Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 9730

Shown: posts 385 to 409 of 948. Go back in thread:

 

Re: Paradoxicals BarbaraCat

Posted by katia on August 20, 2003, at 3:21:22

In reply to Paradoxicals katia, posted by BarbaraCat on August 19, 2003, at 20:15:19

> Katia,
> Paradoxical drug reactions are very common with BP's. Why? No one seems to know. - BC
>
> >>I just recently started Depakote and have had an atypical reaction to it. I've gotten racy and speeded up, trouble sleeping (I now need sleep meds).

I know why.
the universe didn't seem to think we had enough on our plates; so in addition to the trial and error we face with ADs, why the hell not throw some dousies their way and f*** them up with mood stablizers?!!
love,
katia

 

Re: Paradoxicals katia

Posted by BarbaraCat on August 21, 2003, at 0:52:45

In reply to Re: Paradoxicals BarbaraCat, posted by katia on August 20, 2003, at 3:21:22

We're obviously getting primed for something, but enough is enough. The powers that be should either get on with it and let us in on the secret or find someone else to harass. Sometimes I feel like the universe is a huge honkin' cat and we're all mice down here. One good thing to consider is how splendid feeling better will feel.

> I know why.
> the universe didn't seem to think we had enough on our plates; so in addition to the trial and error we face with ADs, why the hell not throw some dousies their way and f*** them up with mood stablizers?!!
> love,
> katia
>

 

Re: Paradoxicals

Posted by fluffy on August 21, 2003, at 10:53:05

In reply to Re: Paradoxicals katia, posted by BarbaraCat on August 21, 2003, at 0:52:45

Hey Barb-cat--

I'm just curious--How long did it take you to find the right mix of meds? And how long did it take you to be properly diagnosed? I guess I'm feeling a bit discouraged right now. My upped dose of Lamictal has started to make me feel, well, like really, really poopy. I think I can only stay at 200mg. I've started to feel lethargic, heavy, dizzy and impaired cognitavely. So I lowered my dose myself, and I'm having a phone conversation with my doc today.

Also, I've had some bobbles lately (with depression anxiety and sleep problems). I thought I was feeling better, but it turns out I was just cycling in and out--now I'm bobbling again. I really want my meds to make my stability stick. And it's been 7 months of med trials. I knew it would be tough, but I'm feeling beat up right now. I'm questioning my diagnosis and being on meds. Even though I know I'm better on them, it really sucks to have the side effects beat you down.

(see Katia--even though seem like I'm full of wisdom, I have the same problems as you)
Are you doing better with the Depakote? Usually it takes 2 weeks for the anti-epileptics to take hold on me. Please let me know how you are doing.

If you or anyone else has energy for some encouragement or advice (about meds or being disheartened, then I could use it now).

I hope everyone is well.
Best,
Katy

> We're obviously getting primed for something, but enough is enough. The powers that be should either get on with it and let us in on the secret or find someone else to harass. Sometimes I feel like the universe is a huge honkin' cat and we're all mice down here. One good thing to consider is how splendid feeling better will feel.
>
> > I know why.
> > the universe didn't seem to think we had enough on our plates; so in addition to the trial and error we face with ADs, why the hell not throw some dousies their way and f*** them up with mood stablizers?!!
> > love,
> > katia
> >
>
>

 

Bobbles fluffy

Posted by BarbaraCat on August 21, 2003, at 11:34:12

In reply to Re: Paradoxicals, posted by fluffy on August 21, 2003, at 10:53:05

Hi Katy,
I was just about to fire off a post asking how you've been! The Bobbles, love it. It will become part of my psych lexicon. I'm not sure if I have found the right mix of meds, but probably better than it's ever been. If you don't count my 20 year disastrous history with mainly serotonin type drugs (Trazodone, Prozac, Paxil, primarily Zoloft, Effexor) for what was thought to be major depressive disorder, the progress went more rapidly once I dx'd myself as bipolar. Reading the posts on this board made me question the violent nature of my depressions and my cyclic bouts of overboard enthusiasms and crash and burn as more bipolar in nature.

I've never been on Depakote, only Lithium, and this is what has made the most difference for me in controlling the fractured and frightening nature of my mixed states condition. Mixed states psychotic horrors are no more since lithium although I still get bad depression, but more of the typical variety, bad mood, cynical, lethargic, sludgy, everything sucks brand. So we added lamictal to control that end of it and provide some extra energy. 125mg is about the top end for me because I develop a bad itch beyond that. At 150mg I was also feeling a mg seems to be holding, but I have little faith that this will last indefinitely.

The biggest blip in this was a few months after my Mom died in December and all the unrelenting stress it caused. I went into a very bad place, which is understandable, but for me it started spinning off into panic attacks, reactivation of PTSD symptoms, no sleep, despair - a really really bad mixed state that I knew I needed extra help for. My pdoc put me on nortriptyline and within 2 weeks it worked like a charm and brought me out of it long enough to establish equilibrium again by allowing me to get an exercise regime in place. I stopped nortrip 6 weeks ago because of dry mouth and weight gain. I had a few very bad weeks not too long ago which could have been the nortrip rebound or any number of other stressors. Went from 75mg lamictal to 125mg which made a big difference.

This 600mg lithium and 125mg lamictal combo seems to be the most successful for me so far. I've also recently stopped all sleep meds because, with my fibromyalgia, I need the deep stage IV sleep which sleepers inhibit. I'm also taking thyoid meds for long-term hypothyroid condition which lithium unfortunately aggravates (the ONLY complaint I have with it).

