Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 9730

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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.

 

Re: Cyclothymia & mood stabilizers

Posted by Sean on August 7, 1999, at 13:51:22

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.

This sounds like me - except my cycle is about
1 month (opposite pole every 2 -weeks) and is
pretty intense. This mood "ripple" seems to be
on top of a longer cycle which seems seasonal, so
I get some wild times when things pile up.

I had some luck with lithium, but it made me feel
very strange. To be honest, I really enjoy the ups
and have settled into a pattern of treating the
depressions with Zoloft and backing off when I get
hypomanic. It seems like a couple nights of sleep
puts me back on the ground.

I've been putting off trying the mood stabilizers
because of all the side effects reported (everything
from Stephens-Johnson syndrome, to depressed
blood counts and somnolescence - yuk) but from
what I have read, Lamactil seems to have good
antidepressant activity and may be good at both
ends of the spectrum.

Sleep is somehow connected to all of this. I've
read alot about interrupting your sleep cycle when
depressed (i.e., setting the alarm to get up early)
and this makes sense because antidepressants seem
to make this happen on their own (until I can't
sleep at all!).

If I try lamactil I will definitely post my
experience. On the other hand, I'm a songwriter
and musician, so mood swings are part of the
deal for me. I suffer alot when I'm not on meds,
but I also burn the white hot soul iron into some
meaningful places with my moods. It is hard to
find and maintain a good balance.

For me, these cycles have proven completely
immune to therapy (years of it) and the only thing
that impacts them are meds. I have been able to
grow in my understanding of my moods through
therapy, but I can't honestly say they have stopped
what seems to be an organic dysregulation of
some sort. So as for this being a "personality"
trait, well, isn't your "personality" a biological
epiphenomenon too?

Some days my mind is racing, litteraly erupting
with ideas and energy. Other days I can't remember
my phone number. It is hard work dealing with
this...

Sean.

 

Re: Cyclothymia & mood stabilizers

Posted by Cynthia on August 7, 1999, at 16:31:34

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.

Hi Andrew and Sean,

My high/low cycle is one week long, it's also seasonal (like yours Sean). Funny Andrew I'm thinking that you're cycles are a week or a month long. Cycling may very well be tied into our living cycles of weeks, months and years. Of all the medications I've tried for cyclothymia, I've had my best luck with 600mg of lithium; it controls my highs (most are not pleasant, although a few can be incredible - communicating with spirits kind of stuff) and helps with my 'treatment resistant' - ADs don't seem to work on the low part of my weekly cycle - depression. Although lately (I'm hoping I'm not speaking too soon) my depression is getting better and better and for the past two weeks, I would not even say I am experiencing any depression on my 'down' days. I attribute this to it being summer, lots of light in the sky; keeping my body on a very regular schedule, getting up, going to bed at the same time, eating at the same times, taking my medications at the same time everyday - this tells my body 'oh, this medication must mean it's time to get up and have a full day, or 'oh, this medications means that I will probably be going to sleep soon'.

Now that I pretty well have my medications right (please god yes!), I've also begun to receive counselling from a psychologist. For although I know I've inherited a genetic predisposition for psychiatric illnesses, unfortunately for me I was also abused as a child. As a consequence of this, I have a low self-esteem. I'm making major headway here and although it so hard sometimes to isolate the factors that are helping you to feel better, I'm thinking counselling is one of them.

I went a little off track there Andrew. Lithium, 600 mg. I tried a few other medications (sorry I can't remember their names but they didn't help as much as lithium and one of them did something to my blood). Once I got on lithium I stopped looking.

I'm getting real close to being a normal human being with all this medication and help and hard work.

Good luck

One thing I find about being cyclothymic is how painfully aware of my depression I am when I am suffering from it because I have just been feeling so good.

Cynthia

 

Andrewb & Sean

Posted by cynthia on August 7, 1999, at 23:44:08

In reply to Re: Cyclothymia & mood stabilizers, posted by Cynthia on August 7, 1999, at 16:31:34

andrewb

Something very obvious just hit me (I swear to God, trying to help other people on this bulletin board helps me more!). How could anyone have a decent self-esteem when they are cyclothymic - how you feel about life and about yourself depends simply on where you are in your cyclothymic cycle. Isn't self-esteem about feeling good about your accomplishments, etc?

ps Absolutely no side affects with lithium.

