Mixed State....

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obinder26
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 11/23/2007 11:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello-

Just a warning, this might be a little long... sorry.

So I got on this forum when my depression and anxiety were basically unbearable. This was maybe a month or so ago. At that point, I had been on so many different SSRIs, but they never seemed to work great for long enough to make a huge difference. I'm a senior in college, so I'm thinking about my future a lot. Naturally, I would work myself into massive anxiety spells, and would just feel more and more hopeless. Well, I talked to my psychiatrist at the time and he upped the level of SSRIs I was taking and prescribed me Klonopin. The Klonopin helped with anxiety, but the depression got literally unbearable.

After that, my parents and I made an appointment with some world famous neurologist they know. He deals mostly with headaches, but in talking with him, he basically re-diagnosed me as bipolar II. He said that this day and age it's very under-diagnosed because people only see it as unipolar depression, and also that SSRIs sometimes only make it worse, which seemed to have been the case with me recently. I didn't accept the diagnosis at first, but looking back over the last 5 years or so, it's impossible to disagree. The depression was always there, but I also had times when my mood was less stable than nitroglycerine. When I snapped, I would break whatever was in my hands... phones, game controllers, golf clubs... and there are holes all over my house.

So, after the re-diagnosis and accepting the fact that this man was right, I felt good. I weaned on Seroquel and Lamictal, and weaned off Cymbalta. I assumed I felt good because it was the first time I was hopeful in years. (Insert mental health cliche here) I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Knowing how fickle the brain is though, I prepared myself for reality, in case what I was feeling wasn't truly real.

-IMPORTANT PART OF POST-

about a week after being fully off the Cymbalta (I had brain zaps by the way, but they are nothing like what people describe... they are NOT debilitating. They are just a weird sensation) I started feeling weird. Some nights I would sleep great (Seroquel is awesome), but I had a few spells where I literally could not sleep for two nights, even with the meds. The depression came back, but I also had a racing mind.

Since I have been home for Thanksgiving break (a week now), I'm at my full dose of Seroquel, which is pretty low, and I am working my way to full dose of Lamictal (Have to go slow because of some rash it can cause, whatever). The last week has been pretty grim. It's like I am depressed and angry at the same time. I don't feel like seeing anyone, and would be content doing nothing all day. I know I have been short with my family and friends, and I feel terrible about it, but there is really nothing I can do. I saw the neurologist for a follow up, and after asking me questions and talking he said that I'm experiencing a mild mixed episode. He said it's good in that it shows I was on the wrong meds for 5 years for depression, and am on the right path now, but bad because it's just a crapty way to feel.

So, my question is this: what the hell do I do in the meantime? It's clear I AM bipolar, and it's going to be awhile before the medicine starts working to its full effect. Do I just have to keep telling myself it will be alright? I am starting to feel even more guilty about the whole thing because my family is upset and confused about it, and seeing them hurt and confused makes me feel so much worse. I am doing all I can just to keep my head above Water. What else can I do in the meantime? I'm not suicidal (To be honest, I wouldn't mind just going into a coma or dying in my sleep), so that's not a real issue... but I'm just tired of feeling and acting like crap.

Sorry this post was SO long... Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving.

Mike

sukay
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1432
   Posted 11/24/2007 9:24 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Mike,

Well it sounds like your neurologist is definatley on the right track but you should really be seeing a psychiatrist who knows how to deal with bi-polar issues better in my opinion.

You don't say how much time there is between your appointments. Definately, if something is making it very hard for you to deal with things,(which it sounds like is) you should call and get into seeing your doc asap and have him/her regulate your meds more frequently.

In my opinion I would try to find a psychiatrist that deals with bi-polar issues.

In the meantime, try to pause a bit before you re-act to something/someone, take a deep breath and try to remember that you are in a very irritable mood and that you are waiting to see the doctor to adjust your meds before you re-act. I know this is hard, but try to practice it. Just close you mouth, bite your tongue, take a deep breath and try to respond as calmly as you can. eyes

Also, try to get out and go for a long walk or rent a comedy flick in the meantime. There are others on this board who are also living with this and trying to get along with school. Maybe they will be chiming in soon if they are able to get to the board. 

Keep us posted of your progress.

Good Luck.


~Sukay~
 
Crohns Disease-Remicade since 1999, Methotrexate
Fibromyalgia & Arthritis
Bipolar & Panic/Anxiety-Trileptal, Xanax, Trazadone, Wellbutrin


olivia of course
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 11/24/2007 11:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Mike,

Welcome to the HW family and the Bipolar Forum, I am glad you found us.

