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About cloudmonger

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  1. I know what you mean. If I'm panicked and thinking alot, or have racing thoughts, I'm unable to sleep also. I guess if it's high level stress, my initial coping mechanism is to lay down, try to relax and TRY to sleep! Thats interesting what you say about Valium vs Xanax. I've never taken Xanax. I've had good experiences with Valium (although I never take it consistently or more than 2 days in a row) I don't want something for everyday - just like prn like every 2 weeks (approximately) Something that provides immediate relief without long-term action. I hate that awful hangover feeling the next day. For sleep or regular insomnia issues, I would try something else other than a benzo. The Valium (or Xanax) would be for immediate anxiety/distress situations only.
  2. I know exactly what you mean! I had the same experience. I was very compliant in not taking higher doses, but trying to come off practically made me psychotic/agoraphobic I was so anxious/sweaty/dysphoric. My doctor said the dose was so low that there was no way i could be experiencing such a withdrawal. Needless to say, I am not seeing that pdoc any longer! What is the main difference between Xanax and Valium? I've had pretty good relief from 5mg-10mg Valium when extremely distressed. I do not want to take something everyday and do not want something long-acting! btw sorry to interrupt the initial thread - but I think this specific topic is very related :-)
  3. I'm with Melissa on this one. It really depends on how intense the stress level. If it is simply everyday-type stress, sure, music, quiet, breathing, journaling, whatever may help). However, if it's big life-changing situations or anxiety/trauma-related (where you have little control) you need to bring out the "heavy duty" artillery (meds) - if you know what I mean. All I can do to cope at the moment is try to lay down and SLEEP and go somewhere quiet away from the stressor and away from people. Often this is not possible - not the best coping mechanism (but better than SI or impulsive behavior). I try to vent, but the only person I have to vent to is my spouse (and he offers little sympathy). My therapist also (though I'm in the midst of finding a new one so i'm in limbo ATM) I am also researching what emergency PRN med I can take (safely) that will help. I am really afraid to take Benzos due to the withdrawal/tolerance (I took Ativan nightly for like a month and it was a disaster when I tried to come off - ex: rebound insomnia & pure panic)! I really don't know which is best (Valium, Xanax, Klonopin) Do you guys here know the difference in action of these fast-acting, anti-stress/anxiety meds??
  4. From what I understand (and what I've read) females have less hyperactivity when it comes to ADHD (they have more the symptoms of inattention/focus - can be scattered & disorganized) so it is often more difficult to diagnose (because it is more hidden). I have suspected ADD (primarily inattentive) but it manifests itself (and becomes most problematic) in work/school environments (I have terrible attention to detail and inability to focus on routine tasks that I find mundane). I struggle to read and remember passages from books (unless I am super super interested in the topic). Struggled in school (although always tested well and scored high on aptitude tests, but I'd constantly procrastinate, always late to classes, often missing assignments/papers) "spacing out" in lectures, losing track of time, missing appointments, misplacing items daily. Typical underachiever. My self-esteem & productivity has greatly suffered because of this. My primary issue & diagnosis is depression (with anxiety) and the ADD diagnosis is secondary (plan to work on this when I'm back to fulltime employment - but just dealing with it at the moment unmedicated). You can take several "self-assessment" tests online and bring into your pdoc. They will typically do a longer, more thorough assessment and interview in person. Hope this helps!
  5. Do you know which is more of a factor in finding the right med dosage? A person's weight or the speed of metabolism? (i.e. if a person weighs 200 pounds versus 100 pounds, does this necessarily mean the heavier person will need to take twice the dose?) I'm not sure how it all works. I have no idea how "fast" my metabolism is, i just know i eat very healthy & exercise regularly in order to maintain my ongoing/slim weight (basically, I work at it, I can't just eat whatever I want or I will indeed gain like an average person).
  6. I've been told by my pdoc that acute psychosis can be extremely damaging to your brain particularly if the psychosis causes distress for you. Like PTSD causes distress, and raises cortisol levels, adrenal changes, it can really screw up the pathways in your brain along with immunological disruption. He told me that certain medications (some A/P's) and mood stabilizers are "neuroprotective" and can re-stabilize the functioning. I'm just relaying what he told me (after I had a traumatizing psychotic break & went IP over a decade ago). I do not experience delusions or psychotic symptoms on a regular basis though - this was an acute negative episode.
  7. If you look at the meds on my signature - I've tried MANY (about 20 in different classes). I took most of the major SSRI's and SNRI's antidepressants, A/Ps for many years, without benefit (in fact, most made me worse and had side effects of either major sedation, agitation, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, metabolic issues, weight gain, etc). Several years I went off of all meds as a detox - trying every single natural remedy, spending thousands of $$ on naturopathic doctors, chinese medicine, nutritional supplements, you name it. None of that really helped either. These things can support overall wellness, but they do not even make a dent in major mood disorders. I went back on Lamictal and it's honestly been the best med I've ever been on. I will definitely stay on it longterm & hope it never poops out on me! It takes the edge off (without being sedating or numbing my personality). The titration period is a bit slow (to find the right dosage) however the only side effect I've had is a bit of mild itching (right after I take it). I noticed a calming, mood balancing effects at about 75mg. Things stopped upsetting me so much. It's really a great gentle, staple medication. You can always decide to try to add on an antidepressant after if you still have issue with that.
