View Full Version : Lamictal


healthwiz
10-02-05, 01:11 AM
Ever hear of Lamictal? It is used for Bipolar Disorder and Epilepsy.

http://www.lamictal.com/

From what i understand, it has an antidepressant effect, but unlike other antidepressants, it does not encourage states of mania in bipolars.

My doc told me she has a hard time with some ADD patients, finding the fine line etween ADD and bipolar symptoms, as the ADD can create smoke and mirrors for detecting the bipolar symptoms. When i reported to her some frustrations i was having, and a lot of life history information, including some bi-polar history in family, she made a suggestion that we do a trial on Lamictal, and see aht it does for my symptoms. It has low neg side effects.

I have been on this trial for about 8 weeks, and i have never felt better in my life. many of my ADD symptoms have really diminished. i'm more confident, going to bed earlier each night - for instance now it is 12:58 am but i am actually tired and my body and mind are saying "go to bed". in the past, that never would happen, i'd stay up many more hours...

another thing is im waking up in the morning, and im able to concentrate much better, im more level headed in stressful situations, and im calmer, and enjoying life and family and friends much more.]

i think i was always this super mild case of bipolar that no one detected. i must have asked 15 docs over my lifetime if there was any chance i inherited some bipolar stuff from family, and everytime they told me i was not bipolar. however, this doc saw other evidence, and decided to give a trial a try. i feel really comfortable now, and everyone in my family seems to be enjoying my new sense of relaxed living. i am able to get so much more done in a day than i ever got done before, and the lethargy is gone now, i actually can get up and clean house, where as that was quite a challenge in the past. i even cleaned our vehicles last weekend, with the kids and angela, not all by myself, but we havent cleaned our cars in about 5 years!! so it was pretty special.

I also caught myself folding my clothes the other day, holy cow- someone get a thermometer and check if something is wrong with me!!

i'm much more organized in my thinking now. lack of organization in my mind, not being able to track my days, my schedule, my ideas, prioritize, get my life together, those were all symptoms, but somehow i always had a bandaid to hold it together.

now i feel like i dont need a bandaid so much anymore, things are going good.

In another thread, you will see im also on a trial of Namenda, for the ADD memory symptoms, and that seems to be working well too -that is normally used only for Alzheimers - i dont have alzheimers - my doc is using it for ADD and memory issues. It seems to be working too, memory is improving.

I do not take Adderal anymore. It didnt feel right after i started taking the Lamictal, I did not like the Adderal anymore. I preferred the Lamictal without the Adderal. It made me feel calm and focused, where as the Adderal made me feel focused but left me at the end of the day with some crankiness issues. However, I was only taking short acting Adderal, not XR, which generally would have minimized the crankiness.

I'm glad i am seeing progressive doctors. They seem to be coming up with solutions outside the box, better than just taking the stimulant medications forever, becasue the stim meds were not getting me the desired results, althouth they were helping me a lot. I was much better off with Adderal than without Adderal, it helped me tremendously, got me through college, and got me through many difficult days with ADD. However, now that i have this more recent treatment, i like the new treatment better.

Well, thats my story,

Jon

Sc@tterBr@in_UK
10-02-05, 08:36 AM
Wow that sounds promising - I'm not exactly suspecting bipolar with myself (I don't have happy or sad phases etc.), but autism can often have similar "phases" of intake/activity (times where I am much more locked in myself, and others where I can take in new information and register much more around me) and it's that which I am trying to balance out.

healthwiz
10-02-05, 09:47 AM
Hi Scott,

My Sleep Apnea/ADD Combination was a hard one to diagnose. I think they have gotten a lot closer now. I believe they are finding that ADD/Aspergers/Autism/and Bipolar are all related in some genetic way. I did not have happy/sad phases. i did have some depression, but it was always a low degree of depression. No red flags for bipolar.

Lamictal is an anti-convulsant, (originally used for Epilepsy) and i find it interesting that an anti-convulsant makes me feel better...so was my brain convulsing? I used to think so, when i would get angry and not be able to control my outbursts...it was like my outbursts of anger took on a life of their own, where i could not stop myself. I didnt hurt anybody, but still, it scared me that i didnt have much control over myself when I got angry. After about 10 minutes or so of pure furry i would then stop and collapse in exhaustion, and when i would wake up, i would be fine again, and apologize to anyone i yelled at. Not pleasant. Those angry outbursts dissipated into very rare now, it takes a lot more for me to get that upset, and the degree of the outburst is much less if it does happen, and i dont collapse into bed and sleep afterwards. So i would say it was like a convulsion. I still get upset, my emotions still exist, it's not like my emotions or feelings have been drowned out or that im not intouch with myself anymore; I feel more intouch with myself, and not out of control.

