View Full Version : adderal & Hypomania = Bipolar?


jkron
04-01-07, 11:55 AM
Quick background. Diagnosed with Depression 3 years ago, on Effexor. Still felt like something was wrong was diagnosed with innatentive ADD. Started taking Adderal 3 months ago and it was awesome. I felt like all of my problems were solved. I could read, felt smart, social back to what I felt was my true self. About 2 weeks ago I started to get very depressed (again), even though i'm still on the Effexor.

I started to do a lot of reading and think i've been hypomanic for the last 2 months and now am becoming depressed again. I've wanted to take more adderal to just feel good but know that is wrong so I completely threw it out (not sure if that was smart or not).

I'm starting to think the Addderal actually triggered hypomania and that i'm actually BiPolar instead of just depressed with ADD.

Has anyone else had this situation? Is this a reasonable thought? I'm seeing my pdoc on Wednesday to discuss but right now i'm pretty confused and very week and i'm sure also going through adderal withdrawl.

Any help or comments would be greatly appreciated:confused:

Crazy~Feet
04-01-07, 07:33 PM
Well, stimulant medications are famous for triggering hypomanic/manic episodes in bipolar patients, even those that have not been previously diagnosed. It is still possible for some to take stimulants after adding mood stabilizers (I can) but for some this is not possible.

There is a very strong one-way comorbity between bipolar and ADHD (more bipolars seem to have ADHD than those who don't). It may be that you have both and will need to treat both.

We have a very supportive bipolar community here at ADDF :) so please let us know how things turn out for you! Tell the docs what you have observed, since it is quite possible to have both disorders.

justhope
04-01-07, 07:59 PM
Welcome Jkron!

Like my buddy CF..I also have ADD & BPDII. I was diagnosed with ADD 1994, and then depression 2 years later. I just never quite felt right. Last year, I hit a hypomanic wall that was extremely uncomfortable, and very out of character for me. No sleep and spending way to much money. I tracked the up's and downs..went to my PDOC and he diagnosed me with BPDII.

Started me out on Lamicatal, and I came off the Adderall XR 40mg during that time. I was off about a month or so, waiting for the mood stabilizer to build a level. Then I was able to add the Adderall back in. But it's cut in 1/2 to 20mgs now.

I am still titrating up on the Lamictal, and the ADderall can trigger hypomania, esp under extreme stress situations.

Please keep a journal , and take it wiht you. Like CF said. It' a common Co-morbid ....there are plenty of us here who can help and support you should you need it.

Please let us know how it goes...

jkron
04-02-07, 08:55 AM
I appreciate the responses. I'm seeing my pdoc on Wednesday so hopefully i'll get some answers. All I know is that right now i'm exhausted and just want to sleep.

jkron
04-02-07, 08:58 AM
Actually one last question. I know that being hypomanic is not great, but as with many others I did like the feeling of being energized etc.. With mood stabilizers like Lamicatal how does that make you feel? I know that might sound weird, but one of my big concerns is that i'm going to be a zombie, have no feelings etc..

justhope
04-02-07, 10:56 AM
Nope it's not a weird question at all. For several reasons, it's also most of our fears.

One of the hardest reasons to treat, Bipolars of all spectrums is because the mania is umm fun? well it is in the beginning until you crash. But it's enough to make most of us..not want the fun to be "spoiled" by meds.

No the Lamictal has never made me feel like a Zombie.
Acutally the only difference I felt after week 3 , and up to 50mg, was a sense of more balanced moods?
The only Zombie effect I had was when I was taking them at night, to "avoid" the possible side effects and found out that this was making me very tired in the morning? So I switched it to taking them mid morning and I have no side-effects at all..

I also worried about it effecting my creative outlets. I love to write...and it didn't. The only thing it did, was help me balance out how long I did write or stay on the computer writing, by enabling me to "turn off the hypomanic hyperfocus and stop before 4am on a work night.

So for me it's been wonderful. For most of the people I know who take it, or just started it's been a very good thing. I hope it is for you too.

Let us know okay?

Crazy~Feet
04-02-07, 10:57 AM
You will not lose your ability to feel emotions, but you will lose the extreme highs and lows that characterize BiPo. I know hypomania feels great (sometimes) but BiPo is a progressive disorder...and hypomania can rapidly devolve into extreme irritability and sometimes rage attacks. Since you have been taking Effexor, I presume you are already familiar with the extreme depression phases that also characterize BiPo.

Many BiPos miss hypomania but some of us don't because we understand that it is not a natural state...and it does NOT feel good to the people around us that we know and love. I remember how much I used to get done during hypomanic phases and how wonderful I sometimes felt, like I was on top of the world, and that life was really special. I also remember how much I baffled my family, how easily I would be provoked into irritability and just how truly nasty I could be then. I remember the price I paid for these times; the extreme tiredness and lethargy, the crushing depression and the pain I put my family through when I felt hopeless and wished to die (in spite of the Cymbalta that I had been taking).

Besides, the milder forms of BiPo can at any time flip the switch over into BPI and bring with that true manias that can manifest as psychotic episodes. I am sure you don't need me to elaborate just how dangerous that might potentially be!

I firmly believe that all forms of BiPo should be treated. I accept that I will be medicated against this disorder for the rest of my life. I will do it for my family and I will do it for me. AS good as I might feel during hypomania I realize that it is NOT a normal state of being (recent example before titrating up on Lamictal: My husband lost his job and that fear provoked a hypomanic episode. NOBODY ought to be elated at a time like that! I was a big, fat annoyance to my hubby and unable to support him emotionally because I was riding that wave of hypomania...do you see?).

Please let us know how the doc appt. goes? And good luck to you. We will be here regardless what the doctor says.

Matt S.
04-02-07, 07:48 PM
I'm your opposite (antidepressants with thorazine will still make me insane) stimulants however seems to aid in the bipolar component to my diagnoses

justhope
04-03-07, 12:44 PM
Mspen,

I can't take antidepessants, either? Zoloft make me do the thorazine shuffle?
Can't just take the Stims either, makes me hypomanic...

Ergo the mood stablizer's...first, after blood level...low dose of the stims...

I am noticing after 4 weeks up to 150mg, I might need to titrate the Adderall up a little more? I took it all this week..and well still feeling very ADDish..LOL...

Will talk to doctor...and see what he thinks?

CF anything like this for you yet?

Crazy~Feet
04-03-07, 01:46 PM
I had to switch from Concerta to Dex spansules. Seems that my dose of Concerta (the only dosage that works) may have been responsible for triggering my hypomania due to excess anxiety. Apparently my anxiety attacks and agoraphobia began after I went back on Concerta (I am no good with time frames, but its all on my chart...go doc W!).

I cannot take SSRI/SSNRI class antidepressants either...they make me madly manic. Quite extreme. Often!

I am currently tirating up on the Dex but ya know what? It does look like I will need to up my dex dose beyond the "normal exchange rate" from Concerta to Dexadrine. I suspect that is due to the jump up in Lamictal, naturally.

