Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 9730

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Re: Lamictal-Barbara jaye

Posted by Barbara Cat on July 11, 2003, at 13:04:26

In reply to Re: Lamictal-Barbara, posted by jaye on July 10, 2003, at 18:38:06

>...just an illusion)?
>
> Could it possibly be that when we are being tortured by our own minds we are inside that black box? Our whole brain can't be full of damaged wiring... If we can get outside the box...any state of mind is possible. Somehow we seem to get attached to the negative and horrible. Damn sticky stuff.

Hi Jaye,
I really like your analogy, especially how our minds can't be totally full of damaged wiring. I wonder why that dark yucky stuff becomes so attractive and persistent? Yes, it seems that depression/anxiety is a self perpetuating loop and our fearbased lower minds gain the upperhand and just keep looping. The spinning prevents the higher brain functions from getting through. I try to practice being in the Witness and staying right here in the present, which is usually quite tolerable. And especially having compassion for myself (I beat myself up when depressed). When I can step outside that crazy 'black box', the spin stops and I can witness my mind chasing it's own tail. But many times I don't catch it in time and once I'm in it's grip it seems like a mindless energy takes over and I quickly become blocked and exhausted.

I have little post-its all over the house with reminders 'Breathe!', 'Who is having this feeling?', 'There is only the Now and I am safe', etc, but when I'm in the black pit, they don't register. I get cynical, 'yeah, yeah, and screw you too'. There's no talking sense to me and I just have to hang on until that weird dark energy is finally finished with me.

I think we have to make the best use of our good times to practice skills of courage, patience and faith. The better I get at it, the quicker I remember to catch my mind doing it's little number. I can tolerate the discomfort because I KNOW I CAN, whereas before I was convinced I couldn't. For me, the trick is to be aware enough to catch myself before falling into those knee-jerk fearful habits. I believe that there is great value in just sitting with it and allowing those feelings just to be, but it has to be done through the unflappable Witness. It's not healthy to be lost in that kind of trauma. It's needless hysteria that feeds on fear.

I'm testing this out lately by slowly reducing my meds and relying on those skills instead. Lithium will probably stay and we'll see about the others. They've been good friends. I'm not willing to fry my brain and it's going to take a long time. This is where courage, patience, and faith come in. But I'm no fool. It can get really bad for me and if I need them, I need them. Jaye, I'd be real interested in your thoughts of what works for you, what helps in letting you sit through it. - Barbara

 

Re: Lamictal - Taming the Dragon

Posted by starlight on July 11, 2003, at 14:15:51

In reply to Re: Lamictal - Taming the Dragon KimberlyDi, posted by jaye on July 10, 2003, at 18:49:09

Jaye,
You said, "I felt like there was plate glass between me and the rest of the world. Sleep felt un-natural and waking life felt somewhat robotic. I didn't feel joy or great sadness. I missed that."

With my meds, I don't feel that way at all. Without them I do. Without them, I don't want to bother going through life's struggles, but more just want to give up. Maybe your meds were the wrong meds. I understand what you're saying about the Benegeserit (sp?) box, but some people will handle it and some people won't, regardless of whether or not they're medicated. I teach Bikram style yoga (hot yoga) in a room where the temperature can get up to 110 degrees. The class is 90 minutes long and difficult - some people can take it, some people can't, it's not a matter of the meds, it's a matter of accepting the environment and growing through it.

I accept that my mental health situation is full of ups and downs. The downs feel like the ground falls out from beneath my feet. I only see the negative things - I realize that I'm seeing the negative things. My body feels weak and I ache, I cry for no good reason. I lose productivity and am more agitated with my friends and family. The ups are great, I love them, although I've done some pretty stupid things in the past that I don't think I would do now. I think the meds definitely help to level me out, which increases my ability to be aware. I'm lucky though and am on a good combo with very few side effects. I only hope they continue to do me well.

But that's the beauty of science and research. Mankind has made great strides in those areas. Think of what we've done. We can control epilepsy, diabetes, stave off disease - it's just as much of a gift as meditation. For the person who isn't at your level of control and ability, would you deny them the treatment that could help them, or rather be compassionate and understand that each person is working at their own level and will grow and heal as they are ready to do so?
starlight

 

Re: Lamictal-Barbara

Posted by starlight on July 11, 2003, at 14:22:38

In reply to Re: Lamictal-Barbara jaye, posted by Barbara Cat on July 11, 2003, at 13:04:26

Barbara,
You're right, we're very much alike. I go through the same situations. I try to catch my fear based mind in operation, realize that it's taking control OR has taken control, but sometimes I just can't catch it fast enough. I have epiphanies, my latest has been a big confidence breakthrough. But your statement about catching it faster, is exactly where I'm at.