Now I'd say my more reasonable self has stepped in, and i'm more understanding of everyone around me, adding more support to them, emotionally, and doing a lot less yelling.

The cool part is i'm planning a lot of social life for the family now. Friday we went to a play at a little playhouse. It was great, the kids loved it. Saturday we went horseback riding. Today we are as a family, going to volunteer for a Katrina Fundraiser, and donating our family company services to the fundraiser. So our weekend is packed.

The weekend before we went on a Saturday dinner cruise, Saturday horseback riding, and Sunday morning breakfast at a great coffee/bagel house. I never used to be up in the morning, so the coffee house on a sunday morning was not even a possibility; i just wanted to sleep those days.

The weekend before that we did Saturday horseback riding and went to a Dinner theatre where there was a live dance show and delicious food. So each weekend instead of me being a blob on a sofa infront of the computer and tv, or sleeping, or complaining, or whining, or yelling, i have now started directing the family into healthy activities. I feel a lot better. I didnt even use to want to go out, i was practically Agoraphobic and only left the house if i had to, and it was a big deal if i did leave.

Well, I've gotten a chance to share how positive an experience this has been, which is nice to share in a non-threatening environment. However, while this is gratifying for me, I'm also hoping that my experience is helping somebody, maybe what I'm writing about catches someone's eyes, and they recognize some of my symptoms as some of their own symptoms, and maybe someone will check in with their doc to see if this is a possibility for them.

I think that is what this forum is all about, a chance to self-disclose, and a chance to read and learn from others, a chance to help others with our disclosures.

Well, i better quit blabbing on the computer, and get dressed, its time to do a volunteering service activity as a family for a good cause - it has been about 2 years since we have done something significant in volunteering, and that was when we bought lots of gifts for the children's home christmas. It wasn's for the lack of wanting to do things, it was for the lack of energy, organization, and maybe that Agoraphobia thing that seemed to be creeping over me.

Ok.. ok.. ok.. enough!!! I got carried away!! Coem on Jon! Lets Go! LEave the Forum! Stop Divulging all your secrets Jon! Lets go! lets Go !!! Hup 2 hup 2 hup 2, turn right, get dressed, brush teeth, comb hair, hup 2 hup 2 hup 2, get your shirt, get your pants, hupo 2 hup 2 hup 2....let sgo...about face, out the door!

Jon

Sc@tterBr@in_UK
10-02-05, 10:09 AM
Hi Scott,
It's Andrea (I really should have thought about whether the @ can be read properly when choosing my nickname - on another forum people call me Scotterbrain all the time!) :)

My Sleep Apnea/ADD Combination was a hard one to diagnose. I think they have gotten a lot closer now.
I can imagine - my main diagnosis is Aspergers/HFA with attentional [executive] dysfunction, but there's bits of movement problems, word finding problems, sleep disorder (I am not narcoleptic as such but I do get hypnagogic [and the other ones, on waking up - not sure if it's not just from falling back asleep tho!] hallucinations sometimes, and my day/night cycle seems either longer or shorter than normal) in there too, plus paradoxical reactions to lots of stuff, especially coffee. Plus the usual sensory stuff, and some anxiety but I'm a bit rubbish at pinpointing when I am anxious, and why. Nothing major but enough to make things rather tough at times.

I believe they are finding that ADD/Aspergers/Autism/and Bipolar are all related in some genetic way. I did not have happy/sad phases. i did have some depression, but it was always a low degree of depression. No red flags for bipolar.
Definitely - I know I am not bipolar in any classical sense but I have had these 'cycles' of intake / processing since I was about 4 years old, but without the moodswings (I do get some PMT now though).

Lamictal is an anti-convulsant, (originally used for Epilepsy) and i find it interesting that an anti-convulsant makes me feel better...so was my brain convulsing? I used to think so, when i would get angry and not be able to control my outbursts...it was like my outbursts of anger took on a life of their own, where i could not stop myself.
A lot of such issues, especially in ADHD and Autism, are linked to temporal lobe dysfunction. I never had a fit but when I get emotional (very, which I don't get often), esp. angry or upset [like in an argument when I am pushed in a corner figuratively speaking, pressed to explain myself etc.] I have in the past got "blanks" before where my brain overloads and even though from outside there is no visible change, I almost forget what was going on/what we were arguing about.

