SRS Bipolar II Peeps

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by Aviv, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. Aviv

    Aviv OT Supporter

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    I just wanted to hear from other people who are diagnosed with BP2 about medications and side effects. Obviously, I'm talking to my doctor about this too.

    I've been experiencing bouts of depression mixed with hypomania in varying degrees over the past few years. The hypomania manifested itself in stuff like racing thoughts, lack of sleep, recklessness with money & alcohol, and lack of concentration. I was recently diagnosed with BP2 and put on 2mg Abilify once a day. I am also taking Trazodone to help with sleeping and the depression.

    My doctor and I decided on the Abilify because of the relative lack of side effects and it seems to be an increasingly popular treatment for bipolar. The only side effects I've seen are occasional hand twitching and waking up in the middle of the night - but that's subsided by now. I guess I'm more worried about it not working at all rather than the side effects. Is anyone else taking this medication? :hsd:
     
  2. 9c1 driver

    9c1 driver New Member

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    My wife was diagnosed bipolar 5 years ago and has had many med changes, for the last 3 months she has been on lithium, this has stablized her mania episodes almost completely but not her lack of sleep.
     
  3. Aviv

    Aviv OT Supporter

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    The Trazodone was prescribed to help me sleep, and it's been working. Originally I was just on the Trazodone but when I was diagnosed BPII, the Abilify was added. I'll definitely ask about the blood sugar effects. Lithium is a lot cheaper, but I worry about the weight gain.
     
  4. civicmon

    civicmon got all my game from the streets of california.

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    Abilify has a marginal effect on diabetes. There are others that are much worse on the blood/sugar levels.

    I took abilify and it was easily the best thing i've taken with regards to side effects and pure effectiveness.

    I haven't taken much of anything in the past couple of years except Adderall. I've found - and acknowledged by my doctor - that treating ADHD has basically 'solved' the depression problems, provided I don't get manic, but truth is I never did, I do get irritable if I feel like I'm getting screwed.
     
  5. kdrweez

    kdrweez New Member

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    It's funny I just saw this thread and I was going to start a related one about Lamictal (probably still will).

    My story:

    I had a few douchebag pdocs tell me I had ADHD almost a decade ago, and throw me on various stimulants. Not gonna lie, those were some of the most fun times of my life. However, it kept pushing me way over the edge, with my "finale" being frantically packing up my shit in my dorm, to escape my roomy who I thought was watching me in my sleep. Not really a fun time. Fortunately, I haven't had any such problems since stopping Adderall and its counterparts several years back.

    I then gave up on pdocs and saw a neuropsychologist to figure things out a little more. I was concerned about having done cognitive damage, and about what to do next. After plenty of (real) testing, and an IQ test, he assured me that I was more than intelligent enough, and definitely didn't suffer from ADHD. Instead, he pointed out that I showed very clear signs of BPII. This fell more in line with what friends and family have always said about my strongly fluctuating moods and hypomanic periods. Something about a few hours of one-on-one testing seemed more accurate than a 30 min doctor visit.

    I then found a GP who has a legitimate interest in psychological disorders. He's done a better job for me than any pdoc (if you're in western NY, I'd be happy to share his info), giving me double sessions every few months, and actually allowing me to call him anytime for emergency help. This came in handy when I found out I'm in that percentage who has really aggressive paradoxical reactions to all of the benzos (which we tried at first). I tried lithium, but not being able to mix with alcohol, and how it dumbs you down kinda hurried me off it. I tried Buspar for anxiety, and about all it did was give me a huuuuuge appetite for 30 min a day after taking it. Mirtazapine had similar effects, leaving me feel like I was smoking a bowl all day long. I've finally settled on a diet of Lamictal. I used to carry a stash of Klonopin, but I refuse to anymore because I made a few really stupid choices with it, mostly involving alcohol. I tend to get experimental, and it definitely wasn't the right thing there.

    Honestly, I swear leaving my ex-GF helped me more than any meds. I have a hard time with people in my life who kick my mood all over (read: girls). I'm considering cutting back the Lamictal now, but I'm definitely putting thought in. It's not an easy one to start on again (the whole titration thing, or you get fatal skin disorders), and if my family finds out, it's not gonna be pretty. I am 25, and I live 400 miles away from them, but I put my mother through a lot with all this, and she gets really worried anytime I want to drop the only med that appeared to work for me.

    As for now, I don't really tell anyone the story, unless its fairly anonymous (like this), or someone close to me. Most people think BP somehow gives me various personalities, and that they'll be dealing with a 2-faced jerk. Or, they look it up online, see what BPI mania is like, and assume I'm going to flip out and shoot people, lol. I've found that BPII attaches a really shitty stigma to me, in other words. I have always enjoyed that the affected community is a lot more serious than, say, ADHD or unipolar depression folks (both of which are swamped by tons of kids merely thinking something is up). It's a lot easier to find helpful advice as a result.

    And coolest one yet...my best friend and I were ripping around some back roads last year. I had my stepdad's S4, and he had his M3. A cop pulled out, and nabbed me. He was complaining, until he asked to look in my glovebox, saw an empty bottle of Klonopin, and asked what it was. "It's a mild tranquilizer, because I have bipolar II disorder." He gave me a strange/worried look, and quickly let me go :lol:
     
  6. kdrweez

    kdrweez New Member

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    P.S. I'm not a fan of the antipsychotics...overpriced drugs now being approved for various other disorders. I've been on Risperdol and it wasn't fun. Too many weird things they do to you. I told my doc I refuse to take them because of the cost alone. Should I ever be without insurance, I can't afford a $2000 drug. The alternative at that point? Typical antipsychotics...ewww.
     
  7. Aviv

    Aviv OT Supporter

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    I've been on the Abilify for about a month now and I think it's helped a lot. I don't get random bouts of depression, and the triggers that used to ALWAYS cause depression spells (relationship & job issues) don't affect me as much. I'm at 5mg right now, and we're still figuring out the proper dosage. I imagine it will be slightly higher since I can still get hypomanic from time to time, although that's much improved.


    It's funny, I had almost the opposite experience. When I was seeing my first therapist, I was referred to a GP who wanted to give me sleeping pills to deal with my sleep issues (lunesta, I think). Well that got me sleeping alright, but did nothing to fix the depression that was causing the insomnia. The guy didn't even want to talk about anti-depressants.

    It wasn't until I started seeing a new therapist at a facility that had psychiatrists on site, so I was able to see someone who knew about psych disorders and I was able to get on Trazodone and eventually Abilify.

    And I'm kind of afraid to tell people about it because of that stigma. When I told my family, even they didn't understand at first. So most of my friends don't know because I don't want to be viewed as some kind of loose cannon who can change personalities in a heartbeat. I never really paid attention to the social stigma that BP gets until now.
     
  8. RyRy

    RyRy Active Member

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