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  1. echolocation, I think that's a good explanation. It is reassuring to see a reasonable, coherent explanation of why I would do this. I will tell my doctor something about this the next time I see her just so she can keep an eye on it even though I don't want help with it right now. I can even briefly explain what's going on to friends if they are concerned instead of going into full cover-up mode like I used to. It's kind of hard to admit to, but it's not that big of a deal. Now it's been a week since I came home. I'm almost physically recovered and the police have backed down since my story checked out. I'm still a bit off-balance to be honest. I went right into starting my masters degree in a fully re-opened university with all new students and faculty while at the same time preparing to give seminars for the first time next week. Guess who's still stressed and relying on their coping mechanisms? Oh well. I don't see myself doing this in a couple of weeks after I settle into my new routine and things become more stable. It can't be worth it at that point. I feel weak and tired already. Sometimes I wish I could just turn it off. So in a couple of weeks maybe I will want to fight for that space in my mind that is all ED-thoughts right now and repurpose it for something more fun or useful.
  2. I think I will bring it up at our next appointment. I don't really want help to stop doing this anymore, that went fast, but I guess it's relevant to her as my doctor given the medications I'm taking. Thank you
  3. I had anorexia in my teens and I'm in my twenties. Now I'm suddenly unable or unwilling to eat normally. I would consider myself recovered in most ways for about eight years. I'm at a healthy weight. I eat all kinds of food. I don't even know if I think about eating and weight more than most people do. I get weird about food sometimes, especially when I'm stressed. Then I only want to eat my old "safe foods" or nothing at all. But then I reign it in. I have tried to lose weight a couple of times since recovery but I had to abort mission because my mind was just flooded with ED-related thoughts. I still binge eat sometimes, it's a work in progress. Not a bad outcome for ED recovery all things considered. I have a psychiatrist, she is treating me for bipolar disorder. I just started Wellbutrin a couple of weeks ago. It's an aantidepressant that sometimes supresses appetite. That might have something to do with this. Perhaps more importantly I would say I had a stressful 1-2 weeks. I'll spare you the details but I was isolated and tested (negatively) for coronavirus while travelling domestically; illegally searched by the police who woke me up by unlocking the door to my hotel room from the outside and questioned me for hours about a crime I didn't commit; and finally dealt with an unrelated but life-threathening medical emergency. I didn't eat much while all of that was going on, but I also don't eat much now, almost a week later. I don't know why I don't make myself do it. I tried to focus on eating more today and I didn't even eat 1/5 of what I would usually eat. It's not great for me to be eating this little. I'm fine physically, but I notice that I think differently. I count calories more. I think about avoiding situations where I would have to eat with others. I don't want to lie about it but I also don't want to talk about it. I got visibly anxious when a friend invited me over for dinner, and when another asked whether I was eating well with everything that was going on. I feel like they are "onto me" and that bothers me more than it should. I'm confused. I don't know why I'm doing this. I was doing well for such a long time. I keep telling myself I don't have time for this. Even after such a short time I feel that my world is becoming smaller. I have less energy for the things I want to do. And still, somehow, eating way, way less than my BMR is suddenly non-negotiable. I had none of these issues three weeks ago. If I had any useful coping skills I don't remember them at the moment. Any advice?
  4. Cerberus, I wish you weren't so right about me. A part of me just wants to be stable, but a bigger part wants to use hypomania as a superpower and make up for all the time I lost being ill. I feel invincible, like bipolar gravity doesn't apply to me and what goes up must never ever come down. Thank you for calling it out. Today I saw my therapist as planned. During our conversation she kept ending her sentences with the phrase "if you really have bipolar disorder", which slightly annoyed me. When I asked her why she said the referral papers from my last clinic said MDD. It's fucking unbelievable. I read the referral online just now. The first line says "diagnosis: MDD", and the text below correctly states that I was initially misdiagnosed and that the diagnosis was changed shortly after to bipolar II. So I just fount out that since no one, including my therapist, bothered to read the whole three-page referral, I'm officially being treated for recurrent depression and not bipolar II. That explains why I ended up getting a therapist in the general psychiatry department that treats unipolar depression and not a nurse and a psychiatrist in the department that specializes in bipolar- and psychotic disorders which is the norm in the country where I live. I don't like this. First of all my therapist admits to never having treated anyone with bipolar disorder before, which is bad enough, but this also makes it harder for me to see a doctor. She said she wanted me to see one as soon as possible, but she also said they were famously busy and that it could take up to a month before they had the time. She also told me I had to be treatment compliant, which to her meant staying on the antidepressants no matter what until a psychiatrist had time to see me. I get that, compliance is usually better for everyone, but it would be nice if I was compliant to something that was prescribed by a doctor and not something I stupidly thought up all on my own.
