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What to do about Manic depression/bi-polar disorder?

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Kurt Codean

Hello everybody. I was wondering if anyone had some advice on how to deal with manic-depression/bi-polar disorder? I was never diagnosed by a doctor but believe I might be suffering from one of these illnesses. I've basically been feeling more or less depressed beginning about 15 years ago. When it first started I went from feeling great to feeling like a train wreck like the flick of a switch. This was a few months after I experimented with ecstacy(mdma). I remember doing it only once and then feeling good for several months after that, then I had this episode where I all of the sudden started having this insomnia for years. It was really brutal at first. I was getting little to no sleep for weeks on end, and it seems like years have passed and not much has change. I do sleep better now but I still have times when I wake up after only 3 hours of sleep and then can't fall asleep again. I'm always worried about whether I'm going to have a restless night. I keep hoping these feelings will pass but sometimes they get the better of me and I start feeling extremely paranoid and anxious. I hate to think the rest of my life will be this way. I'm on Celexa and Clonazepam, but I don't think they are really solving any of my problems. Anyway long story short it's been about 15 years since I've felt truly stable. I used to feel strong and confident but now I feel weak and helpless. My biggest fear is that I will feel this way for the rest of my life. Well if anyone has any advice I'd appreciate it. I have seen doctors by the way and brought up some of these issues but for the most part they weren't resolved. 

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Leigh Anne

Hey, Admin and 2earls,

i think we need to give an award for longest consecutive posts in the history of dbg!  Lol!

 

 

On a more serious note...thanks for sharing your stories guys.  Much love to you!  Lots and lots of love,  

Sorry I've written such long posts.  It's just that I have so much to say about the topic, and so few people I can talk to about it...Leigh Anne

please do not apologize. i was teasing you guys before, sorry if I gave the wrong impression.  If you have it to say, we are all here to listen and share our own knowledge.  Your posts will definitely help someone realize that they are not alone.  I can tell you, from my experience, not feeling alone is HUGE.  When I found this site three years ago I was broken with a nasty Tramadol habit.  Mydoctor told me it was non-addictive and I could not  understand why". When I lucked out...I found this site and realized that there were manymany people hooked as well.  That feeling of finding someone in the same boat as you, andi beng able to talk about it with so many people  was priceless.  Absolutely priceless.  So keep on sharing as much as you like!  We are all here to listen and share. That is what we are all about.  We even warn/suspend/ban people that are volatile on the site., We want to make everyone comfortble here, and to be able to share......ALL of it. 

much love to you guys

Thank you for the reassurance.  It is so nice to have a connection with people who understand the day to day struggles...

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Jackie Chiles
On 08/17/2015 at 7:28 PM, Kurt Codean said:

Hello everybody. I was wondering if anyone had some advice on how to deal with manic-depression/bi-polar disorder? I was never diagnosed by a doctor but believe I might be suffering from one of these illnesses. I've basically been feeling more or less depressed beginning about 15 years ago. When it first started I went from feeling great to feeling like a train wreck like the flick of a switch. This was a few months after I experimented with ecstacy(mdma). I remember doing it only once and then feeling good for several months after that, then I had this episode where I all of the sudden started having this insomnia for years. It was really brutal at first. I was getting little to no sleep for weeks on end, and it seems like years have passed and not much has change. I do sleep better now but I still have times when I wake up after only 3 hours of sleep and then can't fall asleep again. I'm always worried about whether I'm going to have a restless night. I keep hoping these feelings will pass but sometimes they get the better of me and I start feeling extremely paranoid and anxious. I hate to think the rest of my life will be this way. I'm on Celexa and Clonazepam, but I don't think they are really solving any of my problems. Anyway long story short it's been about 15 years since I've felt truly stable. I used to feel strong and confident but now I feel weak and helpless. My biggest fear is that I will feel this way for the rest of my life. Well if anyone has any advice I'd appreciate it. I have seen doctors by the way and brought up some of these issues but for the most part they weren't resolved. 

If you're Bipolar, you will not need to be on Benzos all your life, that's part of the treatment. My suggestion is that you find a doctor, and explain how you feel. You'll be put on mood stabilizers and antidepressants. They will help you to manage your symptoms, and get your life back. It's already past due for fifteen years. Good luck! If you have any questions or just want to let it it out, we -  or at least I - will be here.

