr.extraordinary/index.html?iref=24hours
Behind the Scenes: Triumph and tragedy for two wounded soldiers

* Story Highlights
* CNN’s Barbara Starr celebrated a victory and mourned a loss on July 15
* An injured Marine was celebrating getting into Harvard Law School
* On same night, a warrior with a traumatic brain injury was found dead in his car
* Men’s stories are linked — both pleaded with the government to aid injured soldiers

By Barbara Starr
CNN Pentagon Correspondent

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Where were you on the night of July 15? You may not even remember, but for me it was an extraordinary evening, an evening of unimaginable triumph and unbearable tragedy.

But I would not actually know everything that happened until the night was long over.

A couple of weeks before July 15, a friend who works with injured troops emailed me to say it was time for Andrew’s going away party.

Andrew Kinard is a young Marine I first met a few years ago at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington where he was recovering from a devastating IED attack in Iraq. He had stepped on the roadside bomb and lost his entire body below the hips.

The party being arranged was Andrew’s farewell to D.C. Andrew is off to the rigors of Harvard Law School. He’s says he’s itching to get into a courtroom.

You need to remember the name Andrew Kinard. Many of his friends believe Andrew is such an amazing man that he will become president of the United States. If I had to bet, I’d say it could happen.

I wouldn’t have missed the party for the world. I was touched that this tight-knit community of wounded warriors had included me in this very special, very intimate evening.

There was a display of photos of Andrew serving in Iraq. I suddenly realized I never knew how tall he was before the war. There were a few sniffles and wiping of eyes in the room for a Marine whose dream of service to his country ended within a few months of getting to Iraq. But sniffles didn’t last long and the evening became one of hugs, laughter and good wishes (and more than a few beers) for a young Marine who had triumphed over what the war had dealt him.

But my warm feelings didn’t last long. The next day another source in the wounded troop community came to me in the Pentagon hallway with another tale.

“You have to do something about the story of Ray Rivas,” he said.

In the very hours we were celebrating Andrew in Washington, tragedy was unfolding in Texas. Lt. Col. Raymond Rivas, a 53-year old civil affairs officer who had dedicated his career to rebuilding war torn countries, was found dead in his car in the parking lot of Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio Texas.

Colleagues of Ray’s said prescription pills and notes he wrote to his family and wife, Colleen, were found. A military source told me all indications are Ray took his own life.

His devastated family understandably declined to talk publicly, and the military won’t discuss the case citing privacy concerns. But friends and colleagues I spoke to confirmed that Ray had suffered multiple blast injuries to his brain from bomb attacks during several deployments over the years.

In October 2006, Ray survived an attack in Iraq that rendered him briefly unconscious. He was transferred to Europe but somehow talked the doctors into sending him back to the war zone. A week later, ill and confused, he was sent back to the United States.

A close associate tells me that at first, despite being diagnosed with traumatic brain injury in Iraq, some doctors thought Ray might be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. They didn’t realize he had all the symptoms of traumatic brain injury. He had trouble talking, reasoning and remembering.

He was sent to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio so he could be near his family, but for the first few months he just sat in his room. Fellow soldiers helped him with his bathing, dressing and eating.

Finally, Ray was assigned a case manager, and things began to move rapidly. He got therapy and was able to go home.

But by all accounts from his friends, Ray had become seriously debilitated by the injuries to his brain. A private email shown to CNN revealed that Ray had been diagnosed with rapidly emerging Alzheimer’s disease. The cumulative impact of all those bomb blasts were destroying his brain. Colleagues say Ray knew he might have to move to an assisted living facility.

Ray’s doctors are not discussing his treatment because of privacy concerns.

A colleague told me Ray was tired and in pain on the night of July 15. He was found in his car in the parking lot at the army hospital where he had spent so long trying to get better.

But Ray will be remembered for all he did for others. Even with all his suffering, he wanted to make sure other injured troops were helped. In April he and his wife Colleen went to Capitol Hill to testify with other wounded warriors about their needs.

