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PostSubject: Re: Mental Health Issues   Wed 13 May 2009, 5:38 am

Hi,

I dont have bipolar but I thought I would answer you thread because you mention medications. I am not sure what you take, but I take lamictal for epilepsy and that is used for bipolar too now and depending on your medications I can honestly say, as much as you may not want to hear it, that adjustments as weight loss has occured have been difficult, very difficult. I have gone from drowsy, confused, loss of balance, unable to speak properly to having seizures and still getting a few little ones a day as dose is adjusted yet again and it has to be adjusted fairly frequently because of weight loss. Although, I do have my fingers crossed it will be a while till next adjustment as my weight loss is starting to slow down as expected.

I was told my medicine would need to be adjusted but it never occured to me that I would get side effects and that it would be hard. I think maybe if I knew I would have looked out for it, but then that can be a bad thing too. Having said that, I am reistant to a number of drugs for epilpesy and the ones that work (but never 100%) I get side efects from at a dose that I shouldn't in comparison to my weight. If you haven't been like that, probably it will be easier for you.

I have had alot of time off work this year because of it.

But dont despair just now, just plan ahead, you may need more time off so start saving now and make plans just in case and maybe you wont have a hard time like me anyway.
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lauren_melb
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PostSubject: Re: Mental Health Issues   Wed 13 May 2009, 3:08 am

Thanks for all that information,i hope that sort of clarifies the disease to people who were wondering just exactly what bipolar disorder is.

A lot of people i've come across don't REALLY get what bipolar is exactly and just how much of an impact it has on everyone associated with me.
They think its something easy u can just "snap" out of lol i now just put it down to plain ignorance and don't bother trying to expain anymore.

Like i said i was only diagnosed "offically" late last year and as far as medication goes,its a long hard road and it basicly all about getting the correct dosage with the correct combination.

Thanks again
Lauren.
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raisedbycats
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PostSubject: Re: Mental Health Issues   Mon 11 May 2009, 11:19 pm

Hi Lauren,

I have a daughter with bi-polar disorder so I'm very familiar with the day to day aspect of the condition.

As I am sure you aware, bi-polar disorder is a result of the body being unable to adequately control the amount of seratonin released - too little and you get depressed, too much and depending of the nature of your disorder you can become slightly manic, or in severe cases have a full blown manic attack. The latter form of bi-polar tends to be diagnosed more quickly.

As well as depression and bi-polar disorder, seratonin imbalance can also cause obsessive compulsive behaviour (excessive cleaning, or hand washing are well known) and social phobias like agoraphobia. At one point Kate didn't leave the house for 6 months but with a combination of medication, support and sheer determination over a period of a year she has conquered it (although the fear never goes).

As it can result in anti-social behaviour, bi-polar disease gets the title "mental illness" although other chemical imbalances like Parkinson's (which my Mother has) which also affect the brain but not behaviour as much do not (Parkinsons is the body's inability to control Dopamine).

Most depression is a medical condition caused by the body having insufficient seratonin.

As someone who has lived closely with both conditions, I accept that neither person has done anything the deserve their condition (its been shown Mum's Parkinsonism is the rare genetic form - not good news for me) and although medications can help as can efforts to keep yourself healthy, and a strong self will, often there is nothing you can do to prevent to occasional flare up.

I'm saying all this so its clear that what I am about to say next, isn't getting at you. I understand that genetics have given you a bad hit.

When slightly manic in any form, the sufferer doesn't always make good life decisions and can also get a bad case of "this is what I want to do and I'm bloody well going to do it". So if you have just had surgery and your seratonin is off then you might well ignore your freshly stapled stomach and eat that pizza anyway.

Not that I am saying don't have the surgery, I think losing the weight will make your condition much easier to control - an a healthy lifestyle definitely assists with the condition.

I don't know what kind of medication you are on. Basically they will fit into one of the two categories - a SSRI that also has anti-anxiety meds (like Aropax - Paroxetine ) or a specific bi-polar medication like lithium. having either of this become the wrong dose will put you in a situation where you could become unbalanced.

Whichever, you need to ensure any weight loss is closely monitored by a specialist who understands the condition well.

