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M73
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 7/12/2008 5:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Since the doc took me off Zoloft (which was causing me to be hypo) and replacing it with lamictal I've been low and weepy and miserable this week.

I haven't had a true depression since I started SSRIs years back, and although they kept me running pretty high (and irritable) it's like 5 years of depression is hitting me at once.

Does Lamictal not work until you actually reach the 200mg level? It's going to be another 3-4 weeks until I work up to that dose.

Any suggestions what to do in the meantime would be greatly appreciated. I developed coping skills for being angry and irritable and hypo, but have zero coping skills for depression.

Thanks in advance.

-Melissa

M73
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 7/12/2008 6:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I forgot to add, I'm so flipping sensitive and defensive now too. I used to have fairly thick skin and could weather criticism, conflict, etc.

Now I'm like this fragile person who I don't recognize. I don't want to start avoiding people but I'm constantly taking everything the wrong way.

closure
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 471
   Posted 7/12/2008 6:12 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm kind of in the same boat. SSRIs made me super manic woman lol. I'm on lamictal now, 100mgs, and I'm working my way up. I haven't noticed it helping too much so I'm a little discouraged, but I keep trying. I had to miss an appt where they probably would've upped the dosage so now I have to wait 2 more weeks. I keep getting told lamictal is great for bipolar depression so I'm trying to keep that in mind. I don't have any coping techniques either unfortunately, but have tons for anxiety! lol. Not a help, I know. Anyway you're not alone. If you get too bad though please call the doc or go to a hospital. Sometimes depression like this can really hit you and you start thinking bad things. I know what you mean about taking everything the wrong way, but I'm torn with what to tell you here. I'm someone who tends to avoid in situations like this, but I've been told and have also kind of realized that once you start avoiding it gets worse, meaning the depression and the avoiding. Once you start avoiding you don't stop and soon you'll end up like me, stuck in the house with only like one person to lean on because you've avoided the world for so long. I don't feel like I've been much help to you so I hope someone else has some tips. *hugs*
27 female
 
Bipolar, panic disorder, PTSD, PCOS, hashimoto's disease/hypothyroidism, and in the process of being diagnosed with crohns. Too many meds to list!


M73
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 7/12/2008 6:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you closure.

I know about avoidance too. I used to have to do it when I got so irritable and mean, to protect those around me. I'd just leave a place without explanation or not show up at some social function because I didn't want to go and be a jerk.

I'm much less irritable without the SSRIs (thank god) so that is a plus.

The doc and I talked about the low, she said to wait it out with the lamictal. I will. I asked her if there is another SSRI I could take but she fears putting me on one if I'm not in crisis since I do get pretty strung out on them.

I see you have panic disorder, is that what caused the avoidance in you? Thanks for the advice about avoidance, I see it has a snowball effect, or that it feeds of it. I'm avoiding a lot of things now because I lack energy to do them, lack any motivation for the things that probably would make me feel better.

Do you miss the SSRIs too? It sounds odd but despite the irritability I had a self confidence and a high paced energy on them.

closure
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 471
   Posted 7/12/2008 7:22 PM (GMT -7)   
I definitely have to avoid people when I get irritable or else no one would still talk to me lol. I get very moody and unfortunately for me and the people around me I do sometimes take it out on people when they don't deserve it. So avoidance sometimes does help.
 
The panic disorder definitely plays a part in why I've kind of avoided things. I also have pretty severe paranoia. I'm afraid of being attacked, followed, murdered, etc. I keep my blinds closed at all times and rarely go anywhere alone. Some of this is the PTSD, some of it is just plain paranoia. I have an alarm system and cameras around the outside of my house too. So as you can see I have some issues and they play a part in the avoidance.
 
As for if I miss the SSRIs...to be honest I do. I've even told the pdoc when I was on them that I was afraid to tell them about my mania because while there is a bad side to it I also have energy to do stuff, am more social, etc. I had to suck it up and be honest with the docs though if I wanted to get better. The bad mania symptoms were worse than the good...the shopping, reckless activities, etc. I don't know if you've encountered this, but I've even had people who know it's bad for me tell me they like me more when I'm manic...only the happy manic phases. I try to explain to them that it's not healthy for me, but it's hard for them to understand.
27 female
 
Bipolar, panic disorder, PTSD, PCOS, hashimoto's disease/hypothyroidism, and in the process of being diagnosed with crohns. Too many meds to list!


M73
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 7/12/2008 7:37 PM (GMT -7)   
YES! Exactly about the people who say they miss the "fun" you. I had someone tell me I am no longer fun these days. Of course 2 months ago someone saying that to me would have just made me laugh and say something flippant, but now since I'm sensitive I got upset about it.

I decided to be honest with this new doctor as well, I used to only mention my OCD issues, because I knew enough to realize if I started talking about irritability/rage/hyperactivity they would pull the Zoloft.

Oddly enough, I'm not getting very OCD without the Zoloft, in fact, I'm less OCD than I was with the Zoloft, so perhaps that was a misdiagnosis all along.

