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  1. Hello, Here is a small status report after 8 months of lamotrigine monotherapy; I've been feeling much better these months than on those APs. I lived a relatively active life in the past months. Making friends, going to uni and so on. I was mostly stable with some moodswings downwards. But for the last two months or so I was feeling like shit, without being able to place the cause of it all. Just lethargy, irritated by people except for my closer friends, concentration issues, feeling incredibly sad and tired etc. Leaving my house and activing myself to get stuff done or socialize with people became a real chore. My pdoc told me to get a bloodtest for lamotrigine levels, despite this being uncommon. Turned out that my levels were quite low, despite having worked most of the time. So I got an 50mg increase to 150mg 2 weeks ago. Now I feel rather zen, to be fair. I still have a bit of emotional and concentration issues, but I think they are well within normal range now. The only sideeffect I have with lamotrigine is frequent "Lucid Dreaming". While it isn't that bad, it tends to get annoying at times. Being fully aware that you are dreaming while in a dream might be destressing, especially when you are trying to wake up. It sounds very odd, but it's a relatively common sideeffect. And you mostly tend to forget about it within minutes of waking up. So long story short: It's going pretty well on lamotrigine alone. Much, much better than on any of the stuff on the "failed rx" list in my sig. It's possible to use lamotrigine alone, despite the occasional issues. I'll just have to enjoy it while it lasts, I guess.
  2. Hi there, I haven't been here in quite some time, but I am really happy to see that one of my thread was able to help people help themselves! In the past 8 months things went rather well for me. The best advice I have now is to try and find closure for your (hypo)manic period. I went back to the place I was committed as a visitor, and it did me a great deal of good. I went there as a student, willing to see how it works when in a normal mood. And having a talk with the staff there that cared for me while I was sick was a great bonus. I always used to be someone that used to pent up anger, sadness and depression, but I started to let go of that now. Just telling people you trust how you feel makes a very large difference too. It really suprised me how many people were positive about me, even after learning about my "secret". Their support pulled me through a rough patch in my moods. Just having a group of people supporting you is good. Wether it be your treatment team, your friends and family, employers or teachers, it's good to have some people to help you up when you're down. And the moodchart thing is very nice as well. I don't know if it's allowed, but I use the one on medhelp, because it has the most features I need. Just seeing how your moods progress through time gives you a hold on yourself. It really makes you see your moods more relative to other periods. Anyway, take care people!
  3. Thanks everyone for your responses! I find it good to hear that this thread has helped other people as well as me. If only I could get my sleep schedule back on track and my springtime dip back up, I'd be all set.
  4. Hello people, I was wondering what life lessons you've learned and wish to convey to someone who has just become bipolar. It has only been 1.5 year since I had my first (hypo)mania where I destroyed my life tremendously. Everything is ok now, but I know it won't be that way forever. I noticed that I still have a long way ahead of me. This isn't only for me, but for the people who have been recently diagnosed or people that need some good advice.
  5. I'm doing well enough. I'm feeling good, but not too great. That is how I usually felt, even before my first mania. So far, so good. I gained over 20kg on AAPs in barely one year, but that's slowly coming off. I am very glad those AAP induced munchies are finally gone. And I've never been on an antidepressant before. I was getting depressive episodes since I was 16-17, but it never occurred to me to get help. Until of couse, my mania happened. I did take St. Johns Worth for a while, but as soon as my pdoc found out she told me to quit it immediately. Abilify wasn't that bad of an AAP, it was just that it held me back in my daily functioning due to side effects like nearly falling asleep during lectures and that sort of stuff. I'm glad you're doing well on Lamictal too, it gives me a bit of hope for the future. Even if you're at a considerably higher dosage than I am atm.
