View Full Version : Fighting a losing battle


Fuzzy12
03-12-13, 07:30 AM
against myself, my brain. Rather, parts of my brain are battling other parts of my brain. I can't self regulate my emotions at all. When I can feel my mood sinking, I try to fight against it. I keep telling myself that I'm ok and that everything is all right. There is no need to be depressed. I try to look at things that might make me feel better, generate happy thoughts but it just doesn't work. Nothing works. Food, exercise, nothing. I just keep sinking, overwhelmed by this onslaught of negative emotions.

Lamotrigine isn't really doing much for me. My mood swings have improved slightly. Instead of cycling between hypomania/euphoria and deep depression, I now cycle between depression and feeling somewhat ok/feeling just blah. I'm still just taking 50mg so I've still got hope that on a higher dose, it might work better.

My cognitive impairments haven't improved either. I still can't focus or concentrate on anything. My memory still sucks. I still procrastinate endlessly. That depresses me too.

I miss hypomania. I know, it isn't healthy but hypomania was my only reprieve from the constant depression. It made life worth living, at least in those moments. My mom is hypomanic at the moment and though she is driving me crazy (she's talking non-stop), I'm also a bit jealous. Well, I'm glad that at least she isn't depressed but I also know that it's just a matter of time before she will swing the other way.

I dread the thought that this is how I will be for the rest of my life. That this battle will never end. That I'll never be ok.

saturday
03-12-13, 09:58 AM
How long have you been on the mood stabilizer? Have you told your P-doc about how things are going?

sarahsweets
03-12-13, 10:03 AM
Fuzzy IMO the best treatment for bipolar involves a mood stabilizer at an effective dose and an antidepressant. Are you on other meds besides lamictal?

Fuzzy12
03-12-13, 10:43 AM
I've been taking lamotrigine for about a month now (though 50mg for only about 2 weeks). In addition, I'm also taking duloxetine (=Cymbalta, SNRI). I'm thinking of changing to Sertraline (Zoloft) again. It seemed to help better with the depression.

Sandy4957
03-12-13, 11:09 AM
Fuzzy, honey, I've been you, and the only thing that helped me stabilize was a habit change.

Think of the procrastination as a drug. You're an addict. You can break that addiction the same way that you stop drinking or using drugs.

Once you do, your moods will stabilize considerably. Right now, you're in a cycle with the procrastination that is constantly destabilizing your moods.

We're doing it. Britainton, Stef, and I are pulling it off over in the Now Habit thread. We are changing our habits, and it's been a huge relief for me. Britainton isn't far behind me. My guess is that his life is going to have a sea change in about a month. Stef plans to join in in earnest in the summer...

Just a thought.

dresser
03-12-13, 11:57 AM
Huggs Fuzzy if youre's and our situations had a physical form we could hire Batman N Robin to wooup it,N I'd help. I think thats why I pounded my pillows as a kid. I think I will hook up with Britainton-Sandy-Stef N be the 4 musketeer (how do I look in my big
hat and Purple feather) I quit lots of stuuf= fighting-chewin tobacco-smoking tobacco
Pot- booze-remembering oops!! lolol, now it time for me to quit beating me up, I'm
in good shape for the shape Im in,give or take, so maybe like sandy suggests O pushy
me I can only be Dartanion if the girls let me. hugs again lady

deadmau5
03-12-13, 12:03 PM
I dont really know what bipolar feels like, but I hear its extremely hard to combat the mood swings and negative symptoms, I am sincerely sorry youre going through this. Maybe seeing a therapist would help to give you insight on how to reinforce positive thoughts and emotions when you are going through a bad spell.

saturday
03-12-13, 12:20 PM
I've been taking lamotrigine for about a month now (though 50mg for only about 2 weeks). In addition, I'm also taking duloxetine (=Cymbalta, SNRI). I'm thinking of changing to Sertraline (Zoloft) again. It seemed to help better with the depression.

Lots of P-docs dont like scripting SNRIs for bipolar for the same reason they dont like scripting stimulants. SNRIs and stimulants can keep you "edgy" if not totally dysphoric-hypomanic.

Its talked about in the video I posted in your other thread.

