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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?

CajaDeLaMemoria Sat 09-Feb-13 16:53:17

Hi everyone...I hope you don't mind me joining in here.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar type 2 in November. I got given meds in December - something beginning with V, because my kidney problems are too serious for lithium.

I feel so lost at the moment. We are waiting to move house (current house is freezing and very isolated) but technically have a month of our notice left to go. The new house is ready, and I asked our landlord for permission to leave early last night.

I'm so stressed. I keep crying, I can't concentrate, I'm arguing with DP all the time and I'm getting the most horrid headaches...

I feel so alone sad

Crawling Sat 09-Feb-13 17:29:08

Caja Im sorry your feeling so down moving house is stressful without having Bipolar it sounds like you may need a dose increase? Ihope your landlord lets you move early and that you feel better soon.

CajaDeLaMemoria Sat 09-Feb-13 17:53:59

Thanks Crawling.

I missed my psychatrist appointment last month, as I was hospitalized. I've been sent a new one for March, but it's a difficult date to make, and it feels so long away...

I do have a text line. I keep looking at it and wondering if I should ask them to send me more meds...they do a prescription delivery service around here. I can't find my tablets, I must have moved them last week when I was feeling okay...

It's so tough. I wish someone else could deal with everything for a while.

Crawling Sat 09-Feb-13 17:59:35

Can you ask your dp to? Sometimes when im ill dp takes over the things I find stressful like money managing sorting meds out. It might make you feel better if you dont stress I find just handing everything over and not asking or talking about it helps.

Hello. Crawling I know you've posted on a couple of my MH threads before, I hope it's ok to post here without a proper diagnosis.

Basically after having mental health problems since childhood (most commonly treated as depression and anxiety) I was completely honest with a doctor for the first time recently and she is convinced that I have bipolar disorder, probably bipolar 2. I was supposed to be seeing a psychiatrist for a full assessment on the 14th but that appointment's been cancelled and I'm waiting to hear when the new one will be

I feel so overwhelmed atm. I have up days, I have down days, I have days where my mood switches back and forth so much that I can barely keep track. I've always been like this (at least as long as I can remember) but knowing that I was on the way to a proper diagnosis had a calming effect. Now I feel like someone's pulled the rug out from under me and I just can't settle.

Are there any techniques that might help? I'm already taking Sertraline, although only 50mg. I can't exercise. Help.

CajaDeLaMemoria Sun 10-Feb-13 20:11:09

Thanks Crawling.

I did try speaking to DP today, but it's so hard for him to understand. He's never had or known anyone with MH issues.

Landlord visited us today and said that we can leave - but we'll remain liable for the rent. She was smiley and seemed to think she'd be doing us a favour...but we can't afford two rents, and we'd remain liable for all the costs here, and I just can't stop thinking about it.

I've bought the Sky box and duvets and biscuits and my laptop to my bedroom, and I'm living in here, because I might be able to get to some kind of liveable temperature up here.

DP did dig out my medication earlier, it's Depakote. I've taken the 500mg I'm prescribed at the moment, but the leaflet says 1000mg is a standard dose, so I'm tempted to take more in the hope that it numbs everything a bit and lets me at least semi-function.

I feel so, so alone.

funnymum71 Sun 10-Feb-13 20:27:00

I am on lamotrigine as well. I got some side effects at first - nausea and twitchy legs, but once I was on my full dose for a while all of that settled down and I find it pretty side-effect free. The quetiapine, on the other hand makes me rather dopey and gives me horrendous munchies.

joyful is Sertaline an anti-depressant? I have BP2 and anti-depressants make me anxiety central and give me awful mood swings. As soon as they were stopped, I immediately 'came down' a good notch.

I'm now on mood stabilisers (lamotrigine) and quetiapine for the depression. I'm hoping to come off quetiapine at some point as it has some annoying side effects, but when I reduced the dose without supervision, I ended up with a full blown relapse.

Caja - Do you have a care coordinator? I was assigned one when I was discharged from hospital and I call on her when I need support, including getting emergency scripts as I've forgotten to sort mine out blush.

funny yes it is, that's interesting.

fedupandtired Sun 10-Feb-13 20:49:39

So who does take an antidepressant? I have in the past but I can't take them anymore as they make me high and even more unstable. If I had a prolonged depressive episode which was difficult to treat then they'd be considered but otherwise it's a definite no-no for me.

funnymum71 Sun 10-Feb-13 20:54:18

Before the BP2 was diagnosed I was always given ADs. They either sent me hypomanic or if I was severely depressed, a shaking wreck with awful mood swings and the rest.

As soon as it was mooted as a diagnosis, they stopped the ADs and the improvement was almost immediate. I do get awful depressive episodes, but the quetiapine which is an anti-psychotic works as an anti-depressant in people with BP2.

funnymum71 Sun 10-Feb-13 20:54:52

Definite no no for me as well.

The Sertraline has helped with the depression, or at least my lows aren't so low any more. Tbh this has all come as a bit of a surprise - I always assumed I just had episodes of depression with really good spells in between.

Of course as I still don't have a formal diagnosis I suppose that's still a possibility.

fedupandtired Sun 10-Feb-13 21:47:16

Quetiapine doesn't just work as a mood stabiliser in BP2. I'm BP1 and its generally all I take. If I start getting depressed its increased and it lifts my mood. I did take venlafaxine for many years alongside lithium and then other mood stabilisers but I reckon I'd probably have been better off stopping it as soon as I was diagnosed. Hindsight is great though!

