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I can't take it anymore!!!


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I'm new here, although I've looked through the boards a lot since my diagnosis.  A little over 2 years ago I was diagnosed with MDD, and within 2 months escalated to BPII.  I also got diagnosed with PTSD, Genralized Anxiety Disorder, and ADD.  Since then, I have been on I-don't-even-know-how-many medications, definitely over 20, trying to find the right combination.  Currently I'm on Pristiq 50mg, Lithium 300mg, and Adderall 20mg as needed. 

I read a lot of things on here that say it will get better, just hold on, etc.  But ok seriously 2 years now of different medications and I still can't find a proper fit?  How long did it take you to find the right combo?  Because honestly at this point I just feel like giving up on everything.  I just lost my job (which I've been through 5 in the past year), I have been unable to live on my own for over 6 years, I can't keep a relationship, my finances are always horrible, from being on all these meds I have gained SO much weight (I used to weigh this much before and I worked SO hard to lose 100 lbs, so to get back to this point is extremely depressing), from gaining so much weight I have constant back pain, I mean I could go on and on. 

I usually see my pdoc every month but due to some issues I haven't seen him in almost 3 months.  I do go see him on July 12.  Of course I'm going to let him know how I'm feeling, and we'll probably change my meds again, but it's just frustrating.  I miss how I felt before.  And I mean, I've always kind of not been normal, I've had instability since I was 15, but it wasn't this bad.  It feels like the older I'm getting is the worse I'm getting and that absolutely terrifies me.  I just want to be able to enjoy life again.  I have no desire to do anything anymore.  I'm extremely apathetic (which is why I just lost my job).  My head just is constantly in this fog; I don't feel like I'm living, I'm just here.  I'm just depressed all the time.  I honestly miss the mania sometimes because at least during that time I can function as a human being.

So I guess my main questions are 1) how long did it take you to get to a stable point with your meds?  2) have you noticed that you've gotten worse as you've gotten older?  3)  how do I keep moving forward when it feels like all hope is lost?

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But ok seriously 2 years now of different medications and I still can't find a proper fit? How long did it take you to find the right combo? 

I can understand the frustration.

Took me approx 12 years after my SZA diagnosis to finally find the right cocktail.  Before that everything around meds started in 1991.  Some people find it sooner though.

Quote

So I guess my main questions are 1) how long did it take you to get to a stable point with your meds?  2) have you noticed that you've gotten worse as you've gotten older?  3)  how do I keep moving forward when it feels like all hope is lost?

(see above quote for #1 question).

#2 ... I was worse before getting better.

#3 ... It is a hard thing to do.  Day by day, minute by minute.  That is how it went for me at some points.

Forgot : schizoaffective = SZA

Edited by melissaw72
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It took me a long time on the med-go-round to get meds that really made a difference, with minimal side effects. I'm on lamictal, abilify wellbutrin (kinda.. need my script refilled), clonz, and gabapentin (the last 2 for anxiety that is not part of the bipolar). It seems to work for me. It took about 9 years to finally find this combo. 9 whole freakin' years. SO it is very tough and yes very frustrating. I wanted to say F it all and just go off meds many times because I felt I wouldn't be able to find something that would help me. You'll eventually find it, but it is like playing roulette... so many different drugs out there, so many combos... pdocs would know best on what would work. I highly suggest talking to a licensed Clinical Psychologist. I went to one and he discovered exactly how MY brain worked, doing a QEEG study. He found medication that would work for me, and then my pdoc prescribed it. I found out what parts of my brain are running too fast, which are too slow, which parts are not focusing on daily tasks (due to running so fast I can't catch all the information being thrown at me) and which parts of my brain are not communicating well with each other. It was very, very helpful. Try finding one licensed to do QEEG on your brain. It is painless. YOu just sit there with a cap on your head. And it prints out a 200 page report, and a picture of your brain!

