Dana, Psychnurse, anyone, please Help!

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luvmdo
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Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 9/16/2005 10:01 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't think that I am bp.  I think the doc is not listening to me.  I can't remember ever having a true manic episode until doc put me on Lamictal.  Is it possible that someone who is not bp can begin to have bp symptoms if prescribed the wrong meds???  I feel worse now than I ever have.  I hate my husband who is doing his very best to be supportive and helpful.  Everything is grating on my nerves.  I am so tired I can't see straight.  That isn't helping anything, either.  I won't be taking the Seroquel during the day anymore.  It is making me tired, which makes me even grouchier.  I can't stand this.  You know, I took Paxil once, and it really helped, but caused some weight gain (which I can't tolerate any more of at 5'4" and 215+ lbs, and the Seroquel is now causing, too, as I constantly graze like a cow).  Also, tried Wellbutrin which worked pretty well for a while, but eventually stopped working.  Then, I liked Cymbalta, but it gave me night sweats and very vivid dreams, which at this point I am willing to tolerate again for some peace of mind.  Is it possible that I am not bp?  I am thinking of quitting both these meds, as they are making me worse instead of better.  Any thoughts or ideas at this point would be hugely appreciated.  Thank you.

psychnurse
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 9/16/2005 10:19 AM (GMT -7)   

I'm curious, luv, why did your pdoc put you on Lamictal in the first place??  You must have had some indications of hypomania, there is no other reason to put you on it.  Its AD effect doesn't work on non BPs depression.   It can sometimes, rarely, cause hypomania in some BPs, but usually not immediately and at such a small dose.  But hey, you may just react differently.

Whatever you do DO NOT QUIT YOUR MEDS!  That is soooooo typical of BPs new to thier diagnosis.  Of course I can't tell you if you are for sure, I don't know you, but your doc seemed to think so, there had to be something he either noticed about you or that you mentioned to get that initial diagnosis, docs don't usually just throw that around like candy; too serious.  Although some lately seem to be overdiagnosing. 

I would suggest you call your doctor today and tell him exactly how you feel and that it is so bad you want off of everything.  I'm sure he wont give you the old "give it some time" line when he hears that.

I wish I could help more, your reaction is not typical of those meds.   Maybe Dana can shed more light on it. :-)



Variety is the spice of life, BP is the key


luvmdo
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 9/16/2005 10:33 AM (GMT -7)   
I honestly think it was the irritability that I was having that made her think bp.  But can't irritability go along with major depression, too?  She  just thinks that because there was abuse and alcoholism in my family and I am irritable that it makes me bp.  I think that I feel worse right this minute than I have felt in years, and the reason I went to see her is because I was feeling so crummy, but I feel even worse now.  What is the point, anyway?  I have tried every AD on the market and either nothing works or the side effects cause me not to be able to take it.  I am about to get tired of fighting the good fight, because the fight doesn't seem so good anymore.  Thank you for your anwers.  God bless you.

psychnurse
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 9/16/2005 10:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Well, irritability is a little different with hypo/mania, it's an energetic irritability, like everybody is stupid, or slow, sounds send you off into orbit.  Does any of that sound like you?   
 
If you are not BP, the Lamictal wont work anyway, they have studied it both on BPs and regular depression.  All ADs have side effects, you can't get away from them.  Unfortunately it's just a decision of which is worse, depression or the side effects. 
 
Rarely is someone BP without another member of the immediate or extended family affected.  Some studies suggest that BP can manifest even in families with a strong history of depression, though.  Although substance abuse is very common with BPs, it doesn't even come close to being part of a diagnosis without several other very apparent symtpoms of mania.  If you have truly never been hypomanic or mania, then you can't be diagnosed as bipolar.   Irritability and family history of alcoholism, IMO is a very poor criteria to label someone BP or even "borderline" whatever that is.  I really think you should seek a second opinion.
 
Good luck and I hope you get some medication that you can live with that will make you feel better, hon.
Variety is the spice of life, BP is the key


Danarx
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Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 585
   Posted 9/16/2005 10:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Well Luv,
 
As you know medications can do different things to everyone.  And I'm not sure if what is happening to you is because of the meds or not.  If it is it's not very common with lamictal, especially at 25mg starting dose. 
 
My suggestion would be to get a second opinion, not because I disagree with your current physician's opion, but because I think you are having serious doubts.  If you are indeed bipolar, it's going to take time to find the right combination of medications that work for you.  This is a very trying frustrating time I understand. 
 
Sorry I have no other words of wisdom.
 
