Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 9730

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Re: Histoire de Katia

Posted by fluffy on August 30, 2003, at 15:24:15

In reply to Histoire de Katia fluffy, posted by katia on August 30, 2003, at 14:33:34

Wow Katia-

Interesting to hear your experiences (I know they were painful to you--thank you for sharing that stuff)

I'd definitely say that you're on the right track as far as your treatment goes. From what you've told me, it sounds as though the BP diagnosis fits (personal history coupled with your reactions to anti-depressants). I'm no doc, but I have faith that you'll get a response from a mood stabilizer.

I can't say that my manic episodes are similar. "My" manias consist of a flurry of activities (like too many home improvement projects), increased energy, quick thoughts. When it's been its most severe, I've told people off, written bad things about friends or important people in my career on message boards (that they all read!--completely ruined career connections and friendships), planned parties for everyone I knew, drank 3-4 nights a week, in love with 2-3 guys at a time....etc...

Have you read "And Unquiet Mind" yet? It's required reading for the newly diagnosed. (in my opinion)

keep in touch,
katy

 

Barb-cat (or anyone else)--quick Lithium question

Posted by fluffy on August 30, 2003, at 15:33:11

In reply to Re: Histoire de Katia, posted by fluffy on August 30, 2003, at 15:24:15

Hi Barb-cat--

I re-read your post about your experiences with Li. So can I infer that you had some annoying side effects that went away over time (on that dose)?

I've been on this stuff for 2 days, and my head feels a little fuzzy. I don't much like the feeling--it's hard to explain--not SLEEPY--just weird. A bit nauseous. Did the fuzzy head thing fade? I know it's only been two days--I can be patient. When I read about Lithium, it sounds like ---you tolerate it, or you don't---. I don't hear about side effects fading over time.

Hope you are doing well,
Katy

 

Re: Histoire de Katia fluffy

Posted by katia on August 30, 2003, at 15:33:35

In reply to Re: Histoire de Katia, posted by fluffy on August 30, 2003, at 15:24:15

> Wow Katia-
>
> Interesting to hear your experiences (I know they were painful to you--thank you for sharing that stuff)
>
> I'd definitely say that you're on the right track as far as your treatment goes. From what you've told me, it sounds as though the BP diagnosis fits (personal history coupled with your reactions to anti-depressants). I'm no doc, but I have faith that you'll get a response from a mood stabilizer.
>
> I can't say that my manic episodes are similar. "My" manias consist of a flurry of activities (like too many home improvement projects), increased energy, quick thoughts. When it's been its most severe, I've told people off, written bad things about friends or important people in my career on message boards (that they all read!--completely ruined career connections and friendships), planned parties for everyone I knew, drank 3-4 nights a week, in love with 2-3 guys at a time....etc...
>
> Have you read "And Unquiet Mind" yet? It's required reading for the newly diagnosed. (in my opinion)
>
> keep in touch,
> katy

Hi Katy,
I have read An Unquiet Mind ironically enough about eight years ago! Something was drawing me to read stuff like that; but it just took me this long to wake up to it within myself.

You're "highs" sound very similar to mine. I can't tell you how many friends I've lost due to my irrational reactions!!!!

As far as treatment goes, I'm ready to throw in the bag with Depakote. I just read the it can cause PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) which can cause infertility and a host of other things.
Have you heard this? Maybe I'll be joing the Li/Lam chain gang soon!
Katia

 

Re: Histoire de Katia

Posted by fluffy on August 30, 2003, at 16:10:13

In reply to Re: Histoire de Katia fluffy, posted by katia on August 30, 2003, at 15:33:35

Hey Katia--

I have heard about the PCOS thing. I don't think it ALWAYS happens. And I wonder if PCOS always makes a woman infertile?? I was just tested out for that very thing (to research if Lamictal does the same). I'm sure there are warning signs if you start to develop it (cramps, bleeding). And maybe it goes away if you discontinue? Make a list and ask your doctor. Depakote has been around awhile, so I'm sure there are stats on the PCOS thing.

Don't throw in the towel yet. How is your mood now? ( Aside from the tsunami?)

take care,
katy

 

Re: Histoire de Katia fluffy

Posted by katia on August 30, 2003, at 20:57:06

In reply to Re: Histoire de Katia, posted by fluffy on August 30, 2003, at 16:10:13

