Posted by JonW on March 19, 2002, at 9:55:46
In reply to Re: My Life So Far -- Expert Advice Needed...? » JonW, posted by Mr.Scott on March 18, 2002, at 23:48:10
Well, let *me* say I'm honored in a dark, ironic sort of way :) -- it's nice to know we're not alone, but it sucks that we've suffered for so long... On that note, how are you doing? Have you found a brew of meds to justify the journey?
I look at the description of atypical depression and I say *that's me*! But 10 years and a laundry list of meds later, my problems are as bad as they've ever been. Why is psychiatry so complicated? Why am I so complicated? Blah. Blah. I'm Rambling.
I relate to being addicted to hypomania, although I'm not sure I experience full blown hypomania. My psydoc and I prefer the word "high" because it's friendlier to the bipolar spectrum. She insists that I should not be on any AD and that makes all the sense in the world. However, when I take an AD and suddenly my world is brighter and clearer and I love being alive, how can that be wrong? When you are depressed you'll do anything for a breath of fresh air no matter how short lived it may be, but I'm sure I don't have to tell you or anyone here that. I have been on just mood stabilizers, but so far to no avail. You had some good suggestions that I'll keep in mind when working with Dr. Liebowitz.
Thanks for your input,
p.s. You weren't too forward or anything like that at ALL!
> Let me preface my response by saying a few things:
> Liebowitz is a god in the realm of anxiety disorders, and has conducted research that has altered the field over the last 20 or so years. I am not a doctor. And Finally, while several people have come close no one has ever described my very same symptoms to a tee in a post while describing their own struggles as you just have. So compelling is your story to me that I have come out a posting hiatus after getting frustrated and leaving.
> If you haven't already been told you have characteristics of many disorders most closely aligned with atypical depression, and bipolar type II, as well as the poorly defined and little known about Axis II disorder Borderline Personality disorder. The latter may as Dr. Heller claims be a sort of epilepsy in the hypothalamus, and indeed you manifest some syptoms of temporal lobe epilepsy, or at least did as a child. At the same time you manifest some ADD/OCD traits, but my best guess is that the OCD while possibly neurological is really more of a way you've learned to cope with being so "out of control", and the ADD stuff is probably secondary to mood dysfunction. I have doubts that Nardil will be the boon you're looking for, but it's also quite possibly your best bet. My experience was that it rocked for a while and then pooped. It left a lot of side effects but possibly some anxiolytic effect. However, given it's inherent comlications and my penchant at the time for drinking alcohol I felt the risk/benefit ratio was not in my favor and I jumped ship. One the other hand it could be your best bet, in that if you are one who gets dysphoric easily from AD's and Lithium, Nardil might be a better fit if you can tolerate its other woes. Of all the traditional antidepresants (excluding Lamictal) it is the only one that is truly anticonvulsant. Most AD's and lithium lower the seizure threshold and if that is part of the problem they will make you worse.
> Of course if I was working at a managed care company, or if I was a doctor who didn't want to get sued it would be much easier and perhaps appropriate to label you a bipolar variant Type II rapid cycling.
> If I was able to control myself better I would do this, but I can't as I think I might be addicted to being hypomanic, and so despite repeated failure I keep trying to refind those awesome few weeks and months I used to be able to get off of AD's before they pooped on me. I would pursue a protracted course of anticonvulsants only(perhaps several simultaneously) and make sure that NO Antidepressants were within ten feet of you! Then only if that failed to resolve your depression I would consider trying Nardil.
> The third option is to pick from your list the drugs that you felt kind of helped and you could tolerate...Do the psychotherapy thing and accept that this is you're burden to carry until the next great development in neuroscience comes to pass. It's not so bad you know...finally accepting certain things.
> Anyways, if I've been too forward or inappropriate or suggestive let me know. Sometimes I offend people when I don't mean to. It's happened before on this very board.
> Keep in touch on this. I wish you the best.