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~ Where to begin...bear with me...

All of my life I lived with depression of one kind or another. I thought everyone felt like I did with life and we just move forward with each day.

Background: I was born to a couple that was 29 & 42 and honestly really never should have been parent's. They were distant emotionally and I thought everyone lived like I did so it was no issue for me. At 12 I was raped and told no one and through my teen years I was depressed off and on but never suicidal to the point of the act. It was just a thought a couple of times. Thought everyone else did that too.

I married in 1988 a man that has stuck beside me through the good and the bad for the last 22 years and we have a 19 year old daughter and a 11 year old son.

All of my life I lived a 'controlled' life by my parent's even when I married they were both still emotionally very embedded in my head so you will understand the following...

In October 2000 my father died and in December 2000 my mother died. Both of natural causes, he a heart attack and her pancreatic,liver,colon cancer diagnosed stage 4 and she didn't tell me she was dying until a month before she did ------------- so that tells you of my relationship with them as an only child.

In January '01 I saw my OB for my 1 year check up after having had our son in Sept '99 and myself, my husband and my OB discussed the depression that could come so to head if off she put me on a antidepressant. Within a month I was manic - spending money left and right...had a affair with our neighbor...I thought my life was PERFECT! The emotional roller coaster of their issues in MY life were FINALLY over. This went on from January '01 until about October '01 when I cold turkied the medication because my life was perfect and "I didn't need it any more" (like so many people do and feel when they see how they can feel on a antidepressant and think all is perfect and then they stop it and they crash)....I crashed at the end of '01 and lived out the depression up and down until May 2005 when I realized that I had ruined my life in '01 -- although my husband stuck by me through a crazy time in my life/ our life. I finally became suicidal for the first time that I was actually planning how I would do it and even talked about it with him. He sought out a psychiatrist knowing something was desperately wrong and I went to see her in May '05.

I started Lamictal 200mg and a antidepressant together and was diagnosed with BP II and Anxiety with times of Agoraphobia due to the depression. For the last 5 years I have been stable on my Lamictal at ranges from 200mg to 500mg's up and down over the years and multiple antidepressants with Klonopin for anxiety as needed ( I rarely use it but am glad I have it)....

Now I step into the current...I lost my psychiatrist in June '10 to retirement and then took on another doctor in the office. I have seen him 3 or 4 times since June. My husband has attended every appt I have had to be there for me and to be a extra voice when I have had times I needed adjustments on medications that we were feeling. I do A LOT of research on medications and such and go into to see my dr and we talk changes etc....I do not like the 'dry' being surrounding my current Pdoc and am in the process of looking for a new Psychiatrist. I am currently taking 400mg of Lamictal and 300mg of Wellbutrin ER....Neither of which are working and haven't been in a little while with my last appt in November but nothing really unstable enough to run to the dr for since I see him in about 3 weeks.

I have learned to put on the - mask - to make anyone outside of my husband think that I am perfectly fine and happy....NO ONE would ever be able to tell that I have BP. I mean literally...no one. I am not happy...I haven't been happy...'up'...in month's...I have no energy and no drive to do anything BUT I still am a mother to our 11 year old son and get him up and off to school and cook dinner and run my house just like anyone else does I just don't ~ smile or laugh anymore. I feel TOTALLY flat lined.

I am hoping finding this new doctor will help me which I think it will. When I am riding the 'manic' borderline with medications level and working well I am a totally different person...I NEED to live that manic line - now that I know what it was when I had no clue what it was in '01 - I know how to control it now as well as my husband does....--------------- I am terrified of weight gain I have been up and down that road and now have lost 71 lbs on the Wellbutrin in the last 8 months.

-- Any medications that you have taken for a mood stabilizer that has really worked for you and why...I would love to hear about. I have hope but I need hope...I am tired of feeling this (flat lines) way when I know I really can feel better because I have....Lamictal has been good but I think it's run it's course and I know the antidepressant has and that at this point I think I am antidepressant resistant.

*If you have made it this far ~ thank you for listening...Anything you can offer would be of such great help to me I can't find anything on the web that even touches something of what I am dealing with. I have a girlfriend that has BP and is working as well to get level. She takes Lamictal and Prozac...I have taken Prozac, Prestiq, Cymbalta, Effexor, Paxil and Wellbutrin specifically in the last 5 years all with the Lamictal.

-- Really, thanks for listening. I know every one feels alone through these times and I honestly know I am not and that other's have been there and in good times I have been there for other's and helped them greatly....I am just at MY cross roads this time.

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I'm sorry for all that you've been through, but I am glad that you found someone who sticks by you through the bad as well as the good. I know how important that is.

As for antidepressants, you might consider Remeron (mirtazapine). It makes you very sleepy when you first start to take it, but it is considered to be one of the best antidepressants. As for SSRIs, you haven't taken Lexapro or Zoloft. Both are considered very good. If those don't work out for you, then your pdoc might consider the tricyclics. You have many ADs you haven't tried yet.

As for mood stabilizers, there is always lithium, carbamazepine (or Tegretol, my favorite), trileptal, topomax, and Depakote. Again, you have many from which to choose.

So talk to your pdoc, even if it's your current pdoc. Obviously your meds are no longer working, and tell him that. You haven't even scratched the surface of the possibilities out there.

Good luck!

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Sounds like you've been through a great deal, I read it all and am listening.

As for my experience with mood stabilizers, I've been on Trileptal for years and it's helped me a great deal in combination with other meds. I can't say why it works for me, because I have no idea, I just know that when I take it properly with my other meds, I have been fairly stable. That's not to say I don't have breakthrough symptoms or episodes occasionally, but it gets the job done for the most part and I like it. My only complaint about it is that it makes my birth control nearly ineffective.

And I'm going to second what jt07 said about talking to your doc and finding new medications.

Good luck!

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