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Normal to still be cycling?


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Heyyyy everyone. So I'm on Lamictal and Zoloft now and I stopped having crazy rapid cycles. Yay! I feel like a sane person most days, which is more than I could have said the last two years. On a scale of 1-10, 1 being suicidally depressed, 10 being totally manic, and 5 being normal mood ranges, I was veering between a 2-3 and like a 7-8 every other week. Now I'm mostly a 5, but some days I still get down to a 3-4 or up to a 6 (feeling excited, speaking quickly, but no racing thoughts or poor impulse control). Is this normal, to still have very small cycles, or is it a sign that I need to talk to my pdoc about maybe going up on the Lamictal or something?

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Guest Vapourware

It is normal for people to have mood fluctuations while on mood stabilisers, because having mood fluctuations is a normal part of being human. However, if you are still finding your mood cycles problematic, then it's worthwhile to speak to your doctor about them and see if they believe you need a med tweak.

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Hi. It's normal to have a wide range of emotion and to respond to the world in which you live. That is different from having a pattern of up and down days or being up or down for no particular reason. If the mood fluctuations feel random and not in response to your environment, I'd call your pdoc to talk it over in person.

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I go by other people's behavior sometimes... if mine isn't close to theirs (presuming they are normal) and if it's still affecting daily life (even talking fast sometimes is a problem) in a negative way then I'd talk to the pdoc about it.

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cycling happens, certainly. it's normal in regular folks to go through mood fluctuations as well.

it really depends on how intense and debilitating the fluctuating is. you need to discuss that with your pdoc.

Anna

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How long have you been treated for bipolar? It can take a while (sometimes several years) to get things clamped down. In any case it's not unusual to have mood fluctuations. And unfortunately as good as the meds are, there is no guarantee that we won't have episodes.

Are you keeping a 'Mood Diary"? It can be helpful to see patterns and possible triggers. Therew are plenty available on the net, as fancy as you want, or as simple as just making a mark on a calendar each day. I like the Massachusett General Hospital version.

a.m.

http://www.manicdepressive.org/moodchart.html

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I'm not talking about normal mood fluctuations. I mean, I'm having those, and they're kind of wonderful in a way because I can actually identify why I'm feeling a certain way. I'm talking more about symptoms of depression and symptoms of hypomania, both of which I feel I know pretty well at this point. Thank you, though, for the advice--I will bring this up with my pdoc.

Air Marshall, I was keeping a mood chart for several months but then slacked off. I need to start it back up, you're right. And I haven't been treated for bipolar even a year yet, so I guess I really should consider myself lucky that the meds are helping as much as they are so soon.

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It's been 6 years since I was diagnosed, and I still have clear mood episodes. Mine generally happen every 2-3 months and last for a week or two (or three) I think it's just a matter of finding the right meds for me. For example, I was on risperdal early in my diagnosis and stopped, but now I'm on triple the dose. I've never been on depakote before, and it's been working pretty good. So maybe this just happens to be my lottery ticket to stability.

I'll be the first one to say that some people find their med combo quickly, and some don't.

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I'm on 200mg of Lamictal and still cycle. They are not as intense, meaning I hardly get suicidal depression or go on a crazy spending spree, but some of these cycles do interfere on my ability to work, socialize and have enough motivation to live a "normal" life. When I'm hypomanic, it's wonderful cause I am entertaining, charming and get loads of stuff done, but those are rare and they happen only a few times a year and last only 4 to 5 days. The depressions are longer. Now, when I get dysphoric hypomania/ mixed states, I am impossible to live with.

That being said, it is normal to cycle, but I think if it interferes in your quality of life and is not related to what you living at the moment, you might need a medication tweak.

My doctor once said that - mood stabilizers are like allergy meds : they just keep the episodes far apart, but you'll always have it and it will show up from time to time.

Beside us bp people, do react to the environment in a different way than regular people, so your episodes may be triggered by events your conscious brain doesn't even consider as triggers, if you get what I'm saying.

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