Hi, Kildew! I have fought and denied this disorder most of my life, after losing everything including the ability to work without being in the hospital constantly becuase I couln't handle the stress but my wonderful and dedicated husband, I decided it was about time to get fixed. I thought I could handle the mania, but it turned to psychosis too often and finally my husband after 10 years of it said either I had to listen to my doc and get stable or he couldn't stay. Well, I love him more than life and couldn't lose him, so I did. It was hell crashing from my permanent mania and fell into a paralyzing depression that left me unable to even take a shower most days, let alone getting out of bed. Can't take SSRIs, so only choice was Welbutrin 400 mg a day which did S***
But this time I had to get through it. I was put on Zyprexa and Depakote and gained 60 pounds (I'm 5'9" and weighed 103 pounds due to severe mania). Still, I was mortified at the weight gain (very vain! LOL)
My hair fell out with depakote - almost all of my bangs and it too made me gain weight. Switched to Trileptal and Seroquel, neither really affects weight. They actually worked after adjusting the dose constantly. It took about 5 months to feel normal, stable. I had never experienced stable before - WOW! How nice! No more irritability, anger, impatience, crazy road rage driving, voices in my head, horrible violent dreams or hideous thoughts.
My husband of 10 years finally got to know the real me, which he'd only had fleeting glimpses of. We actually fell in love just like when we were first together. It's almost like a fairy tale now. I just can't believe I resisted for soooo long because I thought my mania made me superwoman! (It actually did at work!) My mania also caused my sudden unbelievable spending - 50,000 in credit cards over a 3 month period. My poor husband didn't know, as I handled the finances, and had perfect credit for the last decade. Now we are bankrupt, but I wouldn't trade my life now for anything.
First, you HAVE to be in constant communication with your pdoc. Don't wait for your depression/mania to take hold, call at the first sign!!!
Secondly, when you get more stable and out of your depression, you will need to excercise every day and definitely watch what you eat. I started running last year and lost 35 pounds and have never looked better!
I highly recommend Lamictal 200 mg per day for the best results in the depression part. It also has a mood stabilizing effect.
Geez, I have experienced so much and been through so much hell, I couldn't possibly tell you all of it on one post! LOL!
You are more than welcome to email me anytime!
Hang in there!