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Bipolar Disorder/Bipolar II and frequent hospitalizations

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I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder II (without psychotic features), Major Depressive Disorder (severe and recurrent), PTSD, and anxiety disorder, during my first hospitalization some 8 years ago (also conveniently when my marriage dissolved instantly). I have hospitalized myself on 4 to 5 occasions due to severe depression and suicidal ideation.  Suicidal thinking has always been the motivation to this since I have made a promise I will never do this to my five children.

I have never stopped taking my medications and never partake in substances.  I am nearing the point of hospitalizing myself again. I have two children at home and am worried about their father's reaction at this "for another med change", once again.  

Is this common to need hospitalization so much, and if so, how often can I expect for this to happen through my lifetime? I am in my late 40s.  I hate being cursed by a disease that I did not ask for or deserve, but I am also fearful of losing my children.  Please help me with some answers or explanations to give to my exhusband.  Thank you so much...I am desperate!

Leigh

Answer
Hi Leigh . . .

I find it hard to understand why you have been hospitalized so often. You mention that hospitalization is a way for you to avoid completing suicide. Most psychiatrists I know work hard to keep their patients out of the hospital, as hospitalizations are so disruptive and often have unintended negative outcomes. While I see most of my patients with bipolar disorder about once a month, when a patient has an increase in suicidal thinking I might see them every day for 10 or 15 minutes.

The only thing I can think of when it comes to something to explain to your husband is that your doctor is VERY conservative, the medication change probably could be done safely with you remaining at home, the doctor wants to make sure that you are safe and thinks the hospital provides extra observation and fine tuning of the medication.
Best regards . . .

Ivan

Bipolar Disorder

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Ivan Goldberg, M.D.

Expertise

I am a psychiatrist/psychopharmacologist with many years of expereince in treating individuals with depressions, manic-depression (Bipolar Disorder), other mood disorders,. I am especially interested in the psychopharmacologic treatment of individuals with so called "treatment-resistant" syndromes.

Experience

I have been on the staff of the National Institute of Mental Health, Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. I am currently in full-time private practice in New York City.

A.B. Johns Hopkins University
M.D. N.Y.U. College of Medicine

I am the creator of Depression Central:http://www.psycom.net/depression.central.html

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