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  1. As I understand it, bipolar can never be managed without meds. And if you ask around, you will hear all kinds of horror stories of what happened when BP people stopped taking their meds, me included. That’s not to say that you can’t have remissions without meds, something that used to happen to me in my younger days, but not any longer. It’s just that if you have BP, you will have episodes if you’re not medicated, and probably nastier ones at that. That said, it’s possible to go years on end while trying various med regimens, all without having much—if any—success. Typically, depression is the hardest thing to treat, followed by mixed episodes, then mania, then hypomania. I have BP I with psychosis and mixed episodes, and the psychosis, while it can be really, really awful, is actually the easiest thing to treat, because I respond extremely well to one particular antipsychotic, which also works very well on my manic and mixed states. But the depression? Damn. I can sometimes go for years on end in a severe form of that state (my pdoc calls it severe, although I call it moderate, in order to distinguish it from the crashes). And then, when the depression does finally end, I invariably become manic or mixed. And then I almost always go right back to being depressed again once that’s over (but not this time, thankfully). It’s worth noting that you don’t always have to be on a ton of meds. While I have been on as many as 10 psych meds simultaneously in the past, I am currently on only 1 (Depakote), and I have been in full remission since May. My pdoc said that most of his patients who have long remissions are only on one or two meds, in fact.
  2. I am just under 2.5 months alcohol-free now. So far, the only times I have been tempted is while watching TV, and people are drinking on the show. I have come close to folding a few times, if only for an evening. But I know how that invariably turns out.
  3. I’m glad it’s helping some. MI makes it really rough to quit. I’ve found that I’ve only ever been able to quit for maybe 3 months, tops, if that, while my MI is active (which is almost always, but not now, thank goodness). I think that my MI makes my alcoholism worse, but that my alcoholism also makes my MI worse, so it’s vicious feedback loop that’s very difficult to escape. Hopefully your MI symptoms will subside, so that you are more easily able to deal with the alcohol. Maybe then, you’ll find that the naltrexone works better. Best of luck!
  4. The last couple weeks, my OCD has become a lot better. I still check things multiple times in a row, and maybe come back again to check it another time or two, but it’s a lot better than what it was. I don’t know why. The only thing that has changed since my previous post here is that I stopped drinking again, this time while in remission. Maybe it’s the combination? IDK.
  5. Perhaps they make a watch/monitoring device that you can wear while you sleep, @jarn? You could maybe set it to sound an alarm when you get up? Or maybe you’d just turn it off and continue to sleepwalk? IDK. But if they do make such a thing, it could at least keep a record of when you do get up, so you’d know when you were sleep walking.
  6. My pharmacy was always closed or insanely busy whenever I wanted to pick up the acamprosate, and I actually was able to stop drinking right around the time they were probably going to return it to stock. Anyway, I have been alcohol-free for 25 days now, and haven’t even had the urge to drink, save during the first 24 hours, and maybe a fleeting thought once or twice. Now, I just have to stay that way.
  7. Starting in my early/mid 30s, my depressive episodes suddenly started lasting much longer, always about 9 months or more, and one time over 4 years. As I have gotten older, my remissions have become fewer and and father between. I think it’s pretty common for people to experience worse and longer MI episodes as they age, although some people seem to get better later in life, instead. I was on Abilify and doxepin during my previous remission, which ended just over 5 years ago, so you might try one or both of those. Unless it was just a fluke, doxepin is the only AD that ever worked for me, and I have tried most everything outside of the MAOIs. Abilify is known to help with depression, too. It didn’t do anything for me until I hit 15 mg, though. And doxepin didn’t start working until I was at 250 mg for a few weeks, which took 4.5 months to get to. I think there is a new version of Abilify (Rexulti?) that you might also try. Best of luck! P.S. One word of warning: once I discontinued doxepin and Abilify (at which point I almost immediately went cuckoo), neither ever worked for me again, and I have tried both again on multiple occasions. The last time, I couldn’t even tolerate either of them, because the side effects were suddenly so much worse than in the past, and so I had to stop both very early on. I’ve talked to many people over the years who have had similar experiences, so don’t go off meds that work unless you have to.
