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Bipolar Disorder Message Board

Bipolar Disorder Board Index

Bipolar people...I still haven't actually gotten use to that term or label...I'm a bipolar person....hmmm. I'm new to this site. I just stumbled across it searching for some info about my meds & it came up thru the search engine. So, I looked around at some of the post put on here by some others like myself that are bipolar. Needless to say, I joined. Everyone's words got me hooked & I just had to be a part of what's happening here. I thought maybe I can get some answers that I've been seeking since I'm never around other bipolar people. I was diagnosed at the beginning of 2006 after spending 4 years medicine hopping being treated for depression. Finally, I switched doctors & she saw that hey, there's something more going on here. My problems weren't resolved there, though. She put me on Abilify & it seemed to worsen me. By August 2006 I was in a mental hospital & had never been to one. I'm 31 years old by the way, married, with 2 children. I'm happily married but sometimes I wonder how he puts up with me. I try to be on my best behavior but with my mood swings I feel bad a lot of the time & somehow he still loves me. Anyway, while on my 5 day stay at the hospital they changed my meds to Lithium & Seroquel at night to help me sleep. They also set me up to see a local Psychiatrist & a therapist. I had never been to either. I had always been treated just thru my regular doctor. I had to do away with the Seroquel. I took it up 'til November & my Psychiatrist took me off of it. It lingered with me all day long & I felt terrrible. Now I'm on the Lithium & Wellbutrin. I thought the Wellbutrin was helping me 'cause when I first started it in November 2006 I went into full throttle. I found, though, that I was very irritable & anxious. I couldn't sleep at night & being off of the Seroquel I had nothing to help me sleep. I found I would start projects one after another never to finish the first one that I started. Before this time, I had been in such a deep depression I would sleep 16 hours out of the day & still be tired. Over the past 2 weeks I have shifted back into a depression where I'm sleeping excessive amounts & I'm having a lot of nausea & have actually vomited a few times. I've had these episodes of nausea & vomiting off & on since I've been on the Lithium. I go back to my doctor on Monday & I'm going to tell him AGAIN how it's reacting to me. I've already told him once. At this point in my life, though, I just feel like there's no hope. I've been on numerous medicines & I've read every book I can get my hands on about the disorder as well as worked 2 complete workbooks to help me. Oh & I see my therapist as much as they will schedule me which is once a month sometimes going a month & 1/2. Problem with that is that I'm normally a quiet person & he like just sits there waiting for me to discuss something. I have to be talked to in order to open up. So, I've seen him since August 2006 & have gotten nowhere. He's never even asked me about my childhood. My questions are: Is there hope to getting stable again? Is anyone out there that has been here & gotten out of it? Or am I doomed to fight this battle like I have cancer for the rest of my life with fear that everyone is going to abandon me because I'm not getting any better & only getting worse? Any help or advice is appreciated. I know everyone's meds are different & what works for one doesn't for another but I would like to hear what meds HAVE made you stable & kept you that way for a long run. Thanks~:angel:
Hi Jaysang,

I'm fairly new to my bipolar diagnosis as well, but not to depression and numerous medications prescribed to help with it that did nothing at all - an indicator of bipolar is what I've been told. Anyway, I had the same reaction to lithium as you have, and the very same reaction to Seroquel. When I was first diagnosed by my psychiatrist, I tried lithium for about a month. I was petrified of overdosing or having some sort of reaction, and I started to have panic attacks (which I had never had before). I started to feel nauseated and dizzy, and that feeling would bring me to near panic. One night I ended up in the hospital thinking I was going to die. That's when the doctor told me I was having a panic attack. I was actually angry at him because I was physically ill and that is what was causing me to panic. Anyway, I finally, and reluctantly, changed meds. Turns out I was having a negative reaction not only to lithium, but the lithium was reacting with the Tylenol PM I was taking for my chronic insomnia.

Anyway, I was finally talked into trying Lamictal, and it has been wonderful. I also take Seroquel for insomnia, but only in very, very small doses. I literally crush up a 25mg pill and take crumbs at night because even one 25mg pill would knock me out cold for about 16 hours. After titrating up on the Lamictal over 5 weeks and eventually up to 200mg, the change in me was remarkable. I am getting the right amount of sleep, my agitation and irritation has subsided significantly, and the constant, racing thoughts that keep me on edge and stressed out all the time has all but disappeared. As you know, we are all different, but we do sound like we react similarly to medications. This may be an option for you. When I was titrating up on the Lamictal, I stayed on the lithium until I got to a therapeutic level of Lamictal, then stopped the lithium altogether. The Lamictal was a much better match for me. No more panic attacks, no more lab work, no more bad or embarassing behavior, less stress, and mixed with the crumbs of Seroquel for sleep, it's been great.

Also, we are about the same age. I am 33 and I am also married. I don't know how we've made it 5 years without my being medicated, as I've been a wreck for as long as I can remember. But I'm a pretty great person when I wasn't self medicating, and I'm happy he stuck it out. :)

Finally, I would like to add that medication management and changing meds often is common and expected by psychiatrists (or it is by a good one), and you should not be ashamed to ask for something different. This is the most difficult part of therapy. So, you should feel totally comfortable bringing it up if it's not working. The whole point is to find what works for you! That's what he/she is there for, that's what you're paying them for. I would also suggest searching for a different psychologist, as finding the right one for you is just as important as anything else. If you can't talk to them and don't feel comfortable, what good is the therapy? Don't hesitate to "shop" around for a doctor if you feel like you're not getting the treatment that's right for you.

Good luck to you, and welcome to the boards. They are very helpful and I have found great solace in this place and from its members. :wave:

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