The most important ingredient for me is getting enough and the right kind of exercise, 8 hours of sleep before 11pm, very little alcohol, and doing whatever I can possibly do to limit stress like meditate, praying, healthy breathing, hanging out with inspiring teachers and books, mainly lifestyle type things. But I cannot accomplish these healthy endeavors without the support of meds, at least not yet cause I don't know how. Everything is too hard and confusing and pointless when I'm in the grip of disordered chemistry. So, here's the breakdown:

Lithium 600mg
Lamictal 125mg
thyroid 135mcg
Natural progesterone and estrogen (you also might want to check your hormone levels at any age)
Occassional valium taken with 900mg neurontin (benzos work paradoxically without neurontin - go figure).

Once I addressed the mixed states and got the lithium mix it took about 2 months to stabilize. Sometimes I go off my feed and don't know why, I'll just feel scared, anxious, hopeless, weird and wired. I'm learning to not freak out thinking it means something more than I'm just having a downturn in my biorhythms. Usually it has alot to do with worry about money and survival issues which are my stress buttons.

 

Re: Bobbles

Posted by fluffy on August 21, 2003, at 12:07:55

In reply to Bobbles fluffy, posted by BarbaraCat on August 21, 2003, at 11:34:12

Hi again Barbara

***For me, (at least this last whirl) the Temazepam was a really great sleep aid, and I've been able to ween off of it now and get a natural nights sleep. I guess that's a good sign, right? But with the upped Lamictal, I'm having significant trouble functioning (not wanting to wake up, forgetfulness, feeling out of it but wired--kinda like being on sudafed)

> The most important ingredient for me is getting enough and the right kind of exercise, 8 hours of sleep before 11pm, very little alcohol, and doing whatever I can possibly do to limit stress like meditate, praying, healthy breathing, hanging out with inspiring teachers and books, mainly lifestyle type things. But I cannot accomplish these healthy endeavors without the support of meds, at least not yet cause I don't know how. Everything is too hard and confusing and pointless when I'm in the grip of disordered chemistry. So, here's the breakdown:

****Miss Barb-cat--I hear you on this. I've been wanting to start an exercise routine for about a month, now. But I've been so weird lately, that I'm too tired to do it, or too sleep deprived and anxious. I really want to get back into my yoga routine--esp. in the mornings. Is any one exercise routine more effective for you? Is aerobic exercise better? I hate running. I only run if someone is chasing me!
>
> Lithium 600mg
> Lamictal 125mg
> thyroid 135mcg
> Natural progesterone and estrogen (you also might want to check your hormone levels at any age)

****So I'm curious about this hormone stuff, too. I have an IUD which releases progestin. I've noticed since I've had it, that I've had some more mood swings. My gynecologist denies this b/c it is only supposed to work locally. When you say natural, do you mean the soy stuff?

I also want to give the fish oil a whirl. I figure that it couldn't hurt to try. And hell--it's natural. It might even help with Acne. Any experience there?

All in all, my life is better now than it was 8 months ago.
A bit of good news--I've gotten my evening teaching job back, which will help with financial stress significantly. Also--I'm going to visit with a big-wig in the art world in my studio about having a show in a major institution. I guess that I'm hoping that I can find some real stability so that I can follow through with this good stuff. I need all of my strength, confidence and concentration.

Thanks for any more input (re: life, supplements, etc.)

You sound well, Barb-cat, and that makes me glad.

Katy

 

Re: Bobblesfluffy and Barb BarbaraCat

Posted by katia on August 21, 2003, at 14:59:46

In reply to Bobbles fluffy, posted by BarbaraCat on August 21, 2003, at 11:34:12

Hi Gals,
It is a hard journey. Katy, as for your question, after a year of trials of ADs that didn't work, I finally (similar to Barb) discovered that I'm BP. So this changes the scope of things = mood stabilizers. NOW, I'm in for the long haul regarding which one(s) will work for me. I've prepared myself. I've taken a quarter off of grad school, took out extra student loans, and cut back at work (restaurant work - ugh!). When I get disheartened I think of people on this board who were disheartened and then find the right combo. For me, there really is no other options. Either find the right combo or continue the way I have been. the latter is not a choice. I'm also getting ready to do a metabolic bloodph testing and find out my "type" and then eat the right foods accordingly. I need synergy from all walks in my life right now - coming together for transformation!

The other thing I try and remember is everyone, healthy or not-so, has mood fluctuations and it's also partly about riding the wave of it. A natural part to be human. I know obviously mood disorder people have it rougher than others, but I don't want to fall into the illusion that a perfect med combo out there will make me perfect. I know a lot of improvement can happen (i.e. right combo) before i hit that natural wax and wane of my moods instead of a roller coaster ride. But I also don't want to be so hypervigiliant that I take all shifts in my mood to mean that the med's not working. it's TOUGH to figure out!?! The four big things for me are: finding the right med combo, diet, meditation/chi kung, and NO DRINKING. The last one is the tough one, but i know if I can put all the support pieces in order, then positive effects will be! so I hope.
blessings,
Katia

 

Re: Bobbles fluffy

Posted by BarbaraCat on August 21, 2003, at 15:06:41

In reply to Re: Bobbles, posted by fluffy on August 21, 2003, at 12:07:55

>>But with the upped Lamictal, I'm having significant trouble functioning (not wanting to wake up, forgetfulness, feeling out of it but wired--kinda like being on sudafed)

**How much lamictal are you currently taking? That was happening to me at lower doses and I had to keep backing off. But I don't think I ever had lethargy or forgetfulness (maybe I did, but I've forgotten), just the wired feeling.
>
>>Is any one exercise routine more effective for you? Is aerobic exercise better? I hate running. I only run if someone is chasing me!

