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#1 of 22 Old 05-14-2008, 11:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've known I was bipolar for about 14 years now. I've taken meds off and on. I can't/don't want to go into a lot of detail right now, but I think I maybe need to face the possibility of longer-term medication. What do you take or have you taken? How did it work with you?

In 2006 I took Effexor, Rozerem, and Risperdal for about 4 months, and that's been the "best" I've had so far as far as medications.

Also, does anyone not go to a psych or therapist for the meds? I really don't think all of the counseling in the world's going to make this better.

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#2 of 22 Old 05-15-2008, 09:43 AM
 
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I see a psychiatrist, I wouldn't trust any other kind of doc to alter my brain chemistry with medication other than someone who is trained for it.

I've been taking 150 mg of Lamictal for the last almost 3 months. Before that i was on 100 mgs for about 6 months.

I've also taken Lexapro (up to 20mg) and very briefly Wellbutrin XL (150mg). I also have a scrip for .5mg of ativan.

I know that right now I could not treat this naturally, no matter how badly I want to. But that's alright because the medication is working, and I can deal with that.

I still wouldn't go back to my general practice doc for these medications. Maybe if I needed a refill and couldn't get a hold of my pdoc for some reason. But it's the GP doc that sent me manic in the first place. I was pretty depressed, she prescribed 10mg Lexapro, I took it, and 5 weeks later I was wired, had an anxiety attack and couldn't stop moving for about 3 weeks.

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#3 of 22 Old 05-15-2008, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I see a psychiatrist, I wouldn't trust any other kind of doc to alter my brain chemistry with medication other than someone who is trained for it.
I've just never had any good experiences with psychiatrists or psychologists. I read about doing liver panels and all of these things, but I've *never* had a psych who did anything beyond prescribe the drug and move on. That's why I'm willing to go to a GP since I've always had to do the legwork myself anyway.

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I've been taking 150 mg of Lamictal for the last almost 3 months. Before that i was on 100 mgs for about 6 months.

I've also taken Lexapro (up to 20mg) and very briefly Wellbutrin XL (150mg). I also have a scrip for .5mg of ativan.
Did the Wellbutrin not work? I've been reading about it and was thinking of trying it, though I do better with antipsychotics rather than antidepressants.

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I know that right now I could not treat this naturally, no matter how badly I want to. But that's alright because the medication is working, and I can deal with that.
That's where I am right now. I'd love at some point to be able to do this on my own, but right now I'm sacrificing the short-term quality of life I'd like to have (but don't) for the long-term (lack of) health issues because of the meds.

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#4 of 22 Old 05-15-2008, 12:02 PM
 
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Liver panels, usually depends on the meds being prescribed, not all of them have the potential for liver damage. But, all you have to do is request one from the pdoc. If they won't do it, a quick trip to the GP should take care of it.


The wellbutrin, no did not work for me. Irritability is one of my main symptoms, and it exacerbated it. At the time I was playing "single SAHM" and did not want to be the only adult around, caring for my kids when I was feeling More irritable and aggressive. I stopped taking it and called the pdoc to let her know.

My quality of life has improved alot, looking back at this time last year, I was being treated for depression by my general practice doc. I went manic about 2 days from now, and stayed that way until almost August.

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#5 of 22 Old 05-15-2008, 05:56 PM
 
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I agree with AutumnBreeze re: pdoc. I would skip the psychologist, but try out different psychiatrists till you find one that works for you. It took me 3 different pdocs before I found the most awesome one out there, I think

He listens to me, we discuss things thoroughly, he never dismisses me, he gives each patient as much time as they need every appointment. If we get through the "yes, the meds are working great, no changes needed" part, we will generally discuss politics (which we agree on), the need for universal healthcare (which we also agree on), etc for a little bit. I love that I can talk to him like that. He is this older (maybe 60?) guy with a little George Carlin ponytail and always wears old school courderoy jackets and jeans

He really is wonderful and certainly the only person I would trust to make decisions with regarding my medication for BP.

Anyway, I take 150 of lamictal (which I switched to from trileptal when I got pregnant) and 50 of Lexapro. I took Effexor before when I was with my previous pdocs and it worked ok, but I would never wish the coming off of that stuff on anyone. I was sick for a month with slowly stepping off of it.
UGH.

Best to you. I hope you find something that works. Also, I am NOT big on therapy, and my pdoc knows that and agrees with me that I know what works for me and what doesn't and respects that, too, unlike the previous 2. They just assumed that must be the best route for everyone. If my meds are working for me, then I don't need that, too.
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#6 of 22 Old 05-15-2008, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Liver panels, usually depends on the meds being prescribed, not all of them have the potential for liver damage. But, all you have to do is request one from the pdoc. If they won't do it, a quick trip to the GP should take care of it.
I was just using the liver panel as an example. I just mean that the psychiatrists I've seen have run an almost assembly-line-type process. Come in, get your pills, leave. There was nothing useful in the sessions for me, and they cost a good chunk of money for basically nothing. I'd love to find a psych who worked for me, but I'm honestly not sure how to do that.