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=140919

I am not a doc, but I am very familiar with symptoms similar to what I perceive yours to be. I would strongly suggest getting another complimentary mood stabilizer and getting off of anti-depressants all together. However, zoloft is mentioned as being the second lest likely anti-depressant to agravate bipolar.

Its time to talk to your doc again!

SquarePeg
03-12-13, 12:23 PM
I would give the meds a bit longer and to see if you improve and then go back to the pdoc. I know you suspect you have something other than what you have been diagnosed with but the only way to play the game is do as the doc says, try the meds and then tell them what problems persist.
Until then Fuzzy sending ya hugs as always.

sarahsweets
03-12-13, 12:26 PM
I've taking cymbalta,lamictal and adderall for many years with great success.


Lots of P-docs dont like scripting SNRIs for bipolar for the same reason they dont like scripting stimulants. SNRIs and stimulants can keep you "edgy" if not totally dysphoric-hypomanic.

Its talked about in the video I posted in your other thread.

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=140919

I am not a doc, but I am very familiar with symptoms similar to what I perceive yours to be. I would strongly suggest getting another complimentary mood stabilizer and getting off of anti-depressants all together. However, zoloft is mentioned as being the second lest likely anti-depressant to agravate bipolar.

Its time to talk to your doc again!

saturday
03-12-13, 12:47 PM
I've taking cymbalta,lamictal and adderall for many years with great success.

Im happy for you.

keliza
03-12-13, 03:31 PM
Fuzzy, I'm sorry to hear you are struggling so much. :( I want to give you a big hug, and also remind you that you have MANY options still available to you. Lamictal can take time to work, or may not work alone... but even if it doesn't work for you, there are plenty of other options out there that you haven't tried yet. Trileptal, Gabapentin, atypical antipsychotics, Depakote, Lithium, ECT... the list goes on.

I went through ~10 different medications before I found a combo that puts a ceiling on my manic episodes and helps limit my depressive episodes. It's a long, hard road, and you're just at the beginning of it. You're not fighting a losing battle, you're just fighting a long one.

Are you seeing a therapist as well? I cannot emphasize enough how important therapy is in the wellness equation. Just meds alone isn't going to help, or if it does, it's going to be marginal compared to the gains you will make in your life if you dedicate yourself to working with a therapist who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy, CBT. It's a short-term therapy (12-16 weeks usually) meant to focus on rewiring your faulty cognitive schemas and breaking your negative behavioral patterns.

Bipolar disorder isn't something you can just think your way out of, but it really is amazing just how much resilience you can build up when you learn how to avoid negative thinking "traps." It's not just "the power of positive thinking", it's a method of retraining your brain's automatic thoughts, the ones you aren't even aware of formulating because they seem to just happen. There's a lot more to it than trying to think happy thoughts or tell yourself everything is okay. It's a skill set that you build over a few months, and that skill set carries with you into the rest of your life.

I am the poster child for CBT's efficacy, and I'm not alone. For depression and anxiety it has something like a 90% efficacy rate, meaning that in clinical studies, a solid 90% of people saw marked improvement in their symptoms after 8 weeks of CBT. I'm not saying it'll make your symptoms disappear entirely, or that it's any more or less important than having the right medication, but it's really, really important.

No illness, not even bipolar disorder (or ADHD, or anything else), exists in a biological vacuum. It is, on some level, influenced by your thoughts, your behaviors, and your environment. Nothing is nature vs. nurture, it's nature AND nurture. Definitely keep trying to find a combo of meds that helps decrease the frequency and intensity of your mood episodes... but don't neglect the "nurture" half of the issue.

Fuzzy12
03-13-13, 09:33 AM
Fuzzy, I'm sorry to hear you are struggling so much. :( I want to give you a big hug, and also remind you that you have MANY options still available to you. Lamictal can take time to work, or may not work alone... but even if it doesn't work for you, there are plenty of other options out there that you haven't tried yet. Trileptal, Gabapentin, atypical antipsychotics, Depakote, Lithium, ECT... the list goes on.

I went through ~10 different medications before I found a combo that puts a ceiling on my manic episodes and helps limit my depressive episodes. It's a long, hard road, and you're just at the beginning of it. You're not fighting a losing battle, you're just fighting a long one.