**The best exercise for me is dancing but it feels like a sham when I'm really down. I need to be in a decent mood to get started and then it will lift me to a higher place every time. When I'm really in the pits, I hate everything and usually don't do anything except try to numb myself with benzos and pull the covers up. Those times are a total bust as far as exercise and I doubt I'd even feel better if I forced myself. I also get kind of clumsy and disconnected and tend to bump into things and trip over my feet - ohhhh, it annoys me to do anything with cords of any kind cause I always tangle myself up in them and trip and get really pissed off. But the really bad days don't last all that long and I'm learning to just have patience until they pass and then start up slowly again. Running always feels too jarring. Walking and swimming are good but there's the putting on of clothes, shoes, swimsuit. Anything that is the slightest obstacle is enough for me not to do it. Even yoga is a pain and unenjoyable until I get past the stiff stage. But aerobics do work out the stuck rage and anxiety as long as it's not chronically overly stimulating.

Mostly anything is better than nothing but it's got to be totally uncomplicated and accessible when I'm brain warped or I simply won't do it. So, I pulled my 5 year-old rebounder mini-trampoline I never used out of the garage 6 months ago and have been jumping on it and it's proven to be the best yet. It's a very good quality one, not the cheap kind you get from a sports store which will cause injury and stress to joints. It sits in my living room so I can't avoid it, I don't have to get dressed out of my jammies even except to put on a bra and ballet slippers (bare feet work, except our cats like to sit on it and they drag prickly outdoors things in with them), it's low impact, fun, and takes about 10 minutes to get a REALLY good sweat and heart rate going. I use it with the stability bar for balance and hand weights when I'm really motivated. Even two minutes gets the lymph circulating and helps clean out toxins. I don't always use it which is dumb because I really do have 2 minutes to spare, but discipline is hard.
>> I have an IUD which releases progestin. I've noticed since I've had it, that I've had some more mood swings. My gynecologist denies this b/c it is only supposed to work locally.

**Your gyn is wrong. You have a circulating blood supply, it's not a closed system where blood only circulates in that area. You're getting a dose of it. Progesterone is a known suspect in causing depression, and progestin, which is synthetic causes additional side effects. You're not getting a large dose but all the same it could be tipping the scales, especially if you noticed a difference since getting it. It's a dilemma if it is the progestin and you want to keep the IUD. I don't know of any natural methods to counteract the effects. It's something to consider as more information for the puzzle.

>>When you say natural, do you mean the soy stuff?

**No, I take a bioavailable miconized progesterone prescription called 'Prometrium' and a natural estrogen called 'Estrace' which I get from my conventional ob/gyn. They're derived from the wild yam, but a modified to exactly mimic our own hormones. This is for menopause and probably wouldn't apply to you. When you reach that stage and things haven't changed much in the medical field, you have to insist on the bioavailable stuff cause they'll try to give you the synthetics. The soy stuff isn't a good choice for me because it interfers with the thyroid gland. Hormones are huge players in the mood thing and it's criminal that most medical providers don't seem to make this connection.

> I also want to give the fish oil a whirl. I figure that it couldn't hurt to try. And hell--it's natural. It might even help with Acne. Any experience there?

**Yes, I take a very good product called 'Carlson's Lemon Flavored Castor Oil'. It tastes pretty darn good. To get the brain benefits you'd need a handful of pills which you most likely wouldn't take, so the liquid is better. At least 1 teaspoon twice a day is recommended (refrigerated). I don't always take it, of course, but I think it helps. You can get it from most natural food stores but www.iherb.com has the best prices.

It's definitely helped my oily skin and dry hair. Flax oil is also good, so I take both. Oh, one more thing about the rebounder - you get a fabulous facial exercise from it as well.

> I'm going to visit with a big-wig in the art world in my studio about having a show in a major institution.

***OOOOHHHH, good luck!! The follow through is scary, though. I guess we just have to do the best we can at any moment and learn trust.

 

BTW,what the heck of bobbles? (nm) fluffy

Posted by katia on August 21, 2003, at 15:11:51

In reply to Re: Bobbles, posted by fluffy on August 21, 2003, at 12:07:55

 

Re: BTW,what the heck of bobbles?

Posted by SUMMER2002 on August 21, 2003, at 18:23:16

In reply to BTW,what the heck of bobbles? (nm) fluffy, posted by katia on August 21, 2003, at 15:11:51

I've been reading your emails - picked them up when I did a search on lamactil. I'm new at this chat room but thought I might share some of my experiences and get some feed back.