  8. Good for you! My bipolar and psychosis decided to leave me alone after my last manic episode, perhaps caused because my depakote level was only half of what it was supposed to be. Thank goodness for zyprexa, to keep me from going completely wonky! Anyway, it’s been close to two months now, I think, and and even my OCD has been better lately. I started drinking again when I became manic, which sucked, but I was able to stop again at the beginning of this month, so that’s taken care of now as well. I just worry about the next episode, because I rarely have episode-free periods, and they only ever last about a year or so, at most. And I ALWAYS start drinking again when I have a new episode, whether it be manic, mixed, depressive, or psychotic. But maybe this time will different. In any case, I’m going to enjoy the time I have, and try to take care of myself better. Maybe I’ll join one of those support groups like Smart Recovery or AA for when the next episode hits.
  9. So I’m overwhelmingly a checker…most all of the time. But it has become significantly better just recently. OTOH, I have become horribly obsessed with bad things happening lately (exploding pipes in my home causing all kinds of damage, my building suddenly crumbling and falling down [I swear my living room is so badly leaning, that it’s just gonna fall off], my cat dying, me developing cancer, among other things). It’s become pretty bad of late, and only alcohol has been an useful distraction (and, of course, I’m a terrible alcoholic, so I think that’s going to kill me, too). Also, in the past, I’ve had many times where my hand washing compulsion has gotten really bad, and led to my knuckles bleeding and stuff, even though I live in a mild climate with interior humidity control. And now, I’m having some hoarding issues as well, along with all of the obsessive crap. My bipolar/psychosis is currently in full remission, if that matters. I guess I’m just wondering if other folks flit about with different types of OCD like this every now and again.
  10. My visual hallucinations have nearly all been completely true to life. The only exception that I can think of was this one time when I got these sort of computer-generated wavy shapes. But they were still very distinct, seemed real enough (even though they clearly didn’t resemble anything in reality), were very clearly red or blue, had a fairly straightforward path of motion, and so forth. They also seemed angry/aggressive, and that they could maybe hurt me. (I know, go figure!) That said, I know that there are many people who get very different types than I do. Things coming in and out of the shadows, lurking in the corner of your eye, and whatnot … these all seem to be fairly common. Anyway, just because your hallucinations don’t look look like a real wolf, the police, a relative, or whatever, doesn’t mean that you haven’t suffered a legitimate hallucination just the same. For whatever it’s worth, most people who I have talked to about their visual hallucinations do not typically get the type that I do. The same also goes for auditory hallucinations, but not quite to the same degree, perhaps. And when I have visuals, I virtually always have auditory ones simultaneously, so I guess that makes sense. I hope this stuff dies down for you. I have been lucky not to have much in the way of this stuff for a number of years now. I just seem to get the occasional olfactory or auditory hallucinations these days. Half of the time, I don’t even try to check them. If they keep recurring, I start gobbling zyprexa, but that’s pretty much that.
  11. I might consider your approach if this next tactic fails. I am going to try acamprosate. Pdoc doesn’t have a lot of faith in it, however. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.
  12. It’s a very common delusion to think that you’re being monitored or tracked by the government or a cabal, or whatever. I’ve BTDT many times, and I honestly have issues with trust when it comes to these things. That’s why I have all of the cameras and microphones on my various devices physically blocked, so as to prevent any monitoring. I know it seems really extreme, but it’s one of these things that sticks with you when you’ve been dealing with shit like this for a long time. I am in complete remission right now, but there is no way in hell that I would allow access to my video cameras and microphones on my computers, iPads, and phones. Sorry, but not gonna happen. And I know how crazy it sounds. Even so, it’s my reality, and I’m not budging.
  13. There’s typically always a way out. It just may take a very long time to see it. Our lives are so, so different from those of most other people, that you simply can’t compare things like that. Some of us have a nasty habit of destroying our life over and over and over again. That doesn’t mean that we don’t deserve the happiness that everyone else has; it simply becomes more difficult to figure out in many cases. I’ve watched my life implode over and over and over agin throughout the years. You think I did any of that on purpose? Of course not! I didn’t plan to take 9 years and 4 schools to get my undergraduate degree, but that’s what it took. I’m like frickin’ Sarah Palin! The point is that life can throw you some serious curveballs, and you have to adjust as best you can.
  14. I hope your experience was better than mine. It worked for me that last time I was in remission, and it might have worked this time, if only I could get past the debilitating headaches. But such was not the case. But my results are not your results. The best of luck to you!
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