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Everything posted by Squirlygrl

  1. I have been with the same all-purpose guy for almost ten years, and every time I was sufficiently angry or frustrated or terrified I would get a consultation, some of them even arranged by him. Whether as reality check or brave new plan, each of these has been worthwhile. Ultimately they confirmed our strategy, but I needed the reassurance. It's true that you should hesitate to mess with a cocktail that works. That doesn't mean you shouldn't shop for someone smart and responsive to prescribe it, especially because it might cut out on you someday. What you say about G reminds me of my guy. He is my safety net, and he did save my life more than once, but at most we were doing supportive therapy. I have a very helpful new therapist who coexists with him. I can also imagine your having success by asking G for a change of direction or a referral. All of this is facilitated by that gorgeous and ridiculous thing, an insurance plan that may limit "counseling" visits but will pay for visits to an MD for any reason, including therapy, until it turns blue. Go boldly, and stay well, SG
  2. Yes, very happy, like Titania. A little fragile, a little volatile, but my life is full of good things. I needed to stop changing drugs all the time, it gave me whiplash. I also needed to get off the maintenance antipsychotics and just be miserable in intensive therapy for a while. I have had the great good fortune to go four days a week for about a year and it's such a different experience, more surgery than Band-Aid. Finding a spiritual home also made a huge difference for me. Best of luck to you, it took me so many years to get here but it has been worth it. By the way, although I am on Lamictal my levels are low, and I have spent plenty of time plenty depressed on it. For me the Depakote/Tegretol blend is what's making the difference. Get better, SG
  3. I was stable on lithium, loxapine, Tegretol and Lamictal until tardive dyskinesia happened and I quit the loxapine cold turkey. I was a mess, blood and ink everywhere. The neurologist said no more neuroleptics for maintenance, "cost-benefit" for short-term use. Now we have increased the Tegretol and I'm better, but I'm petrified of what's going to happen the next time I'm under stress, like next month, when I have to travel. The last trip like this put me in the hospital, and I can't go to the hospital anymore, they will give me Zyprexa there. Is anyone doing a good job of coping with occasional mild psychosis on mood stablizers alone? Thank you, SG (PS. The TD is already a lot better.)
  4. Well, this was a super-fun stay, filled with very elderly, very miserable people. We finally got a second psychiatrist to do a consultation while I was in. He says dx is correct (actually leans more toward BP1); get more family support; lose the Tegretol and the Zyprexa; stay on lithium, Lamictal, and Risperdal; and add some Klonopin. My own psych is too slow to implement this, says he was just trying to get me out of the hospital and keep me stable through the weekend. But I am going to my mother's and will get grief about being overmedicated -- already got some from psychiatrist father-in-law -- so we need to do it now. So I did it on my own. Oh, and then there is Zoloft withdrawal. My husband is supposed to not leave me alone, but he's gone, and I am supposed to take our vomiting son to brunch with his family. I should have told him not to go but he's had a hard week. So much for assertiveness training. This is not working out. I am unreformed. At least I care about them enough to not buy more blades, yet. Oh, and I can't type. Every word needs to be corrected. Sigh, sg
  5. Yes, but not by itself. It works well to control the highs, better than lithium and Depakote together. It's not clear what it's doing for depression.
  6. Thank you, Alice. That is helpful. I am working on talking to him, and it's going better than I expected. There are still blind spots, but he understands more than I thought. SG
  7. I hate that I'm on Lamictal and I still get depressed. I hate that I need Zoloft. I hate the creative hobbles and the cute little potbelly I get from lithium. I hate that Abilify kills every shred of hypomania. I hate that Zyprexa is such a fat zombie drug. I hate that I took stimulants and got suicidal. I hate that Wellbutrin made me so high that I made the guests cook their own dinner. I hate what Lexapro did to my sex life. I hate the baldness and fatness that is Depakote. I hate those creepy Seroquel dreams. I hate benzo depression and benzo withdrawal. I think that's it, but I am available to hate even more meds if need be. SG
  8. Why is it so hard to talk to my husband about MI issues, specifically my not getting well, and my functioning poorly while I am not so well? Is it that I'm ashamed of myself? That he's the silent, non-perceptive type? That I have recurring bouts of intense paranoia about his hating me because I run the household poorly, have hurt myself, whatever? Does anyone have tips on how to talk to your SO about these things? Thanks, SG
  9. No. Once, over a year ago, I took a five-day med holiday. Before and since, I've been compliant. I've done a fair amount of wondering out loud why I comply. That's probably what you remember.
  10. Am I the only person who thinks Lamictal is useless? 200 mg and I still get depressed as hell. Pdoc has raised the possibility that I am one of those people who metabolizes it to death, so I may need a blood test and a higher dose. (But if the Zoloft kicks in, we may never get around to it.) If it worked for you at a high dose but not at 200 mg, please let me know. Thanks, SG
  11. In the past two years, I have tried fourteen meds, and been to the hospital once. I keep having breakthrough depresssion, sometimes serious. I still haven't put my life back together. There are gains, but they are tentative, and I'm still worse off than when I started. Dammit! Can I really be this sick? Do I have to fire my doctor? I like him -- he is really, really good in emergencies -- and his med choices made sense at the time. But I'm not well. Do people with this kind of track record get all the way better, even if it's only in between episodes? I'm tempted to go back to being unmedicated. Yes, a crisis sent me to the doctor in the first place. But it was a relatively rare one. I still think I was healthier before I got treatment. Help, SG
  12. I have one of those families where everyone pretends to be normal, in spite of the following: Birth father: alcoholic, depressed, suicidal Great-grandmother: suicide Mother: anxious, possible mood disorder Grandmother: anxious to the point of not leaving the house, no dx That's leaving out the people who are really weird but undiagnosed. Except for my father and me, no one in my family has ever seen a psychiatrist.