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It took me going through a suicide attempt to get the diagnosis for schizoaffective,  that was 5+ years ago. I ended up in the ward for a period of time I can not remember anymore. I was given Welbutrin, Ativan and  Zyprexa. I was a freakin zombie for awhile because of those scripts. I could not find the will to move off the couch to do something as simple as go to the bed, or get a drink of water, heck, I remember one time I almost relieved myself on the couch because I was such a zombie. I gained weight and lost all my creative juice. I then went off of my meds because I hated them, went back to drinking heavily and using recreational drugs to self medicate, this made me lose several jobs/relationships/places to live etc. I had another episode where I was convinced demonic beings were out to attack me and I was a government experiment that was trained to hunt demons. I ended up back in the ward and full of delusion and paranoia. after I got out again they scripted me the same freakin meds. I did not take them, I believed my diagnosis was a misdiagnosis and that they were just feeding me these zombie pills to get me out the door. So years went by and I ended up in a treatment facility, which I still attend. I was prescribed Abilify and in a really low dose, just one 5mg tab a day. That stopped some of the depression and keeps the auditory hallucinations down. Now I am on two 5mg tabs once daily because I was having issues with controlling the coming and going waves of depression or mania, however now I am looking at my creative juice still and seeing that it is still gone, (I write, play instruments, and sing) The mood balancing that the meds do now seems to have killed this in me. So I am still working on mine, I am in a greater place right now because of the meds and the dosage and all the skills I have learned from my councilor, (CBT and DBT) however I am also frustrated because they are not perfect yet. I do not know if they will ever be fully balanced. So as of right now I am in a good enough place with my meds 5+ years later. But, I do not feel whole, I feel that I am just part me and the rest is in some weird slumber.

To answer your actual questions though: 1) My meds are not perfect but they are better about 5 years of trial and error.

2) over the years I have gone off on and on my meds with no skills to cope or maintain a healthy lifestyle. Each year got a little harder, every time I attempted to do this alone, it got harder.

3) This is a hard one, I would suggest finding a support group within a treatment facility or with a professional. You are not alone, I felt utterly lost and helpless this last go around before I found a treatment facility. I had to work hard to keep myself from just slowly decaying under my blankets of my bed. I had to force myself to get out of bed and clean or take a shower, I would call my mother or my sister and hang out with them, to get out of the house, I would do these things to keep from just sitting in the depression and I would practice positive statements. Hope is a hard one because the smallest thing can shatter our idea of hope and security.

I would recommend talking with your primary care doctor and ask for references for a treatment facility or someone that can help you balance out the meds with behavior skills and coping skills so that the meds are not so prevalent. I do not recommend going off your meds cold turkey. Also, speak with a professional before you change your meds yourself. Sure, mania keeps you ecstatic and happy go lucky on occasion, but the bad choices and the impulsiveness might get you in trouble with yourself and others. In my experience anyway.

Edited by dancingphantom
left out the answer to the original questions
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On June 30, 2016 at 9:42 PM, ninjashera said:

I'm new here, although I've looked through the boards a lot since my diagnosis.  A little over 2 years ago I was diagnosed with MDD, and within 2 months escalated to BPII.  I also got diagnosed with PTSD, Genralized Anxiety Disorder, and ADD.  Since then, I have been on I-don't-even-know-how-many medications, definitely over 20, trying to find the right combination.  Currently I'm on Pristiq 50mg, Lithium 300mg, and Adderall 20mg as needed. 

I read a lot of things on here that say it will get better, just hold on, etc.  But ok seriously 2 years now of different medications and I still can't find a proper fit?  How long did it take you to find the right combo?  Because honestly at this point I just feel like giving up on everything.  I just lost my job (which I've been through 5 in the past year), I have been unable to live on my own for over 6 years, I can't keep a relationship, my finances are always horrible, from being on all these meds I have gained SO much weight (I used to weigh this much before and I worked SO hard to lose 100 lbs, so to get back to this point is extremely depressing), from gaining so much weight I have constant back pain, I mean I could go on and on. 