I won't stop taking it yet. I'll talk to my pdoc about it. I have had ovarian cysts before and I have pains in my abdomen. So who knows!? My mood today? It feels ridiculous, but i feel I have no friends, no one loves me, people only call me when they're desperate and have nothing else to do or need something, everyone else has a life but me, lonesome, etc. I hate holidays, no matter what form. They just remind me of how alone I am in this world. That's how I feel today.
I'm irritable too. I just took a yoga class and I couldn't relax in the savasana because some woman had the loudest nose/breathing and it annoyed me to no end. It ignited anger, hatred, a feeling of being caged/trapped/nowhere to go; I just wanted to cry out of frustration for being me. I just wanted to go and punch her and ask her how dare she take a yoga class with such a noisy nose! This is the insanity I'm talking about. It's no fun to be me. Is this obsessive disorder? What is with me??????
So that's my mood today.
and you>?
Katia
> Hey Katia--
>
> I have heard about the PCOS thing. I don't think it ALWAYS happens. And I wonder if PCOS always makes a woman infertile?? I was just tested out for that very thing (to research if Lamictal does the same). I'm sure there are warning signs if you start to develop it (cramps, bleeding). And maybe it goes away if you discontinue? Make a list and ask your doctor. Depakote has been around awhile, so I'm sure there are stats on the PCOS thing.
>
> Don't throw in the towel yet. How is your mood now? ( Aside from the tsunami?)
>
> take care,
> katy

 

Li add on is making me feel better! (i think)

Posted by fluffy on August 31, 2003, at 12:08:05

In reply to Re: Histoire de Katia fluffy, posted by katia on August 30, 2003, at 20:57:06

Hey Katia--

Glad to hear you won't discontinue the Depakote--Boy do I know how tempting it is to just chuck it all. Seems like it would feel good sometimes. But the alternative--living with feeling horribly depressed and pissing people off around you---well it ain't pretty. It's especially tempting when it seems the meds aren't doing a hill of beans worth of good.

It sounds as if you are experiencing a classic, agitated depression--a state that I know well. (you're probably like--duh!!). I had to laugh about the loud breathing thing. Usually for me, my boyfriend is the target--what he's wearing, how he's walking, what his voice sounds like--AAARRGH! That's a horrible way to veiw the world. I hope you feel better really soon Katia. I guess you'll see your doc soon?

So guess what?? I'm feeling NORMAL today--yeah--NORMAL. Pretty fuckin' cool, huh? The first two days of Li made me think that I don't want to take this stuff--I wouldn't want to feel like I did those past couple of days every day of my life, that's for sure. But I think I was overblowing the side effects b/c I honestly didn't want to take the stuff even though it could help. In fact, I had much worse side effects with Paxil. So it seems the side effects have subsided already. Just a word of warning if you ever take it. The first few days SUCK. I was all confused and disconnected--my brain felt like it wasn't mine (if that makes any sense). I couldn't remember things, and I felt blunted. Not today, though!! We'll see what my blood level is and/or if I get a therapeutic response from "sub-therapeutic" levels.

cyber-hugs,
Katy

 

Re: Barb-cat (or anyone else)--quick Lithium question fluffy

Posted by BarbaraCat on August 31, 2003, at 12:10:22

In reply to Barb-cat (or anyone else)--quick Lithium question, posted by fluffy on August 30, 2003, at 15:33:11

Hi Katy,
Yep, lots of side fx that went away. Let's see if I can remember:
1. Nausea, especially if I took on an empty stomache and headache, but only for 1 week
2. Trembly feeling inside and shakey hands
3. Metallic taste in mouth, thirst all the time
4. Smelly pee, lots of it and clear
5. Craving for salt (which you should take more of anyway cause all that peeing depletes it)
6. Tiredness
7. Just feeling weird, kinda in a Limbo place
8. Fuzzy head

These diminished in 1.5 to 3 weeks. They were never incapacitating the way some of the other meds made me feel. It was a little hard to get going in the morning, but no big deal. The fuzzy headed was annoying, but no worse than other meds and I knew from experience that it would subside eventually (tho' that is usually the last to go).

Important: TAKE WITH FOOD.

Then when I increased from 600mg to 900mg, which was where my pdoc wanted me based on the blood work, I got those same side fx again, only this time it felt disruptive and uncomfortable, like it was definitely too high. I backed down to 600mg. Even tho my therpeutic zone wasn't even in the 'low' range, I felt it was working good enough for me. 600mg seems perfect, 300 is definitely too low and I get the disorganization and frenetic stuff at that level. Sometimes some hypomania will break through and I wonder if I should be taking more, but it does pass eventually and I'm glad I held the course. Kay Redfield Jamison said that she eventually decreased because she didn't like the deadening effects and, although she gets the breakthroughs, all in all she's happy with her decision - riding the edge.

At one point when I was complaining about tiredness at first, he had me take it all at night instead of spacing it out (I think I might have been on 900mg at this point as well). I felt TERRIBLE the next morning, just awful, like that awful shakey blurpy feeling after drinking way too much. So I imagine this is what it can feel like if it's increased too fast - yuck. But it never was bad like that for me.