Sitting on that panel with Ray was Andrew Kinard.

All AboutBrooke Army Medical Center

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4/18/2001 – Paxil Is Approved for Anxiety Disorder?!

Incredible! The FDA continues to undermine the health and safety of America
with this latest approval – as if doctors had ever noticed that Paxil was NOT
approved for anxiety before this. They have been handing it out like candy
for any and everything they can think of for years.

What is so disconcerting about this is that anxiety can be caused by two
disorders in particular – low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or seizure activity.
Paxil can trigger both hypoglycemia and seizures. So, if a doctor does not
check to see if the patient is suffering from either of those disorders (and
that is hard to do in the three minutes it has been reported that it usually
takes for a doctor to recommend one of these SSRIs), the Paxil could throw
the patient into serious blood sugar problems or seizures.

Did the FDA consider any of that information before this approval?
Considering the number of drugs pulled from the market in the last few years,
chances are slim that they did.

So now many more ethical doctors who were not handing out Paxil for anxiety
before will feel that with the FDA’s approval they can do so without worry.
No one has warned them that the patient will be lucky to live through the
horrific withdrawal though. As Dr. Nancy Snyderman pointed out in the 20/20
special last August, it may take patients up to a year to get off this drug
safely. (Something I have been saying for years.)

Once again we have the FDA to thank. Isn’t it long past time for them to be
sued for the lives being lost to their incompetence? I guess I just see too
many families wiped out in murder/suicides and too many mothers killing their
children and too many school shootings and workplace violence incidences
induced by Paxil to be patient any longer about this.

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition For Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/04/17/business/17GLAX.html?searchpv=nytToday

April 17, 2001

Paxil Is Approved for Anxiety Disorder

By BLOOMBERG NEWS

WASHINGTON, April 16 (Bloomberg News) — Glaxo- SmithKline P.L.C. has won the
Food and Drug Administration’s approval to market its antidepressant Paxil
for treating general anxiety disorder, a new use for the drug.

That makes Paxil the first drug in its class to be approved for the
condition, which affects about 10 million Americans and involves excessive,
often debilitating worrying, the company said today.

“Generalized anxiety disorder can paralyze sufferers with uncontrollable
worry, devastating people’s lives,” said Jack Gorman, a professor in the
department of psychiatry at Columbia University. “Paxil provides a new
alternative to help sufferers regain control over their lives.”

Paxil is already approved for treating depression, obsessive- compulsive
disorder, social phobia and panic disorder. With sales of $2.4 billion, Paxil
was the world’s seventh top-selling drug in 2000, according to figures
compiled by the prescription drug tracker IMS Health Inc.

New indications are important to the company’s efforts to defend Paxil, which
belongs to same class as Eli Lilly’s Prozac, against generic competitors.

In a different class of medicines, two antidepressants, Effexor from American
Home Products and Buspar from Bristol-Myers Squibb, are also approved to
treat general anxiety disorder.

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4/13/2001 – Drugs not genes cause birth defects in babies of epileptic women

Thanks to our director in Norway we have this new information out of the
Guardian in the UK on anti-seizure meds. Anti-seizure meds are often given
along with antidepressants due to the seizure activity induced by the
antidepressants. This seizure activity manifests itself in various forms
including mania – a condition in which the brain is in a continuous mild
seizure activity that alters ones consciousness and behavior.

Note this statement in particular: “They found that the babies of women who
had taken drugs for epilepsy had a much higher rate of birth defects – 20.6%
of infants exposed to one drug, and 28% of infants exposed to two or more
drugs in the womb. This figure compared with 8.5% of those having birth
defects and mothers who had taken nothing.”

With that information in mind recall that Jeffrey Dahmer’s mother was taking
23 pills daily, the large majority of those being anti-seizure meds. What
were his chances of birth defects or various forms of retarded development?
Why can we not understand that when a mother is on a mind-altering medication
that the baby’s brain is certainly going to be affected as well?