I'm with Sukay on getting a regular psychiatrist. When first starting certain meds you need to see your pdoc more frequently, and less when you have stabilized.

In the mean time try to find something to relax you, instead of blurting out the first thing on your mind. It is very hard to do, but it gets better with practice. I am not the best example of that, especially when I am having an episode. Please let us know how things are going and hang in there. Please know we are here for you.
 
-I too am a senior in college, and it has been more stressful than I would like it to be.


Olivia
Co-Moderator, Bipolar
 
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"Good judgement comes from experience and alot of that comes from bad judgement."


mogli
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1191
   Posted 11/24/2007 4:55 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Mike,

Welcome to HW.  I know what you are going through.  I've been dx'd with BP II for about two years now.  I was first dx'd with depression.  So I too, had to go off the SSRIs and try the bp meds.  I tried them (almost every kind there is) but they were awful for me...they made my depression worse and the side effects were unbearable for me.  So I talked to my pdoc and told him I wanted to try to go off the meds completely.  I did that for a year; and just this past week, I have started Lamictal again.  The past few months thing were just getting out of control with my moods.  I was having major mixed episodes and my moods were cycling so bad I can't believe I was able to stay out of the hospital. 

So, here I go again...trying the meds.  So I know what you're feeling now.  I am waiting for the Lamictal to kick in...It's going to be a few weeks, and you're right it's very hard meantime to cope.  Everything Sukay and Olivia said I agree with, good advice.  Just try not to get overwhelmed.  It sounds to me like irritability is a major symtpom for you?  I apologize if I am wrong to assume that.  I get really irritable too.  Just one of the parts I hate about biploar...Those are the times where I take things out on my bf.  It is hard to be around family and those we love when we're feeling like this.

Just remember; you will be alright, you are taking control and trying to make things better.  I know it's a confusing time for everyone in your life as well.  Just keep doing what you are doing, trying your best to get through it all.  Anytime you feel like you're going to snap or whatever, maybe go for a walk...Log on to HW, vent to us...Just something to calm yourself down.  I actually find that if my concentration is in check, if I sit down to do some homework (I'm in college too) it takes my mind off everything and totall calms me down.  Of course that doesn't always work, but I try it b/c it's worth it when it does work.

I am glad that you have found this forum.  We are here for you.  We all know what you are going through, and I cannot stress enough what a help HW has been for me. 


Mogs
 
Bipolar II, Anxiety/Panic Disorder
.5mg Clonazepam, 50mg Trazodone & Lamictal 25mg/day..working my way up


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 11/26/2007 8:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Mike,

I've been struggling under some pretty fierce mixed states the past month also and they just absolutely slay me. I've never had anything like them. I've had the zaps too -- pretty bad. Effexor gave me vertigo so badly I couldn't move. I'm still on a dose of just 37.5 because if I go off of it I get vertigo and zaps. Fun fun fun.

I wish I had cogent, fabulous advice, but I've been trying to eliminate stressors like crazy (we've got my dd in daycare now, for example) and I've been seeing my therapist a lot. The one thing that feels okay is to work at my retail job because it's fairly brainless but also somewhat physical, so I have been doing that more.

Get yourself a psychiatrist and a therapist, and stop feeling guilty for feelings that you have no control over (their chemicals after all, you wouldn't CHOOSE to feel that way.) While waiting for the meds to kick in, work on giving yourself a break. If you wanna hole up and watch movies or play video games all day instead of seeing the parents or friends, then do it. Tell them why ("I'm not feeling myself," "I'm just not feeling social,") and catch up with them later. When the meds kick in and if you're back to feeling okay, you'll feel more like explaining. Right now, you just don't have it in you. Believe me, I understand. You WILL feel okay again. I promise. I WILL happen.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

It is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness. -- William Shakespeare


Green Lantern
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 11/27/2007 3:53 PM (GMT -7)   
I thought if you had mixed states then you are Bipolar I according the the DSM.  I have been recently diagnosed as Bipolar I with mixed states and rapid cycling.  I can related to your unstable moods as I have broken a lot of things and have holes all over my house when I wasn't being medicated or was medicated improperly.  My symptoms were rage, anxiety and depression.  I tried a large number of SSRIs will bad results; klonopin helped with the anxiety but not enough.  Typically, SSRIs will make you worse in this situation.
 