Sean,
I like the way you express yourself. I easily see you writing music, lyrics and poetry. I earn my living in the arts also, and sometimes I am concerned about sanity drying me up. I have a strong feeling many successful people in the Arts are cyclothymic because usually we are functional in the 'real world', and our 'highs' are our inspirations and work, and our 'lows' help edit our 'highs'.

Cynthia


 

Re: Cyclothymia & mood stabilizers

Posted by Andrew on August 8, 1999, at 11:15:37

In reply to Re: Cyclothymia & mood stabilizers, posted by Cynthia on August 7, 1999, at 16:31:34

Thank you so much for your responses, they were so informative.
It makes sense to get to sleep, as well as do other things, on a strict schedule. Are there any tricks you use to get to sleep when your on the up cycle?
Concerning mood swings and artists, I read a study recently on that very subject. The subject of the study were 47 eminent British poets, playwrights, novelists, biograhers, painters and sculptors. The study found that about a third of the artists suffered severe mood swings, and 25 percent underwent long periods of elation. Intensely creative periods, reported by all except biographers, usually coincided with hypomanic (midly manic) episodes. Ninety percent said that moods and feelings of sustained elation were either necessary or very important to their work. Writers and artists who had been treated for mood disorders produced the least at the highest point of their cycles. For them, peaks of productivity usually preceded and followed the mood peaks by three or four months. Both groups tended to be at the height of their cycles in summer.
(Source: The Harvard Mental Health Letter, December 1989)
Mood swings are certainly a mixed blessing.

Andrew


 

Re: Cyclothymia & mood stabilizers

Posted by Cynthia on August 8, 1999, at 16:41:48

In reply to Re: Cyclothymia & mood stabilizers, posted by Andrew on August 8, 1999, at 11:15:37

> Thank you so much for your responses, they were so informative.
> It makes sense to get to sleep, as well as do other things, on a strict schedule. Are there any tricks you use to get to sleep when your on the up cycle?
> Concerning mood swings and artists, I read a study recently on that very subject. The subject of the study were 47 eminent British poets, playwrights, novelists, biograhers, painters and sculptors. The study found that about a third of the artists suffered severe mood swings, and 25 percent underwent long periods of elation. Intensely creative periods, reported by all except biographers, usually coincided with hypomanic (midly manic) episodes. Ninety percent said that moods and feelings of sustained elation were either necessary or very important to their work. Writers and artists who had been treated for mood disorders produced the least at the highest point of their cycles. For them, peaks of productivity usually preceded and followed the mood peaks by three or four months. Both groups tended to be at the height of their cycles in summer.
> (Source: The Harvard Mental Health Letter, December 1989)
> Mood swings are certainly a mixed blessing.


>
> Andrew

Hi Andrew,

My 'high' days are now just good days - thanks to lithium. But before lithium the tricks I used to keep my sleep regular were, on my 'high' days just a little bit of Ativan one hour before bed, and on both cycles getting up at the same time every single day regardless of how much or how little sleep I had. Even if I was exhausted because I didn't sleep one night or got very little sleep, at least the next night I'd be more likely to get to sleep.

Of course Andrew, this was my theory. Mental illness seems to have a way of imposing itself on every aspect of your life, theories or no theories.

I forgot to mention, I did have one side affect with lithium, nauseau. I take it with Gingerroot which works like a dream.

Thus far, I'm still creative without my mood swings, and I get much more work done. I'm not sure if I'll be pumping out any more poetry though - poetry kind of exploded from me, and I was lucky if a pen was nearby and I could catch this explosion. I certainly can understand someone learning to live with their swings if they are not in too much pain. I don't know why but it always seems like depression wins in the cycles game.

Take care andrew,
the best of luck

Cynthia

 

Re: Andrew & Cynthia

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
out.

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.

Sean.

 

Re: cyclothymia, mood stabilizers & Sean's reading

Posted by Susan on August 8, 1999, at 21:42:40

In reply to Re: Andrew & Cynthia, posted by Sean on August 8, 1999, at 17:43:52

>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.

>Sean.

Sean,
Do you remember where you read this? Sometimes I wonder if using an antidepressant in the down phase is causing physical changes in my brain that results in faster cycling. But when I am up I am basically just normal so would a mood stabilizer be justified and would the benefits outweigh the risks? If so, which one would you try first? (With Effexor.)

All,
Reading your posts have assured me that I am not the only person who has cyclothymia symptoms. I only wish I had some of the creativity aspects!

