(BPT) - Paid for by AbbVie
Matt Poldrugach, 44, is the owner of a Texas-based electric company and has been living with his bipolar I disorder diagnosis for several years. Matt believes it is more important than ever to have an open dialogue with your healthcare providers and loved ones to help reduce the stigma of living with bipolar I disorder and ensure people in similar situations have access to the resources, treatment and support they need.
Bipolar I depression symptoms can appear similar to the symptoms of major depressive disorder, including hopelessness, fatigue, extreme sadness and changes in appetite or weight. Manic symptoms, however, are specific to bipolar I disorder and can leave someone wired with racing thoughts and higher than usual energy levels. If you, like Matt, are diagnosed with bipolar I disorder, you’re familiar with unpredictable high and low mood swings that you experience during manic and depressive episodes.
It’s impossible to predict how long these mood episodes may last. You might be severely depressed for a brief or extended period of time before entering into a manic episode. You may even experience manic and depressive symptoms at the same time, which is known as a mixed episode.
As Matt knows, it can feel isolating to have bipolar I disorder, but it’s important to know you are not alone and there are treatment options available. Studies suggest that bipolar I disorder could affect around 3 million Americans at some point in their lives. Experts agree that effective treatment plans for people living with bipolar I often include a combination of medication, talk therapy, support groups, and improving overall health and wellness.
“I think there's still quite a bit of a stigma, especially with bipolar,” Matt says. “I think some people might have perceptions that all patients with bipolar I disorder are violent and have uncontrollable actions, and that’s unfair.”
Exploring treatment options
Matt worked closely with his healthcare team to develop a treatment plan to help control his bipolar I symptoms. Like many people with bipolar I, it took Matt some time to find the right treatment for him.
“Finding the right treatment plan for you on your bipolar I journey is not easy – it's difficult,” said Matt. “Don't give up on yourself, work with your doctor, and listen to the advice of your healthcare providers to find a treatment that works for you.”
Many people with bipolar I disorder require medication as part of their treatment plan along with therapy and support groups. If you need help controlling your bipolar I symptoms, it’s important to ask your doctor about available treatment options.
Matt is greater than his bipolar I and so are you.
Through his journey to find an effective treatment to help manage the extreme highs and lows of his bipolar I, Matt started a medication called VRAYLAR® (cariprazine). VRAYLAR is a prescription medication approved to treat depressive episodes that happen with bipolar I disorder (bipolar depression) in adults and for the short-term (acute) treatment of manic or mixed episodes that happen with bipolar I disorder in adults. After his psychiatrist decided to prescribe him VRAYLAR, Matt notes that it helps him manage his bipolar I disorder symptoms, “Finding VRAYLAR has been a relief. It has helped smooth my ups and downs of bipolar I,” he says.
For more information about a treatment option, visit VRAYLAR.com. VRAYLAR is not right for everyone. Only your doctor can decide if VRAYLAR is right for you. Individual results may vary. To hear more from Matt and other real people’s stories with bipolar I, please visit https://www.vraylar.com/my-mood-matters/real-stories.
IMPORTANT RISK INFORMATION
What is the most important information I should know about VRAYLAR?
Elderly people with dementia-related psychosis (having lost touch with reality due to confusion and memory loss) taking medicines like VRAYLAR are at an increased risk of death. VRAYLAR is not approved for treating patients with dementia-related psychosis.
Antidepressants may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children and young adults within the first few months of treatment and when the dose is changed. Depression and other serious mental illnesses are the most important causes of suicidal thoughts and actions. Patients on antidepressants and their families or caregivers should watch for new or worsening depression symptoms, especially sudden changes in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. This is very important when an antidepressant is started or when the dose is changed. Report any change in these symptoms immediately to the doctor.
VRAYLAR may cause serious side effects, including:
Who should not take VRAYLAR?
Do not take VRAYLAR if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Get emergency medical help if you are having an allergic reaction (eg, rash, itching, hives, swelling of the tongue, lip, face or throat).
What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking VRAYLAR?
Tell your healthcare provider about any medical conditions and if you:
Tell your healthcare provider about all medicines that you take, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and supplements. VRAYLAR may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how VRAYLAR works. Do not start or stop any medicines while taking VRAYLAR without talking to your healthcare provider.
What are the most common side effects of VRAYLAR?
These are not all possible side effects of VRAYLAR.