Jump to content


What's with the ads?

Photo
- - - - -

Bipolar Disorder? (Update in #16)


23 replies to this topic

What's with the ads?

#1 Night Elf

Night Elf

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13325 posts

Posted 17 July 2017 - 11:26 AM

So, I was diagnosed with Bipolar in about 2010 I think. It took at least a few months to find the right combination of meds that helped me be stable. However, I have never managed to stabilize my anxiety. I just learned coping skills. Some days would be totally fine. Some days would be mildly annoying but endurable. Some days were bad enough that I took my anxiety pill. I saved it for when things were really bad. So now, my anxiety is becoming more frequent and I have more bad days than just mildly annoying. Last week I had a mini-hypomanic episode and DH didn't tell me he thought that was what it was until last night. He wanted to just observe and see if it was a one off. However, last night I had a particularly bad anxiety attack. I can't even describe all my feelings. They were just bad. We read that anxiety can increase as one gets close to a manic episode so now I'm scared. I don't want to go into that. It's so scary! This means my doctor may want to change up my meds because maybe they're not as effective as they have been. I really HATE changing meds. I've had some scary side effects from some of them.

 

Does anyone with Bipolar or a loved one with Bipolar ever had meds lose efficacy? I've been on this cocktail for so many years and have no side effects. Ugh.

 

I did manage to get an appointment with my psychiatrist for tomorrow. I'm stunned she had an opening so soon. I'm hoping she keeps my meds the same except maybe add in something for anxiety.

 

I wrote a letter trying to put into words all my feelings and experiences of the last couple of weeks. It's a page and a half long. I'm just going to take it in and use it as a guide for remembering what I need to tell her about. My DH is encouraging me to do this because frankly I feel she won't be able to help. I'm scared she's going to think I'm stupid and over reacting. DH thinks these thoughts are part of my disorder. They sure seem very real to me!


Edited by Night Elf, 18 July 2017 - 01:30 PM.


#2 jdahlquist

jdahlquist

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1475 posts

Posted 17 July 2017 - 11:57 AM

I am sorry you are experiencing this and am glad that you have an appointment so soon.  I have a loved one who has been diagnosed with bipolar and has had similar experiences.  She said that when she first became aware of the start of mood swings, it was a very scary experience for her (and those around her).  However, she says that as she has had more experience with this, it has helped her and her family cope, as they know what they are dealing with.  She can more quickly adjust her medicine and she can seek assistance more quickly.  Her family can better understand what is happening and help rather than simply be baffled by the behavior (adding to everyone's anxiety).  She does have to make periodic adjustments to her medication.



#3 amy g.

amy g.

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4280 posts

Posted 17 July 2017 - 11:59 AM

I had a friend with bipolar have a breakdown at my house once. Her husband had to come get her, and they went straight to the hospital where she stayed for a few days to get stabilized.

I thought for sure it was drug interactions, or maybe she had accidentally taken the wrong dosage of something.

Her husband came to pick up her car the next day. He said that she had taken the exact same medicine and dosage she had been taking for years, but that her body's reactions had changed so everything needed to get switched around to get her stable again.

All of this is just to say, that if you are getting warning signs that your medicine is losing effectiveness, it might be worth trying something new.

I'm sorry you even have to deal with this. It must be so frustrating.
  • swimmermom3 likes this

#4 happi duck

happi duck

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 8391 posts

Posted 17 July 2017 - 11:59 AM

Many (hugs)

#5 Night Elf

Night Elf

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13325 posts

Posted 17 July 2017 - 12:17 PM

I just read that meds stabilize moods but doesn't stop cycling, although it can be mild episodes. I don't think I have cycled in years. I haven't been depressed or manic in so long that I almost don't remember how I felt during those times. Mostly I remember the march of medications in trying to find the ones that worked. I almost gave up and didn't want to be on meds at all, but DH kept encouraging me and I sure needed that support. 

 

I will talk to her tomorrow about this. If mild cycling occurs on meds then maybe I don't really need to change them. Or maybe she'll increase the dosage of one or both of them. She definitely needs to do something about my anxiety med though. I'm on Ativan but a low dosage and it has hardly helped at all. It says take one a day. I wish I could remember what I was on before because I could have sworn I had a pill that said I could take a second pill in 6 hours if needed. 

 

Last night I borrowed my dd's weighted blanket and both she and DH stayed with me until I started feeling better and could concentrate on reading instead of suffering with racing thoughts. I really liked that blanket. I might get one for myself because she'll be taking hers back to college.