One other time when I went on nortriptyline, all those same things surfaced, but I'll never know if it was the combo, nortriptyline's effects, or what. The point is, all of these went away in time. I felt a nice calmness come upon me at about 3 weeks within each new settling in - nothing remarkable, just a 'normal' feeling that also made my other meds work better.

The only one that has not gone away, and for me is the most worrisome is the thyroid issue. I've been hypothyroid for at least 20 years and have it controlled through meds. Improperly treated, I'm miserable. I knew lithium could be problematic and could replace thyroxine hormone, but I didn't think it would happen to me. It did and I'm still trying to get my levels normal. Docs say 'Oh, that's easy to treat. Just take more thyroid hormone'. A rather typical response. But I'm worried about what it's doing to my thyroid long term. But that's the ONLY complaint I have about it.

I wouldn't want to raise lithium higher into my 'therapeutic window' because I feel it probably would interfere with creativity, sesitivity, spontaneity, thyroid, and such.

I've heard it said that it causes weight gain, but I've been on so many weight gaining meds (Remeron, nortriptyline, blobbing around) that I doubt lithium would make that much difference. I really do have to watch my exercise levels and diet, but hell, most women my age do anyway, and so should everyone for that matter.

You could ask your pdoc for extended release lithium. I think we talked about this before and they were too expensive for you? I've never taken, but heard the extended form greatly diminishes problems. I most definitely would not say that it either works for you or doesn't, based on transient side effects. Give it time, maybe even more than you're comfortable with, because it's definitely worth it. You may need to take measures into your own hands as to time of dosing, strength of dosing, etc. Take more salt (sea salt) and get your thyroid checked regularly and don't let your TSH go over 3.0 NO MATTER what the docs say. You do NOT want a low thyroid. I can't remember why others stopped lithium, what reasons interferred (it was usually fear of anticipated effects rather than real), but I can't recall anyone claiming it didn't help them greately. I don't think it even matter if you're not classic BP. Lithium augments any AD or mood stabilizer, simply by the way it (seems) to act on the ion gates and electrical potential of the neuronal axon. It target another mechanism and even increase Brain Derived Neuronal Factor which makes dendrites grow and is a very good thing.

 

Lithium survey

Posted by BarbaraCat on August 31, 2003, at 12:26:31

In reply to Re: Barb-cat (or anyone else)--quick Lithium question fluffy, posted by BarbaraCat on August 31, 2003, at 12:10:22

When I take my lithium pills now (300mg morning and night), it's like taking a vitamin pill. This is the one pill I can truly say causes no side effects that I'm aware of. Maybe something's going on subsurface (like the thyroid thing, but as long as I'm taking thyroid, no big deal). I don't believe it's causing any ticking time bomb in any other way. It's the most effective, least problematic, cheapest med I've ever taken. I resisted for SOOOOO LONG! Here are my reasons for resisting. I hope to hear from you. It will be enlightening.

1. Lithium! Awwwk! That means I'm really crazy.
2. What will my friends/family think if they know I'm taking it? Won't they relate to me differently? (Awwwk! She's really crazy!) (I still hide the bottle when I have company).
3. It will take away my creative juices and I will be dull, dull, dull.
4. I like being hypomanic, if only I could sustain it
5. I will get fat and mushy
6. I'm sick of taking pills and I don't want one more pill!
7. I'm worried about the supposed toxicity of going over that narrow therapeutic window.
8. I'm really bummed about the blood tests (BTW, after I decided to go subtherapeutic, I have bloodwork every 6 months. Before that it was once a month).

So, there's my litany. I'm particularly interested in hearing what made those who dedided on Depakote or some other mood stabilizer, do so in leiu of lithium. Thanks. Barbara

 

Snores and such katia

Posted by BarbaraCat on August 31, 2003, at 12:34:55

In reply to Re: Histoire de Katia fluffy, posted by katia on August 30, 2003, at 20:57:06

Heh, Heh. Can really relate to the honkin breathers. I also have an overpowering urge to emerge from my samadhi and go over and deck the creep. I've pounded my poor long suffering husband on the back - really pounded - and yelled "YOU INSENSTIVE A**HOLE, YOUR F**ING SNORING WOKE ME UP!!!!" snarl, slobber, growl. I'm very sensitive to noise and can't sleep if there's the faintest sound of a TV far away. Have always been this way as far back as I remember.

So, I always have a spare of earplugs in my purse wherever I go. Just knowing they're there helps me get through alot of situations. I ALWAYS use them for savasana. - Barbara

 

Lamictal Survey

Posted by Ima on August 31, 2003, at 12:50:17

In reply to Snores and such katia, posted by BarbaraCat on August 31, 2003, at 12:34:55

For those who have reported sucess
taking lamictal,
are you still on it
and for how long?

I go to new pdoc this week
and want to have some ideas worked out.

