Well, if you’ve been following my blog, then you know that about 3 months I took myself off of medication. I finally found a new pdoc. We tried some new medication that just came on the market. This was a complete failure! One of the side effects is tachycardia. I had 3 heart surgeries at 18 to get rid of the rare form of tachycardia that I had. There is NO WAY I’m going to take something that might bring it back.
Yesterday I had an appointment with this new pdoc to discuss my medication options at this point. I was informed that there were no more meds that I could take…um what? She didn’t say I had treatment resistant bipolar disorder, but she did say that the disorder could change into treatment resistant over time. She said that since I’m not in a depressive state now, she would like to just treat my anxiety and lack of sleep. If the depression returns, she would like to try TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation). According to Wikipedia:
TMS is a noninvasive method to cause depolarization or hyperpolarization in the neurons of the brain. TMS uses electromagnetic induction to induce weak electric currents using a rapidly changingmagnetic field; this can cause activity in specific or general parts of the brain with little discomfort, allowing for study of the brain’s functioning and interconnections. According to the United States National Institute of Mental Health, TMS “uses a magnet instead of an electrical current to activate the brain. An electromagnetic coil is held against the forehead and short electromagnetic pulses are administered through the coil. The magnetic pulse easily passes through the skull, and causes small electrical currents that stimulate nerve cells in the targeted brain region. Because this type of pulse generally does not reach further than two inches into the brain, scientists can select which parts of the brain will be affected and which will not be. The magnetic field is about the same strength as that of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.” A variant of TMS, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), has been tested as a treatment tool for various neurological and psychiatric disorders including migraine, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, tinnitus and depression.
Now, I’ve done ECT twice. The first round went well and the second one not so well. I’ll have to do a bit more research on TMS to know if this would really be an option for me. Until then, this is to those of you managing your bipolar disorder without meds. Do you have any advice for me? I know I took myself off the meds, but I always thought there would be something there for me to try if I ever decided to go back on them. I know I need to exercise more. I’m just trying to find any way to manage this thing now that meds aren’t on the table anymore.
Thanks for reading!