Matt S.
04-03-07, 07:14 PM
My advice if there's legit hypomanic symptoms is to not take another dose. I refuse to try a "new" SSRI when it comes out regardless of what trial shows a half percent less chance for mania or not. I tried wellbutrin and after a week I thought I was a psychic that was getting abducted by aliens and I believed it too.

justhope
04-03-07, 07:28 PM
Not a great fan of the SSRI's either Mspen. I will stick with the mood stabilizers. I haven't had any major hypomanic episodes linked specifically with just the Adderall. I still track my up's and down's and from the history, several have been off of the Adderall which up until recently I was taking PRN. And a couple were on Adderall, but boosted or possibly triggerd by "large stressors" going on at the time. Ie teenager on the rampage unmedicated. And unforeseen financial bumps" which put me in a dizzy.

So I have been back on my regular dose, and nothing. Except now, I feel more ADD?

So who know's I will talk to the doc and see what he thinks. Interesting that CF and I started around the same time on Lamictal, and are tirtrating about the same and both seem to be having the same issue.

Which kind of goes to the saying, and why they want you to come off of the ADD meds and stabalize you for the BPD first. Then you can see if it was ADD truly or BPD? Always mindful to treat the Bipolar first then address the ADD. Makes sense. I did it, that's how we came to the conclusion, that yep I am def ADD too! Now we have a curious balancing act to do here. Balance the BPDII out, and ADD without triggering severe symptoms of both.

Oh boy, what fun. :D

Crazy~Feet
04-03-07, 08:46 PM
OH yes Hope just loads of fun! :faint: Its a very tricky balancing act these days, it seems, but it is SOP for them to treat the BP the best they can then add stimulants for the ADHD.

Of course my doc never took me off stimulants, just decreased them, because without them I am too freaking wonky to remember to even TAKE Lamictal...:rolleyes:

justhope
04-04-07, 06:10 PM
Yes it's seems to be tricky....

I have been feeling really Addish for the last week...today was not exception...except now I am getting irritated with myself.

So after my lovely client meeting tomorrow, and my lunch. I will take 40mg ..and see where it goes?

All the time I have been back on my Adderall, I have "felt" and noticed the "desired" effects. For the last week, I have felt like I have taken nothing?
I don't really even have the side-effects that "always" seem to stay, like the dry mouth? The total loss of appetite, or if I take it late...any Rebound?
Interesting, huh?

So here I go...permission of course from my lovely pdoc...yipee,,at least if I hit hypomania....I only have to work 2 hours Friday...and off I go into the ozone...yipee.....

jkron
04-04-07, 09:03 PM
OK - diagnossis is in. Bipolar II.

Officially stoping Adderall until Bipo is under control. Starting to take Lamactil and Seroquil and we will see how it goes. Any of you guys have any experience with these meds?

Crazy~Feet
04-04-07, 10:26 PM
OK - diagnossis is in. Bipolar II.

Officially stoping Adderall until Bipo is under control. Starting to take Lamactil and Seroquil and we will see how it goes. Any of you guys have any experience with these meds?I take 150 mgs Lamictal in the evenings. It began working immediately at 25 mgs though, I felt some relief.

jkron
04-05-07, 04:45 PM
I'm kind of noticing that myself. It's a strange feeling, although yesterday was my first day on the Lamictal and my stomach was an absolute mess. Today is my second day and although i'm only on 25mg I do feel slightly different.

Just curious, why do you take it at night?

justhope
04-05-07, 10:18 PM
Not sure why CF took it at night....can't member think she told me before? LOL


I am on 150mg Lamictal now too Jkron.
I started taking mine at night, to avoid any possible "side effects' since I started in on a weekday, and had to work the next day...didn't want to be loopy or whatever on it. Had some bad sideeffects on anti depressants in the past, and very little history wiht the mood stabilizer's except , Risperdal. And I ONLY take it at night, to sleep and help with my PMDD.

Unfortuantely, trying to avoid the side effects at night, caused one for me.
Extreme fatigue...and fog brain until about 11am in the morning..AARGH..and mind you I am not a morning person any way..but work a day job...

anywho, I talked to my mother (nurse, RN) and told her about it. I told her it was odd because initially I took it about 8pm and dind't feel sleepy at all, in fact I didn't even know I took it? But man in the morning??? She suggested perhaps because my metabolism slowed so much at night, the slower release of the meds, might make the usually unnoticed side effect of "sleepiness" much worse. So I switched it around to about 10am in the morning , after my Adderall and wala it works great. No side effects now for me.

Like CF ...I started to feel "better" after about the 2-3 week on 25mg. I felt much much better by the 50mg mark...had a bump in the road at 75mg where I felt umm a little depressed. And CF said the same thing. But after a few days I was fine. I don't know if it was because I was hitting a "depressive" state, and the meds were still adjusting me or not..weird her and I did it at the milligram, and about the same time? I find it a little hard to believe we are "in sync" with our swings? Who knows..perhaps that's why we call each other the "missing link sisters" (long story, cept we started Lamictal about a month apart) ...By 100mg I was leveled out more than I have ever been in my life. It seems to work fast a lower doses, and then takes a little longer to "feel" the larger increased dosages. It took about 3 weeks for me to notice the difference with 100mg and same up to the 150mg mark...

So over all I would say this is a wonderful medication for bipolar's and the medical community seems to agree. And so do most of the BpDII's here? Jeanie, who's the mod here, started right after me and KZ did..she is still titriting up to 100..and is doing better...So be patient. Hopefully, you should really start feeling it after you are into your 2nd week or so of the 50's.

I haven't taken the Seroquel. My son, 15 just got dx last month, was started in Lamictal and Seroquel/ combo. He was having severe sleep/ mania issues, and even overriding his Risperdal. He took exactly one 100mg dose and was OUT like a light. Only problem is he stopped taking it and his Lamictal after only 3 days..*sigh*.... I don't know how it will work for him.

So hey keep us updated, like to hear how it works for you..

So I guess this means you are official? BPDII? Diagnosed? Welcome to the club!

Crazy~Feet
04-05-07, 10:40 PM
I take mine at night because unlike my linksister, I am a rapid metabolizer (Hope, you old sloth, you!) :D. Earlier, when I was still in the titrating up stages I did have a few days of that brain-fog-falling-asleep-in-coffee-do-not-wanna-sleep-at-night thing going on, each time I would titrate up this would happen for a few days...and then it became very sedating right off the bat almost. I get tired within an hour of taking my current dose.

Of course, I was DXed a month before Hope and had already tried several off-label meds and had some pretty crummy side effects from them. Risperdal gave me a rarer side effect :o which was just too bad for me because the stuff works gangbusters for agitation! Also great for sensory issues (also makes great fries!) :D My kid is able to take Risperdal though.

So now I take the 150 mgs Lamictal at night and the 5 mgs Abilify 3 times a day...and the combo so far is working. Weird after Hope and I both had a few "issues" in our lives with BP, and then both titrated up at virtually the same time (same week wasn't it?), forgive less than perfect memory and all that.

Overall I would have to say its true that Lamictal, as long as it works for you and does not give you "The Rash", is a fabulous medication for bipolar.

And welcome to the Cycling Team! :)

jeaniebug
04-08-07, 10:46 AM
So now I take the 150 mgs Lamictal at night and the 5 mgs Abilify 3 times a day...and the combo so far is working. Weird after Hope and I both had a few "issues" in our lives with BP, and then both titrated up at virtually the same time (same week wasn't it?), forgive less than perfect memory and all that.

