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Distorted Me

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    Tennessee, US

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  1. Thank you Rowen and all of you amazing ladies for sharing your stories. This is a very old thread but it randomly popped up when I logged into CB today. I don't usually read these random threads but I had to today. I'm a man, and I can never understand what it's like to carry and have a child which is never easy in the first place. Thank you all for sharing though. I'm the father of two amazing little girls and I needed to hear these stories. My wife doesn't have an MI, thankfully, but I have plenty. Getting pregnant with our first triggered something in me that, combined with the wrong dx and being on meds I had no business being on, sent me spiraling out of control. I was there, but I wasn't 'there' for the first 4 years of my first born's life. And I made it all so much worse with drugs and alcohol. We did want another child, but when we found out she was finally pregnant with our second, she wasn't happy - she was devastated. That really says it all about what I was like at that moment. I wasn't a man, I was a piece of shit. I've woken up now and sobered up, for good, finally. But I'll carry that with me the rest of my life. Without a doubt, mentally I was not in a good place at all, but I wasn't going through anything compared to what she was going through and all I wanted to do was feel sorry for myself and waste our money on booze and drugs. There's so much more I regret like letting myself get so angry at our little babies just for crying, for interrupting my sleep. What the fuck? I am so amazed I haven't put a bullet in my head yet. Anyway, you don't need my pity and I won't offer it. You are all so much stronger than I could ever hope to be. If there's one thing I know for sure, it's that life is really good at waiting around the corner to punch us in the face again with some crap when we're least expecting it. It's going to happen. All we can do is keep getting back up off the pavement, wipe our faces off again, and continue on. I'm not sure if anyone is even going to read this but who knows? I hope life has gotten better for you amazing women. Just being on the road to proper treatment is huge and things will get better eventually. Thank you all again for sharing.
  2. I think you've kind of hit the nail on the head here, Gearhead, with your last statement. SSRI's are risky, more so in certain populations like BP and schizo. But, I'm guessing anyway, that also SSRI's have been so widely prescribed for decades now that their efficacy and overall safety are pretty well established. It's hard to think of any other class of drugs about which you can say the same. In absence of better alternatives with similar track records, what else can they do? Celexa was my first SSRI back in 2006 trough 2009'ish. I definitely felt a little lift at first, felt more normal I think. But then I had no prior experience with any meds like this so what did I know? It also made me SUPER sleepy, almost narcoleptic, between 9 a.m. and noon, every single day. It was so bad I had to take daily naps at work and at home because I just couldn't go any farther without sleeping some. I just stopped Celexa myself in 2009, ended up on Zoloft for a few weeks but stopped that due to feeling too weird (without the extreme sleepiness). It wasn't until I started Lexapro in 2012 or 2013 that I had that sleepiness come back again. I can't say it was narcolepsy, I doubt it was quite that extreme. But it was so powerful I literally could not stay awake at my desk no matter what I tried, even standing up. After I switched to Zoloft again in early 2015, the magnitude of that effect really dawned on me. Prozac also did that but not nearly as intensely. This all should have been a big clue for me very early on but I just ignored everything and kept just following my doctors' advice without really speaking up enough. I'm only at 100 mg of Lamictal now but I'm pretty stoked about how good I feel so far. It's having a pretty tremendous effect on my anxiety. Like so much I forget I'm not on anything else for that. Sobriety is also helping immensely of course. I'm now 27 days sober and the difference in my anxiety has been night and day. The first two weeks weren't so great while the alcohol was still clearing my system but since it's been just awesome. I really think the first thing these doctors need to do is get anyone with depression or any MI to stop consuming alcohol altogether. It's effect on the nervous system is just devastating to anyone who's already challenged in that area.
  3. I don't know how many days I had like this the past 20 years at whatever job I had at any given time. It's so much fun, isn't it? The worst part was just not understanding why I could be such a calm, rational, social fun person one day, then go to being such a dick-headed, confrontational asshole that couldn't figure out how to get any real work done the next day.
  4. Just use it as a learning tool, bagels. I love that screen name BTW. Awesome. I get so paranoid and down on myself for not understanding how weird I can be sometimes. It comes with the territory though. It's just who we are. All we can do is try to stay between the lines and not crash too many times as we go down the road, if you know what I mean. Nobody is truly normal anyway. Just be a good person and be as self-aware as possible. That's all you can do. Don't worry about the rest too much. It might help to find a good friend or family member you can talk to or hang out with more, someone who is very stable and "normal". My wife is that way and I use that as a measuring stick for how I act. I can get really down and really amped up a lot and sometimes I forget to keep checking myself to make sure I don't get all weird all the time. This especially true when I'm feeling good because it's so easy to get into the hypomanic realm for me without even realizing it. I can go hours, even days like that and then realize I'm getting a little looney and have say to myself, dude, calm the fuck down now. But again, it just comes with the territory. It's a gift in a lot of ways. And if anyone has a problem with you for being who you are, MI or not, fuck them. You're better than that.
