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I can't seem to find the right medication?


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So, I'm new here and I really needed to find someone who could relate to this or someone who could give me some advice at least. I don't where to start this or anything so sorry if this a mile long.

 

I was diagnosed with bi-polar a few years ago. I've seen several psychiatrists and councelors for several years and they all seem to tell me something different. I was even hospilized when I was 16. I use to cut myself all the time and throw these crying fits. I wouldn't go to school so I ended up there for a month. I'm almost 20 now and it only seems to get worse. I've been put on several medications because nothing seems to work for me. I still throw these fits, I can't seem to calm myself down ever.

 

I was in a relationship not to long ago and it ended because of the way I act and the way I am. We would get into fight and even just over the phone and the moment he would walk away and ignore me I would throw these fits. I would scream, cry, throw myself at things. I found myself in a habit of my htting myself in the head and it's scary because I do it so hard I have a migraine the rest of the day or night. It's a wonder I have't given myself pernament damage.

 

I don't know, I find someone rocking back and forth in my chair and walking the floor on a regular day. I have really bad social anxiety so I don't really have any friends. My moods are up in a down like a rollar coaster. I feel happy then mad then sad and it just repeats. I feel really down one day and next day I feel like I can do anything but clearly I have't done anything. I can't even even get a job. I dropped out of school in middle school. This is ruining me and my life it seems.

 

I rock back and forth in my chair and find myself daydreaming. I can never sit still. People see me as this happy person but I get these looks like I'm craxy because of my rocking and pacing. It's like I'm in a battle with myself and I need someone to understand. Does it seem like I was disgnosed wrong? Do I need to be hospilized again to find out what I really need?

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It sounds like you could use a med tweak and some new coping skills.  I'm not sure which meds to suggest b/c I'm not sure what you've tried and what you're on.

 

But as for coping skills, I would suggest some deep (diaphragmatic) breathing, some passive muscle relaxation and some reframing of issues.  (This simply means that you take a phrase that is running through your head like, "I can't handle this" and turn it into something more positive like, "Yes, this doesn't feel good, but I've handled it before and I can handle it now".)  Do you see a therapist?

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Does it seem like I was disgnosed wrong? Do I need to be hospilized again to find out what I really need?

 

Idk if you were diagnosed wrong.  As much as I hate being in the hospital, if I was going through what you are I think I would want to go IP (in-patient) to get more stable.  It must be frustrating to be dealing with everything you are every day.

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You could've been diagnosed wrong, but you could also not be getting the correct treatment for you even presuming the diagnosis is correct (also: there could be additional things going on - like, I don't just have bipolar disorder, but my bipolar disorder was diagnosed first.)

I'm on my mobile so I can't see if you've put anything about meds in your sig file, but mood stabilizers are the standard front-line treatment for bipolar disorder, with some folks requiring additional meds (for the bipolar speciifically) either daily or perhaps just on an as-needed basis. Myself, for example: I take the mood stabilizer Depakote (aka: Epival) daily, for my bipolar disorder, and then I have a round of three additional meds that I use when I have a breakthrough hypomanic episode (I also use these meds for other things, like sleep aid and anxiety management.) Some folks get good results from, say, a daily mood stabilizer and daily antidepressant, and/or a daily atypical-antipsychotic (some, like Seroquel, can act as antidepressants depending on person and dose.)

So I'm talking Lithium, or the anti-convulsants such as Depakote (and all the valproates,) Lamictal, etc. Sometimes an AAP is used as a mood stabilizer, but again it really depends on the person.

I mention all of this because despite your thread title, your post doesn't discuss meds. And depending on how long medication has been attempted as a treatment, well it's entirely possible that even presuming the bipolar Dx is correct, you could just not have found the right med or combo yet. I was very lucky, second mood stabilizer we tried worked great for me, but it took a few months of just that med (depakote) to find out it's The One. And it only took a few months because I respond well to a veeeery low dose - if I required a higher dose, it would've taken even longer.

Going in-patient can be good for med stuff too, like, going up faster on meds than is safe to do on your own. And yes, perhaps for nailing down a more accurate Dx if that is part of the problem.