Sometimes though, I think the meds help us do the work.
starlight

 

Redirect: mediTation, exercise, etc.

Posted by Dr. Bob on July 11, 2003, at 18:30:26

In reply to Re: Lamictal, posted by jaye on July 10, 2003, at 7:08:19

> I have depression, mind chatter, images of horrible things coming up all day, but have been drug free for about six months. I have been trained to accept all this and use mediTation, exercise, etc.

It's fine to discuss meditation, exercise, etc., but I'd like follow-ups about them to be redirected to Psychological Babble or Psycho-Social-Babble, thanks.

Bob

PS: And those about posting policies, or complaints about posts, to be redirected to Psycho-Babble Administration.

 

Re: Lamictal-Barbara starlight

Posted by Barbara Cat on July 12, 2003, at 12:21:44

In reply to Re: Lamictal-Barbara, posted by starlight on July 11, 2003, at 14:22:38

Starlight,
Yes indeed, meds do help. I've been reducing nortriptyline because I'm tired of the side effects, and I sure am feeling it. My poor husband gets the brunt of it. I get very touchy, critical and bitchy and then feel awful. I'd love to find a combo that works well. It's always been tricky because of the overlaps of my symptoms and dx's.

What meds are you taking? Are you bipolar? Some things you described about yourself sound very familiar. I'm really intrigued that you're TEACHING Bikram yoga. Jeez, to get to that level! I love Bikram style but I can barely keep up with one class! It's very interesting that here's someone (you) who is obviously on the path, doing good things for herself, knows about mastery, control and commitment (you cannot be a Yoga teacher at your level without real skill and chutzpah). And still suffering from a mood disorder.

I was at a darshan given by a well-known, well-loved, very clear meditation/spiritual teacher, who admitted taking antidepressants because she just could not function in that bleak state and God knows, she tried. I was floored. I had been thinking of my need for meds as my dirty little secret, because 'everyone knows' that good little spiritual practitioners should be able to transcend that negativity. But as she admitted this, it opened up the whole room. Hands were going up all over the place. People were either admitting that they too took medication, or else were in the process of falling apart and were desperate to try anything. My jaw was dropping. This more than anything convinced me that there's something going on with EVERYONE whereby the pain signals are amped up and we're just not able to handle the kinds of stresses we're exposed to. At least those of us with sensitive nervous systems. - Barbara

> You're right, we're very much alike. I go through the same situations. I try to catch my fear based mind in operation, realize that it's taking control OR has taken control, but sometimes I just can't catch it fast enough. I have epiphanies, my latest has been a big confidence breakthrough. But your statement about catching it faster, is exactly where I'm at.
>
> Sometimes though, I think the meds help us do the work.
> starlight

 

Re: Lamictal--Attn: Barbara Cat, Re: Li add on

Posted by fluffy on July 13, 2003, at 11:53:40

In reply to Re: Lamictal Jennifer N., posted by Barbara Cat on July 10, 2003, at 1:08:15

Hi Barbara Cat--

I think you responded to one of my desperate posts last fall when I first got diagnosed Bipolar II. I have improved since then, thanks to a team of talented psychiatrists. I've been on Lamictal for 4 months now. I found it to be very helpful in brightening my mood. However, it doesn't seem to help with my more agitated states (i guess hypomania???) I have been experiencing these lately. I'm about to move, and I'm under some financial stress. I know this is triggering me, but I'm finding it hard to combat what I feel may be an episode coming on. I've had trouble sleeping (4 hrs a night). I have taken Ambien and had a couple of peaceful nights of sleep this week. But I'm beginning to dread meal times b/c I'm not hungry, and food is starting to lose its taste. And bedtime....argh. I toss and turn. No racing thoughts, though. I'm getting fatalistic again.

I'm wondering if I should add some Lithium to the mix. My docs feel really good about this combo. I also wonder if Depakote would work? Although I don't know about how the blood level thing works. I'd welcome wanting to eat ANYTHING! I wonder about Buproprion, too.

As much as I'd like to 'ride the dragon', I just don't have the time...I'd like to keep my job.
I just want to sleep and eat again. Barbara Cat--do you find that Li helps you sleep? I can't become an Ambien junky. My pdoc is getting a call tomorrow. But I'd appreciate any advice, Please!

