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  1. I'm experiencing what I think is a "nervous breakdown" of sorts. An extreme stress response my body can't get out of. My worst symptoms are caused by sleeping and/or only at night, early morning. I'm low on quality sleep because of this. I can feel myself holding my breath as I'm sleeping. Usually around 2am. I'll sleep through it but can feel myself doing it. I'll awake with start sometimes holding my breath still or gasping for air around 4am (when the insane adrenaline type surges start). I also have episodes of Catathrenia but this seems different (no sounds come from the exhale). I'm med free, btw. Anyone have any thoughts on this? Thank you!
  2. Lately I've been having these odd muscle twitches. It's like energy builds up in my muscles until I *have* to flex them, usually jerkily. It happens in my lower arms, my shoulders, and my upper legs. I just wasn't sure if this was EPS or something else. It keeps me from going to sleep sometimes, though taking Klonopin seems to help it. I take an AAP every day and an older AP as needed so I know I'm taking things that put me at risk of EPS. I increased my Lamictal dosage recently: could that be causing these twitches? My other issue is with my breathing. It started not long after I first started taking psych meds in 2011. Basically, sometimes I can only take a nice deep breath every few minutes, not as often as I would naturally take a full deep breath. Attempts in between result in shortness of breath. It's worse at night: I have to sit up to sleep sometimes. It was worst when I was taking lithium, and it seems to have worsened since I added it back into my regimen recently, though I'm only taking a small dose. I went to a doctor back in '11 to see what the deal was and three different doctors gave me three different answers. I don't think any of them thought to see if my meds might have been causing the problem. Just curious if others have experienced breathing issues on their meds, and which ones. Anyway, going to be talking to my pdoc about all this next week, but I always like to run things by here too.
  3. I think I've seen this addressed a few times out there, but I wanted to bring it up again. I was put on lamitrogine in April 2013 to deal with my epilepsy. Now I'm not very epileptic, 1 - 2 seizures every 5 years or so, but I have a kid on the way and after some discussion it sounded like something I'd be willing to try. I've been diagnosed for about 14 years (since I was 18) and beside a brief stint on some drugs that did a lot of emotional damage to me, I chose a healthy life over medication. Plenty of good quality sleep, low stress, balanced diet, and plenty of good exercise. Now I know that lamitrogine has a mood stabilizer effect to it. I would have to say that I was a bit amped up consistently before being put on this. My wife says I have a far more normal emotional range now that I'm on it. Before she said I was unrealistically positive. My positivity have lead me to a lot of great ends in life. Business owner, will be a stay at home father if I want to be, I have travelled the world, and been involved in some seriously cool athletics. Perhaps there was an element of impulse control before, but it usually manifested itself in positive ways, like training for a marathon, or working in my career 70 hours / week because I really love what I do. There have been some serious changes since going on these meds. The mood stablizer was a basically me being brought to normal emotional reaction, which felt & feels a lot like depression. My focus on business-related projects is better now. But I've put on 20lbs. This time last year I was a competitor in Tough Mudder, this year I can't run 5kms. I used to run 60km a week, on average. For a long time I've thought I've been depressed due to these meds. My once healthy, balanced diet, isn't so great anymore. My ability to maintain motivation to train has effectively dropped off to nothing, and there are some other problems too. What I've really noticed lately is extremely laboured breathing. And I'm wondering if this is all related. I've read that a theory on this is anxiety, but this is not anxiety. This feels like asthma. It is especially noticeable when working out, and as of late has effectively stopped me from being able to run or row or cycle more than a few minutes. I'm even noticing it when I walk up and down stairs. Now, I know these meds have had some effects on my health, but I'm still rowing top 75 percentile when these breathing problems don't flare up, so not being able to walk up a flight of stairs is very, very concerning to me. In the end, I'm continuing to put on weight, my routines are dropping off, and the effects of these meds in the long term seem far more detrimental to my health. Obviously I have to meet with my neurologist (next week), but I wanted to share some of the detrimental effects of these drugs. Basically wanted to vent. Thanks for listening.
  4. Is it selfish of me to self-grieve? I found out a few years ago I suffered a congenital lung disorder (restrictive lung disease/RLD, where your lungs are restricted from the outside from expanding to proper capacity whilst breathing). RLD eventually causes excessive pressure in the arteries leading to the lungs, as your body is starving for oxygen due to insufficient lung volume. The excessive pressure is known as pulmonary hypertension and is dramatically life-shortening. My doctors, at the time, said 20-30 years more and that was it. I was sort of glad to hear that, since 20-30 more years isn't bad, and at least I know to hurry up with my life. Over subsequent visits with doctors, though, worse and worse kept unraveling. We found last year that the RLD was caused in part by a chest wall deformity that should have been fixed when I was a child. When I was a child, none of my docs noticed this. This is not something you want to hear (i.e., "you could have been saved from death but your care team was too incompetent"). Particularly insulting since I always observed to my doctors that my armspan was much longer than my height, and that this could mean something wrong (turns out it does!). My lung vital capacities are around 30% that of normal (where 100% = normal). Statistically, 99.9% of people have a higher lung capacity than I do, at least compared to their oxygen needs. I'm in the "hazard zone" according to my current docs. One more bout of pneumonia is likely to be the end of me. I am getting thorough lung scanning (V/Q and all that jazz) done next month, although I don't know if I want to know the results. Maybe I'll just ration with myself that these doctors were as incompetent as the ones who failed to diagnose my thoracic restriction (though that's probably not the case). Then again, it's always wise to have prior knowledge that you're about to drop dead (most people, IIRC, don't have that privilege!). No, I didn't choose to be born with this crap, and I know that a lot of people have it far worse than I do. But these are things you don't want to learn in the middle of doing your PhD!!! It would be nice to hear from others who have suffered grave physical or neurological disorders. My lung disease I think has given me PTSD. Then again, being told your life is going to be rather short will give most people PTSD!!
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