MDJunction - People Helping People
 
Ask a Question
12/27/2010 07:13 PM

Hello World

bpdiaries
Posts: 293
Member

Ok, so I didn't really have much of a title..

I'm a 33 year old male who was DX BP2-Rapid Cycling+Anxiety/OCD/Mild Agoraphobia in 2007. Up until that time I had been treated for Anxiety/OCD alone mostly with a course of Benzos and SSRIs. My moods started to fluctuate and in 2008 while on Lexapro I began to rapid cycle. I didn't understand why I felt so all over the place but my Pdoc explained that I was most likely BP.

After a short trial of Trileptal which did little for me my Pdoc passed away and I lost my job for the first time in my life. Needless to say with a fresh DX of BP and no insurance or money to speak of things went south.

I ended up losing my apartment and was sleeping out of my car for a while until I lost that too. After two months of being on couches and the street I found employment and put my life back together. I was fortunate enough that a friend of mine offered to pay for me to see a Pdoc and get me on Depakote to keep me from some pretty bad mixed-states and cycling. The Depakote kept me stable albeit with some side effects for about a year when I came off of it due to a 60lb weight gain.

We tried several mood stabilizers and even gave some AAPs a go with little success or discontinuation due to side effect intolerance. This went through the midst of 2010 when my Pdoc put me on Lithium (which I was scared of). He wanted me at 900mg-1200mg but I couldn't tolerate it. So I took 600mg and "got by". We tried adding Topamax to keep my weight in check and to hopefully balance things before he went on a long vacation. As luck would have it, I had bad cognitive side effects (including getting lost on the way to work).

An emergency call to the on-call Pdoc resulted in seeing him on a regular basis and an increase in my Lithium. 900mg kept me good for a while until stress at work came into play. We tried 1200mg but I could not tolerate it so settled for 1050mg where I remain as of this writing. He added Lamictal a couple of months ago but it made me hypomanic pretty bad so I'm currently weaning off of it.

Like most bipolars I'm hard to treat as my anxiety can trigger hypo or vice-versa. So you never really know what's going on. It's definitely a daily struggle but with the help of my Pdoc and forums like these, it makes the bitter pill easier to swallow.

Ok, that was long-winded, but I figured I might as well get it out there. Smile

Reply

12/27/2010 07:38 PM
Dit
Dit  
Posts: 14121
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

Hi bpdiaries and welcome, this is a fantastic support group with very caring members ready to give you their experience strength and hope, don't be shy post wherever you want. I come online daily and no longer feel alone living with bipolar.

You have been through a lot and i'm glad to see you have gotten over some of your worst times. I too take Lithium and am on the same dosage as you being 1050 mg. I was on 900mgs for so long but just a little over a week ago i needed my dosage upped, only by 150 mgs. I'm trying to keep my dosage as low as possible and i was fighting the bp symptoms that i was getting but finally caved and increased the dosage, in no time i feel so much better and relaxed so it really worked for me, i wish you well with your meds.

If you have questions or concerns feel free to contact me by private message (PM) anytime or any group leader.


12/27/2010 08:19 PM
Joy75
Joy75  
Posts: 16713
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

Hi bpdiaries. Nice to meet you. You have had it quite rough and I'm sorry for that. You have an amazing story of survival. I commend you on this. You are a fighter. You have come a long way though and you will get there, just give it some time. Things will start to look up. I'm sorry that you have had such a hard time with medications. Once you find that right mix, you will be good to go. It just takes a lot of patience. There is a lot of support here and very caring people that you will find to be your friends. Welcome to the group!!

12/27/2010 08:29 PM
bpdiaries
Posts: 293
Member

Thanks for the kind words.

I'm sure we all struggle daily but I'm glad I never gave up and kept fighting and always will. The Lithium works for the most part but I can't seem to get a serum level higher than .6. At that level I still have issues with thoughts racing and being agitated from time to time so I hope I can increase it with little side effects.

I'm at 50mg Lamictal right now tapering down from 125mg which sent me soaring into hypo land for a couple of months. I can already see a difference as I'm not as wound up as much and am able to have a good bit of quiet.

I go back to the Pdoc in a couple of weeks for a follow-up and bloodwork so we'll see what he says. In the meantime I've gotten back on my fish oil, folic acid, multivitamins, and am also trying gaba.


12/27/2010 08:49 PM
Dit
Dit  
Posts: 14121
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

I used to have racing thoughts and i find its the combination of my antidep and the Lithium that works well together, i too have anxiety but mostly don't always have it. I hope your psychiatrist (pdoc) can find the right med mixed with the Lithium to work, Lithium is great at removing anxiety and mania.

12/27/2010 09:00 PM
bpdiaries
Posts: 293
Member

He's concerned with adding a SSRI or other AD to the equation since they tend to send me hypo (as is the recent case with Lamictal).

I recall when he first put me on 900mg Lithium I was at a .7 serum level and my mind was calm and little to no racing thoughts. Now that I'm at 1050mg my level is between .6-.7 and the racing thoughts are more common. I still function fine, but it gets annoying.

The problem is that anxiety and mania have similar symptoms so while you're treating the BP the anxiety could be kicking in. Which is why until we taper the Lamictal which was causing me issues he's told me to PRN benzos for any agitation or anxiety.

I swear sometimes I feel like a chemistry set. I'm hoping that I can stick to a monotherapy solution.


12/28/2010 03:45 AM
mem4809

I just want to welcome you to the group and commend you on your perseverance. I truly hope that you find the right medication mix soon. Stick with it! With the correct help you can only go up from here! Keep posting, this site is so wonderful and warm!

Janna


12/28/2010 05:19 AM
uppitywoman
uppitywoman  
Posts: 42739
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

Hello and welcome to the group. You have certainly been through a lot with the medication merry go round. I sure do know how that feels, but I finally found the right cocktail that is balanced and works for me, so I just want to encourage you, the right one will be found for you, too. I hope it is soon and that you will no longer suffer the racing thoughts. Feel free to PM me with any concerns or questions, or if you just want to talk. I check in daily. I know you will find this a very supportive group.
Reply

Share this discussion with your friends:


Disclaimer: The information provided in MDJunction is not a replacement for medical diagnosis, treatment, or professional medical advice.
In case of EMERGENCY call 911 or 1.800.273.TALK (8255) to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Read more.
Contact Us | About Us
Copyright (c) 2006-2014 MDJunction.com All Rights Reserved