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The Diary of a Madman


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I have been living with ocd and bipolar disorder since I was a teenager, and my life has been nothing but a hellish chaotic landscape of ups, downs, obsessions, compulsions, delusions, and the occasional psychosis. The bipolar runs in my family. My mom has it, my dad has it, and I'm pretty sure my grandfather had it see that he killed himself before I was born. In addition to this burden, growing up with an untreated bipolar mother has given me my share of personality disorders that my doctors seem to think don't exist; they just think its the bipolar that's fucking me up, but I beg to differ.

When I finally realized what was going on I decided to seek treatment. This in it self was its own roller-coaster because it has taken almost five bloody years to get a diagnoses. While going through all this I was prescribed anti depressants which exacerbated the symptoms making me an oblivious fool that eventually ended up in the legal system. The road to mood stabilizers has been bumpy and laced with twists, turns, and dead ends. But when I finally got a decent pdoc, I thought that my plight would soon come to an end, but I couldn't have been more wrong.

Since I started receiving some "proper" treatment, everything in my life began to start looking up. I was finally able to function somewhat normally and I began to have a very positive outlook on life. Things just seemed to be getting better and better for me. I actually started to think that I was cured of this illness. I was working going to school and things just couldn't get any better. But just when things seemed to be approaching their best, bam! My symptoms came back with a vengeance. It was back to square one, and everything I had worked for was lost.

So we changed meds, increased the meds, saw a councillor, and all that jazz. Things got better. I was stable again, life was good, blah blah blah. And just when life seemed normal again my symptoms came back to the extreme. Now I was having auditory hallucinations. I would be laying on the couch and I would hear a woman whispering into my ear. I turn around and nobody was there. Another day I was so energetic I accidently smashed my head through a window in my apartment because I was so damn pumped and I didn't know what the hell I was doing. Another time I woke up and my apartment was completely destroyed. Light fixtures were broken, my desk was damaged, and a mirror was smashed all over the place. Things were never this bad before, even when I was without treatment!

I recently switched drugs again and things haven't been as bad, but they're defiantly not good. Im now on depakote which is supposed to make you sleepy but I have been sleeping every three days and only for about 5 hours. My life is a living hell. I feel violent, irritable, psychotic, and very unstable. I feel like a time bomb ready to explode at any minute. I am afraid that I am going to kill someone in an unexpected fit of rage. If guns were legal to possess in Canada I guarantee that somebody would would have fallen victim to my deranged intentions by now, but I am usually not this kind of person. Now, when I am manic, I sometimes wonder how many people I could pick off with an assault rifle in the downtown corridor before the police located me and took me out (which would be such a fucking relief).

So now my stupid pdoc thinks that I should try the dreaded lithium salts, but I am way to scared to touch that stuff, because I had a friend who took it and had his brain turned to cheese; but I am starting to think this might be the only way. I don't know what to do. Should I kill myself with lithium, or should I just do it the old fashion way? Is My pdoc a fucking moron? Or maybe I have something else that isn't treatable with mood stabilizers, anti-depressants, and anti-psychotics. Meanwhile, my pdoc insists that he shouldn't "over-medicate" me, but I don't think he quite understands what it is like to go through this fucking madness. Unfortunately, I just have this feeling that something terrible is about to happen. i just had to get that off my chest. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

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Killing yourself with lithium may be a bit of an overstatement.

I have taken a fair sized dose of lithium for the better part of 15 years. I have been toxic twice, but since I dealt with it quickly there weren't any long term problems. I have developed hypothyroidism and IBS, but in the interest of being stable I consider these small things to deal with. The occasional tremor is also dealable.

One of the nice things about lithium is that when I take it I don't have to take another stabilizer.

Some people can't take lithium - this is true - but a lot of people take it successfully.

I make it a point to never base my medication decisions 100% on what other people say about any individual medication. Lithium is always worth looking into. It can be a pain in the ass, especially with the labwork requirements, but it's manageable. Who knows - it might work for you.

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Lithium is a highly effective med, and takes only some very simple blood checks and modest precautions to keep it safe. I've been on it 2.5 years and it has been a good med. It can be combined with other mood stabilzers. It will NOT turn your brain to swiss cheese.

I"m very concerned that your pdoc is not being proactive in treating your manias. Any of the situations you describe above should be getting immediate attention the same day from him. I hope that you are not hesitating to call him, and not holding back on describing your symptoms.

best, a.m.

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another positive experience on lithium here. I had energy and I could think at 1200mg. I developed a little hypothyroidism so I stopped, but otherwise, it was a small complaint. and only about 20 or 30% of people taking lithium develop the hypothyroidism. Most tolerate pretty well.

Lithium is actually supposed to be good for your brain since it helps to rebuild neuronal connections.

When I first started it, btw, it was very yummy, felt soooo good. but that's just me.

good luck. if you feel this dangerous, maybe you should go to the emergency room. danger to others qualifies you already for hospitalization.

7

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I have read and heard heaps of negative stories about lithium treatment in the recent months, but hearing some positive information on it is making me reconsider it as an option. I guess I really shouldn't bash something until I try it, seeing that I have heard nothing but trouble about Depakote and have had none of the terrible side effects that I heard about.

My next appointment with my pdoc is on the 27th of this month, and when I go to see him, I am not going to hold anything back. I have documented in detail what I have endured this month on my mood chart, and I will present this to him with hope that he will begin to treat my condition more aggressively. I will now also going to give him the go ahead to start lithium in a last ditch effort to take control of life.

Thank-you for reading my post and providing me with some positive info about lithium. I am a lot less daunted by the thought of taking it after hearing from a few people who have actually had some success with it.

If anyone else has something to say about lithium I would like to hear it. One thing that still scares me about it is terrible weight gain, so if there is anyone who is on lithium and has not gained weight, I would love to hear about it.

Jacomus

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When I was first diagnosed, I also resisted taking Lithium. It was bad, bad, bad I had heard! It destroyed your body and your brain and made you gain huge amounts of weight. No way was I taking it. Finally, after A LOT of convincing and research, I consented to try it on a trial basis only. I was actually surprised because I didn't gain any weight on it at all. Other than the occasional blood work, it was no trouble to take. I didn't even get the lithium shakes that some people complain about.

For me, it ended up not working as well as anticonvulsant medications, so I didn't stay on it long term. I think I was probably on it for about six months. It wasn't bad though and it definitely did help. I definitely wouldn't warn anyone away from it and I would encourage you to try it if it's recommended by your doc.

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