View Full Version : Stimulant treatment - uncontrolled bipolar.


ADHDsim
05-02-17, 09:03 PM
Hi,

So precisely what is known about the use of stimulants apon those with out bipolar underwraps?

Can stimulant use over time create a worsening of bipolar issues?



See for all intents and purposes I suffer from ADHD at all times.

I've noticed my mood disorder which I perceive to not be any more extreme either way has steadily increased to a rather rapid cycle.

Then again, I don't know any more.:scratch:

sarahsweets
05-03-17, 04:01 AM
Hi,

So precisely what is known about the use of stimulants apon those with out bipolar underwraps?

Can stimulant use over time create a worsening of bipolar issues?



See for all intents and purposes I suffer from ADHD at all times.

I've noticed my mood disorder which I perceive to not be any more extreme either way has steadily increased to a rather rapid cycle.

Then again, I don't know any more.:scratch:

I have bipolar and I have taken stimulants for over 13 years. Monitoring bipolar while taking stimulants is a must. There are chances that it could cause mania or mood swings however it is possible to take stimulants.

jkimbo
08-17-17, 02:05 PM
What SaraSweets said! Just like to add that bipolar is not a show stopper for adderall or any stims. But since it's hard enough for just about anyone to find a pdoc to even entertain the thought of trying stims, it may be harder for people with bipolar finding pdoc that has the experience with both. I find older pdocs are better then younger ones. The younger ones rely too much on what they read and lack the actual experience so they are reluctant to give anyone stims or any controlled drug.

I had the unfortunate luck of being diagnosed with bipolar back when it was still called manic depressive. The label hounded me for decades! Finally just 2 years ago I finally ran in to a pdoc willing to at least entertain this possibility for me. Once you find a pdoc that tries stims on you, and you react good on it, their records will carry over to the next pdoc should your pdoc retire or die or get another job. I've gone threw a lot of pdocs! Once you establish your ok on stims, and you benefit from them, most pdocs will just continue the previous pdocs findings and treatment.

It was specially hard for me to get started because of my previous label and my age too! Believe it or not, some pdocs don't believe you need stims after 55 or there abouts because the health risks out weigh the benefits in their opinion. Total bs of course, but good luck convincing a pdoc that believes that!

Good luck to you!

Exuberantfrost
09-16-17, 07:38 AM
I have bipolar and I have taken stimulants for over 13 years. Monitoring bipolar while taking stimulants is a must. There are chances that it could cause mania or mood swings however it is possible to take stimulants.

Do you at the same time feel the need to take something that relaxes the mind or are you able to function monotherapeutically on stimulants?

sarahsweets
09-17-17, 09:10 AM
Do you at the same time feel the need to take something that relaxes the mind or are you able to function monotherapeutically on stimulants?

I take cymbalta,lamictal,buspar,and geodon among other meds for other reasons. Those meds are a must with or without the adderall I take.

Batman55
09-18-17, 12:39 AM
I take cymbalta,lamictal,buspar,and geodon among other meds for other reasons. Those meds are a must with or without the adderall I take.

Out of sheer curiosity, have you ever had stimulant therapy without mood stabilizers/anticonvulsants at the same time?

If so, how did that affect you? As a backdrop for why I'm asking, I'm trying to figure out this puzzle of "stimulant sensitivity," if it is just the way I am (exaggerated response to all drugs) or a possible result of latent mood disorder.

Without mood stabilizers, do you describe yourself as "hypersensitive to stimulants"?

Forgive if it seems a strange or personal question, I don't mean to come off that way.

sarahsweets
09-18-17, 04:16 AM
Out of sheer curiosity, have you ever had stimulant therapy without mood stabilizers/anticonvulsants at the same time?

If so, how did that affect you? As a backdrop for why I'm asking, I'm trying to figure out this puzzle of "stimulant sensitivity," if it is just the way I am (exaggerated response to all drugs) or a possible result of latent mood disorder.

Without mood stabilizers, do you describe yourself as "hypersensitive to stimulants"?

Forgive if it seems a strange or personal question, I don't mean to come off that way.

No, I have never had stimulants without those other meds. The reason is because stimulants can make someone with bipolar rapid cycle or sort of flip them into mania. It can be hit or miss though. Alot of people are misdiagnosed with bipolar and take stimulants without anything else and Ive always wondered if that means they really arent bipolar.

daveddd
09-20-17, 07:40 PM
No, I have never had stimulants without those other meds. The reason is because stimulants can make someone with bipolar rapid cycle or sort of flip them into mania. It can be hit or miss though. Alot of people are misdiagnosed with bipolar and take stimulants without anything else and Ive always wondered if that means they really arent bipolar.

no it would not mean that

i can be just on my stimulants without a bipolar switch

Batman55
09-21-17, 12:30 AM
No, I have never had stimulants without those other meds. The reason is because stimulants can make someone with bipolar rapid cycle or sort of flip them into mania. It can be hit or miss though. Alot of people are misdiagnosed with bipolar and take stimulants without anything else and Ive always wondered if that means they really arent bipolar.

