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  1. Never in a million years would I have thought that ANYTHING could possibly be worse than my disorder of major bipolar depression and anxiety. I'd have laughed in the face of anyone who told me otherwise. Nevertheless, I was wrong. Here's how I came out alive from thee most brutal experience of my entire life. Years back, I had settled on Lamictal and Gabapentin to keep my moods in check. However, being in my young 20s, I wasn't yet equipped with the discipline to battle my mental illness via diet, lifestyle changes, and giving up my lovely alcoholic beverages. I eventually came across Suboxone, an opiate, which did wonders for my depression for about the first year I was on it. It also ended my alcoholism on the very first day. During this time, I found magnesium (via epsom salts), which helped quite a lot with my illness, so I decided to quit my Lamictal and Gabapentin, and stay on the Suboxone. Well, the depression seemed to return, but I was always trying to figure out natural ways to heal it. Fast forward another couple of years, and I decide it's time to quit the Suboxone, as it had lost most of its antidepressant effect. I use Kratom, a natural herb, to successfully withdraw from Suboxone. However, when I quit the Kratom, I went into a manic episode with full-blown delusions, etc. My family urges me to go to the ER, to which I comply. While there, I'm given an injection of Geodon, which knocks me out for about 2 hours (I hadn't slept or eaten at all in over 2 days at that point.) I'm given a script for a full bottle of Geodon and am sent on my way. Through Geodon and the use of strong Epsom salt baths, my mania was quickly brought to a halt. My sleep, though, was affected by the opiate withdrawal (a common symptom), so I stayed on a low dose of Geodon - about 20mg per night - to help me sleep through the night without waking. Fast forward a couple of months, and I try and quit the Geodon. Horrible depression came rolling back in, so I decided that I must obviously need Geodon to keep the depression at bay. So, for the first time, I decide to try upping my dose to 40mg and see how I fare. Shortly after that dose, there was no doubt my brain was heading towards hypomanic land, but I managed to fall asleep. The next day I dose again, but start experiencing very intense anxiety/panic. I go out for a day with my wife, and drink some wine with lunch in order to calm myself down. Hey, at least I wasn't horribly depressed. I get home, and the anxiety continues, at a very high level. I end up drinking almost an entire bottle of wine to calm myself down, awaking with a decent hangover the next morning. I then try and dose Geodon again, and BAM - FULL BLOWN akathisia kicks in. For those of you who have never felt it, there's no doubt that you'd much rather have both of your legs broken. You'd rather be crucified. I'd have chopped my balls off to make it stop. As one man on a message board put it, "I was ready to sell my family into slavery to make it end." He probably wasn't joking. So I end up in the ER, pacing back and forth, where I'm given an Ativan injection. Interestingly, a young medical student in training had actually experienced this before from an injection of a different medication, so he understood my pain. I remember telling him, "If someone showed me a door to hell on my left, I'd walk through it on the off chance that perhaps hell is more tolerable than akathisia!" It took probably a full hour to feel any relief, and I decided to fall asleep at the hospital to speak with a psychiatrist the next day. After all, I obviously needed some sort of replacement medication. I wake up the next morning, and am actually feeling fine, with no akathisia. Until they served breakfast. Upon eating some pancakes with syrup, POW - full-blown akathisia returns. I am literally in tears, pacing back and forth frantically, desperate for help. With the nurse seeing that I'm in severe turmoil, she sympathizes greatly. I ask to try Cogentin for relief, to which she agrees. She also prescribes Zyprexa as a replacement medication. I fill the scripts and head home. And I take the Zyprexa as prescribed, starting with 5mg. HOLY SHIT, SWEET MOTHER OF GOD. Akathisia returns with a vengeance, EVEN WORSE than before! I awake at about 4 a.m., my heart POUNDING, and I immediately start pacing. I end up outside, walking ALL day long, completely unable to sit still. My nerves are on fire. My legs are killing me from all of the walking. I hold out as long as I can, before cracking open another bottle of wine and guzzling glass after glass. It was the only saving grace I had. Suicide was CONSTANTLY on