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Think About It... Acceptance doesn't mean you approve; it doesn't mean you're happy about something; it doesn't mean you won't work to change the situation or your response to it, but it does mean that you acknowledge reality as it is--with all its sadness, humor, irony, and gifts--at a particular point in time...~ Freda B. Friedman, Ph.D., LCSW, Surviving a Borderline Parent
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Author Topic: It's better to be overweight than suicidal? Right?  (Read 1884 times)
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Posts: 1986

« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2012, 03:30:45 PM »

My dd waas put on Quitipine 6 months ago after serious suicide attempt and 13 hospital admissions in a year, at the time I was convinced I was going to loose her and she would never be stableized. Since then she has been a lot better and didnt need to go into hospital for that whole time. Psychosis has stopped, I believe its the medication helping her and generally happier.
The P is not so sure that is the reason, but I think it is.

keep strong and look after yourself

Battle Weary
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Posts: 238

« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2012, 04:22:08 PM »

As a newcomer, I find this thread fascinating.  Many of your children are on anti-psychotics.  My dd has hallucinations--she's 19 and has had them (according to her) for ten years. I did not learn about them until she was 16 and took her straight to a P, who tried Seroquel, then Abilify, but they had no effect so nothing more was done.  She has complete insight into her hallucinations--some would call them psuedo hallucinations--so my thought was the medication didn't work because she doesn't have true hallucinations.  Maybe that's misinformed.  Can anyone of you with more experience shed any light on this issue?  If there was something effective for pseudo hallucinations she'd take it because they rather overwhelm her.  She has self-diagnosed as schizophrenic because of them, although no one who has seen her believes she's psychotic.  I have become rather desperate to find a P who will diagnose her with borderline to help change her current thinking that because she's schizophrenic she really has very little to look forward to beyond a year or two.  Sorry for the digression from the main topic, but this is rather a large topic for me.

The medication side effects seem rather idiosyncratic.  DD gained a bit of weight on Prozac, which she was put on for the last few months, but it seems to have come down the in the last six weeks that she's been on Lithium.  Neither seems to have done a single thing for her by my account or hers, so my real choice would be for her to be off meds unless there is something that does something useful.  The weight gain with Prozac was small, but I do know that anything more than a slight weight gain would be a HUGE issue for her.  When she got a little pudgy at 14, she used all her spare money to buy OTC diet pills.  I really don't think that's healthy to have in the mix.  The same was true for her treatment resistant acne.  She did Accutane three times.  There were times when other doctors commented on the wisdom of giving it the third time, but if she didn't get her skin cleared up, at that point there would have been no way she would have left the house ever except in a coffin.  Sadly, I think she would answer the question of whether it is better to be fat with acne than dead, she would say dead is better.
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« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2012, 06:24:17 PM »

Although it is certainly better to be overweight than suicidal, these drugs have in some respects made my daughter worse.  My daughter started on Lexapro and abilify. The abilify made her sick so they changed her to seroquel XR.  As soon as she started the Seroquel we started to see her apetite increase.  It was almost unbelievable.  She was becoming distraught about the fact that she couldn't stop herself from eating.  The Dr. then changed her to Lithium which had the same apetite increasing effect.  In 6 months my daughter gained 42lbs.  She became even more upset with herself and felt like on top of her depression and anxiety she was now "fat and worthless".  Her words not mine.  Finally the doctor changed her to lamictyl which is suppose to not have the weight gaining effect.  It has been 3 months and she has been working out and not one pound has come off.  My heart just breaks for her.  She is 16 years old and has struggled with BPD for 2 years now and she is trying so hard yet this is really holding her back.  We encourage her to eat healthy and we tell her that it is more important that she is feeling better, but her response is just that being  "fat" depresses her  so how is she better.  Someone told me that it could be the lexapro that is making her gain weight.  Has anyone ever had this problem with lexapro.

