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Should I change my medication?

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First, thank you for being here. I’m 64. I was diagnosed BiPolar/Obsessive in 1996 after too many years of just being given tranquilizers and shock therapy for “nervous breakdown”. And being totally mis-understood by myself, family and friends. After 4 years of therapy and meds adjustments things finally levelled off. I’m currently taking Depakote, Paxil, Betapace, Lescol, L-dopa, Aspirin and Oxycodone for Sacroiliitis and Fibromyalgia. I’ve been doing pretty well and I now know which situations to avoid. I still have periodic periods of, what I call, “Alien Abduction” that last for a few days where I want no contact with the outside world. Some of this is due to financial difficulties with SS being my only income but not all of it. Also, there are times, when I find myself in a chaotic situation like several people talking at once or too many things going on, I sort of “zone out” – involuntarily. For a while my family didn’t understand this, now they do and just leave me alone til it passes.

My question is whether or not to ask my MD to try any of the new psychotropic meds now on the market?

Should I change my medication?

Answered by on -


You’ve certainly come a long way. Give yourself credit for having looked for help and for having shared information with friends and family so they can be supportive. In response to your question: It’s always a good idea to work with your doctor. I hope you are seeing a psychiatrist who has expertise in mood disorders. As helpful as PCPs can be, they are not focussed on keeping up to date on psychiatric medications the way psychiatrists are (nor should they be expected to be).

I suggest you review your history, your current symptoms, and your medications with your psychiatrist and ask for her or his opinion about the potential benefits and costs of trying a new medication. Once you have more information and have had time to think about it, you and your doctor can decide the best course of action for you. At this time, there is no cure for bipolar illness but it can be successfully managed. The key is to work actively with your doctor in an ongoing way. New medications and treatments are being developed all the time. Partner with your doctor so that you can get the best help available.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Should I change my medication?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Should I change my medication?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 23, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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