Susan

 

Sean/andrewb and Susan. Hints for your down days!

Posted by Cynthia on August 8, 1999, at 23:35:52

In reply to Re: Andrew & Cynthia, posted by Sean on August 8, 1999, at 17:43:52


Hi Sean, Andrew and Susan,

I discovered mine after seeking help for a 'knock the life right out of me depression' - which was in February, probrably my Seasonal Affective Disorder (I find it interesting that you have this too Sean). This depression was so big that just before I sought help I couldn't even wake up for more than 20 minutes a day; At the time I didn't really know what depression was or could be, and I honestly thought I must be dying of some kind of physical disease and called an ambulance to come get me. Once this mostly cleared up many moons later, and I was now educated and aware of what moods were and how to spot them, there was that very farmilar rapid cycling coming and going like clockwork. I can trace them very clearly back to my late teens and very early 20s, like you Sean. I remember trying to go to bed and get some sleep but I'd just be bursting with ideas some nights, then the next morning I'd wake up with a great deal of struggle, and try to figure out why I had no desire to get out of bed to do what I was so excited about the night before.

So Sean, I was in my very late 20s when depression finally won the war and I enlisted myself into psychiatry. Don't quote me on this but I think I remember hearing or reading that when a woman is bipolar, they struggle more with the depression part of the disorder than men do. That's coming from the recesses of my brain and I'm no scientist.

I'm feeling not Greater and Greater, but better and better and it's quite the relief. I don't think I've ever felt normal so this is all new and exciting to me - although I know I used to look at 'normal' people and think 'oh my god, how boring'.

HINTS - for dealing with the down side of cyclothymia if you don't want to take a mood stabilizer. This is what has helped me.

1. try light therapy on your down days. I borrowed one from a doctor to make sure it worked before I bought my own.

2. I'm on dexedrine for my ADD (one woman/many disorders). Not only does this work wonders for my ADD, but it helped me be a busy productive person on my down days. I didn't necessarily feel better but I'd get so much done, that I'd feel good about this, and that in turn would help affect my moods, and this started a very positive cycle.

Those are my hints,

Susan, I like lithium, it pretty well works within a couple of days. I could sell that drug. I could also sell Dexedrine.

Andrewb, I'm curious as to whether you have also noticed a seasonal rhythm to your moods?

peace, love, and wonderful enjoyable highs.


 

Re: Sean/andrewb and Susan. Hints for your down days!

Posted by Sean on August 9, 1999, at 12:18:56

In reply to Sean/andrewb and Susan. Hints for your down days!, posted by Cynthia on August 8, 1999, at 23:35:52

Thanks for the tips. From everything I've read,
the AD's do quicken the cycle. I can actually
feel my circadian clock shift earlier and earlier
(usually my clock is getting later and later)
and then I need to stop for a few days.

The depression side is the main problem for me
too. When I get hyper ideas, I just don't do anything
for a couple of weeks. If it still looks good,
then I pursue it. Of course by the time I realized
my moods were driving everything, I'd already
dropped in and out of grad school twice... I
would be willing to bet most people with strong
mood cycles have "colorful" academic histories.

I gained lots of weight on Lithium, and it seemed
to work better for the ups than the downs. The
magic combo was Li + TCA for a while but I
developed heart arrythmias, which while not life
threatening, were not fun and gave me headaches
from the changes in blood pressure or something.

Am thinking about the light therapy thing. I'm
pretty convinced that part of what is going on is
a dysregulation of the circadian clocks, so
anything that can help stabilize that might be
key. It's always too much sleep or too little!

Gotta go now,

Sean.