The cool part is i'm planning a lot of social life for the family now. Friday we went to a play at a little playhouse. It was great, the kids loved it. Saturday we went horseback riding. Today we are as a family, going to volunteer for a Katrina Fundraiser, and donating our family company services to the fundraiser. So our weekend is packed.
That sounds great - my neurologist has finally agreed to let me try Wellbutrin, but my GP (who has to do the prescription here in the UK unless I pay privately) is wary of the seizure risk as a patient of his had a seizure after starting on Buproprion. So perhaps I may ask to try Lamictal or Topamax alongside it, and drop the stimulants. It's weird, most doctors tend to WANT to give ADs and so on before trying stimulants, but I have trouble changing AWAY from stimulants! :confused:

So each weekend instead of me being a blob on a sofa infront of the computer and tv, or sleeping, or complaining, or whining, or yelling, i have now started directing the family into healthy activities. I feel a lot better. I didnt even use to want to go out, i was practically Agoraphobic and only left the house if i had to, and it was a big deal if i did leave.
I am just like that at the moment - my partner doesn'teven like going to town with me any more on a weekend cos he always asks if I'm going to be sulky or angry again. :(

I think that is what this forum is all about, a chance to self-disclose, and a chance to read and learn from others, a chance to help others with our disclosures.
That is so true - it is only when reading LOTS of people's experiences, and reading experiences of people whose symptoms seem to match your own the closest, that you really get an idea of how things may turn out. Unfortunately, doctors seem very reluctant to acknowledge *anything* you learned on the Net :(

Ok.. ok.. ok.. enough!!! I got carried away!! Coem on Jon! Lets Go! LEave the Forum! Stop Divulging all your secrets Jon! Lets go! lets Go !!! Hup 2 hup 2 hup 2, turn right, get dressed, brush teeth, comb hair, hup 2 hup 2 hup 2, get your shirt, get your pants, hupo 2 hup 2 hup 2....let sgo...about face, out the door!
:D

healthwiz
10-03-05, 11:48 AM
I dont know how to answer specific parts of a quote, but i want to say regarding sleep disorders, that the "date rape" drug, is the best treatment for normalizing brain wave activity in sleep, getting rid of the waking hallucinations, or those that happen just upon closing the eyes. it is sold under the brand name Xyrem, and it is extremely REGULATED in the usa, of course. but there are a few doctors in every region trained in prescribing it. My doc said he has cleared up a lot of bizarre learning disability symptoms with this drug, because the underlying cause was lack of real regenerating sleep time. Passing this on to you and to other ADDers.

As you can tell, my process out of the ADD symptoms has been a trail of breadcrumbs and treatments ... but it's working... :) . It sounds like a lot of work, and yes , it has been a lot of work, no doubt, and i wish it was easier and faster to find out what to do, take, etc...but the bottom line, i am starting to lead a normal life, and i still have every ounce of my creative genius with me, i have not parted with it, which is every ADDers fear, isnt it? So I'm now able to function, lead a normal life, so is it worth going through the bread crumb trail? You tell me. I am trying to motivate ADDers to be vigilant and find the breadcrumbs, do it, get new docs, i changed docs many times, none of them are good enough by themselves, this is complicated chemistry and diagnosis, hire em and fire me! Go get em! I am hoping to motivate everyone, because being able to live the life you dream of is worth it. I am always encouraging myself, inwardly, to keep going and follow my dreams. :)


It's Andrea (I really should have thought about whether the @ can be read properly when choosing my nickname - on another forum people call me Scotterbrain all the time!) :)


I can imagine - my main diagnosis is Aspergers/HFA with attentional [executive] dysfunction, but there's bits of movement problems, word finding problems, sleep disorder (I am not narcoleptic as such but I do get hypnagogic [and the other ones, on waking up - not sure if it's not just from falling back asleep tho!] hallucinations sometimes, and my day/night cycle seems either longer or shorter than normal) in there too, plus paradoxical reactions to lots of stuff, especially coffee. Plus the usual sensory stuff, and some anxiety but I'm a bit rubbish at pinpointing when I am anxious, and why. Nothing major but enough to make things rather tough at times.


Definitely - I know I am not bipolar in any classical sense but I have had these 'cycles' of intake / processing since I was about 4 years old, but without the moodswings (I do get some PMT now though).


A lot of such issues, especially in ADHD and Autism, are linked to temporal lobe dysfunction. I never had a fit but when I get emotional (very, which I don't get often), esp. angry or upset [like in an argument when I am pushed in a corner figuratively speaking, pressed to explain myself etc.] I have in the past got "blanks" before where my brain overloads and even though from outside there is no visible change, I almost forget what was going on/what we were arguing about.


