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How long have you been stable?


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It's me again!

I have been really discouraged as of late because I keep having to adjust my meds. And sometimes it takes a long time to find a combo that works. Then things are good for a while, then not so much, and lather, rinse, repeat.

Are there BP people who stay stable for years? Do most of us have to switch and change and raise and lower all the time?

Oh, and do BP people who are NOT rapid cyclers have better success with stability?

I am quite the little cycler, so I wonder if that makes a difference. It's really discouraging to think I am going to be doing this every few months for the rest of my life. This last time another mood stabilizer was added, and I have raised my Lexapro. I just think that it is getting more and more expensive to keep me alive and it all just seems really ridiculous. But necessary.

I really enjoy finding our similarities and differences and I think it helps me understand this crazy MI better.

So thank you for posting!

Sam

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Heya Sam,

I'm not.

I thought I was.

Sort of.

But haven't slept more than a couple hours/night in 16 days and counting.

The good thing is I still feel tired in the daytime, so I'm not.  Not.  Not mixed.

I say that b/c I need to say it.  Frequently.  But I want to crash the car.  Good thing it's parked.

Took Imovane (Canadian version of Lunesta) for a couple nights b/c my psych was concerned about the lack of sleep.

So, slept more but had vivid, vivid nightmares the whole time.

So I'm up now at (ugh) 0139, can't sleep and scared of nightmares.

Like it was for 20 years, maybe 30, B.L. (Before Lamictal).

Upped my Lamictal to 250.  300 I think next week.  Maybe it'll help. 

Placebo is 60% of any drug effect, right?  So if I think upping Lamictal will help, it has a good chance.

The book-therapy I'm doing is helping, and the mood-tracking.  And CB, oh thanks for being here everyone, and talking, and listening.

At any rate.

To address your *actual* question ;) :

For me, I'm not stable now.

Some people I know have been stable, with med tweaks here and there (like mania creeping up in Springtime when the sun comes out!).

Others need a lot of changes, especially those who are affected by life circumstances.

Some people around here seem pretty stable on the whole, I would say, but then I seem to be too most of the time, b/c I can preview/edit/act professional.

--ncc--

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Hey Sam,  I just counted how long I've been stable, and it's 6 months.  That's not long.

Before that I don't think I had been stable, like REALLY stable, for maybe 10 years.  There have been breaks in the clouds, some longer than others.  But, now, right now, I *know* that this is real stability.

Lamictal and seroquel have been the main reasons for it.  I'm hoping like hell they keep working.  I'm loving life.. it's the best thing.  You know I actually enjoy getting out of bed in the morning.  Didn't think that would *ever* happen. ;)

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It's been almost exactly a year since my last major depression, and med change.  My mother was in the hospital, near death from sepsis related to burns she received from the radiation treatments she was getting for her cancer.  I had been been stressed for weeks, and handling it pretty well (I thought), when she went in the hospital I crashed.

I managed to make it to my pdoc BEFORE I ended up in the hospital suicidal.  A big bump of Lamictal did the trick.  It took a while before I stopped beating myself for not being there for my mom, because my bipolar kicked my ass when she needed me most.

Thank god she pulled through with flying colors, and is now in total remission and healthy.

I do cycle, but am able to tough them out.  I know my triggers, and try to avoid them, but sometimes they are just unavoidable.

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Heya Sam,

I'm not.

I thought I was.

--ncc--

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Aw, sweetie, I am so sorry to hear that. You run around helping everyone so much and you do seem good. But this is the place you are supposed to be how you really are. We aren't your patients. We are your friends. I remember when you first got here you were worried that you would be swamped with medical questions from us, and that wasn't why you were here. And now you have sort of slipped into the role of our resident physician. I enjoy reading your posts because you have so much common sense and you are very level-headed. You have so much more to offer than just your medical knowledge.

