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Newbie Bipolar NOS

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Yeah, I'm on my second day of Depakote ER 250MG. This is after years of trying just about every SSRI/SNRI out there over the past 5 yrs including Prozac, Lexapro, Effexor, Zoloft, Pristiq, etc,. None of them worked consistently for a sustained time period. My pdoc wants to try Depakote and thinks I lie somewhere within the spectrum of unipolar to classic Bipolar 1.

Since titrating off Lexapro, I noticed a slight increase in energy, and a complete stop of migraine headaches. I can actually drink a beer now w/o suffering a major headache.

My irritability is at an all time high. Yelling at my wife for not working, not cleaning the house. Then a few hours later I can laugh (and almost cry) at a hilarious version of the show the Middle. I'm feeling a bit like Jack in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, maybe i need that ECT.

I'd love some feedback on Depakote, how long it takes on average to kick-in, how it works on irritability, depression, cycling, anxiety, etc.

Thanks for the support and glad to be a part of this group.

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Welcome Spinster76.

I'd like to address your questions about depakote but I am am just starting it (about 3 weeks in) and now am up to 1000mg.

This was a switch from lithium which seemed to have stopped working for me, after a long time taking it.

I am BP 1 w/ psychotic features. I'm also taking 300 mg Seroquel. I am much calmer now, but perhaps part of that is due to the

fact that I am cycling out of the episode. No noticable side effects from depakote.

I had more than irritibility this episode, more like unbridled rage, much of which was directed at complete strangers.

I think I was relatively easy on my wife this go round (relative to past episodes), although she was the person available for some of my outbursts.

She's had to bear it for a couple of months (including some deep depression -- because my episodes are mixed). And, like you, my

mood can switch quickly.

This is going to sound simplistic, but while working with your pdoc on the depakote dosage, is there a way to channel some of your energy

into some of the stuff you're mad at your wife for not doing? You need to try and partner with her as much as possible for the sake of both of you.

Today I was able to work thru some of the frustration with her over her comment that I was "too focused on myself" (a well intentioned

remark that I took wrongly) by mowing the grass. Being able to have a reasonable dialogue with her, at least some of the time, is crucial.

The meds help, but I don't think you can just leave it all up to the meds.

I am sorry that I am not of much help on the depakote, but I feel that I know what you're going thru, and others more knowledgeable than I will

undoubtably weigh in.

Take care and good luck

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Welcome -

I'm sort of in the same boat you are. A psychiatrist told me I had "bipolar 3" but since that doesn't exist, it's probably also under NOS. SSRIs all work for a little while for me (but make me a little bit hypomanic/mixed) and then stop.

When my psych finally admitted this, I was on 500 mg of Depakote for a month or so. It worked quite well for my agitated depression, but it put the cap on the agitation much better than the depression, and I gained weight fast, so I ended up switching to Lamictal, which I'm in the process of now.

If you're having a big problem with irritability, Depakote might be really good for you. I was full on mixed and it calmed that right down. It worked really fast for me - within a couple of days, especially at the 500 mg. 250 is quite small, but I still felt something there.

Anyway, welcome. Have a read of the rules when you get a chance and feel free to PM a mod or admin if you have any questions.

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Welcome to Crazyboards and I hope you can find some helpful information here. I also don't want you to go the route of Jack Nicholson in that movie because they ended up giving him a lobotomy. I'm pretty sure you don't need one of those!

Lots of our members have bipolar, so read about their adventures in the Bipolar Forum, and there's tons of information about individual drugs in the forums on meds.

I'm glad you're here.


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Will, Tryp, Olga - thanks so much for your warm welcome!

Will - yes I am working these anger/blame issues through with my therapist (energy channeling). There are lots of techniques out there, and I seem to resonate with cognitive behavioral therapy - they're just thoughts! Just getting introduced to mindfulness meditation, and I'm not sure I buy-in to this just yet. The irritability sucks, because folks on the outside see me as easy-going, etc. then I let loose on wife, best friend etc. and pull a total 180 on the ones closest to me.

Tryp - thanks for the tip on Depakote, pdoc wants me to try Depakote for now and Lamictal as the backup. I think I'm on 250 for a week and then up to 500.

Olga - yeah, I'll leave movie references out from now on, since Chief is the only one that has a favorable outcome there. :)

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