Katy

> Lamictal started working within the first week for me. I noticed a definite brightening energetic effect which lasted about 2 months and then declined. During this time, I went through some extreme stress and so am not sure if my circumstances caused the decline or if it just pooped out. Lamictal was not strong enough to handle the severe depression that was engulfing me and I could not increase it past 100mg without anxiety. I went on nortriptyline, which definitely helped, but am now getting off because of the side effects.
>
> I have BP-II with major depressive mixed states and basically, I'm determined to stabilize using lithium and lamictal only. I think lamictal is a worthwhile med and will titrate up slowly to see if it handles things.
>
> I know nothing about tegretol but if you're not using a decent mood stabiliser concurrently, it's doubtful you'll have a smooth ride from lamictal alone. It seems to need something else to complete it's transmission. In my experience, lithium is the perfect partner - one potentiates the other. Together they become very effective in combatting the hell of an agitated depression. At least at first. Time will tell if this combo is more than just a tease.
>
> > I have been taking Lamictal for 3 weeks. I have BD with major depressive disorder. My psychiatrist started me out at 25mg/day, increasing by 25mg/week until reaching 100mg/day. When I began Lamictal, I was on 200mg/day of Tegretol, and have been decreasing by 100mg/week until I reach zero. Today is my last dose of the Tegretol. I want to know how long the Lamictal should take to kick in. I am having increased manic and "racing thought" episodes. My doctor also gave me Seroquel, which has only helped some. Will I notice more of a difference after the Tegretol has been discontinued?
>
>

 

Re: Lamictal, to Jennifer N, Re: Tegretol

Posted by fluffy on July 13, 2003, at 12:11:36

In reply to Re: Lamictal, posted by Jennifer N. on July 9, 2003, at 14:16:06

To Jennifer N--

I also was put on Tegretol for some reason when I first got diagnosed with BP II. I only got up to 200 mg as well, and noticed *nothing*. I just felt MORE depressed. For one thing, 200 mg is a *very* small dose. And for most cases, its effect is moot. Most BP folks respond to other meds first (usually Li or Depakote--and now Lamictal). As far as I know, Tegretol is only used if the other two don't work. But it doesn't have a good profile for helping depression. It helps rapid cycling and mania.

When I first started Lamictal, I was also dosing down on the Tegretol, which didn't take much time, since the dose was so low. I didn't notice agitation from the Tegretol and Lam together. But I did have a hefty bout of hypomania when I first started Lam. The anti-manic effects of Lamictal are not very robust, so if you are prone to somewhat significant mania/hypomania, you may have some episodes with Lamictal alone. (at least that's my experience).

I'm currently needing to augment Lamictal with something else, and am considering a bevy of choices. I'm also combating some agitated feelings of depression on Lamictal alone.

Let us know how you're doing. You could have a great experience with Lamictal. It might be rocky at first, but give it time to kick in. (the titration to therapeutic levels is SLOW)

Take care, and good luck with the Lam!!

Katy

 

Re: Lamictal Barbara Cat

Posted by Jennifer N. on July 13, 2003, at 12:29:06

In reply to Re: Lamictal Jennifer N., posted by Barbara Cat on July 10, 2003, at 1:08:15

> Lamictal started working within the first week for me. I noticed a definite brightening energetic effect which lasted about 2 months and then declined. During this time, I went through some extreme stress and so am not sure if my circumstances caused the decline or if it just pooped out. Lamictal was not strong enough to handle the severe depression that was engulfing me and I could not increase it past 100mg without anxiety. I went on nortriptyline, which definitely helped, but am now getting off because of the side effects.
>
> I have BP-II with major depressive mixed states and basically, I'm determined to stabilize using lithium and lamictal only. I think lamictal is a worthwhile med and will titrate up slowly to see if it handles things.
>
> I know nothing about tegretol but if you're not using a decent mood stabiliser concurrently, it's doubtful you'll have a smooth ride from lamictal alone. It seems to need something else to complete it's transmission. In my experience, lithium is the perfect partner - one potentiates the other. Together they become very effective in combatting the hell of an agitated depression. At least at first. Time will tell if this combo is more than just a tease.
>
> > I have been taking Lamictal for 3 weeks. I have BD with major depressive disorder. My psychiatrist started me out at 25mg/day, increasing by 25mg/week until reaching 100mg/day. When I began Lamictal, I was on 200mg/day of Tegretol, and have been decreasing by 100mg/week until I reach zero. Today is my last dose of the Tegretol. I want to know how long the Lamictal should take to kick in. I am having increased manic and "racing thought" episodes. My doctor also gave me Seroquel, which has only helped some. Will I notice more of a difference after the Tegretol has been discontinued?
>
>

Thanks for your response. I am now at 75mg of Lamictal and starting to see some of the effects. I'm not where I should be yet, but it's promising and looking better day by day.

As to the combo of Lamictal and Lithium, unfortunately, that's not an option for me. The first mood stabilizer I was ever on was lithium. While I was seeing very little positive results, the negative result was a nightmare. I developed diabetes insipidous from the Lithium. the Lithium blocked my ADH (anti-diuretic hormone)in my body. This casued my kidneys to not concentrate my urine. I became thirsty ALL the time...I drank gallons of water a day (a sure obvious symptom for someone like me that normally doesn't like water at all!) My body wasn't utilizing the water, and I became dehydrated. i told my pdoc, and she looked it up in her med book (not very comforting!) She called me a couple of days later and told me to immediately stop the Lithium...I was on 900mg/day. It was too late, my kidneys were starting to shut down. I passed out two days later while home alone and hit my head on the edge of the sofa...I was taken to the hospital. Luckily, I am fine now, but Lithium is certainly not my friend!

