Questions about side effects

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New Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 6/1/2009 9:12 PM (GMT -7)   
My wife was diagnosed as BPII about a month ago after a (hypo)manic episode and has been on lithium since. Since about two weeks in, she has felt "flat" and sad, veering into depression and sometimes extreme irritability. She also feels completely "clouded" by the lithium; can't concentrate, read, etc.
10 days ago her doctor (who spent all of 5 minutes with her) added Wellbutrin XL for the depression. In the past couple of days she's become incredibly irritable, angry and despairing. She's pretty sure it's the Wellbutrin and I can see why.
Has anyone had experience with this med combo? Or with just lithium alone and the side effects (and perceived lack of real effect) she's seeing?
She's so miserable right now she just wants to sit and cry by herself and want to stop meds altogether.
I'm so unimpressed with her pdoc and trying to help her find another at least, but right now she's just despairing.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 6/1/2009 9:41 PM (GMT -7)   
In my experience, depression, irritability, flatness, and despairing followed both of my manic episodes. The first time I got manic (it was caused by antidepressants) they prescribed lithium and I got incredibly flat, depressed, and despairing. I ended it a month or so later because the side effects were so severe. Of all the medications I have taken, lithium was by far the worst. The second time I had a manic episode, I did not take any meds to come down from it; it just slowly faded away. However, I still had the same symptoms as before of severe depression, flatness, ect. I guess the point im getting at is maybe the depression coming after the mania is inevitable? Whether your wife is taking meds or not?

I wish I had advice but honestly Im feeling pretty hopeless about the meds right now as well. Can your wife take any SSRI antidepressants? (Zoloft, prozac, paxil..ect) or do they trigger mania? If she is able to handle them they would help the depression with a mood stabilizer to prevent the mania. If she cannot take SSRIs I can say from experience that lamictal would help with the irritability, crying, and anxiety (if she has any). However, it does not help with the flatness which is a great disappointment. Well, I wish the best of luck to your wife and I do hope this post was helpful...sorry for rambling on. :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 6/2/2009 11:15 AM (GMT -7)   
No stopping the meds! She just needs new ones. Call the doc and explain the side effects. He/she should either adjust the dosage or prescribe something else.

That is absolutely severe depression and it's awful, but she'll be okay. But don't let her stop the meds. It'll just get worse.

Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

New Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 6/2/2009 6:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, the thing I feared the most happened today. I went to my therapist, and feeling down after that I decided to go home rather than to work. My wife was in the middle of packing her bags, and no amount of pleading, bargaining or reasoning could change her mind. She's moved to an Extended Stay Hotel but is looking at apartments.
Her mood has been all over the place. One moment she said she just needs time to think, the next it is that she was never truly physically attracted to me and married me (13 years ago) because I was "safe and nice". Then she accused me of wanting to keep her on meds even though there's nothing wrong with her. When she got in the car she said I should just find a normal person and be happy, but I told her I'd be here waiting for her no matter how long it takes. Why can't it be enough that I love her. I have never hurt this much in my life.
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