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Bipolar support thread?

(513 Posts)
Crawling Sun 03-Feb-13 19:04:00

Ive noticed there are quite a few of us and thought maybe a thread for us would be good. All are welcome those diagnosed and those awaiting diagnosis.

Ill start with Ive been depressed so long now I dont remember how I used to feel, yet id still prefer this to mania as the havoc I reaked last time was very painful to clean up after my episode. If I had to chart my mood today between 1-10 1 being I cant think how to make a cup of tea and 5 being good 10 being the tv is talking to me and I must go out now im about a 3 today what about you guys?

nenevomito Sun 03-Mar-13 13:26:09

That's weird. It posted twice nearly 10 mins apart. Not had that happen before.

Crawling Sun 03-Mar-13 13:49:58

I have but only on my phone.

Juhannus Sun 03-Mar-13 19:41:08

Hi I'm new and was directed to post here smile hope you can help me

I have bipolar and have been struggling to remain on quetiapine for over a year now because I'm trying to get pregnant. It's making me miserable because it's so sedating that I can't seem to stay in any proper routine. I manage to wake up in the morning one day than the next 3 days I wake up in the afternoon or evening. I'm completely random. It's really getting me down now that I am getting more and more depressed because of it.

Last year I was in hospital and on 800 mg quetiapine slow release. This got reduced to 600 mg and then 400 mg. All along I haven't been coping well but my consultant insists there is nothing more suitable for me. So I am sacrificing my life because I'm trying to get pregnant. Sometimes I feel like I don't want to do this any more and am thinking of not taking any medication. I am now on the normal release quetiapine 400 mg and that is less sedating but my sleep and waking patterns are still random. I've become depressed and have no energy, no motivation, can't really take care of myself and am full of guilt and feel shit about myself. I wonder how the hell I could take care of a baby on this medication.

I have just been doing a bit of research on this brilliant website

www.infantrisk.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?29-Medications-and-Pregnancy

Here it suggests that Olanzapine, quetiapine, and lamotrigine have been used without an increase in the risk of premature birth or birth complications.

www.infantrisk.com/forum/showthread.php?67-Is-anyone-here

I feel that my consultant is just telling me to stay on quetiapine because that is what I have been on. But I hate it and wish there was something else that would suit me better.

I would love to hear about your experiences of medication while trying to conceive and through pregnancy. I am really fed up and I am struggling just to get through each day sad

nenevomito Sun 03-Mar-13 20:46:44

I find the slow release makes me more drowsy, taking the normal release around 8pm helps me sleep but doesn't stay that way during the day. I'm on 600mg quetiapine and 200 lamotrigine.

Crawling Sun 03-Mar-13 21:04:28

As I said on your other thread I take olanzapine with no major side effects to me or bf baby but lamotrigene seems to be very popular with regard to side effects.

Juhannus Sun 03-Mar-13 21:21:50

I'm going to talk to my CPN this week about it.

I'm annoyed that my consultant hasn't mentioned these alternatives to me.

I've been suffering a long time now, it's not really fair.

I'm really glad I found mumsnet and really appreciate your experiences and advice. It's nice to not feel so alone.

Bunfags Mon 04-Mar-13 07:44:00

Crawling, I also get migraines, but they seem to he hormonal as they are around ovulation time and sometimes a couple of days before my period starts.

As foro still getting episodes on meds, yes. Despite the lamotrigine, I still get episodes of hypomania. These days it's easy to recognise, as I'll start to wake up between 3:00am and 4:00am feeling very excited. It's like when you're a kid and it's Christmas day. This is when I know to take sleeping tablets to knock myself out foro a couple of days. The lack of sleep seems to add fuel to the fire. Getting the full eight hours of sleep halts the hypomania in its tracks.

Juhannus Mon 04-Mar-13 09:54:19

Wow Bunfags I'm impressed.

I've never been able to halt my manic episodes. I've only been able to spot them earlier and get help earlier but they always end up progressing and mostly in hospital. I have tried self medicating in the past but normally get all confused. Doesn't mean I won't try in the future. I have an emergency meds kit now that I asked my consultant for.

I'm going to ask my consultant about lamotrigine as an alternative to quetiapine.

Any tips about getting what you want from your consultant would be welcome. Mine is very intransient and just doesn't want to change my meds much :/

Crawling Mon 04-Mar-13 12:13:55

I would say your really not happy with the meds drop in the word med free and he should change them.

Juhannus Mon 04-Mar-13 13:01:32

cool thanks Crawling smile

that's what I shall do. I'll just say it's intolerable the way things are and I'd rather have no meds

thanks so much it's funny but I get really intimidated by doctors, consultants even my CPN

Bunfags Mon 04-Mar-13 13:57:07

I've only had lamotrigine as a mood stabiliser Juhannus, but it's the only psych med that hasn't made me feel sleepy and "drugged". It doesn't seem to have any side effects.

Juhannus Mon 04-Mar-13 14:27:54

That's great to hear Bunfags.

I am taking quetiapine mainly as a mood stabiliser to prevent manic episodes. So it sounds promising that I could use lamotrigine.

I am very angry with my psychiatrist for being so stagnant in his approach.

Bunfags Mon 04-Mar-13 14:43:07

I have a history of bulimia, so I was reluctant to take a med that would cause overeating. So, the psychiatrist put me on lamotrigine as it's weight neutral. I think it's a good drug to be on Juhannus, as it doesn't make you hungry, forgetful and tired.

I am feeling much better after my last episode and I've been to stay at a friend's over the weekend. The lamotrigine has started to work now, after stupidly deciding that I shouldn't take it - Doh!

