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Everything posted by Squirlygrl

  1. Hi mel, I am BP2 and have taken lithium for a year and a half, with all kinds of things, most recently the combo you see below. I had an episode of suicidal ideation and first-time "practice" cutting, much like yours, but my lithium levels were on the low side at the time. Weight gain has been small, five pounds or less. It's really good for agitation and, at higher doses, for suicidal thoughts. It can leave me a little flat and detached, but then we decrease the dose. On the whole, I like it. Good luck, sg
  2. I'm with Apterix. What if I've been through thirteen meds and a hospitalization all because my doctor and I are unwitting trend whores? Could be. Makes me want to go off all my meds with a bottle of whiskey. On the other hand, if I am really BP, then I'm back to square one, if not worse. Did the meds help? Unquestionably. Were the problems they ameliorated caused by other meds? Very possibly. I'll feel better when the DX-of-the-month moves on to something else. Maybe.
  3. I'll play I've been stable for two weeks, ever since leaving the hospital. Lexapro seems to like me. I'm getting tons of support from friends, family and husband. My kids are sweet. It's been one of the most beautiful springs ever. It's finally hot again, so I can wear summer clothes. Beach time is coming! Thanks for starting this thread, sg
  4. For me the most important thing is a fixed schedule with at least a few pleasant things in it. I have pulled myself out of some real nosedives into Crazy Land because I had to fake normal socialization. For exercise, a blend of exhausting and centering would be good. How do you feel about yoga and running? B vitamins, so you don't get tired and discouraged. Good luck, SG (whose WB made her cycle like an SOB)
  5. Thank you both. RT, I am very sorry about what happened to your son. After my stimulants landed me in the hospital, I went up to 15 mg Abilify and added Lexapro, and feel better. That said, I am still on my emergency Zyprexa, and who knows what will happen when we take that away. I'll keep the Stelazine in mind for later. Regards, sg
  6. Me too, though I had assumed the Abilify and not the Lamictal was making the tremors worse. Now I have a new culprit. Do you take your lithium all at once? I take mine at bedtime, and notice that my tremors are worse in the morning. It's possible that twice or three-times daily dosing would even them out. sg
  7. My pdoc's office looks just like my house: white walls, wood floors, tribal rugs, brown leather furniture, old books, clutter. I feel very comfortable there, though I wonder if it would look unprofessional to someone else.
  8. I spoke too soon. I take it back. Bipolar folks: do not take stimulants because of me. I was sliding back down, so we supplemented the tiny dose of Adderall (5mg) with an even tinier dose of Dexedrine (1.25 mg). Rebound time! Agitation, depression, anger, suicidal ideation, frosting and sprinkles. I won't be taking that again anytime soon -- or the Adderall either. My current theory: stimulants are depressing. SG not too psyched about being on any meds right now
  9. Oh, Faith, I agree, and I also agree that your pdoc could stand to see this. Since when is it not okay to hate something that is not a person and is evil? Are we supposed to "dislike" war, famine, cancer, schizophrenia, SIDS? As far as fashion goes, since I am only BP2, and clearly chose this diagnosis for myself after it became fashionable (and in my wacko moments I worry about this, so the accusation really hurts), I am going to switch diagnoses in favor of one that has better drugs. Recreational ones, ideally. I don't like Lamictal either. As far as I can tell, it's just a mild antidepressant -- which my Abilify may be doing all on its own. And it makes me see spiders (at 125 mg and up). I want to buy you an incendiary T-shirt. Let me know if we get any good slogans. In solidarity, SG
  10. "Substantial impairment of major life activities," as interpreted by my doctor, seems to mean that if there's no hospital, no arrest-worthy behavior (except maybe shoplifting or recreational drug use), and no obvious psychosis (minor delusions don't count), it's hypo. That said, he does believe in a sliding scale, as shown by the fact that, on a bad day, I'm "BP 1.5." Perhaps if I had wasted tens of thousands, not just thousands, of dollars last fall, I would have been upgraded. On the other hand, compared to the folks in the state mental hospital where he did a residency, I am always pretty tame. SG unmanic
  11. I started Abilify around the first of the year, and it was wonderful, at least compared to Zyprexa. Over time, it feels like I've gotten more tired and draggy. I want to continue to love this drug, but only if it's not making me into a perpetual sleepwalker. Shouldn't I be more awake now that I'm used to it? Is it just that I'm less manicky now, so the Abilify has less work to do? It helps to take the stuff at dinnertime, but since it will put me to sleep in an hour, I sometimes wait until later in the evening. Then I am Zombie Girl in the morning; I'm actually on stimulants to get me going, but I fear they are wearing out. I'm only sleeping eight to ten hours, but in that punched in the head way. I'm also taking mood stabilizers, (which have helped me sleep in the past) but Abilify works much better than any of them -- though pdoc is reluctant to keep me on it forever if something else will work. Do you have advice? SG Abilify 10 mg, down from 15
  12. This is bad. I can still write (for now), but do not have the desire or the attention span to read. Maybe my brain has been fried by my AP/mood stabilizers/illness. Maybe I'm depressed. I'm sure as hell not manic. This better not be permanent. Any insight? This sucks, sg
  13. Thanks, MY. I remember having subsyndromal periods of high and low energy. This is like being stuck in the lower periods. That said, it makes a great deal of sense to tune up the car before complaining that it won't go. I'm back on vitamins; weight's OK; need to exercise, badly; do get out a bit; take three mood stabilizers and an AP (I feel like the kid in Garden State..."lithium? Depakote? I'm surprised you can still walk"); just allergies; I have an excellent fish. Still, food for thought. SG swears she'll go to the gym...someday
  14. IN, that's beautiful. Whenever I want to ditch treatment, I think of the pain it has spared my kids. I'm still a mac-and-cheese mom, but we love each other (and I'm slooooowly getting better at the other stuff). SG
  15. A bag of blood warped low by weighted air; a puddled, stone-slow thing, deserving of its fate; torpid and mottled as a sin; the flesh resists the mind, itself diseased. This just covers the physical. What other pleasant symptoms might I add? Regards, SG
  16. We keep thinking we have it, and then: I've been dragging around. Are the brain chemicals off, and if so, what to do? Am I about to crash? Am I just really lazy? Is this how normal people feel? All of the above? Same old questions, I know. Pdoc's first instinct is to help, but then he calms down and thinks "this is the best you've been in a year, don't mess with it" and then he's not sure. I am going to be one of those people who gets stability only at the cost of mild depression. Mild, to be sure, but lifelong. SG discouraged.
