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I was DX Rapid Cycling Bipolar almost a year ago after struggling with depression for 11 yrs. I was put in a hospital for suicidal ideation and that is when I got the diagnosis and started trying to find a med to make things better. I have been on Wellbutrin,Zoloft,Paxil,Celexa,Abilify and now Lithium and every one of them worked for a short time then stopped and that is what I am dealing with right now on 600mg of Lithium, I am so tired of fighting to live and fighting these thoughts and feelings. I have 4 other people that need me to be the best I can be and there is so much pressure on me to be normal and okay and not sick and I want so desperately to be okay but I am not and I do not know what to do, one day the world is rainbows and sunshine and nothing brings me down and the next day just the fact that I made it through the night and didnt die makes me so angry and depressed. I just feel so helpless and alone and I am so tired of this daily fight! So I need to hear some happy endings please, how long did it take for you to find the right medicine or combination to get your life back?

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Hi, welcome to cb, I hope things improve for you soon.

it can take some time to hit on the right combination of meds, but I have been stable with minor blips for over 2 plus years. i take depakote which really is is the med for rapid cycling, so if you haven't tried that, it might be worth a try, along with whatever else seems to be helping.

I am on a bit of a cocktail of meds which seems to be what works best for me, but I wouldn't trade a single one of them for my stability, which is everything to me.

Hang in there, it can and does get better, with time, experience, etc.

Are you in therapy as well? coping skills to deal with this stuff can be invaluable. hope you find the support you need here on the boards, many of us have been where you are at.

Anna

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Hi, welcome to cb, I hope things improve for you soon.

it can take some time to hit on the right combination of meds, but I have been stable with minor blips for over 2 plus years. i take depakote which really is is the med for rapid cycling, so if you haven't tried that, it might be worth a try, along with whatever else seems to be helping.

I am on a bit of a cocktail of meds which seems to be what works best for me, but I wouldn't trade a single one of them for my stability, which is everything to me.

Hang in there, it can and does get better, with time, experience, etc.

Are you in therapy as well? coping skills to deal with this stuff can be invaluable. hope you find the support you need here on the boards, many of us have been where you are at.

Anna

No therapy I am just now starting to accept the diagnosis I have been in denial for a while, when I look back through the years I know without a doubt I should have been diagnosed years ago b/c it all fits. Anyways I am just tired of people telling me what I have to live for, I know what there is to live for and I do not want to have these thoughts and feelings but they consume me everyday. It is so comforting to hear that this can be under control, I won't give up, but the way I am living I feel like I am not really living at all, Thank you for your support. I have yet another appointment with my Dr. to discuss med change and hopefully we will get somewhere soon! I also have untreated Hashimotos and I have big fears that without getting proper treatment for that my rapid cycling will continue no matter what meds I take.....we will see

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It can take a while to get things back under control when they've been out of whack for some time. Be patient.

I did want to mention that 600mg of lithium is a low dose. Have you had any blood work done to get a lithium level? You should have them regularly until the level gets to the theraputic range and then every few months for the next year or so.

No I have not had any blood work to check the level. I will see what my Dr. says about continuing it but I have developed atrial flutters since starting this dose so I am afraid of what would happen if I go any higher. I know it will take time but I am drowning :(

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Hi there, thanks for posting. I've been there in the miserable rapid cycling with others wishing I would just be normal and "fine," and boy does it suck! "FINE" stands for Fucked-up, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional :P But, it DOES get better. I've tried all kinds of things too, Wellbutrin, Lamictal, Effexor, etc etc and what turns out to work best for me is Depakote. I have never had such peace of mind since I started Depakote. Of course different things work differently for different people. I find the more specific information I can give my doctor about how I'm doing, the more he can help me. And, if I leave him a message between appointments about how I'm doing, he always calls me back the next day with feedback about perhaps tweaking my meds or just staying the course. Hang in there, things did finally get better for me, and they will for you to. And feel free to keep posting, you don't ever have to be "fine" and "normal" here!

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Depakote really is the gold standard for mixed and rapid cyclers. I encourage anyone to try it, and I've been one of those who fought it for years due to the physical issues it could raise. But now, you couldn't really pry it out of my cold, dead hands....

Best of luck with new pdoc. hang in there.

Anna

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Also. i know this isn't what you want to hear right now, but not necessarily everything you have going on right now is connected to the bipolar. It might be, but you've still got all the same situational issues, personality issues, coping issues, or whatever, which won't likely be helped much by meds.