What helped me lose the weight was high protein.  I lost 70 pouds while taking seroquel, and the high protein diet was what worked.  I just ate lots of cheese sticks and slim jims when I got hungry at night, cut out all white carbs and sugar.  It really worked for me and I felt a lot better mood wise.  
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« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2012, 07:53:27 PM »

I am totally confused.  Why are so many pwBPDs on all of these medications?  i thought only SSRIs were considered useful for BPD and even then, not always.
My BPDs23 isn't considered to have suicidal ideation.  Lots of self-harming, but not suicidal per say.  I guess because I was the one, who diagnosed him with BPD, later corroborated by a trained clinician, the pharmacological piece hasn't been covered. 
What drugs are recommended for BPD alone?
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« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2012, 08:30:50 PM »

I am totally confused.  Why are so many pwBPDs on all of these medications?  i thought only SSRIs were considered useful for BPD and even then, not always.
My BPDs23 isn't considered to have suicidal ideation.  Lots of self-harming, but not suicidal per say.  I guess because I was the one, who diagnosed him with BPD, later corroborated by a trained clinician, the pharmacological piece hasn't been covered. 
What drugs are recommended for BPD alone?
Naltroxone is being studied for people who have serious self injury issues.
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we can all evolve into someone beautiful

« Reply #25 on: February 17, 2012, 11:32:28 PM »

dear battle weary,

my d had psychotic features since age 13...hearing voices, seeing shadow figures in her peripheral (sp) vision...i did some research and i believe it may have been pschotic depression.  an increase in her abilify and being in residential treatment has taken care of the problem.


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« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2012, 04:10:59 AM »

What are SSRIs.

The P told us there is no medication for BPD. But they try lots of different ones. Mainly for stopping mood swings, and you can get meds for pwBPD who hear voices etc. Anti psychotics.
Quitipine is a cocktail and eventually acts as an anti depressant I believe.
They have tried several different ones on my dd, if they dont seem to work they change them. As I said before I think, our P does not seem to think they work that much, they think therapy and how you manage them works the best. I dont know.

DD thinks its the meds that are making her better, she said the thoughts in her head dont go racing now with meds. Trouble is, she seems to be getting addicted to them and keeps wanting more. I hide them.

keep strong and look after yourself

Battle Weary
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« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2012, 10:27:01 AM »


SSRI stands for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor and the drugs antidepressants.  They are used for depression and anxiety disorders.  In the US some of the name brands include prozac, celexa, and zoloft.  My daughter is on her third one in nine months--so far they have done nothing by her account or mine even though lithium was added in two months ago.

Did your daughter have insight into her hallucinations?  That is, did she know they were not real?  My dd's started (by her account) at age 9.  They are both visual and auditory.  Childhood hallucinations are not uncommon (imaginary friends etc.), but typically they outgrow them by 12 or so.  My dd did not and over time they seemingly have transformed from being somewhat playful to much darker.  She definitely knows they are not real; however, she can't shut them out. 

When she was sixteen we took her to Johns Hopkins (rated number 1 in psychiatry by some surveys) and they said to pay no attention to them because they were pseudo-hallucinations, and the therapist in our area they referred us to went along with that counsel.  Perhaps the worst advice we got as she now self-defines by them, hence her self diagnosis of schizophrenia and general view that since she's doomed to be schizophrenic there is no reason to plan beyond the current day during which she should be able to do whatever she pleases (mostly watching TV and videos and smoking pot). 

Hence my great interest in seeing if anyone else has found medication helpful for pseudo hallucinations.