  17. Yes! Unless I want to run away, go broke, or die, I feel like a massive faker. I think it's because my always unreliable memory tries hard to minimize past incidents. Soon after they were over, I wrote a series of pieces on the worst of them, and that helped to persuade me they were real. (On the other hand, it made me identify with them, so I'm not sure it was an unequivocal good thing.) Best wishes, sg
  18. Hey Skittle, Ambivalence, yes. I came into this with every known bias against therapy. That said, if my pdoc (does both) just sat there and hmmed, I'd smack him too. Utility? When I was really high, it gave me a reason to get back on meds. Without the talk, I would have been more resistant to the idea. And when I was suicidal, I do think the extra talk helped keep me from making an attempt. In between, I just need someone to understand and to hear the bad stuff I'm doing, so I can't hide it from myself any more. Suggestion: Rather than audition these people in person, would you consider calling them and asking whether they do a more hands-on (perhaps cognitive-behavioral) therapy? You shouldn't have to pay good money for hmming. I am sorry for your difficult year and hope it all gets better soon. Regards, squirly.
  19. Does this happen to you? I missed the spring mania season, but in February, I decided that the only thing that mattered in life was to write poetry (!), and I took a bunch of workshops, and let other things go. Same old story, just a different obsession. Now I'm coming back to reality, and I wonder: Since I have done this before (usually when hypo, but now I am so medicated that full hypomania is out of the question), is it just a personal quirk? Or is it spring madness struggling to break free? Curious about your experiences, sg
  20. My condolences, guys. I can't join you this year, thanks to the heavy hand of Abilify. But I was there in the fall, and have the closet full of ill-fitting, froufrou teenager clothes and pricey costume jewelry to prove it. sg sometimes really likes shiny things
  21. Of the eleven medications I have tried, Zyprexa is by far the fastest and most effective. I will always be grateful to it, and I have little sample bottles stashed around the house in case I should ever flip out again. I took a small dose for maintenance for a little while, maybe two months. I was calm. I slept hard, but not really all that long, maybe ten hours. I was hungry for carbs and physically slow, so I didn't exercise, and I gained about seven pounds. Abilify likes me, but I am only BP2. If I were seriously psychotic on a regular basis, I'd go back to Zyprexa in a heartbeat. Hope it went well today, sg
  22. This is totally made up, so please take it with a huge grain of salt: Have you tried caffeine? I ask because I'm one of those people who does badly on Wellbutrin (instant effectiveness followed by cycling), but seems to be helped by a tiny dose of Adderall (5 mg; I start to lose it around 15 mg). The Adderall seems to function much like caffeine (more like strong tea than coffee), except it doesn't make me as nervous and sweaty. In fact, even with the Adderall, I still need a little to dig out from my supermedicated state. Since you can't get Adderall, it may be worth a try ... just don't go overboard. Sorry I have such a lame suggestion, but it's the only thing that seems to work for me. (We've never tried other ADs because the Wellbutrin reaction was so intense, not to mention resistant to mood stabilizers.) Good luck, sg
  23. I'm afraid that they'll find you in a pool of waste and take you to the hospital, where you'll wake from your coma to find that you need a lifetime of dialysis, or that you have the kind of liver damage where they can't save you but it takes an extremely nasty week for you to die. One of the many good things about Kay Jamison is her convincing case (based on her suicide attempt) that you really, really shouldn't OD on lithium. I'm also scared that, if you've done this seven times, it's already a habit. Please get your doctor to help you through this. Very best wishes, sg
  24. Thanks, Greeny. It's good to have the complete rundown from someone who has been there. SG breathing deeply
  25. I start the day with a fine hand tremor, courtesy of lithium and caffeine, and it fades throughout the day. It may kill my banjo hobby, and my signature is worse than my doctor's, but that's about it. It has gotten more pronounced over the course of my year on lithium...maybe I'm just not as well hydrated as I used to be. If you alarm me, however, this turns into a marked coarse tremor...hands shaking hard on the steering wheel (scary), or (the most embarassing), smiling for the new driver's license photo and having the whole left side of my face go haywire. You, too? Please don't say beta-blockers, I'm already on five meds and afraid of sleepiness. Deep breathing? (Meds are Abilify 10 mg, lithium 900, Depakote 375, Lamictal 125, Adderall 5). SG shakes, rattles and rolls
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