5 posts tagged “lamictal”

Join the “Now I Know” Video Campaign for National Epilepsy Awareness Month

Posted November 15th, 2012 by

“Today [my son] Jake is living a wonderful life, an extraordinary life, and now I know that’s possible.  When Jake was first diagnosed, we didn’t know that.  Now I know that…and that we’re not alone.”

Actor Greg Grunberg, father of a 16-year-old with epilepsy

Join the "Now I Know" Campaign by Submitting a Video About What You've Learned

When it comes to epilepsy, what do you know now that you wish you knew sooner?

That’s the question the Epilepsy Foundation is asking epilepsy patients and their families to ponder during National Epilepsy Awareness Month, which takes place every November. Share your struggles and successes in a video submission to the “Now I Know” campaign. Visitors to Epilepsy Foundation’s Facebook page will then have to the opportunity to vote on their favorites and share top videos with their social networks.  Ultimately, the top vote getters in each of four regions will win iPads and other prizes.

Affecting more than two million Americans, epilepsy is defined by the Epilepsy Foundation as “a medical condition that produces seizures affecting a variety of mental and physical functions.”  When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures – brief, strong surges of electrical activity affecting part or all of the brain that last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes – they are typically considered to have epilepsy.  Symptoms can range from convulsions and loss of consciousness to more subtle signs, such as lip smacking, blank stares and jerking movements in the arms and legs.

A Snapshot of the Epilepsy Community at PatientsLikeMe

More than 7,000 PatientsLikeMe members are sharing their experiences with epilepsy, including their symptoms, treatments and more.  Using our Seizure Meter, members are also able to record their seizure history, including the type of seizure (e.g. clonic seizure, complex partial seizure, tonic-clonic seizure).  What are our members taking to control their epilepsy – and how well is it working?  Check out the hundreds of treatment evaluations submitted for common medications such as Keppra, Lamictal and Topamax and learn from others like you today.


Life with Bipolar I Disorder: What We’ve Learned

Posted December 9th, 2011 by

Yesterday, our interview with bipolar blogger Andrea gave you a glimpse into what it’s like to live with bipolar I disorder.  Today we take a deeper look into this mental health condition using the data and experiences shared by our 1,237 bipolar I members.

First off, however, you may have heard of something called bipolar II as well, so let’s talk about how bipolar I and II differ.  Bipolar I is a subdiagnosis of bipolar disorder that conforms to the classic concept of manic-depressive illness.  It is characterized by at least one manic or mixed episode, and there may be episodes of hypomania (marked by elevated mood, hyperactivity and grandiosity) and major depression as well.  In contrast, bipolar II disorder – which is slightly more prevalent at PatientsLikeMe with 1,556 patients reporting it – is marked by depressive episodes that are more frequent and more intense than the manic episodes.

A Snapshot of the Bipolar I Community at PatientsLikeMe

Now, let’s take a look at the wealth of data found at PatientsLikeMe.  To give you a sense of the makeup of our bipolar I patients, 74% are female, more than 78% have an official bipolar I diagnosis, and approximately 40% report experiencing their first symptom prior to the age of 19.  What exactly are the symptoms of this condition?  Some of the most commonly reported include delusions, excitability, flight of ideas, grandiose thinking, hallucinations, irritability and paranoia.  As you can see, most of these speak to the “manic” side of bipolar I disorder, which involves “excitement of psychotic proportions” as well as hyperactive, disorganized behavior.

As Andrea’s interview yesterday revealed, treating bipolar I disorder can mean treating both mania and depression simultaneously.  Further, our patient-reported data shows that the two prescription medications she takes currently – lithium for mania and Lamictal for depression – are among the most commonly prescribed treatments for bipolar I patients, along with individual therapy and Seroquel.  How well do these treatments work?  Click on each treatment name to read our patients’ evaluations of their effectiveness, side effects, cost and more.

Finally, much can also be learned directly from the experiences our patients share on their profiles, treatment evaluations or forum posts.  We leave you with several patient quotes from our Mental Health and Behavior Forum that help to fully illuminate life with bipolar I disorder:

  • “My manias last for about three to four months and are followed by depressions that tend to also last three to four months.  Mine is the classic form of the disease with manias characterized by hallucinations, grandiosity, and impulsivity, and depressions characterized by fatigue, guilt, and somatic concerns.”
  • “The condition is every part of me as anything else. My choice to treat it arises from the consequences of living with bipolar in a non-bipolar world and not because I am broken and in need of repair. Bipolar “disorder”, well, whose order am I in disarray?”
  • “Now I’m a little manic.  I know what you mean about relentless depressions.  I have those too.  At the other end of the spectrum, I become psychotic.  That’s the part that really frightens me and usually lands me in the hospital, or worse.”
  • “A month ago, I truly would have been leveled by all this drama.  I’ve come quite a distance in a short period of time.  You guys give me such strength.  I know that with your help, I can make it through life’s ups and downs while keeping mine under control.”

If you’ve got something to share about bipolar I as well, join the conversation today!