For several years I was treated for unipolar depression. But treatments of Prozac, celexa, Effexor... were not solving my issues and even causing some bouts of hypomania, vivid nightmares etc... so a friend of mine (out of the blue) said that I exhibit some bipolar type behavior.
First of all, Hi, toad! Welcome to HW, my name is Shannon1, BP I with psychosis and rapid cycler. OK, labels out of the way, lol. to answer your questions to the best of my ability:
Yes, SSRI antidepressants are not recommended to treat BP depression, they tend to cause more harm than good as far as worsening mania, OR switching from depression TO hypo/mania, in most BPs. Your friend was extremely astute!
So after just two sessions with a therapist and psychiatrist, I get a Lamictal starter kit and am at the end of week 1. No biggie. I'm only having some hypomania and depresssion, but mostly managable. Our family has adapted to the swings. We plan around them. Mood stabilizer will probably help me out pretty well.
Lamictal is great, but more for the depressive side, it's not a great mood stabilizer by itself, but it may work alone. Most every BP out there including me has to take a "cocktail". I take 6! You start with a stabilizer, then add as the need arises. Lamictal is the only stabilizer that treats the depressive symptoms of BP, it doesn't work for unipolar depression, but since you have to go up on it so slowly, it will be awhile before you see peak results, 200mg is the therapeutic level. I take it; it saved my life, I take it with Wellbutrin, great combo for many.
Question #1 is that I was told by family members (who I do not get along with) who are both school teachers, that from what they were taught... I probably was ADD as a child and still exhibit some of the behavior. Does anyone here have any experience in showing a similar combination??
I realize that the doc wants to address the bipolarII first, then later look at the ADD. Makes sense to me. In general, what would be some possible treatments? Is ADD totally a separate issue... as I have the perception that it is.
BP can show itself in early childhood and often does, it used to just be written off as hyperactive, then ADD, now they are finding many to be BP. ADD and BP have many of the same symptoms, but ADD does not cause us to do reckless things that hurt us. If a pdoc thinks you may have both (rare), then the BP is treated first, because amphetamines are used to treat ADD, you can just imagine how a BP would react to that!!!!!!!!
Question #2 Do mood stabilizers limit or remove suicidal thoughts? (IMO the anti depressants did) do some cases require a combo of drugs? (I read a lot of posts of folks who are taking a combo)
I know of no one who ever got stable with one med. But, miracles do happen....... As far as stabilizers removing those thoughts, other than Lamictal, generally no. They are mainly to stop mania, if you're depressed you will need something else.
Question #3 and my last inexperienced question for today is... over the last few years I have dropped any major activity I ever enjoyed. Golf, middle aged fat guy amateur hockey, history, fishing & outdoor pursuits. At some point (even in the middle of the activity) I just turn off. "I'm done" I tell myself and I stop it, never to pick it back up again.
It is extremely common for us to pick up a hobby, get totally obsessed, master it and then wake up one morning and have no interest again. It's happened to me soooooo many times, and I hate that! I want to enjoy my hobbies, not have to dream up new ones all the time!!!! But meds calm that obsession, so it's not really as prevalent medicated. Also if you're falling into a depressive episode, you will lose interest in everything, and pretty much everyone.
The therapist asked what activities I do, and said none. He said c'mon there must be some things and I said "getting dressed and maybe eating"....
You may be depressed or just "in between interests" lol.
I know all people are different and have different personalities, but after treatment for a period... will I ever pick up an interest in activities again? Has anyone picked up the things that just "turned off". When I turn off I not only stop them, I hate them and despise them.
Who knows? You will just have to find out who you really are on meds, and that's a process in itself. I never hated the hobbies, I just didn't really care anymore enough to do them again; you may be different. I find that many of us go through periods of creativity, and new ideas popping into our heads of many things we want to do in place of an old one. I My own experience was once I learned pretty much as much as there is and exceled in it, it's like I reached a goal, time to move on, I'm over it!
Or am I just 44 and cranky...
LOL! that could be too, because I get cranky and I'm almost 41. OH, like I wasn't a bit "out of sorts" before medications!
I hope you like it here, we're really a good bunch for answers and support, nice to meet you!