View Full Version : How do mood stabilisers affect you?


Fuzzy12
11-20-12, 08:11 AM
Both in positive, negative ways. I don't know anything about them except that they make your highs less high and your lows less low. Do they affect you in any other way? How do they make you feel?

Thanks :)

Raye
11-20-12, 09:15 AM
My mood stabilizer makes my lows less low. I started mine in the middle of Oct, and havent had a depressive episode at all until last Sat, it only lasted 2 days though instead of the normal 4-5 days.

Fuzzy12
11-20-12, 09:18 AM
And apart from the lows not being so intensive or of long duration, do you feel differently as compared to the time when you were not taking mood stabilisers?

Raye
11-20-12, 09:24 AM
yes, definitely. When I'm not having lows, I actually feel quite good inside. I used to have this sick, sad, empty ' it hurts to breathe' feeling in the pit of my stomach all day, everyday. With the mood stabilizer I'm on ( I can't speak for other mood stabilizers or other people) but for me that feeling is gone.

But my pdoc says I can't use this med as a stand alone, will have to have a med combo to work properly. I'm not so sure though:eyebrow:

Abi
11-20-12, 09:25 AM
It has a "numbing" effect which is not so fun.

Also makes you zombieish and very hungry and overweight.

sarahsweets
11-20-12, 09:35 AM
I'm ok ....seems to keep things relatively even.

Fuzzy12
11-20-12, 09:41 AM
yes, definitely. When I'm not having lows, I actually feel quite good inside. I used to have this sick, sad, empty ' it hurts to breathe' feeling in the pit of my stomach all day, everyday. With the mood stabilizer I'm on ( I can't speak for other mood stabilizers or other people) but for me that feeling is gone.

But my pdoc says I can't use this med as a stand alone, will have to have a med combo to work properly. I'm not so sure though:eyebrow:

Are you all on stimulants? Abi, you aren't right? Do the mood stabilisers help with ADHD like symptoms?

:eek: I'm just reading a paper (http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8342175) on cognitive impairments in BD II :eek:
:eek: -> problems with executive function & working memory :eek:

Raye
11-20-12, 09:51 AM
I'm not on any ADD meds at the moment. The pdoc wants to get the bi polar depression under control first. I believe I posted to you in another thread you started about ADD issues being ignored.

dogluver358
11-20-12, 03:12 PM
I feel more even, and happy. I get along with my friends and family better. I'm not so destructive anymore. It's a unique kind of happiness, not over the top. I guess it's what normal feels like. I can feel happy without going to excess. I don't get periods where I have all the energy in the world, but I'm intensely angry and agitated. Not dysphoric. It brings the suicidal lows up. I no longer feel like I don't want to live anymore. I still get sad sometimes, but a normal-kind of sad. It's in response to things, not just because of nothing and its transient, it doesn't last for months and months and wind me up in the hospital. I'm no longer feeling like a lunatic either. I have normal people mood swings...I'm happy when I should be happy, sad when something might make me feel sad. It's less extreme and more even. I don't feel numb. I still feel a range of emotions, but in a normal even keel kind of way.

I wouldn't change my mood stabilizer for the world. I actually like being normal in that department. ADHD is another story, still trying to get that one under control with the proper med and dosage.

Does that help any Fuzzy? I don't really know how to explain it too well.

avjgirsijdhtjhs
11-20-12, 03:47 PM
Have they improved anybody's sleep, like as in made it more refreshing, or stopped chronic early-waking insomnia?

dogluver358
11-20-12, 04:20 PM
Have they improved anybody's sleep, like as in made it more refreshing, or stopped chronic early-waking insomnia?

