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Hello there,

I have had doctors consider bipolar type II for me on and off but they never really seemed to be firm with the diagnosis.  Conversely, I have had doctors say I don't have  bipolar, but MDD.  I recently decided to have a few short sessions with a very good psychiatrist and this is what he told me;  People with bipolar type II often tend to have hypomania in their late teens to early 20's before having a depressive episode.  He said people with bipolar II tend to experience more depression and less clear hypomania as they get older.

When I was 22 I remember feeling on top of the world.  I talked and joked constantly; I had magical thinking and thought I was psychic; And then something bad happened and it just seemed like I couldn't deal with life much and then things went downhill with a big crash at the end.

I'd rebound super quickly after a bought of meds and then I would be euthymic to dysthymic and that's where I would stay.  Life would then get good and would start to have a magical quality again;  I'd make some bad choices- caused maybe by my mindstate and/or a combination of poor coping mechanisms and then things would start to go downhill.  The next episode went downhill slowly until I dug up some traumas, and then I was suddenly suicidal.  I clawed my way out of that depression- barely.  I began experiencing dysthymia with a heavy slice of anxiety.  That bought of depression and anxiety seemed brought on because I felt so disconnected and like everything wasn't making sense anymore.  I felt agitated and terrified of going out in public.  I started experiencing panic attacks in public.

I tried antidepressants which worked in the beginning but I felt like I was clinging to sanity with a thread on them in the end.  I felt kind of numb but mostly strange and anxious.

I went off them and anxiety would get worse; I went from being very anxious to majorly anxious.  Then I would sort of half recover but never fully.  I was often very socially phobic to being set off into an anxiety attack when having to do something like ordering coffee.

I was tried on topomax which worked like a charm at first but it was a little hard on the insides. I was not always med compliant because it seemed like no  one was sure of what was happening with me; their diagnosis seemed to change dramatically from doctor to doctor which made it hard for me to manage consistent treatment.  It seemed like everyone had a different opinion on how I should be treated.

I am doing ok.  The new psych suggested aggressive treatment of my symptoms;  he said the current drugs I am on are ok for now but maybe switching to atypical antipsychotics and a drug like Lamictal might be better for me in the long run.  Unfortunately this doctor is not my permanent doctor as I felt he gave me useful advice on getting treatment.  He is transferring his diagnostic info to my family doctor with med suggestions.  My family doctor has managed patients with bipolar so I think I this has put me on track to consistent treatment.

 

 

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3 hours ago, wookie said:

Hello there,

I have had doctors consider bipolar type II for me on and off but they never really seemed to be firm with the diagnosis.  Conversely, I have had doctors say I don't have  bipolar, but MDD.  I recently decided to have a few short sessions with a very good psychiatrist and this is what he told me;  People with bipolar type II often tend to have hypomania in their late teens to early 20's before having a depressive episode.  He said people with bipolar II tend to experience more depression and less clear hypomania as they get older.

When I was 22 I remember feeling on top of the world.  I talked and joked constantly; I had magical thinking and thought I was psychic; And then something bad happened and it just seemed like I couldn't deal with life much and then things went downhill with a big crash at the end.

I'd rebound super quickly after a bought of meds and then I would be euthymic to dysthymic and that's where I would stay.  Life would then get good and would start to have a magical quality again;  I'd make some bad choices- caused maybe by my mindstate and/or a combination of poor coping mechanisms and then things would start to go downhill.  The next episode went downhill slowly until I dug up some traumas, and then I was suddenly suicidal.  I clawed my way out of that depression- barely.  I began experiencing dysthymia with a heavy slice of anxiety.  That bought of depression and anxiety seemed brought on because I felt so disconnected and like everything wasn't making sense anymore.  I felt agitated and terrified of going out in public.  I started experiencing panic attacks in public.

I tried antidepressants which worked in the beginning but I felt like I was clinging to sanity with a thread on them in the end.  I felt kind of numb but mostly strange and anxious.

