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  1. I have heard of some studies done in which Topamax has been investigated for the efficacy in treating alcohol dependence, cocaine dependence, etc. (I don't have any citations off the top of my head, but after college I worked in an addiction research center, and one of the psychiatrists was running a study on using Topamax for treatment of alcohol abuse. I have also separately heard that Topamax can help with "impulsive behaviors" in general (binge/purge, self-harm, etc). Has anyone ever used it for purposes of reducing substance cravings and/or specifically to target impulsive behaviors? I have been struggling with substance abuse (DXM/"robotripping") with increasing lengths of abstinent time, but still using impulsively and having cravings. I also struggle with self-harm and binging behaviors with very rare purging (hx of full blown bulimia-- I'm afraid with increasing sobriety (12 days clean) that my ED and self-harm behaviors will exacerbate. I was on Topamax before for about 10 months, and it seemed to have a positive impact on my binge eating, at the very least. I was not having substance use problems then, so I can't comment with that. It probably helped with mood stability to an extent. (I'm not bipolar, more like borderline personality traits or full blown BPD, depending on which provider you ask, so a mood stabilizer is not imperative nor are medications the cure-all). And to top it off, I had less frequent headaches (working with gdoc to figure out if the chronic headaches are migraine, tension, or combined). And the Lamictal headache had not seemed to truly go away-- I always have at least a dull headache to an extent. My current pdoc doesn't have much experience with Topamax, so that was part of the reason for the switch from Topamax to Lamictal. (The other reason was I wanted to go on the BC pill, but boy was that a disaster!) I was thinking about talking to her about Topamax again and seeing if we can trade out the Lamictal for the Topamax. But I wanted to get some feedback about whether anyone here has used it for addiction, self-harm, binge eating/EDNOS, PTSD and BPD symptoms, etc. Thanks!
  2. Hey all- Quick blurb about myself. I'm an early 20's female American from Wisconsin. Summer of 2011 I admitted to having an eating disorder (EDNOS since I don't quite fit the rigid qualifications of anorexia) and pretty severe depression/self harm, having refused to believe I had any sort of problem all throughout high school. I'd already known about my problems with anxiety at that point. Soon after that I moved out (not telling my family "the news" until after I'd already signed a lease-- I didn't want to be committed to some sort of program or anything) and started seeing a therapist (whom I still see now). I used to keep a blog, but I found that it caused more harm than good so I deleted it. I'm just now getting out of a major depressive spell, though there still are days when I resort back to pretty dark places. I've been having problems staying awake during the day, and after trying a few different depression meds and having a sleep study, the doctors have no idea what's going on, so they put me on a stimulant and said "Sorry- don't know what's wrong. Take some iron. You'll be fine"... NOT happy with that. I have 2 siblings with autoimmune disorders and such-- they won't actually dig deeper to find out what's wrong, even knowing family history. 2nd opinion coming in April.. Aaand that's that. Oh, I'm a composer and former music major before I left college in 2011. I'll be going to a different school this fall. I think leaving school triggered a pretty massive depressive period.
  3. Hey everyone! My name is Nora, I'm twenty-two, and I'm currently working part-time as a barista and a nanny. Eventually I would like to move to a commune in Virginia, then pursue a career as a doula and childbirth educator. My offical, documented dx include dysthemia with major depressive episodes (rapid-cycling), GAD, psychophysiological insomnia, PTSD (and all the fun side effects that come with it), and EDNOS. I have had two suicide attempts (only one of them was serious, the other was in a moment of panic and I realized I didn't mean it). As a result, I've been psych-hospitalized twice. I have a few issues that I'd talked about to a doctor, but treatment fell through. Those include BPD, paranoia, and depersonalization. I'm unmedicated due to being uninsured, and unfortunately I find other ways of self-medicating. I steer clear of alcohol because of family history, and it just makes me feel like crap. I use marijuana to help me sleep/raise my appetite during ED relapses, and I use clonazepam on a case-by-case basis during panic attacks. ANYWHO I am excited to be able to talk to other "crazy" folks and share experiences, tips, etc. Glad to be here!
  4. I feel like I've improved so much over the past couple years and the only thing that remains constantly out of control is binge eating. I feel so shameful about it and about my body and the weight gain I've experienced. I don't even want to be seen by other people. I've gained nearly a hundred pounds. Can anyone relate? Anybody have any tips? I just want to eat normally. I don't remember the last time I enjoyed something I ate, and I've done the "mindful eating" stuff and it just doesn't do anything for me. I feel fuller faster but that doesn't help because I associate that "full" feeling with binge eating and it only aggravates the compulsive eating behaviour. I do a lot of secret eating and I hate it so much. I get so frustrated with myself. When I do manage to stop binge eating, I get discouraged because weight loss doesn't come easy for me--I have a sluggish metabolism. I hate that people assume because I'm fat that I'm lazy. I do cardio several times a week and walk a great deal every day. It's not lack of exercise and laziness, it's not a lack of education about nutrition, its out of control eating. My health is fine, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. is in the perfect range but I think that's mostly because I don't eat a lot of "junk" or processed foods. Like I said, it's not what I'm eating, it's the behaviour itself. I've brought it up with my psychiatrist but I find him more judgmental than supportive on this topic. He constantly points out if I've gained more weight and asks about my habits even though he knows that as a teen I starved myself for years. I realize that it is his style, he's always been honest with me and I appreciate that, but this is also something that doesn't need to be pointed out to me. I think about it every day. I hate that if I talk about any of my other obsessions/compulsions people are understanding but my binge eating is just because I am a slob or have no discipline. It's ridiculous. I've tried going on weight loss forums online but I feel I have nothing in common with those people. For them they have problem foods like sweets or junk. I don't have that issue. I will binge on food I outright dislike.
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