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Found 68 results

  1. Hi, I'm a 43 yo guy who's been severely depressed since I was 19 and I'm amazed I'm still alive. Antidepressants (and there's very few I haven't tried, including the popular combos) either do nothing, make me more depressed or help partially for a few weeks and then poop-out. I've never had mania/hypomania (other than a period on Abilify). After my stay at an inpatient psych ward in February, a young PDoc added Lithium to my Nardil (which, incidentally has been my most successful med to date but now does nothing) on the hunch that I might be BP2-ish. Whilst I can't say I went "WOO I'M FIXED", the Lithium certainly had a positive effect for a couple of months. Which has since just waned and stopped. So now I'm desperately depressed again. I'm seeing my PDoc soon to discuss alternative BP2 treatments. Top of my list of suggestions (since he is malleable in his dispensing) is Lamictal. But should it be? I read a lot of positive feedback on it's effect on depression but the data says it's poor. Should I perhaps be aiming towards an alternative? There are so many it's quite bewildering and I'm relatively new to the BP2 scenario. Any tips are most appreciated. Pete
  2. Hey guys. I’ve been pretty stable on Depakote, but it sure does come with some undesirable side effects. Somehow it makes me feel overwhelmed. It’s kind of a brain fog 2.0 feeling. Also it haven’t helped much with my anxiety, and there’s still some depression left too. I’m also on 2 antidepressants and a small dose of gabapentin, with no luck. What are your experiences with lithium or seroquel? I do not want to feel like a zombie and also do not want to feel too flat or foggy
  3. Hi - does anyone know whether stopping Lithium can cause withdrawal effects? Especially if taken for many years, decades actually.
  4. I currently take 900mg of lithium and since I began years ago, I've taken it all at dinner. My current pdoc has changed the dosing, with 300mg at breakfast and 600mg at dinner. Since I started this new scheme, I feel off. I've been very snippy with my husband and am having trouble being productive. We just bought a new house and I'm not helping at all between hiring the painters and cleaners and packing up so we can be out of the rental by the end of the month. I also have a big event coming up next weekend, and I've started to think I should cancel it since I'm having so much trouble trying to get ready. Folks on lithium, how many times a day do you take it, and when? Anyone else have these issues when moving it around? Thanks- Jennifer
  5. I've been on and off antipsychotics sporadically for the last 7 years since age 22 (since 2011). I'm extremely sensitive to them and have a very high response to every one I've been on. I've gained 145lbs from an increase in appetite and metabolic changes, have severe akathisia that is utterly insane and makes me want to cut my own legs off, I developed severe gynecomastia from Risperdal and Invega respectively (Won the Risperdal lawsuit, but no surgeon will touch me because of my weight), experience anxiety (The most on Abilify), fatigue, drowsiness, impotence (On Fanapt), anhedonia (From aggravated depression on Haldol), blurred vision (On Fanapt), lack of concentration, mild tardive dyskenesia (In combination with TMJ syndrome, I think it's permanent), dry eyes (Can't secrete my own tears), nasal congestion (aggravated, because I have it anyway without taking APs) , disorganized speech (Literally developed a speech impediment from a combination of Fanapt and Topamax), GI issues, etc I've experienced almost every common recorded side effect from this category / class of drugs. The lack of control over my weight and appearance and the akathisia are the worst (that's why they're listed first and reiterated). These drugs have destroyed the relatively abysmal life I had before I developed this illness and presently cut it down to absolutely nothing. I have no life. I spend the majority of my life either going to multiple doctor's appointments for my medical issues or otherwise eating uncontrollably, and pacing back and forth and smoking cigarettes occasionally. I browse the internet with my thoughts racing. I might try to watch a TV show or play video games or play bass guitar like I used to but I can barely hold concentration or focus long enough. I want this to end, I really want out. I want to experience a fraction of life again. I was previously diagnosed Bipolar 1 With Psychotic Features before my 2nd and most recent episode. As I said, I haven't taken APs consistently for 7 years. I've gone off of them twice for pretty significant periods of time before I relapsed. I usually last about 10 or 11 months (almost a year) without symptoms and perform consistently better in life in general with everything gradually going back in my life to