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Re: Just Diagnosed

Posted by BarbaraCat on October 11, 2002, at 11:18:05

In reply to Re: Just Diagnosed, posted by polarbear206 on October 10, 2002, at 19:28:34

Hi A. and welcome to our club. Before I begin, definitely look into your birth control pills. They're notorious for causing depression. I am BPII, finally diagnosed as such after being on all the ADs and not being sucessful in almost 25 years of trying. I was very surprised to realize I was bipolar instead of just severely depressed because my hypomanic moods just felt like a blessed relief and 'making up for lost time', so to speak. But I'd forget how a lovely high could morph into a scattered electrical type of blackness, and nothing much helped. First of all, lithium has an undeserved stigma, but is not a bad drug at all. In fact, many antiaging and longevity buffs are taking small doses of it because it's been shown to increase the 'plasticity' of the brain which is a very good thing. I researched it heavily before agreeing to start taking it at my pdoc's urging. If this turns out to be the best choice for you, don't be afraid or ashamed of it. It's a natural salt and no big deal at the proper dose. But it doesn't end there, so read on with my first-person report of my new wonder drug.

I started on lithium this past February and it helped very much on its own and to augment the Remeron. But not perfect and I gained 30 pounds. I still had much anxiety and occassional black despairing moments, and started going down again badly a few months ag and said hell with it, I'm depressed anyway and on a huge dose of Remeron. So I reduced it by 1/10th and it didn't make any difference one way or another. I was feeling pretty hopeless and disgusted with all meds and all suggestions.

Well, thanks to Laura's timely post, I just started on Lamictal 10 days ago and I don't want to be too gushing and enthusiastic until a few months have gone by, but so far I LOVE IT!!!!!. Thank you so much, Laura, for mentioning it just as I was off to my pdoc visit. Within 3 days I was feeling an optimism and an internal balancing that I had forgotten was possible. I'm only on 37.5 mg and will try to remain with a low dosage if I can. It's side effect profile is very low to non-existent, at least with me, and no rash with this slow titration. There have been posts on this board that it pooped after a few days or weeks and I pray this will not be so with me. It's the only med I have ever been on that has helped so dramatically in so short a time. It works on an electrical rather than a chemical basis in that it supposedly helps the ion gates within the neuron to produce a more balanced electrical potential than the bleak and disorganized Bipolar states we know all too well. I'm still on a very small dose of lithium and Remeron and it's possible that the Lamictal was the magic ticket to make the others work, or maybe it will prove to be effective on its own.

As soon as I'm stable on it and know that its not going to let me down, I'll post to the pb-board in general. Don't want to broadcast it and cry wolf too soon. But you're the first to know that this stuff is helping me greatly and I was rapidly going down the tubes and feeling hopeless.
Time will tell if this grace lasts, but right now I'm a much happier person and so grateful for Lamictal. BarbaraCat

> > I have just been diagnosed with Cyclothymia. I am having a very difficult time accepting it because what I have been thinking is my normal base mood, the psydr says is hypomania. I have been extremely depressed for over two months and anti-depressants alone are not working. The dr wants to put me on lithium. This sort of freaked me out and I told him I wanted to wait before we took such a drastic course. So until I see him again in two weeks I am taking 20 mg of Lexapro and .25 mg of risperdal. It's been four days and I still feel depressed.
> >
> > He mentioned a few other mood stabilizers but I can't take those since they interfere with the eficacy of birth control pills.
> >
> > After reading all the posts I see that many of you have had success on lithium. I suppose I'm just afraid of what my real normal mood will look like.
> >
> > I would appreciate any feedback.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > A
> Alylene,
> Hi and welcome to the board. I also have cyclothymia. I know what your feeling about accepting this illness. It took me along time. I'm even a psych nurse! I have an excellent web site for you to educate yourself. When you get to "Depression Central" web site, scroll down the page to cyclothymia. Check out the page "a discussion", you will see many of the post here at psycho-babble too. I am on Lamictal. It is an anticonvulsant used to tx. bipolar dosorders. It acts as mood stabilizer/antidepressant. Low side effect profile compared to the others. Lithium and Depakote didn't agree with me. I've been able to wein down to a very low dose of my antidepressant since starting Lamictal.
> Laura.




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