But you do this all day at work. You don't have to do it here, too. You can, sure. But you also need to talk about you. When I am feeling okay I can be helpful sometimes, and encouraging at the least, but when I am sucking wind, I have to talk about it. I hope you haven't created an identity here where you don't feel comfortable doing that. If that is the case, though, you can always post anonymously. (I've done that before.)

Okay, I am probably getting way too personal. And I am not sure about your placebo effect theory. It sure as heck isn't working with the Lithium I am taking! But, I will get a new mantra: "I think it can, I think it can" and maybe it will work better!

Take care my friend. Stay away from that car. PM me if you'd like. Be careful above all.

Sam

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Well I was stable for about two and a half months. I thought I had it. But no, it seems I don't. Besides, the meds were poisoning me. They have been lowered now, and...wait, I don't wanna write an epic. So, I had been through like a dozen adjustments in six months; some helped, some did the opposite of help.

But even if I get cycling, they cycles are somewhat less intense and definitively shorter. So I am still hoping.

Maybe someday.

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Anelize, anyone who had to deal with your situation would have a melt down! But it's cool that for the most part you are stable and have been for a year.

Unregistered, it sounds like you are doing well, too. I am not sure if what I am trying to figure out includes that med change or not. It doesn't sound like it was a huge deal for you, but a med adjustment nonetheless.

HL, wow, I think six months is significant compared to 10 years of instability. It sounds like you have a good combo going. Dude, you are sounding positively perky! But it's okay, I won't tell anyone!

freesoul, and I remember you, too, as a fellow poster. You have been having a really rough time. I hope things settle down for you. Hang with Saturnine and maybe she can help. And just because you don't think you can use your degree now, who knows what the future will bring. I mean, HL is a good example. Ten years of not being really stable and now he's doing great. For half a year. You just need to hang out with us more. Not that I am the queen of all posters. I come and go, too, but I know when I MUST have some support, I know where to go. So you're doing that right. And the kids are home. And all of these things are good things. And you yourself even have some hope, and we will hope along with you.

I think I am stable too and then I will get wacked upside the head out of left field. I guess we aren't meant to see it coming. It is always so depressing because I want to be doing well. Like I used to do. It's so ironic. I used to think life sucked so much. But the one constant in my life has always been, "you think it sucks now, honey, just hang around and it will only get worse!" I just haven't come to terms with the fact that this freaking disease or illness or disorder or whatever the hell you want to call it is going to fuck with my head for the rest of my life.

Well, now. That was a nice little rant.

Keep the cards and letters comin'!

Sam

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Unregistered, it sounds like you are doing well, too. I am not sure if what I am trying to figure out includes that med change or not. It doesn't sound like it was a huge deal for you, but a med adjustment nonetheless.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah, I got off really lightly. I started to go 'up' very slowly and gently over a couple of weeks, my SO spotted it and told me about it, and it all co-incided with a routine trip to the pdoc. He switched me from amitryptiline to olanzipine as well as my trusty old lamotrigine. The olanzipine knocked me back to normal inside a day. I'm now more in control than ever, functioning well and being productive at work. Apart from now, where I'm posting here, of course...

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Since my dad's suicide 2 years ago, I've been hospitalized 4 times. Before that, in my prior 18 years of bipolarity, I was hospitalized once. That was a huge, huge trigger. I've developed uncontrolled cycling, psychosis that wasn't there before, and PTSD (I found him dead).

I've been stable, since my last mixed episode, for a week. Before that I was stable for about 2 months. My last hospitalization was in December.

I went through a period where I was on the AAP Med Of The Week, and then my med changes stopped. My pdoc wasn't seeing me (kept cancelling due to her sicknesses), for 3 months, so I became my own pdoc and basically did the same thing a former pdoc did, one that stabilized me. It is working. I know I'm not supposed to do this, but it is working and is the only treatment I'm getting. My next appointment is with a new pdoc on April 3rd.