I went into a deep depression last fall and was prescribed lexipro. After a bad reaction to lexipro (high anxiety etc.) my diagnosis changed from depression to bpII. Over six months I was switched from Trileptal to Zyprexa to Abilify. The latter I was on for several months. I switched pdoc and he prescribed 250 mg lamacital. That's all. I increased dose by 25mg every 4 days. I wasn't sleeping well so he also prescribed Florazapam. At first I felt great - back to my old self - even cleaned the garage (and that's saying alot). But now I'm starting back down into a slump - is that a word? I also don't want to get out of bed in the morning, I walk into walls and my memory is rotten - though much better than when I was on abilify. I have to say I hated how I felt on the abilify. As far as excercise I walk three times a week (2 miles) and try to keep up w/ four kids. I don't know if what I'm going through right now is med related or am I just going through normal up and downs. I just wish I felt as good as I did a couple weeks ago.

Oh well - have to drive my son to swimming lessons. Love to hear your thoughts.

Patricia

 

Re: BTW,what the heck ARE bobbles? SUMMER2002

Posted by katia on August 22, 2003, at 0:49:17

In reply to Re: BTW,what the heck of bobbles?, posted by SUMMER2002 on August 21, 2003, at 18:23:16

> I've been reading your emails - picked them up when I did a search on lamactil. I'm new at this chat room but thought I might share some of my experiences and get some feed back.
>
> I went into a deep depression last fall and was prescribed lexipro. After a bad reaction to lexipro (high anxiety etc.) my diagnosis changed from depression to bpII. Over six months I was switched from Trileptal to Zyprexa to Abilify. The latter I was on for several months. I switched pdoc and he prescribed 250 mg lamacital. That's all. I increased dose by 25mg every 4 days. I wasn't sleeping well so he also prescribed Florazapam. At first I felt great - back to my old self - even cleaned the garage (and that's saying alot). But now I'm starting back down into a slump - is that a word? I also don't want to get out of bed in the morning, I walk into walls and my memory is rotten - though much better than when I was on abilify. I have to say I hated how I felt on the abilify. As far as excercise I walk three times a week (2 miles) and try to keep up w/ four kids. I don't know if what I'm going through right now is med related or am I just going through normal up and downs. I just wish I felt as good as I did a couple weeks ago.
>
> Oh well - have to drive my son to swimming lessons. Love to hear your thoughts.
>
> Patricia

Hi Patricia,
Is lexapro the only anti-depressant (AD) that you've tried? What other indicators led your doctor to believe that you are bipolar? Do you feel that's the case?
Katia

 

Re: BTW,what the heck ARE bobbles?

Posted by fluffy on August 22, 2003, at 11:04:57

In reply to Re: BTW,what the heck ARE bobbles? SUMMER2002, posted by katia on August 22, 2003, at 0:49:17

Hey Katia--

I refer to my little swings as "bobbles". I remember hearing the word a lot as a gymnast and a dancer--when you don't stick a landing and you lose your balance, maybe step out and then step back. The coach or tv announcer says--"ooop--there was a little bobble in her landing--that's gonna cost her some points." (anyway--that's my little analogy)

Welcome summer2002. Glad to have you in our club. I was wondering (like you) last night if my troubles are not so much med related as they are depression related. As much as I thought I was improving, I think the season is catching up with me, and alas, I'm falling back into the blues. I'm feeling low or no motivation (and I've got things to do!--I just lay on the couch watching tv), lack of appetite, tiredness, heavyness, apathy, sadness. jeez--sounds like depression to me. But it's in its mild to moderate stages right now, and I hope to not fall into severe depression.

After talking to my doctor about these new developments, he wants to try Lithium on me. I'm kinda scared--but I think if I respond to it, then it's good. I do feel that I have pretty classic symptoms--at first extreme optomism, energy, lots of ideas, racing thoughts--then I crash into typical depression--slowness, trouble sleeping at night--wanting to sleep all day, no appetite, no interest in pleasure. However, I do seem to have an atypical trait--esp. the rejection sensitivity. Whatever. I just hope i respond.

I also had the bad reaction to Lexapro--I had a doozy of a mixed state--I became obsessed with suicide, I was knashing my teeth, pacing, crying, my thoughts were all layered, I felt like I would explode. That's also when I got my lovely BPII diagnosis. Sometimes I wonder if I'm closer to a BPI.

Miss Summer2002--I sincerely hope your depression doesn't snag you too hard this time around. September can be a rough month on us BP folks. I'm just holding my breath and trying my best.

All I could manage as exercise this morning was 25 jumping jacks. As a former gymnast and dancer, I liked Barb-cat's idea of a trampoline.

best to all of you,
Katy

 

Re: BTW,what the heck of bobbles? SUMMER2002

Posted by BarbaraCat on August 22, 2003, at 12:10:03

In reply to Re: BTW,what the heck of bobbles?, posted by SUMMER2002 on August 21, 2003, at 18:23:16

Welcome, Patricia Summer,
Yuck, it's so hard to know how to treat a depression when you've got other complications, like a probable BPII dx. You might want to get "Why your depression isn't getting better" by Michael Bartos, MD for alot of good info on bipolar issues and depression. There are so many variables, with diet, hormones, all kinds of things playing into mood. However, if you're on Lamictal only, that could be a problem. You're on a dose that is considered high for some people and might need to balance it with a more mellow mood stabilizer. For me, that's been lithium. There are others that supposedly work similarly, like Depakote, but I don't have experience with them and am very happy to remain on lithium. Lithium is primarily known for anti-mania, but is a mild antidepressant, an augmentor of other meds, and is even neuroprotective and suspected of increasing the density of neuron connections.