my mind, for every single second. I decided that, if I do it, I would slit my throat with a serrated blade. It seemed to be the quickest and easiest way out. The next day, I have no choice to return to the ER. Still pacing the entire time, I'm praying constantly for any amount of mercy from above. A doctor finally arrives, and asks if I'm feeling manic. I tell him not at all, just horrid akathisia. He goes and talks to the on-staff psychiatrist. What I heard pissed me the hell off. I overheard him talking to the psychiatrist on staff, saying something along the lines of, "These people come in, with their disorder flaring up, and they say "Oooohh, it's not the disorder, it's a side effect of the medication!"" Basically, he believes I'm full of shit before even seeing me. He takes his sweet-ass time, making me pace for probably an entire hour before coming in to see me. His advice? Go home and double your dose of Cogentin. The medication that did absolutely nothing. I begged to try something else, such as Propranolol, with no luck. At this point, I knew I was fucked, and would have to do anything to survive this. First step was finding out what foods I could tolerate. I began a diet of nothing but eggs, an easily digestable food. It seemed that anything heavy, especially carb-based foods, would bring on sweats and akathisia. So I had to figure out just how much of which foods I could handle without these sweats being triggered. My akathisia started to dimish at this time with my super-strict eggs only diet, but I was now also battling with suicidal depression, (multiple crying spells daily), on top of everything else, now that I was unmedicated. Many times, I had completely commited and devoted myself to suicide, even writing a letter in one instance saying goodbye. But, for whatever reason, at the VERY last minute before going off to do the deed, either God/guardian angels/or ancestral spirits - who knows what was doing this - would do something each and every time, to offer me relief before the next episode. There were times of literally complete remission for a few whole days, only to have the suicidal depression and akathisia return. All of this time, I was sleeping, on average, only 2 hours per night. Sometimes 1, sometimes no sleep at all. It was hell. I decided to fast, using my juicer, which lasted about 6 days, along with intense prayer each day for answers to my issues. During that time, I noticed something very interesting. One day I juiced a bunch of veggies, and added in 3 whole apples. I felt my blood sugar skyrocket, and then crash. I went into extreme sweats, anxiety, etc, along with ravenous hunger. I stuck it out, even though I was dying to eat. Even plain veggie juice along was causing crashes as well. Breaking my fast, I eventually added in highly steamed vegetables, which I could tolerate in small amounts without triggering these sweats. However, any more that about 4-5 pieces of broccoli would send me over the edge. Since I have also been battling adrenal fatigue, I decide to give vitamin C a try via Ester-C brand, as it was helping a lot in the past. I couldn't, however, handle any more than about 150 mg or so without extreme anxiety/overstimulation kicking in. One night, after feeling like horrible shit all day with suicidal ideation, out of anger I say screw this, and decide to grab some pistachios, which I had an intense craving for for some reason. To my surprise, the pistachios send me into no sweats whatsoever. So I then buy some almonds - same result...zero sweats, zero akathisia. I begin eating them everyday. For whatever reason, the mixed nuts boosted my adrenal health just enough to once again handle vitamin C. This is where things got interesting. I decide to pound my body with megadosing, taking about 30,000 - 40,000 mg that first day. Your limit of vitamin C absorption is determined by a loosening of the stools, indicating you've had enough. I experienced no loosening of stools whatsoever, even with 40,000 mg per day. My sleep began to improve, as did my mood by some amount. One night, I'm eating the typical steamed veggies that my wife prepared. But, she had also cooked plantains, a heavy carb source. A small amount of mashed plantain was accidentally mixed in with my veggies, and I started eating it. I let out an "uh-oh, here we go" after ingesting some, but interestingly, I experienced no sweats or akathisia. So I decide to eat some more, to no ill effect. To my surprise, the vitamin C had upped my threshold for handling carbs! I also add in betaine HCL, a supplement used for increasing stomach acid, in order to aid digestion. Definitely seemed to help things along. The next day, I eat an entire