Utterly intolerant to Antipsychotics, Strongly considering Lithium or Lamictal as Monotherapy for Schizoaffective Disorder.By SheltieUnderdog
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
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.
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.
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
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.