Crawling Mon 11-Feb-13 09:40:27

Joyfulpuddlejumper Welcome sorry that your appointment was cancelled.

Caja I hope you feel better soon.

Re anti depressants I was on two without a mood stabilser anti pych yo treat a depressive episode because I was breastfeeding and wanted to hold off on the heavy meds.

They dont make me manic if im in a major depressive episode but they dont work as well as mood stabilisers or anti pyschs now I take two and a anti pysch while feeding. But Im still not a 100% it just takes the edge off. on my next appointment im going to discuss stopping feeding and increasing my dose.

Bunfags Mon 11-Feb-13 09:43:21

I've been advised to start Quetiapine, but I've just stopped smoking and I've piled on the pounds. I'm not really keen on taking a med that is notorious for weight gain. To be honest, that would just give me something to get down about. That is probably a really shallow reason for not wanting to take medication. blush

How have you people found these antipsychotics?

funnymum71 Mon 11-Feb-13 10:01:36

Most of the anti-psychotics have weight gain as a side effect. With quetiapine it's more munchies than anything else. My GP referred me to a local Active Health programme which gives me free gym membership to help keep me from putting on to much weight. I also walk everywhere I can.

For me, the side effects are worthwhile for the stability the drug gives.

Crawling Mon 11-Feb-13 10:33:42

Yep my olanzapine has caused weight gain too.

Bunfags Mon 11-Feb-13 11:05:44

The olanzipine made me sleepwalk and do some very strange things, so I'm not going to be able to take that again! It was like some sort of crazy knock out pill that just really dulled all my senses. Is it like that for you Crawling?

The meds affect people differently, so I'm just curious. Also, funnymum, do you feel odd on Quetiapine at all? Does it make you drowsy and spaced out like some other meds?

Crawling Mon 11-Feb-13 12:00:10

I sleepwalk anyway it was increased for the first month but then it died down . I also got dry mouth, tremors and drowsy but they also stopped after a month.

Bunfags Mon 11-Feb-13 12:16:33

Aside from the kidney problems, I'm scared of medication. Bipolar is an illness, but I worry that meds will make me stop feeling like me. Does that sound odd? The few meds I've tried apart from lamotrigine actually made me feel like I was drugged. That doesn't fill me with confidence, it smacks of 'let's sedate the crazy person so they're not a pita anymore'.

I freely accept that I may be paranoid on that count though.

funnymum71 Mon 11-Feb-13 12:18:59

It did when I started taking it, but after a while it stopped. I take a mixture of the regular Q and the XL version, which is slow release. They don't like to prescribe the slow release version as its still under patent so they can't go generic.

When I first started taking it, 25mg knocked me out. Now I'm on 600mg a day (300 regular, 300 slow release) and can take up to an extra 100mg a day as PRN and I can get through a day without problem.

funnymum71 Mon 11-Feb-13 12:20:46

I can sympathise Bunfags. Thats why I reduced the amount of quetiapine I was on, however the depression it triggered was so awful that I won't be doing that again in a hurry. I will come off it eventually, but it will be after a long period of stability and following what the psych said.

Bunfags Mon 11-Feb-13 12:32:55

Lamotrigine work well, but the episode I just had was triggered by Champix (smoking cessation drug) I think. I checked my bank accounts the other day and was short of a lot of money. Then I slowly recalled that I had spent loads of it on crap and donated some, because I wasn't going to be around much longer.

I've never been like that before whilst depressed, and my memories of the episode are very fuzzy indeed. I still feel very down and I'm considering the Q, but if it's just a wobble from that Champix, I don't see the point in taking more meds.

I'm glad the Q agrees with you funnymummy. Iit's difficult to get the balance right. I wasn't eating much, sleeping much or exercising before my last episode and that doesn't help either. Diet, sleep and exercise are just as important as meds.

DoctorWhoFan Mon 11-Feb-13 12:57:24

Hi Bunfags, when I was thinking of giving up my friend said he'd used the Champix, but that there was no way I could use it as it could make me feel suicidal as it was well known to cause depression. He is the most stable person I know and even HE felt depressed on it.

I'm guessing it's the Champix, and your GP or whomever prescribed it to you, should have been aware of this side effect as apparently it's well known in the profession. Shocking!

I'm sorry to hear that you are still feeling very down. If you can avoid the evil Q, I would...I hate the stuff!

I had the same problem with other meds. They started me on lithium, which made me sick as a dog. Depakote did the same, and then I read on a mental health support website that a lot of people had tried the lamotrigine and had found it really good. So, I asked my psych if I could try it. I've done pretty well on it to be honest, although at the moment I'm not doing so good. I think I may have to have a med change because I suspect it's stopped working and I'm already on nearly the highest dose I can take of it. I'm scared of changing though because the side effects I've had before have been horrendous!

funnymum71 Mon 11-Feb-13 13:07:49

What dose of Lamotrigine are you on DoctorWho? It may just be that you need something temp if you're going through a bad phase, rather than a complete change, especially if its been working for you.

The folk I know with BP have a main drug and then one they take when needed. Even when I come off Q completely, I'll still have PRN available to help out short term.

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