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I can think, I think, but I sometimes have trouble putting the right words in the right order.  It's much better in relaxed conversation, but quick social chatter and hurried instructions to the kids make me sound like Demented Yoda. "In the cupboard, the cupboard, the closet it is, it's...IN...the closet."

Is this one of those side effects that improves with time?

Is it possible that it's primarily a speech problem, and if I were to free-associate or brainstorm synoyms with paper and pen, I'd be as good as before?  That would make me very happy, as I'd like to be doing some writing.

Other than talking more slowly, or thinking before speaking (horrors! not that!) is there any habit or exercise that would help?  I have tried reducing dosages of both lithium and Lamictal, but the ensuing craziness isn't worth it.

Perhaps more coffee or Wellbutrin, to try for a front-brain override?

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Word finding is a problem that many people mention. It isn't on the PI sheets, but real nonetheless. I think the anti-convulsants are a bit worse.  It seems to come and go for me. Med change, short sleep, stressed = worse. 

I try not to get frustrated and heated up when it happens.  I try to find and alternative description, the person I'm talking to knows what is going on.

"That red doo-hickey;  Behind the yellow door (in the closet); The guy with with the gold rim glasses and a torn pocket."....etc.

My dad (who wasn't even MI in any way) couldn't always remember our kids names, so he would refer to us as "Clem" when that happened.  Became the family joke.

A.M.

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You should hear me when I'm trying to stop one of the girls doing something ... "Rowa!  Heid!  Row!  Hei!  Rowan!  I mean HEIDI!!!!!  STOP that!"  It's different than the fabled Topamax thing though.  I remember my daughter starting Topa, looking at a can of tomato soup, saying "banana soup" and not even realizing it.  And even when quizzed she couldn't come up with the right word.  That got better with higher doses, but I don't think that would be the case with this "Demented Yoda" thing.

I think your question about the speech vs. pen/paper is probably correct, if only because you'd be going slower by default.  I bet if I was forced to do it really fast, I'd be just as toast as when talking.  And caffeine seems to make it worse, not better.  Not sure how much it would take to throw it into overdrive though!

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It's not just ACs, I can assure you of that! Benzos are notorious for memory problems, though I have had the word-finding problem since long before starting Xanax. My pdoc is great, but this is one thing I don't think he understands or takes all that seriously. Every time I bring it up, he says it's more a symptom of depression than a side effect of any of my meds. I haven't been depressed for months and the problem hasn't gotten any better.

I didn't have this problem on Adderall alone, so I know that's not the culprit. Ambien's a contributor, I'm sure. But the ADs aren't helping, either. Toss in a benzo and sometimes severe insomnia and am I blubbering idiot most of the time.

In another tread recently, someone mentioned taking Provigil to counter-effect this and said it seemed to be working. I've got a bottle of that around here somewhere... I might give it a try (it doesn't  help much with the fatigue, but I'll have to pay attention to whether it helps with the memory/word finding problem.

Sunshine

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I have some trouble with word-finding too. I find it mainly when speaking, I don't seem to have the trouble when writing. And it's connected to stress -- more stress seems to mean a smaller vocabulary.

I feel as 'smart' as ever, it's just a question of finding the words to describe things.

Fiona

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Lithium and lamictal here. Same problem. The drawing of a big ol' blank, the switcheroo, the void staring back at you. Abstaining from even soft recreational drug use seems to help - better said, smoking that stuff seems to make it worse.

Good luck

-K

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Hi Mellow...I agree with the memory thing, but have been that way since BP got bad. So, it may be a disease thing as much or more than a drug thing.

Squirlygirl: I do that demented Yoda thing too. Usually we just laugh it off, it's kinda cool when you think about it. But as i have always been very articulate it is pretty damn frustrating. I find that most BP's I've read here are very well spoken & intelligent. That must the blessing we get to balance the curse we have.

I am also on Li & Lamictal & find the word find problem got way better at lower doses. I.E. went form 225 mg Lammy to 150. Also taking the Li at less than therapeutic levels still seems to help with the mania, with few side effects. But I don't know yet, I may have to incresase the doses again. Nothing is ever easy.