  5. They all seem to have a different take on things IMO. It's really frustrating. Of course, we're all unique individuals with very different physiology. I just sense some docs changing as they go for whatever reason. They may be more decisive one appointment then express doubt, and leave me with doubt, the next. I had this experience recently. I know my doc told me something that was a 180 degree reversal from a previous visit. I didn't say anything though. What would that have helped anyway. It's really great they are willing to give you so many samples to get through a few months while you figure out your insurance stuff. The US should be really ashamed of it's health care system. How is it even possible that we have so much fucking money and yet we can just let our fellow Americans fall through the cracks and just pretend it's not happening? This country was made up of immigrants. Now it's made up of hypocrites. Fucking assholes. Sorry for the rant. That's my thing. It's what I do. Things will get better for you soon HaloGirl. I'm pulling for you and I'll send some prayers your way. Keep your head up and better times will be here before you know it.
  6. Thanks Davies. I'm clearly BP 2, never experienced what I would call full mania before. Hypo yes and mixed definitely. Mixed states are the worst, of course. Earlier today, I remembered being in a terrible mixed state a few times in 2009 at my job in Virginia. I wasn't dx'd BP yet and was still on Celexa. I clearly remember trying to hide behind one our construction trailers in the parking lot so I could blow off some steam without anyone seeing me. I could not figure out what was going on with me. I think it happened like that at least twice that week, and numerous more times during my 4 years at that job. I was on Celexa for 3 years and it was terrible for me so that's probably why those mixed states were so bad during that period.
  7. I think I know what you mean by the physical feeling. This is what I feel when I'm just crossing that hypo threshold. I can get "up" close to it, either with agitation or just plain being happy but it's clearly noticeable when I feel it like that. This is what cues me also when I'm not paying enough attention and I get caught off guard. I'm learning to pay more attention but that's so much easier said than done. I don't think the pronounced physical feeling for me has been anywhere near as enjoyable in the last 2 years as it had been but it's clearly still there. When I went hypo from Zoloft in 2015 it felt like I was smiling from the inside out if you know what I mean. Like just so happy and it came out physically from my core. I miss that so much. The last two weeks is the closest I've come to that since so I'm interested to see what happens the next few months.
  8. Notloki, thank you for pointing this out I shoot from the hip too much sometimes and don't always choose my words as carefully as I should, especially in a setting such as this. But also I am basing my opinion on a hell of a lot more than just "3 doc's". I'm not going to get into it with you though. It's not worth it.
  9. Thank you very much, patent. You put it far more eloquently than I can and I appreciate that. I tend to be way too blunt sometimes and as a result my words don't come across as I originally intended them to. We have to trust our health care professionals, of course. I don't want anyone not to. But we really need to be as informed as possible about our conditions and our treatments. Nobody knows us better than we know ourselves. Blindly following any diagnosis or course of treatment is not a recipe for success. Doctors will be able to provide us with far better care when we're more engaged in our treatment and that means sometimes questioning the doctors and nurses in what they're telling us. Way too many people are afraid to trust their own judgement and it's kind of scary to think about that. As you mentioned, psychiatrists especially are more overworked today than ever before. We all know how difficult it can be to just make an appointment. And how many pdocs aren't even taking new patients? There's some serious job security in this field right now. But this means we get a sliver of their attention and our treatment can suffer as a result. We need to be informed now more than ever. That's all I'm trying to say. Unfortunately, I can be an arrogant a-hole sometimes and that definitely comes through in my posts, I'll admit that. I do not want to mislead anyone, ever.
  10. Yes, after reading up some more last night, it definitely seems to be something to take very seriously for BP. St John's Wort and Sam-E are two others that get the same comments over and over. I'm still curious to hear what others have experienced and their symptoms. We all either experience or perceive mania and hypomania differently. I personally still have a hard time figuring out where that minimum threshold is for me to say it's definitely hypomania and not just me being a little hyper or amped up at any given time. I am definitely very thankful for just the dx now after all these years of making a fool of myself when hypo without even realizing it.