I went off them and anxiety would get worse; I went from being very anxious to majorly anxious.  Then I would sort of half recover but never fully.  I was often very socially phobic to being set off into an anxiety attack when having to do something like ordering coffee.

I was tried on topomax which worked like a charm at first but it was a little hard on the insides. I was not always med compliant because it seemed like no  one was sure of what was happening with me; their diagnosis seemed to change dramatically from doctor to doctor which made it hard for me to manage consistent treatment.  It seemed like everyone had a different opinion on how I should be treated.

I am doing ok.  The new psych suggested aggressive treatment of my symptoms;  he said the current drugs I am on are ok for now but maybe switching to atypical antipsychotics and a drug like Lamictal might be better for me in the long run.  Unfortunately this doctor is not my permanent doctor as I felt he gave me useful advice on getting treatment.  He is transferring his diagnostic info to my family doctor with med suggestions.  My family doctor has managed patients with bipolar so I think I this has put me on track to consistent treatment.

 

 

If this is the case I suggest finding a pdoc over a family dr

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1 hour ago, looking for answers said:

If this is the case I suggest finding a pdoc over a family dr

I am looking for a regular pdoc.  My symptoms are manageable at the moment.  I might see if my temporary psych can be my regular doctor.  I will see about a permanent pdoc.

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1 hour ago, wookie said:

I am looking for a regular pdoc.  My symptoms are manageable at the moment.  I might see if my temporary psych can be my regular doctor.  I will see about a permanent pdoc.

That would be a good fix!

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I am honestly a bit depressed and scared.  I am afraid the meds won't work

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Posted (edited)

100 mg zoloft and down to 250mg of Lyrica which was prescribed for anxiety.  I was at 300 mg but there is a concern it is causing depression.  What meds have you found that worked?  I notice you have been given a label of BP 2 mixed states.  That dx has been handed to me as well.

Edited by wookie

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I tried buspar and experienced major agitation and began picking fights with people.  I went up on zoloft and was a bit anxious and edgy, and never felt calm.  I didn't sleep much either.  My guess is a mood stabilizer like latuda; lamictal takes a long time to adjust too.

I have been paranoid lately.  I think my coworkers are out to get me.  I literally snapped at my bf today over work.

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1 minute ago, wookie said:

I tried buspar and experienced major agitation and began picking fights with people.  I went up on zoloft and was a bit anxious and edgy, and never felt calm.  I didn't sleep much either.  My guess is a mood stabilizer like latuda; lamictal takes a long time to adjust too.

I have been paranoid lately.  I think my coworkers are out to get me.  I literally snapped at my bf today over work.

try vraylar, its new, but i love it and know others do too, lithium as well

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It's worth a shot.  I am trying to just do things to take my mind off of stuff.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, looking for answers said:

try vraylar, its new, but i love it and know others do too, lithium as well

How are you now that you are on meds?  What was it like for you being undermedicated?  If I go the anti-psychotic route I might try something with a sedating profile.  I tried abilify and found it terribly activating at a small dose.  Scared of adding one more med to the cocktail but I am concerned I am getting a little destabilized.  I got activated on 450mg of lithium.  Missed one dose one night (after getting stuck somewhere downtown) and then a switch was flipped and I just about shredded my apartment in a rage.  It was like my mood episode came on so fast just by missing a dose.

Without meds I get ruminations, anxiety attacks, and major insomnia, high agitation, aggression.  Depression, anxiety, bipolar II.  I don't know anymore just whatever meds work these days

Edited by wookie

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On 30.03.2018 at 7:31 PM, wookie said:

People with bipolar type II often tend to have hypomania in their late teens to early 20's before having a depressive episode.  He said people with bipolar II tend to experience more depression and less clear hypomania as they get older.

That's very interesting what the doc said. As it's my story too, before I got diagnosed my life looked just like that, though after I've been diagnosed I tend to have more manic episodes then depressive ones, I'm more depressed on meds by the way.

About your personal experience I think you should talk to few more docs as right diagnosis is very important and don't be afraid of the process of choosing best drug or coctails for you. It takes some time but when you get there it can be only better.

