Trying some new meds...anyone with experience?

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JasonIII
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/19/2005 3:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all,
 
This is my first post here.
 
I live in Kentucky and my husband has recently been diagnosed with BP I. He was on one mood stabilizer for a time, but the side-effects became increasingly problematic, so he switched to another (Topomax). It didn't work much...in fact, I think it triggered a manic episode. He's now trying something called Lamictal. Has anyone had a similar experience?
 
Also, can anyone tell me how best to deal with the onset of manic episodes? What do people who suffer from these need most?
 
I hope my questions are appropriate here. I don't have BP, but I'm trying hard to understand it.
 
Emily

psychnurse
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 9/19/2005 3:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Emily of course your questions are "appropriate", this is the place to go, since you get it from BPs themselves.  I am type I also, so are several others here, actually most.  Lamictal is a great stabilizer in that it has an antidepressant effect in BPs, but it doesn't with non BP depression.  However, caution needs to be used if he's only on Lamictal.  It is not intended to be a lone stabilizer in type I, because it is not strong enough and in some people can actually trigger a manic episode, although this is rare.  Isn't he on any Seroquel or anything to sleep? 

Variety is the spice of life, BP is the key


starlite
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 9/19/2005 3:35 PM (GMT -7)   
welcome emily :)

unfortunatly i have not had any experiance with those meds, i have had many others

its been my experiance (only 1 persons oppinion) that it is very hard for ppl who don't have BP to understand it,(heck, sometimes its hard for ppl who DO have it to understand) but i think its great that you are putting forth the effort.

i can only speak for my own manic eppisodes...no one could talk me down..not even myself. i was a full rapid cycler (go from extreme mania to extreme depression...sometimes a few times a day) for me it was a cycle from hell, and only medication would help/ unfortunatly, some times it takes some tries to get it right...and every person is different.

what i needed durring my episodes was just someone who understood that it was just a symptom of a disease. most ppl around me actually believed that i was acting a certain way on purpose. couldn't be farther from the truth....i had no control and i had to fight if i wanted to be half way normal....open and honest communication with my pdoc has been vital. i've had to describe to him exactly what my symptoms were, and exactly what i felt the scrips were (or were not ) doing for me.

it seems to me that you are doing the right thing, just by being concerned and trying to get all the info you can.

i don't know if i helped or not, but hang in there, there are much wiser folks on here than me.

take care
THE SKY IS NOT THE LIMIT, NOR THE STARS.................
MEL


kittycat27
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 9/20/2005 10:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello and welcome. Well I personally have no experience with lamictal, however I am currently taking wellbutrin and topamax( 200 mg). Topamax for me, works well. I am also BP I, but not everyone can take it. I have never had a triggered manic episode from it , but have from other meds, like SSRI's ( prozac). I also had a manic trigger by effexor. Topamax works well, not the best , but keeps me from going to high. I needed to adjust my meds about bi-weekly though to get where I needed to be. You asked about what you can do on the onset of a manic episode, or how to deal with it, do you mean him, or from your point? It is hard to live with someone who is Bp, because of the drastic mood swings that can occur. Well I really don't know how to answer that, my b/f Jason just tries to get my mind off of it all. I will do anything, but sometimes nothing seems to help. I am too hyper to meditate, so usually I punch a bag, or do kickboxing. Jason he tries to leave me alone, and pretty much knows when I am hypo or manic, and will try to get my daughter out of the house, so I can think, or try to rest. i hope that makes sense. let us know if we can help in any way. Best Wishes, Nickie

psychnurse
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 9/20/2005 12:54 PM (GMT -7)   

How to deal with mania:  call the doc.  Get a med adjustment.  If it's severe, he's breaking things or spending money like crazy, get him to a hospital before he does a lot of damage. 

If he is still havnig a problem on a mood stabilizer, you really need to talk to the doctor about adding some Seroquel.  It's really good at breaking an acute mania, and working with a stabilizer for maintenence.  Most all BPs take it with their stabilizers.   The others in the class cause massive weight gain and can even cause diabetes, tho, such as Zyprexa and Risperdal, so you probably want to stay away from them.

You need to make very sure he is getting adequate sleep.  Lack of sleep, even for one night, can cause a manic episode, and sometimes some depression, although mania is more likely.  Daily exercise, anything, is really vital to keeping the mood stable also.  It relieves stress somewhat, which as you know isn't good for us!!!! nono  

Be ready for him to be mean verbally, he doesn't mean it I promise.   It's impossible to be nice when the extreme irritability sets in.  Sounds and smells can set us off, even the sound of your breathing and god forbid - chewing!   (Not all, but very common in type I).  Do not provoke him or challenge him whatever you do.  But don't ignore him, either.  Both of these things are likely to set him off.   Just stay very calm, tell him you know he's not feeling good, is there anything you can do.    I know that's a very tall order!  
 