Thanx

 

Re: Barb-cat --quick Lithium question--THANKS!

Posted by fluffy on August 31, 2003, at 13:32:02

In reply to Re: Barb-cat (or anyone else)--quick Lithium question fluffy, posted by BarbaraCat on August 31, 2003, at 12:10:22

Hey Barb-cat--

Thanks so much for your response. It was most helpful. I'm so glad the side effects fade over time. I can honestly say that on 600mg, for only 3 days, the side effects are almost zilch!!! YEAHHH!!!

It's good to hear others' personal experiences with Lithium b/c it seems there's only really dry clinical stuff in the books that makes the stuff seem so scary!

Now I have to watch my mood chart and see what it does in that respect. But I feel pretty centered today. I am so glad, b/c I had that visit in my studio today with the museum big-wig. It went well. (turns out she's not really a big-wig--about my age, but leaving an important institution to pursue her own curatorial projects). THANK GOD I didn't feel like I did over the last couple of days!! I couldn't see, speak, or think correctly (let alone talk abstractly about concepts surrounding my artwork). WHEW!

Thanks again!

Katy

 

Re: Lamictal Survey

Posted by SUMMER2002 on August 31, 2003, at 13:42:46

In reply to Lamictal Survey, posted by Ima on August 31, 2003, at 12:50:17

Lamictal survey - I've been on lamicatal 250 mg for close to two months. I stopped charting because I finally leveled off. I'm only taking flurazapam to sleep at night. I was on abilify prior to this and it didn't work for me at all - no ups just huge downs. Prior to that I was on zyprexa for a short while and tegretol w/ wellbutrin. Part of the changing in meds was due to me switching from pdoc to pdoc. I couldn't find one I liked. Anyway, at first the lamicatal worked great- helped with the depression and I got some of the highs back. It was great. Lately though I've been in a slump and can't shake it. I have four kids and work so I have to do the day to day routine but it is becoming harder and harder. No more highs. I have many outside stressors. My pdoc, who I really respect, says I have to reduce the outside stressors. That it is not the meds. I like him becasue he's the first to say I am not my diagnosis. He also said many bps are stupid (yep that is what he said) because we don't reduce the stressors in our life. I suppose he's right. But hard to reduce stress in my life but don't want to over medicate when I have some control over my feelings. Or at least I think I do. Bit overwhelming and a bit confused. He seems to think that my behavior as of late is because of the problems I'm having with husband and juggling work/kids etc. I don't know - but in conclusion lamactil did and does work. I'm not fuzzy in the brain like I was with abilify. Sorry about the ramblings - hope this helps.

Patricia

 

Re: Lamictal Survey

Posted by fluffy on August 31, 2003, at 13:43:52

In reply to Lamictal Survey, posted by Ima on August 31, 2003, at 12:50:17

Hi Ima--

> For those who have reported sucess
> taking lamictal,
> are you still on it

----I had partial success with Lamictal (no success on other AD's) I'm currently on 200mg and trying augmentation with Li b/c of prevalence of soft/rapid cycling on Lamictal only. So far, so good.

> and for how long?

-----7 months--
(it took a month or so to take effect & titrate up to therapeutic amt.
>
> I go to new pdoc this week
> and want to have some ideas worked out.
>
----GOOD LUCK Miss Ima!
Are you currently taking any other drugs? I'm guessing you are BP?


 

Lithium Survey again

Posted by BarbaraCat on August 31, 2003, at 14:05:46

In reply to Re: Lamictal Survey, posted by fluffy on August 31, 2003, at 13:43:52

Hi All,
I think there was a Lamictal survey earlier. Inquiring minds want to know about all this stuff, however, please don't forget my Lithium survey. I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts on lithium rather than lamictal, primarily those who decided against Li and opted for another mood stablzr, like depakote, or are just plain hesitant to take it. Why? What are your thoughts/fears on this? I listed mine earlier, but want to hear yours.

Part two of the survey is if you then went to Lithium after being on another MS and what were your experiences? Not that it's going to make one whit of difference for me cause I'm sold on lithium. I just think it would be helpful for others who are struggling with these questions, and besides it would be interesting for me. Thanks. Barbara

 

Re: Lamictal Survey Ima

Posted by Ponder on August 31, 2003, at 14:08:56

In reply to Lamictal Survey, posted by Ima on August 31, 2003, at 12:50:17

Ima,
I started on Lamictal during the summer of 2001. At that time I was in a protracted hypersomnulent, overwhelmed-with-fatigue kind of depression. After years of med trials, Lamictal was the first one that really seemed to work. It did not make me symptom free (well, actually, for a few days at a time, it would) so Wellbutrin was added. The last few years have been a hellish climb out of the worst of that depression and I would not have made it without Lamictal.