In my experience, stress is the biggest culprit in mood disorders and can bring on anything from a hypomanic to full blown mania episode on down to a depression or mixed state. So many different stressors to choose from, environmental, financial, family, work, social, on and on. I believe that Lamictal alone is destabilizing and agitating and can predispose one to anxiety and stress. That's been my experience of it and I've learned that I need lithium along with lamictal. I've tried one without the other and alone they didn't work, but together they work wonderfully. I take 600mg lithium and 125mg lamictal. Lithium at 600mg is a relatively very low dose and well below my therapeutic window. I do this for thyroid problems as well as allowing me to skirt around the edge of hypomania and not get too emotionally blunted. This is sometimes productive and sometimes uncomfortable but works well in general. Also, lamictal and lithium seem to be synergistic so you need less of each to do the job.

I tried testing both 'just to see'. I have hypothyroidism and it was getting worse because lithium unfortunately displaces thryoid hormone in the thyroid gland. So I cut back on lithium and tried to go with lamictal only. I felt awful - distracted, depressed, irritable, overly sensitive, doom. I knew I was getting into trouble when I was coming home with palletts of plants from Freddie's, Costco, anywhere, and they'd sit in the sun and wither cause I couldn't get it together to dig the required holes. Then I'd thrash about consumed with guilt and self loathing and exhausted futility - even on lamictal! Within 1 week of restarting lithium I smoothed out. I did a test of tapering off lamictal, just to see if I really needed it, and a different sort of depression came on. More like the slowed, sludgy, mirky kind. I seem to need both, and I've heard that lithium and lamictal are 'a match made in heaven' for bipolar depression. I've mainly been severely depressed, but have been definitely manic which can be very fun and productive but quickly deteriorates into disorganization and then depression which ran the gamut from slowed and deadened to agitated and panicky. The agitated mania and despairing depressions were more frequently beginning to merge into each other as bipolar mixed states which is unbelievably nightmarish. I'm 52 years old and this is not uncommon with untreated bipolar as one gets older. I've only come into lithium and lamictal treatment in the past 2 years and even though I've had major and huge stressors in that time period, I can stand it and my life is my own again. Many people have a gut reaction against lithium and the stigma around it (jeeze, lithium, that must mean I'm really crazy!). I know I did and I still don't mention I'm taking it outside of my 'in the know' circle of friends. I'm so glad I overcame my prejudices and fear around it because it's been a lifesaver. Good luck and keep posting here. We have a lovely and very helpful little group going in this thread and I hope it continues. Happy bobbling! - Barbara

 

Re: BTW,what the heck of bobbles? BarbaraCat

Posted by katia on August 22, 2003, at 12:42:24

In reply to Re: BTW,what the heck of bobbles? SUMMER2002, posted by BarbaraCat on August 22, 2003, at 12:10:03

Good luck and keep posting here. We have a lovely and very helpful little group going in this thread and I hope it continues. Happy bobbling! - Barbara

yay for that! and thanks for the description of bobbles Katy!
Barb, where have you heard that lithium and lam. are a match made in heaven for BP depression? (besides your own experience on it).
Katia

 

Re: BTW,what the heck of bobbles? katia

Posted by SUMMER2002 on August 22, 2003, at 19:56:18

In reply to Re: BTW,what the heck of bobbles? BarbaraCat, posted by katia on August 22, 2003, at 12:42:24

I appreciate the information. I am forty and was also diagnosed with rapid cycling bp. Hypomania only - never been manic. Well at least I say I've never been manic. I have had my own prejudices against lithium and depakote. I also have many stressors. I'll mention the lithium combo with my pdoc. I can relate to dead flowers. We live in very lovely neighborhood and I have two pots on front porch without any plants because I can't get up the energy to put plants in them. Why rush - it's only late August?! My depression is getting worse - my husband thinks it's him/so do I depending on the day. But seriously I don't. I really hate this feeling - like falling down a hole and no way to get out.

I miss the mania side - I haven't had that in long time. But then again not -I also went from rapid cycling to mixed.

Thanks again for the response

Patricia

 

Re: BTW,what the heck of bobbles? katia

Posted by BarbaraCat on August 22, 2003, at 21:14:56

In reply to Re: BTW,what the heck of bobbles? BarbaraCat, posted by katia on August 22, 2003, at 12:42:24

> Barb, where have you heard that lithium and lam. are a match made in heaven for BP depression? (besides your own experience on it).

**I don't have the exact source but it was a professional paper I read on the web. I've heard similar endorsements of it from other web sources and others' personal experiences. If you do a web search on lamictal+lithium you'll get alot of hits. They may not exactly say 'a match made in heaven' but there's alot of impressive research coming in to spark interest.

 

Naturopath visit results, please read

Posted by BarbaraCat on August 22, 2003, at 22:11:59

In reply to Re: BTW,what the heck of bobbles? BarbaraCat, posted by katia on August 22, 2003, at 12:42:24

OK, here's some very interesting stuff. I had my naturopath visit today to go over the results of my tests. I did saliva tests of these hormones: estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, testosterone and cortisol. I also did a test for human growth hormone which makes all the others work. I was waaaaaayyyyyyy off on ALL of them, very, very low except for cortisol. This explains alot, my fibromyalgia, mood disorders, anxiety, weight gain, all of it. Don't forget, I'm already taking menopausal hormones (natural progesterone and estrogen) but the dear HMO folks never saw the need to test my levels. I take thyroid but not enough was getting into my cells even tho' the standard TSH blood tests didn't pick this up. I'm also taking the sex hormones orally which apparently doesn't work very well because of the liver's inability to adequately process them. I now have a different prescription for topical cream consisting of DHEA, progesterone, estriol, estradiol and testosterone. Human grown hormone is a whole other chapter of which books have been written but without adequate levels things fall apart, especially around menopause. Suffice it to say, early and ongoing stress disrupts the proper levels. I'll now be taking daily shots of it. The levels were so low that no matter how much I supplemented other hormones, they'd give up the ghost after a while. Human growth hormone is probably not an issue for y'all, but it illustrates the importance of getting to the underlying lynch-pin.

