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  1. #41
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    I am going to try to make sure my husband never goes back to the VA for psychiatry, even if I have to pay cash. The pscyh doctor of some sort he talked to today -- a different one than before -- didn't even know about Depakaote being worse than Abilify for black box warnings concerning most individuals. In any case, she wanted to give him Depakote instead of his regular Abilify, and I was raising hell about potential liver concerns since my brother had bad liver labs from Depakote. She was even dismissing his own conerns about his previous experience with Depakote years ago of swelling feet. She did not even tell him about any potential side effects before prescribing Depakote.

  2. #42
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    That's appalling.

  3. #43
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    On the positive side, I got to personally experience my own manic rage I already left a negative review for the VA on Google.

  4. #44
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    BTW, found out today the VA provider who was prescribing was a PharmD (doctor of pharmacy), not a psychiatric provider. Husband complained to psychiatrist, who was very understanding. Apparently, at the VA, the PharmD is the gatekeeper for getting approval for certain (non-formulary) medications.

  5. #45
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    More good news from the VA. His psychiatrist was on the phone with him today to make sure he is doing well, and she is calling him again tomorrow.

    Incidentally, I went to pickup his Zyprexa refill today at the VA (since he is switching again from Abilify to Zyprexa), and it feels like a military base over there. I had to go through two security checkpoints since they are still on semi-lockdown. The first checkpoint was to make sure you are supposed to be there, and the second one was to make sure you have a mask on.

  6. #46
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    Hospitals up here are like that. You are funneled through only manned entrances where you need to be wearing a mask, use sterilizer on your hands, and answer a series of questions before you are cleared to enter.

    Then you are double checked when you get to your destination in the hospital to check again that you were screened at the front, still wearing a mask, and again use the hand sterilizer (since you came up an elevator or through some additional doors).

    At the pharmacy, I wear a mask anyway but I'm pretty sure if I wasn't I'd be given one or asked to leave until I got one.

  7. #47
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    Happy update:

    Husband has not yelled since switching back to Zyprexa.

    Even if he is just at a good point in a cycle, I am happy for the break

    But if he does get acutely manic, he can take a higher dose again for a few days. The psychiatrist has him at 20 mg twice a day for acute episodes, and 20 mg a day otherwise.

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