when before I was 22. The side effects and depression usually disappear within a week. At 5 to 8 months I'm very stable, but in just under 11 months I start feeling like I'm on top of the world, become severely manic and delusional, hallucinate, experience an episode, and get into legal trouble. The 1st time around, I resisted arrest during a welfare check called in by my parents and went to the hospital and the 2nd time I successfully eluded the cops by motor vehicle on the highway and got caught hours later and went to county jail. I understand I could be facing harsh consequences but I've never been on a heavy mood-stabilizer before. All they do is overload me with APs. After the 1st episode I stopped taking psych meds completely because of how much I despised how I felt except for Zoloft and resisted almost all treatment. I avoid SSRIs now and will this time because I think it may have been responsible for raising my mood too much before the 2nd incident took place. The key to preventing future incidents for me, I believe, is to make the hallucinations and mania more tolerable to where I won't feel the need to act on them. The delusions are a joke, I can easily handle them. I'm currently taking Latuda 20mg and I'm requesting that my psychiatrist allow me to keep 2 or 3 bottles stored in my cabinet or 1 on me at all times in case any symptoms were to occur while taking Lithium. During the last episode, I was frantically searching for antipsychotics or any appropriate psych medication but didn't have them because I threw all of my former meds away after the first episode had taken place. This time I will have them to back me up and if it turns out that I need to suffer immeasurably on Latuda 20mg or another AP for the remainder of my life then so be it but I deserve a chance on a mood stabilizer simply because of what I've gone through and what I'm experiencing on APs. Has anyone ever tried Lithium as monotherapy for schizoaffective disorder or bipolar 1 with psychotic features? I hear it still has some side effects (would like to know what all of those are) but that it's immeasurably more tolerable than antipsychotics. I realize many people use it in combination with an antipsychotic but this is not in reference to that. Is there anything better than those two that's not an AP? This post is simply to inquire about anyone's thoughts or experiences about using Lithium or Lamictal as monotherapy for schizoaffective mania. A dosage and frequency recommendation would also be appreciated from those that have taken it, although I realize that I will ultimately need my psychiatrist to determine that. I found 1 study on this subject from the early to mid 1980's here: https://watermark.silverchair.com/10-1-30.pdf?token=AQECAHi208BE49Ooan9kkhW_Ercy7Dm3ZL_9Cf3qfKAc485ysgAAAcYwggHCBgkqhkiG9w0BBwagggGzMIIBrwIBADCCAagGCSqGSIb3DQEHATAeBglghkgBZQMEAS4wEQQMAypxqSBIPHx7kbXfAgEQgIIBeTskilYIIUxtfy4i-FH7a6BQ4SrsYxqZG44q7kWx1rVJdLbZ4PMxE33_FUje8rDj4FoUYJI27hYGzv-06pCL6xPDrbVg7n-g9QzqTwoPiRxgDv2VnqzwifudoudTuskAGEKItv5TfD1_V9opXCFF7vJXJln8ij8NeNkMLUpe_n-Xbp6TtkU7rXYdPCZ9dObhTfmQ4PEHkwKfcJcOVAjXzelMWD1EPzWPxCK5zu1l1d2w8ojnqH68mbvgaDuvBxyPTY-EEdADh9N0NIUPQCWHXZKWE2gEBsG_AbWS-bkPdgjxtXcn8Y_5KljQbU2Geb_ERYYWuWFMEk6CRs7FYte_16TOiCQVlahMabKxw0BdjlqvdGaPYZTKBoBWb9Poswigg8jbF1whmlo7WWRyCLCLdbKt4xkmZCU0qmv_j5FTFzeXsq05ptOFY10M3jpUft1xV75pMsPtVJ8U7d42OYqMksXhZyrA8B5k9XNhfJGS0XgmTTSLHNOdcTY2
  6. I was taking prozac for depression, .5mg klonopin daily for GAD, and lithium orotate for suicidal thoughts. I take rozerem at night for non24 sleep phase disorder. The prozac stopped working and so my pdoc switched me to lexapro but it made me exhausted all the time- i basically would sleep, wake up, eat a little, go back to sleep... after two weeks she’s switching me over to effexor instead. I am starting at the lowest dose, but I’m not sure when to take it- is this going to be a morning pill? right now i take the lithium and rozerem at bedtime, and was taking prozac, klonopin and then the lexapro in the morning. I switched to taking the lexapro at night when i relized how exhausted it was making me. still, i slept all day and night. so effexor- i’ve read enough to know it’s an snri, and it’s a bitch to climb back off of. and it can take up to a month to work? is there anything else about this combo i should know, or does anyone have experience with these meds together? i’m diagnosed with depression with psychotic features (since the 90s), general anxiety (past five years), non24 SPD, and chronic suicidal ideation. I know the non24 is the weird one, but I’ve found ways to set up my life/work schedule to manage it- i’m not sleep deprived. any thoughts would be great, i’m a relative newcomer to being medicated- i’ve only had access to a pdoc regularly dor the last three or four years, before that it was just urgent care or ER, random doctors trying to treat me.
