Hi, ofoz, welcome to the forum! You will get a lot of good help here, and a lot of great, friendly people to talk to!
I am concerned that your doctor has put you on Lexapro. It tends to cause mania in almost all bipolars, which isn't much better. Well, I guess I take that back!!!!!! I meant it increases your risk not only for being manic again, but a crash when you get stabilized sometimes. Your symptoms suggest the beginning of mania. Talk to your doc TODAY. You are experiencing these effects even tho you're on mood stablizer, and a pretty fair dose at that.
It's well known that ALL the SSRI/SSNI antidepressants (Paxil, lexapro, prozac, zoloft, cymbalta, celexa), etc. cause mania in the majority of bipolar patients. Yet, many still seem to prescribe it.
I suggest that you talk to your doc (BTW, is it a psychiatrist or a regular doctor?) about trying Welbutrin instead. It's very effective and doesn't seem to cause mania problems. Many times, pdocs (psychiatrists) will add Lamictal with the Welbutrin, it is also a mood stabilizer, but without any drowsy effects, because it also has an antidepressant effect on bipolars. No one knows exactly why, it just happened to almost all the bipolar patients in a study of effectivenes of mood stabilization! At any rate, it's used to stabilize mood from going too low, the depakote (or whatever med for stabilization is used) from going too high. I take both and do very well on it.
I totally understand about the pot; I used to smoke every night after work with a 6 pack of beer to calm down and maybe get a little sleep. I've had lots of drug addictions and alcoholism myself. The good thing about getting stable is that you don't crave those things anymore, at least not to the degree you do without proper meds. Welbutrin has LOT to do with that. I was able to stop drugs, alcohol, cigarettes (had tried for over 10 years), and even coffee with hardly any problem at all. (Welbutrin is that stop-smoking med). It's amazing how good you can feel without those things and with regular sleep, good diet and excercise.
It takes time to get the right med combination (cocktail); every BP is so different. The key is to learn yourself about the different treatments and meds for bipolar and work with your doc. Yes, you can tell him what you want to try. You need to. And don't be afraid to call him at the first sign of mania or depression, no matter when the last time you saw him, or are going to see him. That's what you're paying him for, he works for YOU.
If you need any help at all, I will be glad to answer any questions you might have as well, OK? There are 2 other nurse-to-be girls AND a registered pharmicist here, too! It's a really good BP site, the best I have found.
Talk to you soon,