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I'm crazy and I know it and this post will surely show it.

Apologies in advance for the book I'm about to write here...

Over a decade ago I had a depression. I saw a shrink who prescribed SSRIs. They didn't help with the depression but did make me hallucinate; I'd see stuff like huge soup cans floating in the corner of my bedroom when I first woke up in the morning. (I only saw stuff, never heard voices, and it was always right after waking up or right before falling asleep.) That was treated with antipsychotic meds. Longstoryshort, I ended up on two antidepressants and 14 mg of Risperdal. I felt much worse than before I'd ever seen a psych. I had no personality, could barely walk, felt this horrible "itchy" urge to move, tongue waggling out of my mouth like a hyperactive worm, drooling, and well acted just plain weird and zombie-like. I decided the meds were making me sick and very gradually weaned myself off everything. That was 8 years ago.

Recently I came to the realization that my friend is bipolar when he had a bit of an episode. I had been in denial about that, preferring to think he was fun loving....really really fun loving. With that revelation came the epiphany that I am quite a bit like him. It has been painful to contemplate because I have considered myself to be almost normal for the past 8 years. Yeah, I knew I got depressed a lot, but I didn't think I was crazy ;) .

I haven't had any hallucinations. I do get some thoughts that some may consider to be delusional when I suck Herb too much but I don't think they are true delusions since I know damn well they are untrue and just plain silly. For instance, sometimes I look in the mirror and am convinced I am the ugliest man ever to have cursed this planet with his presence. Of course that's untrue, everyone knows I make Adonis look like Medusa on a bad snake day. :)

But what does concern me is that when I am not depressed I often feel really good, maybe too good. I had been fooling myself that these good times were just me returning to normal. I think maybe they are mania or hypomania. At work, I'll get about a month's worth of computer programming done in a day or two (all the stuff that was backlogged while I was depressed) Last time I felt good, I decided that since I'm gay I need to look more fabulous and layworthy, so I bought this outfit Elton John would have been afraid to wear. Well, maybe it didn't look that bad--I got a lot of compliments. (Yes, I'm sure they were real and not in my head :) ) The few times I have had boyfriends, they left me because I wore them out sexually, wimps:-) I make jokes people don't always get. (Suck Herb (surname Marijuana (see above))) I start many geeky projects. Usually they are good invention ideas, but then I fall back into depression and give them up.

I have noticed that I can sometimes make myself (hypo)manic by really grooving to Beethoven's 9th. But then I pay for it the next day with depression.

I also tend to be somewhat paranoid about people, especially if they are too nice to me. I think that I learned paranoia from the extreme bullying I experienced in high school. The kids would be nice to me just to get me into a position where they could humiliate me...kind of like Charley Brown and Lucy except it was gay bashing and I was better looking than Chuck. OTOH, school was quite a while ago, you'd think my feelings would match my intellectual knowledge that sometimes people really are just nice for the sake of being nice or because they actually like me. Eventually I do trust new people, but it can take a while.

Right now, I think I'm in some sort of mixed state. I'd been pretty depressed, but reading some of the funny posts in "How I blew my money while manic" has me feeling sad and giggly at the same time. I keep laughing about the lady who bought all pug things. I can just picture her in fluffy pug slippers and sipping coffee from a pug mug. I really like saying pug mug at the moment and want to add "from the Beelzebub Pug Mug Pug Club," so I won't spare you.

Ug, I'm rambling. Well, my friends say I'm sane. Although the friend who I am 99.9% sure has bipolar tells me I'm up and down like a yoyo. I'm pretty sure I have something in the bipolar spectrum. My original diagnosis was schizoaffective disorder. Then that changed to paranoid schizophrenia when the mega doses of Risperdal zombified me. But I'm pretty sure that nurse was crazier than I am. I mean 8 years without meds and there are no aliens making sweet love to my eyesockets at 3 a.m. or anything else truly bizarre going on. I just get depressed and euphoric or irritable sometimes.