Time will tell if this will make the difference in my moods but according to my naturopath, there's no way I could be this hormonally unbalanced and NOT be one hurtin' unit. My psych meds are holding me together in the meantime and addressing the symptoms, but not the underlying hormonal imbalance. The more I research, the more convinced I am that this whole HPA-axis disregulation affects all our hormones and THIS is the place we should be looking to solve our mental mysteries. After all, hormones are our 'chemical messengers' and this means neurochemical messengers as well! There are SO MANY hormonal disrupters in our environment that it would be amazing if any of us were A-OK in that department.

So, dear friends, I lovingly and strongly suggest to you to get some really good hormonal testing done. Forget your primary care docs unless they're really really unique. They're good mechanics at broken bones and such but lousy at health. Forget endocrinologists, OB/gyn's, or pdocs. They are tunnel-visioned specialists and can't put the pieces together between hormones, moods and lasting wellness. If you know of a very GOOD naturopath, go there (many of them are inept). If you need a suggestion for a holistically oriented physician, try www.acam.org. However you find a good whole body/mind health professional who knows hormones, do yourself a big favor and make it happen.

I'm very relieved that more pieces of the puzzle are fitting together after YEARS of sleuthing but so damned PISSED at the majority of well-intentioned clueless medical professionals who think they're helping us get well. Drug companies fund the research, the scholarships, the symposiums, the education. No wonder we're taking more drugs and not getting much better.

BTW, this hormonal testing applies to men as well. We all have the same hormones, only in different ratios. - BarbaraCat

 

Re: BTW,what the heck ARE bobbles? fluffy

Posted by SUMMER2002 on August 22, 2003, at 23:09:48

In reply to Re: BTW,what the heck ARE bobbles?, posted by fluffy on August 22, 2003, at 11:04:57

> Hey Katia--
>
> I refer to my little swings as "bobbles". I remember hearing the word a lot as a gymnast and a dancer--when you don't stick a landing and you lose your balance, maybe step out and then step back. The coach or tv announcer says--"ooop--there was a little bobble in her landing--that's gonna cost her some points." (anyway--that's my little analogy)
>
> Welcome summer2002. Glad to have you in our club. I was wondering (like you) last night if my troubles are not so much med related as they are depression related. As much as I thought I was improving, I think the season is catching up with me, and alas, I'm falling back into the blues. I'm feeling low or no motivation (and I've got things to do!--I just lay on the couch watching tv), lack of appetite, tiredness, heavyness, apathy, sadness. jeez--sounds like depression to me. But it's in its mild to moderate stages right now, and I hope to not fall into severe depression.
>
> After talking to my doctor about these new developments, he wants to try Lithium on me. I'm kinda scared--but I think if I respond to it, then it's good. I do feel that I have pretty classic symptoms--at first extreme optomism, energy, lots of ideas, racing thoughts--then I crash into typical depression--slowness, trouble sleeping at night--wanting to sleep all day, no appetite, no interest in pleasure. However, I do seem to have an atypical trait--esp. the rejection sensitivity. Whatever. I just hope i respond.
>
> I also had the bad reaction to Lexapro--I had a doozy of a mixed state--I became obsessed with suicide, I was knashing my teeth, pacing, crying, my thoughts were all layered, I felt like I would explode. That's also when I got my lovely BPII diagnosis. Sometimes I wonder if I'm closer to a BPI.
>
> Miss Summer2002--I sincerely hope your depression doesn't snag you too hard this time around. September can be a rough month on us BP folks. I'm just holding my breath and trying my best.
>
> All I could manage as exercise this morning was 25 jumping jacks. As a former gymnast and dancer, I liked Barb-cat's idea of a trampoline.
>
> best to all of you,
> Katy


Katy,

Wow! That is exactly what happened to me on Lexipro. I had to see a dentist and get a mouth guard to sleep at night. Ditto with the suicidal thoughts, high anxiety and pacing. Needless to say it wasn't a pleasant time.

As far as the hormones go - I wonder if it has caused some of this behavior although I have a history back to college days. We have early menopause in the family and my sisters have been on my case to get hormone levels checked. Only person to go to is ob.

Patricia

 

Re: Naturopath visit results, please read

Posted by lputn333 on August 22, 2003, at 23:18:07

In reply to Naturopath visit results, please read, posted by BarbaraCat on August 22, 2003, at 22:11:59

Hi, I am new to this, I found this by looking up info. on Lexapro. I had a hysterectomy a year ago and was really doing well until a few months ago. I suddenly started getting constant headaches, had trouble breathing, trouble sleeping and mood swings. My doctor said it was stress and prescribed Lexapro to calm me down. It had been working really well but lately I just feel so depressed all the time. It's almost like I'm stuck in this black hole and I can't get out. I'm 42 have been married for 16 years and have 2 daughters. I just need other people I can relate to and discuss this with. Thanks

 

Re: Naturopath visit results, please read BarbaraCat

Posted by katia on August 23, 2003, at 0:29:58

In reply to Naturopath visit results, please read, posted by BarbaraCat on August 22, 2003, at 22:11:59

Hi Barb,
Wow. I'm glad you are finding more pieces to the puzzle. I actually asked my pdoc about testing my hormones, but he said that my "problem" was mood related, probably not hormonal. I wonder if they do affect one another and/or if they are just two individual pieces (to make the whole!)that need sorting out? Maybe you need both?