That said, with the exception of lithium, I wouldn't expect any of the meds you've listed to be much help for bipolar generally, and especially not for anyone with rapid cycling. So you have a lot of things left to try. The whole worlds of ac's and aap's, for instance.

It really does get better, and less overwhelming, with time, meds, and therapy.

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Why isn't your Hashimoto's being treated properly? This will wreak havoc on your health, both physical and mental, if it is not attended to, and yes, it may make it more difficult for you to get stable. You need to get yourself to an endocrinologist ASAP.

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Hey and welcome!

I think it took me a year...I started off with an MDD dx, went through a six? seven? meds that would work for a few weeks and later crap out on me, until I found Lamictal. That made a huge difference. Abilify can be OK with another moodstabilizer for some folks I think, but not as monotherapy by any means. Even still, it hasn't been perfect in my experience.

Definitely take care of the Hashimoto's, as well as tend to those basic physical needs - light exercise, healthy diet, coping skills, etc. Those will make a huge difference in your treatment. You may find your symptoms reduce a bit when you take care of yourself.

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It's hard to tell from your posting whether or not you've ever tried more than one med at a time. Many of us find that it takes several meds at the same time to keep symptoms under control. Have you tried Lamictal or Depakote? Those two are used fairly commonly for mood disorders. There are a lot more meds out there that you haven't tried yet. Hang in there. The right combination is there somewhere.

I have not tried more than one at a time, and I have not tried Lamictal or Depakote.

Depakote really is the gold standard for mixed and rapid cyclers. I encourage anyone to try it, and I've been one of those who fought it for years due to the physical issues it could raise. But now, you couldn't really pry it out of my cold, dead hands....

Best of luck with new pdoc. hang in there.

Anna

I will ask my Dr. about Depakote.

Also. i know this isn't what you want to hear right now, but not necessarily everything you have going on right now is connected to the bipolar. It might be, but you've still got all the same situational issues, personality issues, coping issues, or whatever, which won't likely be helped much by meds.

That said, with the exception of lithium, I wouldn't expect any of the meds you've listed to be much help for bipolar generally, and especially not for anyone with rapid cycling. So you have a lot of things left to try. The whole worlds of ac's and aap's, for instance.

It really does get better, and less overwhelming, with time, meds, and therapy.

I know a lot of what I have going on is because of my thyroid. great to know I still have many options for different meds!

Why isn't your Hashimoto's being treated properly? This will wreak havoc on your health, both physical and mental, if it is not attended to, and yes, it may make it more difficult for you to get stable. You need to get yourself to an endocrinologist ASAP.

Dr said until my labs show hypo he will not treat because he is afraid if he gives anything to level out my hyper symptoms it may send me straight to hypothyroidism...so for now I am in limbo waiting for my thyroid to completely crap out on its own before I can get the help I need.

Hey and welcome!

I think it took me a year...I started off with an MDD dx, went through a six? seven? meds that would work for a few weeks and later crap out on me, until I found Lamictal. That made a huge difference. Abilify can be OK with another moodstabilizer for some folks I think, but not as monotherapy by any means. Even still, it hasn't been perfect in my experience.

Definitely take care of the Hashimoto's, as well as tend to those basic physical needs - light exercise, healthy diet, coping skills, etc. Those will make a huge difference in your treatment. You may find your symptoms reduce a bit when you take care of yourself.

I am on a gluten free sugar free eating plan and I exercise daily. It helps with keeping heart in a normal rhythm but does nothing for my rollercoaster moods.

Thank you everyone for the support and encouraging words!

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Hi! Sorry to hear you feel so badly, but it will get better (with bipolar disorder, it always does... for awhile... ;) ). As so many people posted, there are a lot of meds you can try, and trying them in varying combinations, too. I'm surprised your doctor didn't check your lithium levels yet-- how long have you been on it? 600 mg is a low dose for many people, but it can be the right dose (or too high) for others.

As for the time it takes to get the right meds-- most people can get it sorted out pretty quickly, and find a combination that works great. It has taken me a long while, but it looks like I might finally have a workable cocktail (I have bad reactions to most meds at the usual therapeutic doses, so I am on low doses of several meds). Now, remember, most people will get there much more quickly, but it did take me seven years. However, I had gone untreated for decades, become ill as a child, and have had a ridiculous series of unpleasant life events happen in those seven years, so it's possible I could have gotten here much sooner.

Be well!

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