  7. How long has your longest depression lasted? Was given BP1 dx a few months ago after MDD initial dx. It seems this depression doesn’t lift. The mania is under control but it seems nearly a year for the depression. Have tried many ADs but they make me manic. I’ve at least been able to go back to work and not just curl up all day but I’m struggling. Hard to find any motivation and am pretty hopeless. I just had blood work done for Lithium levels as I increased it over a month ago per pdoc’s orders and level stayed the same. TSH is up past normal now so wondering if thyroid may be causing some of it. I called dr’s office to see if I should get on thyroid med but no reply yet. Thanks.
  8. Hey all, First post here, so I'll get into it. I've been Diagnosed Bi Polar since a late teen. I've had some temporary relief, many doctors and some terrible effects from medication/episodes. All in all at the moment I was released from the psych ward several months ago in NC, where i lived on my own for almost 6 years, while now being shipped back to my mom's in VA at age 27. I am getting older and am being affected more and more with my Bi-Polar swings, severe anxiety, occasional sounds and negative voices and now anger. I'm seeing public health center now and they've kept me on Lithium and started me on now up to 80mg of Latuda and have cut me from my 0.5 Clonazapam... While in the hospital, they weened me off of my Effexor and Lamictal, which didnt seem to be helping and giving me mania. My Issue now is I miss the Mania, I've been severely depressed, anxious and angry. I am aware the move home and the whole situation of being uprooted of living on my own hasn't helped, but it's been months now and the Latuda has seemed to make these worse as they increased. I see my pdoc tomorrow to see, but wanted to hear some insight from some folks who have either shared my side effects or have had success on this combo. I just feel the Latuda is keeping me depressed and lethargic. Thanks for the support everyone
  9. Has anyone had migraines with aura (I call them sparkly amoebas) on lithium? Nothing new, just increased lithium per pdoc a few weeks back. Maybe it’s a coincidence. I’ve had 3 in 2 days. Had them a few times years ago but not since. It really messes up my vision and hurts so I stayed home from work. It then morphs into just a headache. I’m drinking lots of water. High stress at work, as usual.
  10. I’m currently on trileptal for hypomania, but it has made me really depressed... so i’m looking for another med to control hypomania. already tried lamotrigine and neurontin. thinking next stop will be either depakote or lithium. I’m really afraid of weight gain and of feeling too flat (zombie-like). Which will you recommend? Any experiences you can share?
  11. I haven't had full-blown mania since starting lithium a few months ago after BP1 dx. Pdoc increased the dose a couple weeks ago but I went back to the previous dose because it makes me too tired at work, no matter when I take it. Yesterday I increased it to what pdoc prescribed, as I noticed getting those old irritated, p*ssed off feelings I hadn't had in a while. I was a b*tch at work and not my usual self. I could tell trouble was brewing. My anxiety became far worse. Last evening was tough: super agitated, angry at basically everything, and desperately wanting to cut off my hair (which I've done myself numerous times before dx and I've posted about elsewhere here with others). That compulsion was getting overwhelming. I talked to a relative on the phone to talk me out of it. I'm sure I must've sounded completely nuts. I haven't shared too much with anyone about what I do/have done. Anyway I didn't cut my hair (a victory). This is the first time since starting lithium I felt so agitated and heading out of control. And scared. I took Ativan and went to sleep - which is why I don't take Ativan as directed, as it makes it tough to get up for work. I'm sensitive to meds. Anyway, I took off work and slept most the day today. I've missed too much work. Been depressed for months. I'll keep the lithium at the higher dose and hope I don't feel like that anytime soon. I have a tough time practicing "self care" and being ok with staying home when it's all too much. I get super-sensitive to noise and my workplace is so loud. I don't know how much longer I can take it. Does anyone else get mania/hypomania while on meds?