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The wellbutrin, no did not work for me. Irritability is one of my main symptoms, and it exacerbated it.
That's unfortunate to hear.

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#7 of 22 Old 05-15-2008, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree with AutumnBreeze re: pdoc. I would skip the psychologist, but try out different psychiatrists till you find one that works for you. It took me 3 different pdocs before I found the most awesome one out there, I think
How did you find them? Just keeping trying them out? This is my biggest problem, and I think I'm jaded because I've seen so many people for psych care that I know the drill before we get started.

Anyway, I take 150 of lamictal (which I switched to from trileptal when I got pregnant) and 50 of Lexapro. I took Effexor before when I was with my previous pdocs and it worked ok, but I would never wish the coming off of that stuff on anyone. I was sick for a month with slowly stepping off of it.
UGH.[/QUOTE]

I went cold turkey from the Effexor because I found out I was pg. It was HELL. I felt miserable for about a week. I was taking 300 mg a day, but it worked.

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Best to you. I hope you find something that works. Also, I am NOT big on therapy, and my pdoc knows that and agrees with me that I know what works for me and what doesn't and respects that, too, unlike the previous 2. They just assumed that must be the best route for everyone. If my meds are working for me, then I don't need that, too.
I used to be a bigger believer in therapy, but after dissecting my life a few million times, I'm past that now. It's not that I don't see any value in therapy for anyone; it's just that I've come to a place of believing that if I accept BP as a diagnosis of a medical condition, then talking it out's probably not going to make me better. I suppose now I see therapy more for people who've experienced a traumatic event or who are trying to work through a single problem.

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#8 of 22 Old 05-16-2008, 08:50 AM
 
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I've only been through 2 pdocs. The first one was great for about 6 months, but then when I went off the wellbutrin, and wanted to increase my Lamictal she said she wanted mt to try the wellbutrin again (I'd only been on it a couple days, she wanted me to give it 2 or 3 weeks!)

She didn't increase my lamictal, and wrote another Well.B script.

Later that day I set up an appointment with someone from her old office, saw her about a month later, and she agreed almost immediately that increasing my dose sounded like the best idea.

(I'd been off any anti-depressants for over a month before the WB, and felt the best then. But adding then taking away the WB seemed to make the Lam. less effective, the increase has been perfect)

I went back to see her about 9 weeks later (she had a death in the family, it was supposed to be 6 weeks, and "call if you need to come in sooner") and we talked for about 15 minutes ,in between the typical questions. My daughter was going treasure hunting, so I didn't want to stick around longer than I needed to. She agreed I was stable, noted my chart, and I don't go back for 3 months!

It isn't always easy finding a doc you like, but if you can't tell at the first visit whether you like them or not, go back again, see how the follow ups go. It's ok to see someone only once. It's ok to see someone for a few visits, it's ok to see someone for months and switch. It's part of taking responsibility. It sucks, but hey, gotta do whatcha gotta do. I'm not looking forward to repeating the process after I move!

And if you'd rather do natural therapy, it's still nice to have a pdoc in your arsenal in case you need something different to help you out.

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#9 of 22 Old 05-17-2008, 03:16 AM
 
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Right now I'm on 80mg Geodon BID, 50mg Topamax BID, 100mg Lamictal, and 1mg Ativan BID. I also take 200mcg Levoxyl for hypothyroid.

My psych and my GP work together but seperate in my treatment, KWIM? My GP orders all of my labs but sends copies of the results to my psych.
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#10 of 22 Old 05-17-2008, 03:36 AM
 
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I used to be a bigger believer in therapy, but after dissecting my life a few million times, I'm past that now. It's not that I don't see any value in therapy for anyone; it's just that I've come to a place of believing that if I accept BP as a diagnosis of a medical condition, then talking it out's probably not going to make me better. I suppose now I see therapy more for people who've experienced a traumatic event or who are trying to work through a single problem.
I agree about therapy. It was necessary for me back in my early 20s, but there are only so many times you can talk about your past. I was finally "discharged" by a therapist who said we'd done about as much work on the past as we could.

I was diagnosed with depression 13 years ago and only correctly diagnosed with bipolar disorder 6 years ago. I also had a hard time with Wellbutrin. It made me irritable and gave me aggressive urges. It might be helpful for people with severe depression and little mania though. I stay stable on Depakote and Zoloft. I started out going to a psychiatrist. After my meds were stable, I just started going to my regular doctor for refills. If my meds need adjusting I go back to a psychiatrist--just like any other specialist.

I'm glad to hear that you are accepting bipolar disorder as a medical condition. That's a first step in realizing that taking meds is necessary and long term. The only reason I am stable is because I take my meds reliably. It's the reason I don't feel suicidal any more. It's the reason I don't have to go inpatient. I can be a good mom, wife, friend, and a functional person because I treat my medical condition with meds. It sucks that it sometimes takes a while to find the right combination and dose. But it's so much better than being off of meds. IMO, we have a responsibility to our children to take our meds so that we can be stable for them.