 
 ~ With Love ~ Dana, Pharm. D.
 
~ Diagnosed with Lupus in May of 2004 and Bipolar II in April of 2001. 
 
Disclaimer:  On any medical information I provide, please bring your concerns to your physician.  I have no financial interests in any drug or drug company.  I will try be as objective as possible.  If I am giving my opinion I will state it first. 


luvmdo
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 9/16/2005 12:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Quote: A manic episode is diagnosed if elevated mood occurs with three or more of the other symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for 1 week or longer. If the mood is irritable, four additional symptoms must be present.
 
This is not me.  At times, I do have manic-like symptoms.  Such as staying up all night to get the house cleaned when it has finally gotten so messy that I can't stand it anymore.  But with-in 12 hours after doing so, I crash, and then go into a depressed state because I am so tired.  36 hours is about my limit, and it doesn't last anywhere near a week.  This happens probably twice a year.  
 
I can't say that I ever have a truely increased energy level, because it isn't that I feel like cleaning the house, it's that it has just gotten out of control and I can't take it any more, or we have company coming or something.
 
I never have euphoric moods.  I have days when I feel better about myself than other days.  When I don't know why I am always so hard on myself, because I do clean up okay, and my husband does love me, and I do carry a lot of responsiblity.  But I don't have days when I feel like super-woman.  I have days when the future seems brighter than other days, but not that I can say to an extreem.
 
I do have irritability.  But that can be part of the depression, too.  I am irritable usually because I am just tired and exhausted.  Not because I think others are slow or stupid.  I do get irritated that even with all my problems, I try to smile and be kind and other people (in public) just ignore it, or run over top of me or my kids, ect.  Rudeness irritates me.  And I feel like there are a lot of rude people in the world.
 
Ocassionally I do think that I have racing thoughts and jump from one idea to another, but I don't think this coincides with the better self-esteem days, or the cleaning days.  It more coincides with days when it seems there is more to do than hours in the day.
 
I can always sleep.  12 hours of sleep are not unusual, but I love to sleep longer, if I can.  That is where it is safe and warm and everything is happy.  That's where I want to be. 
 
Sometimes I spend more money than I should, but I have gotten better about that as I have gotten older.  We don't have any credit cards, we are getting all of our utilities and loan pmts (house and car) paid.  Sometimes I will dip into the house pmt money to buy a new pair of shoes, or go out to eat, but I try to make sure that there will be money to put back for it before the payment is due.  I bounce a check occasionally, but not lots.  I don't make $200 purchases out of the blue for no reason.  I'm more guilty of having a very bad depressed day and using money that I shouldn't to get McDonald's so I don't have to cook.
 
I have increased sex drive as my hormones fluctuate.  That's a pretty predictable pattern.  I have been married for 9 years and have never cheated on my husband.  So I can't say that I am promiscuous (spelling?)
 
I am not aggressive nor do I provoke things.  Like anyone else, sometimes I get fed up with being treated in an unfair or unkind manner and I will say something.  However, I have never been in a physical fight or even a heated verbal exchange.  I am really more meek, and am more likely to let someone keep pushing my buttons until I just can't stand it anymore than to start a fight.
 
If I were going to be addicted to drugs, it would be painkillers.  However, as much as I don't mind when the dr. prescribes codine when I have bronchitis, I have never gone and bought drugs off the street.  I will take Lortabs 2 or 3 times a year for menstral cramps.  But they are always prescribed for me, so the doc knows what I am taking.  I don't think I am addicted to drugs.  And I do drink occasionally, but I can't remember the last time I got drunk, so I know I'm not an alcoholic.
 
And I'm not in denial, because I know there is something wrong.  I'm just not sure what it is at this point.  However, I am pretty sure I'm not bp.  I am quitting the meds and I got a list of other providers from the insurance company, so I am looking for a new doc, too. 
 
On the flip side, if I disect the depression symptoms, they are me, word for word.  If I had to diagnose myself, it would be with Major Depressive Disorder, not bp. 
 
So, any thoughts, ideas?  Am I doing the right things?  Thank you for your help and advice.  It is all very appreciated.
 
 
 
 

psychnurse
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 9/16/2005 1:05 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm sure you've read the laundry list of hypo/manic symptoms more than a few times now, usually if someone is BP, they will see themselves in almost every one of them.  Your complaints other than depression are iffy, lots of people spend too much money, but it doesn't really sound like you are having any episodes, or doing things for no reason.   Also, the fact that you can go to sleep is defo not a BP trait!!!!
 
