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I'm on a bunch of stuff, I probably should have put this in the cocktail forum, but it seemed most appropriate here. I'm on Remeron 60MG/day for depression, which I started in last December (and was on from May to August 2015 with great efficancy) and 15MG combined of ER/IR Dexedrine for ADHD (completely changed my life, I was so fatigued/exhausted/uninterested in everything before).

Recently, with the fact that my father is diagnosed with BPD and I have exhibited some symptoms of cycling, my psych/doctor and I decided that with the changing season (as I usually have a bad reaction in cycles that seem to correspond with the seasons, 90 day cycles, etc) that we should try Lamictal. We figured, worst case, it would help stabilize me going into the Winter and keep the more powerful depressive effects off of me (ideation, etc). I was kind of destructive last fall but in a different way than I am now... onto the thing:

I just titrated up to 100MG of Lamictal last night. I was on 25MG for 2 weeks, then 50MG for 2 weeks, that kind of standard stuff. I was surprised we skipped 75MG but whatever. My doc asked me how I was when I went for my check up week 1 into 50MG and I said "punctual." For the first time in my life, I'm not late to anything. That was the most noticeable effect. When I was doing some part time work earlier this year, I had to wake up an hour earlier to make it to work on time, because it was just... monumental effort... to be on time. Now, it's nothing at all. Strange, strange things.

Again, onto the thing I've been struggling with. While the punctuality is nice, I'm having another strange effect that I haven't been able to put my finger on. I almost want to say it is a sense of 'calm' or 'serene' but in a corrupted sense: I almost feel so calm I'm uncomfortable. I've been drinking recently to almost numb this 'numbing' sensation and feel something. But maybe It'll go away and I'll become more 'okay' with it. I've certainly felt more patient and less impulsive and reckless in the last couple weeks (aside from a few instances, which I guess I can attribute to Lamictal's' notorious rocky titration period.)

I can't stand it though. It feels so uncomfortable and odd to feel this sense of NOT-anxiety and NOT-mania in my chest. Like, it overrides everything. I was talking with my step father about it when I went to visit my family last weekend, who is a recovered alcoholic, that I felt more calm and I think I was finally "nailing" what the sensation was, and he commented that I wasn't trying to match his somewhat manic energy. Usually I'd be raising my voice or pacing after him to try and maintain my train fo thought, but he said I was just being 'calm'. No jitters or leg shaking (although I've gotten that under control thanks to other things).

 

I guess, my thread is really to ask, has anyone else felt this sensation? Do they have a word or name for it? Am I reacting poorly to the medication? Usually, like when I took risperdone, it was obvious IMMEDIATELY that I wasn't reacting well (ideation for the first time in my life, extremely pitted and depressive thoughts, the worst I've ever felt) or the effects are somewhat... pinnable. (Zoloft made it hard to orgasm. WB gave me drunk-vertigo, Adderall gave me heightened heart rate awareness (forget the word right now), Ritalin gave me rage and awful rebound memory loss (I forgot my PIN once and had to call my bank because the ATM locked me out)). 

 

Sorry for the long, long thread. I just had to put the thoughts somewhere, I think. I hope I hear back.

 

Thanks.

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I'm gonna update this just because maybe it will resonate with someone else in the future at some point.

Last night was the second night on 100MG. I'm even confused that the titration strategy was straight from 50MG to 100MG. Seems like I should've taken a rest stop at 75MG. Either way...

I woke up with a good uptick in my mood yesterday. Showered, went and did some errands. Felt OK. This morning, after dosing 100MG for the second time last night, I fought through some intense visual/audio hallucinations as I woke (including blindness hallucination: where I 'opened' my eyes and couldn't see still. My first thought was "welp, guess I'm blind now." or other audio/visual hallucinations where I pointed out to myself : these are fake, it is okay; until a gust of wind shot through my window and scared me. I went to close my window and it was closed already. Jesus.) Mirtazapine gave me pretty vivid / visceral dreams/nightmares whenever I upped the dose, so I figured I was pretty much game to tackle anything. The hallucinations this morning weren't out of control, but they kind of exhausted me. Or, maybe the sedation of the lamictal drug lasts for an extra long amount of time (I stayed in bed until about 11AM despite waking up at 7AM at first just because I felt light headed and not OK to really 'begin' the day).

