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Are things ever going to get better?


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I am at the end of my rope. Not literally. I am taking my meds. Why? Because I really like the cost and the side effects, especially going from a size 6 to a size 12 (maybe 10). Oh, and the akathesia! Gotta love that. Uncontrolled anxiety. Dyshphoric mania. Ultra-rapid (or radian) cycling. The ever-frequentlyl recurring depression, depression with a side of depression, and the SI depression. Love having those thoughts when I have kids. Let's not forget the mixed episodes! Those are super-fun. Especially when you wind up in the hospital.

Sorry for all the sarcasm. I am just so sick of taking all these meds. and still being this way. I can change meds. and maybe I'm good for a short time (not knowing if I am really good or just hypomanic) then BAM! I'm back to shit. It doesn't seem worth it. Why? Why? Why? am I taking all these f@#ing pills if they don't do anything for me. I almost want to just stop taking them all and see what happens. Except I know what will happen. Withdrawal Hell.. And I am not a good withdrawerer. I am a fast metabolizer and get used to meds easily but have a hard time coming off of them.

Any ideas, suggestions, encouragement? I don't see my pdoc til Nov. 7th and i feel desperate. I see my new tdoc on Thurs. but he doesn't seem to know what he is doing.

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I"m on 200 of Lamictal and 600 of lithium. 200 of lamictal was getting rid of 90% of the anger, but bringing the depression on stronger. The side effects aren't that bad, considering I'm doing really well. I did have to go off my Mobic, so I use smelly hand pain stuff, which is just lovely. I stink of wintergreen even if I wash my hands three times.

But the lithium, I'm singing it's praises, it's free and totally saved me. Granted, I did wake up at five this morning and just got up, and I jittered a lot this morning (but I am super thirsty and still haven't drank anything).

Didn't you used to be doing great the last time I was around, about, I guess, spring of 2005? OR am I just remembering the wrong person.

And I think in the short time I was on abilify, it made me have more anxiety. Once, when I just wanted to let someone know that there was a filing cabinet blocking the meters I was trying to read, I got stuck in a converstation with a boss-type in a suit in his office for 45 minutes and I figited and desperately tried to escape. I just couldn't get him to let me go. And I normally don't know this guy. It was horrible. (at least to me)

Nov 7 seems like a long time away. The way I got an early appt is by calling and saying I wanted him to call in a different med, really stressed it. Then, you don't get what you ask for, but you get what you don't. If I wanted an appt, I'm not sure I would have gotten it. But, I had stopped the Abilify since there was no way I could come up with $350. Our insurance pays for 80%, but I have to come up with the cash and then wait the weeks to get it back.

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Hey Nick. Yes, it probably is me- all the way back to '05. And maybe I was feeling great. Don't remember. My life is a series of ups and downs and upsanddowns at the same time. It's like I'm bipolar or something. Haha. I am supposed to be taking seroquel, which I switched to after abilify which i switched to after seroquel and then went back on abilify after being very depressed. Was that confusing enough? I have a ton of seroquel-and I do mean a buttload- lots of samples, an old and full bottle, and a year's worth of free seroquel coming in the mail (probably not all at once).And I have maybe a week's sample of abilify left and am really confused about seroquel and abilify. Seroquel makes me depressed and gives me bad RLS. Abilify takes away my depression and quickly, but i get akathesia and increased anxiety. And I've been on Lamictal forever (3 yrs.) and it seems like it doesn't do anything for me in any way, but nobody ever wants me to go off it for some reason.

Maybe I am in need of a med. overhaul. i really don't know. I do feel creative though.

Maybe I could try Risperdal? Who knows? I don't think I can get an earlier appt. It is at the County mental place and they are slow. Full of crazies.