I tell you all this story, so that you can be aware that this could happen to you if you take lithium. The odds are low, but being aware and knowing the symptoms is very important. Extreme thirst, dehydration, and excreting large amounts of completely clear urine are tell-tale signs of diabetes insipidous. This is not a permanent disorder, nor is it actually related to diabetes...only has the name because it affects the kidneys. Please watch for these signs.

I'm not sure what they will give me next if the Lamictal doesn't work for me long-term. I hope that it does...

Since I have started to feel better this week, some realties in my life came to light in my world. I was able to accept the amount of debt I have in my life. I decided to apply for a part-time job working for Home Depot on some evenings and weekends on top of my 8:30-5:00, M-F job. My husband applauded this, but I am afraid that I may be setting myself up for a huge crash...taking on too many things at once too soon. I also have had to change my eating habits due to receiving my high cholesterol results last week....boy, has that been really hard! I'm still not eating like I should be, but I guess it's a start.

Does anybody have any advice for me? Has anyone else experienced the initial sudden high of "feeling a little better", take too much on, and then crash? I don't know what I should do, but I'm tired of putting my life on hold for this stupid disease!

-Jennifer N.

 

Re: Lamictal, to Jennifer N, Re: Tegretol fluffy

Posted by Jennifer N. on July 13, 2003, at 12:40:35

In reply to Re: Lamictal, to Jennifer N, Re: Tegretol, posted by fluffy on July 13, 2003, at 12:11:36

>To Katy-

Thanks for the info and support. I have noticed increased periods of mania and hypo-mania in the last week...it has been rough. I finally am off the Tegretol as of this past Wednesday.

Earlier this past week was difficult...I cycled up and down, but less down than up. I had to face some grueling issues of jealousy/pride. This has always been difficult for me, but being in the "in between/crossover period" of meds made it even harder. It helps when people like you are supportive and can be there for others like me during difficult periods of time. So, thank you very much!

-Jennifer N.


To Jennifer N--
>
> I also was put on Tegretol for some reason when I first got diagnosed with BP II. I only got up to 200 mg as well, and noticed *nothing*. I just felt MORE depressed. For one thing, 200 mg is a *very* small dose. And for most cases, its effect is moot. Most BP folks respond to other meds first (usually Li or Depakote--and now Lamictal). As far as I know, Tegretol is only used if the other two don't work. But it doesn't have a good profile for helping depression. It helps rapid cycling and mania.
>
> When I first started Lamictal, I was also dosing down on the Tegretol, which didn't take much time, since the dose was so low. I didn't notice agitation from the Tegretol and Lam together. But I did have a hefty bout of hypomania when I first started Lam. The anti-manic effects of Lamictal are not very robust, so if you are prone to somewhat significant mania/hypomania, you may have some episodes with Lamictal alone. (at least that's my experience).
>
> I'm currently needing to augment Lamictal with something else, and am considering a bevy of choices. I'm also combating some agitated feelings of depression on Lamictal alone.
>
> Let us know how you're doing. You could have a great experience with Lamictal. It might be rocky at first, but give it time to kick in. (the titration to therapeutic levels is SLOW)
>
> Take care, and good luck with the Lam!!
>
> Katy

 

Re: Lamictal

Posted by fluffy on July 13, 2003, at 14:21:33

In reply to Re: Lamictal Barbara Cat, posted by Jennifer N. on July 13, 2003, at 12:29:06

Hi again Jennifer!

Wow--sounds like a REALLY bad experience with the Li. But you can cross it off your list, and persue other options...there are still lots out there. Did Tegretol help at all with the 'up' part for you? Maybe if the Lamictal doesn't do it alone, you could put them together?

--I'm not sure what they will give me next if the Lamictal doesn't work for me long-term. I hope that it does...

Just keep up with it and cross that bridge if you come to it! I have a tendency to think "what if I get ill? then what? Aghhhh!!! Is there any hope for a pathetic inidividual like me???? " and so on and so forth. You are not alone in this fear, ESPECIALLY if you've just been diagnosed and have had problems with the first few meds!! I'm there with you!

--Since I have started to feel better this week, some realties in my life came to light in my world. I was able to accept the amount of debt I have in my life. I decided to apply for a part-time job working for Home Depot on some evenings and weekends on top of my 8:30-5:00, M-F job. My husband applauded this, but I am afraid that I may be setting myself up for a huge crash...taking on too many things at once too soon.

