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....cocktail.  He has spoken about ECT, no thank you.  He has fiddled with my meds enough.  Now I wish to be free of all of this.  I have no motor skills.  Hardly any cognition whatsoever.  My walking looks similar to that of a drunkard's.  My speech is slurred constantly.  We have tried lower doses and I go batshit.  But when I am off my meds?  I am functioning.

I think it's time to shed all of this.  Can I live again without the drugs?  Can I just be me?

I want to have a child. There certainly won't be having a child with the list below.  I can't live day to day without having to take a nap.  Now what grown adult has to take a nap? 

I don't feel like myself.  I feel slow and paralyzed to a degree.  But I'm scared to approach him on the subject.  How do you do it? ;)

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wow, you are on quite a cocktail... i am med free right now other than an occasional Xanax for panic attacks.. i dont reccomend it. I am functioning but not very pleasant. Is there anyway you could go inpatient to fiddle with your meds? Its seems like you are on an awful lot. Also can you do extended release lithium verses taking it three times a day? I dont really have any answers for you, i just wanted to let you know that med free is not all sun shine and roses.. its mania mixed states and rage...

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Do you think it's the time of the year?  This seems a very popular theme at the moment and I feel like you do... sick of all the meds and wishing for a little feeling again.

You would certainly have to go off your meds if you decide to get preggers.  I know someone who did this recently.  The pregnancy went fine, but after the baby was born she couldn't get stablilised and ended up in hospital for over a month.  It's risky, but doable.

Have you talked to your pdoc about this?  I'm not sure if you have to stop the meds pre-pregnancy or can stay on them for the first trimester.  There's no doubt some information on this site about that and in the PI sheets.

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Dear Jezebel,

No one can make you stay on your meds if you're determined to stop them. But I can tell you from my own experience, it is not a super idea.

I became pregnant quite unexpectedly this past summer. I discontinued my meds, including my mood stabilizer (Depakote) because of the pregnancy.

Now I'm just falling apart. Trying desperately to get semi-stable on the meds again. Not having much success at the moment. It completely sucks.

BUT if you are wanting to have a baby, you have several options. You can go off meds (with doctor's supervision) prior to conception, try to remain unmedicated for the first trimester (when most of the baby's primary development takes place), and resume taking (more pregnancy-friendly) meds in the second trimester, when it's safer. Or you can try, again with dr. supervision, to wean off your present meds and onto safer ones. There are certain meds that are believed to be pretty OK for pregnancy- one of which I am presently on, Lamictal. It's category C, largely due to unavailable data, but it has been the most promising of the mood stabilizers for pregnancy thus far.

Basically, there ARE options apart from just dropping your meds, even if you want to conceive. I would urge you to speak to your pdoc, and to make a preconception appointment with a high-risk OB in your area (pdoc might be able to recommend one he has worked with in the past).

Because let's face it: even if you are unmedicated, you are still bipolar. That's not gonna go away. And pregnancy hormones can do weird things to you, mood wise. It may help. It may hurt. Bipolar women have a spectacular relapse rate after childbirth when they remain unmedicated. All of these are risk factors that don't go away just because you're no longer popping the pills, know what I mean?

If you have more concerns on the conception/pregnancy front, please be sure to pop over to the pregnancy/nursing board we've got. Lots of helpful links, useful info, and really awesome mods  ;)

~Faith

PS. As far as how to approach pdoc, I think honesty is the best policy. Tell him that the side effects are too severe for you to comfortably handle. Tell him you want to have a child, and are concerned about remaining on your present meds. His job is to be there for YOU, to answer your questions, address your concerns, etc. Don't forget that he works for YOU. It might help to write down what you want to say- including "I am not open to receiving ECT at this time"- and refer to it at your next app't.

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My Gosh!!!!  What a world of WONDERFUL responses!!!!  I can't thank all of you enough for the time and the energy you have put forth.  Not only that, but the amount of heart and soul you have given me to think on and take with me to my next pdoc appointment....this and when I complain about my hair color going white on lithium, lol....Sorry, needed some levity for I'm in tears over the responses.

Again, than you all so much.

Jezebel

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I went off all my meds this past summer and it was a disaster!  I was a raving

lunatic- swearing & yelling half the time and crying the other half.  Maybe you

could do a med wash out in the hospital and start with a clean slate?  Just an idea.

You do seem to be on a lot of meds, maybe with a different cocktail you could get

by on less.  Take care!

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