Yes, certain ones can. Mine causes drowsiness so I take it at night and it helps me sleep. It can also help with the insomnia related to mania and hypomania.

keliza
11-21-12, 01:31 AM
When they work, they:

1. Put a floor on the lows, so my depressive episodes aren't as crippling.
2. Put a ceiling on the highs, so my hypomanic episodes don't turn into full-blown psychotic manias.
3. Slow down the racing thoughts to a manageable flow.
4. Help me fall asleep and stay asleep, and wake up actually feeling like I've slept instead of like my brain has been spinning its gears all night while I was unconscious.
5. Reduce general irritability, and especially PMS-related irritability. Used to have such severe PMS it was more like PMDD, but mood stabilizers really took the edge off that.
6. Decreased panic attacks.
7. Decrease the frequency and duration of mood episodes in general.

The meds don't stop mood episodes, but they definitely make me have fewer of them, and the episodes I do have are generally less intense. I am able to sleep better and have fewer racing thoughts, day and night. Overall I just feel more centered and stable, like a healthier, more high-functioning person.

avjgirsijdhtjhs
11-21-12, 02:12 AM
wake up actually feeling like I've slept instead of like my brain has been spinning its gears all night while I was unconscious.

Does it\they (which one\ones?) do this during depressive phases?

Abi
11-21-12, 04:51 AM
Have they improved anybody's sleep, like as in made it more refreshing, or stopped chronic early-waking insomnia?

For improved quality of sleep, take 10mg of Ambien or Sonata or 0.5 - 1 mg of Xanax [regular IR] to knock you out, + 0.5 mg Klonopin to keep you asleep and prevent nightmares, etc.

Fuzzy12
11-21-12, 08:38 AM
If you have bipolar disorder, and then get diagnosed with ADHD, would you still be able to get prescribed stimulants?

crystal8080
11-21-12, 12:28 PM
Being on a mood stabiliser has helped me tremendously. I am still prescribed Dexedrine.

dogluver358
11-21-12, 10:41 PM
Yes, Fuzzy. I'm on stimulants. However I had to be stable first and if there is any hint of swinging up, I have to stop them. Sometimes it's hard to get them back.

keliza
11-22-12, 01:00 AM
Does it\they (which one\ones?) do this during depressive phases?

For me the one that improved my sleep the most was Lamictal. I was on it for about a year before I had to stop because of skin-related side effects, which was such a huge bummer because it worked beautifully for me. I was in one of the worst depressive episodes of my life when I started taking it, and by about 3 weeks in I noticed a drastic improvement in my sleep. It was the first time in my life I had EVER felt like I was getting adequate sleep. I slept for 8-9 hours instead of 5-6, and woke up feeling refreshed, awake, and pleasant.

Trileptal has also helped with my sleep, but not to the same degree. Trileptal mostly just takes the irritable edge off and slows down/quiets the racing thoughts so my brain is able to actually fall asleep. Unfortunately I still wake up with the feeling that my brain has been up all night even though I haven't been, and I only sleep about 6-7 hours before I'm up and can't get back to sleep.

For me, neither Xanax, Ativan, nor Klonopin has helped me sleep. I was tripping balls on Ativan, took it once and could not take it again, it felt like a really bad high. I didn't feel the Klonopin at all, so my doc upped the dose and then I had a bizarre side effect where my platelet count went through the floor and I was bruising everywhere. Xanax doesn't make me drowsy when I take it, it makes me tired about 5-6 hours after I take it. But when I sleep it feels weird, too groggy, it still doesn't feel like restorative sleep. I can't take sleep aids like Lunesta because I have a sleep disorder that is exacerbated by sleep aids.

I've honestly given up on trying to get a refreshing night's sleep. Maybe one day I'll find another medication that worked the way Lamictal did, but as of yet I have not found one.

Abi
11-22-12, 04:33 AM
k: Depakote might, if Lamictal did.

Roofies are good but not available to you guys in the US.

Have you tried combing Ambien or Sonata [to put you to sleep] with Xanax XR [to keep you asleep]?

avjgirsijdhtjhs
11-22-12, 11:54 AM
I don't have bipolar, but I do have early-waking insomnia, and always wake exhausted and unrefreshed.

