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tortoise11
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   Posted 1/13/2010 7:12 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm considering going off treatment.  I am fairly stable now, still have some swings, but come back to normal within 24 hrs.
 
This morning, I was hypomanic.  I love it.  I miss it.  When I'm normal (which is new for me) I feel dull.  Not like a medicated dull - just not as quick as I am used to.
 
When medicated, I have panic and anxiety problems that I normay only have during a depression.
 
Anyways, I'm terrified of the depressions.  Mine get severe so quickly!
 
All the meds I'm familiar with knock off the highs.  I need to moderate the lows.  I don't get too high, except if I am on an antidepressant too long.
 
Plus, my SO fell in love with hypomanic me.
 
I love what I can accomplish when hypomanic.  I love being able to do it all!
 
I don't know if I can deal with this whole "normal" thing... shakehead

serafena
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   Posted 1/13/2010 7:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Don't go off your meds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Was that clear? You will get manic if you do. So so so many people have been right where you are now. They feel okay, they stop taking the meds, they get sick because they were trending that way anyway. If you're hypomanic with your meds, what's going to happen if you go off?

Hang in there. I know it's a pain to take the meds everyday, but it's so much better than the alternative.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar and Depression Forums
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER


tortoise11
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   Posted 1/16/2010 6:09 AM (GMT -7)   
I talked to my tp about this.  She gave me a project of making a tookit of things/activities that help regulate my mood.  Is that a step towards having tools to reduce medication?
 
I had a normal mood day yesterday.  It was awful.  I can't function in a normal mood.  It's a constant...  "If I was hypomanic, I could do it"  ... thought process.
 
Is it possible to be stabilized at an elevated mood?  I was hypomanic for more than a year.  It was great.  I accomplished amazing things. 
 
I'm a student and I'm not sure how to survive the next sememster if I have to do it in a normal mood.  Although I did almost fail a class last semester because I missed a lot from depression and agoraphobia. 
 
I wonder if it works or if anyone has tried not medicating while normal or hypomanic.  Then as soon as a depression starts, take a very short course of antidepressants to elevate mood.  I was treatd with antidepressants a few times, and I noted the longer I was on it, the more manic and less stable I became.  What about using like 5 days of antidepressant to elevate mood?

serafena
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Date Joined May 2007
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   Posted 1/16/2010 3:17 PM (GMT -7)   
tortoise,

antideps take 4-6 weeks before they begin to work, so only taking 5 days would do you no good whatsoever. If you're that miserable when "normal" then you're not normal -- you're depressed. Have you ever kept a mood chart? There's a great one at MoodTracker Try doing that for a month or two and track what your true moods are before you decide to go off your meds.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar and Depression Forums
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER


tortoise11
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Date Joined Jan 2010
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   Posted 1/16/2010 4:08 PM (GMT -7)   
I do mood track.  Every 3 hours because I cycle fast enough it's needed.  And I chart the average of the day.  (I love spreadsheets!)  :D

tortoise11
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 1/23/2010 8:38 PM (GMT -7)   
I've made up my stubborn mind to go off meds.  I have almost zero attention span / ability to focus.  I know I'll go back on meds sooner or later, and it will be something different than what I am on now.
 
So for now, I have an appointment with my pdoc and tp next week.  I starting weaning down with this morning's dose.  My SO is 100% on board with this too.  I am comfortable with a strategy to try to keep my mood stabilized at elecated, but not as high as hypomanic.
 
I know I can use sleep to manipulate my mood - so I will do that.  My morning wake time is established by my dog that is trained to wake me up.  So I have to watch the clock in the evening and get exactly 7 hours of sleep.  When I feel the beginning of depression, I'll use 30 - 60 mg of caffiene, plus the strategies I've worked on with my tp.  I'm pretty good at dealing with the anxiety and panic.  My first response is the dog alerts me to oncoming anxiety/panic and then applies deep pressure therapy for almost immediate improvement, although short-lived.
 
I have homework to do to look into diet changes also.  My diet can definitely use improvement, and this will give me something to focus on.
 
I hope I'm not making a big mistake here, but I can't afford to stay on this med - because of cost and being in school.  If my pdoc suggests something else, I'll definitely consider it!  But otherwise, this is the plan.

tortoise11
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Date Joined Jan 2010
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   Posted 1/24/2010 4:55 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm down to 2.5 mg Abilify and I think today is the last day, depending on what my mood chart ends up looking like.  I'm hyperthymic now and it is my goal to stay there.  My mood came up last night and I could FINALLY hunker down and study - for hours straight.
 
