Hi Everybody, I just found this sight by searching on google for "Lamotrigine agitation". I found a good topic from a few years back and thought "this is the kind of place I should get involved".
I am 26, male, fairly healthy lifestyle. I eat well about %75 of the time, and live an active lifestyle when I am fealing good. I have been dealing with my undiagnosed brain problems for as long as I can remember, but had never talked to a doctor about them until recently. Growing up my youngest brother was very very sick (juvenile rhumatoid arthritis) and, though I don't think I was neglected, there were more pressing family problems than my moodiness, hyperness, etc. I think in the end I felt really guilty that my body was seemingly healthy, and yet I felt so bad and strange inside, all the while my little brother was in imense physical pain but had such a great outlook on life. I didn't dare speak up and say "I think I have a problem too".
Long story short, I internalized everything until very recently. The last two years has been crazy, huge ups and devastating downs. My whole life I have had severe insomnia, and about a month ago I couldn't handle it. I was stressed and hyper and particularly happy, but not sleeping. For a week I averaged about 2 hours sleep. Then one night I just didn't sleep (this happens from time to time, and usually ends with something bad happening, i.e. a wrecked car, a lost job, a hurt relationship, dropped or failed classes, etc). I couldn't handle it and so I got up and drove to the county clinic (I have no insurance).
I mostly wanted to sleep, but I also knew it was time to talk about depression or bi-polar with someone. At the clinic I was told I did not have an emergency and was given an apointment for a month away. This was horrible; I couldn't imagine waiting that long. I was about to start crying so I left quickly and broke down in my car. I sobbed and sobbed, then decided to call the crisis hotline. They talked me through it for about an hour and I went to see my mom (she is medicated for major depression). With the help of a few key friends I made it through the month and saw the doctor four days ago.
I was so happy and suprised by the whole experience. I qualify for %100 reimbursement on seeing the doctor, so as long as I don't need any bloodwork or anything serious done I pay only $20 per visit. This made me think "Oh boy, this doctor is going to be blunt, burnt out, and unwilling to work with me.". Not the case at all. I spent a whole 90 minutes with her, and she obviously cares deeply about what she does and who she does it for.
The initial diagnoses is rapid cycling bi-polar and ADD. I was given three drugs, 50-100mg Trazadone for sleep, .1-.2 mg clonidine to try for sleep as well or in combination, and 25mg (target dose 200mg) lamotrigine for bi-polar to be taken in the morning.
The first night I took 50 mg Trazadone, an hour and a half later I was not drowsy, and still very jittery. I took one clonidine and got back in bed. It calmed my jitteryness a little, but I was still restless, so I took another one. An hour later (about 2:30am) I was asleep. At 6:30 I awoke with a start (this only happens to me rarely). My leg was shaking really hard, my thoughts were racing, and for no reason I was very very angry. I had really horrible thoughts and violence and hopelessness running through my head. I got up and paced, I hit the wall a few times, I'm sure I woke up the roommates. I was very overwhelemed and didn't know what to do so I took another clonidine (doc said sometimes she prescribes it for anxiety, but it makes most people too drowzy for regular daytime use) and curled up in a feotus position. After half an hour I was a little calmer and managed to sleep another few hours. I called the doc and was told to discontinue trazadone and to cut down on lamotrigine to 12.5 mg if I felt it made me uncomfortable.
The clonidine is working okay for sleep, and I did not think at the time I was having an adverse reaction to the lamotrigine, but all day yesterday and today I felt very strange. It's almost like a little foggy, but very hyper, twitchy, speedtalking, concentration even worse than normal. last night I took two clonidine and still couldn't fall asleep for four hours. I didn't get much sleep and have been very up and down today. My swings are always very frequent (lasting hours or days, not weeks or months), but today so far has been minutes or hours, with severe agitation persisting through both ups and downs. I don't really know what to do, and realize most of you won't make it all the way through this thread, sorry. I don't want to bother the doc again, she has other people to worry about, but I am really not comfortable taking my Lamotrigine anymore. I felt better on average a week ago than I did yesterday or today. On top of it I am all stuffed up with clear mucus, my face and throat feal like they are swelling and stiff around my jaw, I have some body pain that could be due to sleep positions, but I'm not sure, etc.
My big qustion is this: Is it unreasonable for me to want to try treatments for anxiety and insomnia along with counseling and lifestyle changes before going on a mood stabilizer? I am worried that if I refuse treatment on a mood stabilizer, doc will be reluctant to give me anything for sleep.
Okay, I better be done now, sorry for the huge post.