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  1. Had a much-needed teletherapy appointment with my tdoc to discuss an extremely sensitive topic, which he did with skill and sensitivity. Feeling as though I've turned a page in my trauma recovery.
  2. Right now my pdoc and I are going to try 7.5mg at night and 2.5mg in the daytime, and if that's not enough to tamp down the daytime trouble, I'll try 5mg night/5mg day and see how that does. I should take it immediately before bed instead of a few hours before, and that way I might avoid the inevitable munchies that come a couple of hours after I take it. I've put on weight since being put on it last year and don't want to gain anymore. I'm also going to ask my pdoc about taking 5mg PRN like you do, since I do that anyway sometimes and it does seem to help for temporary increases in psychotic symptoms.
  3. Is anyone else having an issue with world events contributing to apocalyptic (or other) delusions, or heightened anxiety because of world events? I'm still recovering from a psychotic episode from last September/October, and the last few months of the virus and subsequent economic things seem to have amped up some of the psychotic symptoms. Sometimes I even wonder if I'm somehow responsible for all this world chaos, which I know I'm not, and then I'm stuck in an internal conflict with myself. I also think people are mad at me when they're not, think I've made a horrible nameless mistake when I haven't, and even worry about end-of-the-world type crap. My pdoc and I are tweaking my Zyprexa dose to see if we can't get me feeling better, but in the meantime, I was just curious if anyone else feels this way.
  4. I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with splitting their Zyprexa dose into a nighttime dose and a daytime dose. I get an annoying effect where my levels seem to drop off between 4-6pm, resulting in an increase in symptoms until I take my meds at night (about 3-4 hours before bed), and I was curious if I could mitigate that by splitting my dose, or if that would just result in overall reduced effectiveness. I don't want or need to take a higher nighttime dose because I already have issues with lethargy and motivation, but it would also be nice not to spend a few hours each evening engaging with "the enemy within". BTW, this is for bipolar I with psychotic features, although I need to have a discussion with my pdoc about changing that to schizoaffective disorder, since I have psychotic symptoms without mood symptoms.
  5. I do, he's great. I don't get to see him as often as I'd like due to finances, and now with coronavirus I'm not even sure if he's seeing *anyone*: I should call and ask. He might also be able to alleviate (or confirm) my occasional fear that I'm more schizoaffective than bipolar: I'm not sure sometimes if these are actual delusions that are lingering, or just the leftover *fear*. This whole thing has been very confusing.
  6. I had a terrible manic/psychotic episode last August, and I'm having a great deal of difficulty letting go of certain elements of the experience. I keep being gripped with the feeling I've made a terrible mistake of some kind that's going to result in something bad, but other times I'm able to reassure myself that's not the case. What's really bad is when i start to argue with myself internally about it, which can make me panicky. I do take Depakote and Zyprexa, so it's not like I'm not taking my meds. Has anyone else had this kind of trouble? I thought about posting this in OCD but it seemed more relevant here.
  7. So I recently went off antipsychotics after having been on them for nearly seven years. They weren't helping with what I needed the most help with and I (and my shrink) suspected they were responsible for the anhedo'nic malaise I've been suffering from for years now. At first I was resistant to get off them because I really thought I needed them, but then I ran out and didn't get it refilled for a couple of weeks and was like, "Hey, I don't feel DEAD inside." And I wasn't suffering any bad effects from NOT taking them, so I figured I would just take them on as as-needed basis. Which happens about once every two weeks. I just get hamster wheel brain and have to shut it off. And so far that's been working out really well. I'm curious how long it's taken for others who have gotten off them to get them out of your system. I haven't taken any Haldol in over a month, but it was just in the last few days that I really felt like I'd "woken up". I can write again. I haven't written anything other than cryptic Facebook posts since 2014. I've done nothing but read Facebook and the news and watch tv and movies since I quit my job four years ago, which I had to do because I couldn't function at it anymore. I was constantly forgetting things and fucking up, it was awful. Looking back I can't be sure if it's because of the illness or the meds. I don't really care anymore. I'm awake again. Thankfully my bipolar disorder isn't so severe that I need APs all the time anymore. I think at first I did, but I've changed a lot over the last several years since I was diagnosed. I don't have the same issues as I once did. I'm a lot more stable. I still take my other meds, mostly so I can sleep, since I also have a sleep disorder (a manageable one, thank the gods). The meds kept me from doing the thing that was probably the healthiest thing I was doing for myself: meditating. Now that I can focus and concentrate again, I can get back to a sitting practice, which gives me the mindfulness I need to stay on top of the little cues my brain gives me when I might be about to do something...off. It's nice not to be swimming in glue anymore.
  8. So my husband and I are working on another baby, and of course my thoughts turn to all of the meds that I'm taking. My pnurse and I decided I should only take max 1-2 drugs. After some research, only one of the things I take is relatively safe for me to take (Wellbutrin). Everything else will need to be tapered if at all possible, and just stopped if not. I'm just curious what experience the rest of you might have had with tapering meds for pregnancy. Did you have a lot of trouble being off your meds? Did you have a plan for going back on them after birth? Anything you can share would be helpful.