Now to answer your question more directly. How long did it work for me? I'd say quite well for over a year at a relatively low dose (150 mg/day.) I had break-through symptoms, but nothing like the zombie-ness of before. Recently I raised the dose to 200/day. In the last six months I've had some scary suicidal ideation, huge anxiety problems, etc. My p-doc has wanted to add or change things, but I cling to my Lam/WB combo with what is probably irrational loyalty and eschew other meds. Oddly, when you finally find something that works, you are reluctant to give it up even when it's not working very well anymore. At least, that's my reaction.

The other consideration for me was side effects over the long haul. I had gained weight on other drugs which brought on all kinds of other problems associated with being fat--arthritic pain, high BP, stress incontinance (this may not be a problem for younger women.) So weight gain was something I was determined to avoid. I've lost 50 pounds (that I had gained on Effexor)while being on the Lam/WB combo. Part of that is because the drugs are sufficiently activating to make me want to keep going all day and I've added very regular exercise to my daily therapeutic efforts.

So, it's been a mixed bag, I guess. But for now, I'm still on it. I recently had my first full-blown panic attack (situational? drugs too activating? emergence of yet another comorbidity?--who knows?) and my care providers are pretty hot to put me on an SSRI. Me, I've just become a damned scaredy-cat about med trials and wd prefer to just take Ativan as needed.

My med choices may not be the most rational, but there they are, for what it's worth.

 

Re: Barb-cat --quick Lithium question--THANKS! fluffy

Posted by BarbaraCat on August 31, 2003, at 14:20:11

In reply to Re: Barb-cat --quick Lithium question--THANKS!, posted by fluffy on August 31, 2003, at 13:32:02

You go, Girl!! It took me 3 days on 600mg lithium to notice a major shift. Although most side fx took 3 weeks to settle in so that they didn't worry me, I too felt that centered quality you spoke of. There's no better way to describe it. It's like, instead of all the scattered discordant energies and thoughts being on the periphery, ready to fly off into space, they're instead gathered in and aligned to a central steady core. For me, it was like taking the blinders off that wonderful warm centered glow inside that comes from that centerpoint, which is always there, but we don't always believe it is. It will continue to work and get better for you, I'm sure, because it sounds like you hit the magic transition point very quickly. To me, this indicates something in you lapped it right up. It is a natural element, after all, so who knows, we might have a deficit, like some other mineral or vitamin?

You'll have setbacks. I REPEAT!!! YOU WILL HAVE SETBACKS where you'll think it's not working, but it takes time for the internal mechanisms of our neurons to stabilize, so have faith that it's only for a short time. Even if lithium isn't the final answer, it will make everything else you take so much more efficient.

I'm so happy for you, girlfriend. Hopefully, a dark cloud has lifted in your life, like it did for me. And believe me, I was the 'F**cked-up' poster child of the last century!!!! - Barbara

I'm so glad the side effects fade over time. I can honestly say that on 600mg, for only 3 days, the side effects are almost zilch!!! YEAHHH!!!
>
> It's good to hear others' personal experiences with Lithium b/c it seems there's only really dry clinical stuff in the books that makes the stuff seem so scary!
>
> Now I have to watch my mood chart and see what it does in that respect. But I feel pretty centered today. I am so glad, b/c I had that visit in my studio today with the museum big-wig. It went well. (turns out she's not really a big-wig--about my age, but leaving an important institution to pursue her own curatorial projects). THANK GOD I didn't feel like I did over the last couple of days!! I couldn't see, speak, or think correctly (let alone talk abstractly about concepts surrounding my artwork). WHEW!
>
> Thanks again!
>
> Katy

 

Re: Lamictal Survey Ima

Posted by BarbaraCat on August 31, 2003, at 14:53:27

In reply to Lamictal Survey, posted by Ima on August 31, 2003, at 12:50:17

Ima,
I consider myself a success story. Please take my success and experience as my own, and not necessarily one that will apply to you. If your chemistry and wiring is similar to mine, it will probably work, but it's really still a crap shoot as to what will eventually work and stick. If you don't get a really good response in about 3 weeks at about 50mg, consider supplementing with another mood stabiliser (lithium worked for me). Lamictal on it's own is usually not a good idea for BP's and there might be something going on instead of or in addition to BP. I'm probably not saying anything you don't already know in your sleep, but it's still important to remember.

I started Lam 1.5 years ago, about the same time as I started Lithium. I'd heard about this powerful combo in for treatment resistant depression. I turned out to have all signs of BP-I mixed states, but had been treated as having major depression and treated with SSRI's for 20 years, I was increasingly and more rapidly going insane and majorly hit the wall on two occasions requiring hospitalizations which were a joke (I should have had ECT instead of 'a newer and better SSRI - (drum roll) - Celexa! and of course, Craft Hour!). I started feeling amazingly better on this combo. Not to say that I didn't have major setbacks and terrible depressions, but I've never since had another mixed state depression and for that I fall on my knees and give thanks.

