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Does anyone find that the depression in bipolar disorder is harder to treat than the mania? That's just been my experience with it. I've been depressed since late May and my doctors and I can't seem to get it under control. I was hospitalized in late August and even that didn't turn things around. Right now I'm on 1200mg lithium, 2mg risperdal, 50mg trazodone, 1.5mg clonazepam and 200mg Lamictal. The Lamictal is the most recently added. And it's not doing anything for the depression yet. Admittedly today is only my second day on 200mg and maybe I need to be a little more patient, but I'm sick of crying at the drop of a hat, at pdoc and counsellor's appointments...  :P I feel like a flailing emotional psycho. I've been on Effexor, Zoloft, Celexa, and Wellbutrin. Effexor and Celexa triggered manic episodes, and the other two just didn't work. Pdoc says today that if Lamictal doesn't bring on a significant improvement in the next week or two, she's going to intervene with trying the Celexa again, because I've never been on it with a mood stabilizer, and now I'm on two. Should be safe. I hope. I'm insanely jealous of the people for whom lithium & lamictal have proven to be a winning combination. I know that everyone's different, YMMV and all that, but geez, I wanted to be one of the lucky ones.  :)

Anyway, that's my rant.  ;)

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mechante,

im so sorry to hear what youve been going through. a lot of people find that lamictal has helped, but it varies (obviously) for everyone. if 200mg isnt working - try 250mg.  if that doesnt work, maybe 300mg will.

there are so many different medications out there - eventually youll find something that WILL work for you.

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Does anyone find that the depression in bipolar disorder is harder to treat than the mania? ...Right now I'm on 1200mg lithium, 2mg risperdal, 50mg trazodone, 1.5mg clonazepam and 200mg Lamictal. The Lamictal is the most recently added. And it's not doing anything for the depression yet.

well...is there a reason for the risperdal and the clonazepam? are you bpI? lamictal is a touchy drug. crazymeds calls it a prima donna cuz it does its thing only when it's feelin' the flow (don't ask me what that means, yes the 2nd part is my interpretation). at 200, i kind of feel like you shoulda started feeling something already...unless, like i said, it was those other two meds holding it back.--and lamictal is usually a good mood stabilizer in its own right so mania is usually not an issue. Sooo, you may be a lith+lam success story yet (if it truly is just lith+lam)----but I am not a pdoc, just someone who likes to air her opinions.

personally, i think i just got lucky, my meds just fell in place, one after the other. i started with lamictal so after that, my issues were just hypomania.

hope it works out for you,

7

p.s. also, if the lam starts working, trazadone might be ad overkill? i don't know at that dose. is it for sleep? i use seroquel.  okay, enough opining. ;)

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Does anyone find that the depression in bipolar disorder is harder to treat than the mania?

Well, this has been my year of the depressions.  I started on Lamictal at 100mg about 14 mos. ago, for a persistent relapse into depression that would not quit.  It seemed to do the trick, for about 6 months, when I relapsed again.  Add another 100.  Another 4 months.  Another relapse.  We added 200 for a total of 400 a day, and here I sit, pretty pleased with how things are going.  It seems to work quite well with the rest of my mix, which is Seroquel and Topamax.  Hopefully there's not another relapse on my horizon any time soon.

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I have been taking lithium for over a year and it squashed the mania fairly well but I'd always have depression. Not severe but moderate.

Doctor started me back on Lamictal and I am now at 150 mg. with 900 mg. lithium. This plus I dropped the AP (Seroquel) and take very little Klonopin plus doc added Provigil. Now I'm perfect for the last eight weeks.

APs and high doses of benzos get me down big time. Just the sluggish feeling depresses the hell out of me.

900 mgs. Lithobid

150 mg. Lamictal and increasing

200 mg. Provigil

0.5 mg. Klonopin

It works VERY well for me. I can go to work every day and I feel well. Energized and focused w/o being manic. It's taken three years to get to this place.

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I'm BP1, but I've only had a couple episodes of full-out mania. Some hypomania moreso, but full mania 2-3 times.