Be well.

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My family is used to me

making up words for

whatever I can't name

at the moment.

When frustrated

I lapse into

obscenities

lots

of them.

Lucky for me

Oregon has

strange placenames

I can get by well

just off the top of my head

or wherever they come from

Scappoose

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I HATE when that happens to me. I'll be trying to talk to someone and will keep mixing up the syntax or just drawing a big ol' bloank on a REEEEEALLY common word. It makes me feel like squid poo...I'm getting so that I dread talking to anyone, especially anyone "official"

My sympathies

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Don't know if the word finding problem improves with Lamictal.  With Dopamax it hasn't so far.  In conversation I come across as a moron now.  Yesterday I also discovered that long division and multiplication are beyond me right now.  Lovely.  Unless and until my abilities come back online finishing out my premed degree is out of the question.

A potential ray of hope though is the reports of "sweet spots" for some of these drugs - dosage levels at which the negative side effect profile is at a minimum while the positive side effect profile (the reasons we take the drugs!) are at their maximal levels.  You may not have found yours yet.  Alternately you may find the difficulties lessen with time.  Good luck. 

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Same issue here and posted this a while back in the Cocktail forum.  I refer to them as brainfarts and they come and go for me.  Almost always they are words that are a part of my normal vocabulary and I just have to rush to think of a synonym or just try to make humor of the situation.

Currently taking:  Tegretol, Depakote, Klonopin to name a few.  No recreational drug use any more :/

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You should try teaching high school in demented yoda mode sometime, GARRRRH!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I've had some fun teaching college in this mode too -- details and words and concepts my students don't need to know? I've got those, every one of them. Simple sentences and everyday words -- sometimes I have those and sometimes my train of thought jumps the tracks partway through a sentence.

My students find it quite amusing.

Fiona

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You should try teaching high school in demented yoda mode sometime, GARRRRH!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I've had some fun teaching college in this mode too -- details and words and concepts my students don't need to know? I've got those, every one of them. Simple sentences and everyday words -- sometimes I have those and sometimes my train of thought jumps the tracks partway through a sentence.

My students find it quite amusing.

Fiona

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Are you an English professor?  For some reason it's apropos for an English professor.  Endearing even. ;)

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Since I take Lamictal, I have all the tingly sensations of feeling smart but when it comes to it, I'm pretty duh, stupid. I'll stare at a badly mispelled word and sit there trying to figure out why it doesn't look right. I call people by the wrong name. I even invent names and argue why they should change their names 'cause mine fits them way better (kinda kidding) I was trying to get to work recently but the landmarks were all wonky and on the wrong sides of each other, like I was having massive dyslexia. I was only a block away from the office but for the life of me, I couldn't find it!...eventually I lucked into it but it was unforgivable. I don't know how smart I am anymore. ;)

7

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I've had some fun teaching college in this mode too -- details and words and concepts my students don't need to know? I've got those, every one of them. Simple sentences and everyday words -- sometimes I have those and sometimes my train of thought jumps the tracks partway through a sentence.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Are you an English professor?  For some reason it's apropos for an English professor.  Endearing even. ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Alas, no. Social Sciences -- Anthropology and Geography. Online courses are a great solution to this, I don't have any trouble with my writing (thank havens -- my poor dissertation has suffered enough from my depression).

I take Lamictal (and Seroquel and Parnate) and the difficulty has decreased over time.

Fiona

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When frustrated

I lapse into

obscenities

lots

of them.

Scappoose

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I do the same thing.  There's actually a reason why when you can't seem to find any words at all, you can almost always find your expletives. (obscenities, swear words, etc.,)  It's because they are stored in another area of the brain separate from the rest of your language.  It's stored in the right side of your brain, but (get this) I can't remember the name of the area! 

I know I have a link to the page I got the information from, I can't find it right now.  I'll post the link for it when I do.  Until then, here's a page on neurolinguistics I thought was rather interesting:  Linguistics 201:  Language and the brain

Maddy.

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