  11. Does anyone with BP or BP 2 specifically have any experience with 5-HTP? I've taken it off and on for the last few weeks and have concluded that it has had a definite effect on me. It definitely appears to be activating. I can take 100 mg (Vitamin World brand that also has 125 mg of calcium listed per 100 mg serving of the 5-HTP in 2 caps) and feel just a little bit but if I take twice the dosage within 6 hours I really feel it. I took 150 mg this afternoon at once with 2 caps of Now brand Dopa Mucuna and 2 caps of Vitamin World GABA-Plus (which has Niacin and Inositol as well unlike other brands of GABA) on top of 2 caps of the GABA this morning. Driving to dinner I felt like I was damn near hypomanic, if not there. If I had not been fully aware of myself and not driving, I might have gone right above what I feel is my hypomanic threshold. I may have actually dabbled with that line a bit for an hour or so. I definitely had to reign myself in a few times after noticing I was getting a little overly excited and happy. It was definitely a nice feeling, I just didn't want to get out of hand being in public with the family like that. Also of note, I took these capsules mentioned above after being in a pretty crappy but not lethargic mood and I did have a cup of somewhat strong coffee so I should factor that in as well. I have to think that the 5-HTP is a bigger factor in how I felt today though because I experienced something similar a few weeks ago after doing nearly the same thing, without the coffee, by taking a 100 mg dose in the morning, then another 100 mg dose just after noon that day on a nearly empty stomach. I went kind of haywire for about an hour and got kind of paranoid. Though once I was able to remove the fear by saying fuck-it basically and telling myself to just try to enjoy the ride that day, I felt pretty great. I was noticeably relaxed and calm after that almost tired but i did not want to take a nap because of the GABA I had taken (probably 6 of caps of the same brand over a 6 hour period with little food in my stomach) fearing a benzo-like effect on my breathing. That day, I had no coffee since a weak cup early morning. Since I was felt a little too tired after taking the rest of those caps mentioned, I did have another cup of not really strong coffee and then felt pretty great. Tomorrow I'll experiment with just the strong coffee I had today and report back in this thread. It was a mix of regular coffee and some espresso I had ground last week - about a 50/50 blend - in a French press that tasted good and strong, but nothing overpowering for my taste. Edit: Just wanted to include I'm not under the influence of any illegal drugs or alcohol anymore. Today is 24 days completely clean and sober and I'm enjoying the shit of out of sobriety honestly. Other than that, I've been on the same meds in my signature minus the 150 mg of Bupropion. I've stopped that for 3 days now as it's been too activating for me and has made my temper much worse. Temper has been about 1/2 what it was a week ago now. I would love to hear from any BP people, especially BP 2 folks, and their experiences with 5-HTP.
  12. I have tried Rhodiola. It was a few months ago. I was on the same I'm on now, but still at 50 mg of Lamictal not the 100 I'm on today. I'm not sure I really felt anything from the Rhodiola. I recall feeling like I might have been in a slightly better mood overall but I can't say for sure it was the Rhodiola or not. I don't think I felt anything negative from it nor any interactions that I can speak of. I hope this helps.
  13. Wow, Davies, at 11? I feel for you. Addiction is a bitch and-a-half. The story of our lives, eh? You can be thankful you're not "completely bonkers" as you nicely put it. You sound level headed and honest with yourself. That's more than most of us can ask for. I started doing drugs at 14 but I don't think I knew what they were at 11. That was a long time ago though and the only benzo that was well known to my knowledge was Valium. Xanax was around but I didn't hear anything about it for years until the early 90's. Might be just me though. I've never really been a pill guy, just most of the other crap. I think we may never answer the question of which came first though personally, I believe the mental illness is there first and the underlying reason for drug and alcohol abuse. The addictions then do more damage and making a bad situation so much worse. Myself, I'm finally going 100% clean and sober for the rest of my life. I'm 24 days into recovery right now. The time has finally come for me to address all of my addictions the only way I know how. 100% sobriety. I'm very happy about it though and I'm looking forward to seeing what life looks like without a constant self-imposed fog in my head. I love it so far. I wish everyone could see how good it can be. It's funny, I forgot I even posted in this thread until I got an email about a new post. I looked back at my rambling post in November and thought, wow, I sure was aware but still in such denial. "I'm still drinking some" ??? I wrote that crap, really? That was total bullshit. I was drinking just a hair below a fifth of vodka nearly everyday then. Now that I've been sober, even for just a few weeks, I can clearly see how much more fucked up I was and at the end it was getting really bad. As the Big Book says, I didn't hit bottom but I could see it - and it was coming up at me fast! For anyone with an MI, if you're still drinking and doing drugs (maybe or maybe not weed, I don't know, but I can't do it anymore myself), and you think you're going to get better, forget about it. Just try to start being honest with yourself and cut the b.s. It's your only chance.
  14. browri, great info, thank you. I don't have a DSM, though I know a lot of non pdoc people do. If I'm going to act like I know so much I really should get one. This is another great reminder that I know just enough to be dangerous. Or that I really don't know shit.
  15. I've decided to quit the Bupropion for a bit to see how much it was affecting my anger. Even though I was only at 150 mg, I clearly felt a difference when I started it up again in Feb or March. I DO NOT need anything to make my temper worse. Already have way too much testosterone for a guy at 44. I literally still feel like I'm in my late 20's at most physically (most days anyway). I'm pretty laid back most of the time but I just don't mind expressing myself if you catch my drift. A lot of work yet to be done on that issue certainly. We'll see how this goes I guess. I kinda feel like there's a difference already. Possible with the supposed short half-life of this drug. If it is making me worse, I'll miss it for sure. It totally snapped me out of my Prozac slump even though I quit that in October. Maybe that effect is more permanent. One can dream anyway.
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