Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org

Mood Stabilizer as Monotherapy for Bipolar I w/ Psychosis


Recommended Posts

Does anyone have experience using a mood stabilizer for Bipolar I, with or without psychotic features (please say whether or not you have these)? I am currently on Haldol, and have been on pretty much every antipsychotic except for Clozaril and find that these kill aspects of myself that I would like to keep =( :( . Any of your personal experiences will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have Bipolar 1 without psychosis and I'm on a monthly injectable (Invega), but I am too going to come off Invega and switch onto Lamictal and possibly Geodon. The problem is that you experience psychosis, and have the more severe form of the disorder. Unless you want to end up being hospitalized or become psychotic, you should probably stay on some type of antipsychotic. The mood stabilizer with help with your moods, but what about your psychosis. Although antipsychotics can act as mood stabilizers, mood stablizers such as Depakote or Lamictal won't help you with psychosis. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't personally have type I (well I was never told what kind I have but I suspect its II - anyway..) but my mother has full blown BP1, and has been psychotic in the past. However, she is only on lamictal, and has been on just lamictal for over 15 years now without incident. it is amazing! It can happen.

 

I keep telling her how rare that is and that she must be special. lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am BP1 w/ psychosis.  For many years I was successfully maintained on lithium mono w/ a neuroleptic added in times of mood shifts toward hypomania or mania.

Presently I am not on lithium and am trending toward lamictal mono, but that may be the wrong course and I plan to tell pdoc that I think lithium needs to be added with the lamictal.

Lithium was DC'ed because it seemed to have lost efficacy, and my creatinine level was high.

 

I have taken haldol in dosages of 40mg daily, some light years ago.  That was a bummer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm bipolar I with psychotic features. I have found neurotin and lamictal to be good mood stabilizers with no side effects(for me). i am also on saphris but want to get off that and go with a lamictal wellbutrin combo when I can convince my pdoc to let me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bipolar with psychotic features. When I have been on lithium monotherapy even with good/high lithium blood levels I have still ended up psychotic and in hospital. My pdoc in hospital called it a lithium-resistant episode.

Despite this I am still on a low dose of lithium as I am stable now and don't want to rock the boat.

Zyprexa worked as an add on but made me too sleepy and fat. Abilify seems to be the hero of my story for the present moment. One and a half years with no psychotic episodes and only a few fringe symptoms - maybe a couple of times a week (up to every day if stressed or going through a new routine).

Fringe symptoms like thinking that everything is connected and finding hidden meaning in things which are just coincidences... Reining in my mind which wants to run with these patterns is tricky but acknowledging that it is a crazy thought but that I am not crazy helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not on monotherapy as you can see by my signature. I have BP1, and I have had psychotic features, but so rarely I don't know if it counts. It is mostly at the zenith of my crazy. In the cases where I am extremely crazy, I have used AAPs to tamp things down. Geodon had sided effects for me (agitation). I also am in the small-ish percentage of people who Abilify makes manic.

 

Risperidone is my goto AAP. I only use it during episodes, and then for maybe a month after things have calmed down, then I stop taking it. So I've only been on it 3 times, for maybe 3 months each time.

 

My dad used to give us thorazine for nausea when I was a kid.

 

Be careful, stay cool. It has been over 100 degrees for a week here, I of course don't know what the weather is like near you. But I know from working in the prison system (as an intern, not a real employee) that heat can be serious with Haldol. They use it as a chemical restraint, and one summer 5 prisoners in one prison died in one day because the air-conditioning broke, and their bodies were unable to regulate their temperature. The attendants were negligent, they could have prevented at least some of those deaths.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

I have (mild-ish) psychotic features while manic. I'm not on monotherapy, obviously, but I'm also not on any AAPs. I'm trying to wean off of lamictal to eventually try lithium as my only stabilizer (the only other meds being for sleep and a prn for acute agitation). I was on lamictal as monotherapy for about 10 months, but it didn't touch my manias/mixed states; lithium has been amazing so far. It might be classed as an antipsychotic technically, but I think that that's more by exclusion than anything else; I don't think it's chemically very similar to most APs/AAPs, and the side effect profile is def pretty different. Most people consider it just a mood stabilizer, sort of in a class by itself.

 

I don't believe at all that antipsychotics are absolutely necessary just because you have psychotic features. If you can stabilize without them, and get the actual moods under control, then lack of psychosis should follow by virtue of not being manic/severely depressed (unless you find you're schizoaffective, in which case you might not be able to avoid antipsychotics, but that's a different issue). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have BP1 and have had psychotic features, but only on the very heights of a manic episode. I am currently on a Depakote monotherapy. I used to be on Depakote and an AAP, but I also disliked how sedated it made me, so I can relate.

 

So far, I think it is working, Depakote stabilizes my mood very well. My point of view is that for me personally, psychosis is only an issue when I get very manic, since the mood stabilizers keeps me from getting too high, I never get near psychotic land. I would take APs for a short time, if needed, but I think I can do without.

 

But, this is my personal experience, I'm not a doctor and so on......

Edited by rachael
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Unfortunately I don't know if this will help, but abilify has been the only (and I mean only) drug that helps my BP. My Doc won't tell me which one I am, but she is insistent that I be on an AAP. I suspect it's because I tend to have disorganized thinking and hear voicesin my head when i'm symptomatic. Abilify took all of that away, and keeps the depression at bay. Just the thought of being onsomething else alone makes my knees knock. No irritability, no voices, no nothing (except weight gain)on Abilify. I have not however tried lithium. It's never been brought up. But everyone's chemistry is different. YMMV.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...