Posted by Barbara Cat on July 27, 2003, at 11:29:46
In reply to Re: Dancing queen and proud of it! » Barbara Cat, posted by katia on July 27, 2003, at 0:40:56
If you haven't tried lamictal, give it a whirl. Even if you try something else, such as Depakote, I can't say enough for lam's energizing, calming antidepressant quality. It took me about a year to work up to 200mg, which seems the magic number for antidepressant action. I coasted along at 75mg thinking it was enough, but 200mg, even though jittery at first, has made a huge difference. I was literally dying before hitting upon lamictal/lithium combo. I like lithium, but Depakote is the undisputed second. NOW HEAR THIS. I just heard that Depakote has been released in a new extended version that doesn't cause the weight gain. Tell your doc this since it's very new news.
Now, is fibro connected to bipolar - good question. It sure can cause mental unhingeing, whatever your predisposition is. No one knows what causes fibro since it's a group of symptoms rather than a single pathology, a system breakdown caused by physical, emotional or environmental stress, but no one knows for sure. The symptoms are the same but the underlying trigger is different from person to person.
My personal belief, at least for me, is it's a disregulation of the HPA-axis caused by years of intense stress. There also may be a genetic component to it. My father seemed to have symptoms of fibro, widespread pain and fatigue. He was most likely bipolar as well (as was 1/2 his large family), alternating between severe depressions and violent rages. I had an extremely difficult childhood, very abusive (thankfully no overt sexual). Many object to the theory of it being stress induced, saying it's physical with the emotional coming later, but there's too much evidence that most fibro sufferers have had severe stressors in childhood. The stress hormones damage parts of the brain that regulate sleep, fear, thyroid, sex hormones - the gamut. Lack of deep stage IV sleep seems to be the main culprit. Having a bipolar condition doesn't help since it's so draining and stressful in it's own right, and who sleeps well during mania? But I don't know what causes what. It's interrelated, they exacerbate each other.
I do know that at times of extreme stress in the past I thought 'No one can live through this and not be damaged. Something has to give.' In my case, it eventually did, and it's fibro. But, you know, it's been a blessing. It's forced me to remove myself from soul-sucking conditions and situations. It's a great stress barometer. At the cost of my life, I cannot give in to that habitual fearful despair. My life's quest now is not fame, fortune and excitement, but just living a simple harmonious existence. But jeeze, my bod can sure put me through alot of grief. The latest is intense itching all over, inside and out. I feel like I have fleas (I don't). - Barbara
> Do you think that the fibromyalgia is connected to or as a result of your BP state (mainly the depressed side) and/or the medications?
> as far as depakote, I do need some calming agent, but not so much that I get into a lethargic inertia low grade depression. I'm worried about that aspect. Like I don't want just the "manic" side taken away. But I need the depression addressed too. Hopefully depakote will do this.??? I"m just at my end and exhausted and can't go through another year of trying different meds to no avail.....I need to get it right soon. No more steam left....