half of a plantain, and feel fine. I come home that night, and devour two whole bowls of rice and beans, and even have a baked potato before bed. The next day, I start to feel anxiety, but ignore it and keep up with the carbs. By the third day, full-blown akathisia had returned, to my devastation, brought on by too many carbs. So, I returned to my simple diet of nothing but eggs, nuts, and heavily steamed veggies for a few days, which even those were sending me into sweats. I resumed vitamin C megadosing, and within a few days the sweats once again disappeared. I was able to handle carbs once again, gladly, but knew that I had to limit them to a responsible level. I start researching hypoglycemia/insulin resistance issues, and the symptoms of these disorders were very interesting, as many of them were remarkably close - well, actually, pretty much IDENTICAL, to symptoms of akathisia. Extreme restlessness (unable to sit still), crying spells, extreme anxiety, hot/cold sweats, suicidal ideation, overwhelming feelings of doom/dread, intense fear, muscle twitches, feelings of "going crazy" etc. These symptoms are mostly due to having far too much insulin in the blood. This had me thinking: is it possible that akathisia is actually a case of EXTREME insulin resistance, a not-uncommon side effect of antipsychotics? I can't be sure, but it seemed to make sense to me. Another possibility is that the unlucky souls who experience akathisia are those who had poor adrenal function prior to using the medication, as I had. As long as I had the vitamin C on board, I was able to continue eating healthy carbs each day, as long as I didn't take it too far! I was experiencing an increase in energy with the carb increase, but my suicidal depression remained. So, out of desperation, I contact my former psychiatrist, and luckily she agreed to start me back on Lamictal prior to my first appointment. I was terrified the Lamictal would aggravate my akathisia, so I began on only 12.5 mg. No ill effects, and I actually felt an ever-so-slight boost from it. The next day, I'm up to 25, feeling more of a slight boost, with no aggravation of akathisia! By the time a week went by on 25mg, I was handling pretty much any amount of carbs I wanted with no akathisia whatsoever. I kept up with the vitamin C during this time as well, at about 10,000 mg per day, and I still do today. I'm now up to 100 mg, at the 3 week mark, and can even handle tea without any akathisia symptoms! Too much caffeine can bring back sweats via adrenal crashes, but that can be counteracted with very strong epsom footbaths or magnesium supplementation. The Lamictal has seemingly cured all of my akathisia issues! Looking at the bright side, the akathisia has brought about a complete revamp in my diet, which is now super healthy, and I stick to it religiously, eating veggies every day, good carbs, and no sugar. A special thanks to God, and whoever else was looking out for me. I dearly hope that this can help anyone suffering from this BRUTAL, HORRID, ASS-KICKING side effect of AAPs. Cheers to good health, Jay.
  2. Hello all, I'm looking for some med experience/anecdotes! I am bipolar and also have anxiety, ADHD, and PTSD. Currently I'm taking Lamictal (400mg/day), Geodon (80mg/day), and Adderall (25mg/day). I'm looking to change it up because I am seriously struggling with the side effects. Since starting Geodon I am tired all the time (it doesn't help that I'm in the midst of a depressive episode) and I've gained 20+ pounds in two months. I think it's helping with the manic side (or maybe that's just because of the depressive episode I'm in?) but I can't deal with these side effects. The Adderall works great for my ADHD but I think it's making me too edgy/irritable for my liking. On top of it I have been having terrible anxiety lately. I'm meeting with a new PMHNP next week and I like to research my med options ahead of time so that I feel more informed and can advocate for myself. I'm interested in Wellbutrin because it doesn't have weight gain associated with it, it helps with binge eating and supposedly helps you quit smoking (both current concerns of mine), and can work for both depression and ADHD. I'm also interested in Buspar as a possible anxiety med? I like that it also isn't associated with weight gain and that it isn't supposed to be sedating. I've also taken Abilify in the past (before I took Geodon) and didn't experience any terrible side effects other than it making me sleepy but maybe combined with the right thing that wouldn't be as much of an issue? Anyone have experience with this combo or a similar one? Any and all feedback appreciated! The med game is so overwhelming.
