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Bipolar, no meds? - Page 5

post #81 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by volcaniclava
seroquel and la,ictal are what Im supposed to take too, you like it? any weight gain?
No weight gain (except regular pregnancy gain and even that is a little lower than last pregnancy). I think PP is right, it decreases the appetite a little (at least while I was prepreg I didn't see myself as hungry or wanting to eating as much.) The only downside to the seroquel I have is that it makes me SO tired I have to take it before bed or I get really cranky because my brain is trying to shut down and the rest of the world is trying to keep me awake. It makes me feel like crap if I don't finish what I'm doing (for the most part) before I take it because then I'm fighting sleep while trying to like.... finish surfing MDC
post #82 of 116
I took lamictal for over a year with no weight gain. I actually gained 15 lbs. really rapidly when I went off of my medications last September.
post #83 of 116
it was the seroquel that I gained so much weight with.... thanks ladies
post #84 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambrose

Unfortunately my meds are seroquel and lamictal. I can't find anything really bad about either of them, but them again I haven't looked very hard.

Anyways, yea I was all over the place and thinking it was totally pregnancy related to get upset and whine and cry over every little thing and yeah... that's just so not true.
Thanks..so I take it you like your meds? To be honest, I KNOW my doctor is one of those who pushes the new, mainstream meds on all her patients so I never got to try different meds...seh just kept upping my doses. Needless to stay I've stopped going to her.
Anyways-yes I am always crying and feeling upset and then switching to being all hyper and staying up all night preparing for the baby..dping things I dpn't need to worry about yet. But yea if you agree it's b/c of BPD and not just pregnancy then I'll be able to treat it as such and have a hold on it for now since I refuse to take anythign while I'm pregnant. But I'll be sure to ask my doctor about those meds. Thanks for repsonding to my post
post #85 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConfusedPrincess
Thanks..so I take it you like your meds? To be honest, I KNOW my doctor is one of those who pushes the new, mainstream meds on all her patients so I never got to try different meds...seh just kept upping my doses. Needless to stay I've stopped going to her.
Anyways-yes I am always crying and feeling upset and then switching to being all hyper and staying up all night preparing for the baby..dping things I dpn't need to worry about yet. But yea if you agree it's b/c of BPD and not just pregnancy then I'll be able to treat it as such and have a hold on it for now since I refuse to take anythign while I'm pregnant. But I'll be sure to ask my doctor about those meds. Thanks for repsonding to my post
I like the meds, but because I have this tendancy to take the seroquel while I'm still doing stuff (it's my attempt to force myself to bed at a reasonable hour but it really only makes me y cause I fight it ) I'm going to my doctor at the end of August and going to ask if I can either up the lamictal (cause that really does seem to work well) and lower the seroquel or just up the lamictal enough to compensate the seroquel and remove the seroquel and just give me a sleep aid or something.

I do think that being pregnant AND having BPD it's harder to distinguish whether it's pregnancy related or the actually BPD. What helps me is to just say it's the BPD by default (because that's an ongoing things with me regardless) and if my behavioral therapy techniquies don't help as much as they should then I allow the preggo hormanal excuse (but only to a certain extent because BPD mentality feeds of the preggo emotionalness mentality and vice versa I've noticed, at least for me)
post #86 of 116

cheers!

Hi ladies!
I need to say thanks for a bunch of really heartfelt responses to what I wrote the other day about feeling dissociated from my life, motherhood etc.. I can't figure out how to quote parts of messages, but Velcromom, you really do get what I'm feeling, and what you said about joining our children in THEIR reality... I keep replaying that line in my head and it keeps me focussed. THANK YOU!! Today is a much better day. I think I need to go back on the highest quality fish oil-- I can tell the difference instantly when I take the regular brand.
Lauraess-- I have been journalling and it really does a lot for me, keeping track of what triggers me, what helps.. and you''re so right about getting out at night. THe past weekend I did that and I come home with new brain chemistry, it seems!
Cherylann and Familylove-- your hugs and kind words are just the thing! I send them right back your way
and
Tyedyedeyes--
what you said
"My mind and body is vibrating at a very high frequency. I don't feel as bad as I did last night around midnight (when I was rocking back and forth on the bed bawling). DH tried so hard to help, he kept wanting to massage me, and he did for a little bit when I could stand it, but I didn't really want anyone touching me! I kept getting up and moving around the room because no place felt okay. I took some valerian and ended up wedged between the wall and the mattress somewhere around 2. I woke up this morning like toast out of a toaster and headed for the bathroom where I promptly vomited. Don't know what came out because I haven't really eaten anything. I hate this. I'm still feeling off, very very off, but I've been drinking tension tamer tea and I'm trying to focus this energy on something else."
I UNDERSTAND. Deeply! You're doing so many good things to help youself, but isn't it a sometimes futile feeling to know that we're battling brain chemistry?!! By the way, are you having any caffeine at all? For me, as soon as I cut it out completely (well, that is except for dark dark chocolate) I stopped having those unstoppable episodes of rage/suicidal craziness/mania, and I feel a lot calmer inside my core. Also, I find that beer and red wine really fire me up for one of those manic argumentative states, while white wine and other mixed drinks are fine.. it's all chemistry.. :

