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Can anyone relate to this bipolar profile?


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Can anyone relate to this bipolar profile?

 

I’ve been treated for recurrent depression but the odd thing about my depressive episodes is that, without meds, I get “normal” days 1-2 days a week. Sometimes those days are mildly and pleasantly euphoric but nothing close to full blown mania - just good mood, more talkative, sped up, goofy.

 

I have failed on many antidepressants but wellbutrin (which at first triggered a three day hypomania) seemed like a wonder drug for about six months, then depressed days started creeping in, still interspersed with 1 or 2 “normal” days per week and occasional days above normal but under control. Recently, I’ve had episodes of crying for no reason (never had that before), extreme agitation, teariness, irritation, sad and jittery and unable to speak. These flareups tend to dissipate within hours, spontaneously and i feel “normal” again.  

 

My shrink tells me that unipolar depressions are typically consistent and that this kind of cycling is “bipolarish”.  He thinks that I am progressing towards more instability and out of desperation I’m trying Lithium.

 

I realize that bipolar comes in a wide variety of personal profiles and bipolar 1 in the extremes sounds like hell. Wondering if anyone can relate to this kind of profile of quick cycles that suddenly flare up, after years of mostly vegetative depression and some sub-manic euphorias mixed in. 

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Sounds like me but I'm not sure I get euphoria at all... maybe just increased energy/ motivation.  

 

My depressions last anywhere from many months, to only a few hours.  The shorter episodes that last a few hours are the worst ones.

 

As I mentioned in another thread, I was diagnosed with MDD, but doc changed it to bipolar II because my moods are "cyclic".

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Sounds atypical to me too. My depression can linger for months but I always have normal and happy times during it too.  I take wellbutrin too, I think it kicks ass but for me it's a weak AD and useless for anxiety. I like it because it reduces fatige. For some strange reason, I can handle zoloft up to 100mgs and by far the best SSRI I ever tried. Zoloft reduces my depression and anxiety without becoming a zombie.

Edited by KillBytes
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I've always been more depressed than manic. For a long while I was experiencing rapid cycling where I would be up and down within days of each other, sometimes within hours. Nowadays I'm on a good mood stabilizer but my antidepressant leaves a bit to be desired. I've been having a lot of those sudden crying spells and sudden urges to kill myself. These pass fairly quickly but are too much to handle at times. I also suffer from an anxiety disorder which doesn't help matters much. I'm on Wellbutrin but am transitioning to fetzima which so far is okay, though my energy levels have dropped somewhat. My suicidal thoughts have diminished greatly which is a bonus.

But yes I can relate to having full blown depression for a long time and then small flare ups of mania. As a matter of fact I was initially diagnosed with major depressive disorder until I had a full blown manic episode that landed me in the hospital (which was triggered by a med change)

My bipolar isn't the same as yours but I've had similar experiences.

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Is your depression typical, or atypical? Ironically, atypical is the more common type. Atypical depression is reactive, meaning if you have something pleasant to do or look forward to, your mood might temporarily lift. It is probably significant that you have "AD poop out" so much, that is a soft sign of bipolar, as in, not in and of itself enough to diagnose, but an indicator.

 

There are a lot of mood stabilizers, because they have expanded into different classes of med. The classic is lithium of course, and in some ways, it is the only "true" stabilizer. But now several ACs as well as AAPs can be used as a mood stabilizers.

 

I started lithium 2+ years ago, and it really has been amazing. No manias or hypomanias at. all. I was put on it once before, but was started at too high a dose, and became toxic. This time we started from 150mg, and I am up to 600mg, which is less than the previous starting dose was. The major side effect for me is thirst, but I take other meds that contribute. Some people gain weight, it was totally weight neutral for me.

 

larali will have to confirm this, but she may be on cymbalta for pain, and not for mood. I believe the dose is much, much smaller, but someone will probably correct me if I am wrong. I know when I tried it for migraine, I was on very little, like below the starting dose for depression.

Edited by crtclms
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I can definitely relate. I have been on Lamactil for about 9 months now, and for the couple of months my mood has been getting lower and lower, but then I'll have a couple of good days, and think I'm overreacting. I must be getting worse, because if I don't go to the doctor, my husband it going to drive me, and its not often that he intervenes.  To be fair I had several months of being fairly stable, but now I'm quietly weeping in the car on the way to town, so he may have a point. I'm dreading a med change. I was quite happy with the idea of one lot of medication and living happily ever after -sigh-

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I found balance after about a month on lithium. Was also hard to tell if it was just coincidence, but it was nice while it lasted, about a month and a half. I've since discontinued it because it didn't seem to be doing anything. I hope it continues working for you.

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I read that after starting it can actually take a year or two to see the full benefit. As in, there can be improvements that happen after quite some time as well as soon after starting it. I've found this to be true. Glad it is helping you, on a tangent.

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