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i have been playing my cards close. having been throught several debilitating rounds of drug-drug interaction and many ineffective rx's, i am on another cockail and have had nearly a week of feeling much, much better. had not planned to post this experience until i was sure of the sustainablity of feeling my oats.

your post however brings back the memory of the pit. it's a rotten, nearly excuciating process when docs are trying to find the med or combiation of meds that will put you right. i took solice from members when i arrived here. there were those that assured me that their lives were practically saved by meds. it ain't much by way of consolation but it gave me something to hold onto when getting jerked around by quacks.

you are at the end of your rope and that still is something to hold onto while you circle around on the med-go-round.

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i'd be careful wtih risp. it made me lactate, lose my periods, and something else i don't remember right now, but the stuff was bad news for me. it's weight neutral for the most part though.

i'm surprised that abilify gives you those side effects. for me it's side effect free and does what it's supposed to do. it's a cool med for me.

yes, the various joys of bipolar disorder make everyone want to have it! :) my FAVORITE is the mixed states. it seems like i get those more than depression or mania.

i can't think of any meds for you to try since i don't know what you've tried or not. lithium is good for the most part, except that it made me dumber than a pile of rocks. it works great with lamictal though.

lamictal isn't doing anything? again, that's my wonder drug. it's the most important med i take by far. i'd be a bipolar nutjob without it. ;)

edited to add- i looked at your post again, and at the list of meds i've tried, and maybe you should try zyprexa or zyperxa zydis (the wafer form). Z is really a great drug. it did make me a hungry cow, but worked wonders. it's known for giving people lovely diabetes and weight gain, but really does the job. i have it for emergencies.

edited AGAIN to add- you actually asked if it will get better. i went into a discussion of meds and totally ignored your question, so i'll add my answer here.

when they got my meds right i really felt a huge difference, but before then it was just the hell of one med trial after another. it wasn't the best experience ever. so i can say that after the med combo is down then it's smooth.

i go to the county clinic too, and there ARE a lot of severe crazies there. i'm totally normal in comparison!

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Hey Nick. Yes, it probably is me- all the way back to '05. And maybe I was feeling great. Don't remember. My life is a series of ups and downs and upsanddowns at the same time. It's like I'm bipolar or something. Haha. I am supposed to be taking seroquel, which I switched to after abilify which i switched to after seroquel and then went back on abilify after being very depressed. Was that confusing enough? I have a ton of seroquel-and I do mean a buttload- lots of samples, an old and full bottle, and a year's worth of free seroquel coming in the mail (probably not all at once).And I have maybe a week's sample of abilify left and am really confused about seroquel and abilify. Seroquel makes me depressed and gives me bad RLS. Abilify takes away my depression and quickly, but i get akathesia and increased anxiety. And I've been on Lamictal forever (3 yrs.) and it seems like it doesn't do anything for me in any way, but nobody ever wants me to go off it for some reason.

Maybe I am in need of a med. overhaul. i really don't know. I do feel creative though.

Maybe I could try Risperdal? Who knows? I don't think I can get an earlier appt. It is at the County mental place and they are slow. Full of crazies.

If you haven't tried something like Lithium or Depakote to counter the Lamictal activation, I'd go there before a complete overhaul.

Not sure this will help, but my story goes like this.... I've been on Lamictal for close to a year. It's helped with depression, but hasdone nothing for hypomania/mixed states. I tried a couple APs to balance it - Geodon helped a little but that was at 160mg, Abilify started giving me akathisia at 2mg, Seroquel helped some but 150mg was the most I could tolerate. Lithium, however, has been like a miracle. It shut down the hypo from hell and I had a month or two of "normal". Depression started in after that, at first just dysthymia. I added fish oil which made a very noticable difference and bought me time. When things started plummeting, we added Zyprexa because I'm a "no AD" kind of gal and had already been thru the other AAPs (save Risperdal, which I don't want to take for SE reasons). I also started using a light box this week. I'm circling a mixed state, but right now feeling more mild hypo than dysthymia/depression. The plan is to get me off the worlds most fattening med and add a low dose of Depakote (pdoc thinks I'm cycling in and out of mild mixed states) and to see if supplementing T3 w/Cytomel will help with mood (plus continue with the light box). Worse case is I go back on Zyprexa and eventually can't fit out my house door. ;) Seriously, Zyprexa proved to be a very good emergency med for me. Long-term isn't an option since I'm not one of the few who don't gain weight on it.

