On specific symptoms

There was a drug representative at work today giving a luncheon, and talking about Seroquel XR. I am not one to turn down free food and ESPECIALLY not pizza, as that was the lunch du jour today, and I can count the drug presentations as training hours, so I pretty much win all the way around. Seroquel XR just got FDA approval for adjunct therapy of bipolar depression, which is unique for an atypical antipsychotic. This is fancy talk for saying that studies have shown that it helps with depression. It had already been approved for treatment of bipolar mania, as it is an atypical antipsychotic and is really good with psychotic symptoms, and was primarily used in the treatment of schizophrenia. Every indication a drug receives gives the company an extension on the patent, so it’s annoying with regards to it not going generic any time soon, but still, it is good that research exists to show what a medication can and cannot treat effectively.

The sticking point of the presentation, for me, was when he mentioned this statistic which is new to me. In people with bipolar type 1, there are three depressive symptoms for every one manic symptoms. In people with bipolar type 2, there are 29 depressive symptoms for every one hypomanic symptom. Essentially, the nature of bipolar disorder is to spend at least 75% of symptomatic time in a depressive state, versus a manic or hypomanic state.

That’s… pretty much right for me. I am very rarely hypomanic, but seem to spend so very much of my time depressed. Based on reading back through my journals, other than noting the entries that are more rambly than usual, I spend most of my time depressed, even including the times I am too depressed or manic to write in my journal. It has improved, as I am much more functional even when I am having depressed symptoms, but I am still pretty symptomatic. This seems to worsen when I am under considerable amounts of stress, such as at work. Work is currently a bureaucratic nightmare and I have been feeling stressed for months, and had a very bad course of depression in the past month or so, and another bad one only two months before that. My symptoms get worse when I am stressed, which I am sure is the norm for most people. Stress leads to so much illness and disease, and it seems that our world continues to become more and more stressful to the point where people break so much more often. I feel like I might break right now. All that is keeping me going is hope for a better day, but that hope is being stretched thin.

What symptoms are caused and/or worsened by stress for you? What keeps you going when you are stressed? How do you cope best with stress? Discuss!


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