A bit long and tangential, but.. Can someone with ADHD *without* mood disorders exhibit sensitivity to stimulants, getting the traditional "upper" effect from all stimulants, even at low doses? It's a simplistic question that may have no easy answer, but I'm asking anyway in case anyone has any thoughts on this.

It has been my lifetime experience. I am *ridiculously* sensitive, although this extends to all drugs and all classes of drugs, there is nothing that "does not" affect me for instance. I wonder if the very NON-adhd response to stimulants is indicative of a mood disorder, or if it is--as I still suspect--it's just the fact that I'm HSP and wired that way.

A recent article I read on HSP was scarily accurate, even suggesting a lot of ADHD folks meet criteria for HSP. (Highly sensitive person)

daveddd
09-21-17, 10:03 AM
The only documented disorder that shows extreme sensitivity to stimulants schizotypal that I've seen

But I think it could be high anxiety too?

Or maybe just chemistry

Batman55
09-22-17, 12:37 AM
The only documented disorder that shows extreme sensitivity to stimulants schizotypal that I've seen

But I think it could be high anxiety too?

Or maybe just chemistry

I definitely have high anxiety.

But I suspect the HSP thing is a pragmatic explanation. Some folks ARE just ridiculously sensitive and that extends to drugs. So, it could be just chemistry.

Regarding Schizotypal, it seems like the kind of thing that would be obvious to others, if not oneself. I have traits--some paranoid tendencies, delusions of grandeur, odd thought patterns. But that could be anything, the paranoia I believe is from being socially clueless in a manipulative world, simple as that really. Random/odd thought patterns just from having an overactive mind, constant distraction, and so on. (But that's also the same thing that makes me a good fiction writer.)

daveddd
09-22-17, 05:46 PM
the paranoia I believe is from being socially clueless in a manipulative world, simple as that really.

the manipulative world view is the paranoia?

Batman55
09-23-17, 12:08 AM
the paranoia I believe is from being socially clueless in a manipulative world, simple as that really.

the manipulative world view is the paranoia?

That may not have been as clear as I wanted it to be.

It would take me a while to type out what I mean.

I'll try and make it short. Someone with Asperger's (I believe I have it) begins very naive and trusts most people. This may last well into early adulthood when they begin to realize that others may not have their best interest in mind (gossip, bullying, two-faced behavior, etc.)

Excessive wariness of other people can easily develop in the face of this. It is a compensatory mechanism for lacking social instinct. I've seen the same thing described in autistic forums. "Paranoid" tendencies develop as self-awareness increases. That's what I think happened in my case, at any rate.

sarahsweets
09-24-17, 09:17 AM
That may not have been as clear as I wanted it to be.

It would take me a while to type out what I mean.

I'll try and make it short. Someone with Asperger's (I believe I have it) begins very naive and trusts most people. This may last well into early adulthood when they begin to realize that others may not have their best interest in mind (gossip, bullying, two-faced behavior, etc.)

Excessive wariness of other people can easily develop in the face of this. It is a compensatory mechanism for lacking social instinct. I've seen the same thing described in autistic forums. "Paranoid" tendencies develop as self-awareness increases. That's what I think happened in my case, at any rate.

I can see how this would be true but also in my sisters case she had touches of OCD caused by anxiety as well.

Batman55
09-24-17, 11:38 PM
I can see how this would be true but also in my sisters case she had touches of OCD caused by anxiety as well.

It's basically what happens when you "tighten the screws" on social trust. It's a necessary coping mechanism for autistic people, for obvious reasons.

But when those screws get too tight--you can't trust anyone. You worry that others are talking about you behind your back. You tend to suspect the worst of everyone.

That's what happened for me and IMHO many autistic people turn out like this, or have some degree of it. It's not the same as Schizoid/Schizotypal either. It is literally "learned wariness."

There are some autistic folks who go the other way and don't adapt this mechanism. I've known some awkward people like this, but they tend to be incredibly naive about social rules and most importantly, how others perceive them.

Basically what I have just described is the difference between "highly self-aware autism" and "low self-aware autism." The first group learns to become self-aware with the resultant paranoia/anxiety, the second group doesn't but remains very naive and tends to repel other people without knowing why.