#6 freeindeed

freeindeed

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2985 posts

Posted 17 July 2017 - 12:42 PM

I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. I am diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. My current cocktail of meds is working for now. My psychiatrist put me on Wellbutrin a couple of months ago to see if it was a good fit for me, and it shot my anxiety through the roof and increased my suicidal thoughts. I do know that meds lose their effectiveness over time and that potentially I will have to change again. That scares me. I hope you have a smooth transition and are able to find something that works for you.



#7 Terabith

Terabith

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3413 posts

Posted 17 July 2017 - 03:12 PM

I have had meds lose efficacy.  That said, I have diagnoses of both bipolar and anxiety.  In actuality, the anxiety is the more disabling condition, and I have had therapists question whether the bipolar diagnosis is correct because anxiety can look so much like hypomania.   Besides a benzo for acute episodes, I've had really good luck with buspar and Neurontin.  Buspar has been amazingly effective.



#8 Catwoman

Catwoman

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 28378 posts

Posted 17 July 2017 - 04:32 PM

Will your dh be going to the appointment with you? I hope he will, because he can help make sure you cover all of the important points, and he may even end up being able to answer some of the doctor's questions better than you can. (I don't mean that because of the bipolar, but because I know that even with physical illnesses like my dh had, sometimes I had noticed symptoms that my dh wouldn't have even thought to mention to the doctor.)

Praying that the psychiatrist is able to figure out what's going on and come up with a solution very quickly! :grouphug:
  • swimmermom3 and Plink like this

#9 Mergath

Mergath

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11030 posts

Posted 17 July 2017 - 04:41 PM

My dh is bipolar and he actually just had to switch SSRIs because he was having increasing anxiety. He'd been taking Celexa for years and it quit working. (The same thing happened to me with Celexa for my OCD- it worked great for years, then completely crapped out on me.) So now he's on Lexapro, and the anxiety seems to have gone away.

 

His entire med cocktail, which he's doing great on, is: lexapro 20mg in the am; lithium 600mg am and 600mg pm; oxcarbazepine 600mg am and 600mg pm; and seroquel 300mg pm.

 

It's a ridiculous amount of meds, but that's what it took to finally get him stable and not have any breakthrough mania or anxiety.


  • Ravin likes this

#10 Ravin

Ravin

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12529 posts

Posted 17 July 2017 - 04:59 PM

My best childhood friend has either hypomanic bipolar or depressive disorder (the doctors have vacillated as to which they think it is) and anxiety. 

 

She's been on so many different meds, and the last couple of years they were helping less and less. She's been going for ECT the last few months, and it seems to have at least helped some (she's not done with the treatments so not sure yet how much it'll help, long term).

 

I hope your psychiatrist is able to help you stabilize again quickly!



#11 Night Elf

Night Elf

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13325 posts

Posted 17 July 2017 - 05:12 PM

DH said he'd go if I felt he should, but he already worked with me on the notes I wrote that I will read from at my appointment. We actually have a repairman coming out in the morning and they may still be here, or not even got here yet!, by the time I have to leave anyway. I think I'll be okay on my own. If she asks any questions I feel I can't answer I can write them down and email her the responses after DH and I discuss them.

 

My anxiety is definitely a problem, moreso than my bipolar. DH said he has only seen that one episode, last week, that could have been a hypomanic episode. Otherwise what he sees on a regular basis is anxiety. 

 

I'm on Lamictal and Geodon for bipolar but only have Ativan for anxiety attacks. I plan to ask if she can add in an anxiety med to my daily medication.



#12 Terabith

Terabith

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3413 posts

Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:43 PM

I prefer klonopin to Ativan for breakthrough anxiety, because it is longer lasting.

 

Weighted blankets are amazing. 


  • MaryMak07 likes this

#13 Night Elf

Night Elf

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13325 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 05:39 AM

I prefer klonopin to Ativan for breakthrough anxiety, because it is longer lasting.

 

Weighted blankets are amazing. 

 

Thanks. I'll ask her, because my Ativan certainly isn't working.



#14 MaryMak07

MaryMak07

    Hive Mind Level 3 Worker: Honeymaking Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 184 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 08:42 AM

I agree with liking Klonopin better!

#15 JFSinIL

JFSinIL

    Queen of teh Typos ;-)

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 9629 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 10:50 AM

DS had TWO meds stopping working (Klonopin and one of his sleep meds) towards the end of a college semester and he lost too much class time/labs to finish this spring.  He now has different sleep meds and Ativan.  Luckily Ativan works for him, he felt well enough after a month to start a job hunt, and found a p/t job.  He is stable enough to drive himself, although I sat beside him, ready to have him pull over and let me drive if he started to get anxious the first two weeks.