  3. Hello CB. I posted before a year or so ago and now im back. I wish everyone good health. I was in the hospital and released last week. Ive been on Geodon for almost 2 weeks and take it at 8am and 6 pm, 80mg at each dose. A total of 160 mg daily. Everyday I get very tired around 11am till 2 or 3pm. The night dose doesn't seem to bother me as much. I take 900mg lithium, .5mg k-pin, 3.125mg corig (blood pressure), 60mg Cymbalta, fish oil, and vitamin D at 8am with the Geodon and take these again minus the Cymbalta again at 8pm, 2 hours after my night Geodon dose. I have taken everything except the Geodon for 6 months prior to the hospital, so I do not suspect the Cymbalta or lithium, I did start klonipin in the hospital but was on Ativan before that. I am wondering if the drowsiness will get better with time or if I should explore taking it all at night. The hospital Dr said I could take it all at night but I worry my jealous delusions may return in the day if I don't split dose. I have also read some people say they are real groggy and foggy headed when they take it all at night. Any one with experience please reply. Be well, Brandon
  4. Hi, im new here. I have my intake appointment tomorrow and I have been researching medications. I just wanted some people's experience on taking Geodon. Im currently in a hypomanic state right now. Losing sleep as the summer drags on, having incredibly creative ideas but so distracted by such small things that I can't seem to do anything. Still social, I still get out, but can't handle excess stimulation. I was previously on Lithium 900mg and Abilify 30mg. This combination helped with my manic episodes but I would still have trouble sleeping, despite taking this combination of medication for several years. I was foolish enough to stop the medication though and have been off of it the past 9 months. I guess Im having a hard time accepting the fact that I may need to be on medication the rest of my life. I was wondering though, does anyone have any experience of Geodon? What do you like? What don't you like? Common side effects? Combining it with Lithium? Does Geodon help you sleep? Lack of sleep has always been my main trigger. Thank you.
  5. So...my current situation is that I'm starting to get breakthrough psychosis on my current meds and my pdoc wants to add something to the mix. I'm on Effexor 150mg in the morning, then Risperdal 3mg and Lamictal 200 mg at night. We don't want to up the Risperdal any more because it gives me a hard time waking up for early shifts at work. Right now she's added Abilify 5mg to take in the morning and it's only been four days but she also talked about maybe trying geodon or latuda. Both of those need to be taken with food to get the most out of them and I also happen to be a recovering purging anorexic so to eat that much first thing in the morning totally freaks me out, so that's why we settled on Abilify as the first option. So I just wondered if anyone could tell me their experience with Abilify, specifically if taken in the morning, and if it was taken along with an additional antipsychotic at night how the doses worked for you. I struggle with negative symptoms a bit and hope that an additional med could maybe help with that as well...any experiential advice on that topic? As many probably do, I've been stuck experimenting with different doses and combos for the past three and a half years since the beginning of my treatment only having a few months of stability at a time...I keep holding out hope that the next change will be "the one"...so any suggestions would be so so appreciated. I know meds are so individual, but the slightest direction would be encouraging. Thank you all so much!
  6. I recently started reporting to someone new at work and I got in trouble for coming in late too often. My previous manager and I had a system of communication and she knew the severity of my conditions and was ok as long as I kept her informed, which I always did. Geodon is all that keeps me out of in-patient but it makes me CRAZY drugged-feeling unpredictably in the mornings no matter what time I take it or what my dosage is. I feel like I've tried every combination possible. It doesn't happen every day and I've tried really looking at other factors to try and isolate why it happens when it does but it's been this way for years and I can't predict it. So I'm doing a relatively fast taper off Geodon to not be late to work and in that regard it's worked - I'm not sleeping much so I've been early to work all week, but I'm a mess and feel like I need to be in-patient already. I'm so paranoid, I have tremors, I'm cycling between hot and cold, and did I mention SO paranoid? :( My anxiety is through the roof and I don't even feel like I can do my job right now even though I haven't missed any deadlines. I'm having those feelings like everyone/thing is out to get me and I'm one second away from being fired no matter what I say or do. I talked to HR and they've told me we'll have a meeting on Monday but everyone's out of town tomorrow for a company-wide event. They said in the meantime not to worry about it. I'm crying in my cubicle writing this. I'm waiting for my doctor to call me back but I can't leave for an emergency appointment and I can't take anything that makes me sleepy. I'm not covered yet by FMLA because I've only been here 6 months. I like it here, I'm good at my job, etc. but I feel like I'm under a cloud of horrific panic/anxiety and I can't distract myself. Has anyone else had to go through this? My worst fear is this going on for a long time, I've been back on the drug for a while. I feel sick to my stomach and I'm just faking being ok.