Are you seeing a therapist as well? I cannot emphasize enough how important therapy is in the wellness equation. Just meds alone isn't going to help, or if it does, it's going to be marginal compared to the gains you will make in your life if you dedicate yourself to working with a therapist who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy, CBT. It's a short-term therapy (12-16 weeks usually) meant to focus on rewiring your faulty cognitive schemas and breaking your negative behavioral patterns.

Bipolar disorder isn't something you can just think your way out of, but it really is amazing just how much resilience you can build up when you learn how to avoid negative thinking "traps." It's not just "the power of positive thinking", it's a method of retraining your brain's automatic thoughts, the ones you aren't even aware of formulating because they seem to just happen. There's a lot more to it than trying to think happy thoughts or tell yourself everything is okay. It's a skill set that you build over a few months, and that skill set carries with you into the rest of your life.

I am the poster child for CBT's efficacy, and I'm not alone. For depression and anxiety it has something like a 90% efficacy rate, meaning that in clinical studies, a solid 90% of people saw marked improvement in their symptoms after 8 weeks of CBT. I'm not saying it'll make your symptoms disappear entirely, or that it's any more or less important than having the right medication, but it's really, really important.

No illness, not even bipolar disorder (or ADHD, or anything else), exists in a biological vacuum. It is, on some level, influenced by your thoughts, your behaviors, and your environment. Nothing is nature vs. nurture, it's nature AND nurture. Definitely keep trying to find a combo of meds that helps decrease the frequency and intensity of your mood episodes... but don't neglect the "nurture" half of the issue.

Thanks all. Keliza, I'm a bit worried about trying other mood stabilisers because of the side effects. Well, mainly weight gain, stupid as that may be. I was really hoping that Lamotrigine would do the trick. But like you said, it's still early days and I'm just taking 50mg when the therapeutic dose is supposed to start at 100mg.

I'm still on the waiting list for psychotherapy. I hope it will happen but not any time soon, I think. My NHS psychiatrist isn't too happy about me seeing a private specialist as well, so I hope they won't take me off the waiting list. I could pay for it privately as well but it's super expensive.

I think, CBT might be very helpful. Whenever I can feel myself sinking, I want to stop the slide, but I don't really know how. Like you said, just positive thinking and happy thoughts (and screaming at my brain: "NOTHING IS WRONG!!") doesn't help.

keliza
03-13-13, 01:38 PM
Thanks all. Keliza, I'm a bit worried about trying other mood stabilisers because of the side effects. Well, mainly weight gain, stupid as that may be. I was really hoping that Lamotrigine would do the trick. But like you said, it's still early days and I'm just taking 50mg when the therapeutic dose is supposed to start at 100mg.

I'm still on the waiting list for psychotherapy. I hope it will happen but not any time soon, I think. My NHS psychiatrist isn't too happy about me seeing a private specialist as well, so I hope they won't take me off the waiting list. I could pay for it privately as well but it's super expensive.

I think, CBT might be very helpful. Whenever I can feel myself sinking, I want to stop the slide, but I don't really know how. Like you said, just positive thinking and happy thoughts (and screaming at my brain: "NOTHING IS WRONG!!") doesn't help.

It's not stupid to be concerned about the weight gain, that can be a significant issue for some people, and brings on additional side effects as a part of the weight gain (like diabetes). But not everyone has major weight gain with antipsychotics. I think I read that the average weight gain is 10-12 lbs. Some people put on 50 lbs in the first year, yes, but that's on the extreme end.

But hopefully once you get to a higher dose of Lamictal it will help, and you won't even have to worry about other drugs. Like you said, you're still only at half the "therapeutic" dose, which means you've still got another month or so to go before you can really judge whether or not the medication is helping.

I'm glad you're on the waiting list for therapy. Your psychiatrist will just have to suck it up and get over it. They're the pill pusher, they aren't specially trained in therapy, it's not their job. I don't know how they go about it over there, but in the states psychiatrists don't generally provide therapy services. You see a psychiatrist for medication management, and a therapist for actual therapy. Some people's psychiatrists like to play therapist too, but that's really not what they're trained for.