I'm current taking 125mg lamicatal, recently up from 75 where I'd been for almost a year, doing reasonably well. I have to take it along with lithium because one doesn't work without the other for controlling my dark despairing agitated depressions. I increased from 75mg, slowly aiming for 150mg because I heard that 150-200 was a good dose for optimum AD response and being under extremely severe stresses with deaths, illnesses, losses and felt I needed extra help causing I was falling into the hole again. I got a little agitation with each weekly 12.5mg increase, but had been through that before and knew it passed.

However, when I got to 150mg I was feeling really zippy and speedy which was OK except for the infernal horrible itch I got that I didn't at first associated with Lamictal until I researched it on the web. I knew about 'the rash' but not the itch. So I backed down to 125mg and have been very stable along with 600mg lithium. Except for an intense hopelessness blip a while back (again, I had huge losses and stresses I was dealing with and wasn't sleeping - terrible for me) I'm feeling pretty darn good. My BS meter is super sensitive these days and my temper sometimes gets the better of me, but after cowering and doubting my feelings for so long, I'm rather happy with this turn of events. Too much crap in this world. Too much rolling over and putting up with it. FOOEY ON THAT! But even with all my meditating and yoga and such, I can be a RAVING BITCH and need to channel it some way.

I'm also seriously pursuing a health regimen with my naturopath and think it's very important to my overall health and sanity to cover all basis - body, mind, spirit. Good luck. - BarbaraCat

> For those who have reported sucess
> taking lamictal,
> are you still on it
> and for how long?
>
> I go to new pdoc this week
> and want to have some ideas worked out.
>
> Thanx
>
>

 

Re: Lamictal Survey

Posted by Ima on August 31, 2003, at 14:54:46

In reply to Re: Lamictal Survey, posted by fluffy on August 31, 2003, at 13:43:52

>> Are you currently taking any other drugs? I'm guessing you are BP?


We'll both have to speculate for now. But Im open to speculators (benign ones anyway:)

I was recently misdiognosed, two different docs.

One put me on ultram which is increasing my mania.

The next put me on Neurontin to help with insomnia and fibro pain. And zoloft for "depression".

I ended up with serotonin syndrome (hyper stimualation of the brain stem) and didnt sleep for three days. When the tremors started I checked the drug interaction myself and found it to be major. SSRI's and pain meds. dont mix.

I decided to try another pdoc this week. When I complained of the mental fog and utter morose feeling Im having with the Neurontin, I was told by last pdoc, that was just me (me in a depressed state). Its not me! Ive lived with my depression for 35 plus years. I KNOW what my depression feels like. I felt I was litlerally dragging my face around.

(maybe Im missing something here, but docs who dont listen, or at least pretend to listen, i give no quarter to)

MY depressions are filled angst one minute and numbness the next. The worse it gets the more detached I feel, until someone bumps my shell and I come out long enough to scream them into submission and then I retreat until the next bump. Bumps can be anything, (I liked the "you breathe, you die" scenario y'all:), people eating dinner, someone looking at me, someone walking by the same pair of shoes in the middle of my way, 50 times a day and not picking them up!!! NOT my shoes of course.

My highs dont last that long (my poor family) and are usually marked with irritabilty. I never sleep deeply. But when Im manic 4-5 hours does it. (Some nights I dont sleep at all)

When Im depresed 12 hrs. sleep is not enough.

I ranting.
Yea, I think Im BP.
Thanx for the good wishes, Miss Fluffy ;)

 

Re: Lamictal Survey

Posted by fluffy on August 31, 2003, at 15:45:35

In reply to Re: Lamictal Survey, posted by Ima on August 31, 2003, at 14:54:46

Hey Ima--

From what you describe, it sounds like BPII (my formal diagnosis). And it also sounds like you have the agitated depressions---if severe, called mixed states (esp. if there is suicidal ideation). But "normal" depressions can be marked with irritability as well.

I'm quite certain that my dad is also BP. He exhibits a terrible temper--snapping at people for nothing, is physically abusive, camps out in his room for days at a time sleeping, and at other times is jolly. I unfortunately have inherited his wiring--something I've always been afraid of. My grandmother has been hospitalized for as long as I can remember for some unknown psychotic state. My aunt on the same side of the family has suffered from "psychotic" depressions, and had to be hospitalized b/c she was seeing things in the wake of my uncle's death. (this is all only on my dad's side of the family--my mom was adopted, so who knows what's lurking there).