I still do think you would be much better off getting another opinion, tho.   If the meds make you miserable, it's your choice whether to stay or go on those.   
 
Please let us know how your next visit goes, OK?
 
Shannon
Variety is the spice of life, BP is the key


luvmdo
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 9/16/2005 1:17 PM (GMT -7)   

I could absolutely kiss you!  Even if I am not BP, I get the feeling that you really get it - and that makes such a difference.  Thank you so very much for taking in all of that information and processing it. 

I have a call in to a doc who should call me back Monday to set up an appt.  Wish me luck!  I will definitely let you know what I find out.  You deserve at LEAST that much. 

I can not thank you both enough for your help, for listening, for trying to make sense of all of my craziness.  I don't feel so much like I am wandering around in the dark, all alone now.

God bless you, and I'll keep you posted!  Thank you again!


psychnurse
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 9/16/2005 1:20 PM (GMT -7)   
My pleasure, luv.  I do hope you start feeling better soon. :-)
Variety is the spice of life, BP is the key


luvmdo
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 9/19/2005 1:50 PM (GMT -7)   

Just a quick update...

Got an appt. with a new doc.  She's actually a nurse something or other.  She can prescribe anti-depressants, but not things like Concerta or pain meds.  But more importantly she does talk / behavior therapy.  I see her Friday morning, so I will let you guys know how it goes.  Thanks again for all your help!

God bless!

Brandi


kittycat27
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 9/19/2005 1:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Is she a PA or something, nurses can't prescribe meds, otherwise I would be calling Shannon everyday.lol Kidding. Anyways, make sure she is called. Good Luck to ya. Let us know how it goes! :-) Sincerely Nickie

psychnurse
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 9/19/2005 2:09 PM (GMT -7)   
She is a nurse practitioner.  They are awesome, wonderful because they almost always take more time and they LISTEN!!!!  Key word there.  And, since you dont' need amphetamines or narcotics, its ok!!! :-)
 
I do hope she has specific training in psychology/psychiatry, tho.  Is she inside a psychiatrist's office?
Variety is the spice of life, BP is the key


luvmdo
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 9/19/2005 2:10 PM (GMT -7)   
She is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner.  Does that make more sense? tongue
 
What does MSN stand for?  She is listed as an MSN and ARNP.
 
I have to assume that she has psych training because she is listed through our insurance behavioral health program, which is completely seprate from our regular med program.  I did ask her specifically today if she was able to prescribe meds as well as engage in talk / behavioral therapy and she said that she did. 
 
I'll let you know how it goes.  Thanks again!

Post Edited (luvmdo) : 9/19/2005 3:17:50 PM (GMT-6)


psychnurse
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 9/19/2005 4:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh, Good!  Advanced NPs have a specialty usually, other than just doing family medicine and some are behavioural health/mental health practitioners.  An MSN is a master's of science in nursing and ARNP is Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner.  Sounds like you're on a good road here.  And, reading your last post in the Lexapro thread, it really doesn't sound like bipolar.  You're right, many docs are quick to label BP and pretty much anyone can quote the obvious few that everybody has sometimes from the list of mania, and they dont' look any further.  You are also right, depression can have major irritability.  But you are not having true episodes of mania, a day here and there isn't enough, so I really do hope you get the correct diagnosis so you can get the right treatment and feel better very soon. 
 
Do let us know, OK?  Good luck! :-)
Shannon
Variety is the spice of life, BP is the key


luvmdo
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 9/19/2005 5:02 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks so much, Shannon!  I sure will.  I also saw on another thread that you are starting a new med.  Best of wishes with that!  You keep us posted, too!

God bless!

Brandi

P.S. I have been of the meds for 3 days now, and I feel a world's worth of better.  The depression symptoms are still there, as always, but I am not nearly as mean and irritable as I was.  So, again, from the bottom of my heart (and my children's and husband's, too, I'm sure) THANK YOU! tongue

Post Edited (luvmdo) : 9/19/2005 6:05:22 PM (GMT-6)


psychnurse
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 9/19/2005 5:29 PM (GMT -7)   

You're more than welcome, sweetie.  sometimes it's better to come to a BP forum, because everybody will listen and knows from experience what to look for.  a 20 minute session with a stranger doesn't really give you that, they ask certain leading questions and that's why BP is soooooo commonly misdiagnosed.  Either it's missed completely, labeled ADD or PTSD (sometimes they occur together tho) or diagnosed schitzophrenia.  It's kind of hard to diagnose properly right away.  

So, T minus 4 and counting!


Variety is the spice of life, BP is the key

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