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Bi-Polar 2 and Meds

(35 Posts)
Yemenite Sun 21-Oct-12 09:15:12

Hi - I am pretty new here so forgive me if this is something that has already been discussed. I have been diagnosed with Bi-polar 2 (hypomania and depression). I don't completely agree but willing to try anything and believe anything at this point. have one child (3 years old) and the first sign that something was wrong was PND. Then I got pregnant again a few months back and wanted to jump off a bridge. I miscarried and went all mental for a week or so - and now they are insisting I take the new Meds (Seroquel) for mood-stability. I don't like the side effects but I do like the feeling they give me. Does anyone take a mood stabilizer that doesn't increase appetite or make you feel completely zoned out?


Crawling Sun 21-Oct-12 09:58:10

I am type 1and currently on a low amount of medication as i am breastfeeding. I currently take seroxat trazodone and olanzapine have taken others but to be honest the side effects never bother me as they are nothing compared to a manic or mixed episode which i find worse than depression as when depressed i am still me and I have the ability to reason when manic or mixed I lose all since of reality and have awful psychosis and quite frankly I am amazed I am still alive. I don't get many side effects on meds but no one can tell you what med to take as everyone is different.

fedupandtired Sun 21-Oct-12 10:49:31

For me quetiapine has been a wonder drug and enabled me to live a near normal life which I can't do without it. The main side effect is extreme tiredness and although that does ease, for me it never goes completely. It's quite often a case of trial and error to find the right medication for you but when you do you will feel normal again.

Yemenite Sun 21-Oct-12 13:07:32

Thanks for replying - fedupandtired - do you have weight gain with them? What dosage are you on?

fedupandtired Sun 21-Oct-12 14:43:40

No I haven't gained weight whilst on them. Well, I have but it's not down to the quetiapine it was down to poor eating habits because as well as gaining weight I've also lost it (3.5 stone).

The dose I'm on ranges from 300mg to 500mg with the option to go higher. I've just had it increased to 400mg but as I don't like taking too high a dose of anything I like to only take the bare minimum needed to keep me well which has been a constant conflict with my psychiatrist.

DiamondDoris Mon 22-Oct-12 00:09:38

I take lamotrigine (lamictal) which is a mood stabiliser which has anti-depressant qualities and at a higher dose can manage hypomania too. I'm on 200mg, but the depression is still making an appearance though not as bad as it was before medication. I was also put on an antipsychotic, quetiapine but that made me so drowsy and I wouldn't recommend it if you have DC - I literally couldn't get out of bed in the morning. I quite like lamotrigine after being on others. Everyone responds differently to meds and they will always need to be tweaked and mixed with other stuff. I forgot to mention, lamotrigine doesn't make you put on weight, decrease libido or make you feel like a zombie. However, with me, my hair fulls out a bit (no bald spots though), interferes with my co-ordination, my grammar, spelling and short term memory have been slightly affected too. But on the whole, I couldn't manage without. I'm so sorry about your miscarriage - I had serial miscarriages and became a bit of a boozer for a while (self medicating). I hope time will heal, it's hard and I'm not surprised you "went mental". Take care.

Yemenite Mon 22-Oct-12 09:00:28

Thanks for replying. I think I will ask to be changed to Lamactil - I have heard only positive things about this Med. The reason she chose Seroquel was because I was pregnant and they say it is safe. But I am not pregnant anymore so I reckon we can chop and change. I am gaining weight and it really upsets me.

DiamondDoris Mon 22-Oct-12 09:55:11

Yes, weight gain is a pain and I don't buy "it's better to be medicated and put on some weight than be manic/depressed and slim". Being overweight would tip me over the edge and I'd probably give up medication. However, many wouldn't agree with me. If at all possible, try lowish carb in the short term. It has a positive effect on moods and energy and you lose pounds really quickly. Eating carbs just makes you want more about an hour later. To make it easier, try new potatoes and rice, but ditch mash, baked potatoes and pasta.

ScreamingManAndGoryOn Mon 22-Oct-12 13:23:25

I am on quetiapine and lamotrigine with Bipolar 2. The quetiapine acts as an anti-depressant and the lamotrigine as a mood stabiliser.

I do a lot of exercise to try and counteract the terrible munchies that I get from the Quetiapine, but do sometimes put on weight on a bad week. The exercise really helps with the depression as well.

I am on 600mg quetiapine and 200mg lamotrigine, which are both high doses. I have two children under the age of 6 and hold down a FT mgt job working 40ish hours a week, so it is possible to work, live and function well on these drugs.

FunBagFreddie Mon 22-Oct-12 19:29:08

DiamondDoris , I'm on lamotrigine too. 150 mg per day and have the same side effects as you, ie short term memory, spelling co-ordination. I've never made the connection though. I've not had any weight gain from it either.
Otherwise I'd say that lamotrigine is pretty much free from side effects. It's one of the only mood stabilisers I can have due to another health condition though. It's been something of a wonder drug for me and it's really helped to keep me stable.

