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15 Nov

HI 21 year old daughter diagnosed 2 years ago with bipolar disorder. Medication -lamitor/100mg and dopicol and tegritol 200mg. These she takes twice a day For the last year she has been 100% stable etc. Does the meds sound right or too excessive? I would like to know would she ever be able to come off medication. If not reduce medication. Has there been any break through developments in treatment plans for bipolar. How common is bipolar - I feel quite lone in this and Dr Google gives very conflicting information on this. Thank you
Answer 119 views

20 Nov

Hello Jon,
Folks, first let me apologize for any delay in my reply :" we had a horrible electrical storm which in 5 minutes of lightning strikes destroyed my modem, router, landline phone, TV, internet connection, etc., and I'm only just now at considerable expense getting these fixed.
Bipolar Disorder is quite common ( it used to be called Manic Depressive Disorder, as those are the two "poles" one's mood can swing between.  Like many disorders, it is sometimes over-diagnosed, and sometimes under-diagnosed, but it's usually not difficult to diagnose correctly, when we use one of the major internationally agreed sets of criteria, such as the DSM. 
It can often, fortunately, respond well to treatment, though occasionally can be difficult to get into useful control.  It's wise to seek early treatment and to stick with it for some years. I've seen some research studies showing that if one leaves it too long without medication, it can become more difficult to control later on.
The medications and doses you mention sound reasonable, and if she has been fine on this, one would hesitate to change a successful plan. If you have concerns about the treatment, it's best to discuss this directly with the psychiatrist treating and prescribing for her, who will know the relevant details of her situation, and should be able to discuss your concerns, and suggest alternatives if appropriate.
You might want to contact SADAG, the SA Depression & Anxiety group, which has groups in many parts of the country, where you and perhaps your daughter could meet with others with similar problems, and discuss what approaches you have each found most useful
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