What's really working to help make sense of my moods (they never used to have any rhyme or reason) is a mood tracker book that was handed out at a brief BP support group I went to a month ago. It's put out by Eli Lilly Canada (their website is: www.lilly.ca) and is like a daily mood scale self-rating system, and you mark off other factors like exercise, alcohol, #hours of sleep, and MAN I look back at last month and make connections between bad sleep nights, too much exercise, and a shift in my mood. I'm not stable everyday, but I tend to have mixed state, and rapid cycle a lot, and I've been better able to predict a swing, or at least warn Darren (dh) that the next few days might be rough, etc.. Makes sense of what doesn't seem to make sense. Makes my life feel a bit more manageable, I'm more accountable and responsible for the things that trigger me, I can avoid them if necessary...
What works for you all?

Take good care and love love love yourselves better
Erin
post #87 of 116
Hi Mamas,

Erin: So glad to hear that your are feeling better!

I second the benefits of a mood tracker/journal. Patterns emerge that really help in managing your illness.

ConfusedPrincess: I'm with Ambrose, seroquel is great for chilling you out when needed, but it made me feel rather zombie-ish the rest of the day. I was tired all the time. But I do think its a totally appropriate med when used under the right circumstances. I also take Lamictal and think its great! It has some frustrating side effects when you first start, but they do subside after a few weeks.

Something I realized yesterday is that I probably don't really belong on this thread, seeing as I do take meds. I love participating, though. However, if anyone is uncomfortable with me posting please feel free to say so. I promise I won't push meds
post #88 of 116
It doesn't bother me. I am trying to manage my bpd without meds, but it never hurts to learn what is working for others. And if at some point I need to use them again, I'll have more information.

I'm spiraling down right now. I've been neither up nor down for so many months that I was thinking perhaps I'd been misdiagnosed. It's still possible. So, I'm trying to put my finger on whatever may have triggered this. It's not a down down. It's a spiraling, convoluted black hole that opened up on Sunday and I'm actually still perched at the top frantically clawing at the edge and searching for whatever triggered it to open. If I can find that magic button and then reach it, maybe I can close up the hole without having to fall into it. I'm still exercising. Still doing whatever self-care I need to do. Trying to be consistent with the things that seemed to be working for so long.
post #89 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by familylove
Something I realized yesterday is that I probably don't really belong on this thread, seeing as I do take meds. I love participating, though. However, if anyone is uncomfortable with me posting please feel free to say so. I promise I won't push meds
Well I think we may prefer to do it med free but as you say, there are times when it is appropriate and to me the goal of being on meds is to clear your mind to the point you can learn better management tools so that you can reduce or go off the meds and in the future use those tools along with and/or instead of meds... that's the hope anyway. I know at the time of my diagnosis I would not have been able to learn the tools I needed without having help, my mind was too disorganized/racing/fuzzy/apathetic/whatever to care much about listening and learning what he had to offer.

on a side note, I asked my therapist once how long he thought I'd need them, and he said usually a person winds up taking them about as long as they'd been suffering undiagnosed/unmedicated. I didn't inquire what the reasoning behind that one was but I'd sure love to know.
post #90 of 116
CherylAnn, sorry to hear you are teetering on the edge, man I know and hate that feeling. Good that you are still exercising. Are you doing any supplements? What tools are you using to manage things? I wish there were more support we could offer, if there is any info you need or just to vent or rant we are here...
post #91 of 116
CherylAnn

I, too, know what you're talking about and I'm sorry that you're "flailing".

As velcromom was asking, what kind of support network do you have? Do you have a therapist/counselor that can help you through these episodes? Do you use cognitive behaviorial therapy?

Something that really helps me at times like these is to remove as much stress from my life as I can. Rely on DH. If you have family/friends near, ask them if they can watch the kids for a few hours to give you some time to try to relax yourself. Don't let worries pile up (you know that cycle you can get into where one worry turns into 600.)

Hoping to hear from you soon! And thanks for saying you're fine with me posting
post #92 of 116
velcromom: Thanks for the to post on this thread

You are SO right about meds helping in that process to get your head clear enough to focus on other ways to manage BP. Using CBT and other techniques makes me feel strong and more in control. I don't live in constant fear of the next episode, b/c I know I will handle it.

