Frustrated and Need Help, Advise, and to talk to people like me

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SouthernGent
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/9/2010 11:50 AM (GMT -7)   
This will be a fairly long post as I will try to give my back-story first before getting to current issues. Please be patient with me.
I am a 40 year old male, living in South Carolina.

To begin with, about a year ago I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and severe depression. I have been seeing the same Psychiatrist since. (Do you use an acronym?) We have been through numerous drugs and still looking for that right combination. I also have 2 degenerating disks in my lower back for which I see a Pain Specialist monthly for chronic pain. I am on some pretty strong stuff now.
(med listing at bottom) I have also been unemployed since January of 2009 in part due to bipolar disorder and in part due to the particular circumstance at this employer. I have been living off unemployment since then. about a year ago, I filled for disability and continue to work with the lawyers on this. Hopefully, I should have a decision on this in the next 2 months. Even though I filled for disability, I have been applying for positions on and off with differing degrees of enthusiasm for the last year. No luck whatsoever. This is the worst employment situation I have ever seen.
I am also going through a divorce with two children involved, who are my life. My son is 9 and my daughter is 5. The divorce should be final in September, if I'm lucky.

Now, if you're not ready to jump off a building, read on.......

The drugs I am taking for Bipolar disorder are not working for me right now. (see med list at bottom) I might wake up one day and feel fairly good. I will function normally and get done what I need to do. Other days I might wake up and feel as though there is nothing in the world that will get me out of bed. I get up and go through the day in slow motion, with everything I do taking every bit of effort and energy I have in my body. I have a serious problem getting up in the mornings. I even bought an alarm clock that has an attachment that shakes the bed. That doesn't work either. It also does not matter what time I go to bed, same result. Some days I get up, feel good, and have all the energy in the world. I am productive and accomplish things that need to be done throughout the day. I often think to myself, how in the hell am I going to go back to work and support myself when I have no idea which person I will wake up as? On my bad days, there is no way I could go to work, be productive, and keep my mind focused on what I'm doing. I really WANT to go back to work! I enjoy working and always have. Before my illness got so bad, I was a professional manager making good money and with lots of ambition and possibilities. I want to be that person again but I just don't see it hapenning right now. I guess you could say I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am not scheduled to see my Psych until June, but I have a call into him to see me early, but have heard nothing yet.

I am coming here to vent, to get advise, and mostly to talk to people who are going, or have been, through what I am right now. I am very open and willing to give whatever information that is needed to feel better about myself and my situation.

Current Med Listing:
Bipolar meds:
Gabapentin (Neurontin) 300mg 3 times a day
Citalopram (Celexa) 40mg once a day at night
Vyvance 70mg once a day in the morning
Pain Meds:
Morphine Sulfate 100mg twice a day
Oxycodone 30mg twice a day as needed
Clonazepam (Klonopin) 2mg 2 pills once a day at night
I am also taking 250mg of Genseng and 315mg of Green Tea Extract

I hope I can find some comfort here.
Thank you,
Darren

tortoise11
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 5/9/2010 12:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey there!  You'll see "tp" for therapist/psychologist and "pdoc" for psychiatrist used around here.  And that wasn't a very long intro post actually!
 
I hear you about not being able to wake up when you're in a bad state.  (Apparently) I have thrown alarm clocks across the room in my sleep.  rolleyes   My SO teases me about hooking my toes up and electrocuting me to wake me up.  tongue
 
I have a service dog that is trained to wake me up in the morning.  A cold nose on warm skin is incredibly effective (and obnoxious) way to wake up!  When I'm doing fine, I have to latch the bedroom door so I don't get a rude awakening in the morning.  But as soon as my SO wakes up and opens the door - the dog comes to get me.  nono   lol
 
And WOW!  You are on a lot of meds - some stuff I haven't heard of before.  Did the more common meds not work for you?
Bipolar 2
Borderline Personality Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Panic Disorder


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40601
   Posted 5/9/2010 5:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Morphine has a tendancy to make people sleepy. That could be part of your problem. Maybe they could switch it to oxycontin or something. Or have you already tried that?

I take adderall for energy from fatigue. It works good for me. Maybe you could try something like that.

I know that there isn't out there much in the line of work these days. I hope that you get your disability. And I hope that you are able to get in to see your pdoc early.