My issues have been with bipolar depression, so I've been through the whole thing!

Really let Lamictal have a chance. It was the one drug that saved my life. I take 350mg a day, but it does it. My pdoc and ob/gyn worked together to make sure my Pills and Lamictal were in my blood at the right levels and worked together.

Being female, look into the Pill. The Pill (mine is Levelin) taken continuously so you don't have a "period" break will help a LOT wtih the hormone thing, and it does bring down Lamictal concentrations in your blood. So you may need to titrate up on Lamictal to get the full effect. This should be talked about between your pdoc and gyn.

Seroquel is also helpful. Taken at rather low doses, with the ability to raise it in case mania starts, iti s really good to calm you down.

I'd ask the pdoc about the hormone angle. See if you benefit from Lamictal and look to increasing. Dump the rest of the shit and try Seroquel. Maybe Lithium. I'm not a pdoc, but this worked for me for awhile. I had other side effects causing me to need a different cocktail, but I still rely on the Lamictal and Pill for my depression stabilization. Yes, the Pill!!!

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Does anyone find that the depression in bipolar disorder is harder to treat than the mania? ...Right now I'm on 1200mg lithium, 2mg risperdal, 50mg trazodone, 1.5mg clonazepam and 200mg Lamictal. The Lamictal is the most recently added. And it's not doing anything for the depression yet.

well...is there a reason for the risperdal and the clonazepam? are you bpI?
I'm confused, that's what I am. My doctor recently filled out a medical form saying I'm schizoaffective, but my psychiatrist today kept mentioning bipolar. And the two of them work together so I don't know what to think. Bipolar's been the diagnosis I've had the longest though.

Risperdal's for my psychosis and clonazepam is for my anxiety. Maybe they are keeping me down. I feel blunted when I'm not crying.

at 200, i kind of feel like you shoulda started feeling something already...unless, like i said, it was those other two meds holding it back

maybe I should ask my pdoc about that at our next appointment.

p.s. also, if the lam starts working, trazadone might be ad overkill? i don't know at that dose. is it for sleep? i use seroquel.  okay, enough opining. ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

yeah, the trazodone's for sleep. I actually love it. Even at this low dose it works really well for me. :)

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I'm terrified about ECT too. My pdoc hasn't brought it up (thank goodness) but I really am starting to think of myself as med resistant. Doesn't leave much hope, now, does it?

the med-go-round can last many years, unfortunately. i don't know what you've trialed but there are many more ac's, ap's, ad's, stimulants, etc. they're all different. and they all work different in different combinations. some are more activating, some hit different parts of the brain, different chemicals, etc.(you know all this.) I don't think it's come to ect yet. I mean, you're only at the "greatest med-hits of bipolar" stage. (unless you began the med-go-round at the back shelves first.)

i think you've got lots of hope.

7

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I'm terrified about ECT too. My pdoc hasn't brought it up (thank goodness) but I really am starting to think of myself as med resistant. Doesn't leave much hope, now, does it?

the med-go-round can last many years, unfortunately. i don't know what you've trialed but there are many more ac's, ap's, ad's, stimulants, etc. they're all different. and they all work different in different combinations. some are more activating, some hit different parts of the brain, different chemicals, etc.(you know all this.) I don't think it's come to ect yet. I mean, you're only at the "greatest med-hits of bipolar" stage. (unless you began the med-go-round at the back shelves first.)

i think you've got lots of hope.

I had to go back and read the original post again because I didn't pick up on this.

Yep 7, too early to tell. It's taken me three years and Lithobid, Depakote, Lamictal, Trileptal, Zonegran, Zyprexa, Abilify, Seroquel, Gabatril, Buspar, Provigil, Effexor, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Lexapro, Klonopin, Ativan and Xanax.

That's 18 different meds (not counting the different combinations). There are probably 5 times as many meds available than what I've taken.

My doc says I'm a tough case and I've made him earn his keep. He's a good guy.

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