--Does anybody have any advice for me? Has anyone else experienced the initial sudden high of "feeling a little better", take too much on, and then crash? I don't know what I should do, but I'm tired of putting my life on hold for this stupid disease!


My only advice to you is to take note of this desire...maybe make SMALL steps towards them, but don't make any rash moves. IF you are feeling manic-ish, then give it some time and see if you feel the same in a week or so.
I say this out of experience, because I also need to get out of debt SERIOUSLY, and I want to get on with my career as an artist. I've been out of the studio for months now, and haven't written for any grants or exhibitions. I've slowly started to work again, and I've made baby steps towards my goals. When I look back, I can feel proud at what I can accomplish, even if it is more slowly than before.

Another job can be too much stress. And stress can trigger episodes. Will the stress of a new job eclipse the stress of being in debt? Something to consider. (I'm one to talk--I'm moving AND considering taking a part time job to pay MY debts!) Is there anything that you can do at home that you enjoy that you could do to make money? Perhaps crafts or something? Also--can you take smaller steps towards fiscal responsibility like finding lower interest rates on your loans? Maybe Consumer Credit Counseling? Just a thought.

I hope I gave good advice. (It made me feel better to talk to you! Sounds like we are in a similar boat!) Keep in touch.

Katy


------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Re: mind noise - any head traumas?

Posted by avid abulia on July 13, 2003, at 15:17:24

In reply to mind noise - any head traumas?, posted by Barbara Cat on July 4, 2003, at 11:45:45

> For anyone who has had this mind noise stuff, did you have a head injury before it started? Maybe fell on your head as a child, or hit hard on the face or head? A woman I know is a very powerful psychic, used by the police and the FBI. She said her psychic abilities started in her 30s when she fell off a horse and sustained head injuries and concussion. They started with voices in her head and progressed to the point where she decided to go through formal training to channel these strange occurances. This head scrambling has been documented in many other psychic's lives - not only head injuries, but a massive scrambling of brain functions accompanied by chaotic mood disorders. When it reordered itself, they had a new sensitivity, able to pick up 'other channels' on their neural TV set. There's even some very interesting research done on this by a physicist, last name Prigogine, on chaos and new level of reordering. Something to think about.


Hey, that is an interesting thing to think about. I wouldn't go so far as to make claims of psychic abilities for myself, though some people who know me have tried to tell me they think i am. I like to think of it as more a matter of just being more in tune with what is going on around me and having an unconscious that pieces things together, and makes breakthroughs into my normal awareness. i have had multiple head injuries though, to answer your question.

But as regards your friend, there is a reference in "Naked Lunch" and again in "The Wild Boys" to William S. Burroughs' theory that so far as psi goes, there are receiving and transmitting functions, and people who have hallucinations would be very strong receivers.

i would guess that in the case of shared delusional disorder (AKA folie a deux) the originally delusional party would be a very strong transmitter.

i don't like to dismiss anything out of hand (though, being human, i can't help but occasionally do it anyway... c'est la vie, we are all hypocrits) including psi theories. It is just too bad that we have not yet developed techniques to test these in a scientifically acceptable manner and have nothing more than anecdotal evidence to go off of as of this point.

Definitely the proverbial food for thought.

~AA

 

Re: Lamictal--Attn: Barbara Cat, Re: Li add on fluffy

Posted by Barbara Cat on July 13, 2003, at 15:32:34

In reply to Re: Lamictal--Attn: Barbara Cat, Re: Li add on, posted by fluffy on July 13, 2003, at 11:53:40

Hi Katy,
Lithium is the one med I will not be without. It's been the stabilizer I've needed my entire life. I'm not surprised you're feeling antsy on lamictal by itself. I think it's a good add-on med to brighten things up, but can't imagine being on it alone. It doesn't do a thing for hypomania. I don't know about depakote or tegretol. I tried topamax but didn't like it. Lithium started to work within 3 days of starting it. I've run out twice and didn't renew my script 'just to see if I really needed it'. I did. I take only 600mg/day and my blood levels are well below the therapeutic window. But this level works for me, probably because I'm boosting it with lamictal. The two are synergistic with each other. That's not to say that I've been depression free. My mother was killed by a car while out walking and that time was terrible for me, as it would be for anyone. But it did not morph in a mixed states agitated depression, which, before lithium, I would and things would get very bad for me.

Lithium keeps things from getting fragmented and shattered. I do not feel any of the flattening of affect or lethargy others report. It also is being shown to have neuro protective properties and stimulates growth of dendrites. The drawbacks are weight gain (sounds like you could benefit from this), slight tremors which come and go, and most importantly, thyroid problems. I already had hypothyroidism and it's gotten worse. I've doubled my thryoid medication so it's controlled, but it concerns me. So do get your thyroid levels checked regularly if you decide to go on it. Very important. Don't let your TSH values get above 3.0 (1.5 is better), no matter what your docs say (trust me on this).