Take care, keep posting.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


happy bill
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1132
   Posted 5/9/2010 7:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there, im not that much different from you, im 42, and BP aslo. Now when they started treating me with Respirdone, it had a interesting effect on me. I rarely if ever had depression, but when the Respirdone took away my natural hypomanic state it unmasked a depression lurking inside of me that had me very sad, very quickly, with very real thoughts self harm. My PDoc felt that my near constant Hypomanic state had helped me cope with the depressions for a long time. It was only when we took away the hypomania, the depression reared its ugly head.

So what did we do? Well first we got me on an anti depresant, celexa. That helped to get me thru the next 6 months, but living without hypomanias andthe depressive effects of two different medicines on my sex drive i was ready for a change. But the important thing was that i got to a normal balance, there fore i had a base line to judge the medication changes to come. First thing was to ditch the antidepresent, and while i did that i kept on the alert for depression creeping in. With no depression i next worked with my PDoc to reduce my respirdone so that some of the hypomanic energy came back, along with a managable amount of sex drive (It was having multipal affairs at once that got me both in trouble and into therpay, since then i have been 100 percent on the wagon)

I now enjoy my toned down hypomanias almost every day, they provide enough energy and hapiness to keep me enjoying life, but not enough to cause issues in my married life. Its a ballanceing act, no doubt, but i am glad to have a even chance against this beastie as opposed to how it was in complete control before.


You have a lot on your plate, my advice would be to do all you can to simplify your life so you can concentrate on your two main problems, BP and pain managment. (Yes i understand the work thing but you need to get these other two under control first) I didnt recognize alot of what meds you posted, however i will say it was mania that was my main life issue. SO thats what we are treating. Do i still get down from time to time, yep. But not depressed, just a little blue.

Good luck and keep posting, we are here to help


BIll

tortoise11
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 5/9/2010 7:34 PM (GMT -7)   

hey Bill - have I ever mention that I am jealous of your hypomania?  I supposedly have the "perfect" BP treatment: stability (except if I forget my meds!!!) with zero side effects.

I do like stability a lot, but I miss everything I could accomplish with hypomania.  Of course I'm coming out of 4 weeks of being messed up, so I am REALLY behind on house work etc and that influences how I feel about it.

Then again, hypomania for me is ALWAYS followed by a deep, dark depression - so maybe I don't miss it after all.

@ Darren - There are a bunch of people (myself included) that sleep through the depressions.  I am rapid-cycling, so it doesn't last long.  I am safest if I am asleep.  I might sleep 20+ hours during a bad depressive spell.  If I manage to stay awake, I'm on the couch staring at nothing, or distracting myself by watching TV.  or eating.

The best way for me to cope with the "how is today going to be?!" worry is by setting a routine.  Get up the EXACT same time every morning - even weekends.  And do the same thing.  I used to get up early, get dressed quickly, get in the car and listen to polka music on my 25 min. commute.  No one can be crabby while listening to polka.  lol  During this time I got the HUGEST compliment (sort of) from a coworker.  She grumbled at me "You're always in the same mood!"  That made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  little did she know...

Having something that I am responsible for really helps.  When I was working in dog kennels, I would get up because the dogs would suffer if I was late and there was no one else that could or would do my job.  I couldn't get up for ME, but I could get up for THEM.  Maybe there is somewhere you can volunteer?  Like an animal shelter?

I struggled a lot because I got sucked into the concept of a monring routine as cooking and eating breakfast, washing dishes, packing lunch...  and that's not me.  My morning routine is about 5 minutes.  But it is enough. 

For most BP-ers, sleep is like a reset button.  It is pretty magical for me - I wake up at a balanced mood.  However, something can set off a bad state about instantly.  If I wake up with cold feet - my day is crewed up.  My mom would wake me up yelling when I was a kid and it would ruin my day.

I know I'll wake up balanced, but I need to take control of those first few minutes after I wake up to stay stable a little longer - hopefully the whole day.

Conquering the sleep-wake cycle is the biggest challenge of BP (IMO).  It is also one of the most effective treatments.