I can tell that you really WANT to find a way to help yourself and make a difference in your life, and that's the #1 requirement for therapy to work. If you're dedicated and really want it, it's going to be so much more effective for you than if you're just phoning it in every week, you know what I mean?

saturday
03-13-13, 01:41 PM
I've only gained 8 pounds over the last two years. And for me it was actually a good thing.

Raye
03-13-13, 02:18 PM
I agree with whoever said it isn't a losing battle, just a long battle.

I've been trying for 13 years now, I know how it is to feel like you will never be ok.

My pdoc just yesterday told me she still stands by an adhd -pi and mdd, anxiety diagnoses yet added a SECOND bi polar medicine to my already long lovely list.

You can't give up. We won't let you. we kinda like you too much.

Idiota
03-16-13, 06:51 AM
I've taking cymbalta,lamictal and adderall for many years with great success.

how can you get an adderall prescription with bipolar? my psychiatrist basically made it clear: no chance in hell.

VOltaire
03-16-13, 07:07 AM
how can you get an adderall prescription with bipolar? my psychiatrist basically made it clear: no chance in hell.

Psychiatrists can and have prescribed therapeutic level stimulants as part of patients mental health protocol, it is not uncommon just like Tramadol Hydrochloride, a synthetic opioid closely related in structure to a SNRI can be used as a last line of defense if all other medications have failed!
CNS Stimulants & amphetamines are also prescribed to elder patents and those who suffer from extreme lethargy, Cancer patients etc. & a host of other medical conditions I'm sure!

VOltaire
03-16-13, 07:14 AM
how can you get an adderall prescription with bipolar? my psychiatrist basically made it clear: no chance in hell.

Just because she is bi polar doesn't mean she isn't dual diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, Multiple personality disorder, dyslexia, PTSD, Schitzophrenia, etc. alot of patients who suffer from ADHD also suffer from emotional and mental disorders as well!

Fuzzy12
03-16-13, 07:26 AM
Just because she is bi polar doesn't mean she isn't dual diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, Multiple personality disorder, dyslexia, PTSD, Schitzophrenia, etc. alot of patients who suffer from ADHD also suffer from emotional and mental disorders as well!

i think idiota meant she won't get AddErall prescribed as stimulants run the risk of iota mania in patients with bipolar disorder. However i think once a psychiatrist is satisfied that the mood disorder is under control they can prescribe stimulants while watchm out closely for early warning signs of mania.

dogluver358
03-16-13, 01:16 PM
how can you get an adderall prescription with bipolar? my psychiatrist basically made it clear: no chance in hell.

I take something similar to adderall and have bipolar as well as ADHD. Not unheard of. But I have to watch my moods and I was only restarted on it after my moods had been stable for a while.

Idiota
03-18-13, 04:45 AM
i think idiota meant she won't get AddErall prescribed as stimulants run the risk of iota mania in patients with bipolar disorder. However i think once a psychiatrist is satisfied that the mood disorder is under control they can prescribe stimulants while watchm out closely for early warning signs of mania.

Yeah, sorry. This is what I meant. He said he'd think about a non-stim because he is being ultracautious about it and initially didn't take my ADHD claims seriously because I went to college.

ana futura
03-18-13, 12:31 PM
I think, CBT might be very helpful. Whenever I can feel myself sinking, I want to stop the slide, but I don't really know how. Like you said, just positive thinking and happy thoughts (and screaming at my brain: "NOTHING IS WRONG!!") doesn't help.

The first thing you have to realize- and I did it with mindfulness meditation instead of CBT, but they both work- is that you won't get anywhere until you put your attitudes towards your "negative" thoughts in the same bucket as your attitudes towards "positive" thoughts. They are all just thoughts.

A negative thought has no more validity than a positive thought. I think people who are prone to depression give more validity to their negative thought patterns, as if they are somehow more true or real than positive thought patterns.

Instead of trying to make yourself happy, you must first realize that your negative thoughts are no more or less lies than your happy thoughts are.

Once you do that, and you take the power away from your negative thinking, you can learn to reframe the validity of your thought patterns-

Does what I am thinking right now serve me in some way?
How does this thought enrich my life? etc.