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Re: A glass of dopamine katia

Posted by BarbaraCat on September 3, 2003, at 23:29:10

In reply to Re: A glass of dopamine BarbaraCat, posted by katia on September 3, 2003, at 18:17:55

> God, what you've described as mixed sounds exactly like what I've been calling my clinical/suicidal depressions.

**That's what I used to think. Couldn't decide if it was agitated depression, general anxiety with depression or what. Mixed states is such a new term but what distinguishes it from anxious depression is the psychotic quality of it. It's much more than severe depression because of the explosive wailing and gnashing of teeth aspect and the total out of control nightmare quality. Alot of people are calling their symptoms 'mixed states' lately because the term has made it into the common lexicon, but anxious or irritable depression without that psychotic bipolar-I nightmare flavor ain't mixed states (I'm convinced it's a BP-I thing rather than BP-II because of it's halucinatory hellishness).

Now I could be totally wrong but that horror thing is what I've come to believe is mixed states from the hours and hours of research I've put into it. There really isn't a whole lot out there on it that's consistent. Maybe what you thought, suicidal major depression, is closer to home and what that 'other' thing is - who knows. It sure is different from anything I've ever read about depression. That panicked screaming of the universe is not typical. The closest is Kay Redfield Jamison's description of her awful despairing psychotic depressions as part of her BP-I cycles. She also spoke of hearing 'lettuce screaming' on her salad plate. First time I'd ever heard of someone else experiencing that.

I sometimes think it's schizophrenia, but schiz is not a cyclical thing and it's not so wrought with the awareness of despair.

> I think that I've been chronically clinically depressed and have been calling that wrongly "dysthymia". I know that what i've experienced for the majority of my life is more mod/severe depression.

**Me too. I'd have a mixed whopper every few years or so, but typically mainly mod/severe depression a few times a year, with chunks of time interspered where I felt fine and normal. It was only the last 5-6 or so years that mixed states were becoming way too frequent and overlayed with fibromyalgia symptoms (which I personally think was my body's way of saying "Uncle, had enough, do something!").

> I have been thinking of my mixed states as when I'm racing around a mile a minute, starting things (projects,classes,etc.) interspersed with underlying and any minute irritability, wired and tired, high energy. Maybe that's the hypo/manic side?

**Yes, that's hypomania. Sometimes it's fun, sometimes its disorganized, sometimes it's irritibility but it's always light years from the severity of mixed states. Mixed states can also be murderous rage and uncontrollable violence, as my father used to get.

> My digestive tract is all out of whack.

**Yeah, mine too. It's getting better with the priobiotics. Finally being able to take a crap has become an event to celebrate.

> The two supplements that gave me that cause a bit of concern are: fish oil and L-Carnitine.

**Fish oil is good, especially for bipolars. Most pdocs agree with this, but you've got a good point about putting too many variables in at once. Same with L-Carnitine, even though it's good to normalize blood sugar. Probably good to do it but maybe wait until the Dep is stable?

> I've finally met someone more prolific than me Barbara! p.s. that metabolic doc told me only one glass of dopamine at a time (per day and no more than five per week)! that'll be an interesting challenge.

**I'm going cold turkey on that glass of dopamine (I'll never think of it by any other name again!), at least for a while. I got a book today written by a pdoc about what's going on from a neurological and emotional level around craving and addictions. I'll let you know if it's any good. I'm hoping to heal my burnt out lightbulbs in the brain and give it a break from all that sugar and booze. But oooo! wah!!! No fair!!!

- Barbara

> > **Yeah, depression is a totally inept word to call those two very differing states. I get both but the worst by far is the despair/crying and that's my mixed states state.
> >
> > > Also, the 5HTP helps with depression (or supposedly does) like an AD right? i shouldn't be on ADs anyway so I understand if it didn't help me at the time.
> >
> > **Well, the whole SSRI serotonin uptake theory is up for debate right now. No doubt they help with some kinds of depression but the mechanism as to how and why isn't looking like it's the uptake at the synaptic cleft theory that's the cause. So, yes, 5-HTP increases serotonin but low serotonin may not be the problem. The disconnect may be occurring further downline in the second messenger system. Detractors of SSRI's helping depression (not the fanatics, just those who say they're not very effective long term) make alot of sense, but I sure couldn't quote them at the moment. I only know they made me very very suicidally depressed.
> > >
> > > I'm trying to figure out what sort of state I've been experiencing the past week - mixed or depressed? It's important to know. Altho' i have no sexual partner, my sex drive is definitely not low. is this an indicator?
> >
> > **Dopamine definitely perks up the sex drive. Serotonin dampens it, SSRI's kill it. But beats me what that means about the spectrum. But using sex drive is an interesting idea to ponder. When I'm high on alcohol or pain killers which rev the dopamine, I want to screw like a bunny. If I'm mildly hypomanic, I also get rather randy. If I'm full blown manic, sex is the last thing on my mind because I'm in communion with God, the Universe and Everything and sex seems so ho-hum. If I'm apathetically anhedonic sex is also the last thing on my mind cause I feel ugly fat and soooo weary. I dunno. There do seem to be indicators. All this probably has nothing to do with any chemical as we currently know them anyway.
> >
> > All in all, I can usually tell where I am on the spectrum by my sleep. Depression, I sleep alot, all day if I could. I have enough presence to be totally cynical and disgusted with the human race. Mixed, I wail and pace and am tortured and wrung out and burnt out. I'm super sensitized to pain and doom everywhere, and even though I still don't particularly like most humans, I despair for us all. Mainly I despair for the animals, trees, non-human things. When I can bear to pick up a newspaper, comics are all I can stand, and even they make me weep with their sheer crudeness. I weep in stores. I worry incessantly. Very little sleep, even with way too many sleeping pills. Of couse, this is a definitely recognizable mixed state for me. There are gradients. But again, the sleep thing is usually the tipoff. Also, depression is more turned in, like 'my life sucks, nothing is working, nobody likes me, why is it this way, it will never be any different'. It's mostly about me and my life being horrible, there's rarely enough energy to dredge up the anguish that's the hallmark of mixed states for me. Mixed states is more existentially awful, the horror of existence, the insane God, shattering. When I think of me and my life during mixed states it's in utter despair and hopelessness which is claustrophonic, panicked and livid with pain instead of the sinking murk of a good old depression.
> >
> >




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