That sounds great - my neurologist has finally agreed to let me try Wellbutrin, but my GP (who has to do the prescription here in the UK unless I pay privately) is wary of the seizure risk as a patient of his had a seizure after starting on Buproprion. So perhaps I may ask to try Lamictal or Topamax alongside it, and drop the stimulants. It's weird, most doctors tend to WANT to give ADs and so on before trying stimulants, but I have trouble changing AWAY from stimulants! :confused:


I am just like that at the moment - my partner doesn'teven like going to town with me any more on a weekend cos he always asks if I'm going to be sulky or angry again. :(


That is so true - it is only when reading LOTS of people's experiences, and reading experiences of people whose symptoms seem to match your own the closest, that you really get an idea of how things may turn out. Unfortunately, doctors seem very reluctant to acknowledge *anything* you learned on the Net :(


:D

nature
08-14-06, 12:16 PM
Nice to read about such a positive Lamictal experience ... I have found that at high doses it has the opposite effects interms of cognitive fuction ... but have lowered the dose to 150mg a day and your message leaves me hopeful that it is not part of the problem.

Thanks!

Nature

nature
08-14-06, 12:22 PM
That is so true - it is only when reading LOTS of people's experiences, and reading experiences of people whose symptoms seem to match your own the closest, that you really get an idea of how things may turn out. Unfortunately, doctors seem very reluctant to acknowledge *anything* you learned on the Net :(

:DI can understand why they may be legitimately sceptical of information that purports to be scientific but is not peer reviewed but they REALLY need to accept that the net has brought people living with different conditions together in a way that can advance treatment -- especially of mental health issues. Everyone responds so differently to the drugs but in my experience most doctors have their own very subjective preferences in terms of the meds they are willing to try. They need to be coaxed out of their comfort zone. If such a doc were to spend two hours reading through any discussion board on which we talk about our experiences with meds they might begin to realize just how diverse those experiences are and recognize the value of being open to experimenting.

I usually don't mention the internet -- I just say "I was talking to someone I know who tried ..."

:rolleyes:

jeaniebug
01-18-07, 12:00 PM
Ever hear of Lamictal? It is used for Bipolar Disorder and Epilepsy.

http://www.lamictal.com/

From what i understand, it has an antidepressant effect, but unlike other antidepressants, it does not encourage states of mania in bipolars.

My doc told me she has a hard time with some ADD patients, finding the fine line etween ADD and bipolar symptoms, as the ADD can create smoke and mirrors for detecting the bipolar symptoms. When i reported to her some frustrations i was having, and a lot of life history information, including some bi-polar history in family, she made a suggestion that we do a trial on Lamictal, and see aht it does for my symptoms. It has low neg side effects.

I have been on this trial for about 8 weeks, and i have never felt better in my life. many of my ADD symptoms have really diminished. i'm more confident, going to bed earlier each night - for instance now it is 12:58 am but i am actually tired and my body and mind are saying "go to bed". in the past, that never would happen, i'd stay up many more hours...

another thing is im waking up in the morning, and im able to concentrate much better, im more level headed in stressful situations, and im calmer, and enjoying life and family and friends much more.]

i think i was always this super mild case of bipolar that no one detected. i must have asked 15 docs over my lifetime if there was any chance i inherited some bipolar stuff from family, and everytime they told me i was not bipolar. however, this doc saw other evidence, and decided to give a trial a try. i feel really comfortable now, and everyone in my family seems to be enjoying my new sense of relaxed living. i am able to get so much more done in a day than i ever got done before, and the lethargy is gone now, i actually can get up and clean house, where as that was quite a challenge in the past. i even cleaned our vehicles last weekend, with the kids and angela, not all by myself, but we havent cleaned our cars in about 5 years!! so it was pretty special.

I also caught myself folding my clothes the other day, holy cow- someone get a thermometer and check if something is wrong with me!!

i'm much more organized in my thinking now. lack of organization in my mind, not being able to track my days, my schedule, my ideas, prioritize, get my life together, those were all symptoms, but somehow i always had a bandaid to hold it together.

now i feel like i dont need a bandaid so much anymore, things are going good.

In another thread, you will see im also on a trial of Namenda, for the ADD memory symptoms, and that seems to be working well too -that is normally used only for Alzheimers - i dont have alzheimers - my doc is using it for ADD and memory issues. It seems to be working too, memory is improving.

I do not take Adderal anymore. It didnt feel right after i started taking the Lamictal, I did not like the Adderal anymore. I preferred the Lamictal without the Adderal. It made me feel calm and focused, where as the Adderal made me feel focused but left me at the end of the day with some crankiness issues. However, I was only taking short acting Adderal, not XR, which generally would have minimized the crankiness.

I'm glad i am seeing progressive doctors. They seem to be coming up with solutions outside the box, better than just taking the stimulant medications forever, becasue the stim meds were not getting me the desired results, althouth they were helping me a lot. I was much better off with Adderal than without Adderal, it helped me tremendously, got me through college, and got me through many difficult days with ADD. However, now that i have this more recent treatment, i like the new treatment better.