I know several women who go off and on their bipolar meds and I just don't understand it. Can anyone shed some light on that? I have found a lessening of creativity since starting the Depakote, but it's worth it so that I can be stable for my family.

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#11 of 22 Old 05-17-2008, 01:02 PM
 
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I can't take wellbutrin either because of anxiety and irritablity. I tried if for a year before the side effects became unbearable. When I eventually kicked into a mania, it was a horrible mixed episode Lamictal is really good for the irritibility and Ativan is good for the anxiety. I'm still in my mania but it's not a rage, KWIM? It's more like one of those happy mania's I've always heard about but rarely experienced.
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#12 of 22 Old 05-17-2008, 01:12 PM
 
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Lamictal is really good for the irritibility and Ativan is good for the anxiety. I'm still in my mania but it's not a rage, KWIM? It's more like one of those happy mania's I've always heard about but rarely experienced.
Is Lamictal a mood stablizer? Do you still have to take an anti-depressant when you're on it?

Yeah, the happy mania (well, hypomania anyway) is like a little euphoria and extra energy.

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#13 of 22 Old 05-17-2008, 01:20 PM
 
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Is Lamictal a mood stablizer? Do you still have to take an anti-depressant when you're on it?
Lamictal is a mood stablizer but it's more of an anti-depresant mood stabilizer. Right now I need to see about an anti-manic if it doesn't start kicking in that direction soon. My shrink's on vacation right now until the 22nd.

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Yeah, the happy mania (well, hypomania anyway) is like a little euphoria and extra energy.
I'm in true mania. I love hypomania. True mania is scaring me because I KNOW what comes next. With hypomania it can go either way. With mania I only go down.
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#14 of 22 Old 05-17-2008, 02:16 PM
 
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Lamictal is a mood stabilizer with anti-depressant qualities. It isn't meant ot be an anti-depressant, it just works that way :

((L_M_B)) hypomania is one thing, I can't imagine a full blown mania. So your BPtype 1?

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#15 of 22 Old 05-17-2008, 02:35 PM
 
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I'm in true mania. I love hypomania. True mania is scaring me because I KNOW what comes next. With hypomania it can go either way. With mania I only go down.
The crash after the high always sucks, huh? How is your mania affecting you?

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#16 of 22 Old 05-17-2008, 02:46 PM
 
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((L_M_B)) hypomania is one thing, I can't imagine a full blown mania. So your BPtype 1?
Yep.

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How is your mania affecting you?
Once we got rid of the rage, I've mainly been shopping a lot, extremely talkative, and a general PITA I can't work right now so I'm medical leave. I've been redecorating my house. My bathroom is now hot pink, my bedroom is purple, I have shroom door beads instead of a closet door, etc.
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#17 of 22 Old 05-18-2008, 09:13 AM
 
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oh sounds like fun!! My energy is usually focused on cleaning when I'm hypo. I try to get rid of alllllllllll the clutter, just so I can paint. I never get that far.

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#18 of 22 Old 05-18-2008, 12:31 PM
 
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Wanna see my bedroom and bathroom? I put a video on YouTube They're really messy because I hadn't put anything away yet and I'm a slob anyway.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5_Zlq1baX8
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#19 of 22 Old 05-19-2008, 09:51 AM
 
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oh those colors are AWESOME!!!!


My son's room is blue, and it would go great w/ those two, as it's a very bright blue. The rest of my house is dull.

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#20 of 22 Old 05-19-2008, 11:25 AM
 
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oh those colors are AWESOME!!!!
Thank you.

I painted my other bathroom bright green last night and my son wants his bedroom painted red. That's kind iffy because the carpet is dark green but whatever, right? Can't usually see his floor anyway
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#21 of 22 Old 05-19-2008, 12:20 PM
 
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LOL

maybe go for a deeper red?

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#22 of 22 Old 05-20-2008, 01:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm glad to hear that you are accepting bipolar disorder as a medical condition. That's a first step in realizing that taking meds is necessary and long term.
It's taken a long time to get there. I think for me there are mixed message from the psychiatric industry. I've seen psychiatrists where you were required to go to a therapist in the office for "in between" medication visits. Why? If it's an illness that you're treating with medicine, why do I need to rehash how my parents' divorce affected me again? Aren't the meds supposed to fix it? So for a long time, I believed I'd just be able to "get over it" on my own without medication. I suppose my acceptance of BP is a journey more than anything.

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I know several women who go off and on their bipolar meds and I just don't understand it. Can anyone shed some light on that? I have found a lessening of creativity since starting the Depakote, but it's worth it so that I can be stable for my family.
I've always gone off and on meds - far more off, though. For me I make my living being creative, and if I choose medication (Paxil & Zoloft both were bad for me about this) that flatlines me, then I have to find a new career. I'm not really prepared (even now) to make that balance work.

It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
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