So my recommendation is (and I'm not a medic):

1. Get as stable as you can be - ensure you are seeing an appropriate specialist, and that you meds levels are correct. Take fish oil supplements (and possibly start with a course of Co-enzyme Q10). Eat well and consistently and exercise. Learn to understand your moods and start a mood log.

2. Have a trusted person and ensure they have power of attorney both medicially and financially. If you aren't 100% sure about a family member or friend that you can arrange join power of attorney say with a solicitor, a friend and a family member (or pick 2 from 3).

Ensure it is well understood what treatments you will not take. I am a strong opponent of Electric Shock Therapy and Kate and I have complete agreement over this.

This is for your own protection should your seratonin levels go sky high due to meds imbalance due to rapid weight loss. Actually I recommend you do the above anyway.

Ensure you have a person with you after the surgery who is not afraid to call for back up should things go wrong - who understands the condition.

All the best from me. Be strong, and accept its not your fault. Nature gave you this and you will have to work with it but there is no reason you cannot live a full and fruitful life.
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Janey
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PostSubject: Re: Mental Health Issues   Mon 11 May 2009, 5:51 am

Hi Lauren. I share your worry. (and btw I feel close to you already because that's my daughters name)

I too suffer from depression and failed miserably with the lapband. Though I have since forgiven myself for this as I have realised that a lot of people have failed as well. Apparently mine wasn't even in the correct position anyway so I was doomed from the start.

Like you this is my last option, well apart from bypass that is, and I am worried that I may fail again.

I know I will never be off my meds and accepted that a long time ago. But I'm hoping as the weight comes off that the down days will be fewer and that a continuous level of happiness will be mine.

Please keep posting here and sharing all your fears and successes. It really does help to get all the wonderful support this forum offers.

Hugs,
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Deb
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PostSubject: Re: Mental Health Issues   Mon 11 May 2009, 4:53 am

Although not being treated for it now I too have suffered depression Lauren. You will find that many many people on this board have too. I am a recovering bulimic so even now, when I am stressed, frustrated, tired, you name it, my thoughts turn irrevocably to food (had a bad weekend this weekend actually).
The biggest risk is overeating and stretching your stomach when you are feeling like this so it is important to listen to your body's clues and stop eating when you are full even though your brain says to keep going. If you stretch your sleeve you are in trouble because you don't have as much limitation on the quantity you can eat.
Also beware of grazing- eating small amounts of food (usually junk) throughout the day can really add up.
Another one- don't drink within 30mins either side of eating because the liquid can wash the food from your stomach and make you less full more quickly.
With all that said if you work within these boundaries you are bound to see some improvement in your weight loss efforts. Good luck with that, and with fighting your black dog.
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chrisbychic
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PostSubject: Re: Mental Health Issues   Mon 11 May 2009, 4:05 am

Hi Lauren
I suffer from severe clinical depression and had the sleeve about 11 months ago.
It's hard to say exactly what effect the weight loss has had on my depression because I have also changed meds in that time.
However I have consistently lost weight and feel far more satisfied with myself now.
I still have the urge to eat when I'm depressed, but it's much easier to get a handle on after a bad day or a few bad days, and because I can now eat so little, even when I eat badly I can't do as much damage as I did before.
Don't get me wrong - you can still fail with the sleeve - but it's much harder to do than with the lapband, because your stomach is actually so much smaller that it just can't hold as much.
There are quite a few of us on here who have mental health issues, so I'm sure you'll get some other perspectives soon enough.
For me, it was a difficult decision but one I haven't regretted for an instant.
Best wishes
Chris
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lauren_melb
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PostSubject: Mental Health Issues   Mon 11 May 2009, 3:52 am

Hi

I'm wondering if there are any other people with a mental illness who have sleeve's or about to have one..?

How has the sleeve effected your depression or illness since having the op??

I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder late last year after almost a lifetime of suffering from depression and my DR told me recently that he has a patient who has had two different weightloss surgery's and they have both failed,the patient is sleeved (apparently) and is still struggling with her weight,and before the sleeve had a lap band.

I know having this surgery won't cure my bipolar,but as i see things at the moment,i've failed with the band and yo-yo dieting has only contributed to my depression,having the sleeve is my ONLY option in my opinion!

Regards
Lauren.
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