The good news is I recently saw a pdoc who was more in tune with various shades of bipolar and received my new diagnosis along with med changes.  I currently take Abilifty 30mg 1x day, Effexor 150mg 1x day, cogenton 1 mg 2x day (for side effects), Inderal 40mg 3x day and seroquel 200mg at bedtime.  This is the best I have felt in years.  Good luck to you.
No one knows


mogli
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1191
   Posted 11/29/2007 3:54 PM (GMT -7)   

Mike--I'm wondering how you are doing?

Green Lantern: I hope you can answer a question for me; I tried to look online...You mentioned that you are taking cogenton --for side effects?  Did I understand that right?   Could you kindly explain why you are taking this med or why you were prescribed this med; what it's for?  I just have never heard of it...Thanks.


Mogs
 
Bipolar II, Anxiety/Panic Disorder
.5mg Clonazepam, 50mg Trazodone & Lamictal 25mg/day..working my way up


Green Lantern
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 11/29/2007 5:09 PM (GMT -7)   

The generic name for cogentin is benztropine.  When I got on my current regimen of Abilify and Effexor, I was walking very stiff, like Frankenstein, or someone with Parkinsons.  I take this only to get rid of that side effect.  Here is the low down from Wikipedia:

It is used in patients with schizophrenia to reduce the side effects of antipsychotic treatment, such as parkinsonism and akathisia.

Benztropine is also a second-line drug for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. It improves tremor but not rigidity or bradykinesia.

Benztropine is also sometimes used for the treatment of dystonia, a rare disorder that causes abnormal muscle contraction, resulting in twisting postures of limbs, trunk, or face.

 


No one knows


obinder26
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 11/30/2007 7:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Everyone-
 
Some of you had asked how I was doing, so I thought I'd write a short update...
 
Thanksgiving break was good.  For the first few days I did absolutely nothing.  After a little bit, though, my friends started getting all crapty... with all the "What's your problem" and "Why don't you want to go out" talk.  I still haven't really told anyone, mostly because people just don't understand. 
 
I also had a few serious talks, more like arguments, with my parents... as much as they want to help, and are helping to a degree, it just seems they don't truly get it.  They say that they understand what I'm going through, but that I need to work to pull myself out of it.  They had a hard time with me telling them that just waking up and getting out of bed was hard enough.  Many tears were shed, I screamed, flipped out.  I feel like they understand better now what I am going through, but I still would rather just hole up in my room for a week or two. 
 
The problem is I can't... I'm still at school with finals coming up.  I'm set to graduate in about 2 weeks, and it is absolutely terrifying.  It's not that I'm going to miss this place... I honestly hated it (probably because I experienced it while on the wrong medicine and my outlook sucked).  It's just that I have NO idea what I want to do with my life.  I thought by the end of college I would, but I don't.  And that makes me feel crummy, because I feel like I have wasted 4 years and a lot of money.  I don't know.  My parents tell me that it will all work out, but I feel like they've been saying that so long, I just don't believe it/care anymore.  I'm fairly convinced that my life is going to be a complete waste, and I'll never get married, never have kids, never make money, never do anything worthwhile with my life.  It really bothers my parents when I say it, but it's not just blabbering.  I really believe it.
 
So, I don't know.  I suppose I'm hanging in there, but barely.  I just want to get out of this place and go home and be left alone for a few weeks without my parents and anyone else telling me that I am lazy or have no ambition or no motivation.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 12/1/2007 6:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Mike:

It is terrifying to graduate -- bipolar or otherwise, but you're experiencing it turned up to eleven, if you'll excuse the stupid joke. I felt every single thing you felt, and aside from the marriage/kids issue -- which is now resolved -- I still wonder about them. I don't know what I wanna be when I grow up. I don't know if many of us do. The question is just less important as you get older, I think.

Once you graduate, why not go somewhere where you can just be lazy for a couple of weeks without anyone hounding you about being productive. You'll have just graduated. That's quite a feat! Why not celebrate with a couple weeks off? Know any friends in another city you could visit for a few days?
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

It is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness. -- William Shakespeare


mogli
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1191
   Posted 12/1/2007 7:52 PM (GMT -7)   

Mike--Glad you posted an update.  Keep haning' in there--it sounds like you're doing your best.  It takes forever for these meds to kick in...We're here for ya meantime.