Do you have any family history? It may help you to confirm your diagnosis. As painful as it was for me, it helped me (my mom and dad are TOTALLY in denial)

And you are absolutely correct in getting another psychiatrist. Psychiatrists can be arrogant, stupid, insensitive and misinformed just like other people. I sincerely hope that the new pdoc works out, and works WITH you until you feel you've gotten closer to answers regarding your current situation. If you feel like reading my full story (meds, some personal history, but MAINLY my really insensitive psychiatrist!!) here is the url from earlier in the thread:
http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/20030828/msgs/255630.html

Keep in touch and take care,
Katy

 

Snores/obsessions BarbaraCat

Posted by katia on August 31, 2003, at 15:49:44

In reply to Snores and such katia, posted by BarbaraCat on August 31, 2003, at 12:34:55

> Heh, Heh. Can really relate to the honkin breathers. I also have an overpowering urge to emerge from my samadhi and go over and deck the creep. I've pounded my poor long suffering husband on the back - really pounded - and yelled "YOU INSENSTIVE A**HOLE, YOUR F**ING SNORING WOKE ME UP!!!!" snarl, slobber, growl. I'm very sensitive to noise and can't sleep if there's the faintest sound of a TV far away. Have always been this way as far back as I remember.
>
> So, I always have a spare of earplugs in my purse wherever I go. Just knowing they're there helps me get through alot of situations. I ALWAYS use them for savasana. - Barbara

Hi Barb,
Wow. There's another one like me out there! I had one boyfriend who said that my demon comes out at night when I'm sleeping. Little did he know I WASN"T SLEEPING BECAUSE HE WAS SNORING! and the whack he got on the head and kick in the leg was VERY intentional.

I HATE the sound of the TV. My parent's finally bought me a white noise machine when I was 12 or 13 to give me some sanity from it when I was trying to sleep. I react violently to noise. Snoring/heavy breathing most of all. I remember being on family vacations all of us sleeping in one room and Dad SNORING the night away. Me, on the verge of suicide, sleeping in the bathtub, hating him, hating life, hating myself most of all. What is it about nose noises that drive me insane? I cannot and willNOT have a boyfriend if he snores. That eliminates about80% of them? Even foot noises drive me around the bend. Every morning I'm sleeping and my housemate gets up sooooo early and walks sooooo heavyfooted that I'm on the verge of homicide/suicide every morning. That's no way to wake up. I even sleep with a white noise AND earplugs!!!! I haven't tried the earplugs in Savasana yet. Good idea. Some people have no clue or perception of how LOUD they are!
It's a feeling of being trapped/caged and highly insulted/offended all at the same time. Yes, probably childhood stuff. But at the same time, even when those horrible ADs weren't helping me in any way except making me worse; I find my obsessions more tolerable when I was on them. Or I was more tolerant I wonder if this is yet another chemical thing?

I just feel extremely sensitive and neurotic and sooo many little things drive me mad. like I'm encased in a hell within my mind and no where to go. trapped.
Oh, and another big one for me since grade school, is wiggling feet or jumpy legs. When people are sitting and they just can't sit still - all this shaking of the legs drives me mad. I know - I'm insane! I think that one is a stimulation thing probably related to BP? It gets me hyped up to see someone else unable to sit still. It's tough to be so sensitive!

It's interesting....
BTW, it was me who couldn't afford the XR tablets of Depakote. I don't think it was Katy with Li.
Katia

 

Re: Lithium Survey again

Posted by fluffy on August 31, 2003, at 15:54:09

In reply to Lithium Survey again, posted by BarbaraCat on August 31, 2003, at 14:05:46

Hey Barb-cat--

You may already know this stuff. But I was steered AWAY from Li by my past pdoc. He told me that it caused organ damage and made a crinkled up face, nodding his head "no". So here are my reasons in order of importance.

I resisted Li because:

1) fear of my "fire" being put out (thanks Kay Jamison!)
2) fear of organ damage
3) doctors seemed set on prescribing anti-convulsants first
4) mixed states supposedly respond better to anti-convulsants
5) family history of BP was not CONFIRMED
6) stigma
7) Li seems to have a history of bad compliance, therefore, I thought I might not tolerate it either

I'd like to add that I think these reasons are a bunch of hooey now.

 

Re: Lamictal Survey

Posted by katia on August 31, 2003, at 15:55:13

In reply to Re: Lamictal Survey, posted by SUMMER2002 on August 31, 2003, at 13:42:46

See, I know we have to reduce stress in our lives; but I'm already living like a hermit. I want medication so that I CAN live a "normal" life with job, kids, family, activities etc. I want help to be able to live a normal life. I'm already avoiding stresses and it's NO life.
It's confusing and complicated and exhausting!
Katia