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Leigh Anne
On ‎7‎/‎22‎/‎2016 at 4:14 PM, Jackie Chiles said:

If you're Bipolar, you will not need to be on Benzos all your life, that's part of the treatment. My suggestion is that you find a doctor, and explain how you feel. You'll be put on mood stabilizers and antidepressants. They will help you to manage your symptoms, and get your life back. It's already past due for fifteen years. Good luck! If you have any questions or just want to let it it out, we -  or at least I - will be here.

I think that antidepressants actually can throw you INTO a manic phase--that happened with my best friend and one of my nieces.  The mood stabilizer would be good, there are several out there, none of them scheduled high, and they are mostly really old drugs meaning your co-pay (if you're lucky enough to be insured) should be relatively inexpensive.  These two people I mention when they started just the mood stabilizer/s, experienced significant relief after maybe a week?  You won't likely see immediate results, but keep taking it, and one day soon, you'll realize that your focus is better, your mind has calmed somewhat, and on the occasions you would have confronted someone in the past, you'll be able to walk away.  My niece still has some anxiety, but her quality of life is much improved.  My BFF has had to live w/her parents as an adult waiting on disability, and she just doesn't even engage when her family want to argue--she may make a calm comment, and then walk away.  Before, the fights would escalate & escalate, and she would have to leave the house to find sanctuary somewhere else for a period of time.  She has also been able to start reading again--slow, but able to follow simple narrative and to be still/calm and not distracted.  The drugs they take are Tr!leptal (sp?), and Geodon(sp?).  You have to be consistent in taking the meds, it is not an instant fix, and remember that with any mental illness, the meds are about 40-50% of treatment--the rest is up to you (cut toxic people out, eat well, get sunshine as much as possible, exercise if you can and it doesn't have to be rigorous to get the endorphin boost).  The family MD is OK sometimes to start with & if the meds work, great.  If not, then you need a psychiatric consult.  No shame in getting help, and it really may improve your quality of life!  I know it's been a week since you wrote this, but I don't get on here often as I would like.  Best wishes!  Leigh Anne

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Jackie Chiles

@Leigh Anne

Hello, :)

Well, first of all which kind of Bipolar are we talking about? Type 2 can easily be treated with a small dose of SSRI, but rather they favor  SNRIs, nowadays, and something that balances the manic episodes out, like Lithium, or Depakote or if you're not a big fan of quite frequent blood tests, you could go with Lamictal. Bipolar 1 is a much severe form, as the manic episodes are much more intense, a longer-lasting, Sometimes months of hardcore mania, schizophrenia, hallucinations, and the depression is usually shorter lasting, but at least as severe as type 2's. Obviously I'd never spiked a Type 1 with a ton of anti-depressants, maybe I small amount of Apriprazole (Abilify) which is grate to prevent acute mania, paired with Lithium, or Depakote. I'm not an MD in psychiatry, but these are often prescribed meds for both conditions, statistics shows they work quite well.

6 hours ago, Leigh Anne said:

the meds are about 40-50% of treatment--the rest is up to you (cut toxic people out, eat well, get sunshine as much as possible, exercise if you can and it doesn't have to be rigorous to get the endorphin boost

These is a great advice, as myself a Type 2, my depression is takes up about 80-85% of my illness, manic episodes are a couple days  months, quite short and mild. When I'm in that 80-85% for me is impossible to crawl out of bed, and do extra work. It totally drains me, I just want to shot the door on everybody and be alone in my room.

I can function great at work, of course mental illnesses are the worse, when you stop being busy, the outside stimuli reduce, and your mind starts to worry about usually nothing.  Well, that's all I could add from my experience, personal and professional. Hope your niece gets better soon!

Edited by Jackie Chiles

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catnsdogz

Experienced bond-fide bi-polar warrior here: It's super important to avoid fucking around with your serotonin and dopamine levels in a way that can trigger mania. Everyone is different but with us bipolars it isn't a  matter of if but when messing with s&d will make you manic - I find that my perfect combo of meds is as follows:

 

Effexor XR 225mg in the morning

Abilify - 15mg at night 

Xanax - 1mg PRN up to twice a day

Gabapentin 900mg at night 

 

The abilify was the real change though - I have been on depakote, lithium and seroquel and they made me stay alive but not be able to live...

 

If I needed to change my meds I would maybe add lithium but thats all. It sounds terrrible but if you stick to the extremelly high priced psych meds you'll be fine take the cheap stuff and you'll be fucked... look at zoloft ( you will have to take atleast 2 or 3 other medications just to get rid of the side effects ) Just my 2c.

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