Stable? I think once time heals some of my trauma that I'll go back to stability. I'll go back to slower cycles and less psychosis. Until then, here I am, batshit and attempting to hold down a difficult professional job.

loon of loons

oh yeah, the frequency of my med changes depends on my pdoc of the week. some love to change meds, and some leave them alone. i'd say i get a dose change monthly or every other month, and a new med/change of meds every few months.

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If by stable you mean not lashing out in rages that scare people so much you get threatened with eviction by your roommates, then I've been stable for 3 months now.

OTOH, if by stable you mean not dropping into rapid cycling depressive episodes that leave you catatonic for a day or two and vaguely PTSD-like symptoms including hearing voices from traumatic events as part of your 'normal' narcolepsy-induced hypnopompia, then well, uh... I might have been a bit stable 14 years ago.  But Mom still thinks I was a little screwy back then. =P

Still working on achieving that last <i>Gestalt</i> of stability.

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Heh, Herrfous, you made me laugh.

So, I think it is safe to say that most of us aren't very stable for very long.

So I have been doing the BP thing full-time for almost two years. (Before then it was only a part-time, non-dx'ed basis. Just enough to wither any male brain within a five-mile radius) So I can be done now right? Just done? I want to hang up my BP hat and move on to something else. I'll even offer to keep my anxiety. BP, been nice knowing ya, don't let the door hit you on the way out of my body. Why don't you make like a tree and leave!

I'm tired of not knowing where I start and where the non-reality begins. And the only way to figure it out is to wait until I am not freaking out and rethink everything. I tend to do this overreacting thing. I don't know if anyone can relate to that or not. Ha ha.

Anyway, I am pretty discouraged knowing that I have this to look forward to for the rest. of. my. life. Not even two years and I am already tired of it. I just want to be well again. Why isn't life fair again?

Okay, no more whining.

Um, okay. If I'm not whining I don't have anything to say. Go figure.

Well, this has been a very illuminating thread. I wish stability for us all!!! See, now isn't that better? Yay!

Sam

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I can relate to this. Why is life so unfair sometimes? Why can't I be stable like everyone else. I'm so sick of the ups and downs. I feel like I'll never get rid of them. Even if I eventually find the perfect cocktail. (Although, IMHO there is NO magical combination of meds.)

However... That's just the negative part of me talking. I've been stable for a little more than a month now. It doesn't sound that great. But it's a new record for me. I still have ups and downs, but hey, "normal" people have them too. But they don't make me wanna kill myself or wanting to run around in town talking about God and robbing old ladies anymore. Ehm.

So I definately think it's possible to live a good life with bipolar disorder. It just takes a bit of hard work, more than it does for other people.

The important thing is, NEVER GIVE UP.

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I don't know what it's like to really be stable,  unless you count a continual level of mild depression stable.  I guess that I've been "normal" stable for about a week now.  But don't worry, that'll change.

I don't know whether to tough it out or ask for more Seroquel, which is the only thing that's really helped me.  I don't know how unstable I have to be to necessitate more or different meds.

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Heya,

Well, I caved and took the damn Imovane, and slept for two nights, and now I feel better.

Sleep is everything for me.

(The placebo thing is something that's shown up in study after study of new and old meds.  But obviously not for everyone b/c there's that other 40%!!)

And don't worry folks.

I think I said this to S9 before a few months ago on a migraine thread, and to revlow too I think.

You guys are totally supportive with your own experiences and expertise and warm fuzzies.

We're all here for each other and I like to think I have something to contribute.

I have boundaries.

I'm your friend, not your doctor, but hey, I do know some things and have lots of references and Big Books, so I'll help where/when I feel comfortable.

And I really, really don't mind helping out my friends with medical crap when I can, and when I can't I'll not answer or tell you to go see your doctor!!

The thing about CB is it's the one place I can be honest about crap like car crash wishes and noone tells me to get over it.

;)

<end threadjack>

Anyways.

Sleep, sleep, I like sleep, and I'm upping the Lamictal, and working seems to agree with me too, since my mood dots look better the last couple days.

So.

Hopeful anyways now.

--ncc--

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