Marcia Purse, Patient Expert

Marcia wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Mental Disorders.

What Does Comorbid Mean?

Comorbid, in medicine, refers to a disease or condition that occurs at the same time as another illness. Dictionary definitions differ: Some say comorbidity refers to two or more illnesses that occur simultaneously Some say it refers to one or more i...
Marcia Purse

Normal or Hypomanic?

I realized - just a few minutes ago - that I am not sure I know the difference, for me, between normal and hypomanic. If I feel focused, energized, confident - is that “normal”? Just what is “normal”? My longest hypomanic episode came as the result o...
Marcia Purse

Fatigue in Bipolar Depression

Two weeks ago I was feeling very good physically. I had energy, I was getting things done, I was really pleased with myself. I was taking naps after finishing a good day’s work. Now I’ve gone to a polar opposite. I have no energy, almost nothing is g...
Marcia Purse

One Day of Hypomania

I spent most of my life in a depressive or low-stable state. This is fairly typical for people with bipolar 2, although I may have less hypomania than average. Those moods, coupled with three serious illnesses in six months plus an almost crippling p...
Marcia Purse

What's Your Experience With Prozac (Fluoxetine)?

Prozac had been around for about 6 years when I was prescribed it in 1994. From one of the deepest depressions I ever had, it raised me into mild hypomania that lasted fully for a year, then waned over the next two years. I also gained 30 pounds in t...
Marcia Purse

How Do You Feel About Klonopin - Generic Clonazepam?

I asked this question of people who have bipolar disorder and got a wide variety of answers, ranging from, “I pop them like Tic-Tacs so I am only prescribed five at a time,” to “It mellows me out,” to “It makes me want to crawl out of my skin shudder...
Marcia Purse

Are You a Solitary Person?

Something I read got me wondering whether my solitary nature is related to my bipolar disorder or not. I wasn’t diagnosed with bipolar until I was 49, yet I was a strange kid from at least the age of 6. I began to be teased terribly at school when I ...
Marcia Purse

Is It Safe to Take Lamictal / Lamotrigine?

Lamictal and the generic version, lamotrigine, were initially developed to control seizure disorders like epilepsy, but have also been found to be effective as mood stabilizers in bipolar disorder. Lamictal’s most common side effects are nothing out ...
Marcia Purse

SSRI Withdrawal

A community member said, “I’m just about to run out of Citalopram over the period of three to four days. What can I expect from stopping suddenly?” She went on to say, "I’ve been working non-stop the last two weeks and have now been snowed in so ...
Marcia Purse