Overall I would have to say its true that Lamictal, as long as it works for you and does not give you "The Rash", is a fabulous medication for bipolar.

And welcome to the Cycling Team! :) Welcome to the Cycling Team? Giggle, snort! Never thought I'd hear those words, but I am indeed on the cycling team. We need a better name and some fancy spandex uniforms. (Trust me you don't want to see me in spandex!) Don't forget the helmets! (snort)

I am on the 100 mg dose of Lamictal and it's not helping like I hoped it would. This may be because...1) I have a lot of stress right now with changing jobs and/or 2) I am taking Wellbutrin (and I think it gave me hypomania)

I have read that if you haven't taken the mood stabilizers without an antidepressant, you haven't really had an actual experience with a mood stablizer. (or something to that effect) I am going to call my psychiatrist Monday and ask if I can go off the Wellbutrin. It also increased my anxiety, like all the SSRI's have. So I'm beginning to feel the same way you do Hope, that the last 14 years on antidepressants have really got my undies in a bundle.... Or my head in a fog..... I wanted to use some expletives, but couldn't think of any that were PC.

My p-doc is not the one who prescribed the Wellbutrin anyway. (Although he does know I am taking it.) That was some quack that I had a 10 minute appt with who didn't care about my history and did not listen to a word I said, yada yada....So what the heck am I doing 4 months later and still on this KR@pp.

I am feeling oddly frisky this morning. Hmmmm..... Maybe the Lamictal is kicking in.....

Later, Team! Go cyclers! :D :D :D

Crazy~Feet
04-08-07, 12:20 PM
We need to pick team colors so I can make us all a banner :D...

jkron
04-09-07, 07:50 PM
Once again I trully appreciate all the advice and wisdom. I'm on my 5th day of Lamictal at 25mg, and yes i'm officially diagnosed with BPDII (at least for the time being). I definately feel a bit of an evening out going on. I am experiencing some strange things and curious if any of you have. First, I definately have a bit of a brain fog, which it sounds like everyone has (does this go away eventually?). Secondly, my memory has gotten awful and my ADD feels like it has gotten worse, or i'm just more aware of it now that i'm not on any ADD meds. Just as an example, this morning I washed my hair 3 times because I couldn't remember if I washed it yet. Last night I accidentaly took 2 Seroquel's once again because I couldn't remember if I took it (already addressed that problem by getting a pill box). I also feel like i'm incredibly clumsy all of a sudden.

On another note. Are all of you married with kids? Am I the only male, don't mind if I am, just curious. If you guys are married how did or does your spouse deal with it. Granted this is just the beggining of the path for me, but I can sense from my wife that she isn't completely comfortable with the diagnosis. Don't get me wrong, i'm not thrilled either, but it is what it is, and if I can find anything that makes me feel better than it is worth it.

It also seems that your kids have similar issues as well, when did you notice it in them (age wise, and what were they doing to signal it)? I have a 3yr old daughter and a 1 yr old son and just want to be as educated as possible.

Thanks again, and in a strange sort of way i'm proud to be on the cycling team. LOL

Matt S.
04-09-07, 08:05 PM
Proud member of the cycling team here... this one tends to get a bit agitated at times but hey... that's easily humor healed with me... Love it the cycling team

Matt S.
04-09-07, 08:15 PM
needed the humor been a bit mixed... Off dexedrine briefly, doc starting the titration here too, had Adderall 30 mg tabs left from an old prescription and it wasn't pretty when the... In Case of Emergency time came, unfortunately for me going off of stimulant meds can trigger hypomania, hyperactivity just escalates into the fine old mixed state after a period of time and now I have got the spansules giving me the whammy again.

justhope
04-09-07, 11:59 PM
jkron...

I did notice a little bit of the fog brain, but it was after I got up to a higher dosage. Like forgetting to remember how to spell....but I was going through so much at the time, stress wise I can't really say if it was the meds or just stress?
I don't feel that at all now? In fact I don't know I'm on the Lamictal at all, cept when I missed it for a week, and felt the dark side coming.

You are not the only male here...Mspen makes it a male cycling duo! The rest of us are the female cyclists?

I have 3 boys, 10, 8 and 15...my 15 year old was just diagnosed a month ago with BPDII as well..oh boy ,what fun...and doesn't want to take his meds..even more fun..
My oldest, has been ummm hard to deal with since he was 3...always knew there was something. The ADD dx came easy. Being my family went before me, and him. The bipolar I wondered, but was in my own sort of denial, it wasn't until I was dx that I started looking at him.

My other 2, nope they appear pretty normal. Well my middle one is as ADHD as they come, and the youngest, seems mostly borderline. Knew the middle one was that way from early on, my mom spotted at umm birth? She called him a "worm in hot ashes" he was never still, and never has been since. But he is harmless, happy go lucky and since he has no behaviour or really grade issues, I left him unmedicated for now. He is aware, if it gets bad, to the doctor we go. He has asked me, is it time mom? ANd the youngest, well I don't know if he will ever need meds, although he is very much like me, I wonder if the BPD has passed to him, but I see no signs of it.....yet.
I remember asking my mom, how is it that my oldest is such a mess, and the others are so normal? (both dad's are for lack of a better word, nutso too)
She said, well when you had Keenan, my oldest, she said you were not so together, not on regular meds hadnlt learning the coping skills to pass on to him, but wiht the other's you have, it was simple to her. ANd a light bulb went off in my head and I looked back and saw the difference. See you are even ahead of me...mine were a little older....

My kids know what is going on with me, and talking about ADD and the BPD hs come easy. My other 1/2 was just glad to see me stop going from the superb^tch who slept 12 hours a day, on her days off, and din't want to do anything, to the eviler twin who didn't sleep for days and stayed on the computer like the mad scientist...He has been very supportive, in his own way...like you did take your meds today, right...LOL (self preservation)
It wasn't hard for me to tell my family. AS most were not surprised. WE come from a family chocked full of fun mixes...ADD, ODD, BPD...etc. So I don't think anything shocked them. It was very hard thinking about telling anyone outside of the family. There are people I work with (worked there 8 years) that know I am ADD, never been shy about telling anyone...but they still don't know about the BPD...and they probably never will.
It's been a bittersweet experience for me.

Matt S.
04-10-07, 02:00 PM
I'm the wonderful "Mixed State Warrior" don't really go up and down like I did as a kid but I get the episodes a lot less in frequency than I did as I did as a kid too. Not as Rapid, more hyperactive so I guess you take some and lose some... I notice that I forgot the part about the male part.

jkron
04-11-07, 03:34 PM
Ok, so far so good. On my 7th day of Lamictal and Seroquel. I feel much better, BUT today I am DEFINATELY a bit hypo. Only sleep 4 hours last night, woke up at 3:30 am and have been wide awake and wired ever since. Don't get me wrong, i'd much rather be like this than depressed but was wondering if any of you have had a similar response at any time.

This time does feel a bit different than the past. I am not irretable at all and actually feel very good with a lot of energy. As we all know, i'm sure it won't last and I will eventually crash, but just curious if you guys think this is something I should be concerned about or just ride it out and see what happens. Also, on a side note I used to drink a ton of diet soda and caffeine and I have reduced that to 2 cans of diet pepsi a day (huge reduction for me).

