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I thought I had the cool Bipolar type II until...


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the stupid racing thoughts kicked in. Anyways, I was just diagnosed in July and I'm finding out that loneliness and a stress reactions are what caused me to go off the deep end and not come back.

I'm taking 100 mg Lamictal (which I don't think helps because I don't think I have mood swings in the 1st place) 25 or 50 or 100 mg Seroquel for sleep (made my weight yo yo more than Anna Nicole Smith) Abilify 20 mg (for the racy thoughts during the daytime) and .5 cogentin (just started today for some tremors and muscle shakes that I've been feeling)

I used to be a former student nurse at UNLV. I worked as a mental health technician until I became nuttier than a squirrel at the tender age of 30. Did anyone here break out because of a midlife crisis like I did?

Anyways, I thought I'd introduce myself and say hello

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I didn't know there was a "cool" bi-polar? I know I'd rather not have *any* bi-polar at all.

If the Lamictal isn't working, maybe you should try something else? I know it took me several tries to get to the right combination.

Anyway, welcome to the boards, I hope that you can find some answers here.

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Hi, welcome.

Lamictal is a subtle drug so you aren't going to feel anything after taking a dose like with other drugs. 100mg is a typical, but low dose. It's up to your doc to decide on changing it. Lamictal is also probably not going to be as much help with racing thoughts.

Either the seroquel or the abilify can help with the racing thoughts. Taken in larger doses Seroquel is not as sedating.

If you don't have mood swings, it would be interesting to hear the symptoms forming the basis for the Bipolar II dx.

Feel free to post. PM any of the mods if you need help.

Hope you brain slows down soon! ;)

cheers, a.m.

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I've dealt with depression since my early teens, but not racing thought type hypomania until my early 30s. During my 20s, it was more of a milder euphoric high, and I would have thought someone crazy if they told me I was bipolar at the time. Of course, I had yet to mistakenly try an evil AD. I didn't seek treatment until about a decade later. Yes, I was a good crazy person in denial and naturally made a bit of a mess of my life. My later 30s included a period of mixed mania (the mess of life part) and later a brutal depression followed by near mania. All shared to make you perhaps feel a little better about seeking help now. Untreated, it gets worse.

As A.M. said, Lamictal is not really known for controlling racing thoughts. It's best at helping with depression. The APs you're using are aimed more at the hypo. If the meds you are taking are not helping, call your doctor. You do not have to wait until your next appt.

Different doctors have different treatment philosophies. The one that is best is the one that works for you. To provide a little context, my own doctor's philosophy is a little different than yours. She prefers to pair Lamictal with Lithium, Trileptal, Depakote, or Tegretol, all of which are anticonvulsants good at dealing with mania (except that Lithium is not an AC). She uses the APs more as emergency meds and add ons for sleep. That's not necessarily better, just different. Fortunately, it works for me.

And... I agree with the others. There is no a 'cool' bipolar. But, once you find the cocktail that works, you can live a regular life. It does not have to be doom and gloom, so don't think everything you ever wanted has come crashing in. Be patient on finding the cocktail, though. That part can take a while.

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here were my symptoms..spending sprees like britney spears,hypersexual, burst of energy after only 2 hours of sleep, four hours of sleep which was regular at the time, without symptoms of depression. A lot of times I'd get by with 3 hours of sleep but the key symptom which I knew I had it was the burst of energy after sleeping. Racing thoughts really actually started when I started taking medications. I couldn't sleep because of the racy thoughts

Thank you all for your guys and girls' support

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Sounds like mood swings to me, along with all the other usual symptoms. I don't think there is any doubt you have bipolar disorder. One can quibble over whether the manic episodes lasted a full 7 days to be Bipolar I, but as long as you are getting good meds thats not important.

I do not think that any meds have caused racing thoughts. Rather, they are probably just a symptom of some breakthrough hypomania. You don't have to tolerate them, and your pdoc should be able to adjust your Abilify or Seroquel dosages to control them.

best, a.m.

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Did anyone here break out because of a midlife crisis like I did?

Yes, my illness was triggered at age 41 by a job-stress crisis. I hated what I was doing, but I believed there was no way out because I was making such great money. I think my brain created a way out by getting so sick there was no other option but to quit the job and remake my life. I would be willing to bet that severe stress of some kind is the "kindling" that puts some people over the edge from, say, cyclothymia, to fullblown BP.

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Did anyone here break out because of a midlife crisis like I did?

I wasn't diagnosed or hospitalized for mania until I was 31, but I had all the behaviors since I was a teenager.

I was diagnosed with depression after I sobered up at 22. I was on and off meds because I had those periods of feeling "super" good which I never reported to the doctors because I didn't find it a problem. I had a spending problem, tended to get into unhealthy relationships during these periods, and didn't need sleep. It was great at the time until after the relationships ended, the bills came in, and the crash came. There were much bigger problems with these moods when I drank, so thank god I stopped drinking early. Then I'd go to the doctor telling them I was depressed and start meds again.

;) My first in-patient hospital stay was for self injury and suicidal ideation, but looking back on it, it was a mixed episode that was missed.

Then when I was 31, my pdoc witnessed me in action in his office in a manic mood (it wasn't fun like it used to be), started me on lithium, and sent me off to the hospital. My manic mood swings are no longer fun. They make my skin crawl, see things out of the corners of my eyes, hear things, unable to sleep, paranoid, easily irritated with people, and other fun stuff.

Since then, I've been on different meds and continued to have mood swings. Severe stress really sets me off. It's usually connected to work.

From what I hear, it sounds that Bipolar isn't often isn't dx'd right away.

Welcome and Good Luck.