> Hi Sean, Andrew and Susan,
>
> I discovered mine after seeking help for a 'knock the life right out of me depression' - which was in February, probrably my Seasonal Affective Disorder (I find it interesting that you have this too Sean). This depression was so big that just before I sought help I couldn't even wake up for more than 20 minutes a day; At the time I didn't really know what depression was or could be, and I honestly thought I must be dying of some kind of physical disease and called an ambulance to come get me. Once this mostly cleared up many moons later, and I was now educated and aware of what moods were and how to spot them, there was that very farmilar rapid cycling coming and going like clockwork. I can trace them very clearly back to my late teens and very early 20s, like you Sean. I remember trying to go to bed and get some sleep but I'd just be bursting with ideas some nights, then the next morning I'd wake up with a great deal of struggle, and try to figure out why I had no desire to get out of bed to do what I was so excited about the night before.
>
> So Sean, I was in my very late 20s when depression finally won the war and I enlisted myself into psychiatry. Don't quote me on this but I think I remember hearing or reading that when a woman is bipolar, they struggle more with the depression part of the disorder than men do. That's coming from the recesses of my brain and I'm no scientist.
>
> I'm feeling not Greater and Greater, but better and better and it's quite the relief. I don't think I've ever felt normal so this is all new and exciting to me - although I know I used to look at 'normal' people and think 'oh my god, how boring'.
>
> HINTS - for dealing with the down side of cyclothymia if you don't want to take a mood stabilizer. This is what has helped me.
>
> 1. try light therapy on your down days. I borrowed one from a doctor to make sure it worked before I bought my own.
>
> 2. I'm on dexedrine for my ADD (one woman/many disorders). Not only does this work wonders for my ADD, but it helped me be a busy productive person on my down days. I didn't necessarily feel better but I'd get so much done, that I'd feel good about this, and that in turn would help affect my moods, and this started a very positive cycle.
>
> Those are my hints,
>
> Susan, I like lithium, it pretty well works within a couple of days. I could sell that drug. I could also sell Dexedrine.
>
> Andrewb, I'm curious as to whether you have also noticed a seasonal rhythm to your moods?
>
> peace, love, and wonderful enjoyable highs.
>
>
>

 

Re: Cyclothymia & mood stabilizers

Posted by andrewb on August 10, 1999, at 2:21:50

In reply to Re: Cyclothymia & mood stabilizers, posted by Cynthia on August 8, 1999, at 16:41:48

Thanks for the added tips on how to deal with cyclothymia.
Cynthia: I may or may not have a seasonal cycle. Its possible I get some "SAD".
Sean: Metabolic funk? Hmmm.....maybe that is a norepinephrine thing. I used to shut down into a cloud of fatigue and brain fog after exercise. Wellbutrin, amineptine and amisulpride have all been effective for it.

 

"colourful" Sean, colourful!

Posted by cynthia on August 11, 1999, at 0:16:30

In reply to Re: Sean/andrewb and Susan. Hints for your down days!, posted by Sean on August 9, 1999, at 12:18:56

>yes, yes yes!

Within a 10 year period (18-28) I got 2 degrees, competively showed horses and danced, took a 1 year trip (without any practical regards to money), was in a rock band, worked in design, lived in 3 major cities and had about 10 different other jobs.

I just kept changing my mind, depending on whatever mood I was in. Those moods can be so completely convincing, huh?

Cynthia

 

Re: "colourful" Sean, colourful!

Posted by Sean on August 11, 1999, at 16:28:45

In reply to "colourful" Sean, colourful!, posted by cynthia on August 11, 1999, at 0:16:30

> >yes, yes yes!
>
> Within a 10 year period (18-28) I got 2 degrees, competively showed horses and danced, took a 1 year trip (without any practical regards to money), was in a rock band, worked in design, lived in 3 major cities and had about 10 different other jobs.
>
> I just kept changing my mind, depending on whatever mood I was in. Those moods can be so completely convincing, huh?
>
> Cynthia

Go rock'n'roll girl..! You've certainly covered
alot of territory there. What kind of music?

Actually, I'm still writing songs and performing.
It's a blast and the only activity that actually
benefits from mood swings. Interestingly, my day
job is as a biostatistician (that's right...) and
I work on lots of mental health projects. I'm
currently working with Lilly on Zyprexa study in
the treatment of bipolar and schizophrenia. It
is so funny because I know all the names of the
meds and appear as some sort of expert to some
of my cohorts, but in reality, it is through my
own experience, curiosity, and this site that
most of my pharmacological info comes from...

Hope all is well with you,

Sean.