Oh, before I forget. One more question about the Seroquel. When I take it at night, in about 45 minutes I'm out like a light. Can barely keep my eyes open, but one strange thing, I feel like my nose and/or sinuses are stuffed. I know i'm strange, but again just curious if anyone has had a similar reaction (and I didn't see that one on the side effects list).

justhope
04-11-07, 03:53 PM
Hey you...you are not strange...well not over here with us anyway!!!


Ummm I still cycle ....Jkron....but I am still balancing. The cycles are less frequent and less severe. I did the same thing last night..cept I was here until 2am...and then up at 6:30am...I was wide awake at 2am...over stimed by umm drama here..and work..and you know...but the difference was when I work up ..I was tired...not rearing to go....so that is the difference...

I don't know if the cycles every go completely away....I might find out....not pushing my dose over 200mg..doc won't let me...says depression is side effect for a lot of people esp those like me that have a tendency to be more depressed than manic. ...so i will have to live with it...it this is as good as it gets...

And like I told Jeanie..you can over ride your meds...like I did last night...
blast right past them...if you are extremely stressed, overwound...etc...I see episodes then...that I have to go in and take my Risperdal for...(I just take that for umm PMDD, sorry if tmi...but only as needed once a month) But if I over wind ...it knocks me out too....

And I don't take Seroquel..my son was given the script...but only took it once..man was it nice...OUT LIKE A LIGHT..just like you said...but he didn't say anything about that? hmm interesting side effect? How about asking a pharmacist, if they ever heard of it...mine asked me about some of my meds...since I am in there filling out looney meds 2x per month...kid on one payday, me on other...she is curious...and I get info from her???

jkron
04-11-07, 05:19 PM
LOL, there is nothing worse than having to go to the same pharmacist and checkout person for every new refil.

Quick story: When I was trying to get Adderall to the right dose I was constantatly switching between XR/IR 10,20,30 etc.. In the span of 3 days I had 5 or 6 different scripts filled, check out person says "Wow, you must really like this stuff" my response "Not really, but the kids down at the elementary schools are trading me their lunches for them, and hell I gotta eat somehow" His response: "I hear ya man" Now the real funny thing about that one is I was wearing a suite and tie, I look like a banker (and happen to be one), but this clown somehow really thought I was being serious. I took two steps, looked back about to tell him I was kidding then thought "Na, ignorance can be bliss"

Definately will talk to Dx about sinus side effects but between you me and every other person who ever reads this, if thats the worst of it, i'll be ecstatic.

http://www.maggi-jones.com/Images/CyclingCountryLogoSmall.jpg

jkron
04-11-07, 05:19 PM
Next question, how do I attach a picture?

justhope
04-12-07, 11:35 AM
LOL....that is very funny...you handled that wonderfully! I love a good smart alec....my favorite kind of peep's...cause I am not just a member of the smart ***** club, I am the president!!! Well I agree if the sinus thing is all, then hey if you can live with it...all else is well????


And you want the picture as a sig line? That what you mean????
If so...you can go to Crazyfeet and she might be able to do it for you...she has a section in the Creative Endeavor's where she does them for people. She has done most of ours, here.

If not, let me know what you mean????

Talk to you soon, off to dreaded work...Banker huh? Interesting job....We have many Banks as clients at our Firm....anywho....I will have to remember to wear my suit in to get all scripts filled at once...just to see if I can get a remark? They never say anything to me...no fun, no fun at all!

jkron
04-12-07, 06:49 PM
are any of you guys rapic clyclers? Today has been a bad day for me, absolutely no energy, had to leave work because I couldn't even type. 180 degrees from yesterday, just seems a bit extreme, never really experienced it to this extent.

justhope
04-12-07, 07:13 PM
Yes I am a rapid cycler...Diagnoses on paper is Cyclothymia/BPDII...guess he wanted to be covered..LOL...

I can go from depressed to Hypomania in a 24 hour period.
I have never not been able to type...but I have laid in bed for an entire weekend and not gotten up except to eat and go to the bathroom, and could sleep for 18 hours....

I have not gone to work because I won't get out of the bed, and I have left work stating I am sick when I simply dind't care to deal with it there?

Did you just come out of mania? Are you getting sick? Did you just come out of some big anxiety thing? I can crash and burn pretty quick for all of the above, or them combined???? You are early in the game remember.

If you are getting up to the higer milligrams and still experiencing these extremes tell your doctor ...and get the journal out and track your swings....so you can tell pdoc on next visit? How long till you go again? 30days?

jkron
04-12-07, 07:28 PM
I guess I just came out of hypo mania today, but I was only in it for 1 day. Other than that nothing is different, work is the usual and i'm not (or at least don't think so) getting sick and nothing extra stressfull.

I have been keeping a mood/sleep journal as well as a written journal. The strange thing to me is last night I slept great 9 hrs and only woke up once, but today I was and am absolutely drained. I am seeing my pdoc next tuesday and will share this with her. Just seems so quick and extreme for me, and have never had that before.

I have not increased my dose at all, still on 25mg of Lamictal for another 5 days then move up to 50mgs.

justhope
04-12-07, 07:48 PM
You are definantely early in the game and that lil ole 25mg is not going to make the extremes go away, might give you a little relief....I didn't really feel it until I think the 2nd week of the 50mg...And again after the 100mg. Remember I still cycle...not as extreme..and not as often..


I could not only cycle in 24 hours...I also had a pretty regular pattern , of about 3-4 days up...(1st day no sleep, 2nd day 3-4 hours, 3rd about 6...last day, CRASH AND BURN))) then the depression, horrible at first, then tapered off...

Very confusing disease...don't panic unless you get some other sypmtoms...if you are concerned...and after you read up on the info I gave..give her a call?

jkron
04-15-07, 07:43 PM
Things seem to have mellowed a bit. I had one monster day up and then a monster day down this week but that was Tuesday and Wednesday, since then i've been pretty even. Definately get a bit tired in the afternoons but starting to feel a bit more even. Hopefully it will only get better.

justhope
04-15-07, 08:21 PM
Yes, I know, I told you I still have the up's and downs. I have been a little on the manic side for a couple of days...and crashed some today. i think part of it was because I have been sick. But again, you can over ride anything if you push it far enough. WEll except maybe throrazine? LOL


I get to watch my son now. He finally agreed to start his meds after being diagnosed over a month ago. He is on day 6 now. And today. he was having a bad day..and he actually came to me and said mom give me my meds now please. TG....I hope he starts feeling better like I did by the firsst week of 50mgs....We need a break, and some normal thinking in this house.

jkron
04-16-07, 06:55 AM
I hope it works out for you and your son. Although i'm 34 years old I think I can relate to your son a bit, as i'm sure we all can. It's a very difficult illness and even more difficult to come to terms with it. I still go through my periods of thinking "i'm just weak, and there is really nothing wrong with me other than my will power, etc.." I think just recently that I admited to myself that I am truly bipolar and that I will ALWAYS need to monitor myself and take meds the rest of my life. Maybe your son is just starting to realize this. Unfortunately I think it takes going to a very dark place before one can realize it thouroughly.

jkron
04-17-07, 09:06 AM
Bottom line, this illness sucks. I've been good for about 4 days. Today i have ZERO energy and feel horible. Why does that happen? I'm so tired, just want to go to sleep. Should I fight through it and stay at work, or go home and go to bed? What is the best course of action when this occurs? Luckily I have an appointment with my pdoc this afternoon, but i'm hurting right now. Actually the one decent thing is I'm not incerdibly negative and don't feel like my mind is spinning out of control, but I can barely even type this email.

justhope
04-17-07, 10:57 PM
I went through that too, jkron, and had a mild episode of it yesterday. You are still cycling, sounds like the depression? Were you feeling a little up before, then crashed? You are still on a lower dose? But please tell him, incase this is some type of side-effect that might indicate it's not a good fit for you?