Bipolar 2
Borderline Personality Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Panic Disorder


SouthernGent
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/10/2010 6:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been on so many anti-depressants that I could not name them all. The pain is well under control right now and is not an issue day to day.
The bp and the depression that comes with it are a BIG issue though. I would be happy to just get regulated. It's the not knowing from day to day how I'm going to feel that makes life difficult.
It's funny, I often think "man, I would one day like to be the person I used to be", then I think, "who the hell was that?" I don't even remember the person I was before all of this started.
Sometimes, I get REALLY depressed thinking of all the time I have wasted in the last two years of my life dealing with bp and depression. What COULD I have done and accomplished? I really do try to focus on the positive things in my life, but at this point there just aren't that many. I guess at 40, I pictured myself being in a completely different situation and being able to look back at what I had accomplished so far. God I hate depression. Anyone who has never really suffered from bp or depression can never understand the effects it has on your body and mind.

horse crazy
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 199
   Posted 5/11/2010 12:27 AM (GMT -7)   
If the drugs aren't working, then it is time for you and your doc to make a change or two.  Klonopin has a 30 hour half life which means it is still in your blood in the morning and it is sedating.  ( I have been on 4 mg at night for 15 years and  I am groggy in the morning).  Luckily I am self-employed and can makr my own hours.  Moenings are always bad for me as far as depression goes.  But by noon I have enough energy to get to work, then work  until 8pm.  As long as I stay busy with clients I do OK.  Second I have a two hour span brtween clients I crash.  And then sometimes I get a Truly very BP client who pushes every button on me.  I worry a bit about pain meds adding yo your depression.  I am assuming your psych doc knows about these.  Yake things a step at a time.  If the whole idea of getting ready for work feels overwhelming to you, break it down to pieces, like OK, first thing I do is get out of bed....OK, it was a struggle but I did it...hurray for me.  Next all I have to handle is a shower...accomplish that...well,done.  Nad so on.
I have days I just can't work.  I am feeling too needy myself to be able to help needy people, so my husband calls me in sick and reschedules my client.  I also find it easier to take a 3 day weekend. (even if it means I work longer hours the other 4 days.  I was diagnosed BP over 25 years ago, been married 41 years (I have put my poor husband thru hell with my mood swings  abd raised 2 sins.  I am not bragging because I think because of depression I did a half-ass job on ther personal level.  BUT I learned one thing even tho BP seems to consume your life, you need to practice finding one good thing each day that momentarily made you feel good.   Also, longing for your "old" self back I think is the worse part of BP, espeically with BP you are quite the different person than you used to be.  I had a weird thing happen not too long ago.  For 6 days I totally felt like the old me.  It was awesome....then wham, it disappeared again when depression struck.  I was devastated.  I feel throughout being BP I have been "chasing" the real me.  So I know how you feel.
Well, I have been wordy enough...the wordyness and the fact I have been up since midnight and it's 3:30am would indicate I am headed towards some hypomania.
Horse Crazy
Bi-polarII; rapid cycler; Lithium 900 mg; Lamictal 200 mg; seraquel 450mg, klonopin 4mg
 


SouthernGent
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/14/2010 6:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Got a good one for you, my pdoc dropped me this week. No warning, No referral, nothing....... idiot. Couldn't even tell me himself. Said that there was nothing else he could do for me.
That tells me what he really meant was, " I am not very familiar with bipolar disorder and have no idea how to treat you."
This is a good thing for me. I go to my new pdoc on May 27th. Hopefully he has more experience and can get me started in the right direction so that I can try to get back to a normal life.

horse crazy
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 199
   Posted 5/14/2010 11:32 PM (GMT -7)   
It is VERY unethical for a doctor to just drop you with no referral.  Here in Michigan, I cannot just drop a client without providing them with 3 referrals to other docs.  If I didn't give referrals, it is considered abandonment and puts my license at serious risk.

Horse Crazy
Bi-polarII; rapid cycler; Lithium 900 mg; Lamictal 200 mg; seraquel 450mg, klonopin 4mg
 


SouthernGent
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/15/2010 7:29 PM (GMT -7)   
That's what I was actually thinking. Not only is it unprofessional as hell, but dangerous, and if it's not should be illegal. How can you "dump" a patient with a fairly severe mental disability with no support, no referral to another doctor to take up the care, and not even check to make sure that all of my meds were refilled to ensure that I would not run out before finding a new doctor.

Is there a place I can report this idiot? Somewhere preferably that will make a difference and be seen.

tortoise11
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 5/15/2010 7:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Yup.  He has a medical license through the state.  You should be able to find the licensure website for your state with info for complaints and even viewing if he has had any disciplinary action against him.