You

 

Angry white music

Posted by cynthia on August 12, 1999, at 15:53:10

In reply to Re: "colourful" Sean, colourful!, posted by Sean on August 11, 1999, at 16:28:45

> > >yes, yes yes!
> >
> > Within a 10 year period (18-28) I got 2 degrees, competively showed horses and danced, took a 1 year trip (without any practical regards to money), was in a rock band, worked in design, lived in 3 major cities and had about 10 different other jobs.
> >
> > I just kept changing my mind, depending on whatever mood I was in. Those moods can be so completely convincing, huh?
> >
> > Cynthia
>
> Go rock'n'roll girl..! You've certainly covered
> alot of territory there. What kind of music?
>
> Actually, I'm still writing songs and performing.
> It's a blast and the only activity that actually
> benefits from mood swings. Interestingly, my day
> job is as a biostatistician (that's right...) and
> I work on lots of mental health projects. I'm
> currently working with Lilly on Zyprexa study in
> the treatment of bipolar and schizophrenia. It
> is so funny because I know all the names of the
> meds and appear as some sort of expert to some
> of my cohorts, but in reality, it is through my
> own experience, curiosity, and this site that
> most of my pharmacological info comes from...
>
> Hope all is well with you,
>
> Sean.
>
> You

-'the razor bunnies', makes me laugh now. Sometimes I think it was simply a place to wear our coustumes. We fought like mad - a little cesspool of anger and mental disorders - and lasted about 2 years.

Now (many years later), I'm listening to Esma (the Gypsy from Romania), the poet Neruda, and just lately, my sister has been sending me some Opera CDs and giving me the story behind the song, which is essential for me to properly understand the song. Oh my God, the passion. I get goosebumps just reading the lyrics. This is who's 'taking me away now'.

What kind of music do you write and like? Pretty funny job there Sean. What exactly is a biostatician? Are you a scientist? Did you pursue this because of your disorder, or did you happen to end up in this field?

Anyway, WORK REAL HARD for us,
Cynthia

 

Re: Angry white music

Posted by Sean on August 12, 1999, at 17:03:43

In reply to Angry white music, posted by cynthia on August 12, 1999, at 15:53:10

> > > >yes, yes yes!
> > >
> > > Within a 10 year period (18-28) I got 2 degrees, competively showed horses and danced, took a 1 year trip (without any practical regards to money), was in a rock band, worked in design, lived in 3 major cities and had about 10 different other jobs.
> > >
> > > I just kept changing my mind, depending on whatever mood I was in. Those moods can be so completely convincing, huh?
> > >
> > > Cynthia
> >
> > Go rock'n'roll girl..! You've certainly covered
> > alot of territory there. What kind of music?
> >
> > Actually, I'm still writing songs and performing.
> > It's a blast and the only activity that actually
> > benefits from mood swings. Interestingly, my day
> > job is as a biostatistician (that's right...) and
> > I work on lots of mental health projects. I'm
> > currently working with Lilly on Zyprexa study in
> > the treatment of bipolar and schizophrenia. It
> > is so funny because I know all the names of the
> > meds and appear as some sort of expert to some
> > of my cohorts, but in reality, it is through my
> > own experience, curiosity, and this site that
> > most of my pharmacological info comes from...
> >
> > Hope all is well with you,
> >
> > Sean.
> >
> > You
>
> -'the razor bunnies', makes me laugh now. Sometimes I think it was simply a place to wear our coustumes. We fought like mad - a little cesspool of anger and mental disorders - and lasted about 2 years.
>
> Now (many years later), I'm listening to Esma (the Gypsy from Romania), the poet Neruda, and just lately, my sister has been sending me some Opera CDs and giving me the story behind the song, which is essential for me to properly understand the song. Oh my God, the passion. I get goosebumps just reading the lyrics. This is who's 'taking me away now'.
>
> What kind of music do you write and like? Pretty funny job there Sean. What exactly is a biostatician? Are you a scientist? Did you pursue this because of your disorder, or did you happen to end up in this field?
>
> Anyway, WORK REAL HARD for us,
> Cynthia

Razor Bunnies!!! My God, that's tremendous. I also
went through a serious grunge/anger/punk-rock
phase. Write now I'm writing mostly in a kind of
trip-hop meets emo-core meets 70's glam meets
folk meets whatever I'm feeling that day. Lot's
of strange sounds, odd lyrics, moody chords, and
shifting beats. Hard to describe I guess. I
would like to hear this Esma; sounds exotic. Did
you see the movie Lacho Drum? It was incredible.

I listen to everything from Arvo Part and similar
modern stuff like Kronos, to Drum 'n Bass, to
folk music. I also have a soft spot for early 80's
underground music and early 70's glam and Brian
Eno. I also really like some of the Seattle
stuff, but the "alternative" sound has become so
cliche' that it really doesn't do it for me. I
can't listen to the radio. I've also been to a few
raves and must say there is something nice about
some of that music, especially Orbital and Sasha.
I have an engineer friend who calls it "digital
flesh" because it has such a human quality to
it! My tastes are based on me getting the chills
and it has happened with every form of music
out there. I absolutely love music (and film,
and certain poetry, and coffee, and...)