Oreo

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I wasn't diagnosed until I got sober in 2000. I stopped drinking (lots) and WHAM! the depression kicked my ass, followed by three or four manias (along with hospitalizations) until my I finally hit upon the right med cocktail at about 43. I've been this way since puberty, and drank it down. I'm so happy for sobriety and the right meds ;)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Did anyone here break out because of a midlife crisis like I did?

I'm not sure that any 'crisis' brought it out, but I was 41 when I was dx'd. With hindsight, I'd been cycling faster and wilder for many, many years, probably since my teens. A 'crisis' sent me to the doc (rather laughably to prove there was nothing wrong with me), but that was all.

Oh, and as has been said, 100mg Lamictal is a low dose. I didn't get any stabilisation until I'd been on 200mg for a couple of months. YMMV of course.

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I'm taking 100 mg Lamictal (which I don't think helps because I don't think I have mood swings in the 1st place) 25 or 50 or 100 mg Seroquel for sleep (made my weight yo yo more than Anna Nicole Smith) Abilify 20 mg (for the racy thoughts during the daytime) and .5 cogentin (just started today for some tremors and muscle shakes that I've been feeling)

Maybe you don't have mood swings. Maybe the bulk of what you have are "mixed states." I was finally referred to a Neurologist because no one knew what to do with me (my major symptom was crushing fatigue) and when she wanted to diagnose Bipolar, I practically laughed in her face because I've never had anything close to mania. I mean, I have trouble getting to sleep at night but if I don't get 8 hours, I'm dead to the world then next day. So, she explained more and said that I was having this prolonged mixed state and that it was probably due in some part to the SSRIs I'd been taking for depression for 10 years. She said that long-term use or, in some cases, even short term use of any antidepressant can cause some people's brain chemistry to change. (and there's some controversy over this so...if you disagree...don't blame me...I'm just repeating what the doctor said. Actually, I made her repeat it twice so that I was sure I was actually hearing what she was saying. The other theory is that the mania has always been there and is just "uncovered" by the antidepressants...but don't get me started on what I think about the whole "uncovered" argument). Apparently, when the next version of the DSM comes out it will include this type of Bipolar and will call it Bipolar III. And, from what I've read, mixed-states are more common in this type of Bipolar but I'm sure they occur in others (maybe someone whose more familiar with the various type can shed more light on this).

At any rate, my doctor chose Geodon (because Lamictal isn't on my formulary and I out and out refused to take anything sedating as treatment for what felt to me like...constant sedation) and I swear, I took one pill and it was like someone had held a magnet to my brain and snapped it out of it's "mixed state" and back into some semblance of normalcy. I still have a long way to go but at least the bone crushing fatigue is gone.

Edited to say that I just read this post, "here were my symptoms..spending sprees like britney spears,hypersexual, burst of energy after only 2 hours of sleep, four hours of sleep which was regular at the time, without symptoms of depression. A lot of times I'd get by with 3 hours of sleep but the key symptom which I knew I had it was the burst of energy after sleeping. Racing thoughts really actually started when I started taking medications. I couldn't sleep because of the racy thoughts"

And, in the post-DSM V release world, there is rumor that there will be a "Bipolar V" which will be mostly mania, very little depression.

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Did anyone here break out because of a midlife crisis like I did?

From what I hear, it sounds that Bipolar isn't often isn't dx'd right away.

DZ, sounds like you have "mood swings" to me and whether that makes you BP I, II or something else is something your pdocs will figure out eventually. Took me 3 tries to get the dx right. Not sure it was a "midlife crisis" exactly, though things are usually triggered by stress for me, and the episodes tend to get more distinct and closer together for a lot of folks when they hit around the 30 mark.

I'm a bit like Oreokitty, had behaviors since I was quite young (attempted suicide age 9, several depressive and mixed eps as a child just put down to my "autistic behaviors"), first manic episode at 16 (undiagnosed, my family just thought I was generically "nuts"), went out of my way to avoid pdocs even though I knew damn well there was something major wrong with me of a psychiatric nature, things got worse when I got older so yeah you could call that a "mid life crisis" if you will, first hospitalisation dx as psychotic depression when I was about 29 which was actually a mixed episode with lots of suicidal ideation, tried to tell them I was BP but they decided I was major depressive, just lucky the Risperdal worked and the AD (Paroxetine, of all the wierd things to give me) didn't make things worse. Re-dx Schizoaffective 4 years later when hospitalised with mania (not sure why as that was just a plain old manic episode just with a lot of psychosis), re-dx over a year ago BP I (not that they listened to what I'd been telling them for the last 6 years, they just finally figured it out)

Well, I don't know maybe you're "lucky" and have been dx'd with the correct dx the first time, often it takes 3 attempts, or more, to get it right. Sure it could be another MI, this will be discovered no doubt if that is the case, though it sounds like BP (II? not sure) to me. And if at first the meds don't succeed, try something else for sure but give the meds a chance first. If nothing is happening for a while could mean they're working. Hang in there, good luck, and welcome to the board.

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I swear, I took one pill and it was like someone had held a magnet to my brain and snapped it out of it's "mixed state" and back into some semblance of normalcy.

this is so well put. for me, it was about a week on lamictal, and i was like "omg. this is a revelation. is this what 'normal' feels like?" cue celestial choirs singing "hallelujah!"

i didn't know it was possible to feel like that, with all the static and busy-ness of my racing brain turning down and finally clearing. it was incredible.

sometimes what really proves the dx is whether the tx works. if it doesn't, maybe you and your docs need to keep looking further. if it does, try not to worry about the label, just be grateful you've found what works for you.

bean

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