Get Up and Go Got Up and Went

Ask the Expert Patient Health Guide
  • Question


    Frank writes:


    As of late it has been difficult to even get out of the house except for a few NA meetings and my VA doctors apointments and VA group once a month I just dont seem to want to go do anything alone ...




    Hi, Frank. Lack of motivation is one of the issues that psychiatrists notoriously overlook when dealing with the bipolar phase of depression. This is basically the state of mind where your get up and go got up and went.


    The brain scientists are increasingly linking lack of motivation to breakdowns in the brain's dopamine pathways. Unfortunately, some bipolar meds such as antipsychotics can make the problem worse, as these meds block dopamine. The advent of SSRI antidepressants for unipolar depression also meant that dopamine got overlooked.

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    You may want to ask your psychiatrist about some kind of dopamine enhancer such as an ADD med, though this would be an off-label use. Also, Mirapex, a Parkinsons dopamine med, has been found to work in small trials for bipolar depression.


    Keep in mind that too much dopamine in the system is not necessarily a good thing.


    Also, keep in mind the tried and true method of literally forcing yourself out the door. A lot of us perk up in the stimulation of seeing people and various sights and sounds. Sometimes the time when you most don't want to go out the door is the time you most need to go out the door.

Published On: September 10, 2007