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Hypomania: Both Dysphoric and the good kind

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With the holidays being stressfull and all, I've been swinging up to the high side a bit. My current meds are 400mg of Topamax and 400mg of Lamictal.

For the whole month of December, I have been on 10mg of Lexapro. It was increased to that dose early that month (I had been on 5 mg for 2 months before that). When we increased Lex to 10mg in early Dec., I also added 5-HTP (a serotonin precurser) to it. I started taking 600mg of it, 200mg 3xday. This is so I could boost the Lexapro. Also, I started taking 6000mg of Tyrosine per day to jolt up my dopamine and norepinephrine levels for quick energy pickups since I would be working hard at work during the super busy days at work.

Well, over Christmas week, I started to, apparently, get hypomanic and have a bit of anger problems as well. Basically, alternating between feel-good hypomania and dysphoric hypomania. I'm bipolar II, so I don't have full-blown mania; just the hypomania, hypo-mixed states (hypomania fused with severe depression), and depression.

The Hypomania started to show up in my driving. One night, on a 2 lane curvy road, I went 100 MPH in my Plymouth Sundance RS to try to outtake somebody. I almost ran off the road when I hit a very sharp curve as my tires chattered and squealed like they do on racing video games (Need For Speed or Grand Turismo). Scary part...18-wheeler came on oncoming lane just down the road.

On Christmas Eve day, on the way to work, I got my mother a give from Barnes 'N Noble. I didn't drive my car since it was in the shop. I drove my parents' van. Since it took longer than I thought in that store, I was biting on time to get to work.

So, I was in a rush. Well, I Sped in my parents' van. I went 75 in a 55, 85 in a 60, 75 in a 45, up to 90 in a 55, 70 in a 35, and 65-70 in a 55 (then 45). I cut 2 cars off when I entered the parking lot to my Wal-Mart. What a Rush!!! It took me around 10 minutes to get to where I needed to go, which would have normally took someone almost 30 min. I was also manually downshifting their automatic transmission and kept it out of O/D the whole time.

Another day, I hauled ass in my dad's '92 Toyota Camry when I had to hurry to work. I kept going from 0-60 MPH as QUICKLY as possible. It has a V6 engine, and that thing WILL GO!!!!!

Overall, I was supposed to have an appt w/ my pdoc 10 days ago, but we moved it due to lack of funds. We are going next week instead. I stopped the Lexapro because I felt that it wasn't worth continuing despite it giving me benefits in terms of helping emotional reciprocity w/ people, getting rid of paranoia and guilt feelings.

The lack of motivation problems, "Getting 3 hours of sleep a night for 2 weeks" problem, Hypomania, and the anger problems were become way too much of a problem for me to stay on the drug. I don't know if it was because I was taking too much Lexapro, or if it was certain supplements I was mixing with it, or not.

Withdrawals from the drug have been some problem, though. I did taper off: 10mg>5mg>0mg, holding each dose for 1 week.

My symptoms:

Effected people tend to overestimate their capabilities.**

They feel inflated self-esteem or grandiosity.**

Example: Feeling extra good about myself in general I guess and feeling overly confident. Like, when driving, I feel like I OWN the road and ignore most traffic signs.

Increased alcohol consumption.

They fail to see the obvious risks involved in their ventures**

=Example: Speeding, driving my Sundance like a Race-Car, going 115-120 MPH at some times, not keeping my car under 100 MPH occasionally, cutting people off when turning into parking lots so I can shave off a couple minutes in getting to work when in a hurry (which was almost all the time lately). Constantly passing cars aggressively (I manual shift down to "2" on the gear shift selector in my car for this for jolts of quick passing). Luckily, I still have a Clean driving record.

Making lots of plans.**

Example: Planning to do a buncha soup-up performance modifications to my car that I didn't originally intend to plan to do initially at that time.

Excessive involvement in pleasurable activities.**

Example: Manually shifting my gears constantly on my automatic transmission using my floor shift selector; Going from 1-2-D when accelerating from a red light. Whenever I do this, I'm laughing my ass off as I hear my engine roar and my RPM needle rise close to the red and ABRUPTLY drop as I hear the upshift and the JERK And JOLT associated with it as I move my Floor Shift Selector from "1" to "2" and then from "2" to "D" to shift!  :P   On interstate, I manual shift and wind out 2nd gear up to 80 MPH and then move shift selector up to "D" to get MYSELF up to 3rd gear.

Increased interest in uncharacteristic sexual flirting.

They wish of doing several things at once.**

Example: I have 20 IE windows open on my computer at the same time. I play winamp, download songs, play games, browse several sites at same time, and work on Excel projects as well. I disengage, engage, mulitask, and stuff at the same time. It's like, I'm sharp as glass cognitively.