Well, thats my story,

Jon
Hey, Jon,

Yes a big thread bump for this. I am struggling with the whole ADHD Bipolar issue, and really worried about my daughter too. I have had depression as long as I can remember, and tried loads of different antidepressants. Currently trying Wellbutrin, which has improved my energy, but not done anything for my anxiety. And I don't sleep very well on it.

I was interested in what you said about Lamictal. I wonder if that would help.

I feel like I have been dropping a trail of breadcrumbs, but not getting much help for treatment resistant depression. My therapist thinks I have inatentive ADHD, and I agree, but the psychiatrist I saw(for about 10minutes) said everyone who takes those on line tests thinks they have ADHD. I sure do have a brain fog though, and I'm overwhelmed, forgetful, absent minded, etc etc.

But, my father had serious bipolar, and was hospitalized for it much of his adult life. My daughter has some word storage/retrieval problems and needs a huge amount of sleep, and still never feels rested. Have had her tested for anemia, thyroid problems etc, but nothing shows up.

I did finally find a psychologst who does diagnose ADHD, and I'm seeing him on Tuesday. It is so complicated, but I am very persistant. Although like I say the never ending depression is wearing me down.

I did your on-line survey today, and reading your posts decided to look at some of you threads. It has given me hope!

healthwiz
01-19-07, 02:56 AM
jeaniebug, your predictament sounds very familiar. I have learned that in cases like ours, (yes, I said "ours" because we both have had the same problems from the sounds of your post).... I have found that the best professional for diagnosis is not a psychologist, and not a psychiatrist, and not a doctor ,,,,,, a neuro-psychologist is the best place to go at this point. If you cant get a neuro psychologist, try harder, and if that fails, try harder, but if it is bleak and there is not neuro psychologist to see...then see a neurologist. Then after you see them, and taken their advice as you deem fit, then you can revert back to seeing psychologists and coaches, etc.

My impression from hearing your complaint, is that you may have an inherited sleeping disorder, and so might your daughter. Until that sleep disorder is diagnosed and treated, you will not be able to seperate sleep disorder symptoms from adhd symptoms, from memory symptoms, from bipolar issues from depression issues. The sleep disorders, untreated, can cause a plethora of similar symptoms, which will look like other illnesses, but will mask the true diagnosis, sleep disorder. Check that out and make sure you don't have a sleep disorder, that would be my first stop..... and seek a board certified sleep specialist MD for that if possible....but a neurologist can generally diagnose a sleep disorder too - but if you go to someone board certified in sleep disorders, you will get a sleep expert.

After the sleep problem is addressed, if that is the diagnosis, and you still have symptoms after getting treatment (which you will likely still have) then you begin to address the remaining symptoms, which at that time will be considerably fewer than before the sleep disorder is treated.

Lamictal is a good mood stabalizer, but I think your doctor has to determine if it is the right thing for you... and as for the 10min shrink appt, that always scares me too. Thankfully my shrink spends an hour with me each time i see her, and she carefully makes new medication adjustments, which in general are tests to see if they will work, and by process of elimination and her expertise we land on drugs that work well for me.

I take welbutrin and lamictal now.... and vitamins...and i have a CPAP to treat my sleep apnea. I feel better.... quite a bit better...and i finished college because of treating the sleep apnea and the add, but i still have to climb every mountain, just like you.

Please hand in there, you are not alone, and you will find the key, one key at a time, stay persistant, stay resilliant, you have made it this far!

And thank you for the compliment that you found it helpful to read my posts and threads - that is very nice and appreciated.

Jonathan

jeaniebug
01-20-07, 02:57 AM
jeaniebug, your predictament sounds very familiar. I have learned that in cases like ours, (yes, I said "ours" because we both have had the same problems from the sounds of your post).... I have found that the best professional for diagnosis is not a psychologist, and not a psychiatrist, and not a doctor ,,,,,, a neuro-psychologist is the best place to go at this point. If you cant get a neuro psychologist, try harder, and if that fails, try harder, but if it is bleak and there is not neuro psychologist to see...then see a neurologist. Then after you see them, and taken their advice as you deem fit, then you can revert back to seeing psychologists and coaches, etc.

Lamictal is a good mood stabalizer, but I think your doctor has to determine if it is the right thing for you... and as for the 10min shrink appt, that always scares me too. Thankfully my shrink spends an hour with me each time i see her, and she carefully makes new medication adjustments, which in general are tests to see if they will work, and by process of elimination and her expertise we land on drugs that work well for me.

And thank you for the compliment that you found it helpful to read my posts and threads - that is very nice and appreciated.

Jonathan
Thanks for the reply Jon! Unfortunately I live in Great Falls Montana, where "good doctor" seems to be an oxymoron. Can't use those words in the same sentence. I have found some wonderful therapists, but the psychiatrists are (can't think of an acceptable word here) Some people travel to other cities in Montana (Missoula, Helena, Bozeman).