Oh yeah, the point. Are there any new meds that might help my depression and not make me feel even shittier? I have tried Trazadone (racing heart), Zoloft, Paxil, well every SSRI that was out as of year 2000. In addition to the hallucinations they gave me hives, 80 pounds of fat, and didn't cheer me up at all. They just made me restless and destructive and stupid. It is also important that they not cloud my thinking; I really need my brain for work and pleasure. Please understand that I'm not knocking any of these drugs. I know they really help a lot of people. It is just that they don't go well with my particular metabolism. Oh, and I did try one Depakote pill, and couldn't eat for 3 days. Otherwise, no mood stabilizers.

Okay, shutting up.

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Well, if it is indeed manic-depressive illness, then a mood stabilizer would make a lot more sense than the antidepressants.

Risperdal, as an atypical anti-psychotic, is also a mood stabilizer - but don't panic. Mood stabilizers vary as much as, well, Elton John's wardrobe. Also, 14mg of Risperdal is a "oh-my-God-are-you-kidding" dose. I mean. Damn. That's a lot of Risperdal.

Many of the mood stabilizers have a reputation for cognitive dulling. Note - I have a fairly well-functioning brain, and I have to say: no mood stabilizer has ever fucked up my thinking 1/10th as much as the brain cooties have, over the long run.

SSRIs, now, those are a different story. I felt just brilliant on them, right before I went completely bitchcase.

I'm partial to Lamictal, to lithium, and to minimal or no antidepressants in manic-depressive illness. But that's just me. Mood stabilizers are what work best for me for depression, as well as for mania. Antidepressants, by and large, don't do jack for me for depression. Lithium gave me that "brain is back in its socket" feeling within a very short time, as did Lamictal, as did Tegretol, as did Trileptal... you get the idea.

I hope that helps a bit.

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Well, if it is indeed manic-depressive illness, then a mood stabilizer would make a lot more sense than the antidepressants.

A reasonable first thought, especially when:

I have tried Trazadone (racing heart), Zoloft, Paxil, well every SSRI that was out as of year 2000. In addition to the hallucinations they gave me hives, 80 pounds of fat, and didn't cheer me up at all. They just made me restless and destructive and stupid.

Yeah. It doesn't sound like prescribing an SSRI and not paying attention to the patient's mental state was all that helpful.

I'll agree with Silver - is there a reason why a standby like lithium hasn't been tried?

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hey manicpanic,

1) welcome to cb :)

2) love the username

3) I tend to write novels rather than posts too, no problem ;)

okay, got that stuff out of the way-- I don't know how helpful this post will be as it's just an echo of what has already been said, but I wanted to add my agreement that it really sounds like a mood-stabilizer could be really helpful to you. you didn't mention whether or not you have a new pdoc, but please do yourself a favor and find a good fit this time. there's no need to go through any of that crap again and a good pdoc will listen to your past experience with meds and help you figure out other options (good news is that there are plenty of them!)

also wanted to add my congrats (odd word to use.) for being self-aware and finally taking a step back to look more closely at your behavior. it really sounds like there is a lot of history that can really help your pdoc this time around. please don't let your crappy past experience scare you away from hopping back on the med-go-round-- all the trouble is worth it when you find a good match.

keep us posted,

m

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ADs and A mood stabilzer? I've had a lot of good experiencies with that dinosaur Elavil......it will grog you out and sedate you initially....cottenmouth, (like what doesn't cause that....?) and 50 years of work behind it.....Lamictal is my current stabiliser, and well, so far.......its been good.....overall......

cheers

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Thanks everyone.

I haven't seen a MH professional in 8 years. It is really difficult for me to work up the will to see one because I'm scared shitless of having another bad experience. I think anyone who went through what I went through with "nurse Ratchet" would understand. I'm working on it though.

I really intended to respond to your individual posts but I'm too depressed to write right now. I feel guilty for not doing that, but that's probably just because I'm depressed and even if it were some sort of mortal sin, I'm sure you would all forgive:-)

cat /dev/peace

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I really intended to respond to your individual posts but I'm too depressed to write right now. I feel guilty for not doing that, but that's probably just because I'm depressed and even if it were some sort of mortal sin, I'm sure you would all forgive:-)

I frequently tell new folks to calm down, to wait a while to let other folks find and answer their question if they can.

Surely you're allowed to take the time you need to answer back as you can, when you can. That's one good thing about the bulletin board format - you can usually come back to things later.