GoddessofSuburbia Tue 23-Oct-12 00:54:41

Another here on 150mg lamotrigine twice a day. As far as I'm concerned it's pretty much a wonder drug; stabilises me beautifully with minimum side effects. The only one I notice most frequently is that my hands often shake.

sparklekitty Tue 23-Oct-12 16:17:36

Like diamond I was on lamotrigine 200mg pd and it worked wonders for me. No weight gain issues (was prescribed it specifically for that reason as I also have an ED) The only side effect I suffered was some spots (although that could have equally been the hormonal coil I had fitted at the same time as I couldn't take the oill with it)

domesticgodless Tue 23-Oct-12 16:25:51

Hmm. I am on sertraline 150 mg and carbamazepine, which looking at posts from all you ladies doesnt' look a very usual choice.

I am pretty convinced they don't do much but knacker me out.

Was on citalopram previously and it basically drove me mad. Lost concentration, dissociative episodes, intense anger.

On sertraline am acutely anxious and often depressed but not crazy and regained ability to work/write (somewhat).

I am concerned that many of us with a bipolar II diagnosis present with problems around postnatal period and also pms (I reckon I have pmdd but doctors ignore me completely and just suggest the pill- I am hormone sensitive so no way). I think hormonal depression is underdiagnosed and underresearched. Bipolar on the other hand seems to be the new 'dustbin' diagnosis for anyone who isn't 'conventionally depressed' in terms of not eating/not sleeping/ being in constant low mood.

Theala Tue 23-Oct-12 16:29:28

not me but my dp is on 300mg of lamotrigine and 600mg of tegretol and hasn't gained any weight (goddamit). he hasn't remarked any other negative side effects either he says.

Theala Tue 23-Oct-12 16:31:44

oh tegretol is carbamazepine, by the way.

domesticgodless Tue 23-Oct-12 16:37:56

No I havne't gained any weight on tegretol/carbamazepine either, but as I'm not sure it actually works, i don't know whether to be happy about that or not!!

Theala Tue 23-Oct-12 16:53:34

yeah, hard to know. dp is certainly a lot less manic since he's been taking that combination, but whether that's due to the tegretol, the lamictal, the combination of both or external factors...who knows?

FunBagFreddie Tue 23-Oct-12 17:04:52

Sertraline was a total wrongun for me. I got put on it when I was first diagnosed as they thought I was depressed. It kicked off a really bad mixed episode.

I think you're right about bipolar being a catch all term domesticgodless.

domesticgodless Tue 23-Oct-12 17:46:53

funbag I had mixed episodes on citalopram. Then a 6 or so month hypomanic/agitated 'high' (sure didn't feel 'high' a lot of the time tbh more angry, dissociated and suicidal often to the point of not caring what the hell I did.. and was hypersexual so you can guess why I am now getting a divorce sad)

It was only after I attempted suicide during that period that I was diagnosed 'bipolar'.

I weaned ds2 just before the 6 month crisis and I believe that had a lot to do with the extreme and destructive reaction, from my own research. Again, doctors and psychiatrists nod and smile when I talk about this but the research is out there. They simply ignore it.

FrothyOM Tue 23-Oct-12 18:43:38

domesticgodless - I get the same way with anti-depressants, and yes, the shrinks smile and nod. I have some horrible bouts of depression but never touch the things now.

I have found seroquel helpful, more with anxiety, insomnia, and the agitated features of my depression than the actual depresion. If I can sleep, though, I can function.

OP - Sometimes it's trial and error with meds. And sometimes you have to be assertive to let them know the treatment isn't working for you - or that's my bitter experience. Anyway, I hope you feel better soon.

I am wondering if bipolar 2 is the new catch all, too.

FrothyOM Tue 23-Oct-12 18:47:12

I also suffer from horrific PMT.

FunBagFreddie Tue 23-Oct-12 23:19:31

domesticgodless, Antidepressants and bipolar aren't meant to mix very well, although what is bipolar? I haven't ever had a diagnosis of bipolar 1 or 2, just a diagnosis of 'a bipolar illness', which is apparently now in remission - as long as take my lamotrigine, avoid all unecessary stress and get enough sleep! Thankfully I am generally stable these days.

When you say you weaned DS2, do you mean that you stopped BF? I can totally see how hormonal changes could affect it.

I was diagnosed at 32 and at first they thought it was psychotic depression, the antidepressants made me manic, but still with a low mood. To be honest, looking back I can see that I've had periods of not being well since my mid teens, and my dad has also been diagnosed with bipolar.


Yemenite Wed 24-Oct-12 12:13:35

Just been for another psych apt and am being weaned off the Seroquel because it is causing me to be compulsive about food. She is starting me on Lamictal which she promises wont make me fat! Here's hoping. I would rather be mental and thin than stable and fat..... Such is the nature of an ED.

FunBagFreddie Wed 24-Oct-12 12:34:44

If it helps Yemenite, I have a history of ED, and lamotrigine is a very good drug in terms of it being weight neutral and effective. I haven't had to choose between being mental and thin or stable and fat. smile

The skanky NHS round here doesn't give me the Lactimal brand now! I have to have the non branded.

I hope it works well for you too.

Yemenite Wed 24-Oct-12 12:52:05

Thanks FunBagFreddie - I have to stay on the Seroquel another couple of weeks - do you know if the Lamotrigine will cancel out any weight gain over these weeks or not?

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