I do have an appt on Tuesday with a psychologist who does diagnose ADHD, and perhaps he will have a good recommedation for neuro psychologist or reasonable facsimile.

If was still living in Houston, or even Portland (where I have lived in the past) it would be easier.

I refuse to give up the search, though! Especially since I feel I am finally on the right track. :rolleyes: PJ

Matt S.
01-20-07, 12:28 PM
I take a combo of Lamictal and Dexedrine (50mg bid and an all time low dose of dex 40 mg ir prn done recently and feeling less zombie-like) and well I have a bit of a hyper boost but the range is reasonable and the flexibility of taking less dexedrine even if it is more of a range of 40-60 mg in the 10 mg tabs versus the 90 mg dose of Spansules and limited tabs helps me use the advantage of the rebound hyperactivity (cleaning my apt. in 10-20 min versus 1-2 hours on dex... lower obsessiveness). so I recommend Lamictal

Crazy~Feet
01-20-07, 12:59 PM
I also recommend Lamictal. I felt relief from my crippling depression after only 25 mgs and at 100 mgs? My life had totally changed. I do not have any unpleasant side effects from it either, not even sedation :). If you are able to take it or at least try it? I think its a wonderfully effective medication to add for bipolar!

My Easter Basket: 100 mgs Lamictal at bedtime, .5 mgs Abilify 3X daily, 5 mgs Atarax 2X a day then 10 mgs at bedtime, 81 mgs Concerta AM and 5-10 mgs Dexadrine twice in the evening.

jeaniebug
01-20-07, 01:18 PM
I take a combo of Lamictal and Dexedrine . . . I recommend Lamictal
Thank you so much for your comments, mispen and Crazy Feet! Even though I have spent the last 30 years in and out of therapy and have had horrible depression for the last 15 years, I feel I can see a light at the end this long dark tunnel. I at least have some things that are way different from what anyone has ever told me before.

Just knowing there is such a thing as inatentive ADHD has been a tremendous discovery. And I may be on a spectrum that includes mild bipolar, especially with the anxiety and seasonal nature of my depression. Plus my bio father was extremely bipolar. But I never felt I had a single episode of mania. I was prescribed Topamax for a short while, but it did nothing. I honestly felt like I had "come to the end of me" when I discovered this forum.

I had one psychiatrist increase my dosage of Effexor to 450 mg/day to see if it helped my depression. And no, it didn't, but made me feel manic as hell for the short time I was on it. But I chalked that up to medication induced mania. What are these people thinking? Getting off effexor was pure torture. icky icky icky

Thanks again for your support. ((BIG BIG HUGS)) (I feel like crying!) :o

Crazy~Feet
01-20-07, 01:30 PM
{{Jeanie}} hugs back! I was also given "Dopamax" after the Great Risperdal-induced-edema Episode of 2006 :rolleyes: and man! All that did was make me feel stupid :mad:...I would also venture to say that people who do not have the bipolar TENDENCY towards mania are not going to go manic from medicines. All it takes for a DX of Bipolar II, which is what I am, is a single episode of mania and lots of depressions, so you certainly qualify!

I am so glad you feel you have found another missing key to your life...I was not thrilled to be DXed Bipolar but I sure was glad to find that missing key! I cannot fight a shadow-puppet ya know? Now that its out in the light, I can see it for what it is and attack it full-force...and I do! Please keep us posted?

Matt S.
01-20-07, 02:04 PM
"Dopamax"...LOL better than "Lobotomax" (my old name for it) love the nickname was on it due to the "all other mood drugs make me fat" and therefore triggered an eating disorder (been both bulimic and anorexic, died as a result, temporarily). Beware of the mixed states as well, that's my flavor of depression and you end up "griping like an old woman" and just staying awake most of the night filled with anger and anxiety kind of the worst aspect of both, add that to my persistent hyperactivity and sometimes it's hard to say if I am hyperactive with a good mood or hypomanic but SSRI's and effexor etc tend to be bad for that and the manic high from those meds can be addicting as well.

Crazy~Feet
01-20-07, 02:14 PM
I have had my share of mixed states and rapid-cycling and its really not pleasant for the people around me.

I also made up a song about Dopomax. I said it turned me into a vegetable and made me nutty, so I used to sing: "I am the Egglant, I am the Eggplant, I am the Walnut!" :D I hated Stupamax and Trileptal gave me HORRIBLE unrelenting headaches.

Ya think we need to stop with the horror stories? Perhaps we are scaring people :o. At least Dopomax resulted in a funny little ditty that amused my family....

jeaniebug
01-20-07, 07:32 PM
I have had my share of mixed states and rapid-cycling and its really not pleasant for the people around me.