School just adds to it all; as does family sometimes.  Keep coping the best you can, I know it's hard though.


Mogs
 
Bipolar II, Anxiety/Panic Disorder
.5mg Clonazepam, 50mg Trazodone & Lamictal 25mg/day..working my way up


sukay
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1432
   Posted 12/2/2007 4:07 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey Mike,

I hope you are feeling better today. I can hear you are feeling very overwhelmed right now. Just think....you will be graduating soon and that is a Great Accomplishment and you should be very proud of yourself. Obviously you know HOW hard that was for you with dealing with everything. You should take time to ENJOY/CELEBRATE that. I agree with Serafina...you should try to take a break and get away and just chill for awhile. You certainly deserve it.

Are you seeing a therapist? I ask because when I was first diagnosed my husband had a hard time understanding what/why things were happening and my therapist suggested that I ask my husband to come in so she could help explain somethings to him. Maybe this is an option for you with your parents? Just a thought.

I think all the other things you talked about in your last post will just all fall into place as you continue to walk on your journey. I truly do believe that. Everything doesn't happen instantly and if you just go with the flow and trust your instincts things will start to unfold. Don't put time limits on anything. Just try to relax and take the time to "smell the flowers along the way."

Also, have you considered the option of finding a psychiatrist to manage your condition instead of the neurologist? I mean it seems your neurologist has helped you so much (better than the other Psych by putting you on a mood stabilizer like lamictal) but maybe he can refer you to a new psychiatrist that deals mainly with bipolar patients since this is the type of doctor you should be seeing? Also most bi-polars see a therapist too, which helps us cope along the way. Just some things to think about.

Take care Mike and keep posting.


~Sukay~
 
 


Blessing Waters
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 12/2/2007 10:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Mike, I'm glad to see you are getting a lot of support here and I am with everyone as they offer that to you. You mentioned the possibility of a rash with lamictal. The rash they warn you about, I believe it's called Steven-Johnstone's or close to that, and is not to be taken lightly. However, many things can triggger it, even over the counter meds. Without going into the dreaded details, just know that if you get a rash of any kind, it is vital that you have it checked ASAP if you've started lamictal within 2 months or so. The rash that is so serious it develops to a crisis stage within a few hours. Again, it is my understanding that this is not at all common, just that you need to be aware. I did develop a persistent rash after starting lamictal and had to have it biopsied. It was not Steven's Johnstone, but it may still have been related to lamictal. It wasn't a big deal, but it took about a year to resolve. Again, please tuck this info away and don't let it get to you. It's just better to be aware, I believe.
Blessing Waters

obinder26
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 12/4/2007 1:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello All.

Yeah, the closer I get to graduation, the less I care about it. It's been nearly impossible getting through school.. it just wasn't a place for me. I don't drink, don't party, and on top of it I was on the wrong meds all four years. I just want to build a time machine and go ahead two weeks and be at home. I figure I'll just completely half ass it through my final papers and tests... I just don't care anymore.

This whole mixed state thing is just lame.. some nights I won't sleep at all, and then last night I slept for literally 16 hours. Without even trying. I went to bed at around 2am and when I woke up it was around 5 or 6pm... insane. Now I know I won't sleep tonight, because my mind is already racing ahead. It's like I'm balanced on the top of a pyramid and never know which way I will fall. I so badly just wish my brain would shutdown. Don't worry, I would NEVER do anything to myself, but it would be nice to just check out for awhile. Because I either hate my life and myself, or my brain is racing so much it's almost painful. Or, sometimes I feel like I'm right in between.

As far as the rash I've been keeping a close eye. I had a small thing that looked like ringworm, but I have had that for some time before I started taking the Lamictal. I'm using topical stuff on it, and it's subsiding, so I think I'm alright,

But, how long until the medicine starts helping me more. It's probably been 3-4 weeks at this point.

And yes, I have a therapist here at school, but I think I'm going to be done seeing him and get referred to someone at home since I'll be there in two weeks for more longterm.

Still have no flipping idea what I'm going to do when I graduate, but I DEFINITELY plan on taking a few weeks off, and if my parents can't deal with that, they'll essentially be told to leave me alone. Not in a malicious way, but just a take it easy, let me relax sort of way.

{sorry, had to edit out swear-like words. We have some young readers and strict guidelines. -- serafena}

Post Edited By Moderator (serafena) : 12/4/2007 1:57:02 PM (GMT-7)

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