Crawling, that's great that you've started exercising again. It's feeling like Spring at the moment, which is great for getting out for walks.

Juhannus Mon 04-Mar-13 15:48:09

Bunfags

I'm so happy to hear that. I have really suffered with weight gain too despite eating healthily. I have put on a lot of weight in the last year and only noticed my weight starting to go down this last couple of months corresponding to moving from the slow release quetiapine to the normal one.

also it kills your sex drive but that seems to be the case with lots of meds which is a right pain in the arse lol

I would love to feel some energy again, have some motivation and not be tired all the time.

crossing all my fingers and toes that this will work for me. i'm nervous but got to face the consultant. it's him he's not being proactive and it's my bloody health isn't it.

wish me luck ;) x

Bunfags Mon 04-Mar-13 15:52:11

Good luck with your consultant Juhannus.

I was given the option of quetiapine during my last episode, but declined it. As I stopped taking the lamotrigine, I thought I'd wait and see what happened after I'd taken it for a week or so. It seems to be going ok, although early days.

Work is very worring at the moment though.

Juhannus Mon 04-Mar-13 16:11:07

Thanks Bunfags

I'm really glad I found mumsnet and this thread really supportive thanks peeps.

I'm sorry about your work situation. Your doing great to be working I know that doesn't really help, hope things work out

Bunfags Mon 04-Mar-13 16:13:01

Thanks Juhannus, but I freelance and have had to stop work for my two main regular clients until I am able to be more reliable. One has definitely found a replacement, I think the other has too.

Damn this illness!

Juhannus Mon 04-Mar-13 16:23:01

It's still inspiring nonetheless.

I haven't been able to work for a long time sad I would like to go back to college but have had my confidence knocked so many times. I guess we just have to keep trying and trying again.

It does kind of kill our dreams sometimes. It's hard to keep believing in yourself. I keep trying though just have to reevaluate the goal posts.. It does take a long time to accept less and lower your horizons.

I'm a better person than I would have been without the bipolar. I suppose that is some consolation.

Crawling Mon 04-Mar-13 16:52:14

Juhannus i relate so much to your last post I was a straight A student when well, but when ill I would fail and its so hard to keep on trying, when one episode ruins everything.

Juhannus Mon 04-Mar-13 17:09:29

I was a high achiever too never failed an exam so it was very hard to take. failing wasn't in my vocabulary sad

Now I'm watching everyone around me reach their dreams while I have nothing material to show for myself

Like I said though the person I've had to become is so much better than the person I was. There's more to life than a perfect achievement record/perfect cv

nenevomito Mon 04-Mar-13 17:16:09

Its not much better in work I can tell you. My confidence is in the toilet after being off for so long. I'm worried all the time that they'll put me on competency and I am scared of being ill again and losing my job. Add into that the fact that everyone else knows what they're doing, while I don't even know where to start and its just crap.

Its been a long day today and I am physically and mentally tired. How can I keep this up when I am on meds and can't remember stuff from one moment to the next.

Sorry about the whinge. Will be better once I've had some dinner!

Crawling Mon 04-Mar-13 17:20:30

I agree for one I feel it has given alot of understanding and empathy Bipolar has so many elements you can help/relate to people who are suffering other mental illnesses.

I also feel it has given me a lot of personality as I am like 3 different people I have more interests and a more varied taste in everything than a average person.

I also grew up quick because of it which has positives and negatives.

But above all at age 18 I had experienced more than most people ever get the chance to.

Its made me stronger day to day it takes alot to knock me physically or mentally.

Anyone else think of any positives?

nenevomito Mon 04-Mar-13 17:27:05

I'm creative when depressed - as in writing stuff, for some reason.

The two years I've spent hypomanic - so everything was wonderful without me going completely bonkers - were amazing and the best times of my life.

I've made some bloody good friends who I'd never have met if I'd not been so ill.

Bunfags Mon 04-Mar-13 17:34:16

I'm on the fence about my bipolar. I've certainly had some adventures/misadventures whilst manic.

Juhannus Tue 05-Mar-13 16:21:55

Babyheave

I can totally understand how stressful it must be to try and stay in work especially if your off work and worrying. That must be the hardest time when everything feels uncertain.

I envy you slightly with being hypomanic smile I wish that phase would last longer with me, it's way too short. I can imagine I could be quite productive if a bit lary lol No I go to bonkers and messin up my life. That said I've been stable for the last year or so. What's really helped is being in a good relationship. Before I was in a bad relationship and that really messed me up. I got ill a lot cos of the stress of trying to make that work.

You need to be with someone who is understanding. I have been with some right tossers who have made me believe there's something wrong with me when really it's them. I have low self esteem so I think I've tried too hard with the wrong people in the past.

I get creative when I'm manic and I do miss that. I feel the meds quieten me down.

Crawling I'm the same more compassionate and have more empathy and understanding which helps with understanding other people. I imagine we all are with bipolar having gone through so much.

I actually thought for the first time today that I could be a good mum because of that. I'm normally fretting about how I would cope with the daily demands. That scares me. I have a supportive partner and that means the world. I don't think I could cope on my own.

I'm struggling a bit today, a bit down. I find that when I'm like this I feel bad about my self and put myself down. (I really shouldn't) When I'm having a good day it's just that, not because of anything I did. Despite all I've been through I still struggle with that. I take my mood personally only when I'm down. Why is that?

I try to remind myself that my mood is like the weather not something I control so not to take it to heart. But I do. I guess that's the nature it.

One thing we all have is strength and determination and probably lots of other good qualities that we don't credit ourselves for cos of the constant shadow of self doubt and guilt that is depression.

I' feeling tearful today sorry sad

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