  7. I may be new to CB boards but I am not new to mental health. I have been diagnosed with Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder Type II. You could consider that I have schizoaffective disorder bipolar type 2 but my current pdoc hasn't listed me that otherwise. I am here for one thing and that is Daytime Sleepiness. Am I the only suffering from this while on an atypical antipsychotic? It is such a nuisance that when I try doing things around the house, my sensory issues also are problematic and it makes the feeling worst. Simple as other people around me could cause me to tick off, or feel much worst. Or when I am trying to use the computer, or read I can barely keep my eyes open enough to stay attentive. My days are laying next to a fan in a daze. Not entertaining at all. You are to fearful of your surroundings to binge on eating (in fact I lost 25 lbs since the onset of schizophrenia), tv entertainment, and computer usage. I had a suicidal attack from just uploading a picture on the internet. How can one keep their day fulfilled such as me? Does anyone volunteer or work part time? Is there people that manage their lives so well they can live practically a normal life and have a normal relationship? Please be insightful. I am looking to gain some knowledge. I have been bipolar since 2008 and schizophrenic since 2009 (in remission) and now remitting. I currently take 80 mg of Latuda, 1200 mg of Lithium, 1 mg of Clonazapam and 25 mg of Metaprolol There are worst side effects and I would have to say akathisia by far is the worst feeling ever. Spiders in your legs crawling over and over. Other antipsychotics I've tried: seroquel, geodon, risperdal, invega, abilify, xyprexa, clozaril. I either suffered from severe somnolence, daytime night terrors and crying spells, catonic states, akathisia, and weight gain.
  8. What has your experience been with Latuda and other AP's on your weight? Everything I've read about and been told says Latuda's supposedly weight neutral; however, I know that all AP's increase blood sugar, and this leads to weight gain. I've been on 80mg of Latuda for a year now, and I've gained a little over 5 lbs, which is not a lot, but there's more to it, read on. Prior to starting the Latuda I had a brief stint on Risperdol, but it increased my Prolactin levels and made me stop getting my period, so I had to go off it. I didn't notice any changes in my weight on Risperdol. Before that I was on Clozaril for about 6 months and gained 30lbs. It was a last resort. I had tried everything else( including risperdol and latuda neither of which worked prior to the Clozaril) and had treatment resistant auditory hallucinations for 5 years. I figured I would lose some of the weight from the Clozaril when I started the Latuda, since most of my weight gain was from medication.I am in recovery from anorexia ( starting when I began the Clozaril) and the only way I agreed to take Clozaril was if they gave me Metformin. They only gave me 500mg of Metformin, which isn't enough to really help with weight loss, but I didn't know that at the time. I wasn't as concerned about food or my body but hadn't increased my caloric intake that much and was still only eating once a day. I continued to exercise moderately and still do. Given my small amount of food intake and exercise, I should have lost weight weight when I discontinued the Clozaril because that's what made me gain mostly and at a very rapid pace. Instead I have maintained all that weight and managed to gain even more weight on the Latuda. I don't think Latuda is as weight neutral as they claim. I know I would weigh less if I didn't take it or if I reduced my dose. I don't want to become anorexic again, but I don't want to gain anymore weight either. I discussed my concerns with doctor, and she prescribed me Metformin again after a 45 minute discussion. She's not pleased about the Metformin and was upset about my once a day eating regime. I had to agree to eat 3 small protein based meals a day, and she advised me to avoid sugar. She only prescribed the Metformin because she doesn't want me to reduce my Latuda or go off it because I'm doing so well. Has anyone else experienced weight gain on Latuda? Even a small amount? How has it affected your weight? I've always seemed to gain weight on the supposedly weight neutral AP's. I gained a ton of weight on Abilify (when I took it before I was psychotic, took it again after I was psychotic but cut my dose down to a tiny amount) and gained weight on Geodon. My doctor told me the other day that Abilify and Geodon aren't weight neutral. Anyone else gain weight on these? Which meds have caused weight gain? I was anorexic and weighed 93lbs when I started the Clozaril. Normally I never would have taken a med that caused so much weight gain, but