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The ones I remember that I've been on are Abilify, Zoloft, Bupropion, Prozac, Celexa, Paxil, there was a couple other ones they mixed together but I can't remember the names. It wasn't to long ago. The psychiatrists I'm currently seeing gave me Effexor and I've been taking it for almost a month.

 

I live in a really small town so the psychiatrists I see end up leaving and then I end up seeing someone else. It's like starting over almost.

 

I've been awake for literally for more then 3 days and a broken heart on top of it doesn't help. I have racing thoughts and I can't seem to fall asleep no matter how tired I feel.

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The ones I remember that I've been on are Abilify, Zoloft, Bupropion, Prozac, Celexa, Paxil, there was a couple other ones they mixed together but I can't remember the names. It wasn't to long ago. The psychiatrists I'm currently seeing gave me Effexor and I've been taking it for almost a month.

 

I live in a really small town so the psychiatrists I see end up leaving and then I end up seeing someone else. It's like starting over almost.

 

I've been awake for literally for more then 3 days and a broken heart on top of it doesn't help. I have racing thoughts and I can't seem to fall asleep no matter how tired I feel.

 

For me, if I cant sleep even with my meds, I try OTC stuff like benadryl or something to help me sleep.  Others use melatonin and it helps them (didn't help me though).

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I've taken some Nightquil and some PM pain relievers because I've had such bad headaches and migraines. I'm on Topamax, I've been on that for a long time now but my doctor put me on that because I had these killer migraines. I also have taken melatonin and it never did help me either. I keep so upset I get so hot laying in bed and that keeps me awake more. I've always seem to keep it together just a little but I don't know why but all the sudden I'm just falling apart and I've hit a dead end.

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No sleep and racing thoughts don't necessarily indicate mania or hypomania, but they can be very indicative of it, even if itt's being triggered by an antidepressant. I would suggest contacting a medical professional about this ASAP.

I'm seeing a lot of antidepressants on that list; this is very typical. If you've presented with depression and/or anxiety problems, antidepressants are typically prescribed if medication is part of the treatment being trialled. Your mentioning of being in a small town and so having to 'start over' with a new pdoc every so often explains MUCH and I'm so sorry to hear that it's potentially interfering with your diagnosis and treatment. Hopefully some others may be able to suggest possible ways to work with or around this issue (I have never had this problem and am unable to relate) - the only thing coming to my mind is perhaps keeping a record of your treatment on your own, like, what meds and when, therapy, hospitalizations, symptoms, side effects, diagnoses, etc. But keeping a general knowledge of that about yourself is good to have somewhere, IMHO, anyway. And pdocs in my experience often love to form their own opinions on patients and diagnoses, so, gah. Understandable but gah.

Aaanyway, my point is what I said earlier, I think. Yes. The Dx may be wrong, or incomplete, or the treatment may be wrong/incomplete, or both. I know, ugh, vague. But even if bipolar isn't correct, and especially if it IS correct, seeing if a mood stabilizer works better - and here I specifically mean stuff like Depakote, Lamictal, Lithium, etc. - may be worth it. Some of the possibilities aside from bipolar disorder may still respond favourably to a mood stabilizer. Could be something to ask about.

But if the Effexor is being too activating, giving you racing thoughts and fucking with your sleep, definitely let the pdoc know, and SOON. I'm biased, okay - meds making me feel/behave way led to me flipping out royally batshit and other unplesant things. But still. Something the doc needs to know about. Like, soon. Like, mine wouldn't make me wait the usual weeks for an appointment if I told her a med kept me up for three days and gave me racing thoughts, she'd either see me over her luncch break or direct me on stopping the med or something.

As for the immediate/short-term, getting some sleep SHOULD help. I despise OTC stuff but the suggestion of trying something like Benadryl, if it's okay with other stuff you take, hey if it works to get you a night's sleep then good. Even when I'm dysphoric and hypomanic, making myself get sleep with meds helps me feel so much better, even if I still feel like shit.