  12. So I am in quite a nasty situation. Over 3 months ago I was able to kick my addiction to heroin with therapy and Suboxone. Also, I successfully got my bipolar II under control with Lithium ER 900mg and Seroquel XR 300mg. For the last 6 weeks I am having fragmented sleep. I am able to fall asleep relatively easily only to wakeup after 2hrs. I then go back to sleep and from then on I wake up roughly 5 times a night. I've eliminated all caffeine from diet, I don't smoke cigarettes within 2hrs of bed and I don't watch TV or use any other screen before retiring. My addiction specialist has tried me on trazadone 150mg--did nothing Doxepin 75-150mg--only makes me sleeoy Ambien CR (w/ doxepin)--barely any change. I think it slightly improves the quality of sleep in between waking up. Does anyone have any recommendations for a sleep maintenance medication? I prone to rapid weight gain from AP's and dont want to double up as I am taking quetiapine already. For what it's worth....my sleep hygiene is very good. I've started exercising in the morning before work. I work as a credit analyst and sit in front of a computer from 9 to 5. HOWEVER...my insomnia is causing me to nod off at my desk which is unacceptable. Any tips/ideas/recommendatins are welcome. Mikl_pls I'm looking your way as you are the resident amateur psychopharmacologist. ;-)
  13. I just started lithium recently for the first time (3 days ago, today will be the 4th day) at a rather small dose of 300 mg. My pdoc didn't want to give me too much since I'm on so many meds. But she said that such a dose in some of her patients works well with regimens like mine to stabilize them as I have been ultra-rapid cycling between hyperthymia and suicidal, psychotic depression. I've noticed, however, in this short amount of time, that I've gained 7.5 lb since starting lithium. Is that a coincidence, or is 300 mg lithium still capable of causing weight gain? Also, I'd like to understand the pharmacology behind lithium. Can someone who understands it explain it to me and/or share some links to some good sources that explain it well? Thanks.
  14. If you've ever stopped lithium, on instructions of your pdoc, how was it done? If one is on another stabiliser is there a need to taper or is cold turkey okay?
  15. Hello, I've been taking lithium carbonate ER for 2 years. The pill was manufactured by Glenmark, Inc. It is a pink round pill with 233 stamped on it. I have to do mail order prescriptions, and the company just sent me lithium carbonate ER pills from a different manufacturer, Rising. They are pink and round and have P 300 screened on them. I'm a little wary to be changing manufacturers, even though my doctor and pharmacist have ensured it will be OK. Is it possible that my lithium levels or side effects will change? Thanks.
  16. Ever since I started Lithium about 4 weeks ago, I developed something like a neck twitch where my head tenses up and spazzes, kind of like a little shake back and forth (I don't know what this is called). I don't know how noticeable/subtle it is but I feel like other people can notice it. It only happens when people say words that grab my attention for example if I hear someone say bipolar in my support group or at my job, my head does It. I was watching Homeland (female lead has BP and on lithium for anyone who isn't familiar with it) and she was talking about her Lithium and my head/neck did it, every time the word was said! This was very embarrassing because I was with my girlfriend. I'm wondering if this has happened to anyone else or what it could be from? How did you fix it?! It makes me so anxious every time it happens and I'm scared that someone at my job or class will notice!! PS- Since I have started Lithium, I have also been startled more easily (I am already a very easily startled person before). I also notice that my public speaking anxiety has risen- after I was just beginning to get it under control. My voice gets shaky and I feel like I can't talk when talking in front of people, which is much more severe than it was before. I'm not sure if these 3 are related but I REALLY REALLY appreciate any input/experiences anyone can share!!