I have only heard of the increased depressive states at a higher doses? Like 200mg or over?

Lamictal side effects :eyebrow:

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible.

Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Lamictal.

Side effects may include: Abdominal pain, back pain, blurred vision, constipation, dizziness, double vision, dry mouth, fatigue, headache, increased cough, insomnia, nausea, rash, runny nose, sleepiness,sore throat, uncoordinated movements, vomiting



I don't know if you ever got a chance to go here....

but this exact link, has the medication tracking sheet www.dbsalliance.org/pdfs/medications.pdf (http://www.dbsalliance.org/pdfs/medications.pdf) use it...okay? :soapbox:



**Depression is the most pervasive feature of bipolar disorder. People with bipolar disorder typically spend far more time in the depressive phase than they do in the manic phase. Furthermore, bipolar depression is more disruptive (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/470126_5) than mania, frequently interfering with work, family life, and social functioning. Unfortunately, depressive episodes can be difficult to treat.

Antidepressants have traditionally been used to treat episodes of bipolar depression. However, mounting evidence suggests that they arenít effective. "Antidepressants don't work very well in bipolar depression," states Dr. Robert Hirschfeld, the head of psychiatry at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, in a Psychology Today article (http://psychologytoday.com/articles/index.php?term=pto-20030601-000001&page=1) on bipolar treatment.

Symptoms of mania - the "highs" of bipolar disorder

<DIR><DIR>Increased physical and mental activity and energy

Heightened mood, exaggerated optimism and self-confidence

Excessive irritability, aggressive behavior

Decreased need for sleep without experiencing fatigue

Grandiose delusions, inflated sense of self-importance

Racing speech, racing thoughts, flight of ideas

Impulsiveness, poor judgment, distractibility

Reckless behavior

In the most severe cases, delusions and hallucinations

</DIR></DIR>Symptoms of depression - the "lows" of bipolar disorder:(

<DIR><DIR>Prolonged sadness or unexplained crying spells

Significant changes in appetite and sleep patterns (http://www.sleeplessinamerica.org/)

Irritability, anger, worry, agitation, anxiety

Pessimism, indifference

Loss of energy, persistent lethargy :faint:

Feelings of guilt, worthlessness

Inability to concentrate, indecisiveness

Inability to take pleasure in former interests, social withdrawal

Unexplained aches and pains

Recurring thoughts of death or suicide


</DIR></DIR>Oopsie more...sorry, perhaps printing is suggested if your attention span is waining...good stuff...sorry...I just know reading, researching little by little has helped me understand, what to expect, and not too...:faint:

HANG IN THERE!!!!;) It's still early...yet...and remember>>>>

Symptom Relief, Not Cure

Just as aspirin can reduce a fever without clearing up the infection that causes it, psychotherapeutic medications act by controlling symptoms. Like most drugs used in medicine, they correct or compensate for some malfunction in the body. Psychotherapeutic medications do not cure depression. In many cases, these medications can help a person get on with life despite some continuing mental pain and difficulty coping with problems. For example, antidepressants can lift the dark, heavy moods of depression. The degree of response ranging from little relief of symptoms to complete remission depends on a variety of factors related to the individual and the particular disorder being treated.

How long someone must take a psychotherapeutic medication depends on the disorder. Many depressed and anxious people may need medication for a single period perhaps for several months and then never have to take it again. For some depressions, medication may have to be taken indefinitely or, perhaps, intermittently.

Like any medication, psychotherapeutic medications do not produce the same effect in everyone. Some people may respond better to one medication than another. Some may need larger dosages than others do. Some experience annoying side effects, while others do not. Age, sex, body size, body chemistry, physical illnesses and their treatments, diet, and habits such as smoking, are some of the factors that can influence a medication's effect.

there is a little controversial site..some have used here... I get a kick out of the explanations...despite the comedy, the explanations are valid, as I cross referenced many with the PDR.

You might find the Lamictal info interesting...

http://www.crazymeds.org (http://www.crazymeds.org/)

Now print this stuff out, go and print the med tracker, use it!.... and let me know how it goes ..or if you need to vent..you know where to find me...:D

jkron
04-18-07, 10:10 AM
I actually have been using that sheet and i'm happy to say that today i'm doing much better. I'm definately still cycling a bit but it seems the highs and lows are not as extreme as they have been previously so I guess the meds are starting to work. I just increased my dose today and am still in the starter pack for the lamictal. My Dr. didn't seem incredibly concerned with my situation and also felt that it is early in the process and to keep tracking changes etc..

justhope
04-18-07, 10:32 AM
Well wonderful news.....Glad you are using the "tracker" I didn't have that one off line....just had an older one...I printed that one to use with my son...

It's hard in the beginning...I know..I still get frustrated now..wanting some how to feel "perfectly" normal all the time...yeah right....

I have to remind myself too, that ....this is not going to completely stop me from cycling...but its going to provide enough relief to be able to live with it...I am certainly more balanced than I was...one day at a time...

My son is 1/2 way thorough his week 2 of 25mg...
I told him again, I am hoping he feels the effects like I did on the end of the first week of 50mg....(crossing fingers) ...

I am glad you are doing better....stay in touch... ;)

Matt S.
04-19-07, 12:58 PM
The mixed state for me is strange now having the opposite elated mental state yet sleeping most of the day, I just wish I could feel as wonderful as I do now when I am up for 4 days straight

justhope
04-21-07, 08:28 PM
I hear you Mspen....I miss that too. I have been sick and it hasn't helped the depression, I have done nothing but sleep for days. I hate being sick and so sleepy it reminds me of the "black" hours....I don't want to live there again.

Frankly I don't want to live in either extreme again, but I do miss the "happy" business of hypomania....but not enough to ever stop taking my meds. ;)

Sassy73
04-22-07, 12:28 AM
Well-

I guess I find the most interesting of what I have read to be the hypomania. I personally have the rages most of the time (I'm rapid cycling bipolar), and I find nothing glorious about the mania.

On another note, I believe I have signs of ADD. My doctor and I will be discussing in at my next meeting. I take Depakote for Bipolar along with clonopine when needed. I also take Cymbalta. However, I have signs of forgetfulness, losing things, disorganization, procrastination, etc.

jkron
04-22-07, 08:53 AM
Welcome to the club, lol. One thing I would be very careful about is the ADD medication leading to hypomania or mania. I originally was diagnosed with unipolar dipression and ADD, after taking Adderall and becoming hypomanic for about 2 weeks I was diagnosed with Bipolar II. It was kind of a blessing in disgues for me since now I believe I have the correct diagnosis, but unfortunately my ADD is as bad as it ever has been.