The day job, I didn't really plan it this way. I
studied alot of math (dad would not approve of
art major - a long story) in college and have learned
to program computers, so my basic skills were
there I guess. Then I wound up working for a
healthcare research company. We tend to focus on
the differences between a drugs effectiveness and
cost rather than biological stuff. Mostly it is
retrospective stuff. It can be fun at times,
but is mostly just hard work...

Wow, I've said alot! Bye,

Sean.


 

Re: Esma and good coffee

Posted by Cynthia on August 13, 1999, at 23:34:29

In reply to Re: Angry white music, posted by Sean on August 12, 1999, at 17:03:43

Hi Sean,

I didn't know one of those bands you mentioned. I've never really considered myself a musician, I just banged around on a bunch of drums for a couple of years - like some kind of anger therapy. I'm a lyric's person, I think that's because I write poetry and really know how to appreciate it. Sometimes I think you have to be a musician to really appreciate certain types of music - of course I love music, but to really truly appreciate it. This lady Esma, she has a website but I can't remember her last name. I'll be in contact with my friend sometime this week and ask her again for her last name. She is what I would call a musician's musician, or maybe a poet's poet. Right now she is recording CDs, she thinks her voice will only be good for a few more years.

You know, until I found out about this cyclothymia, I used to think it was because I was half Italian that my senses were so refined (you know Italians and their food, and their design, and their love of beauty)- my dad grew up in Italy during the depression and he was very manic depressive; can you just try to imagine my childhood! Back to our senses; I haven't drank coffee for 3 months because I can't find any that is good enough to drink. I suppose I could make some but there is only one store in this town that sells decent beans.

How I listen to music is the first sign that my moods are going up (although generally I am confident with lithium to control my highs). The volume goes up and I just can't get those notes inside of me fast enough or intensely enough, it's like I become part of the song. I am always happy for and half envious of people who have music. Enjoy it.

I've never heard of this movie Lacho Drum?

Cynthia

 

Re: Esma and good coffee

Posted by Sean on August 24, 1999, at 15:46:00

In reply to Re: Esma and good coffee, posted by Cynthia on August 13, 1999, at 23:34:29

> Hi Sean,
>
> I didn't know one of those bands you mentioned. I've never really considered myself a musician, I just banged around on a bunch of drums for a couple of years - like some kind of anger therapy. I'm a lyric's person, I think that's because I write poetry and really know how to appreciate it. Sometimes I think you have to be a musician to really appreciate certain types of music - of course I love music, but to really truly appreciate it. This lady Esma, she has a website but I can't remember her last name. I'll be in contact with my friend sometime this week and ask her again for her last name. She is what I would call a musician's musician, or maybe a poet's poet. Right now she is recording CDs, she thinks her voice will only be good for a few more years.
>
> You know, until I found out about this cyclothymia, I used to think it was because I was half Italian that my senses were so refined (you know Italians and their food, and their design, and their love of beauty)- my dad grew up in Italy during the depression and he was very manic depressive; can you just try to imagine my childhood! Back to our senses; I haven't drank coffee for 3 months because I can't find any that is good enough to drink. I suppose I could make some but there is only one store in this town that sells decent beans.
>
> How I listen to music is the first sign that my moods are going up (although generally I am confident with lithium to control my highs). The volume goes up and I just can't get those notes inside of me fast enough or intensely enough, it's like I become part of the song. I am always happy for and half envious of people who have music. Enjoy it.
>
> I've never heard of this movie Lacho Drum?
>
> Cynthia

Hey Cynthia -

I've been on vacation in the Southwest, hiking around
Arizona and New Mexico. Super incredible but got
fairly wacked out on zoloft and lack of sleep.
Heading into a down phase right now but am writing
more music, so it's ok (I hope).

Lacho Drum should be available at the more "arty"
video stores. It basically follows the origin of
gypsy music from India to Spain, hitting all the
Easter European place in between. It is beautiful,
moving, and really opened my eyes to this music.

I'm not sure you will read this because it has been
put in the "old posts" category.

On the Rx front, I've got an appointment and am
going to try a non-Lithium mood stabilizer to
see if that works better. I simply can't take
AD's without zipping off into hyperspace.