  17. Meds?

    Hi everyone, I have had a mood disorder dx since I was 14. Currently 24 and dx changed to BP 2. Haven't taken meds seriously until I was 22 or so. Was doing relatively well on Latuda 40 and lamictal 200 until I decided I didn't need medication about a year ago. For the past 8 months I have been back on lamictal and latuda ranging from 100-300 and 80-20 respectively. I feel it has made no difference in my agitated and depressed mood so my pdoc added 900 lithium 3 weeks ago. Haven't noticed a difference except slightly less agitation. So I just started 1350 on the lithium. In conclusion, latuda 20, lamictal 300, and lithium 1350 don't seem to be helping. Why is my bipolar so resistant?! Anyone else have similar experience with these meds not working? What worked for you ?My pdoc said he will add the Emsam patch once I'm stable for depression..
  18. I recently started Parnate and titrated up to 20 mg, and am titrating my Adderall gradually (currently at 12.5 mg/day) to see what dose I can tolerate with it, and have Mirapex (1 mg) along with it, which I've found to by highly synergistic, as just the beginning of this week, I woke up and suddenly noticed that I suddenly felt amazing . I don't want to speak too soon or jinx myself by declaring "I have achieved euthymia!" (though this has been a pretty amazing week!), and I'm on a baby dose of Parnate (which I hope my pdoc will titrate up, and hope it will affect me even better than I have experienced lately), and my track record with medicines, when they've worked, has been to achieve a response for a few weeks and then they will poop out after just a few weeks. The only exception was Cymbalta, which worked for several months in a row. What I'm looking for is to maintain these fantastic results that I've achieved lately from Parnate and Mirapex that were recently added, and to my knowledge, lithium is a good maintenance medicine. I am taking Lamictal, which I've read both maintains or just delays the precipitation of a depressive episode, but I feel like I need some added "protection..." Has anyone had experience with maintaining euthymia with lithium? On what other drugs have you experienced a "maintenance" of euthymia? Thanks for any responses!
  19. I have a dual diagnosis as bipolar 2 and borderline personality disorder. I lean more towards depression but have had bouts of extreme anxiety, daily suicidal thinking, anger, and risky sexual behavior. I am on 300mg of Lithium and 25mg of Lamictal and tapering up to 50mg soon. I feel exhausted all the time currently with episodes of intense anger and general sadness. I'm looking for other people with this dual diagnosis to share what meds they have tried and what has worked for them. I cannot currently say that my meds have helped. I know I am at a very low dose. In my mind I have tried so many meds (seroquel, Lexapro, Lithium, Lamictal, Nardil, Parnate, Abilify, Topemax)....all of these in various combinations with one another. I have and still feel like an outsider, a weirdo, mentally unstable. I would like to find others with my same struggle who are perhaps finding relief. Please share with me. Kristen
  20. Hi all, New here and have a couple of questions about lithium. Has anyone here developed resistance to lithium? It has been a wonder drug for me these past 2 years, but very recently my old mood instability has crept back - this time it's depressive with mixed symptoms - really unpleasant. Blood levels remain the same at .7/8 I take 900mg. Other question: with the return of symptoms, there's also been an increase in EPS-like side-effects, especially worm-jaw as I call it, muscle rippling and tightness along the jawline: haven't experienced since I tried AAPs (EPS disasters!) I have an appt with PDoc, who's not the greatest for listening, so would really appreciate and feedback. Best, Deb
  21. I had to quit lithium because my kidneys are damaged. I have been reducing the dose over the last month under the guidance of my pdoc and took my last dose of 200mg last night. My ddoc warned me that I could become manic as the lithium level drops very low and goes out of system altogether. Has anybody become manic on the discontinuation of lithium? If so did it occur gradually or very quickly I'm already having trouble sleeping and am not tired and a bit concerned that this is the start of mania, although I have no other symptoms. Maybe I am being paranoid!! It's just that my mood has been very stable for a long time now, so I am a bit worried. Also do you think that the introduction of valproate may help help prevent mania??