I usually see my pdoc every month but due to some issues I haven't seen him in almost 3 months.  I do go see him on July 12.  Of course I'm going to let him know how I'm feeling, and we'll probably change my meds again, but it's just frustrating.  I miss how I felt before.  And I mean, I've always kind of not been normal, I've had instability since I was 15, but it wasn't this bad.  It feels like the older I'm getting is the worse I'm getting and that absolutely terrifies me.  I just want to be able to enjoy life again.  I have no desire to do anything anymore.  I'm extremely apathetic (which is why I just lost my job).  My head just is constantly in this fog; I don't feel like I'm living, I'm just here.  I'm just depressed all the time.  I honestly miss the mania sometimes because at least during that time I can function as a human being.

So I guess my main questions are 1) how long did it take you to get to a stable point with your meds?  2) have you noticed that you've gotten worse as you've gotten older?  3)  how do I keep moving forward when it feels like all hope is lost?

Well I'm still in the mist of finding a stable.point though I am lot more stable than I was but I have been seeing my np for a year and a half she she is very good at her job she always scales me up very slowly  on my meds, and well regarding the worse as it gets older I feel like yes I thought I was just extremely depressed  for 6 years then I started having bad mood swings around 19-20 , and how to keep moving well I know it's hard but you have to slow it down an realize thus stuff takes time an you have to find joy in the small things 

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After being diagnosed it took three years to come up with a combo that more or less worked and that I could tolerate. I didn't find a really good one for a couple more years after that, and then I was stable, mostly, some blips, for 8-9 years? This summer has been a shitshow, but on the whole, my meds clearly make my life better. I enjoy most of it, most of the time.

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After I was diagnosed SZA (Before that I was Bipolar 1), it took 10-12 years to get a cocktail that worked. Like gearhead, I was mostly stable but at times went through depression and hypo/mania, and sometimes a med tweak.  Overall though it is a good cocktail for me, and I would rather be here IRL than in my "other" world with hallucinations and delusions.

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Some MI is hard to treat,especially those illnesses that have multiple components. Like bipolar with its' up and downs. There  are so many combos to try and often you find  that works for this symptom but it makes other symptoms worse.So there is lots of trialing until you hit the right combo.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you for all of your answers!
Went and saw pdoc last week, we increased lithium to 600mg and it seems to have helped bring me out of my funk. The only downsides? It has really brought out my anxiety and I have gained a lot of weight despite eating right and working out. My anxiety is always there, the severity changes. I constantly have to tap my fingers together with my right hand to keep from feeling like I'm losing my mind. I also have begun picking at myself more. Don't know if I should stick with lithium and add an anti anxiety or if I should try something else.

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Don't know the answer to that, but sounds like things are at least partly better. I took many different meds but I think whenever I felt somewhat better, I figured why mess with improvement, and didn't push to relieve the remaining symptoms. For me, that may have been a mistake, so I'm inclined to say, if something still isn't right, discuss working on that, too. Once I had a diagnosis tweak, it didn't take long to get better meds, partly because by then, I had such a long med history to learn from. Trialing meds is what we do, I guess, but I wish there was a way to speed up the process. 

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On 7/28/2016 at 1:31 PM, ninjashera said:

Thank you for all of your answers!
Went and saw pdoc last week, we increased lithium to 600mg and it seems to have helped bring me out of my funk. The only downsides? It has really brought out my anxiety and I have gained a lot of weight despite eating right and working out. My anxiety is always there, the severity changes. I constantly have to tap my fingers together with my right hand to keep from feeling like I'm losing my mind. I also have begun picking at myself more. Don't know if I should stick with lithium and add an anti anxiety or if I should try something else.

I'm glad the lithium is helping!  (in bold) I would give lithium some more time to get in your system (unless there are life-threatening side effects), and when your blood levels reach a therapeutic level.

Are you any other medications that might contribute to the weight gain? 

Do you have a therapist (tdoc)?

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