Very funny that bit about you being 1/2 Italian!
Made me LOL. I'm Irish and German, which translates
to being very organized on somedays and a lyrical
freak on others...

Hope you are well,

Sean.

 

Hi Sean

Posted by Cynthia on August 29, 1999, at 0:27:35

In reply to Re: Esma and good coffee, posted by Sean on August 24, 1999, at 15:46:00

Glad to hear you had a good holiday. I was hiking in the Rockies yesterday, what fun.

Esma's last name is Teodosievski, and she has a web page, but as far as I know, no music to buy yet. From what I understand, this is due to initially the communism in Eastern Europe and then the war in Macedonia. I think I'd love that movie, Lacho Drum, and will try to get to an artsy video store sometime soon.

I hope you find a good mood stabilizer. Lithium made you gain weight right? God, it works so good for me. I'm a little bit curious, as far as you knkow, do you have other disorders too? I'm curious because I have so many, but consider my cyclothymia and SAD to be my main disorders, sort of like the parent disorders that made coming to life so much easier for my other ones.

Hope you're good,
Cynthia

 

Re: Hi Sean

Posted by Sean on August 30, 1999, at 12:05:40

In reply to Hi Sean, posted by Cynthia on August 29, 1999, at 0:27:35

> Glad to hear you had a good holiday. I was hiking in the Rockies yesterday, what fun.
>
> Esma's last name is Teodosievski, and she has a web page, but as far as I know, no music to buy yet. From what I understand, this is due to initially the communism in Eastern Europe and then the war in Macedonia. I think I'd love that movie, Lacho Drum, and will try to get to an artsy video store sometime soon.
>
> I hope you find a good mood stabilizer. Lithium made you gain weight right? God, it works so good for me. I'm a little bit curious, as far as you knkow, do you have other disorders too? I'm curious because I have so many, but consider my cyclothymia and SAD to be my main disorders, sort of like the parent disorders that made coming to life so much easier for my other ones.
>
> Hope you're good,
> Cynthia


Hey Cynthia -

I'm coming off Zo right now - that stuff lands
me on the moon, but after about a month, I really
need to stop it. I also have panic disorder, but
this has mellowed/changed over the years into
something that more resembles a funky siezure of
some sort, as in, my heart no longer races, but
I get these shooting flashes at my temples and
a sense of horrible dread. I also get these
olfactory hallucinations and brain fogs from time
to time which really lay me out for a few weeks
a year. I think all of these things are realted
to the cyclothymia/bp II thing because they are
very similar (in many ways) to temporal lobe
epilepsy (TLE).

I went to a neurologist about two years ago and
it was interesting. He said my symptoms were very
epilepsy-like except that they express over a
period of weeks at relatively low grade rather
than in a single burst.

My p-doc tried to get me on depakote, but I
read the PDR and was scared by the side effects.
What really worked the best was amitriptyline
and lithium together - I felt good and stable on
that combo. But I was also born with a heart
valve defect, so aside from the weight gain, these
drugs gave me arrythmias (very different from
anxiety) which got steadily worse over time.

Then came the SSRI era (last few years) and I've
just been bouncing on-and-off to treat depression.
But it is frustrating and I think making my
hypomanias worse.

So there it is, my brain on a platter! I'll keep
you posted. Take care and be well.

Sean.

 

Cyclothymic music / creativity

Posted by Louise on September 1, 1999, at 18:08:51

In reply to Re: Hi Sean, posted by Sean on August 30, 1999, at 12:05:40

Creative when 'up' and not when down? Me too. I write songs complete with music and lyrics in about 15 minutes and inspiration frequently strikes when I'm (fortunately predominantly) up.
When I'm down I sort out the bills and balance my bank account and organise my life, but there's no creativity there.

A warning to anyone who enjoys their highs is that lithium can supress your creativity too - It did for me. If you can manage your mood without it, great.

I have found an effective way of avoiding depression which is to take a tranquiliser at night (I use chlorpromazine) if I'm up to the pooint of the bursting, creative mind preventing me from sleeping. This stops the high getting too high, and the low which usually balances out on the mood scale is then never bad at all, in fact I can keep myself going by activity. Even though this is hard work sometimes, I don't get so low I can't do it. If I can continue to manage my mood in this way, then I'm happy!