> Lamictal survey - I've been on lamicatal 250 mg for close to two months. I stopped charting because I finally leveled off. I'm only taking flurazapam to sleep at night. I was on abilify prior to this and it didn't work for me at all - no ups just huge downs. Prior to that I was on zyprexa for a short while and tegretol w/ wellbutrin. Part of the changing in meds was due to me switching from pdoc to pdoc. I couldn't find one I liked. Anyway, at first the lamicatal worked great- helped with the depression and I got some of the highs back. It was great. Lately though I've been in a slump and can't shake it. I have four kids and work so I have to do the day to day routine but it is becoming harder and harder. No more highs. I have many outside stressors. My pdoc, who I really respect, says I have to reduce the outside stressors. That it is not the meds. I like him becasue he's the first to say I am not my diagnosis. He also said many bps are stupid (yep that is what he said) because we don't reduce the stressors in our life. I suppose he's right. But hard to reduce stress in my life but don't want to over medicate when I have some control over my feelings. Or at least I think I do. Bit overwhelming and a bit confused. He seems to think that my behavior as of late is because of the problems I'm having with husband and juggling work/kids etc. I don't know - but in conclusion lamactil did and does work. I'm not fuzzy in the brain like I was with abilify. Sorry about the ramblings - hope this helps.
>
> Patricia

 

Re: Ima--a good link re: diagnostic stuff BPII

Posted by fluffy on August 31, 2003, at 16:03:54

In reply to Lithium Survey again, posted by BarbaraCat on August 31, 2003, at 14:05:46

http://www.psycheducation.org/

 

family denial fluffy

Posted by katia on August 31, 2003, at 16:14:48

In reply to Re: Lamictal Survey, posted by fluffy on August 31, 2003, at 15:45:35

Hi Fluffers,
I am in the same frustrating boat as you. I want to do a family "mental illness" tree; but no one is talking! That's why it took me ages to figure it out in myself because of the denial(unaware denial) and because of the developed cognitive and behavioral aspects of the family. that it seems "this is the way life just is" - full of chaos and suffering. I'm the first one to wake up to it. But looking closely I can definitely see stuff going on ON BOTH sides of the family.
It's so hard to figure out all alone - the lone ranger. It's important knowledge to have as well - the family history. How has your family coped with you "coming out of the closet" so to speak?
Katia

 

Lithium Survey BarbaraCat

Posted by katia on August 31, 2003, at 16:36:22

In reply to Lithium Survey again, posted by BarbaraCat on August 31, 2003, at 14:05:46

Hi Barbara,
In the range of MS, my pdoc wanted to start me on Depakote first. I wanted Lamictal b/c of the AD qualities. He was wary b/c of the rash and wanted to at least try one of the "tried and true" other MSs first, knowing, as I, that it's probably going to be a long process of trial and error.
He never really mentioned Lithium except to say that that is normally for the classic BPI. But the more and more my lenses come off my blinding vision over the years, the more I am SO waking up to the fact that I'm BP. And I'm wondering if not BPI, due to my "mixed" states and due to a very odd but wonderful time I had for a brief period when I was 17/18. I always just regarded that time as a time when I was just with it and up and tuned in to the beauty and thrill of life. I never slept; and could never understand why people slept so much. I was always raring to go. It felt like I was constantly on some euphoric drug making me inhale deeply life's richness and beauty and feel giddy and exhilarated just to be alive. I was wild to say the least - wild. My senior suplerative was "the wildest student". I was so confident, NOTHING or NO ONE could have told me differently. Just now, in the past few months, looking back, I think I was manic. Because soon after in the autumn after a wonderful summer meeting first boyfriend and living at a beach, changing job per week and house per week, I started college. And somewhere I began crashing hard. terribly hard. I lost tons of weight and only ate rice and a glass of milk. Woke up at 6 every morning staring off outside, afraid, nervous, wondering what went wrong in my mind. I had it all together; life was good - great! I wanted that back. What do I do wrong? etc...

Since that time, I've experienced more the tired but wired, irritability - more dysphoric/mixed with underlying chronic depression throughout. I got a few moments of wonderful goodness though!
So that's why I'm thinking that I may even be BPI. who knows! who really cares???? just give me something that works!

I had another TERRIBLE TERRIBLE night last night - no alcohol involved. A cloud was following me all day and I kept trying to avoid it with yoga and then a movie, but by 9:30 it caught up to me and I tumbled. I was sobbing and in agony. you know the agony and sobbing that you feel you're almost regurgitating from the center of your soul? And every movement is painful? I felt soo alone and felt NO ONE loved me and that if my family weren't alive, I'd kill myself. The tornado came and the tornado left again. I went to bed and slept for 11 hours. (BTW, this is the first night I've taken all of my depakote 500mg at night). I couldn't wake up 'til past noon. It's ridiculous.

So we'll see how the Depakote works. If we abandon it, I'm insisting on Lamictal to start and then adding Li. if needed.
So there you go! BTW, give me an example of a classic BarbCat mixed state.
Katia


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