Re: residential treatment, I reserached this intensively and found a place that looked like it could accommodate her various needs while being the least martial like as possible.  The problem was we would have had to do the near kidnap thing in the middle of the night to get her there.  Her therapist at the time felt that would have risked too much trauma and poisoning the relationship.  In retropect, had anyone warned me that this is where we were heading, I definitely would have taken that risk.  I didn't even hear of borderline until last December, but when I found out about it was like hearing the grand unifying theory of dd's universe. Her therapist (whom she no longer sees , but whom I occasionally consult with) had steadfastly stood by an anxiety disorder, but very recently has finally acknowledged that she is borderline.  Had I known when she was sixteen, there would have been so much more I could have done about it!
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« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2012, 11:23:54 AM »

Same here, as soon as I heard about BPD 8 months ago, everything fell into place.  What a relief to have a dx that fits!  We had the anxiety dx, the spoiled child dx and the obviously incompetent/useless parenting/you are feeding into it dx many times before that.  If you listen to Blaise Aguirre on You Tube, he advocates strongly for adolescent DBT treatment, but he is clearly a leader in this regard.
I, myself, have very strong reservations against using medications, which I know is a very controversial stand, but I didn't see any reason to add more chemicals to his drug of choice at the time.  I have also taken the highly controversial harm reduction route, with which every mental health person I have consulted disagrees.  It nearly kills me to take this route, but I didn't have a lot of choice.  We didn't have a diagnosis that made any sense, none of the treatments worked and my BPDs23 was intent on slow/fast suiciding, depending on the day and hour.  I figured better to have him not kill himself right away, which is what he was doing.  As I have said in other posts, I was basically trying to keep him alive until I could get a diagnosis.  Like the parents starving their children with diabetes, before insulin was discovered, in the hope that a cure would be found.  Not an easy choice.
My BPDs23 is still alive.  You see, the hospitals just kept re-cycling him, because he didn't have a suicide plan.  Now I see that they were incapable of diagnosing BPD, which is not too unusual, as Joel Paris has noted.  Plus, our lovely health system can't handle the case load anyways.
What on earth are pseudo-hallucinations?  Are these hypnogogic hallucinations?  I have never heard of the pseudo ones.
Battle Weary, the frustration factor for parents is huge.  You have been super-proactive and it was the lack of an accurate dx that prevented you taking the actions you would have otherwise.  You are not alone.  BPD is just emerging into society's consciousness.  I hope your daughter can find help with DBT, as it seems to have good outcomes.

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« Reply #29 on: February 18, 2012, 12:34:19 PM »

heronbird - They did say that therapy was the first line of treatment for BPD.  Secondary in treatment is medication, such as mood stabilizers, at least for awhile. 

But, my theroy is, and yet, I stress, this is just my theory, and am not a professional.  But, I have a suspicion that BPD is co-morbid with other illnesses.  I think there is an Axis 1 with BPD being secondary.  So, on that note, then perhaps medication is needed for any chemical imbalances.  I am on the fence about it.  When my dd was diagnosed with ADD as a child, I refused to put her on Ritalin as suggested. I tried all other options. ie outside tutoring. I did try a supplement called"pynogenol".  It was  not OTC at that time.  My exFIL took it while being treated for cancer.  He told me that it was good for learning disabilities, too.  He ordered it from an infomercial.  And, I thought I would give it a try, and her grades did improve. 

gamefirl  -  That is interesting about Naltrexone(sp?).  I know they use it for treatement for opiate & alcohol addiction.  And, my dr. suggested me trying it for chronic pain.  My sister was just put on it for her pain. 

Many mood stabilizers are actually, anti-seizure meds.  I heard that Depakote was discovered by a patient that was being treated for seizures.  It was noticed that his mania was improved on the medication.  So now, many anti-seizure meds are prescribed as mood stabilizers.  Also, anti-psycotics are as well.ie. Seroquel, Abilify, Zprexa

Congratulations, on your weight loss, gamegirl.  I am a sugar addict and need to get on a program that helps to battle my sugar cravings.  I was watching Dr. Oz, yesterday, and he had some good recipes on there.  I have about 15 pounds to lose.  I quit smoking.  However, I am so happy to be smoke free.  A fifteen pound gain was worth it, now I just need to work at losing it. I gained it in three months, so I will give myself three months to lose it.   

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