Now, about your sleep question. Some people find it helpful but I can't say that lithium has affected my sleep one way or the other. Insomnia is a problem for me also as it has been all my life. I resort to Ambien every night and still have trouble falling asleep. If I can get some really good hard exercise during the day I'll drop off easier. I also take an herbal sleep product with valerian and hops, and use 3mg melatonin which helps. I've recently discovered a wonderful series of tapes/CDs by a therapist named Belleruth Naparsek who uses imagery and affirmations. I've never really taken to any others before, but she is fabulous. I listen to her 'Healing Anxiety' and 'Restful Sleep' with headphones and am usually out like a light within 5 minutes. Check her out at:

http://www.healthjourneys.com

The best tape in the series is 'Healing Trauma (PTSD)'. Layers keep shedding every time I work with it but it's definitely not sleepy time material. Keep me posted. - BarbaraCat

 

Re: Li add on-THANKS Barbara Cat!

Posted by fluffy on July 13, 2003, at 17:46:36

In reply to Re: Lamictal--Attn: Barbara Cat, Re: Li add on fluffy, posted by Barbara Cat on July 13, 2003, at 15:32:34

Thank you Barbara Cat--

That's an encouraging (personal) endorsement for the two in combination. I'm going to talk about this with my doc...I'm sure he'll be eager to try it out on me. There is a very convincing recent study done by the NIMH about Li and Lamictal in combination. (he was babbling about it at my last visit) So I wouldn't be at all surprised if he concurs about my situation.

So you take Ambien EVERY night??? I thought it was addictive, and they (doctors) don't encourage its use for more than 5 nights in a row! My doc was explicit about this--he probably wouldn't refill for me even if I begged and cried! PLUS the damned things should be made of platinum...$3 a pop for one teensy 5mg pill! But I have to say that i sleep like a BABY--better than any other sleep aid. I wouldn't mind one every night if I could afford them and/or my doc wouldn't have my head on a platter!

Thanks again--I'll keep in touch
Katy

 

Re: Lamictal Jennifer N.

Posted by Barbara Cat on July 13, 2003, at 19:22:52

In reply to Re: Lamictal Barbara Cat, posted by Jennifer N. on July 13, 2003, at 12:29:06

Yikes on the lithium! Thanks for the head's up. I am more thirsty and pee more lately. I'll mention it to my pdoc but doubt I'll be stopping it unless something else works as well. I wonder if there are any natural remedies to offset lithium side effects.

I share your work till you drop syndrome. We feel so bad and then once the sun starts shining again, it's time to make up for lost time, yowza! I keep having to learn the lesson to pace myself, break away from the job and go outside, get some air and exercise. One huge bit of advice I can offer is to remember to BREATHE. It's so common to hold our breath when we get busy, frazled, stressed, whatever. Disordered breathing is a sure way to get panic attacks, anxiety, blood pressure disorders. Anyhow, you'll probably enjoy Home Depot once you get the hang of it. Getting out can be fun if we're up for it. If it doesn't work out you know it's not the only job in the world. - Barbara

 

Re: Li add on-THANKS Barbara Cat! fluffy

Posted by Barbara Cat on July 13, 2003, at 19:39:14

In reply to Re: Li add on-THANKS Barbara Cat!, posted by fluffy on July 13, 2003, at 17:46:36

Katy,
If you can find out the source of that lamictal/lithium study, please let me know. I've heard that they were made for each other and I agree, but haven't seen anything on it.

Yes, unfortunately I do take Ambien every night and wouldn't be surprised if I've developed a nice little tolerance, but a girl's gotta get her rest. You think Ambien every night is bad? Sometimes when I'm really wired I have to add 10mg of valium and I'm STILL wide awake. It's really crummy, since I do so enjoy my sleep and wonderful dreams.

As I work with my naturopath and read up on similar symptoms to mine it's looking like my cortisol clock is flipped. I get a burst of energy at night and can't wind down no matter what I do. Eventually I'll get my overall hormonal system in balance and will wean off sleep meds.

