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  1. I have cycles where I'm either "normal," which for me I'd say is the same as for someone who doesn't have a MI. My normal is complete absence of a mood disorder. I'll cycle in and out of this normal. In the past I've been normal for years. A couple years ago a went down into a severe depressive episode and had to start treatment (including meds) for the first time to get out of it. After about a year of treatment I settled into a pattern of being normal for a couple weeks and being in a depressive state for a couple weeks. I also had a few times of being hypomanic for a week or so at a time. When I started lamotrigine and got up to the right dose I went from cycling every couple weeks (between normal, down, or up) to being normal (no sign of a mood disorder) for nearly the entire last 9 months. I haven't been hypomanic (but I think I started to a couple times but it petered out), and I've only had about two depressive episodes (one was fairly bad though and lasted several weeks). So for me, it does attenuate cycling and lengthens the time between episodes. And in between I feel normal with no signs of having a mood disorder.
  2. When I almost took my life, I didn't think it would hurt anyone. In fact I thought my friends and family would be happy I did it. But now I know it is a lie, and like UH said, it was my illness talking. But when I was in that state people tried telling me the truth and I didn't believe it at all. So just try to realize that the truth is that you aren't better off dead.
  3. My pdoc has wavered in my dx. First MDD, then BP2, then "atypical depression," now it's back to BP2. Every time we talk about it he seems to have completely forgotten what we talked about the prior visit. But BP2 makes the most sense for me. My course of illness has been really strange. I first had depression when I was 15, lasted a couple months. For the next 8 years or so I'd have period of depression every few months or so (or longer in between). Then for 15 years nothing, no depression at all. Then at 37 I just suddenly crashed and went from fine and dandy to dangerously suicidal within two months. It came out of nowhere. I then started treatment for the first time. It was rough for the next year. The depression was kicking my ass. But things started to get better as we honed in on good treatment. After that first year to treatment I went hypo for the first time. I knew it for sure. It happened a couple more times. By this time I was rapid cycling, a week or two of depression, a week or two of remission, rinse repeat. Then add in the hypo cycles. My pdoc started me on lamotrigine and I've been lucky because it's been a miracle drug for me. For almost a year I've been on it and I've been very stable. What was getting to me before was the unpredictable instability more than anything. I haven't been hypo (although a few times I felt like it came and fizzled, or it came an was very subtle) since, and I've only had a few episodes of depression. I'm excited because the last time I was depressed I wasn't suicidal, and that is big step for me, so hopefully I don't have to worry about having people keep me safe when I get depressed. All that said, my BP2 was very hard to diagnose. The reason my pdoc wavered after I knew I went hypo was that it didn't last over a week. DSM says 4 days so whatever. My wife says looking back I may have been hypomanic in years past but we just didn't know that's what it was.
  4. I just need to let this out, and y'all would understand. Found out yesterday my best friend relapsed. He had been sober over a year. I was really his only supporter and the reason he was staying sober. He wasn't doing all he needed for his recovery (he would only come to a meeting when I brought him with me). But it really hurt to find that out. It hurts that his non-sober self is someone who probably wouldn't be interested in being friends with me. And I have to protect myself and my family. I simply cannot be around alcohol or drugs because I am not confident I could resist, and for me the first drink or drug is all it takes for it to be a problem. If he continues to drink, I'm going to have to step away from the friendship. And that sucks.
  5. Working the steps will help you work out situations like this. I agree that the person shouldn't be offended if you don't choose her as your sponsor. If she does, that's not your problem (this is where the steps come in for you). While we only need one sponsor, we can have an unlimited amount of friends, supporters, and accountability partners. Accountability partners are just one step down from a sponsor. She would have responsibility, just not as much as a sponsor. Ask her if she would be an accountability partner for you.
  6. I would show up and ask to see the lab report in writing. If something doesn't look right talk to the lab. They are your records, you are entitled to them. It's one thing for them to tell you something not true. It's another for them to put a lie in writing. That's assuming they actually lied. There may be some legitimate reason for the mistake.
  7. It didn't do anything until I got to 200mg. I don't remember the schedule of how I got to 200. I think I started on 50, then after a couple months, went to 100, then after a couple more months 200. Titrating as appropriate in between. I do remember that at each dose I gave it enough time to see if it would work. It literally had zero effect until I went to 200.
  8. I rapid cycle, my hypomania never lasted more than five days. Ever since starting Lamictal last summer, my depression cycles got shorter and further apart, and I haven't had any hypomania, but there have been several times I thought I was going into hypomania but it fizzled out. I noticed a HUGE change when I started Lamictal - it's worked like magic for me. I used to cycle all over the place. I too assume that due to my meds working, I just get these blips of hypomania. As in, maybe feeling it for a day or less.