What a shame that these mothers are not made aware of simple alternatives
such as Omega 3 oils for seizures or Noni, the fruit juice out of Tahiti.
These are a couple of simple non-toxic solutions to the seizures for which
they are taking these damaging drugs.

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4169237,00.html

Drugs not genes cause birth defects in babies of epileptic women

Sarah Boseley, health editor

Guardian

Thursday April 12, 2001

Birth defects in the babies of women who take medicine for epilepsy while
they are pregnant are caused by the drugs and not by the epilepsy, according
to new research reported in the US.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine today, claims
that the idea that the genetic abnormalities which cause the epilepsy are
then passed on to the foetus, is wrong.

Lewis B Holmes and his colleagues from the paediatric service of
Massachusetts general hospital, in Boston, say it is the medication which is
to blame for the children’s defects.

Since the 1970s it has been recognised that women taking the drugs most
frequently given to prevent epileptic fits, have a higher risk than usual of
giving birth to babies with certain malformations, such as abnormalities of
the face and fingers, and retarded growth.

The Massachusetts team examined 316 babies born to women who had taken
anticonvulsant drugs during pregnancy and 98 babies of women with a history
of epilepsy who had not had the medication.

They compared the babies with 508 other babies whose mothers did not have
epilepsy and had not taken medication while pregnant.

They found that the babies of women who had taken drugs for epilepsy had a
much higher rate of birth defects – 20.6% of infants exposed to one drug, and
28% of infants exposed to two or more drugs in the womb. This figure compared
with 8.5% of those having birth defects and mothers who had taken nothing.

Women with epilepsy who had not taken drugs in pregnancy were no more likely
to have a baby with birth defects than women who had no history of the
disease.

The research poses a big dilemma for women with epilepsy, as stopping the
medication would put some women and their unborn babies at risk of damage
from seizures.

A spokeswoman for the British Epilepsy Association said it might not always
occur to GPs to raise the issue with their female patients. “But it is really
important for all women with epilepsy who are planning a family to go and
seek specialist advice beforehand so that the medication can be looked at and
then possibly changed,” she said.

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Kerri’s Story – My Dark Place on Psychotropic Drugs and ECT

“I had the “electric jitz which feels literally like hot coals inside your back.”

 

An Introduction by Ann Blake-Tracy

I am so concerned at how many I continue to see go through ECT because of reactions they are having to the SSRIs that doctors refuse to see! There is absolutely no need for someone to go through the additional trauma and damage caused by forced seizure activity from an electrical current when what is needed is withdrawal from the offending medication. And why do these doctors remain ignorant of the fact that ECT contraindicated while on SSRI medication due to the risk of the life threatening reaction of “Serotonin Syndrome”? We continue to suffer from an abundance of ignorance about these meds.
———-
I wanted to share my story as a psychiatric drug survivor. I am a college student, I was a senior earlier but this year I had withdraw because of the above problem (i.e. psychiatric drugs) so next year I am to have my senior year.
In August I went to the doctor to refill my anxiety med, Xanax, and because I was concerned with my increasing number of panic attacks. The nurse practitioner refused to give me klonopin (my friend is on that for her anxiety) and instead thrust Paxil at me.

She told me I would “feel crummy for a week” but that after 6-8 weeks it would help my anxiety attacks and it would feel like I wasn’t on anything at all. Stupidly and to my detriment I believed her. I was put on 10 mg. I only lasted 6 days on the stuff! I lost 10 pounds in that period, was dry-heaving and horribly nauseated, I had the “electric jitz” which feels literally like hot coals inside your back (I swear that to God!), palpitations, WORSE anxiety that could not be diminished, I became detached, was unable to concentrate, was crying uncontrollably, had awful stomach gas so tight I couldn’t breathe, had breathing problems, my period lasted 11 days and was heavier than I could ever remember it being, I was constipated, then I had constant diarrhea. Then my thoughts started to race. I went back to the doctor and he just looked at me and asked me why didn’t I just take my Xanax for the anxiety! They told me I was fine, and that it was panic and that I’d be fine. But oh no, fine was the last thing I was. I tried to keep working at my job and had to quit, went back to school and they found me a psychiatrist, who told me that I’d get better and that there were lots of things out there to help me. So he tried me on Celexa.

