I am 60 years old, and I was diagnosed as BP I over 20 years ago. I started Lithium (900mg). I walked around like a Zombie, so my doctor lowered my dosage to 600 and put me on 100mg Zoloft . He added 50mg of Trazadone to help me sleep.
This cocktail worked really well for many many years. The only negative was that I gained a lot of weight (80 pounds). I attribute about 40 of those pounds to the drugs and the other 40 to my overeating because of being depressed about gaining weight! I had always been consumed with how I looked (I was a model during my 20's). Once I gained all the weight, I began to live a rather isolated life. I finally managed to lose 40 pounds on Atkins, and life was bettter until . . . .
I decided to stop all meds! Cold turkey . . . I ended up in the psych ward for two weeks after a suicide attempt. Although I got back on the meds, I really never returned to my previous state of feeling OK. I found that I was more depressed and had many more manic moods (irrational decisions, spending money, etc)
Within the last two years, I left my husband and 20 year old daughter, quit my teaching job after 14 years and tenure, married my high school sweetheart without really knowing him, moved across the country, started a new teaching job for $20,000 less per year (gave up tenure), and then last eyar I buried both my mother and my father.
I am miserable, I gained the 40 pounds back, I cry contantly, but I have found a great therapist who is helping me. I am also going through the process of preparation for weight loss surgery (The Sleeve).