Bipolar 2
Borderline Personality Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Panic Disorder


SouthernGent
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/31/2010 8:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, now have a new pdoc and the first thing he did was change my meds. He dropped the Vyvance and the Celexa, and added Lexapro and Lithium. I have felt like crap since changing meds. I have a constans headache and feel nausiated, weak, and have no energy. Hope this gets better soon. (I think a lot of it is due to stopping the Vyvance- an amphetamine) Anyway, hope I feel better soon. This sucks!

Cateyes
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 5/31/2010 11:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Southerngent, this is what I think which doesn't amount to crap lol.  Klopin's was making me tired as hell and counter reacting my other medications so beware of that.  The oldest medication out there is what worked for me Lithium.  I also take Vyvanse and sometimes I can't function without it so hang in there.  It's hard knowing what you once was and not being able to get back to that.  I had a major nervous breakdown and I am still trying to get me back so I am with you on that.  Everything your taking to bring you up is great but things like klopin are downers.  Get off the downers.  It's hard but thier not helping at all.  I have no experience with neurontin but check side effects sounds like your over medicated.  I hope this helps you in some way.  My doc told me it's better to have a lil anxiety than to have none at all.  The genesing and green tea could also be reacting with your meds just check around.  For people who take no medication it's fine for people who do it's not so great it can interact with your meds and make them all wrong.  Just know there are people everywhere just like yourself so hang in and hang on.
Bi-polar, Adhd, Anxiety disorder, PTSD with a child with ADHD BIPOLAR Anxiety


Cateyes
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 5/31/2010 11:33 PM (GMT -7)   
yes deffinately get your Vyvanse back if I quit taking mine due to running out I have severe headaches like my head is going to blow off my shoulders get your Vyvanse back it gives you the energy you need to function. It also calms me and helps me stay focused. Lithium is great make them check you blood levels it's a must if thats off then your whole system is off. You also cannot take green tea extract motrin or anything like that with lithium. I say always over educate when it comes to meds you have one body and one life take control tell your doc exactly what makes you well and works for you do not let them treat you like a guinnea pig and tell you about yourself be very assertive with your own health. Their not you and have no idea what you feel. They the doc's deal with so many people that they get kick backs for certain meds they prescribe. What works for one does not always work for others. I have 2 boys same problem just a little worse and as a mother I am strong with what their side effects are. I was telling the doc this is not working he kept adding more meds and I finally said I'm done you either change it or he takes nothing and we get a new doc. I forced him to change it and my son is doing the best he ever has school included. He is on Vyvanse 40mg Lithium 450mg and Zoloft without his Zoloft he gets out of bed throwing a dang fit which puts my day in shi* mode not good for mom she is taking the same things. Also you mentioned children look for signs in them as well the earlier you reconize this the better they can handle it in the long run.
Bi-polar, Adhd, Anxiety disorder, PTSD with a child with ADHD BIPOLAR Anxiety


SouthernGent
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 6/2/2010 9:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the responces all. That's why I like this forum. Anyway, after 4 days of pure misury, I talked to the new pdoc and he asked me to re-start the Vyvance. Guess what, feel better after taking just one darned pill.
I havn't had any issues with the Lithium so far and have been on Lexapro before. I expect him to take me off the Neurontin the next visit. I am taking 300mg now and really can't see it's doing much. I just HOPE TO HELL this guy knows what he's doing and can get me back to a "normal" life. Whatever the hell that is.

As far as employment, I am waiting for 2 things. One, I want to make darned sure I can physically and mentally handle a full time job again before I get into it. I think with this new doc I'm on my way. Second, I am nearing the end of the 2nd appeal for my disability claim. I would at least like to know what the outcome of that is before I start working. The perfect plan for me would be to get approved for disability, which would allow me to get on my feet and save some money, and then return to work in a couple years.
Who knows, that could change tomorrow. As long as my symptoms and issues are being controlled by the RIGHT medications, I have options.

Bipolar, OCD, Depression

tortoise11
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 6/3/2010 6:22 AM (GMT -7)   
I hope it all works out for you.
 
I ended up in a tough situation.  My meds control BP, BUT stress from working, being in school, my future-MIL visiting will set me off even if I'm on meds.  My future-MIL was here for my son's birthday BBQ and I was a mess 2 weeks before and completely fell apart for 6 weeks afterwards.  Had to double my dose of meds to start to get it under control.
 
I'm totally normal until I start to work.  shakehead   Probably couldn't get SSI.
 
I hope your meds REALLY work and you don't get stuck like me.
Bipolar 2
Borderline Personality Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Panic Disorder

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