> Thank you Barbara Cat--
>
> That's an encouraging (personal) endorsement for the two in combination. I'm going to talk about this with my doc...I'm sure he'll be eager to try it out on me. There is a very convincing recent study done by the NIMH about Li and Lamictal in combination. (he was babbling about it at my last visit) So I wouldn't be at all surprised if he concurs about my situation.
>
> So you take Ambien EVERY night??? I thought it was addictive, and they (doctors) don't encourage its use for more than 5 nights in a row! My doc was explicit about this--he probably wouldn't refill for me even if I begged and cried! PLUS the damned things should be made of platinum...$3 a pop for one teensy 5mg pill! But I have to say that i sleep like a BABY--better than any other sleep aid. I wouldn't mind one every night if I could afford them and/or my doc wouldn't have my head on a platter!
>
> Thanks again--I'll keep in touch
> Katy

 

Re: Lamictal-Barbara

Posted by starlight on July 14, 2003, at 16:28:23

In reply to Re: Lamictal-Barbara starlight, posted by Barbara Cat on July 12, 2003, at 12:21:44

Barbara,

I'm Bipolar (at first we thought it was Bipolar II) but I suffer from mixed states which I think is more representative of BP I. I can be depressed as hell and running down the street. Get that! I'm on 1800 Trileptal and 200 Lamictal per day. My pdoc calls me high functioning.

And it's true, I have a great job besides teaching yoga, am creative, sing with a band and write music, have a wonderful husband. Where my disease comes into play is with the wild swings, especially the depressive side which can bring on suicidal ideation.

Unfortunatly as a result from being on wellbutrin for a couple of years, I was probably kindled into mania - I was talking a mile a minute and practically running when I walked.

I think the yoga/spiritual crowd is usually better educated and has the income to be able to afford better health care. Plus, don't forget the whole spiritual thingy being tied in with bipolar. I hear the angels singing!

The one thing with me and meds was that I insisted on something that would not make me feel too dopey.
starlight

 

Re: Lamictal-Barbara starlight

Posted by Barbara Cat on July 14, 2003, at 20:47:05

In reply to Re: Lamictal-Barbara, posted by starlight on July 14, 2003, at 16:28:23

Starlight,
You think mixed states is more representative of BP-I than II? I was wondering about that myself. I get 'normal' depressions on occasion but the mixed states are absolute hell. I descend into an almost psychotic state where everything is painful and despairing. Unlike garden variety depression I feel things too sharply, cry and wail and can sometimes have hallucinations. I get precognitions that unfortunately play out, but they are all of the doom variety. The world becomes an apocolyptic nightmare where the singing angels fly away and abandon us. We are lost in the mind of an insane God. It takes me over completely. I hardly sleep, and it feels like my nerve endings are scorched. Very wild, a place that might be fascinating to explore if it weren't so horrific and debilitating. I would almost call it schizophrenia if it weren't so cyclical. I haven't had one of these doozeys since starting lithium.

Who knows what our stuff really is? For me, it's probably a highly attuned sensitivity that's gone awry, circuits miswired. Any thoughts would be appreciated. I haven't met many mixed-states on this board. - Barbara

 

BIPOLAR QUESTION?

Posted by cleo on July 14, 2003, at 21:31:29

In reply to Re: Lamictal-Barbara, posted by starlight on July 11, 2003, at 14:22:38

I was recently diagnosed with bipolar about two years ago. well I guess that's not that recent. I don't really see how I have it though. I know that I have bad bouts of depression, but I don't know about the mania part of it. I'm impulsive when it comes to shopping sprees.I know that is a symptom. Icompumpulsively eat when the mood hits me. But I do these things to make myself feel better at the time, of course I don't know that at the time. I am in massive debt and I almost lost my cheking acount forever. Does this sound like bipolar to anyone? What are some of your experiences?

cleo

 

Re: BIPOLAR QUESTION?

Posted by pasdenom on July 14, 2003, at 21:37:36

In reply to BIPOLAR QUESTION?, posted by cleo on July 14, 2003, at 21:31:29

Cleo,
Yes it does sound like bipolar to me, but not the worst kind. There's Bipolar I, II, cyclothymia, etc. If depression is your worst symptom you probably have bipolar II like I do. By the way, what meds are you on?

 

Re: BIPOLAR QUESTION?

Posted by cleo on July 14, 2003, at 22:12:44

In reply to Re: BIPOLAR QUESTION?, posted by pasdenom on July 14, 2003, at 21:37:36

> Cleo,
> Yes it does sound like bipolar to me, but not the worst kind. There's Bipolar I, II, cyclothymia, etc. If depression is your worst symptom you probably have bipolar II like I do. By the way, what meds are you on?

I've been on every one out there. But I'm on Lamictal at 300mg, serzone400mg, topamax 300mg, paxil 100mg. And these meds have been reduced! He just took me off of wellbutrin and I was taking 800mg of serzone. He's also going to increase my lamictal. He said that I was a difficult patient to diagnose. Do the shopping sprees make me have hypomania?

 

Re: BIPOLAR QUESTION?

