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inducing mania

Nov 22, 2005

Dear Doctor, I am bipolar I, and mostly susceptible to mania with a major incident occuring approx every 3 years during the holiday season. I was on Zyprexa and Cymbalta, but for quite some time have been taking just cymbalta. I feel like I am too scared to do something with my life and too scared not to. I stay home and care for a home (sort of) and grown children and animals. Before the illness I worked in highly technical fields and miss the sense of accomplishment and being engaged and challenged mentally. I have little to no energy and lots of guilt. I know that life is short and not a dress rehearsal and I don't know whether my perception of my life is the problem or my life itself. I want to be manic as it is then that I feel alive and engaged and involved. Is there any way I can induce a mild mania, I don't want a wild one as I know what its like to be psychotic and have hallucinations and delusions. I am in therapy and see a psychiatrist. Please help. Thanks

Response from Dr. Horwath

You should speak to your psychiatrist about how best to manage your bipolar disorder. I can understand your desire to feel the "manic state," but the downside - psychosis, loss of judgment, self-destructive behavior - far outweighs the short term satisfaction. You and your psychiatrist should be able to optimize your treatment so that you feel reasonably good, but without a big risk of mania.

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