The most important thing is to keep in touch - daily if need be - with the pdoc.  Finding the right mix of meds is hard and I dont' know of ANY BP patient on one medication.  Average is 4.  I'm on 5 currently, 3 mood stabilizers (including Lamictal) an antidepressant and an antipsychotic. 
 
I'll bet there are tons of things everybody will think of, I'm really tired today because I didn't sleep last night, so this is all I can do right now.  Hope it helps!
 
Shannon
Variety is the spice of life, BP is the key


clic
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 9/20/2005 3:12 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Emily

Just to add to psychnurse's response-when I was manic I was so awful to my fiance-I have said things to him that shock me and embarass me now. Before you can cope with his mania, yes, he does need to be medicated. I love Seroquel, it helped me sleep for the first time in years and dissolved my aggression, so I could begin to repair my relationship. I am also a big fan of counselling once things get established with the meds, however, it is such an individual choice.

Welcome to the board, I hope being here helps some-and bless you for being an active participant in your husband's health!
Shannon2

JasonIII
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/20/2005 4:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Everyone,

Thanks so much for all your responses. I can't tell you much it means to me to know that there are such good and helpful people out there, struggling with their own lives and yet still willing to offer so many helpful and encouraging words. Again, thank you.

To Psychnurse: He's on a sleeping med, as well as an anti-depressent--wellbutrin (not uncommon, I think?)

To Starlite: Thanks especially for your words. I try to understand it all, but maybe that's part of the problem sometimes? What I mean is that I don't think I can ever understand what he goes through (what sorts of thoughts go through his head) but I think I can try to be as understanding as possible about the hellishness of it...

To Kittycat27 and Psychnurse: I do try to get his mood off of things that might upset him, but sometimes the thing I say one day will be fine, but the next it will really not be fine! That's pretty difficult sometimes...last night, for example, I was trying hard not to say anything that would upset him, but I think I did. We got through it alright in the end (we generally do). Still, it can be a tough time. I also try to make sure we both sleep well. It's the strangest thing, when I think on it sometimes. He's so rock solid mostly. In fact, this is only the fourth time this mania thing has happened in more than five years of knowing each other (I might add, we're both in our mid-twenties)

Finally, to nrs2b: I would like you to know, that no matter how awful you might have been to your fiance, he likely understands that these are things you can't control absolutely. And from what Jay has told me, the counselling--talk therapy where I'm from--is a wonder. He's certainly benefitted from it, I think. After all, it's his brain, and he knows it the best.

Emily

psychnurse
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 9/20/2005 5:28 PM (GMT -7)   

Emily, I just want to say bless your heart for caring about him and sticking it out.  It's a horrible disease that leaves many of us alone because normal people don't understand (why or how could they?) that is IS beyond our control unless medicated.  I have done and said things to my precious husband that no one should have to endure but he did and I'm better now, I treat him like a king.  I will forever feel awful about the things I've done, but I know that without his support I wouldn't be well today, and he wouldn't have an adoring wife.

I know it's impossible to not get in the way during mania, no matter what you do.  Those are just some guidelines to make the line of fire less, uh, hot.

Please keep us "posted" lol, about his progress.  And by all means, maybe HE should write in?   We would love to hear from him.

Good luck to you both. :-)

Shannon


Variety is the spice of life, BP is the key


clic
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 9/20/2005 6:24 PM (GMT -7)   

Dear Emily

Thank you for the thoughtful and very true words. I think after talking to my pdoc and reading up on things and seeing the positive changes since I have been medicated have helped enormously. I have also let that guilt go...I am glad you guys find talk therapy useful...break those barriers!!!

Shannon2


Arenace
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 249
   Posted 9/21/2005 7:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Emily,

Hi and Welcome...

I see both a pdoc and a therapist. That's what works best for me. I was a late dx, so I carry/carried around a lot of guilt for the devastation I created in my past. For many many years I simply thought I was a horrible person who just couldn't control myself even though I knew right from wrong. I yelled at prople indiscriminantly, including my children!! I spent, I raged....Oh it was horrid. And I had the other side too. I laid on the couch like a lump for days and days, unable to move. This is just touching on the truth of what it was like. Anyway. Personally, I needed to have a therapist so that I could understand what happened, how it happened and to be able to mend fences, as they say, and let go of a guilt that was eating me up. You cannot know how encouraged I am by your enlightened view and patience. Most people just throw up their hands and don't want to deal!!! Thank you so much for your post. You give me hope.

Sandra

BP brings new meaning to Life's Little Ups and Downs


kittycat27
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 9/21/2005 7:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh we love to offer help or even an understanding. It is also to educate people about our condition. I also am in my twenties, matter of fact tomorrow is my 28 yr. on learth. Yeah.Hopefully I will feel GOOD!!!! As Shannon said keep us posted. Any questions, or just even if you need to talk, we are more than happt to oblige. Nickie
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