Personally i'd rather deal with the ADD opposed to the severe fluctuation in moods but hopefully i'll be able to get both under control sometime in the future. The one thing that I definately learned is that I can not take any stimulants. It worked like a charm for the ADD but definately triggered hypomania then depression.

justhope
04-26-07, 11:28 PM
I had to come off of the stimulants Jk...until I was on the Lamictal for about 2 months and stablized. And to make sure the ADD was a true dx. Then I did start back on , a very low dose. I only take it for work and not all the time. If it's a light day at work or home, I don't take it at all. But if I need it I do. If I feel the hypomania cming on, since the Lamictal is not a complete cure all, but just "tones" down the extremes, I don't take my Adderall at all.


Perhaps after you get stablized more, you might be able to try a low doseage?

Matt S.
04-27-07, 08:08 AM
My experience with the depression (mixed states more or less) was that I became super obsessive when i was on dexedrine alone, like I could do nothing but obsess.

justhope
04-27-07, 06:33 PM
Mspen,
What meds are you on now? I am glad you come here...but you seem sooo well unhappy or frustrated? I am not trying to be nosey. Just concerned?

I also had some issues with hyperfocus when Iwas not dx yet. Hypomania...and hyperfocus..oh boy what a combo. Boy I could get some fantastic writing done..and art projects..but nothing else..and it was obsessivly long in duration, and when I needed to be doing things in my home....or for my kids...

I don't feel that way now ....I feel more balanced. I came come here, and when it's time to go to bed, or let my kids get on, or take care of things, I can shut it down. I sometimes miss the intensity...but it's just not worth it to me to ever consider being that way again.

Matt S.
04-28-07, 08:34 AM
Depakote 250 mg ER (wont go higher) Lamictal 200 mg (the Depakote boosts the lamictal without the lamictal headache) and Dexedrine

justhope
04-28-07, 10:27 AM
Aha...sorry didn't mean to pry, but you know sensitive some of us Bipolar's can be to other's seeming...distress....

I wish we could all be success stories, happy endings...perfect meds..., big dreamer I know...i guess it's because I know how much this condition sucks, untreated, while in the midst of finding meds that work....etc...

Wow you are on some pretty stiff doses...i know Lamictal they don't like to max out over 200mg much...they seem to believe it doens't really work much more past that anyway, and for the more "depressive" types it can cause "depression" go figure, I just started on the 200mg recently myself..

I was just checking on you...you know we have to watch out for each other...you are after all part of the cycling club..and we need guys over here too, since you all are far and few between here...;)

Matt S.
04-28-07, 10:46 AM
I am an early blooming cycler diagnosed as a child, actually used to go up and down too, but with that said, the concept of medication being necessary for me is still a bit in the Oppositional Defiant stage, I had to be essentially bullied into going on any of these 3 meds, and I still have that diluted "If the mood swing is over without meds then I must be 'cured'"

justhope
04-28-07, 10:58 AM
Very normal..that is the problem with many bipolars. Hard enough to find a medication that isn't misirible, with side-effects .... but they simply don't want to take it when they are done being "down" ....

For me it was harder being hypomanic than depressed. I was mostly depressed all the time anyway..and the hypomania seemed to cycle so rapidly it wasn't effecting me or my family, untill it reached the extreme side. I love to sleep, and I am a miser..so when I didn't sleep for days, and started screwing up my credit I worked so hard to keep...that was it....
I miss the 'high" sometimes...miss the 48s of creativity spurts...but I missed being a good parent, worker, and example more.....

My son is ODD...so I hear what you are saying, and he is fighting his meds as well. I am a rebel myself...but since I am the breadwinner, and have been very successful in my job the last 8 years...and...when I couldn't enjoy my kids due to the hyperfocus, or aggitation...that was it for me.

Perhaps with time, you will feel better. It must be a hard battle, being that way , knowingly, all of your life....I wish you the best Mspen. I hope you find the peaceful , level side soon, and embrace it. ;)

Matt S.
04-28-07, 01:51 PM
Having bipolar disorder in my childhood is better and worse than the adult onset bipolar disorder, the good is that it isn't as severe in nature i.e. psychosis, the bad is the lack of any cycle to reference and with me the presence of Hyperactivity can make a doctor wonder at times which med to increase

jkron
04-30-07, 08:37 AM
I have a question about the Lamictal doses that maybe one of you can answer. I'm up to 100mg in the trial pack. If i'm feeling better at that level, should I just stay there or should i go up to 200mg? I have a meeting with my pdoc in a week so i'll ask her, but I just didn't know if this is the type of med that you titrate up to 200 and then go from there or if you just stop when you feel like you are doing better.

As an update, the Lamictal has been working wonders, I think. I've had 7 days where I felt like my old self. I'm assuming the meds are causing that, although, unlike the Adderall I don't really "Feel" like anything is going on, just feel more "NormaL". This is a very strange illness indeed.

justhope
04-30-07, 09:17 AM
Howdy & Morning :) JK...

I don't know if they want you to stop or not. You can titrate up to 200mg. Did she say to keep going up? Because my starter pack, ended at 100mg. So does my sons? My doctor didn't tell me to go to 150mg until after I saw him again , post -starter pack. Then he told me if I was still having too much cycling, to move up to 150mg and keep it there until our next visit. He wanted me to try not to go to 200mg if I didn't need to. But he said if you do, we will not go past it. I am tooooo proned to the depressive states. We might have to add in more of the Risperdal (I only take for other symptoms, periodically) or possibly the Seroquel my son takes...who knows. I have researched quite a bit, and they say that there doesn't seem to be much improvement from Lamictal after the 200mg anyway? You, of course can check that out yourself....:p

I started out on the same started pack...25mg , 50mg , 75mg up to 100mg. Then I was on that awhile, and started the 150mg..now I am trying the 200mg but seem to forgetting to stop breaking the pieces in halves, take the 150mg and just keep on going...I also forget to tell him to write the 100mg for 200mg so I can have enough to cover me before payday, and before I have to see him again...:faint:

I didn't notice much "difference" either. Like you said, you can tell when you take your ADD meds.

I have never felt the Lamictal...i just felt gradually more and more 'balanced" ..I noticed stuff that used to send me into a tirate, or tizzy...I could breathe through it. Mostly the "small" stuff that shouldn't bother most people. I still get upset with the bigger isssues, but not as likely to go off the deep end..well not as far off the deep end :eek:
The cycles, although they still come, they are less frequent,and not assevere. They are, well, tolerable. :o

So I would do what she said...but if it's only a week or so before your next visit, the 200mg is not going to be working yet anyway? It still takes awhile before doses to build the new level...and it seems to work slowere the higher the dosage. Meaning when I started, I noticed a difference after 2 weeks of 25mg, and one week on 50mg..but it seems to take 4 weeks on the 100-150mg...? :eyebrow:

Let us know, I am curious too, you know???