  6. Here is a small update: I'm now 2 weeks in without any antipsychotic and so far I've been feeling more stable than I've been since my manic episode. My sense of taste returned, I eat much less and I feel more motivated to face life with all it's challenges. My pdoc even thinks that I might try to go unmedicated next year due to my steady progress. I don't think I will, but I'm very happy that option is there. The only things I hope is that I'll stay stable and lose the weight Zyprexa and Abilify made me gain. I gained 20kg in just over a year so...
  7. This is what I agreed with my Pdoc. But instead of Zyprexa, which could only bring me back to hypomania when manic at 20mg, he gave me Temazepam 20mg to wait till the next appointment. So far I haven't used it, and I'm happy for it. I really hope that Lamotrigine prevents manias. So far I've been much closer to depression. I've also noticed that I tend to sleep a lot more now than I used to when on Abilify. I hope I keep doing well. But after a year without any manic symptoms, I should be fine.
  8. Hi guys, I'm on my 4th day of quitting Abilify and so far it has been good. I eat less, it feels quieter in my head and I generally feel decent. I hope it continues to go this well.
  9. A small bit of my history: I only went manic twice. It can disputed that it was actually one time instead, because I recovered a lot when I was committed, but I was still hypomanic at the time I was released. I went manic again one week afterwards. It took 2-3 months to go from normal to hypomania and finally to mania in my case. I had the typical "enlightened" psychosis/mania where everything felt connected and I felt like I was on top of the universe. But for most of the time I (luckily) lean towards depression anyway. I took my last pill today. Wish me luck! And thanks to the people who already did!
  10. The time has come that I'm quitting Abilify, hopefully for good. Tomorrow I'll take my last pill. My Pdoc says it's okay to drop Abilify cold turkey. But I'm still a bit weary of this, since I'm still going to uni and I don't want to fuck up my relations there due to the possible withdrawal symptoms. Anyone that has done the same with success? I really need some support now.
  11. Will do. Before even considering dropping Abilify, my pdoc made me make an early warning plan with symptoms and their corresponding actions. I'm fairly well covered in that regard, but I must admit it feels a bit scary to go on a mood stabilizer alone. I've only been on an AP for a year, but until Lamotrigine came into the picture at a good dosage (50mg+), I was only miserable on them. The main reason why my Pdoc let me do this is because I've been really stable over the past months. I can show a mood chart if you guys are interested? I'll definitely report back with my experiences once the time comes. I hope to hear some success stories though...
  12. Only my close family, my friends and my dean/mentor know that I'm bipolar. The way they deal with it is quite different. My uncle and friends occasionally poke fun at me about the things I did during my mania, while my mother and grandmother grew way too overprotective over me. My family still doesn't understand my condition completely. They only repeat the things they heard from the Pdoc, like no stress, no drugs etc. While my friends listen to what I have to say and learn about what I explain to them. And my mentor luckily is quite understanding, even though she has no real idea what bipolar is. Most people luckily don't know what I have and see me as relatively normal and level headed, albeit slightly narcoleptic thanks to the meds.
  13. Hello people, On the 7th of February I'm quitting Abilify 10mg cold turkey. This is with the help of my pdoc of course. I'm really looking forward to this. But I'm wondering; How effective is Lamotrigine (generic Lamictal) as a monotherapy for Bipolar I with severe mania? It's been approved by the FDA for this purpose, but most people seem to be on a Abilify/Lamotrigine or Lamotrigine/depakote mix. I'm usually at the depressive side, and only have been manic twice. My current dose is only 100mg, as I respond very well to Lamotrigine, but it might be raised to cope with possible changes in my mood. Wish me luck!
  14. Hi guys, I'm a new user here, but I've been reading this board a lot. I've been bipolar I for slightly over a year now. I'm currently on Lamotrigine 100mg and that has done wonders for me, more than any antipsychotic by itself I was put on. I'm also on 10mg of Abilify. That would have been lower if my country sold lower doses. Now the time has come to quit Abilify for good, hopefully. The thing is, my pdoc wants me to quit cold turkey, since Abilify tablets can't be devided. What can I expect from this, and are there any successtories regarding quitting abilify?
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