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I may be new to CB boards but I am not new to mental health.

 

I have been diagnosed with Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder Type II.  You could consider that I have schizoaffective disorder bipolar type 2 but my current pdoc hasn't listed me that otherwise.

 

I am here for one thing and that is Daytime Sleepiness.  Am I the only suffering from this while on an atypical antipsychotic?  It is such a nuisance that when I try doing things around the house, my sensory issues also are problematic and it makes the feeling worst.  Simple as other people around me could cause me to tick off, or feel much worst.  Or when I am trying to use the computer, or read I can barely keep my eyes open enough to stay attentive.

 

My days are laying next to a fan in a daze.  Not entertaining at all.  You are to fearful of your surroundings to binge on eating (in fact I lost 25 lbs since the onset of schizophrenia), tv entertainment, and computer usage.  I had a suicidal attack from just uploading a picture on the internet.  How can one keep their day fulfilled such as me?  Does anyone volunteer or work part time?  Is there people that manage their lives so well they can live practically a normal life and have a normal relationship?  Please be insightful.  I am looking to gain some knowledge.  I have been bipolar since 2008 and schizophrenic since 2009 (in remission) and now remitting.  

 

I currently take 80 mg of Latuda, 1200 mg of Lithium, 1 mg of Clonazapam and 25 mg of Metaprolol

 

There are worst side effects and I would have to say akathisia by far is the worst feeling ever.  Spiders in your legs crawling over and over.

 

Other antipsychotics I've tried: seroquel, geodon, risperdal, invega, abilify, xyprexa, clozaril.  I either suffered from severe somnolence, daytime night terrors and crying spells, catonic states, akathisia, and weight gain.

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I can sympathize with you, as I react poorly to most psychiatric meds including antipsychotics. Drugs that are supposed to make you sleep - make me manic. Stimulants knock me out. And I've suffered from insomnia all my life - at least at night.

 

I was also a zombie for over a year. I spent my days on the couch drifting in and out of sleep. At night I'd toss and turn. In the mornings I couldn't get up and would lie in until noon. Then I'd get up, wander to the couch and fall back asleep again. I was incapacitated, couldn't look after myself or my home. Depressed as hell. And I was on 9 medications a day!

 

I finally got fed up and asked my pdoc to taper off all but two of the drugs I was on (low dose Seroquel and zopiclone for sleep). Within a month I was sleeping only at night and only having to lie down for an hour or two in the day. And, since my sleep pattern was normalized, my symptoms improved drastically. I also dropped over 50 lb. Now I'm getting my act together, doing things I never thought I'd be able to do.

 

My point (finally!) is that if your side effects aren't manageable and are interfering with your life, it's time to speak to your pdoc. They can figure out which drug is most likely the culprit, and suggest alternatives or adjust the dosages.

 

That said, you'll likely be on some meds that make you a bit sleepy no matter what. Other ways to deal with sleepiness that worked for me: taking the pills that make you the sleepiest before bed, or finding activities that help you stay awake, like hobbies or going out for a walk. Only consume stimulants like caffeine before noon. Basic sleep hygiene: try to go to bed and get up at the same times each day, keep your bedroom comfortable and quiet, get a sleep mask if your room isn't dark enough. A big helper for me was just setting my alarm for each morning. Even if you don't have to be up by a certain time, it can help you stick to a routine.

 

You asked about finding things to do every day. I know that's a problem, as I'm on disability as well and I'm pretty isolated from human contact. I exercise discipline with TV and Internet. If I'm not using or watching them with a purpose, I shut them off. My personal rule is "no TV before 4 pm" (when a favourite show comes on). I also sit up to watch TV, which discourages falling asleep on the couch.

 

When I was first recovering from the daily zombie funk, I started out small finding things to do. I found that setting a morning routine, and sticking with it, really helps me to wake up each day. I joined a local weekly self-help group for people with bipolar disorder. I've been going to this group for a year now. It gets me out of the house and helps me get used to being around people again. I'm a recovering addict, so I see a counselor at my rehab every week. I don't always need to, but again, it gets me out of the house.

 

Eventually I took a small volunteer position at an animal shelter. It's half a day every two weeks, but it's a good start and helps add structure to my life. I've been there nearly a year. I suggest that if you want to volunteer, start out small. A few hours or less per week. Find an organization that really interests you. And it's no reflection on you if the position doesn't work out. There are plenty of other opportunities out there.

 

Find things to do around the house. Don't expect to get everything done in one day, you'll get tired and not be able to finish it. Instead, just set easy and achievable goals. And cut yourself some slack if you have a bad day and can't do what you wanted. For me it's "one job a day". It can be anything around the house, as long as I get one job done. But if I miss a day? There's always the next day.

 

If you feel sleepy, splash water on your face, or step outdoors if you can, and take a few breaths of fresh air. Put a cool damp washcloth over the back of your neck. I like mint or ginger root tea as a caffeine-free wakeup.

 

I've also become more conscious of my health and what I'm putting in my body. I've drastically reduced my meat intake and increased my fruits and vegetables. I make homemade juice, smoothies and yogurt. These are simple hobbies and very healthy, as well as saving money. Cooking with fresh produce takes more time and effort - which is a good thing to keep you occupied.

 

My suggestions won't work right away. It could take a few weeks before you start to feel a big difference. But I hope I've given you a few useful ideas.

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Oh and one more thing (after looking at my signature): Modafinil. It's supposed to be for shift-related sleep disorders, but my pdoc prescribed it "off label" when I was in the depths of Zombieville. It's like a stimulant, and helped me stay awake in the early days of my de-zombification. I still take it on rare occasions if I'm having a really bad snoozy day. Might be worth asking your pdoc about.

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Wouldn't a reduction in the latuda, the antipsychotic take care of the drowsiness.  I talked to someone about it.  They say in america off label prescriptions are a no no and cannot be done.  SO no way to get the modafinil even if i wanted it, i heard the price on it is very high.

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