Have you ever done kundalini yoga? I did a class last year for three months (partially academic, partially meditative for my M.A.) and just went to a local meditation tonight (different teacher). It's pretty intense and I'm wondering if it's too much right now while I'm trying to sort out the meds? My therapist seems to think it might "stir" up too much at the moment. The "teacher" of the yoga said it can only support all life areas. who knows. My therapist is very transpersonal oriented too BTW, so she's not just saying that out of ignorance.
anyway!
take care,
Katia

 

Re: Naturopath visit results, please read

Posted by Ima on August 23, 2003, at 11:10:47

In reply to Re: Naturopath visit results, please read, posted by lputn333 on August 22, 2003, at 23:18:07

> Hi, I am new to this, I found this by looking up info. on Lexapro. I had a hysterectomy a year ago and was really doing well until a few months ago.

Hi Lputn
I have no problem with ADs if their needed. But womens health issues are sometimes more complicated and with a little more investigation, you can find aproaches that are more comprehensive, treat the whole person.
I havent had a hysterectymy but Im peri-mena pausal at 42 (my mom was through her change by the time she was 45) So Our situations are similar.
I was fortunate to find a general Practictioner who believes in natural hormone therapy (actually does reasearch in hormone therapy). These are not the scary hormones we've all heard so much about in the news lately. Those hormones are derived from the urinine of pregnant female horses, bad stuff , very harsh on the body. The ones Im on are a synthetic type, modeled after plants, much easier on the body. They have saved my sanity on more than one occasion.. Please look into it.

We all have to face the change at some point but it can be especially hard when you still have children at home. I take progesterone (PROMETRIUM 100 & 200 mg ) during day 14 - 28 of my cycle. By 40 most womens stores of progsterone are completely depleated. It really helps during the last week. I usually have to take 100 mg in the morning and 200 at night to sleep. The progesterone has a calming effect on my nerves. When I start screaming at the kids for really stupid reasons, I know I need to take or increase my progesterone.

I also take ESTRIOL/ESTRADIOL 20/20 mg in a cream form. I apply to my skin. Estriol gives me more energy and lifts my spirts a bit. I take this during day 1-14. The lack of either of these hormones can have a tremendous effect on your mood.

Having said all that, you may not want to go throught the effects of having a monthly cycle agian. And the estriol will probably impact that. Progesterone most likely wouldnt.

It had been working really well but lately I just feel so depressed all the time. It's almost like I'm stuck in this black hole and I can't get out. I'm 42 have been married for 16 years and have 2 daughters. I just need other people I can relate to and discuss this with. Thanks

Talk with your doc about ALL your options. The lexpro may just need more time.
Every one here knows about the black hole. Have you seen the movie "A Gathering Storm"? Winston Churchill called his black times "black dog days".
Blessings to you.
Peace
Ima


 

Re: Naturopath visit results, please read

Posted by jota on August 23, 2003, at 11:29:50

In reply to Re: Naturopath visit results, please read, posted by Ima on August 23, 2003, at 11:10:47

A lot of evidence has been accumulating that men with treatment-resistant depression have very low levels of testosterone. When we finally checked it, mine turned out to be off the charts low. I would definitely urge men reading this forum to get theirs checked.

Jordan

 

Re: Naturopath visit results, please read katia

Posted by BarbaraCat on August 23, 2003, at 12:22:16

In reply to Re: Naturopath visit results, please read BarbaraCat, posted by katia on August 23, 2003, at 0:29:58

>>I actually asked my pdoc about testing my hormones, but he said that my "problem" was mood related, probably not hormonal. I wonder if they do affect one another and/or if they are just two individual pieces (to make the whole!)that need sorting out? Maybe you need both?

**Your pdoc is not the one to ask about hormonal testing. He/she likely knows nothing about how to decipher them or how the numbers might relate to mood. I asked my gynocologist to please test me and he, who should know about female hormones, said most doctors don't use hormonal testing because they don't know what to do with the numbers!! And yes, of course hormones affect mood and vice versa. The function of hormones is to prodvide communication between bio- and neuro-chemicals. If one system is out of whack it will affect the whole. The brain has a huge number of estrogen receptors, so this should suggest how important supposedly 'unrelated' physical hormones are to neuro systems. There are no separate physical/mental pieces. They all relate to the whole. This is why you'd be best talking to someone who is holistically oriented, who recognizes that all body systems are interrelated and knows what to do with this information. Reproductive hormones may not be your entire problem and granted, mood and stress affects hormone levels. But if you're hormonally unbalanced, you're swimming against the tide to try to get your moods balanced.
>
> Have you ever done kundalini yoga? I did a class last year for three months (partially academic, partially meditative for my M.A.) and just went to a local meditation tonight (different teacher). It's pretty intense and I'm wondering if it's too much right now while I'm trying to sort out the meds?