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The clinic I've been going to has all my records and files of the years I've been going there. They even have my doctor files and when I was hospilized, but like I said they have a new psychiatrist every so often and when I go there to explain my condition. It's like they nod there head, write a few things down and put me on something new and I'm out. I even tried to talk to them more but it's like they don't really care. I've never had a psychiatrist who would really try with me and I'm really suffering. At the moment they don't even have one over there, they have a nurse practitioner aking the place of one.

 

I've even been out of town to try and find one but I've had no luck and with me not driving and having to reply on my mother who has had ever medical problem there is. It's been really hard. I can try out the idea of a mood stabilizer but you know psychiatrist never like when you do things like that (Or at least ones I've seen). They look at me like I spend to much time on the internet. When really im desperate and I need help.

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Yes, I know what you mean about the suggestions. And yeah it's true they have your records. I really wish I had ideas on that front (always-changing pdocs front,) I've dealt with ER pdocs and pdocs on the IP ward, and various GPs in walk-in clinics, but I've been fortunate to see the same outpatient pdoc for years now, and she also listens. I want to clone her.

It might be possible to bring up a switch of medication types in a more... general sense. The sleep/thoughts symptoms need to be reported regardless, but that could also then be used as a sort of opening. Like, instead of suggesting 'can we try a mood stabilizer,' reporting your symptoms could lead to asking if the doc thinks the Effexor or whatever is causing them, if the doc thinks yes that likely means you're going off it so now the question is what to try next, and then maybe ask if the doctor thinks another antidepressant is on the table or perhaps what does the doc think about looking into non-antidepressant meds? Much less direct, and taking care to specifically ask what the doc thinks is going on/you should do/etc.

I've had to do my share of, er, doc-wrangling, with docs who aren't my usual ones. They can indeed be touchy about the patient suggesting stuff. I apologize for not including some sort of suggestion on trying to deal with that until now - I'm sure others around here have additional ideas too.

Edited by Mirazh
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I've taken some Nightquil and some PM pain relievers because I've had such bad headaches and migraines. I'm on Topamax, I've been on that for a long time now but my doctor put me on that because I had these killer migraines. I also have taken melatonin and it never did help me either. I keep so upset I get so hot laying in bed and that keeps me awake more. I've always seem to keep it together just a little but I don't know why but all the sudden I'm just falling apart and I've hit a dead end.

 

I was having migraines almost every single day at one point (changed from a couple a week to about every day).  My pdoc put me on propranolol, and they went right away.  Almost instantly after starting the med.  I was on 10 mg pill, and worked my way up to 3 a day.  Might be worth a shot asking pdoc for it if possible.

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Another possible type of medication to consider would be atypical antipsychotics. The first medication I was ever put on was Seroquel. These kinds of medications are quite strong sedatives at certain doses, and for me, it certainly helped with restlessness and anxiety. It can also help with sleep. It wasn't for me in the longterm, but it is something to consider besides the typical mood stabilizers.

 

Regarding how to get the doctors to listen, I don't know either. I've changed pdocs a lot in my life, and usually when I get to see a new one, I bring a sheet of paper (or five) with a summary of symptoms over the years. I've found that useful. Writing down your current symptoms might also help. It's easy to forget in a doctor's office.

 

Hope you find the right meds for you.

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You're taking Topamax and still having a lot of headaches, or did I misunderstand? There are many, many meds that treat migraine prophylactically, and if this one pooped out, or never helped in the first place, it's time to move onto the next med.

 

But if I did misunderstand, Topamax can be sedating at first, but usually that side effect goes away. So if you are relying on the Topa for sleep, it probably isn't going to help.

 

Sorry if I misunderstood, I seem to be tripping over sentences lately.

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I was put on Topamax a while ago and it seems to help a little but somedays they get so bad I feel like the rooms spinning and I have to sleep it off. I don't know if I need a higher dose of that or I need something else. But like I said previously I have episodes of where I hit myself and I get really bad headaches and migraines after that. I see my doctor Thursday because I called. I've been having them really bad and I've had forgetfulness. Also been having trouble using my left arm so I really hope I didn't cause damage to my head.

 

I was able to get sleep finally. Seems like during the day I tend to sleep better. It was broken sleep but it was better then none at all. Three days without sleep was really was bad.

 

I do appreciate all the help and suggestions and what not. Really helps. 

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