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depapax78
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 12/6/2008 8:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello everyone!!! :D


my name is haresh. i live in nyc. i have been taking depakote and paxil for years for my depression/bipolar disorder. im 30 years old and looking for a way to get off these drugs. Actually i stopped taking them cold turkey and have been very nonfunctional. I sleep around 10 hours a day and wake up to only eat and use the bathroom. i dont shower everyday or brush my teeth. I recently ordered a pre-taper kit to get off anticonvulsants such as depakote. I am really just fed up with psychiatric drugs because i lost alot of my hair from depakote and everytime i told the doctors they downplayed it like it was no big deal. I recently asked to switch to abilify and my current psychiatrist told me to say on the depakote to get a blood level first because i told her that i wasn't taking the drugs consistantly. I would like to just find out if anyone else out there is frustrated with the horrific side effects (ie.hair loss, feeling like a zombie, weight gain, or anything else they'd like to share.) i just pray and hope that my life will change and I can be a normal person and feel normal-most importantly. i recently turned 30 and when i look back on my twenties -it sucked. i had a couple jobs and went to school part time but i didnt really accomplish much. i was actually in the hospital when i turned thirty. anyway , i hope to speak and connect to all of you and I'm glad I joined this forum :)



take care all and god bless,



haresh


(I had to remove the web page, because of it's commercial nature, per Forum Rule #4. -- serafena)

Post Edited By Moderator (serafena) : 12/7/2008 8:54:56 AM (GMT-7)


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted Yesterday 8:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Haresh,

Welcome to HealingWell and thank you for joining our forum. It's good to have you.

I'm certain there are many on the board who can relate. We all live with the side effects of psych drugs every day. I'm sorry your drugs have failed you. From what I can tell, you need a new psychiatrist -- one that will listen to you. The side effects you mention are not minor, they are life altering, and you should not have to live your life like that. Any psych worth her salt would see those drugs weren't working and try new drugs.

The problem is, you do have to take them consistently. The other problem is, you can't stop them cold turkey. You're going to endure major side effects if you do. You're putting your brain on a roller coaster by being inconsistent with your medication, and there's nothing your psychiatrist can do about that -- that's entirely your responsibility. I do understand that frustration with the medication makes it more likely that you're going to try and get off it, but the truth of the matter is, you are most likely going to find that life without medication is worse than life with it. With bipolar, you're not a normal person -- I'm very sorry to say, and without medication you are far more likely to have episodes. So talk to a new psych and see what he or she has to say about getting you stabilized on some new medications which may work better. That's my advice.

I hope this is helpful,
best of luck,
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


Georgie Girl
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 319
   Posted Yesterday 10:45 AM (GMT -7)   
I had weight gain and hair loss and liver pain with Depakote.  I hated it (my hair came back in thick and wavy when it used to be straight as a board).  I no longer take it.    Like stated above,  it is never a good idea to take yourself off psychotropic meds or to stop cold turkey.  And if you are bipolar and/or depressive and/or suffer from anxiety, you're going to have to take some medication to maintain a normal life.  Just my two cents.   (Although I am off Depakote, I take other meds). 

Georgie Girl


Carenpolar
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 672
   Posted Yesterday 1:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to the board,,,,
 
hugs, Caren
Bipolar 1

depapax78
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted Yesterday 7:28 PM (GMT -7)   
wow thanks for the speedy replies :)
what i really need to do is get some selenium and zinc supplements. i heard they help with hair loss. although i read also that if u take too much selenium , it will cause more hair loss. Man i feel so lost and confused sometimes. Looking for a new psychiatrist can be a pain in the butt. the intake and what not. i dunno. im just gonna pray about it and hope everything works out for the best.

haresh



(I had to edit out some language Per Forum Rule #2. Please read the Forum Rules. There's a link over there ====> -- serafena)

Post Edited By Moderator (serafena) : 12/8/2008 8:46:46 AM (GMT-7)


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted Today 8:52 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree looking for a new psych is a pain, but if it's a matter of your mental health, isn't it worth it? Praying is certainly one way to calm yourself and bring all your positive energy to bear on a situation, but then you have to work your own magic as well. It's part of the depression that's holding you back. You can do this. zinc and selenium may help with your hair loss, but what's going to help with the sleeping, poor self-care, and depression? You need some help, and unfortunately, in the end, the only one who can do it is you.