I rationalize avoidance though, if it is something I fear doing, I do it anyhow. If it is something where I know I'm going to A) burn bridges or B) upset someone I don't feel too badly about passing on an opportunity.

closure
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 471
   Posted 7/12/2008 10:35 PM (GMT -7)   
For me at first I had no clue that the SSRIs could be doing that to me. Well I sort of did, like when I first started on them I mentioned to my doc that I was bouncing off the walls and I felt like I was going to crawl out of my skin if I didn't do something...I didn't pay attention to the shopping because at the time I was working and making enough money to pay for it all, calling people in the middle of the night just to talk their ear off, and the reckless sex...I just thought I was a horny person lol. Sorry for the TMI. So instead of putting two and two together they just gave me sedatives and told me to take them when I felt like that. It obviously wasn't completely the docs fault though, I had no idea how to explain it all to them. I would get manic and apply to colleges, sometimes I would make it to the first day and so on, but eventually would drop out, or I would quit before I even got there. I did this with jobs too. When I would be manic like this and was untreated I thought I could do these things, when in reality I couldn't. My highs were high and made me think I was fine, then I would crash and realize I couldn't do the stuff I had agreed to. Just to get an idea...I've been to college since I was 18, 5 times. It would've been 7 if I went the other two times. I can't even tell you how many jobs I started and quit over the years.
 
So I finally found a doc that started pulling this stuff out of me. Like she actually knew the right questions to ask and since I didn't know where she was going with it I just told the truth. That's how they figured out I was bipolar, but they didn't figure out that the SSRIs were affecting me so badly. They had me on mood stabilizers, anti-psychotics, benzos, and SSRIs and couldn't figure out why I was still so bad. When I went to my new doc, the old one didn't take my new insurance, he started to notice the pattern with my SSRI increases. So ever since they pulled the SSRIs I don't have as many, or as bad, manic episodes. I still have them, but not as often. The last time I was really bad they put me on a high dosage of zyprexa and it worked beautifully...the weight gain though...I'm already over weight and at risk for diabetes...was their reason for taking me off of it and now trying lamictal. The zyprexa is the only thing that's ever really helped me so now I'm afraid I won't find something else. So now I wait for the lamictal to kick in.
27 female
 
Bipolar, panic disorder, PTSD, PCOS, hashimoto's disease/hypothyroidism, and in the process of being diagnosed with crohns. Too many meds to list!


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 7/13/2008 6:08 PM (GMT -7)   
M73,

My guess is that once you're stabilized on the Lamictal they'll give you something else for the depression. Lamictal does take a while to kick in (4-6 weeks), and I think it'll work okay at lower doses, but maybe just not for you. I'm sorry you're having such a terrible time though.

Here are some coping skills for depression: get out of the house is the number one thing. If you sit and mope, you make it worse. So whatever you like to do: get coffee at a cafe, work out, go for a walk, see a friend, go to the mall, etc., force yourself to go. You will feel better if you do.
--Get a little exercise: doesn't have to be a major workout, just take a walk. It gets the hormones going and you'll feel lighter afterwards.
--Stick to what makes you happy: no sad movies or books -- only comedies or romances.
--If you have a creative outlet, try and use it now. Writing really helps if you keep a journal. Other people draw, etc.

The other strong recommendation I have is to start seeing a therapist if you don't already have one. It can make all the difference in the world to have someone to talk to about how you feel who understands how you feel and can give you useful feedback and teach you coping skills as well.

Hope this is helpful,
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


M73
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 7/13/2008 8:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the tips sera, your insight is appreciated.

I do feel better when I get out. I went out with my friend today. Walking the dog on some trails around my house is good too. Creative outlets help the most. I paint.

It's hard to get started, but once I did today it did make a difference.

closure
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 471
   Posted 7/13/2008 8:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Glad to hear you got out and are feeling a bit better. Thanks for keeping us updated!
27 female
 
Bipolar, panic disorder, PTSD, PCOS, hashimoto's disease/hypothyroidism, and in the process of being diagnosed with crohns. Too many meds to list!


CapninHapnin
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 7/14/2008 7:03 AM (GMT -7)   
I take 400mg of lamictal, in addition to others. Having suffered more with the hypo's and manic's, it took a while to get the right level.

Had a major depressive after starting wellbutrin, so started with treatment of depressive first. It's been an ongoing process but levels I take now are working.

Also changed my job, sold a bunch of things which reduced my stress level. this seemed to stabilize me as well.

Cap
I want "I wish I had one more day to spend at the office" on my tombstone.

I used to be crazy, but now I have enough money to be called eccentric.


M73
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 7/15/2008 4:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Actually (I know things change in a heartbeat with me) but I'm finding the slowed down feeling a little nicer than the constant tense and strung out feeling I had prior to my med change.

It's more work getting up, more work doing things and getting myself motivated, but so much nicer than not being able to stop doing anything at all.

Capnin, wellbutrin doesn't cause any hypo or mania in you? How long did it take if you remember for the lamictal to have a stabilizing effect on mood?
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