One of my coping strategies with a depression is staying 2 weeks ahead in school.  The semester starts TOMORROW, and I am not yet 2 weeks ahead in all of my classes because of the "normal" mood and poor concentration.
 
So far.....  so good.cool

happy bill
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Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1132
   Posted 1/24/2010 5:03 PM (GMT -7)   

 

  I fully understand missing the hypomanic states, and i to have reduced (Not quit) my meds to try and get a happy  balance between good mania and bad decision making. (my problems with bipolar have led me to bad decisions in sexual areas) So about 8 weeks ago i started reducing my respridone from a full tablet to half a tablet. Than i sat back and waited to see what would happen. I had one major mania which i broke by upping my doseage back to one tablet until it had passed.

    I now experience more hypo mania and am enjoying a much more vibrant sex life that is fully  in control. I have no desire to wander and if i ever start to feel out of control i  go back to one tablet for a few days to ride it out.

   Trust me i know what you are feeling, have you thought about just reducing your meds for a while instead of going completely off the meds? I feel like i am getting the best of both worlds, i get all the fun of being bipolar and all the safety of being normal. LOL LOL LOL

   Bill


tortoise11
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Date Joined Jan 2010
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   Posted 1/24/2010 5:34 PM (GMT -7)   
When I was on a little lower odse, I was getting anxiety / panic pretty bady.  So on my way back down, I tried to skip that dose amount.  :)  So I'm just on 2.5 mg Abilify now.  I was only hyperthymic for a couple hours in the morning.  I've been in a stinkin' normal mood since, even after having a little caffiene to try to elevate my mood.  :shrug:
 
I like your way of keeping track and adjusting your dose by yourself.  That's a lot like I am hoping to do - except I was thinking not taking the medicine inbetween because of the loss of attention span side effect.

happy bill
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Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1132
   Posted 1/24/2010 5:46 PM (GMT -7)   
 
     I hear you, this is an area that you really have to trust your gut. To many people just get medicine after medicine and take them. They never challenge their doctor or trust their own feelings on how things are going. Thats why i am taking it slow and easy. Plus as an athlete (old though i may beturn ) i tend to be more in touch with my body and how it is feeling. Like i told my wife if i saw one sign of my old bad decision making coming back i will immediately up my dose again and learn to live with it. She understands and likes my hypo manic states also, but the cheating was not something she wanted and neither do i.
    That said out SO's have a part in helping us keep it together and on the path we need to be. I for one tend to be very emotionaly tuned and have a very very hard time dealing with discord within my family. Thats just one area i have strived for balance harmony. ALso my wife understands that with my hypomania comes increased sex drive, so she needs to be willing to have sex more often. (smilewinkgrin ) Rough living with us bipolar poeople isnt it. LOL LOL LOL
    Keep us informed with your progress and i wish you all the luck i have to give. If you need someone to talk to just post here, we are a very understanding and supportive bunch.
Bill

serafena
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Date Joined May 2007
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   Posted 1/25/2010 11:45 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree completely. We need to trust ourselves, and absolutely our SO's are our next best thing. Good luck to both of you.

Be well,
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar and Depression Forums
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER


mogli
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1191
   Posted 1/27/2010 11:45 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi,

I went off meds about 6 months after being dx'd.  I was off for an entire year. I weaned off with the (reluctant) support of my pdoc.  At first I felt great, for a few months. Then I relapsed into a major depressive episode that I didn't seek treatment for right away.  Since being back on meds for the last few years, lately I am frustrated beyond all imagination. I have tried everything and the thought has crossed my mind to go off again since nothing is working. But I'm not going to do that because it is inevitable that relapse will occur.

I've only had one "high, hypomanic" period since September. The rest of that time I've been in varying degrees of depression every single day. While I see your point about feeling the hypomania, getting so much done, feeling sooooo much better then being depressed, that's not necessarily the goal....it's to be stable, have that important balance.

I wish you luck. I don't know how many meds you have tried or combos of each of them, but it's your decision and it's good you have the professional support.


Mogs
 
Bipolar II, Anxiety/Panic Disorder
Clonazepam .5mg as needed, Methoprazine 8mg/day, Mirapex 1.5 mg/day & Lamictal 400 mg/day.


tortoise11
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 1/27/2010 9:20 PM (GMT -7)   
I'll find out next week if my pdoc recommends a change in meds. For now, I'm increasing salmon oil to the dose recommended, and I'm trying to eat better too.