 

He had to change doctors though, his old doc. didn't believe him when he told her Klonopin after almost three years wasn't helping any longer, she just kept trying to up the dose, to no avail. 

 

I know he is on 6 (or 7?) meds for his bipolar/insomnia/anxiety.  Shake him and he rattles.  New doc wants to try and wean him off one or two if possible.

 

Good luck - it is a pain when meds stop working or need adjusting. 

 

He turns 26 in Sept - hope we can get him on Medicaid by then and that they cover most meds. One of them is over $700/month if have to pay cash (I know I can find a discount card, but still, he only makes a thousand a month). I know we will have to cut back on and help pay for doctor visits, as she is too good a doc to leave, but does not take Medicaid.

 


Edited by JFSinIL, 18 July 2017 - 10:53 AM.


#16 Night Elf

Night Elf

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13325 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 01:30 PM

Update: Well, I feel better after my appointment. I learned some things about the differences between my bipolar and my general anxiety level. Apparently I've been having some of my bipolar symptoms for months, perhaps even years, without recognizing them. She's increasing one of my meds in hopes of stabilizing that. She can't increase my Lamictal because I'm on the max dose. She's increasing my Ativan to a daily regimen instead of an emergency pill with the hopes that it will get my anxiety under control. So apparently it IS possible to live life without being anxious all the time. I'm still skeptical on that one. She hopes with the increasing of two of my meds that I'll sleep better at night and wants me to try to get off Ambien and just keep Trazodone. I might even be able to taper off it some. I can't imagine being able to sleep without so much sleeping meds though. I'm dubious. We'll see.

 

She was happy I was able to get in today because she wouldn't have helped me through email. Apparently I've had two hypomanic episodes in less than a week and she's concerned I'm going to have some more, but is hoping the increase in meds will stop them. So now I have yet another thing to worry about, having another episode. It's just crazy. She said if I had not been able to see her today, she would have told me to go see another doctor at another Kaiser facility asap. I'm glad I didn't have to do that. I don't like having to explain things to new doctors even if they do have access to patient notes.

 

So we'll see how I do over the next week. Thanks for all the good thoughts.


  • chiguirre, amy g., Tap and 13 others like this

#17 happi duck

happi duck

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 8391 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 01:43 PM

Glad you could see your doctor quickly.

(hugs)

#18 Ottakee

Ottakee

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10289 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:31 PM

Have you tried Lithium with the Lamictal? It is the dynamic duo here. My daughter takes a low dose lithium and it really works well with the Lamictal

#19 Night Elf

Night Elf

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13325 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 05:33 PM

Have you tried Lithium with the Lamictal? It is the dynamic duo here. My daughter takes a low dose lithium and it really works well with the Lamictal

 

Years after the fact, I've realized I should have made notes when they put me on various medications. I tried several, each with bad side effects so they'd try something new. The only medication name I remember is Seroquel and that was really bad. Right now I'm on Geodon with the Lamictal and that is the med that we're increasing. My dd is on Geodon as well and takes twice as much as I do so I know I have room to increase safely. My doctor is just wanting to go slowly. She was afraid increasing the Geodon too quickly would cause side effects.



#20 Catwoman

Catwoman

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 28378 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 05:45 PM

I'm glad you saw your regular doctor and that she is changing your medications to try to help you. It sounds like she is very concerned and that she really wants to help you, and that's so important.

Sending you luck and prayers that you start feeling much better very soon! :grouphug:

#21 displace

displace

    2e or not 2e

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3571 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 06:27 PM

I'm glad you were able to be seen and you and your DH are aware of changes. I hope the med change works 🤞

#22 Anne in CA

Anne in CA

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5477 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 06:57 PM

I'm sure your thoughts are real and valid. You tell the doctor what you need to. The medical effects are REAL and you should take care of yourself. 



#23 Plink

Plink

    Capturing Creativity

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3002 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 09:01 PM

I'm so glad your meds have been tweaked.  I have been able to "feel" your anxiety through your recent posts, and have been worried for you.  Praying that this works and you find relief soon.



#24 HollyDay

HollyDay

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 6935 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 10:21 PM

Just a thought.....I've know a lady or 2 with bipolar or aother anxiety/depression disorders who started having more difficulties due to hormonal swings.