I don't know if there's hope for me getting off meds completely. I do think I'll be able to reduce at some point. I just came out of a 3.5 year period of rapid cycling (mostly really depressed but some hypomania). That was as close to hell as I care to get. It is SO wonderful to feel like myself again and be able to deal with random anxiety/depression/irritability. My belief is that its a combo of meds, serious therapy and a desire on my part to manage this thing come hell or high water

However, I really respect people that try the no-meds route and do OK with it. It takes a lot of willpower, understanding yourself and your illness. In any case, it brings me comfort to read other's stories regardless of how they choose to cope.
post #93 of 116
Hiya mamas. Feeling better in some ways...the craziness has started to subside, and I got to get away this past weekend...Took DS up to the cabin at DH's Grandmas for some out of the city time. Helped a little. It's nice and quiet up there. Lot's of mosquitos though...ugh. <scratches leg...> Feeling kinda low now. I'm expecting Aunt Flo in about two days. Hope after she's gone and I feel less bloaty, cranky, and otherwise mentally impaired, I can better assess how to move forward.

Thanks to all of you for your support and kind words. They have helped me more than you may ever know.

Talk to you all sooner than later.

~Kate
post #94 of 116
Tyedyedeyes< glad to hear it's getting better. getting into some quiet space is always a good thing.

Wanted to mention that this month, with the full moon and my having gone up a bit with my meds, plus watching sugar intake and b complex addition it REally seemed to make a huge difference ... remind's me: gotta go get my B
post #95 of 116
I don't mean to get up in the middle of your discussion, but just wanted to point out an amazing website run by this guy I know who specializes in mood disorders (namely bipolar). He's a real no-BS kind of dude, and on his site he gives TONS of info about meds and some alternative therapies, which are all backed up with scientific data. Fascinating stuff. Anyway, thought somebody might get something out of it if you'd like to poke around! It's at

www.psycheducation.org
post #96 of 116
I just wanted to say that while I'm not bipolar, my mother is and has struggled with it for years, but was never properly diagnosed. The doctors kept changing her meds and upped her doses until she attempted suicide by overdose last summer. She almost succeeded and was in ICU on a ventilator for 4 days.

When she got out, she went to see a new therapist who diagnosed her with bipolar disorder rather than just "chronic depression" and put her on seroquel and some other stuff to help her regulate moods. So far, it's worked. She's able to function and doesn't have SEVERE lows. She also has some difficulty sleeping and some anxiety issues, so she was prescribed klonopin and that's helped her a lot too. She was initially really upset over the diagnosis because she thought it meant she was "crazy" rather than just depressed, but she's gotten over that now and knows her meds are helping.

Bipolar disorder almost destroyed my mom, so I feel very strongly that anyone experiencing symptoms should seek professional help. I just want to add that I think it's wonderful that you all are doing just that. Your family will thank you for it!!

post #97 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by perl
I don't mean to get up in the middle of your discussion, but just wanted to point out an amazing website run by this guy I know who specializes in mood disorders (namely bipolar).
That IS an amazing website! Thank you for the link.
post #98 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyedyedeyes
Hiya mamas. Feeling better in some ways...the craziness has started to subside, and I got to get away this past weekend...Took DS up to the cabin at DH's Grandmas for some out of the city time. Helped a little. It's nice and quiet up there. Lot's of mosquitos though...ugh. <scratches leg...> Feeling kinda low now. I'm expecting Aunt Flo in about two days. Hope after she's gone and I feel less bloaty, cranky, and otherwise mentally impaired, I can better assess how to move forward.

Thanks to all of you for your support and kind words. They have helped me more than you may ever know.

Talk to you all sooner than later.

~Kate
You know, Aunt Flo always made me feel like I was going straight over the edge and not coming back. I could tell exactly when I started ovulating and things usually continued to slide downhill until a few days after AF finally made her appearance. Hormones...what a b*tch!
post #99 of 116
hello ladies!
i actually found MDC about a month ago while doing some research about bipolar disorder and pregnancy. i am so, so, so grateful that google pulled up a link to this particular thread.

i have bipolar I and am an ultra rapid cycler. i have been taking lithium for almost a decade now. dh and i were married last november and we would very much like to start ttc this november. so....i have begun the dreaded (but hopeful) process of slowly discontinuing the lithium and plan to be med free at least until the beginning of the second trimester (and as we all know, that could be a very long time ).

last month i started taking my prenatals and a whopping 10g of fish oil per day (4g of EPA). i'm exercising daily and charting my moods (and my cycles). the whole getting the body ready/getting the brain ready combo is actually working well together.

anyway, i am increasingly nervous about what life without meds will be like. but i am also excited, because everyone should know what that feels like at some point, right? and when/if i have to go back to my old friend lithium, i will wiser and more aware of what place it has in my life.

so, at this point i've been at 900mg for a week (down from 1200, my dose of the last however many years) and all is well. next month, down another 300 and so on. and once we get to zero, it's all TTC all the time. (that's how i change the nerves into excitement .)
post #100 of 116
Mosesface> ( super name btw!) Glad you found us and i wish you all the best. If you stick around here on the entire community site you will find things that might make you really and things that make you and things that make you

Oh and truly i hope you eventually feel compelled to :
And so.... thanks for letting us share in this new adventure with you
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