All the best,
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


depapax78
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted Today 8:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Serafena,

Do you mind if I ask how long and which medications you have been on? Have you had any major side effects like hair loss ? I really appreciate your replies to me and everyone else. I agree with you i have to take care of myself and in the end im the only one who can do it. I live at home and it really sucks. My mother is on my case and says i make the house a "living hell" because i do nothing all day. She says i ruin the atmosphere of the house. I wish i was successfull and making 50k so i can at least move out. Living in nyc is quite expensive! i have rented rooms in the past but they have been quite crapty. It costs around 1100 just to get a studio around where I live. i dont know what im going to do. Im just really stressed out from day to day. I noticed, maybe its because i sleep alot and but ive been having alot of physical pain since i stopped taking the medication. my back hurts even though i sleep on a tempurperdic mattress. Anyway today i recieved the full pre-taper kit and im exicited. i want to start taking it and see what happens. IT usually takes about a month or so for the average person. thanks again for your prompt and insightful reply. :)



haresh :)


(I removed the website, again. -- serafena)

Post Edited By Moderator (serafena) : 12/9/2008 9:26:57 AM (GMT-7)


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 12/9/2008 9:38 AM (GMT -7)   
I am currently on 5 drugs, Lamictal, Topomax, Lexapro, Serzone, and Abilify. None of them give me any side effects, thankfully.

But over the years I have been on dozens of drugs, Haresh, some with pretty debilitating effects, I'm sorry to say. Effexor, for example, gave me brain zaps. For weeks I was so dizzy I couldn't walk in a straight line without feeling like I was going to fall over. Stairs were precarious. The only thing that made me comfortable was sitting on the couch, perfectly still, eyes dead-straight ahead. I couldn't read, I couldn't even watch tv because my eyes moved. And it was worst when I was trying to wean off the drug. I couldn't just stop the drug and make it go away -- I had to just wait it out.

I don't mean to downplay the seriousness of hairloss, but as Georgie Girl implied, if it was the depakote that caused your hairloss, your hair will probably grow back when you stop the medication. If it fell out naturally, it probably won't. Unfortunately, men around your age do sometimes lose their hair. My husband lost most of his hair in his late 20s and early 30's. He's 36 and already very thin. I know it can cause major self-esteem problems. All the more reason to get yourself to a therapist, so you can get out of your funk and get out of your depression.

I wish you the very best,
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


depapax78
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 12/9/2008 12:53 PM (GMT -7)   
yeah im just frustrated that i took the depakote for years with so much faith in these so called well trained psychiatrists.
 
anyway i started a tapering off program and i hope it works :) fyi my hair loss started much earlier than 30 and i do blame the depakote. my brother has a full thick head of hair. so i dont see why i shouldn't. but yeah i agree, i gotta find a new psychiatrist. my case manager is connecting me with a new one and hopefully in the same office they have a GOOD therapist too.
 
 
 
 (I edited out language.  This is the last time I'm going to make a note of any changes I have to make to your posts.  Please read the rules.  serafena)

Post Edited By Moderator (serafena) : 12/9/2008 5:31:23 PM (GMT-7)


shebsy
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 125
   Posted 12/12/2008 12:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Haresh, I suffered from acute hair loss because of tegretol and risperdal. You sound like an Indian so I will recommend two remedies that really helped me. There is an oil from Kerala called Dhatri that works miracles. I had never heard of that oil because I am from Delhi but my Bharatnatyam instructor recommended it to me. Also drinking Aloe Vera and applying it to hair is really beneficial. Get yourself tested for iron deficiency. I take Omega 3 capsules, B complex, Iron pills and a Multivitamin everyday. It has helped me so far. My psychiatrist has advised me to exercise every day and control my diet. He told me that all bipolar patients need to exercise regularly because most bipolar medication makes one put on weight.

I stopped my medication once when I felt like I was gaining weight and losing too much hair. It did not help at all. I had an episode, quit my job and was put back on stronger medication. Bipolar people need medication more than beauty pageant looks. Today, I wish I had not left my medication and stuck to the job because I was making a lot of money.

depapax78
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 12/13/2008 2:34 PM (GMT -7)   
shebsy,




thanks for the reply and information. I agree, stopping your medication abruptly can mess you up bigtime. This is the second time i did it. I am on day 12 of no meds and i feel like crap. the first couple of days was the hardest. My hair is still breaking. Thats what the depakote does. it makes ur hair brittle and thin and it breaks. everytime i run my hand through my hair and then look at my hand i see a few strands. I hate it but what can i do. No one in my family seems to care or understand how bad this makes me feel. i am currently taking a selenium supplement 200 mcg , one pill, daily. I am also taking an omega 3 supplement along with some other supplements. I ordered a kit to help me taper off the drugs even though i quit cold turkey. Yes I agree -going to the gym is very important for anyone on drugs for bipolar. Depakote makes you gain weight too i believe. Im not too keen on putting oil in my head but i guess i could try it. i heard selenium and zinc supplements help with hair regrowth.



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Post Edited By Moderator (serafena) : 12/13/2008 7:22:39 PM (GMT-7)


shebsy
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 125
   Posted 12/14/2008 1:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Can't you ask your psychiatrist to change your medication? I switched from Risperdal to Seroquel and then to Haloperidol. Now I am back on Risperidal since the other two were not very effective on me. For bipolar people, it is most important to find a medication that keeps you close to normal. I had waist long hair before. Now I have short hair but I am making sensible decisions about my career and my life (there are the occasional hiccups). What I learnt after giving up my meds and having an episode is that vanity issues can wait. Also, it is best to consult a psychiatrist at every stage.
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