**Yes, I've done kundalini and there are different types. You say that this one is intense. I'd agree with your therapist on this one and wait until you're stabilized. If you go too fast raising energy before you're in a very grounded state, it would be like shooting a huge zap of electricity through a frayed wire. There's a psychiatric condition known as 'kundalini psychosis', believe it or not. Yoga is wonderful for depression and anxiety but again, there are so many different kinds. I'd opt for the more calming and centering kinds, like Kripalu, Anusara, even Iyengar, and be cautious about the really activating ones like Kriya, Kundalini, Ashtanga (Bikram). However, if you get a good gut reaction to this class and teacher and it would be a good community, good exercise and good philosphy then it could be a real gift during this time. Whatever, you can keep a cool head and body as well as taking with a grain of salt anything any teacher tells you.

 

Katia and Patricia--a good book

Posted by fluffy on August 23, 2003, at 13:17:23

In reply to Re: Naturopath visit results, please read katia, posted by BarbaraCat on August 23, 2003, at 12:22:16

Hey Katia and Patricia--

Aside from all of this Psycho-babble stuff, I've found that one book in particular was extremely helpful to me when I was first diagnosed. And I have finally bought a copy instead of getting it from the library. When I feel like I am questioning what's going on with my moods/diagnosis, it straightens me out and gives good treatment options. It's called "The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide". I highly recommend it, even though it doesn't dwell on the particularities of bipolar II. All of the information can be applied.

Just a thought--take it or leave it.
I hope you guys are well. I've cycled out once again, and feeling normal. However, the Li is coming soon--I have an appt. on monday with my pdoc.

Katy

 

Re: Naturopath visit results, please read

Posted by Ima on August 23, 2003, at 14:46:36

In reply to Re: Naturopath visit results, please read katia, posted by BarbaraCat on August 23, 2003, at 12:22:16

Its okay for me to respond to responses, right?(Im still new at this :)

> >>I actually asked my pdoc about testing my hormones, but he said that my "problem" was mood related, probably not hormonal. I wonder if they do affect one another and/or if they are just two individual pieces (to make the whole!)that need sorting out? Maybe you need both?

Hormone balance no problem after a hysterectemy? Pleeease!
Of course they affect each other, but your right , the depression problem may exist in some people from childhood, even before puberty.
>
> **Your pdoc is not the one to ask about hormonal testing.

Definately.

** said most doctors don't use hormonal testing because they don't know what to do with the numbers!!

As my GP told me the numbers are not the best indicator of a womans hormonal needs. You & I may test in the normal range for estrogen levels but not feel the same. I may need more than you to feel normal.

The question is do you want to open the hormonal can of worms? It will take alot energy to get it balanced and then youll have to deal with cycles again. If you feel in your gut that this may be a piece of the puzzle, it wont hurt to start. There are little side effects to Natural hormone therapy.

** But if you're hormonally unbalanced, you're swimming against the tide to try to get your moods balanced.

I agree. But the change of menopause (in this case, pre mature) is inevitable. At some point we (woman)all will have to live with diminshed hormone capacity. That was one of the factors that figured into the national study. Women were taking Premarin long after the change because they "felt better". But the 1 - 2% increase in cancer is a serious consideration.

**It's pretty intense and I'm wondering if it's too much right now while I'm trying to sort out the meds?

Youll get lots of helpful suggestions and ideas to look into on this site. You know what you need. Follow your gut and keep investigating.

A great book on Hormones is "Natural Hormone Balace for Woman" by Uzzi Reiss

Peace
Ima

 

Re: Naturopath visit results, please read BarbaraCat

Posted by katia on August 23, 2003, at 15:23:04

In reply to Re: Naturopath visit results, please read katia, posted by BarbaraCat on August 23, 2003, at 12:22:16

>There's a psychiatric condition known as 'kundalini psychosis', believe it or not.

Yes, I've known about this.

>>Yoga is wonderful for depression and anxiety but again, there are so many different kinds. I'd opt for the more calming and centering kinds, like Kripalu, Anusara, even Iyengar, and be cautious about the really activating ones like Kriya, Kundalini, Ashtanga (Bikram).

Actually Ashtanga and Bikram are two different types. I do Bikram sometimes/often and it helps. But I don't consider it yoga so much.

>However, if you get a good gut reaction to this class and teacher and it would be a good community, good exercise and good philosphy then it could be a real gift during this time. Whatever, you can keep a cool head and body as well as taking with a grain of salt anything any teacher tells you.

yes, I agree. This is not a movement yoga. It's sitted meditation working actively with the charkas. I'm going to go to a few different kinds of meditations and see what feels best.

As you probably know from the previous posts, I contacted my pdoc and told him about my reaction (initial) to Depakote. He told me to ramp it up and see what happens. I did and am at 500mg now for three days. I didn't need the Seroquel for sleep last night and slept well. I'm starting to feel a bit more stable, which is great. But I'm still not quite there.

thanks for your input.
Katia


Go forward in thread:


Show another thread

URL of post in thread:


Psycho-Babble Medication | Extras | FAQ


[dr. bob] Dr. Bob is Robert Hsiung, MD, bob@dr-bob.org

Script revised: February 4, 2008
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/cgi-bin/pb/mget.pl
Copyright 2006-17 Robert Hsiung.
Owned and operated by Dr. Bob LLC and not the University of Chicago.