Decreased need for sleep.**

=Example: Getting 3-4 hours of sleep a night for 2 week straight and not feeling particularly that tired. Maybe, I would sleep 8 hours one night to make up a little bit of it.

More sensitive than usual.**

=Example: Getting mad easily. Having a greater tendency to snap at others if they screw with me. Using more profanity than I do otherwise (I normally don't use it very much). Basically, I fly off the handle easily and have shorter fuse. Rudeness. I switch to Dysphoric Hypomania in this case.

They feel like taking too many responsibilities.

Increase in goal-directed activity**

=Example: Spending 10 hours a night, staying up until 6am creating massive Microsoft Excel Projects for companies. A couple days, I spent 21 hours straight working on them w/o a break.

Now, Geodon: That EVIL stuff gave me FULLBLOWN manic attacks. Delusions, auditory stuff, Schizo-like symptoms, Excitation, Agitation, euphoria, SEETHING RAGE, the WORKS!!!!  :)   ;)   :ninja: Everytime I went to the hospital and/or the ER, I was taking that God Awful drug! hmm....

If anyone wants a Mood Destabilizer, take this.

If I did a mania rating for what each drug caused, and I compared Lexapro to Geodon, I'd rate Lexapro itself as causing a 3 at most on the Mania rating scale and Geodon a 10!!!!

With Lex, it was most likely other supplements (5-HTP) synergizing with it that was contributing as well.

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Was your psychiatrist aware of the complete collection of supplements you were taking along with the Lexapro?  Even on their own, supplements can have significant mood-altering effects in some people.  Keep an eye on what happens.  (You're doing that already, I know, but I just thought I'd say....)  If your psychiatrist doesn't already know about a) the supplements or b) dropping the lexapro, definitely go over each one in the most excruciating detail time and will allow.  Knowing what went wrong this time might help you get it right with the next med tweak.  Full disclosure. 

It sounds like the last little while has been a mighty ride for you.  Enjoy and make use of whatever good comes out of it, but try to refrain from speed driving, okay?  We'd like your continued company. 

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Ick. I can totally relate to the driving and lack of sleep/mind racing.

Right now I've got about 8 browser windows open, winamp, world of warcraft on one computer, other computer has general work stuff kicking around (Right now data recovery software on one drive and a general scan on another.

Plus talking to about 8 people on instant messenger and trying to write an email.

A word of warning: Stay away from crotch rockets. They're even worse when you're manic.

I've actually made a 200 mile trip down a back highway in just over an hour a few times. I'm probably going to end up selling it just because it's too much temptation.

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Lexapro made me manic as hell.  Nasty stuff. *shivers*  I got three speeding tickets on the way to my parents (a 5 hour trip) coming down from it.  This was probably 10 days after I had taken the last pill.  I NEVER speed.  Oh, well. 

Never say never, live and learn, and all that.

I'll never take it again.  I don't mess around with the amino acids, I'm too afraid to toy with my cocktail.  Let sleeping dogs ....

Take care--I enjoy your posts.

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Thru the holidays, the mood stabilizers, I felt, did do a Great job of keeping me grounded during the dysphoric switches. I didn't flip-out or anything, or actually snap at people. Things/thoughts didn't go beyond 'internalization'. I didn't ever really feel that agitated or anything at work even during the busiest of days in my dysphoric hypomanias. The agitation when dealing with Non-Common Sense Customers was comparitively mild as opposed to Super Agitated w/ noises Amplified, which was pre-Topamax. Pre-Topa, I'd have actual impulse feelings of going off on them during hypo-mixed states.

My mother thought that I did have the best holiday year as far as stability went depression-wise. Last year, depression hit bad as did 2 years ago, and to some extent, 3 years ago.

The GABA-Effect of Topamax at work???

Note, too, though, that I take a specialized Fish Oil Mood Formula by Country Life. It has an EPA DHA ratio of ~7:1. Mixing that specialized type with Conventional Fish Oil, I get a 2:1 EPA:DHA ratio. Taking this, getting a total of 3600mg of EPA, is supposed to "balance" dopamine and serotonin.  :)   If I go without this customized blended 2:1 ratio, I get badly depressed.

I consider this Fish Oil blend my primary anti-depressant now, in place of Lexapro. I've learned the hard way not to go without it. My mind "slips out of gear" if I miss it after five days.

Because of this, I consider this Oil a Third medication in my cocktail of Topamax and Lamictal now.

"You lose oil pressure, you lose your mind..."  ;)

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