I also made up a song about Dopomax. I said it turned me into a vegetable and made me nutty, so I used to sing: "I am the Egglant, I am the Eggplant, I am the Walnut!"
ROFLMAO, CF! Snort! Giggle! Dopomax my *ss! You are too funy!!! At least have not lost my sense of humor. I don't know which kind of veg I was at that point, but eggplant sounds good. Ya little coconut! :eyebrow: Snort!!

Crazy~Feet
01-20-07, 07:43 PM
ROFLMAO, CF! Snort! Giggle! Dopomax my *ss! You are too funy!!! At least have not lost my sense of humor. I don't know which kind of veg I was at that point, but eggplant sounds good. Ya little coconut! :eyebrow: Snort!! :D I keep telling Tracy I deserve a humor award too :D

healthwiz
01-21-07, 03:10 AM
Sounds like a cord has been hit here with the discussion of Lamictal, and I was surprised to see more than myself taking it here..... but now it seems there are many who have ADD who are finding a connection to BP II diagnosis. They are so hard to tell apart if the BP is mild, and that is something probably difficult for others to even consider as a possibility, due to the stigma of BP. I resolve the stigma issue by simpling NOT discussing it with anyone other than my wife.... as I have found that if you think the stigam of ADD is strong, wait till you try the stigma of BP, it's ridiculous - people think you are a raving lunatic who cannot be trusted with money if they think you are BP - how totally disproportionate to reality. Alas, I just say nothing about it to anyone, except doctors. Even then, I have detected bias in doctors too, they are not immune to misinformation.

But I drifted.... I think more people with ADD might benefit from checking if the ADD diagnosis might be masking a mild case of BP, known as BP II. It does not have the classic symptoms of wild spending sprees, etc, so it is almost transparent to docs and friends, but treating it can really help the ADD.

As for not having docs locally, I have a brother who travels 6 hour drive to another state, and he goes there once a month to see a doctor who is highly regarded. As a result, my brother's life has completely changed, and he has friends and girlfriend and a good life now. Had he stayed with the crappy doctor in his little town, not only would his life be much worse, but he might very well be dead from the bad medicines he was getting before. A good doctor is worth traveling for. As proof, I also have a friend who travels 8 hours to see her therapist because the therapist is an expert in her issue. She has no qualms about traveling in order to further her mental health. It is extreme, yes, but who says that extremes are a bad thing when one is fighting a life long battle. We all need better doctors, better diagnosis, better treatment options, and we all need to go wherever necessary to get exactly what we need to improve our lives.

Ok, that is my high and mighty statement for the day. I promise to contain it and try to be normal now... hehe!!

TY to all for all your support and honesty!!

Jon

Crazy~Feet
01-21-07, 04:56 AM
Thanks for starting this thread Jon, I was very happy to contribute...looks like the BP-Lamictal Club at ADDF is getting bigger all the time! :)

jeaniebug
01-21-07, 01:37 PM
As for not having docs locally, I have a brother who travels 6 hour drive to another state, and he goes there once a month to see a doctor who is highly regarded.

As a result, my brother's life has completely changed, and he has friends and girlfriend and a good life now. Had he stayed with the crappy doctor in his little town, not only would his life be much worse, but he might very well be dead from the bad medicines he was getting before.Jon, I do believe a good doctor is worth travelling for. The problem is how do you know it won't be another crappy doctor at the end of a 6 hour trip?

Additionally, my depression, anxiety etc. have brought me to a place where I am seriously in a financial bind, with a low paying job. I know if I had a better job (and I used to make 6 figures) I could look around and travel freely to get to a good doctor. At this point even if I could get to a good doctor I would not be able to pay the bill.

What I find is good about my situation is this: if I hadn't hit rock bottom, I wouldn't have found this website or gotten the idea that mild bipolar may be at the root of my depression, and I have also had ADHD all my life which explains so many things.

My older brother (we were 14 months apart) was smarter, funnier and had more serious ADHD. He self medicated with alcohol and died of liver failure 14 years ago at age 40. He was labeled lazy and stupid and my step Dad tried to beat the ADHD out of him (without success.) I learned to hide my ADHD and became invisible to my family. As things have deteriorated, I have been "outed" as the new lazy, useless black sheep of the family.

Anyway, I have found even with poor doctors, or maybe especially with poor doctors, they have no shortage of Rx pads, and love nothing better than to write a prescripton and send you on your way. So if I make a suggestion, like I would like to try lamictal, I think I would get an Rx of lamictal. My GP gave me 3 sample boxes of Risperdal a couple of months ago when I mentioned ADHD and that my biological father was bipolar. They are still in the drawer. I am seeing a psychologist who can and does diagnose ADHD on Tuesday, and we will certainly talk about bipolar as well.

