Posted by Sean on August 8, 1999, at 17:43:52
In reply to Cyclothymia & mood stabilizers, posted by andrewb on August 7, 1999, at 10:33:51
> Does anybody have experience with medicating or counseling for soft cycling? I have some cycling going on that may or may not fit the definition for cyclothymia.
> The cycles usually last from 6 days to two weeks. In the down portion of the cycle symptoms include lower physical energy, lower mood, increased sensitivity to pain (esp. neck aches) increased social anxiety and sleeping more. In the up portion of the cycle I sleep less; I have good mood with occassional euphoria; good energy and at times ‘crazy’ energy; a sometimes flighty, overactivated mind; and a more talkative, outgoing manner.
> I’m curious if anyone has experience with taking a mood stabilizer for soft cycling, for example, valproate, lithium or gabapentin? Is the mood stabilizer taken at a lower dosage than it would be taken for a manic depressive condition? How long would it take for a mood stabilizer like gabapentin to become fully effective? What mood stabilizer has the lowest side effects?
> Is there a cognitive aspect to this seemingly physical condition that can be helped through counseling? Can for example personality issues such as low self-esteem and social anxiety contribute to cycling?
> Any responses to this post would be very much appreciated.
Yeah, the big "D" wins everytime doesn't it! When
did you guys first become aware of it? It is so
crazy to feel these things. Once I became more
aware of the swings, I could seem them going back
pretty far in my life. The real trouble started
in my late teens early 20's though. I suffered
through 3 major depressions (lasting about 6
months) and two really kooky hypomanias which
resulted in some very dubious "cosmic life
decisions". Alas, the 4th depression came with
a super-bonus pack of unremitting anxiety and
hence some rather intense plans for an earthly
departure. The people close to me really helped
The cycles seem faster now, and the depressions
more "shut down" than when I was younger. It
almost seems like my brain has no juice at all
when I'm depressed. It feels less like a mood
than a total metabolic mind fuck or something.
Have you noticed this change over time? Sometimes
I wonder about the sort of long term course of
this. I have read that there are physical changes
in the brain that might be avoidable if I were to
stay on a mood stabilizer more or less permanently.
Good to hear from you both.