  8. I'm still having a bit of the same thing. My doc advised to up my dose - an extra 25mg for a week, then go up to 150mg. The target dose is 100mg-200mg (many people take more). So we shall see. I forgot to ask her about splitting the dose! I'll see what she says about that. With the long half-life of Lamictal....It makes me wonder if I'm one of those "Rapid Metabolisers" where my body metabolises it quicker than most?? I'm small - 5'4" and 107 you would think that 100mg would be enough for my weight and provide full coverage. It just seems like the coverage is a bit iffy. I'm still curious - how many other people here have noticed this problem and fixed it by splitting the dose? I just hate to do that because it's more of a hassle, just another thing to worry about & remember every day.
  9. welcome to CB! I am so sorry you are going through this. Benzo and/or substance abuse withdrawal is a nightmare in itself which can bring on so many additional complications in getting the correct diagnosis. I hope you can get into a good pdoc who can most importantly, help you taper off the Benzos safely. This would be exacerbating your issue if you cannot stabilize and having intense withdrawal. Benzo withdrawal can be worse than street drugs I've read. How long were you on the Lamictal? I don't have Borderline, (but possible BP2 according to one pdoc) Since Lamictal worked so well for you, perhaps the pdoc can eventually recommend another mood stabilizer that you can try? Mood stabilization sounds like the first priority in your case (if it were me) along with a non-addictive anti-anxiety/sleep medication to calm you... then you can begin to see what symptoms are still causing trouble (whether it be anxiety or depression) and work on treating those. I'd also recommend a DBT group or maybe you can find a Therapist that is skilled/knowledgeable in DBT? You could call around an ask if they are well versed in DBT. It is becoming a more popular therapy (even for those with no BPD diagnosis) I went through a DBT program that helped me immensely in becoming more skilled in dealing with distress and it improved my interpersonal skills (great for anyone even without MI) Good luck to you and keep us updated! This is a very supportive forum.
  10. I hadn't heard or seen a trailer for this movie. OMG. Once again, movie industry fail. Portraying those with MI's as violent, damaged criminals. Promoting greater understanding of mental illness has never been the priority for the entertainment industry. Dr Simone Reinders, a neuroscientist studying DID at King’s College London in collaboration with universities in the Netherlands argues, “They make it seem as if patients with DID are extremely violent and prone to doing bad things. This is actually not true and it very badly misrepresents the psychiatric disorder. Individuals with DID definitely do not have a tendency to be violent; more a tendency to hide their mental health problems. I’m very concerned about the effects that the movie will have for patients with DID, and how the general public will now see these patients. There’s already a lot of stigma and scepticism concerning this specific disorder.” Interesting review talking about this phenomenon:
  11. I love Coconut water. I think my Lamictal is making me dehydrated more often also. There were a couple times in the store where I became weak/unsteady (like a low blood sugar feeling) and immediately bought some & drank in the store. It really helped...Quenches thirst much better than plain water. I've tried a few brands (some are too sugary so watch the added sugar) I have tried the O.N.E brand and Vita Coco which are good. Especially when really cold.
  12. Sure thing! Happy to help. So many people here have been kind to help me, I can only try to add my feedback as well. It's good to hear that a low dose of Seroquel makes a difference. Do you feel it's helped with your depression? Or does it help more with anxiety & mood stabilization? I'm fairly certain the worst side effects (that i mentioned) will only happen at higher doses. I say, if the 50mg is noticeably helping you - stick with it for awhile, you can try to tweak the dosage before moving on to something else (if the side effects become too bothersome). With meds, there always seems to be a trade off.
  13. Have you ever read anything about ultra-rapid cycling? This is where your distinct mood states do not last for days at a time. In rapid cycling, your mood can go Depressed (for a day) then Manic (for a day) then to Mixed state. Then you have ultradian rapid cycling (where your mood cycles like every hour) I'm no expert on Bipolar, but rapid cycling could be what is happening to you. Seems like you had a longer-depressed cycle and then you definitely went manic for a day, then back to a sort of baseline? Maybe you should increase your med or your pdoc may want to add something else to further stabilize the cycling? It makes sense when you are "sped up" that time seems to be moving more quickly...
  14. I'm sorry you are getting the "brush off" with doctors about your concerns. I have the same problem when i bring up common side effects that I'm worried about, doctors always act like it's nothing at all to worry about....even when I'm experiencing said effect (like weight gain) they minimize it and tell me it will wear off over time. They will only disclose the benign side effects (like dry mouth, constipation) and claim that this is the only thing that will happen. I took Seroquel (years ago) but it was for acute psychosis. I was taking around 200-400mg. I can't speak for the 50mg dose - I can only say that the high dose I was on made me a complete zombie. I would sleep for like 20 hours and felt like I was in a complete haze. Brain was mush. I've also found with many A/Ps (Seroquel, Risperdal, Zyprexa) I had increased appetite. Zyprexa was the worst - I'd binge eat in the middle of the night (Never in my life have I had this problem, or any issue with food) So I don't know....hopefully, some folks here that have been on lower doses can help! Perhaps you can give it a fair trial and keep a journal, then if the side effects outweigh the benefits, see what other options there are? What was the Seroquel prescribed for? I've read here that Abilify could be a good choice with less side effects compared to older A/Ps...I took it only for super short trial because it cause inner restlessness.
  15. Is there a reason that you went off of it? When I read the drug info online, it seems like all the patient reviews are for people with pain disorders or Fibromyalgia...which I don't have a problem with. Many of the reviews (out of 500) said it caused immediate weight gain, fatigue and even made people suicidal & depressed (people that had never experienced any mood disorder whatsoever).... I know I should take online reviews with a grain of salt, but these are terrible side effects that I'm really concerned about....especially because my main issue is depression/low energy and I don't want to take any meds that make me gain weight.