I'm training my dog a second alert time in the evening, so he will come get me and remind me to exercise. ( *Gasp* )

So far, so good. I'm at a slighty elevated mood. I have had one anxiety attack. And I started into a depressive episode briefy, but my dog alerted and interrupted it so I was OK.

serafena
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 1/28/2010 12:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Good to hear from you, tortoise, and that you're taking care of yourself. Nice work!

Keep us up to date,
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar and Depression Forums
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER


tortoise11
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 1/28/2010 4:32 PM (GMT -7)   
My panic attacks are back, so next week, I'll have to see if there is any med that can help with that and not make me manic.

serafena
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 1/29/2010 10:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes,

You will probably need an anti-anxiety med for the panic. They shouldn't make you manic.

Good luck,
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar and Depression Forums
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER


tortoise11
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 1/31/2010 3:17 PM (GMT -7)   
I did some research into 5-HTP for panic and to work on the depression. I feel pretty good today. We'll see over time. I hope my pdoc doesn't freak out at me on Wednesday!

happy bill
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Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1132
   Posted 1/31/2010 9:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Hopefully your pdoc doesnt yell at you, thats the last thing u need. Often time people put way to much faith into pills pills pills and not enough into finding a way to live with it. Now of course this doesnt apply to everyone or every disease. However in our cases this disease does have positives that "normal" people can't understand. I for one have to use an anti depressant during the winter due to my not being able to excersise and lack of sunlight. Otherwise i suffer from severe depression. I have worked thru winter after winter without meds and it has become increasingly hard for me to do it without some sort of medicine help.
That said i have been thankfull for having a pdoc that has listened to me and is willing to exlore the possibilities of living on less meds. All in all i have done a lot this last year plus learning and understanding what helps and what hurts me. Keeping a journal of my moods, triggers, and meds has helped me greatly also.
Good luck and kee us informed
Bill

tortoise11
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 2/3/2010 7:33 PM (GMT -7)   
I have new prescriptions for Lamictal and Klonopen. Not sure what I am going to do with them. ... I feel like I should at least try. I wonder how expensive they are!

Precious Gem
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1139
   Posted 2/4/2010 6:51 AM (GMT -7)   
I was on Saphris for a short time and the short time it was working I did feel "normal" and it felt so strange.  I know exactly what you are talking about.  It is like you don't know how to act or what to do with yourself because you are so use to living out of sorts all the time.  I was just started on Lamictal and Tegretol, we shall see how that works out.  I have been right where you are, feeling better, stopping meds, trying the herbal/ammino acid route, it is very hard to know what is the right thing to do sometimes.  Good luck on your new meds, good luck to both of us.  Hopefully we will be able to find the right "Balance" soon.
 
Gem

tortoise11
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 2/4/2010 10:32 PM (GMT -7)   
I finally got my academic accomodations. When I started the process, it was just for panic. Now I have a new diagnosis.

Now I can leave the classroom if I'm starting to panic or something and have my service dog with me, so I can get deep pressure therapy and be able to focus. It helps HUGELY with the "state-induced recall" which is a big problem for me in school.

He (the dog) did awesome today. Worked 13 hours and then at home kept working as my mood until I was OK. Good dog.

I'm so relieved to have that whole thing over with. Hopefully I get better GPA this semester!

Still haven't decided on the meds...

happy bill
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1132
   Posted 2/5/2010 3:02 PM (GMT -7)   

 Hey there, glad to hear things went well. Thats great you have a therapy dog, you will have to post his/her picture soon so we can see what he/she looks like. LOL LOL Keep up the good work and keep us informed.

      Bill  


tortoise11
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 2/7/2010 11:11 PM (GMT -7)   
After 5 LONG bad (suicidal) days, I'm going to fill those prescriptions.  :(  Could be worse, right?

serafena
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 2/8/2010 11:18 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm so sorry you're having trouble, tortoise. Let us know how you're doing, and don't feel bad.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar and Depression Forums
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER


tortoise11
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 2/8/2010 2:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Ugg.  Just fighting through it today.
 
Last night I finally told my SO what was going on.  He basically said "either quit crying or tell me what is going on."  I hope I didn't scare him too much.  :(  I've never really been one to cry much, but lately I've been crying all the time!
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