For improved quality of sleep, take 10mg of Ambien or Sonata or 0.5 - 1 mg of Xanax [regular IR] to knock you out, + 0.5 mg Klonopin to keep you asleep and prevent nightmares, etc.

Probably the only physical dependence (AKA withdrawal) causing drugs I'd be willing to take are ones that have such a long half life, that they effectively self-taper if you quit them cold turkey.

I figure my sleep problem is either worrying about important needs\wants (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1370733&postcount=4), which is causing too much (non-refreshing) REM sleep at the expense of deep (refreshing) sleep (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1362055&postcount=1), or sleep apnea, which is robbing me of deep sleep. As far as drugs that are supposed to cut down on REM sleep, and increase deep sleep, I've tried fluoxetine (titrating up to 60 mg per day and staying there for a month and a half), and Citalopram at 20 mg per day. Neither stopped my early waking insomnia, or made my sleep more refreshing. Because of this, I figure that other SSRIs, SNRIs, tricyclics, and other serotonin-effecting antidepressants probably wouldn't work. The only sleep specific drug that I know of that increases deep sleep is Xyrem, but it causes withdrawal (which I don't want), and even if it didn't, or the withdrawal was minor and worth it, I doubt a doc would prescribe it.

I've got a recording oximeter coming in the mail that can be worn at night to check for oxygen saturation dips during sleep, which can thus rule in apnea, although it can't rule out apnea, since a person can have significantly sleep disrupting apnea without having oxygen saturation dips.

If it's (obstructive) apnea, then well, I guess options like CPAP, surgery, need to be looked in to, since weight loss (I've weighed in the 160's (pounds) (at 5 feet 10 inches tall) for periods of time during these last few years of super ****ty sleep).

If it's too much REMing at the expense of deep sleep (haven't done a sleep study to confirm this), then I'll need to get super rich so I won't worry about money related ****, and can buy a house, and can stop REMing about problems that are caused by REMing too much at the expensive of deep sleep, and can break the cycle.

For me the one that improved my sleep the most was Lamictal. I was on it for about a year before I had to stop because of skin-related side effects, which was such a huge bummer because it worked beautifully for me. I was in one of the worst depressive episodes of my life when I started taking it, and by about 3 weeks in I noticed a drastic improvement in my sleep. It was the first time in my life I had EVER felt like I was getting adequate sleep. I slept for 8-9 hours instead of 5-6, and woke up feeling refreshed, awake, and pleasant.

Trileptal has also helped with my sleep, but not to the same degree. Trileptal mostly just takes the irritable edge off and slows down/quiets the racing thoughts so my brain is able to actually fall asleep. Unfortunately I still wake up with the feeling that my brain has been up all night even though I haven't been, and I only sleep about 6-7 hours before I'm up and can't get back to sleep.

For me, neither Xanax, Ativan, nor Klonopin has helped me sleep. I was tripping balls on Ativan, took it once and could not take it again, it felt like a really bad high. I didn't feel the Klonopin at all, so my doc upped the dose and then I had a bizarre side effect where my platelet count went through the floor and I was bruising everywhere. Xanax doesn't make me drowsy when I take it, it makes me tired about 5-6 hours after I take it. But when I sleep it feels weird, too groggy, it still doesn't feel like restorative sleep. I can't take sleep aids like Lunesta because I have a sleep disorder that is exacerbated by sleep aids.

I've honestly given up on trying to get a refreshing night's sleep. Maybe one day I'll find another medication that worked the way Lamictal did, but as of yet I have not found one.

Wow (the Lamictal effectiveness), thanks :) (for the elaboration), YIKES :eek: (I've read about and looked at pictures of the fatal skin condition that Lamictal can cause), sorry :( (that you found something that works, but can't use it, and have given up on getting good sleep). :grouphug:

keliza
11-23-12, 05:13 PM
k: Depakote might, if Lamictal did.

Roofies are good but not available to you guys in the US.