Arei
09-26-17, 02:39 PM
I took stimulants for a long time before getting on mood disorder medications for bipolar. At most, they just increased the amount of manic episodes (Adderall XR specifically) Vyvanse didn't do much as an adult, but as a teenager it would result in crashing and low mood at the end of the day, but I think a lot of that had to do with stifling hunger and then it suddenly come crashing on me (I get very hangry)

I've honestly found more success with non-stimulant Strattera. Though for me, getting the bipolar under control is what made managing the ADHD more simpler. Life is harder when your a rapid cycler, and the mood needs to be stable so your attention span has a chance to focus. At least, thats how it is in my experience.

Batman55
09-27-17, 12:37 AM
I took stimulants for a long time before getting on mood disorder medications for bipolar. At most, they just increased the amount of manic episodes (Adderall XR specifically) Vyvanse didn't do much as an adult, but as a teenager it would result in crashing and low mood at the end of the day, but I think a lot of that had to do with stifling hunger and then it suddenly come crashing on me (I get very hangry)

I've honestly found more success with non-stimulant Strattera. Though for me, getting the bipolar under control is what made managing the ADHD more simpler. Life is harder when your a rapid cycler, and the mood needs to be stable so your attention span has a chance to focus. At least, thats how it is in my experience.

As you may have noticed in this thread and maybe some others, I continue to try and explore this proverbial "line" between innate stimulant sensitivity and the possibility of low-grade bipolar (or mood disorder NOS.) I'm sure you're aware I'm hypersensitive to drugs including stimulants, and often experience a "buzz" even with low doses of stimulant drugs of every class. I'm wondering whether this is just strange "sensitive" brain chemistry, or if it represents a trend that suggests a possible mood disorder.

A 2-part question I'm going to keep asking, even if I keep getting an answer:

Are mood disorder folks typically oversensitive to stimulants? Is caffeine thought to be an accelerant for rapid-cycling or hypomania, in untreated mood disorder?

I hope I don't annoy anyone by repeating this question yet again. I'm asking because I get vastly different opinions on this, and I think it may be better to canvas the replies, to have a deeper understanding.

Arei
09-27-17, 02:48 PM
I'm not overly sensitive to stimulants, in fact a lot of them have no effect on me. Adderall is the only one that had a significant affect, but it didn't really trigger mood swings or unwanted effects, it just amped me up. Caffeine doesn't affect my moods (except coffee makes me happier at work lol), and even before I was treated this never seemed to bother me. I do know people who are untreated that caffeine causes spells of anxiety and low mood, but it's never done that to me.

I have a friend thats real sensitive like you to medication, but doesn't have any mood or mental disorders. Sometimes the hypersensitivity may be related, and sometimes its not. I think thats gonna be a very hard question to answer for you, because there's so many variables in brain chemistry between people.

But if I had to take a guess, based on what I'VE experienced and seen as a layperson in myself and other people, that hypersensitivity to medication doesn't always mean you have a mood disorder. I do know a few people who are extremely hypersensitive to medications/stimulants and caffeine that are mentally sound, while I'm sitting over here with a lack of sensitivity to a lot of things and have pretty debilitating bipolar (when untreated).

Batman55
09-28-17, 01:03 AM
Thanks for weighing in.

My gut response to this continues to be, it's just gotta be the way I'm wired. It probably does not imply a mood disorder.

I've talked to folks on the net both with and without mental disorders who have virtually no response at all to caffeine, they don't get a buzz.

I've talked to folks with and without mental disorders who are profoundly sensitive to caffeine, they get a damn good buzz (I've talked to some who experience the euphoria like I did, too), and others who can't take it because of jitters, although there is a lot of overlap, it seems the sensitive types are sensitive to both good and bad effects.

Some folks are sensitive to stimulants (and other drugs); others are not.

I know I get a good buzz from caffeine and have for years. Sometimes it can make me an irritable jerk or worsen anxiety, but from what I have read these effects are common for caffeine and don't implicate a mood disorder.

I will admit that I did experience extreme and unusual effects from Ritalin when I tried it years ago (not as directed, and yes I was an idiot.) I experienced an amazing buzz for 30-40 minutes followed by a massive emotional crash, alternating between paranoia and depression, which would last a couple of hours usually. I confided in my psychiatrist at the time about this and he made no mention of a mood disorder, he said it could be a "classic rebound" effect, which I interpreted as meaning it was not profoundly rare.

I did not get any kind of "psychosis" but yes these rebound spells did include paranoia and profound melancholy. Could it be possible that potent stimulants, with sensitivity as a given, may *bring out* latent mood disorder symptoms temporarily? I think this could be another way to look at it.