I felt "off" today again. I talked with a friend. I was trying to explain how I felt, relating it to that 'not anxiety' and 'not numb or zombified' but decided that I do feel "removed". I also woke up with a small bump below my lip, looks like a mosquito bite. It doesn't itch, but reviewing the 'lamictal rash' posts all over the web, it seems that it can initially start as something that looks like a mosquito bite and then spreads (one person said it was the small red bump then later in the day it was four; but they also seem to focus on the fact they are itchy, mine is not.) It could be a general skin issue that comes up in that area generally, but of course, I'm extra anxious about it because of the 'rash watch'. 

I liked that I've been very 'punctual' and felt like I was really in control of managing my time and mind. My OCD tendencies (which are mostly directed inward) had lessened, and I felt less chaos in my mind overall. The only downside seems to be a clipping of my general elevated mood (when I'm not in the dumps). But this feeling of "off" or "removed" from my general surroundings or life is just... I think... too overwhelming. And now with this potential rash issue, maybe I should just try something else.

I did like that, if anything, it seemed to be stimulating my libido and sex drive. Not that it was numbed or delayed before, but it seems to have revitalized it.

I'm worried if I try something else I'll run into awful side effects (that subtle vertigo from WB, sexual side effects, etc). I hate saying this, but I don't have to worry about weight gain side effects (at least, not yet. Of course, I'm sure I've cursed myself and the next drug I'll try will load me up with 40 pounds).

Like I said, I am mostly posting in case someone else feels like they are going through the 'rocky' phase of lamictal and can't seem to find anything that relates. I'd argue the hallucinations and such might be a good factor of the 'rocky' phase, including some weird explosive anger I had earlier in the week (last sunday?) but the general 'off' feeling hasn't subsided or gone away. If anything, it's gotten worse to the point where I now would classify it as anxiety inducing. I ran out of my 1mg klonopin yesterday (hoping anyway, that titrating up to 100MG of lamictal might allow me to go off it either way) and subsituted .25 xanax last night and took another today before I left the house because the 'removed' feeling had escalated to a vague sense of doom.

Annoying, when side effects don't seem heavy enough to justify really going off a med, but I can't ignore this. At least the side effects aren't so brutal (ideation, SJS, etc) that it is a non-choice?

 

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A final update on this.

I decided to get off this drug. My psych said it was ok to just stop taking it completely since I wasn't prescribed it for seizures in the first place. Today was my first day 'off' it completely and I felt so much better. None of the overwhelming strange sense of disconnect or removal from the world around me. I also admitted to my psych that it made me compelled to drink a lot more than normal and excessively. I was likely more reckless in the last three weeks than I have been in a long time.

She admitted that if I had come to her with my minor "maybe" acne marks and said "but this drug is a miracle worker" she would've advised I stay on it to see if it kept working and if the rash went away. Since it was really minor, and not inside my mouth or anything. I do get acne in that location occasionally. I admitted that I know my father is being treated with lamictal and other drugs for other stuff, but that he's a heavy drinker that lies about it to most people. I wonder if he feels that same disassociation with the lamictal that I did, but maybe in a different way.

Anyway. I feel a lot better now. I think it was a good experiment and challenge for me. Despite my complaints, it feels strange to say, but I think I carved out a plane or a space inside my mind that says "It's OK" from Lamictal. My friend was on it maybe six years ago and he related the same thing to me a week and a half ago: "when I got off it, I was okay, because it felt like I kept something from it. An understanding of myself that I didn't have." In my case, I felt like I obtained some sense of objectivity or patience that I lacked before. Something I might've stumbled upon eventually, but was somehow short-cutted through with lamictal's strange removal effect.

I do not regret trying the drug, but hope that my posts might resonate or help someone who is feeling similarly. I was only on it to try and combat any increased depression that might kick in during this and next month, and not for seizures or anything else more physical than those chemical imbalances.

I wish everyone luck with their experiences and really, having a kind of 'crisis' over a drug maybe performing well and not performing well is infinitely better than immediately feeling the negative downsides like ideation and the others kick in full force.

Edited by wfqainn
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  • 10 months later...

Lamictal titration is often rocky. Once you get to a stable dose and are on it for a while things settle down. Side effects that happen during titration don't usually follow through once you reach a stable dose.

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