PS Talking of music, I went to the V99 UK music festival a week or so ago to see Manic Street Preachers, Suede, Supergrass, Beautiful South, Stereophonics, Mercury Rev, Travis etc. etc.

Then I was high!

 

Re: Cyclothymic music / creativity

Posted by yardena on September 1, 1999, at 18:23:31

In reply to Cyclothymic music / creativity, posted by Louise on September 1, 1999, at 18:08:51

I am impressed that you can sort, organize and do bills when you are down. I can't manage to do much of anything.

 

Re: Cyclothymic music / creativity

Posted by Sean on September 2, 1999, at 15:40:32

In reply to Cyclothymic music / creativity, posted by Louise on September 1, 1999, at 18:08:51

> Creative when 'up' and not when down? Me too. I write songs complete with music and lyrics in about 15 minutes and inspiration frequently strikes when I'm (fortunately predominantly) up.
> When I'm down I sort out the bills and balance my bank account and organise my life, but there's no creativity there.
>
> A warning to anyone who enjoys their highs is that lithium can supress your creativity too - It did for me. If you can manage your mood without it, great.
>
> I have found an effective way of avoiding depression which is to take a tranquiliser at night (I use chlorpromazine) if I'm up to the pooint of the bursting, creative mind preventing me from sleeping. This stops the high getting too high, and the low which usually balances out on the mood scale is then never bad at all, in fact I can keep myself going by activity. Even though this is hard work sometimes, I don't get so low I can't do it. If I can continue to manage my mood in this way, then I'm happy!
>
> PS Talking of music, I went to the V99 UK music festival a week or so ago to see Manic Street Preachers, Suede, Supergrass, Beautiful South, Stereophonics, Mercury Rev, Travis etc. etc.
>
> Then I was high!

Hey Louise -

I can relate to the mood-music connection. I feel
my best work is done on the cusps of my moods,
either right when I'm about to plung or feeling
the first glimmers of light after a long period
of darkness. I write more when I'm hypomanic,
but I'm not convinced it has the same ring of
truth and rawness; it can become more complex
than necessary.

What kind of music do you write?

Also, sleep is a big part of the mood swing deal
isn't it. My God, when I'm hyped up I can go for
weeks on 3-4 hours a night and then it gets all
fucked up or something. Anxious and paranoid,
then lots of sleep and no hope. An even sleep
schedule helps this.

Sounds like a cool trip to V99. How was Suede?
Do you like Stereolab? I'm into everything that
pushes the edges...

Sean.

 

Re: Cyclothymic music / creativity

Posted by Sean on September 2, 1999, at 15:42:51

In reply to Re: Cyclothymic music / creativity, posted by yardena on September 1, 1999, at 18:23:31

> I am impressed that you can sort, organize and do bills when you are down. I can't manage to do much of anything.

Hi Yardena,

Me too on the down side - not much use to anybody
cause by brain feels like it won't work. I've
seen PET scans of depression and it really does
feel like it looks in the pictures.

How are things?

Sean.

 

Re: Cyclothymic music / creativity

Posted by Yardena on September 3, 1999, at 17:45:38

In reply to Re: Cyclothymic music / creativity, posted by Sean on September 2, 1999, at 15:42:51

Sean,

Things are better for the most part, but still dragging, especially in reaction to "stuff" that happens. When at work, I am fine these days. At home (long holiday weekend, especially) it is hard.
BTW, what do the PET scans of depressed brains look like?

 

Re music - Sean

Posted by Louise on September 5, 1999, at 14:09:38

In reply to Re: Cyclothymic music / creativity, posted by Yardena on September 3, 1999, at 17:45:38

Hi Sean

What you said about the change of mood being the creativity trigger was really interesting. The last few songs I've written (mainly rock / guitar stuff although I play the piano myself and write using the piano) have come to me when I've been upwardly inspired by lack of sleep and lots of loud music and then it was suddenly peaceful on the train on the way home. The sudden peace and relaxation when feeling really tired .....and they just kept flowing. The other was when I was feeling pretty up and then something upset me a bit, brought back memories, made a link to Shakespeare line then.........song. I've never noticed before that it's a sudden emotional or environmental change that inspires me - GOOD OBSERVATION !!!!

Suede were great. I was right at the front near the stage in a crowd of about 40,000 I think. I love the track Savoir Faire from the Head Music album. 'Saturday Night' was also really good.

By the way, can you or do you do anything to calm down your up moods or do you just let them ride?

Louise


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