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I haven't seen a MH professional in 8 years. It is really difficult for me to work up the will to see one because I'm scared shitless of having another bad experience. I think anyone who went through what I went through with "nurse Ratchet" would understand. I'm working on it though.

I can understand the bit about Risperdal - I've only taken that kind of amount (16mg) once -accidentally (took 8mg, was too fucked up to remember I'd taken it, took another 8mg... oops thats right I took some... oh I seem to be walking into walls...)

From what you said the possibility of some kind of BP exists... or Schizoaffective Disorder (this depends on whether you have psychosis at times you don't have a mood disturbance - if you have psychosis for - I think its 2 weeks from memory - separately, this is a strong possibility)

I wouldn't entirely discount the possibility of Borderline PD from what you said either.... if your moods are up and down daily - but then that can be very hard to differentiate between BPD and ultra-rapid or ultradian cycling in BP. A lot depends on the duration of your "up" phases. How long do they last on average?

Since you are not feeling like seeing a professional at present, I can only suggest the (sometime quite inaccurate) online tests here to try to gauge things:

Goldberg BP screening test

Specific episode - Depression Goldberg Test

Specific episode Mania - Goldberg Test

(yeah I like Goldberg... can you tell? ;) )

Quite possibly useless test for [link=http://www.slshealth.com/residential/behavioral_info/selftest.asp?CatID=22" ]Schizoaffective disorder[/link]. (I got "you may have a mood disorder" - duh)

I'm not sure how useful [link=http://www.slshealth.com/residential/behavioral_info/selftest.asp?CatID=17" ]this BPD test[/link] is (though a pdoc said it was good on a referring site), at least it doesn't give me (personally) a false positive due to BP, which some of the other tests out there do.(I got "may have some symptoms" but theres an overlap with BP there on some of those questions, and if you didn't have a great childhood you'll score high on some of those questions anyway)

I'd generally AVOID ones like this one however, as they're poorly designed and usually tell you you've got about 5 PDs simultaneously... (even if you haven't got one)

And of course it could be something entirely different... or a cluster of disorders (as can often happen - psych disorders will often "cluster")... but I'm sure you'll find out... sometimes it can take a while though.

But really us nutcases (and this specific nutcase) can only crap on about possibilities... you are better off getting a medical opinion. I can understand your nervousness though... my first psychatrist scared me silly (and misdiagnosed me)... don't let me put you off posting more though, you can see how much I crap on given any excuse :)

------------------

edit: grrr... its always fucking up my links... fixed.

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Since you are not feeling like seeing a professional at present, I can only suggest the (sometime quite inaccurate) online tests here to try to gauge things:

Goldberg BP screening test

Specific episode - Depression Goldberg Test

Specific episode Mania - Goldberg Test

(yeah I like Goldberg... can you tell? ;) )

Quite possibly useless test for [link=http://www.slshealth.com/residential/behavioral_info/selftest.asp?CatID=22" ]Schizoaffective disorder[/link]. (I got "you may have a mood disorder" - duh)

I'm not sure how useful [link=http://www.slshealth.com/residential/behavioral_info/selftest.asp?CatID=17" ]this BPD test[/link]

Hmmm. I got a 44 on the first Goldberg (mania), 36 on the 3rd (depression), 12 on the borderline personality. I found a schizoaffective test on the same site as the boarderline personality test and scored 12 on it too.

The depressed feeling switched off halfway through breakfast this morning. Now I only feel rather bummed out about probably being mentally ill.

Thanks for the links to the tests. I'm searching for a pdoc now.

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NP... sorry they weren't much help... they're pretty limited things unfortunately.

Try not to be too bummed out about probably having a mental health issue though... estimates vary between 1 in 4 and 1 in 5 of the population having such a thing... and lots of folks have happy and successful lives despite them. I know getting over the initial "stigma" of mental illness is kind of hard, but after a bit you realise its just the same kind of thing as someone having diabetes or something. Its just an illness.

You might see a lot of people having a crappy time on this board and think thats the norm - but its probably indicative of the fact that folks that are not having such a good ride and much luck with their meds are more likely to congregate in these kind of places. The success stories wouldn't have a reason to come here really...

Wish you the best of luck with your search... be sure to let us know how you go.

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