  13. Sedating, but only mildly, unlike Zyprexa. It's harder to get out of bed than it once was, but once I'm going, I'm okay. I take 10 mg. Good luck, SG
  14. I got a BP2 diagnosis when, after months of fanatical hard work, I fell into an anxious depression that sent me to a psychiatrist's office insisting that I had adult-onset ADD. I was 34. There were suspicious symptoms starting in my early 20s, including a major depression at 25, but I explained away all of the highs as academic/professional zeal, justifiable irritability, and general superiority. Oh well. Good luck at the doctor's, SG
  15. FWIW, I'm BP2 and on lithium, Lamictal, and Abilify. Very roughly, I'd say that Lamictal is for depression, Abilify for agitation/irritability/impulsiveness, and lithium is a catch-all (and it discourages suicide). I've been on ADs twice, never with good results: Wellbutrin made me cycle like crazy, and Lexapro was kind of dulling but sad. I just quit Lexapro recently, and I feel better. I hope you will too, SG
  16. I can't figure out if my therapist is a love interest, or a father figure, or -- Gd forbid, how Oedipal -- both. I suppose I could be using the feeling to shed light on how I relate to my husband, or feel I need from my father, or whatever. But I'd rather just not feel it. Does it go away on its own, or do I have to work on it, and if so, how? And no, I'm not going to bring it up in therapy. I'd really rather be eaten by weasels. Really embarassed to be saying this, SG
  17. I've just been given the go-ahead to cut my Lexapro from 5 mg to zero. I've gone two days without it. I feel alert, sensitive, cheerful ... pretty damn good. So, is the party about to be over? When can I conclude that I'm out of the woods? In the past, when I've tapered the dose, I've had some grouchy pessimism a few days after. My friend, on the other hand, has gone cold turkey and been hammered with rebound depression two or three weeks later, just when she thought she was safe. What happened to you? Thanks, SG
  18. It's been good for anger, agitation, moderate (hypo)mania -- calms me down and gets me sleeping again right away. For the full-blown thing, I've needed to add Zyprexa. Side effects are minor...a little rounder through the middle (but no signif. weight gain); the rest went away. Good luck with it, SG 900 mg/blood level .7
  19. Update: Because I have a lot of stress coming up (fly the kids to California for a wedding/long weekend, then come back and host all of the inlaws for the holidays), we've put the Abilify back to 10 mg for the time being, planning to taper it by 2.5's next time. I'm so relieved that I won't be flipping out in the middle of somebody's wedding ceremony on the other edge of the continent. (I'm packing some Zyprexa, to make double-sure.) Of course, if things were quieter, I might have been relieved to have been told that it would pass if I stuck it out. You never know. Next time I think I'll try to get rid of the AD *before* the AP. SG
  20. It's four months since I've been in the hospital, two months since I stopped Zyprexa, and one month since stopping Depakote. Perhaps foolishly, I've been trying to get rid of two more meds: Abilify, 'cause I'm a zombie slug (it never was all that activating for me), and Lexapro, because who wants to need Viagra, and I'm not convinced it was helping anyway. That would leave me with lithium and Lamictal, which in theory could be enough for Textbook BP2 Girl. And yet... I'm a week into my decreased dose of Abilify and the symptoms don't make sense. Before the dose reduction I was restless, shopping, desperate to get off all my meds together. Since then I have chilled about the meds and the shopping, but I still get really agitated (I'm stressed) and now I'm crashing into I Hate Life / Walking Dead Land. I don't get it. I'm seeing pdoc tomorrow and I think he might raise the dose again. At this rate, I'll never get off of Lexapro. So what do you think? Needing Abilify, or just bouncing around from the change in brain chemistry? Thanks, I needed to vent, SG
  21. I am sorry you had to go through this. I got suicidal after taking Levaquin for a spider bite. A few days of Wellbutrin cleared it up. If it were to happen again, I'd probably just take more Zyprexa (can't take WB any more). Feel better soon, sg
  22. Yes. Maybe that means I'm not really sick. Bwahahahaha! SG, aka "Denial Girl"
  23. Thank you guys. Things do seem to improve. It will take guts to come all the way back, but I may have them. Now I would like to crawl out from under the weight of my massive cocktail, and my pdoc is being cautious. So that's the drama of this week. Thanks again, sg
  24. I'm now one month out of the hospital, and everyone expects me to be well, even me. But it's more like crossing a frozen pond than I would like. I will be slithering along and one leg will break through the ice (panic, drinking, SI thoughts, whatever), and I'll have to pull my cold wet self out and keep going. Also, and I am ashamed of this, sometimes I get tempted to revert to sick behaviors just when things are going well, or as a way to escape the responsibility of being well. That said, I can imagine being all the way well again, which is progress. Just don't hold me to it ... it changes a lot. And I know I don't have anything to complain about; I just figured you all could relate. Please say nice things, SG
  25. They must think something, because when I am at really high doses of Zyprexa and Abilify, I have to devote serious energy toward keeping my mouth from hanging open. No actual drooling, though, at least not when I am awake. SG embarassed
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