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Its kind of comforting to hear (1) that everyone thinks that lithium completely rocks, which is what I personally think and (2) that it also made someone else as stupid as a bucket of hair. Actually, when I first went on Lamictal, I thought I had gone retarded. (Also, I accedentally left me meds at home when I went on vacation (which sucked) and for the first two days off it TIME STOOD STILL). When I added lithium, I was pleased that I was dumb again, as I wasn't a depresso-spaz anymore. I have never had mixed states, and let's hope I never do.

Oh, and as for if Lamictal does anything. When I go off it, which I've done twice, while I retain my normal skin coloration, I do turn into the incredible Hulk. Man, where did I get all this rage anyway. I can still feel the constant need to correct everyone inside me, but at least now I can shut up.

Man, I love crazyboards. Especially when I'm newly not-screwed-up again. I don't tend to come around when I'm low.

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Another mood stabilizer sounds like a good idea to try. I'm not surprised the pdoc doesn't want to take you off of your Lamictal.. even if it's not doing anything (which who knows, right?) it could be helping you to not get any worse. Either way, you wouldn't want to go off of it if you don't have a back-up..

I got the anxiety and akathisia from Abilify too. It was awful.. I don't know how you manage that. That would be the first one to drop, IMO. The Seroquel sounds like a good thing temporarily - but I think that ultimately, you should try a different AP. Geodon can be both activating and sedating.. so you might find that one helpful. That one is kind of a you'll either love it or hate it med. Risperdal is more of a sedating AP, but it's worth a try in place of Seroquel if you haven't already. Lithium is always a good option. It tends to work pretty well, and protects your brain. It also plays well with Lamictal et. all.

Ultimately, it's going to be up to your pdoc & depends on what you've been on before. I can definitely relate to the "I hate taking all these pills!" thing. But it's still the lesser of two evils. It's better to switch things around than go off everything and start anew. Sometimes I don't want to take my meds.. but I do anyway, even if it's against my (admittedly skewed) judgment at the time. Hold in there!

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Hey Mel,

Sorry to hear you're not feeing well.

I just wanted to remind you that meds can't be expected to solve all of your mood problems. They are a part of the equation, along with adequate rest, nutrition, talk therapy, excercise, stress management, and whatever else helps you.

Pdocs give patients meds and send them on their way with little or no discussion of anything else. A large percentage of topics on this board are about meds, which ones to take, how much, etc. I think a lot of people have ridiculously high expectations for these drugs. They do play a part, but it is important to remember not to rely on meds alone as a solution to every discomfort.

So my suggestion, since you asked, is to make a list of things that help you to feel better when you're depressed, or manic or both. It will be equally helpful to come up with a list of things that make you worse. Sometimes just being aware of triggery situations can help you to avoid them. The thing with mood disorders is that every little thing counts. Every little trigger adds up to make you feel worse, but every little step you take to help yourself to feel better can go a long way towards making you feel more stable.

Hope you feel better soon.

xo,

MG

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Hi. Were you taking the Seroquel and Abilify at the same time? I cannot take Seroquel without an anti-depressant. Abilify made me skittish, but at the time I was taking Trileptal with it. After being "self-directed," formerly known as "non-compliant" for a year or so, I finally asked to go back on a mood stabilizer, and my drug of choice was Lithium. I'm not sure if it's going to work, but so far so good.

I know what you mean about not being sure if something is working or if it's just part of the cycle. We probably really need to give our meds a year or so to decide, but there are times, more likely than not, that I have no patience for the time it takes to find the "right" meds. This is typically the time of year I shift from low to high, so while I have the presence of mind, I'm trying to head things off instead of medicating in reaction to my swings.

I haven't noticed any brain issues from Lithium, but I'd already figured my three took all my brain cells via placenta.

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