  9. What dose will you titrate up to? It didn't work for me until I got to 200mg/day.
  10. I sometimes do have passing unhealthy thoughts of suicide even when not depressed, which is no surprise given my history of severe suicidal ideation. I really really wanted to die and it made so much sense to me. Therapy has helped a lot. It's mostly now just wishing I would spontaneously die from an accident or something. What recently happened to me was the opposite though. During my last depressive episode I wasn't suicidal at all. It was really odd. Not sure I've ever been depressed and not struggle with suicidal ideation!
  11. Lamotrigine has been amazing for me. I feel lucky it's worked so well. It's significantly reduced the frequency and severity of depressive episodes and I believe (hard to know for sure) that it's kept me from hypomania. My irresponsible side wants to stop taking it so I'll be hypomanic again (cause I tend to only remember the good parts), but I know that the real consequence would be a lot more depression.
  12. Don't want to hijack the thread, but the first time I went to my pdoc (first time ever seeking help for my depression) he was going to give me some Adderall to "jump start" my mood until the antidepressents kicked in. Then I told him about my opioid abuse (which began because I was self-medicating my severe anhedonia), and he changed his mind because he was afraid I could abuse the Adderall. Oddly enough, a few months ago I went to him with concerns that one of my meds could be causing my recent lack of memory and concentration, he said it wasn't my meds, and then wrote me a script for... Adderall. He also said not to take it the same day as Wellbutrin. My wife flipped out mainly because she's scared of me cutting back on Wellbutrin (rightfully so, I can get suicidal), but also the risk of abuse (I'm not beyond it). So I never took the Adderall. But it's been tempting... Oh and my best friend abused it and that along with his mania was a recipe for disaster. It was bad.
  13. I've had several short (4-5) day hypomanic episodes. I read a lot about when people have mania of some sort it is often followed by a crash into depression. Mine doesn't seem to work that way. I've never crashed into depression afterwards, just went down to "normal." And I usually go the other way around, from depression straight into hypomania. It's like my brain is overcorrecting. The first time I went hypomanic I was having the worst single day of depression ever. I decided to attempt suicide that night. But that afternoon over the course of about an hour I went from way down to way up. I was thinking WTF is happening to me?! Probably saved my life. For the next five days I was on cloud nine and a lot of projects around the house (among other things like spending too much money on shopping)! I would actually sometimes like going into a depression episode because there was a chance I could get rewarded with hypomania. But Lamictal seems to be putting an end to that. I also rapid cycle after starting treatment/meds. Meds have shortened by cycles to a few weeks at most. Anyone else have the switch from depression to mania and go down to "normal/baseline" when coming off mania?
  14. I've never smoked a cigarette in my life but I was a heavy dipper, up to about a can a day at my worst. I understand the fixation. I tried to quit a few times and it never worked. I've been going on about five months now, which is a record. Couldn't do it without vaping. I agree you typically don't get as much nicotine with vape, but you can probably get enough. It's tricky because different types of devices and liquids all affect nicotine delivery, and it's rather confusing. I did once use the wrong type of liquid in a new kit I got and after a few puffs I realized it was WAY too much nicotine. I really like the convenience of vaping. You can have a quick puff whenever. With dip I wanted to have at least 10-15 minutes available and be able to freely spit. That isn't always an option. Vaping is much cleaner too.
  15. I could say I am lethargic when I'm depressed. Not sure if it's to the level of being a clinical symptom. I'll pay closer attention next time. (Sucks that I know I'll have another depression cycle sometime). I also had early onset, my first episode started just a few weeks after my 15th birthday. It's rare but sometimes I'll have agitation with depression. Doesn't last more than a couple days. I'll pace, wring my hands, sometimes audibly groan. It's like the mental pain gets to me in frustration. I suspect it may be hints of a mixed episode. I had one 24 hour period that I'm pretty sure was mixed and it was awful. Well I do believe I'm BP2. I've had what I'm certain were three hypomanic episodes that lasted 4-5 days each. My pdoc acknowledged they were hypomania but (incorrectly) said they have to last 2 weeks to count for a dx. I don't like to self diagnose but I'm going to go ahead and call it. Since I've been on Lamictal I haven't had any more, but there have been several times that it felt like one was coming for a day or so but petered out. Thanks to everyone who has responded! This has been a huge help. I never was satisfied with my dx and would often go into denial, thinking I really don't have a mood disorder and I'm just making it all up, because it didn't seem to fit with others' experiences.
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