To be honest I'm facing the same feelings and emotions as you mentioned without drugs, but I'm BP I with 4 psychosis so far. I don't think it's the same thing but it might be BP II in my opinion,  do what you can to talk to more docs to be sure. Good luck!

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, wookie said:

How are you now that you are on meds?  What was it like for you being undermedicated?  If I go the anti-psychotic route I might try something with a sedating profile.  I tried abilify and found it terribly activating at a small dose.  Scared of adding one more med to the cocktail but I am concerned I am getting a little destabilized.  I got activated on 450mg of lithium.  Missed one dose one night (after getting stuck somewhere downtown) and then a switch was flipped and I just about shredded my apartment in a rage.  It was like my mood episode came on so fast just by missing a dose.

Without meds I get ruminations, anxiety attacks, and major insomnia, high agitation, aggression.  Depression, anxiety, bipolar II.  I don't know anymore just whatever meds work these days.

I’m getting there. Better but not where I wanna be, vraylar and Paxil were the game changers . I love vraylar. But it’s activating. Seroquel is great for my sleep.

 

Obviously being undermedicated was hell. I felt like i wass in torture 24 hours a day, just wanted to not exist, but not suicidial.I know the feeling of not wanting to add more to the cocktail hell look at mine now its a bunch, but eventually u gotta trust ur doc and keep going until u get where u wanna be then worry about peeling back meds. I wish u the best of luck and will be thinking about u. all your without meds symptoms were what i was feeling when iwas undermedicated

Edited by looking for answers
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You sound so much like me. It got to the point I cannot take antidepressants. After a terrible experience with klonopin, tegretol and doxepin and the lowest dose of lithium, I rapid cycled, started depersonalization from severe anxiety and stress, was in a never ending mixed state and anxiety focused paranoia. Like no one liked me and I was ashamed constantly or felt like I was a joke. It was hell.

after a huge fight for my mental health, I reached out to an old friend that works in healthcare in my city. She pulled strings to get me with the best and highest rated pdoc & he doesn’t take new patients often. I highly suggest reaching out and asking for help.

i developed horrible skin rashes from tegretol abd my last pdoc ignored it. Doxepin nearly destroyed me, and klonopin only made my anxiety more severe.

new doc put me on lamictal, seroquel (which I was always fearful of), gabapentin which I’m loving and will titrate me off klonopin.

i do have to say only after a few days of seroquel at a low dose I feel more clear. Now, I’m uncertain about my job, what’s next, what I can realistically handle with this unfair disease.

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I hope you’re feeling better soon.  It sort of sounded like you’ve had a mixed episode in the past.  They are rough.  How’s your paranoia?  

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@wookie

I really like the combo of Trintellix and Rexulti for depression. But I also think that Vyvanse helps, and the Depakote is pulling most of the weight when it comes to mood stabilization. But the anticonvulsant+antipsychotic strategy that your doctor is going after is a good one. And it's the only strategy that works for me. My pdoc and I have tried pulling me off APs before but I can't ever fully function without them.

It looks like you said you're taking Lyrica for anxiety? Lyrica is very chemically similar to GABA, which is the calming neurotransmitter in the brain. Therefore, the thinking is that replacing that supply or augmenting it may help for anxiety. Depakote actually increases the synthesis of GABA in the brain and inhibits the creation of enzymes that break it down. This is what makes it so effective for treating manias. If your doctor wants to do the anticonvulsant+antipsychotic route from the get-go, I couldn't recommend Depakote+Rexulti more. Just not sure how they would really feel without Trintellix or Vyvanse, so I'm a little biased to be honest. Your mileage may vary. But going on Depakote would mean you probably wouldn't need the Lyrica.

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12 hours ago, rainyday107 said:

I hope you’re feeling better soon.  It sort of sounded like you’ve had a mixed episode in the past.  They are rough.  How’s your paranoia?  

My paranoia is mild at best.  Hard to tell if it is me being crazy or me being over sensitive.  I struggle with being mildly depressed atm.  Doing ok and getting set up w a regular pdoc who will help me adjust my treatment.

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