Seasonal Pattern With BP II?
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Q:  Seasonal Pattern with BP II?

I was diagnoised with bi-polar but now they say I have borderline and depression non-otherwise specified. But after reading your other web site I still think I may have bipolar II. Is Bipolar II cyclic. What I mean by that is can you have depressive episodes at the same time each year? I do not have the severe mania but i scored a 12 on the bipolar test. I have spent money recklessly and have been aresseted for assault because I went into uncontrolable rages where I did not stop the violent behavoir until I was stopped by someone or something. But depression is the worse for me and it gets worse each year. It is so bad. I take nuerontin but fromj reading your other site it is not effective for this. I took lamictal for a while and it worked but it stopped. I hve been taking wellbutrin and nuerontin for about a year now. I really want to know if bipolar can occur at the same time each year?

Dear Ms. H' --
Yep, that's definitely true: many people with bipolar disorder have a clear seasonal pattern, usually winter depression.  Up here in Oregon, we see a lot of that.  

If lamictal worked but "stopped", I wonder if you were just cycling despite it, and would wonder if lamictal plus another mood stabilizer might be required.  In other words, I would reinterpret the notion of whether it really "stopped working".  I would still consider -- just as you are doing yourself -- the possibility that you need to try a period of time on mood stabilizers, probably more than one, without any antidepressants around (and I'd count Neurontin in the antidepressant group; it definitely helps people, but more as an antidepressant, with the same risks as regular antidepressants of exacerbating cycling, in my experience).  Looks like your doc' is willing to think "bipolar" with you, so you may already have talked about trying this strategy? If not, I'd encourage that. 

Dr. Phelps

Published September, 2001



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