Have you tried combing Ambien or Sonata [to put you to sleep] with Xanax XR [to keep you asleep]?

Depakote has a tendency to screw with hormones and cause ovarian cysts/PCOS, so it's usually not used on women of child-bearing age, only men or post-menopausal women.

Rohypnol (roofies) actually are available in the U.S., but they are extremely controlled, and are usually only used for very severe sleep disorders like profound insomnia or narcolepsy. GHB is available by prescription for the same disorders. To get a rx of either one, though, you have to pass a background check, buy a special kind of safe, and make a copy of the key to give to your doctor. Usually neurologists will only prescribe them after everything else has failed.

I generally don't think benzodiazepines are a good call for sleep, unless it's a last resort and nothing else has helped. They make you tired, sure, but they aren't giving you quality sleep. Studies have shown that benzos cause a decrease in delta wave activity, which both delays and reduces the duration of REM (restorative) sleep. (x (http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/2866173/reload=0;jsessionid=PaiIu8x6k0LLwgV84KJ3.10)) The drugs increase sleep "spindles", bursts of electrical activity in the brain that occur during the first stages of sleep to help keep you asleep throughout the night, but they still reduce the overall quality of sleep.

adelynsmommy
01-05-13, 01:53 PM
My lithium has made me numb, dumb(er) and fat.

I hate this mood stabilizer and I haven't noticed any benecial effects except for MAYBE less low lows.

But then again, I don't have BP (or at least I don't believe I do) so maybe my opinion isn't valid...

Fuzzy12
01-07-13, 07:25 AM
My lithium has made me numb, dumb(er) and fat.

I hate this mood stabilizer and I haven't noticed any benecial effects except for MAYBE less low lows.

But then again, I don't have BP (or at least I don't believe I do) so maybe my opinion isn't valid...

I'm sorry. That doesn't sound pleasant at all. If you don't have BP why are you taking lithium? Have you been diagnosed with bipolar? As far as I know lithium is usually used to prevent or treat manic episodes rather than depressive episodes. If you have BP but are suffering mainly from depression then maybe something like lamotrigine might be more appropriate.

I haven't started taking mood stabilisers, so I'm not talking from experience.

Zaashy
01-07-13, 07:37 AM
I been given risperdal 0.5 today, wish me luck.

SweetCode
01-07-13, 07:38 AM
I was on trileptal for a few days and it actually made me numb for fellings related to the exterior world with rare episodes of extremely fast mood swings and aggressive behavior then the pdoc tried risperidone that made me even more numb(I felt as I was watching the world through someone else eyes) and gave me homicidal tendencies, then he gave up of mood stabilizers.

he was aiming for a light mood stabilizing effect but focusing on insomnia.

Zaashy
01-07-13, 08:19 AM
I was on trileptal for a few days and it actually made me numb for fellings related to the exterior world with rare episodes of extremely fast mood swings and aggressive behavior then the pdoc tried risperidone that made me even more numb(I felt as I was watching the world through someone else eyes) and gave me homicidal tendencies, then he gave up of mood stabilizers.

he was aiming for a light mood stabilizing effect but focusing on insomnia.

I love your avatar, I just want to feel numb. I'm tired of talking to myself and having racing thoughts all the time.

Fuzzy12
01-07-13, 08:21 AM
I been given risperdal 0.5 today, wish me luck.

Good Luck!! :grouphug:

SweetCode
01-07-13, 08:27 AM
I love your avatar, I just want to feel numb. I'm tired of talking to myself and having racing thoughts all the time.

Thanks, It doesn't go away when you feel numb, actually I never talked so much with myself than I did during this time , I just didn't felt emotions nothing was good or bad, it all was just part of what I should do, I don't know if it is correct but felt like how psychopaths describe their feelings, nothing was good or bad, I felt no empathy, it's not like depression that you feel indiferrent or unmotivated , it was a profound lack of emotions.

The racing thoughts stayed at the common rate.

It was really strange.