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    Connecticut, United States
  1. Course of illness

    Regarding the OP, I really want to point out that mania or hypomania isn't always euphoric. It can look like and be experienced as restlessness, anxiety, irritability, distractibility... I wouldn't question the diagnosis based on not having those high states anymore, and especially not if you're medicated. Take everything else I say with a grain of salt. I have read that with time, people tend more towards depressive episodes, and perhaps spend more time symptomatic. The simple truth is that the course of any mood disorder is not set. It's generally known that "the more episodes" a person has, the more likely they are to have more, and the worse they're likely to be. And in general, the course of Bipolar I vs. Bipolar II vs. Ultra Rapid Cycling Bipolar will look different. The latter is harder to treat, and obviously there are more episodes, etc. People with Bipolar II also generally have more episodes than those with Bipolar I. So the crucial thing is probably finding a really adequate treatment as soon as possible, which is definitely not easy. Then, if that treatment starts to falter, aggressively working to fix that. Now, I'm saying this as someone who's basically been in an episode of depression for close to five years, with some brief moments of normal functioning, and some subthreshold hypomania or mixed states... And I've been trying different drug combinations the entire time, with ECT thrown in. Maybe the most important thing for a prognosis is the luck you have in getting diagnosed early and finding a working treatment quickly. I'm 35, been symptomatic since I was 11, and was diagnosed when I was 28, after a decade of having antidepressants and stimulants thrown at me for either depression or the ADHD that I never had.
  2. Used to work great for me - I don't think I've developed a tolerance issue, because I've been taking this drug in the same dose range for years, and not always daily. Anyone else experience this?
  3. The biggest takeaway from what I've written below is that as far as hypomania vs. euthymia goes, the difference was feeling euphoric instead of content or happy. Since being on a mood stabilizer I deal almost exclusively with depression... so euthemia for me it means that I have desire, motivation, cognitive function and energy to do things - both pleasurable and work or project-type activities. This is beyond, say, having the ability to make coffee that indicates that my depression has lifted a tiny bit. I also have the desire to socialize... Those are the biggest things that cross my mind right now. For a long time I struggled with recognizing the difference between hypomania and euthymia and really had no idea who I was. With hypomania though, in its mildest forms, I would have motivation, desire, and energy but perhaps struggle with attention. Likely my mood was euphoric - beyond content or happy. From there, I was unable to regulate myself and maintain any kind of balance... I would also be unable to stop myself from working, which would impact my sleep. That would progress to getting fired up about multiple projects at once, or working maybe 16 hours a day on things, and then hypersexuality, rapid/excessive speech, feeling like I was on the verge of being famous for something I was working on or something like that. Then there were mixed episodes but those are so obviously not euthymia that I don't struggle to differentiate there. Hope this helps.
  4. @mcjimjam sorry to hear that your pdoc reacted this way to the suggestion - my understanding is that it's indicated for someone who's treatment resistant, which (for unipolar depression) is defined as not responding to adequate courses of treatment with 2 different antidepressants. I suppose it depends on the practice you're at as well as maybe your geographic location...
  5. I've been on Lamictal for about seven years, and after some initial side effects I haven't noticed any at all. I'm also on Lithium and haven't noticed any side effects from that either, aside from probably a need to drink slightly more water. I'm on a low dose however.
  6. Latuda Anxiety

    I had a reaction to Latuda that included both anxiety and increasingly bad akathisia. I don't believe it started right away, but I hope the information can help you somewhat. I hope you feel better soon.
  7. I've been in an episode of moderate/severe depression for about three years, and I've tried so many medications - some failures, some partial successes but eventual failures - that my medical team is recommending that I consider ECT. I've always thought of ECT as something for very severe depression. I've luckily never had to be hospitalized, which makes me think of myself as someone who's not experiencing severe depression exactly... I've also been told that I'd have to stop taking Lamictal, which does make sense, but I've been on it for seven years and haven't had any kind of serious hypomania since I've been on it, so I'm rather attached to it. Does anyone have experience with ECT as a treatment for intractable depression; depression that isn't responding to medications? Thanks in advance.
  8. I have talked to my APRN (who prescribes my psych meds) about it, and stopped taking it after one dose... have another appointment on Thursday, with a psychiatrist at the same practice, to figure out next steps. The lingering effects aren't too severe (compared to the initial side effects) but I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced them after only one dose of effexor.
  9. I took Effexor for one day and experienced horrible side effects - vomiting, sweating, nausea, shaking, sleepiness. That was three days ago, but since then I've been sleeping all the time and am still shaky. Has anyone else experienced something like this after only one dose?
  10. Exactly... I feel like I need some kind of highly specialized career counselor steering me towards work that's at my level of ability but that won't tend to trigger a mood episode. At the moment the only ways I see forward are staying on disability or finding a job that's too boring for me to feel good being at, which would certainly be depressing...
  11. I absolutely can't stand that trend towards open office spaces. Freelancing was like this, and at the last job I had it was like this too. I actually think it makes everyone less productive FWIW.
  12. This is a little tangential, but has anyone found that a certain type of work or work schedule was helpful for them? Again I'm in no place to do any soul-searching or let alone know have any interests because of the depressive episode, but I'm trying to start thinking about it.
  13. My prescriber of psychiatric meds has decided to try me on adderall for my ongoing depression. I'm on two mood stabilizers so hopefully hypomania will not be an issue... has anyone had any experience trying stimulants as a treatment for bipolar depression?
  14. One thing to add is that there's a kind of agitation that is like anxiety, and can be a part of bipolar episode. It can be part of a mixed episode, or an element of depression or mania as well.
  15. Figuring out mood states

    Over time I've developed a system for myself... it really depends on the individual. For me any day I have even a passing suicidal thought is moderate depression. If I'm able to clean and do some activities but still feel hopeless it's mild depression. I haven't been really hypomanic in a while, but if I find myself taking on a lot of projects and really interested in things then that's a sign. Hypersexuality is a big one for me but again that hasn't happened since I've been on mood stabilizers. Another key thing to mention is that I have normal responses to life blips on top of my mood states, and they feel qualitatively different from the mood states.