I was in an excellent hospital seeking help mainly for my depression. I wasn't looking for help with my eating disorder, and considering I had tried nearly every med possible with no relief, I didn't think they'd be able to make the voices go away.They were determined to treat all my syptoms at once- the psychosis, anorexia, and depression. Normally I avoided AP's that caused weight gain. Zyprexa was my worst nightmare, but I had tried it. I didn't really gain weight on it, but I wasn't on it long and it didn't work. I would try AP's, but if they caused the slightest bit of weight gain I either went off them or reduced the dose ( with or without my doctor's permission). I respected the doctors in this hospital and probably would not have been willing to try Clozaril anywhere else. They told me that I had to gain weight in order to get better and for some reason, I listened to them when I had ignored everyone else. the anorexia became really bad when I was 29 and got into recovery from substance abuse. I've been to inpatient treatment for ED's twice and had seen numerous specialists. Plus that's the field that I pursued for my academics and professional work, so I knew all about it. I hated the Clozaril because of all the side effects, which is why I came off it. I prefer Latuda and am able to cope with it's side effects by taking other meds to counter act them. I'm glad the Latuda works to control my auditory hallucinations now, but I think that ECT and the Namenda play a big role in that too. As much as I'd love to come off an AP, I'm scared to mess with my current meds. I don't want the psychosis to come back. I doing so well now. But it's really hard to go from 93lbs to what I weigh now. I'm more than 35lbs heavier. I'm 5'4, so my BMI is still in the normal range, but I don't want to become overweight. I've weighed a little bit more before ( when I was 29 and on Abilify,before I got into recovery from substance abuse) and my horror at being so heavy triggered a massive slide into severe anorexia. What do you do to cope with weight gain from meds? In your experience what is the med that caused the least and most weight gain? I know it varies from person to person. Anyone else prescribed Metformin to help with AP weight gain? Do you think the benefits of AP"s are greater than gaining some weight? Have you ever reduced your dose to lose weight? Would love to hear your stories.
  9. I can't recall exactly when this weird rash started on my body (on my arms and back) but I know that it was either shortly before or after going on Geodon. My dermatologist has put me on three different antibiotics now and nothing has cured it, and it did get worse when I upped my Geodon dosage. He's convinced that it's related to one of the medicines I'm taking because he's biopsied one of the pustules (sorry, getting gross here) and the lab results came back negative for anything else. Geodon is the only new one on the slate; all of the others I've been taking for a year or more. The problem is that my mood has never been more stable. I'm afraid to go off the Geodon, especially since the only other antipsychotic I've been on is Seroquel and I gained 17 pounds in one month on that. So, what are my options here? Do I just live with the rash? It's pretty embarrassing, it looks like scabies or something. I mean, is this my body's way of telling me I'm allergic to the Geodon and even worse stuff is going on in the inside? Should I try something else even though I'm risking mood stability? I know you guys can't tell me what to do, but opinions or similar experiences would be much appreciated.
  10. Geodon appears to give me sores on my asshole and on my scalp. They're gross. When I discontinue, they go away. Unfortunately, Geodon is one of the only drugs that I can otherwise tolerate. Has anyone else experienced this side effect? I can't recall the clinical term, but this side effect is listed on the PI sheet; however, I'm not sure how frequently it occurs. Thanks for your insight!
  11. I started on Gedon on Wednesday and today I am insanely hyper. Spent the morning obsessively organizing my closet and vacuuming the hallway surrounding it, spent the afternoon shopping for a baby shower gift with my family and I couldn't stop talking and talking. Now it's midnight and I've almost completely cleaned my kitchen - and it was in really bad shape!! Can Geodon make a person this hyper? I suppose it's a manic episode, but mine have never been this bad. I have both bi-polar & borderline personality traits along with generalized anxiety & somewhat major depression. Current Rx: 100 Zoloft 2x a day, 200 Lamictal 2x a day, 20 Geodon 1x a day, 0.5 Klonopin as needed. Any help/suggestions/past experiences would be greatly appreciated!!
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