Glad to hear you are doing well! :D

Hope

Crazy~Feet
05-03-07, 08:29 AM
Well-

I guess I find the most interesting of what I have read to be the hypomania. I personally have the rages most of the time (I'm rapid cycling bipolar), and I find nothing glorious about the mania.

On another note, I believe I have signs of ADD. My doctor and I will be discussing in at my next meeting. I take Depakote for Bipolar along with clonopine when needed. I also take Cymbalta. However, I have signs of forgetfulness, losing things, disorganization, procrastination, etc.Your reply makes a lot of sense to me though. I too tend more towards the rage cycles if I get to the point of rapid-cycling. This tendency has sadly trained my family to avoid me at all costs during these cycles :( and I am able to channel my energy into all sorts of endeavors...and if I was not acutely aware of them avoiding me, like I am now, I might easily say I missed all that I got accomplished when sailing along like that. As long as they don't disturb me they can avoid the rage being directed at them but seriously, I can rage at the dustpan when I get like that pretty easily too. Did you know that a water filter for the faucet is just not equipped to be thrown at a wall without shattering? :o Even inanimate objects are not safe in my presence!

jeaniebug
05-04-07, 02:46 PM
I have a question about the Lamictal doses that maybe one of you can answer. I'm up to 100mg in the trial pack. If i'm feeling better at that level, should I just stay there or should i go up to 200mg? I have a meeting with my pdoc in a week so i'll ask her.
jkron,

My pdoc and I talked about 200 mg being the target for Lamictal, but he had prescribed a month of the 150's. I still had some 100's left, and I went up to 200 mg for a couple days. Then when I saw him last week he said he had wanted me to stay at 150 for a while and never to increase w/o talking to him first.

So I decided to finish out the bottle of the 150's. then he write me an RX for 200's so I will fill that when this stuff is gone.

I don't really notice the lamictal either. I notice that sometimes I feel happy and I am not as hostile and angry. Some of that was the wellbutrin, but some may have been the depression associated with my bipolar. I stopped wellbutrin about a month ago, it made me hypo manic and hostile.

We must keep each other updated! I'm glad it is working so well for you!

jkron
05-06-07, 11:26 AM
Jean,

I appreciate the update. I'm seeing my pdoc on Tuesday and will keep you posted. I'm still on the 100mg and will see what she says. I do think it is working pretty well although right now i'm in a bit of a funk. The nice thing is I actually recognize it and am able to deal with it a bit better. I also know why it is happening. I've had an incredibly stressful week at work (i'm an investment banker, so that happens frequently). I'm usually able to handle work stresses, but just the other day my dog was bitten by a poisonous snake and there was a day or two that we weren't sure if she was a) going to live b) might lose her let or c) be ok. Luckily she is doing well but i'm pretty certain that all of this has led me into this funk.

I'm also happy that my wife is finally starting to understand this illness a bit more. She recognizes that i'm a bit out of it and is FINALLY allowing me some time to myself to get my head straight. We have two kids (3 & 1) and sometimes it is hard for one of us to deal with them but with communication and her reading up on the illness it appears she is recognizing the fact that sometimes I "CAN'T" deal with it and if I force myself to do so it leads to longer episodes of depression and issues. I also think she is realizing that giving me a day or two alone prevents the lengthy "worse" episodes.

This is definately a strange illness but I think i'm starting to understand it a bit more and handle it much better than previously. I'm sure the medication is helping and open communication with my family as well as everyone from this site has helped tremendously. I think the hardest thing has been trying to figure out if "I'm just week as a person" or if is the illness. I'm starting to accept the fact that it is the illness and I need to treat that first opposed to just hating myself etc..

JKron

justhope
05-06-07, 09:54 PM
Hey Jkron...Good for you! Sounds like a breakthrough to me. It takes time, and if she is a reader...find her some good books to read...it has helped me and mine. MY son even asked me to find him a "short" teenage book to help him start understanding his Bipolar,,,esp after our fun episode in the phsyc ward at the hospital this weekend. It's not easy, but you are on the right track. Being leveled out on meds, doing our own research and having the understanding support of others, and the 'bringing" about of understanding from our loved one's makes everything a little more bearable.

I hit the wall today too, after the fun last night...but I knew well enough to stay away from the stimulants to avoid the mania that often follows....so I just realized that I would have to deal with the depression...and because I knew it was going to come...it is easier to handle. :)

jeaniebug
05-09-07, 06:35 PM
I have a question about the Lamictal doses that maybe one of you can answer. I'm up to 100mg in the trial pack. If i'm feeling better at that level, should I just stay there or should i go up to 200mg? I have a meeting with my pdoc in a week so i'll ask her, but I just didn't know if this is the type of med that you titrate up to 200 and then go from there or if you just stop when you feel like you are doing better.

As an update, the Lamictal has been working wonders, I think. I've had 7 days where I felt like my old self. I'm assuming the meds are causing that, although, unlike the Adderall I don't really "Feel" like anything is going on, just feel more "NormaL". This is a very strange illness indeed.
Ya Know, jkron,

I was just re-reading this thread.....I was up to 200 mg of Lamictal last week and the side effects were bothering me a lot. I felt happier at 100 mg than I do at 200 mg for sure. I think it may be increasing my depression at 200 mg. And the doctor had written me a Rx for 150 mg, so I decided to go back to 150mg (I was only on 200 for like 3 days). The side effects seem a little better, but I have been wondering if 100 mg might be a better dose for me. I promised my doctor I would stay on the 150 mg for a month, and I intend to do that.

I was/am having a lot of trouble with light sensitivity (my eyes hurt at work under the fluorescent lights), I had dry mouth, which I have had with other meds, dizziness, fatigue, horrible memory loss, anxiety, and I have also had GI distress (i.e. constipation, upset stomach).

So I was feeling really disapointed in the Lamictal, because I had such high hopes for it. But maybe, just maybe I need a lower dose. I tend to be really sensitive to meds as a rule anyway.

So I will hang at 150 mg for a month, then re-evaluate. Hmmm, I like science projects anyway.....

jkron
05-10-07, 08:48 AM
That stinks. I just spoke with my pdoc and we decided to stick with the 100mgs. I've been feeling much better/even so I don't see the need to push up the dose. Granted I still have some cycling issues (mostly depression) but they haven't been nearly as bad as in the past.

One thing i've noticed is that my ADD is back with a vengence. I talked about getting on some meds for that but we both agreed that stimulants/amphetamines are not the way to go. In about 3 weeks i'm going to give Stratera a shot and see how that works.

Has anyone here tried Stratera with these other medications? I'm a bit concerned that it will make me cycle again.

justhope
05-10-07, 10:30 AM
Jeanie, I have decided to stay at 150mg as well. And you are correct there is research and confirmed by my doctor..that 200mg plus can CAUSE depression in patients who tend to be more on the depressive side. Most BpDII's tend to have more frequent episode of depression anyway. We don't cycle like the normal BPDI's. And they have research showing that Lamictal doesn't seem to have a signifigant amount of 'umpff" or lift after 200mg anyway. That might not apply to everyone, but it seems for most Rapid Cycler's it's the case. I am staying there as well. And will be willing to see if there is something else I can take in conjunction with it .....I might consider taking my Risperdal on a more regular basis..to build a blood level on that as well. Now I am just taking it for hypomania sleep issues, and rage surrounding my PMDD. I am going to talk to PDOC on 24th when I take Keenan to see him.