  5. Thank you to everyone who responded. There is a lot of information here that I didn't know. I didn't know anyone took antipsychotics PRN, and not continuously I didn't know hypomania in people with bipolar II was commonly treated with anything except watchful waiting, although I hoped there was something I didn't know about kindling theory, and now I'm worried I'm still hypomanic, but I got a full night of sleep on Wednesday after taking mirtazapine so I feel a lot more sane. I'm seeing my therapist tomorrow, and I think I'm going to ask her about seeing a psychiatrist who can evaluate my meds. I think I would like to have an as-needed medication, especially for when hypomania leads to not sleeping, because then things go downhill fast. Even though I'm not going to take certain medications long term, there are some changes I would be okay with: I'm okay with trying to lower the dose of bupropion or starting lamotrigine instead, if I see a psychiatrist and s/he recommends it. Lamotrigine monotherapy must be less likely to cause hypomania and rapid cycling, right? I'm okay with trying quetiapine or olanzapine PRN. I would rather take quetiapine though, because the shorter half life might make it easier to function during the day and also I don't already have bad experiences with it I guess I would be okay with trying a true antimanic mood stabilizer if I keep having hypomanic episodes and can't get off the antidepressant without depression coming back, but like mikl_pls says it is the more complicated option For those who are interested the antipsychotics I have tried are aripiprazole, ziprasidone, risperidone and olanzapine. All were given for psychotic depression, and neither worked all that well. Aripiprazole, ziprasidone and risperidone all made me hypomanic or extremely restless until the dose was high enough for a true antimanic effect and then I was tired all the time. Olanzapine was the only one that did not cause akathisia or hypomania, but it made me even more tired even at the starting dose and unnaturally apathetic. It was weird, I have never experiences anything like it. If I took it even for one day I would probably not be hypomanic anymore, but I would not probably not be functioning well either which is the whole point I feel a lot more prepared now to see a doctor about this now. I guess I need to find a way to deal with hypomania that is more comprehensive than "no illegal drugs, no unsafe sex, no credit cards and try to sleep now and then". It's a good start, but at this point I don't want to take even a small additional risk of being hospitalized with depression again and hypomania contributes to that risk
  6. When I went on Lamictal my psychiatrist told me that if I got a rash I should just call his office and he would fit me in any time and exclude SJS so that I could keep taking the medication. He said about half his patients end up getting some kind of rash at some time during the titration period because the titration period is so long, and rashes can appear for any reason or sometimes no known reason at all. Especially in someone who has eczema, or had it as a child like I did. He was annoyed with people in the ER who would take anyone with a rash off Lamictal while barely looking at it, because while SJS can be really bad, so can untreated bipolar disorder. With the difference being that people who are taking Lamictal often do have untreated bipolar disorder and despite the rash are unlikely to have SJS. If you didn't go to the ER durinng the weekend, I suggest you treat it like eczema for the time being and call your doctor Monday morning. If you freak out and stop you might have to start the titration schedule all over again, so if it was me I would just keep taking it unless the rash was crearly spreading. Not everyone would though. My thinking is Monday is just hours from now, and your psychiatrist is more likely to see the whole picture instead of simply freaking out and completely eliminating all risk of being sued at the expense of what might be your best treatment option. Maybe that's just me being cynical. Good luck with Lamictal
  7. I have bipolar II, and I have been hypomanic for about two weeks. I would like to come down now, because the lack of sleep is getting to me and I'm not that euphoric or even productive anymore. I'm trying to utilize the extra energy while making reasonable choices to not go higher up, but at this point I would just like to come down and get some sleep. I'm wired physically and sitting still is close to impossible, but it feels like something in my brain is tired and needs to rest. Evidence says I'm not at my best right now, at least I don't code as well as I usually do, even though I have a lot of ideas and every thought that comes through my head feels like the best idea ever. I'm not taking a mood stabilizer and I don't think I really need one most of the time. Most of them wouldn't be worth the side effects, since antidepressants actually helped somewhat with the depressive episodes while not preventing all of them and hypomania is infrequent. I rapid cycled in the beginning, but I don't since switching to Wellbutrin from Zoloft. Also I stopped doing insanely stupid things while hypomanic after I understood what it was and got some practise dealing with it, and I don't tend to crash into severe depression although it has happened. I would have considered cutting the Wellbutrin in half if my 300 mg pills were splittable, which they aren't because they are sustained-release. The only thing I have on hand that could help me sleep is Remeron, but I don't know how smart it would be to take an antidepressant just for the antihistamine side effects. It helped a great deal in the past when I was depressed, so that's why I'm unsure about taking it now. If anyone has ideas about how to get down from here safely and preferably soon, I'm all ears. I could use more than two - four hours of sleep tonight, and the time says that's probably not happening. In an ideal world I would be discussing these things with a psychiatrist, but I don't have one since moving six months ago. I have a therapist, and I have an appointment with her this Friday. I could ask her to ask a doctor to prescribe something for sleep, we talked about it last time I was there, but I don't know what and I won't just take anything. I'm never taking antipsychotics again, not even at a low dose. I have tried four, and I tend to get terrible akathisia at low doses, and then sleep most of the day at higher doses. I got them while I had depression with psychotic symptoms before I was diagnosed bipolar, and they didn't even help with that. The thing is I'm not prepared to take medications with life-altering side effects just to prevent hypomanic episodes that are far between and usually don't end in long-lasting depression. Maybe just a short-acting sleeping pill for a short period of time or something like that. I don't know if the whole antidepressant monotherapy thing is a good idea either considering I'm hearing voices from lack of sleep right now (don't worry, I've been there before), but it's been way better than atypical antipsychotics at preventing depression with none of the side effects and Lamictal literally did nothing for preventing depression or anything else. Any ideas about what I could do after this long ramling post is greatly appreciated. Medication-wise or non-medication-wise.
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