  22. So l saw my pdoc today and he has decided to discontinue my lithium totally. This is due to the latest blood tests which shows I have grade 3 (out of 5) chronic kidney disease. He started me on Epilim Chrono (sodium valproate) which most people know as depakote. My starting dose is 400mg. I was on this several years ago with a lot of other medications so cannot recall side effects. I know that weight gain can be a problem. My pdoc also said that I may feel sedated on it. Any side effects I should be aware of?? Also, going off lithium is of great concern. I was on it for 13.5 years. I have been tapering off it and I know there is a real risk of me becoming manic. My pdoc will be seeing me more frequently to keep a good check on things and the community psychiatric nurse will be in close contact with me. For anyone who has had to taper off lithium...... Was it a rocky road?? For anyone switching from lithium to valproate..... How did it go? Boy do I HATE change!!!!!
  23. Hi, im new here. I have my intake appointment tomorrow and I have been researching medications. I just wanted some people's experience on taking Geodon. Im currently in a hypomanic state right now. Losing sleep as the summer drags on, having incredibly creative ideas but so distracted by such small things that I can't seem to do anything. Still social, I still get out, but can't handle excess stimulation. I was previously on Lithium 900mg and Abilify 30mg. This combination helped with my manic episodes but I would still have trouble sleeping, despite taking this combination of medication for several years. I was foolish enough to stop the medication though and have been off of it the past 9 months. I guess Im having a hard time accepting the fact that I may need to be on medication the rest of my life. I was wondering though, does anyone have any experience of Geodon? What do you like? What don't you like? Common side effects? Combining it with Lithium? Does Geodon help you sleep? Lack of sleep has always been my main trigger. Thank you.
  24. I've had bipolar 2 my whole life but rarely had it diagnosed properly, leading to a revolving door of medications that would work initially for my depression but not for more a few weeks. I had decent luck getting off meds without side effects, and most of the side effects were livable... except the brain fog on antipsychotics. I've only been on true bipolar meds twice before lithium, and both times the side effects left me feel less than functional. In the gap between treatments, a long gap without insurance, I developed a drinking problem and got my first taste of how much chemical withdrawal can suck. I eventually got the drinking under control, although I still drink more than I should during periods I decide to drink. During a dry period when I was feeling particularly low, I managed to convince my doctor to let me try lithium. He's a med student in his final year, so he didn't know much about the drug and prescribed 900mg to start with another 300 to be added after a week. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I felt great that first week, so great I didn't increase my dose until the following week, when I was supposed to check in with him. Throughout the first two weeks, I drank a little at first, and then pretty steadily once I realized how well my body was tolerating the lithium. Had one night I overdid it and slowed down again for a few days. On the doctor's advice, I lowered the dose again to 900mg spread throughout the day. If I did well enough like that, he even wanted me to try a dose of 600mg, but I started feeling a bit off in the third week and went up again. Some of the issues I was having with motivation by then, I'm sure it was the drinking to blame. It was so easy to fall back on old habits when I kept waking up anxious and needing something to bring me down. My doctor was always hesitant to prescribe benzos for anxiety, so having a few shots of whiskey to get back to normal was an old standby, if not a particularly healthy one. Then somewhere during that week, the lithium started working against me. I felt shaky, weak, with trouble focusing at times. When I got scared and skipped several doses, I felt even worse, like I was hit with some weird flu. I realized I was going to keep feeling worse if I didn't take at least some lithium(and taper off alcohol, just to eliminate the extra stress on my body). I'm down to 600mg, one pill in the morning and one with dinner, but I'm worried these side effects aren't going away. It's been only a few days on the lower dose, and I've been drinking water like crazy. I don't know if it's worth waiting a few more days to go down to one pill and then none, or whether it needs time for my body to readjust. It's just so frustrating. I felt normal at first, and even the nausea and anxiety went away, then the tremors crept in and the weakness, and now I have that and the nausea/anxiety back. I was just about ready to give up on medication altogether before trying lithium. I had a pretty good thing going with daily exercise and other goals, and then the soul-crushing depressive cycle finally came back around, and I felt like I needed to do something. If I'm going to keep feeling like this, I don't know how I'm ever going to be functional again. Or if I'm just missing another medication that will balance me out more reliably than timed release whiskey, like a low dose of Xanax or Ativan. I don't know what to do, and I thank any of you more experienced people with advice to give.
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