Jkron...
I have never taken Strattera, although I have seen several people here take it with some success. I don't know the mix of Lamictal & Strattera though?
Do you still have the linkies I gave you to research on your own? So you will have some insight and know what to expect? I can give them to you again if you need them?

I have had success with the low doses of Adderall. I also have taken up to the normal 40mg again with no issue, in fact it seems to "shut" me down better, as far as the impulse, distractablity...more like it used to before the Lamictal. I can tell you I have had a great bit of insight the last couple of weeks about my Bpd and my son's. I can't stress enough to you guys how much research, reading etc has helped me deal with this.

For example, this last weekend in ER with my son. I saw BPD from 'outside" myself. I watched him cycle and I FELT it coming. Like a BPD ESP ..LOL. or radar. It helps me sense it now...so tyr to be prepared in advance.
And for me...I knew that after the initial shock and drama of the whole incident...I would be manic. I let myself experience it, but only for a short period of time. I cut it off, I took the Seroquel, and I shut down or it would have gone on all day and night. I also knew I would be depressed when I woke up and probably for a couple days after. I have learned that there are definantely triggers outside of ourselves that cause the symptoms despite the meds we are on.

Remember guys I have been on these meds and level since December... and I am still cycling too. But it's mild in comparison.
We can't get caught up in the "death" trap in our own minds by thinking these meds are going to 'cure" us. They are simply making our lives bearable. That is it. If we expect to not cycle or have issues with our BPD we are fooling ourselves and setting ourselves up to fail. Ultimately setting ourselves to cycle more, by the added stress and depression of "failure'.

Researching this and "truly" grasping it. Helped me survive the 4 days after the ER visit. I knew it was coming. And I let it come. I took my meds, but I completely STOPPED my stimulants, understanding under the depression the hypomania monster was lurking.

I lightned up my schedule as much as possible, I allowed myself down time...I curled up with a good book, hung out with my boys, and watched TV shows I have missed lately.

I cancelled anything "stressful" that I could. And I took my Risperdal to "sleep" more. And I mean at a normal hour, not to shut myself down..... And I knew why this was happening. I talked about it with my family, I talked about it with our families case manager. And it was sooo much easier to deal with. 4 days later, I came out on the other side.
Normal cycle pattern see here? See 4 days...that is part of the criteria for diagnoses...4 days of symptoms minimum.

The difference was , it was bearable...I made it to work, I functioned. I cut out a couple times just 30 minutes early to get outside in the sunshine and read a good book. I allowed myself to feel it, and I made time away from everything to breathe, and embrace it, and move on.

This has come from learning and truly embracing my BPD self...sounds "cult" like..LOL :p but it makes life so much easier. It's like knowing when you go to the dentist after the first time, what is going to happen. It doesn't make it any funner...but you know what to expect..and you are not flipping out. I guess that is all I can compare it too...cause I hate the dentist so much..:faint: LOL...

I dunno...I just know this is the rest of my life, and my son's and I am going to have every available bit of knowledge about this "disorder" ....every bit of support that is out there. ANd learn not only to be an Advocate for my son, but for myself. There is nothing truer than, the fact you MUST BECOME YOUR OWN ADVOCATE wiht this disorder. And no one can be an Advocate if you don't possess a whole heck of a lot of knowledge about what you are advocating? Makes sense.

A pat on the back of encouragement came from the strangest place yesterday. I was talking to my case manager about my son's and the upcoming court issue. And we were talking about my PDOC..who he knows outside of work....and he said he was talking to him about Keenan...and he said he had a hard time placing him (he hasn't seen him regular enough yet, since Keenan has cancelled out on many recent appointments...) but he said he remembered you immedietely Hope. I just mentioned your name and he said OH yes I know Hope...

He said Hope...he is very impressed with you? I was like, He is?????
Why? He said because he said you are a perfect example of what goes well with Bipolar patients who want to get better. You take your meds, you don't come in complaining about every ail and then he asks "Are you taking your meds? "And you go well I took them a week ago, and then a few weeks before that? You do what he has suggested you do to get better?

He said you had an issue, you addressed it and you do what you are supposed to. You take your meds, you vocalize issues,but you do what you are supposed to. You are very knowledgeable about what to do and what not to. And if you don't know you ask..you are not afraid to chase it down and confront it. He said you are one of the few on his "wall" of successes....He knows you by first name, immediately. (let me just say, my doctor doesn't even see new patients anymore...he is sooo full up, and in addition he is a Psych Professor at Case Western Reserve .. he has a crap load of patients) it was a huge pat on the back for me. Being acknowledged like that, reassurance I am on the right path. Even my case worker told me, Hope you are a rare breed. You will be fine. And if there is an inkling of Hope for Keenan, it's because of you.

I am not bragging here. I am telling you why and how I have "been successful' this far.
I have no magic skills,except dammit I want to live as normal as possible. I don't ever want to give up the fight. For myself, for my son... and for the rest of us.

Hang in there ....if we are here...we are talking ,we are supporting, we are confronting ....we are fighting....we will be okay. I just know it.

Ok enough mush for one day....
Off to face the world another day. Bills to pay, work to do...

Take care Cycling Club....

Hope :)

Crazy~Feet
05-10-07, 10:56 AM
Ya know Hope is right, it bears repeating: even with excellent medications, we with BP can and do continue to cycle...its just less dramatic and less frequent. I am sticking at 150 mgs myself and yes, I had to increase my dexadrine slightly. As I titrate up on Lamictal, yep, I have a lot less mania-sessions (sleep, its a good thing!) but it did kind of blunt me on the ADHD score too.

jkron
05-10-07, 07:38 PM
Once again I can't tell you how valuable everyone's insight is to a newbie. For example, today i'm having a bad day. Had a horrible night sleep and a very stressfull day and feel like i'm riding the depression train downward. Part of my thinking was "Isn't the meds suppose to stop this, I was doing so well, do i need to change medication". Reading your posts made me realize that "The meds help, but don't make the disorder disappear" I just need to learn to tolerate it better, and it does seem like it is more tolerable than it was before.

jeaniebug
05-15-07, 06:18 PM
Reading your posts made me realize that "The meds help, but don't make the disorder disappear" I just need to learn to tolerate it better, and it does seem like it is more tolerable than it was before.
Hope--Rock on! jkron--I am learning the same lesson. It is hard to tell the difference with the Lamictal with other stress in my life, like starting a new job and then going to Chicago for training.

Yes, I'm better. But-- I still have bad days. Yesterday I was learning a lot of new stuff at work and I just went home and kind of collapsed. Had another sleep-a-thon, which I have had every once in a while since I started the Lamictal. But the Lamictal was titrated up to about 100 at the same time I started the new job. We will see after a few months on the same dose!

And I think Dex or Adderall would help with the mega-absent-minded-ness I have been having. But must stabilize w/lamictal for a few months first. :cool:

Crazy~Feet
05-15-07, 08:28 PM
I couldn't stand Adderall, Jeanie, but I find Dex to actually be very calming and helpful with agitation/anxiety now that its combined with my Lamictal. :)