Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Re: Best wishes to my friend B-Cat paintmom

Posted by barbaracat on June 4, 2005, at 13:10:48

In reply to Re: Best wishes to my friend B-Cat, posted by paintmom on June 3, 2005, at 22:24:21

Hi PaintMom,
I believe we chatted a while back. Yes, I believe childhood stress affects certain brain structures and makes us more sensitive to stresses. But I also believe there is great healing possible from many sources. Neurons regenerate. Our bodies and brains are new every 7 years. It's the energy of our thoughts that hold patterns in place and these can be changed, if we learn how. I am learning how and I'm also finally on a med regimen that is working for me and I fervently hope continues to work for me.

I'm currently taking a very small amount of Cymbalta (5mg) along with my usual standby, 600mg lithium. I also take thyroid meds and reproductive hormones as well. And Ambien for sleep and a benzo as needed. This combo works well.

My mood has improved greatly since beginning the Cymbalta, even though the amount is quite miniscule compared to what's typical. One thing I've learned for sure is Bipolars are very sensitive to alot of meds, especially SSRI type meds. We don't need as much and are usually prescribed amounts appropriate for unipolars. So we go into a hypomanic spin and dump the lot.

Since I've been feeling better, more stable and more optimistic, I'm using this good energy state to develop positive habits for myself. Getting more exercise, playing more piano, dancing more - stuff I really enjoy but have no energy for or interest in when I'm depressed or scattered. If I reach a bad place again for whatever reason, I'll have this support system available when I need it. But maybe I won't hit a bad time if I continue to do what gives me pleasure and energy. Practice, practice.

I'm also working on a thought philosophy that has helped me more than anything else I've read or studied. I'd be happy to share it with you but don't want to force it down anyone's throat.

So, I'm doing quite well - considering I was hospitalized just this past January for a complete meltdown. I know I need an antidepressant now. St. John's Wort worked as long as I didn't have extreme stress but wasn't enough when I ran into a bad stretch. Therefore, Cymbalta really has been a Godsend. I have no qualms about quaffing a benzo when I'm feeling frazzled cause stress is the bad guy. Lithium thankfully works for me and I cannot be without it. I've tried, and yikes! Bad idea. I didn't do well with Depakote or Topamax (made me too edgy). I musn't forget the thyroid. One of the reasons I landed in the hospital was because my hypothyroid condition had worsened considerably. Lithium will do that to you and it has to be closely monitored (thyroid, that is). Increasing the dose has made everything work better. I must get on my soapbox here and again urge everyone to get all their hormones tested - thyroid, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA. When they're out of balance, no amount of mood meds are going to help for long.

I hope you find a combo that works for you. Keep trying. Now that you have a Bipolar dx you can better target and identify your moods and what helps. Personally, I'd much rather be bipolar than unipolar. Those hypomanias can be so much fun and productive as long as they stay in their place and don't skid into outright mania or mixed states. Blessings to you. - Barbara




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