Posted by sarita0001 on July 14, 2003, at 22:42:53

In reply to BIPOLAR QUESTION?, posted by cleo on July 14, 2003, at 21:31:29

> I was recently diagnosed with bipolar about two years ago. well I guess that's not that recent. I don't really see how I have it though. I know that I have bad bouts of depression, but I don't know about the mania part of it. I'm impulsive when it comes to shopping sprees.I know that is a symptom. Icompumpulsively eat when the mood hits me. But I do these things to make myself feel better at the time, of course I don't know that at the time. I am in massive debt and I almost lost my cheking acount forever. Does this sound like bipolar to anyone? What are some of your experiences?
>
> cleo

Cleo-

Just a little about my experience...
I was diagnosed 7 years ago after a manic episode($2000 shopping spree, car accident, no sleep for a week, etc). People said I just wasn't myself. Immediately after that I went on lithium and have been on it since then and had no manic episodes, but some depression here and there. I am more of the depressive type. I am still trying to figure out of I have it(by trying to go off lithium completely) and what causes me to feel depressed. It is hard but one of the most important things is to have a psychiatrist you trust.

S

 

Re: BIPOLAR QUESTION?

Posted by McPac on July 15, 2003, at 0:04:23

In reply to Re: BIPOLAR QUESTION?, posted by sarita0001 on July 14, 2003, at 22:42:53

"no sleep for a week"

For 7 straight days and nights? You'd think the body would just collapse at that point! If I don't sleep for 1 whole night I feel like total CRUD!

 

Re: BIPOLAR QUESTION?

Posted by sarita0001 on July 15, 2003, at 9:06:43

In reply to Re: BIPOLAR QUESTION?, posted by McPac on July 15, 2003, at 0:04:23

> "no sleep for a week"
>
> For 7 straight days and nights? You'd think the body would just collapse at that point! If I don't sleep for 1 whole night I feel like total CRUD!

Was exagerrating a bit... probably 3-4 hours each night for 7 days. Not to mention I was also smoking pot and drinking.

 

for barbaracat.......lexapro and depakote BarbaraCat

Posted by joebob on July 15, 2003, at 13:23:08

In reply to Re: New Med Question Alylene, posted by BarbaraCat on December 5, 2002, at 15:36:45

my doc gave me depakote for 2 weeks prior to starting lexapro next week..........
i am wondering how much dep i might need and will i need to keep taking it after the lex kicks in?


> Why the heck are you on Lexapro? It sounds like you're having classic Bipolar II cycling, an absolute SURE THING eventuality with any antidepressant in the absence of a mood stabilizer. Zyprexa can be of help if it's the right med for you, but it can also affect dopamine which, if it's NOT the right med for you, will plunge you into a very scary place. Weight gain will be the least of your concerns. Hang in there and know that there's something not working with you med combo and royally screwing up your chemistry. Sheesh, if I was on that combo, I know I'd be in the throes of a schizoid mixed state frenzy. Have you read "Why your depression isn't getting better", Dr. M. Bartos yet? Read it. Your symptoms and probable solution are spelled out in black and white. This should be mandatory reading for any pdoc but go figure. - BarbaraCat
>
> > Help...After six great weeks of feeling completely normal, not depressed, and not manic, I have started to spike up toward hypomania...insominia, mind racing and high irritability. Anyway, I went to my psydoc and she put me on Zyprexa (2.5 mg) in addition to my 20 mg of Lexapro. But...she said that weight gain is probable. UGH! If this is true then I'll be back in the depths of depression in no time. Are there any success stories of taking Zyprexa and NOT gaining weight?
>
>

 

Re: Lamictal-Barbara

Posted by starlight on July 15, 2003, at 14:39:55

In reply to Re: Lamictal-Barbara starlight, posted by Barbara Cat on July 14, 2003, at 20:47:05

From what I've read, it appears that mixed is more representative of BPI. I too get some hallucinations - especially auditory. Some visuals as well. The depressions are very difficult for me and actually with the Lamictal, I'm doing much better. I'm thinking of asking for one more bump up just to ensure that I can maintain and avoid another fall.

I have alot of angst - same stuff, feel pain, can easily pick up on other people's pain and will cry with little provocation. My mixed states usually mean that during the down part I'm agitated more yet still function and can actually have alot of energy and still feel like shit. The other thing that's a challenge for me is the need to inflict pain upon myself. I don't cut or anything like that but will want to feel pain.

I've had some truly amazing visions, and feel quite blessed to have experienced them, they have changed my entire perspective on life and how I view it (but you know, the whole spiritual aspect of bipolars, yada, yada, yada). That, to me is the creative artist thing that makes us visionaries so that we can project a different, hopefully better world in our art.

I've never had much of a problem sleeping - though can easily operate on about 5 hours no problem. I have experienced days in my early 20's where I operated for days with almost no sleep. I would drink and party and stay up all night, and go to work and then repeat the whole thing for days on end.
starlight


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