I'm doing the best I can with the cards that have been dealt. I have already spent 30 years in and out of therapy and seen dozens of doctors in 3 states regarding depression and anxiety. And spent 10's of thousands of dollars.

I feel I have made a HUGE discovery in even finding out about inatentive ADHD, and bipolar which manifests primarily as depression. As my life begins to improve, which it already has, I will look for better doctors. Although it seems I have to be my own doctor :eyebrow: (yes, it's nuts!!!) but I am very bright and persistant. AND I am benefiting from people like you who DO have good doctors who CAN "think outside the box."

Not the ideal solution, but I am still optimistic. This forum is a tremendous help for me. You are helping me as well. For which I am grateful! ;)

healthwiz
01-22-07, 04:59 AM
Jeaniebug

Sounds like you know what your plan is, and that is really awesome. Your persistent and intelligent nature is inspiring.

I have been so much, so much, in the same boat as you are. Hang in there, it does get better. And I agree about rock bottom situations, you can only go up.

I really appreciate your sharing and hope you will feel at ease enough to continue writing.

Jon

jeaniebug
01-22-07, 12:40 PM
Jeaniebug

Sounds like you know what your plan is, and that is really awesome. Your persistent and intelligent nature is inspiring.

I have been so much, so much, in the same boat as you are. Hang in there, it does get better. And I agree about rock bottom situations, you can only go up.

I really appreciate your sharing and hope you will feel at ease enough to continue writing.

JonI've been cruising through the bipolar section and have found many members dx'd w/BP who are on lamictal. And they all love it. Perhaps it should have it's own section!

I have done a lot of reading on bipolar in the last few days. Really eye opening. Lots of recent literature. Researchers warn in their articles "leaving the DSM-IV diagnostic area!" Treatment resistant depression with or without mania is often bipolar. Seasonal depression, anxiety and mania induced by antidepressants also symptoms of bipolar. Effexor caused a very wierd manic reaction for me. Maybe someday I will share that story, but it is deeply embarasing! But definitely points to bipolar.

Believe me, I do know it is a long haul. My problems with fear and anxiety hit me with a big bang when I was 4 years old (48 years ago). I was paralyzed from the neck down due to Guillaine Barre (immune system attacking my central nervous system). I recovered, but it was a year before I could walk again. I was dealing with huge life changes, my Mom getting remarried, moving away from the safety of my grandparents house to a conflict and anger filled house w/stepfather, emotionally unavailable (possiby borderline personality) mother, the birth of a new little brother etc. etc.

My ADHD symptoms are frustrating, but I would sell my soul to get rid of the anxiety! Especially if it also lifted the depression. Some people report that Adderall or Dex gives them immediate relief from anxiety. Some people report an increase in anxiety.

If I need to start with a mood stabilizer like lamictal before proceeding to stims, that's fine with me. Perhaps I won't need antidepressants or stims if I get the bipolar under control. Or perhaps I will still need wellbutrin and/or a stim, but willing to wait until I can see what lamictal will do. I found a table that shows specialists prescribe antidepressants for bipolar patients less than 20% of the time, while GP's treat BP with antidepressants like 80% of the time. My story in a nutshell.

But all the reading I did about mood stabilzers all described horrible side effects. Lamictal appears to recently come into the picture as the first choice in most major BP treatment groups. I saw my bio father a few times and he was literally a drooling mess on lithium and whatever else he was on. :eek: So I haven't wanted to be bipolar in the worst way! He lived in a veterans hospital most of his adult life with his bipolar.

I'm going to call my psychiatrist and see if I can get a lamictal sample pack. He already Rx'd Topamax/Dopomax/Lobotomax for me around 2 years ago. My biological father being extremely bipolar has always pushed psychiatrists that direction anyway. It appears much more difficult to get stims anyway, so that appears to be the way forward. I just needed to leave the "land of denial" about BP. Not just a river in Egypt! Wagons, HO!!!!

healthwiz
01-22-07, 07:27 PM
Jeaniebug

Listen, i am not a Dr (not even close, and I have to say that!!!! ) but i have the impression (always have to say that too!!!) that the stims effect the BP, and many of the anti-depressants also effect BP, both causing manic symptoms. Thus, psychiatrists have to avoid many medicines when treating for BP. I am under the impression: Welbutrin seems to be one of the safer anti-depressants for BP, and Provigil might be a safer stimulant for ADD by not causing the manic effects in BP. Everything is statistical, ie; some people do react to these drugs in a negative way. I am also under the impression lamictal helps with the depression too, while helping eliminate some of the ups and downs cycling. Check with your doctor on everything having to do with medicine (I have to say that too!!! )

Thus, its a catch 22, but these newer drugs open possibilities.

Sorry to hear your father had such a rough time of it.

J