I was now TERRIFIED of the SSRIs so I didn’t want to, but I tried it for 2 days and stopped it because it made my jitteriness much worse again. So then Dr. H gave me Desipramine. I tried to go to classes, but finally had to withdraw because the meds were making me sicker and sicker and more depressed. I was now down to 84 pounds. This was in early October. My parents took me home to GA, where we found a meds doctor, Dr. W. I slipped farther and farther into the abyss, and then suddenly the Desipramine lifted my mood. It worked like that for ten days, but all the while the racing thoughts were prominent, and my hands kept shaking, and I was well, “high.” Then it kicked out.

So Dr. W upped my dosage (I was at 150 mg) too 200mg, and overdosed me, so I wound up in the hospital because apparently I was threatening to throw myself over the railing of our house or something. (NOTE: not once during the whole ordeal did I ever attempt anything, I merely thought about it).

I saw a Dr. K, there, and he started me on Effexor. This med didn’t work, and it never did anything too bad to my body or mind. Finally, since that wasn’t working, Dr. K put me on this stuff called Risperdal and Depakote. He overdosed me again!! My parents tell me (I have no recollection of this and am thankful to God that I don’t) that I was literally running up and down the stairs because my body couldn’t keep still, the tremors were so bad.

Dr. K wound up going on vacation, and this great doctor, Dr. A. filled in for him. I knew one thing. Dr. A. did ECT. Dr. A. suggested I try Prozac (I was even more terrified after both Paxil, Celexa, and the other meds) but apparently I asked him if I could get ECT done since I knew it was the very last resort and I didn’t really think I’d like to stay like that for the rest of my life. So I got the ECT and within 3 treatments, I was COMPLETELY BACK TO NORMAL. I had all my feelings back, I was ME, I was peppy like usual, I felt terrific! I wish I could remember how it was to wake up that way. My mother told me that I went to sleep and woke up at 4 one afternoon, completely myself again. It was a true miracle. Apparently this is very unusual with ECT because it’s supposed to take many more treatments before you are anywhere near well. After I was done with he ECT the doctors still had me on Prozac.

While I will ill, all I ever said were 3 things: 1) “I’m never going to get better” 2) It’s permanent brain damage” and 3) I want to die. So the idiot doctors diagnosed me as OCD. So I’m fine by February, but all of a sudden my body starts rejecting the Prozac. My vision started blurring out (this was also because of the ECT medication), my anxiety level was rising (I was popping an anxiety pill every 2 days at this point), my limbs were twitching and jumping, I was getting more of that awful stomach gas, and I was starting to get scared. So I made my doctor get me off it and he let me stop it abruptly (since doing that with the other SSRIs is hazardous to your health!!!) and now I am only on 7 mg of Remeron which I am getting off of late this month.

I wanted to sue because of all the losses I suffered this year including: my mental and physical health; my dumping my boyfriend while I was stoned on tranquilizers, the loss of my senior year of college with friends that I have been with for the last 4 years, all the trouble getting reinstated at my college, the nightmares, my fear of even taking ibuprofen for a headache, or even a vitamin, my hatred of psychiatric medicines, therapists, and the drug companies, my fear of going back to that dark place, all that lost time!!!! But I can’t sue because I’m not in the mood to wait a few years for any decision.

So I am just going to file with the FDA. Thank you for reading this, if I sent this wrong, please post it up on this site for me.

God bless you for your intelligence on these matters.

Kerri

 

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 50.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

 

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