  9. So I've been wondering if my illness is severe enough to apply for disability. I've never been hospitalized, but my illnesses make it very difficult for me to work. I was only able to keep my last job for 4 years because of fairly special circumstances. It was part time (15 hours a week) and I was able to work completely alone without anyone bothering me. Still, it was difficult for me to balance the job with the rest of my life and I know for a fact that it contributed to at least one major episode, requiring me to take time off work. I eventually quit because the position became too complex for me to handle anymore: it was contributing to a major depression. And I know that working a regular 8-5 job would be straight out for me because I KNOW I can't handle the stress of working 40 hours a week and trying to run a family at the same time. My sleep and eating will get all out of whack and then I'm in real trouble. I just seriously doubt I'll ever be able to find a job that is low stress enough that I'll be able to keep it. I also have trouble just managing my day to day life. My house isn't unsanitary or anything, but it's a mess. And I can't bring myself to cook most of the time so we eat out a lot. I just know that my illnesses severely affect my quality of life. Being on disability would give me at least some income, which would be a mood boost since I wouldn't feel like a total loser who can't contribute to the family. I'm just not sure if I should bother applying, since I'm not sure if I'm "sick enough". I suppose it can't hurt to try, but I wanted to hear others' stories (not necessarily their medical opinion or anything) about their circumstances and the application process.
  10. No, they're not nightmares. Just really busy dream activity.
  11. Lately I've been having these odd muscle twitches. It's like energy builds up in my muscles until I *have* to flex them, usually jerkily. It happens in my lower arms, my shoulders, and my upper legs. I just wasn't sure if this was EPS or something else. It keeps me from going to sleep sometimes, though taking Klonopin seems to help it. I take an AAP every day and an older AP as needed so I know I'm taking things that put me at risk of EPS. I increased my Lamictal dosage recently: could that be causing these twitches? My other issue is with my breathing. It started not long after I first started taking psych meds in 2011. Basically, sometimes I can only take a nice deep breath every few minutes, not as often as I would naturally take a full deep breath. Attempts in between result in shortness of breath. It's worse at night: I have to sit up to sleep sometimes. It was worst when I was taking lithium, and it seems to have worsened since I added it back into my regimen recently, though I'm only taking a small dose. I went to a doctor back in '11 to see what the deal was and three different doctors gave me three different answers. I don't think any of them thought to see if my meds might have been causing the problem. Just curious if others have experienced breathing issues on their meds, and which ones. Anyway, going to be talking to my pdoc about all this next week, but I always like to run things by here too.
  12. No, not so far. I forgot to mention it to my pdoc last time I saw him but I'm seeing him again next week so I'll add it to my list of things to talk with him about.
  13. I obsess about different things at night. If there's a personal situation that's bothering me, I won't be able to stop turning it over and over in my head. If there isn't anything in my life to ruminate about, my mind will generate fictional scenarios for me to ruminate on, always stressful situations with not necessarily good outcomes. I also obsess about my breathing. I get periodic mild shortness of breath and when it happens, I sit up because it helps. Now when it happens, I get a stress reaction and get panicky about the whole thing and start to obsess on my breathing and how it is, which makes my breathing even worse. I have to sit up to sleep a lot of the time. Interestingly, after I've been asleep sitting up for a few hours, I can go back to bed and sleep just fine. It's just getting to sleep that's the problem. And then I start obsessing about how I'm losing sleep and how that disaffects the bipolar stuff and blah blah blah. Fortunately I'm not working at the moment so I can sleep really late if I need to to catch up, but it gives me a weird schedule that makes life hard sometimes.
  14. I also wonder how other people go about their busy lives without cracking up. I have friends who are so incredibly creative and productive, it makes me feel like a slug. My meds sapped my creativity long ago and I miss the outlet. But just every day things, like keeping house and running errands, I wonder how people do that without it being stressful (maybe it is and I just don't know it). And it doesn't take much to disrupt what routine I do have.
  15. So I was diagnosed BPNOS almost four years ago and put on meds, and lately I've been taking stock as to whether I'm better off or not, because sometimes I feel worse than I did before I was diagnosed. I feel more generally depressed and unhappy with my life, though I think the incidence of violent mixed episodes has gone down. And there's the side effects of the meds. My memory is for shit now. I have to watch tv shows two or three times before I remember what happened. I forget things from one minute to the next. I think that's the side effect that bothers me the most. That and the weight gain (thanks lithium and Risperdal). I just feel like I should feel better today than I did four years ago, and a lot of the time I don't. There are frequently times when I want to ditch all my meds and start smoking again, because I felt happier then. I feel like the things that I'm supposed to do to make me healthier just make me more unhappy, like I'm being forced to do things I don't want to do. Anyone else feel this way?
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