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Thread: Scared to try drugs for bipolar treatment. Dr suggested trying antiepileptic drugs

  1. I feel bad @msj288 you were asking a simple question of which, not did just no one who was qualified to answer your question (which asked for anyone on guabapentin or topamax to express their experience with it) answer you but a whole (useless for you I would think) sort of brawl erupted. I take gabapentin, and am Bipolar ll, also was diagnosed ADHD. I am also taking wellbutrin, and lamictal. I was also on prozac and clonapin with these which all helped me alot but then my Dr. decided to take me off the later 2. Anyway. I am not feeling as much help with gabapentin as I thought I would. it took a while to get used to, b/c at first it made me sleepy. I am just not sure I am noticing much of a difference (mood-wise) from it. It is awesome for peripheral nerve pain ( which is why I still take it ). I know we all react different to meds, but if you are suffering it is good to give the med therapies a try as they can greatly help. Just be patient give a med 6-8 wks before you give up on it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gallimaufry View Post
    Bipolar 2 is not truly something that needs to be treated
    I respectfully disagree.
    Helpful billyboy Rated helpful

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    I take have MajorDepressive Disorder,Bipolar 1,& Ptsd.I take Elavi Mirtazapine,Valium,Abilify,& Topomax for my condition which is chronic.
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    150327-081706.jpg This is what self mutilation looks like (1 week healed) I have Major Depressive Disorder, and was recently diagnosed with bipolar II. I also self-mutilate and have body dysmorphia.
    I take Serequel in place of Abilify, Welbutrin, and Xanax for panic attacks.
    You are not alone my friend.
    PS I am not proud of my self harm. It is embarrassing. However, here on PR I am open and honest. I feel safe.
    My arms are not my only casualty. I am not a bad looking woman, but I've scarred myself terribly
    Quote Originally Posted by cajunbulldog View Post
    I take have MajorDepressive Disorder,Bipolar 1,& Ptsd.I take Elavi Mirtazapine,Valium,Abilify,& Topomax for my condition which is chronic.
    Last edited by MayreeAngel2; 03-27-2015 at 11:43 AM. Reason: picture
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  6. Hi, first of all, I want to let you know that you're not alone and the fact that you are able to be treated for this and are actually seeking treatment for it is a very good thing. Bipolar runs in my family and I was diagnosed with it in my early 20s. Ive pretty much tried every med on the market and I will say this. Is everyone is different. What has worked for me may not work for you and vice versa. The key is to definitely start with small doses unless you're having a manic episode that needs emergency stabilizers. Abilify works well for many people but the main side effect is tardiv disconesia. Ive known someone who got that from abilify and it was horrible for her and if you can use a different med, id recommend it. Ive tried both topamax and gabapenton. The gaba was for nerve pain tho and as with all the nerve and fybro meds, I have a horrible mental and physical reaction to them. They cause serious depression, ocd thoughts, rage and thoughts of suicide. They also cause my seizure disorder to reach its threshold which is odd bcuz they are supposed to treat seizures. But that reaction although rare can happen. Topamax is not good for me either. When I was first diagnosed I was put on zyprexa and depakote. I gained 120 pnds within 9 months. Weight gain is a big side effect with many of these meds and the zyprexa and Risperdal are the worst. I tried the topamax bcuz it actually helps people lose weight but even though I lost 20 pounds in 2 weeks, the mental reaction was well crazy. I felt completely insane. I couldn't tell the difference between reality anymore and it also caused my seizure disorder to worsen. My reactions to meds are very different than most people. If there is a rare side effect to it, I will most definitely get it. Im the person theyre talking about on the commercials when they list that huge array of rediculous side effects that make you wonder why anyone would take that med in thd first place. Anyway, im not saying this to scare you, but to share with you that through all the side effects ive gone through from trying different meds to treat different things, ive learned one huge lesson. That is, learn to read your body and mind. Take the time to stop and think is this something I can deal with or not? Communication is absolutely critical in finding out the right combo for you. If your psych dr is good, he'll listen to you and treat you according to your personal needs and when you tell him, I cant handle this, he will taper down slowly, go up slowly, or take you off completely and should know exactly what kind of med is going to work with your chemical make up. Currently, im on a very low dose of depakote and celexa. Its been working just fine for yrs now. There are occasions where it could be better but its tolerable enough that I do not want to change and risk having a mental breakdown. My dad is bipolar and takes zoloft and effexor. When his dr changed his zoloft to the generic, he almost killed a coworker so whatever you start taking make sure you stick with it. Dont change from brand to generic and vice versa. They aren't the same. Also, keep in mind that you need to be the one to keep track of every med you try and every reaction you have. My ex psych dr was always wanting to try me on meds I had tried and had horrible reactions to. If I felt agitated or depressed shed try to put me back on Risperdal. It took me a damn yr to ween off that crap.dont take it unless you want facial hair, lactating breasts and 60pnds of extra weight. Anyway if I had not known every med and reaction I had, I would've gone through hell cycling through med after med over n over again. And last but not least. If your dr is an idiot. Change doctors. This is your life, your sanity and noone is gonna live it for you. If you ever want to talk, please feel free to pm me..take care...ss
    Helpful billyboy, Carter, MMH Rated helpful
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  7. #26
    In the US another epilepsy drug is also used as a mood stabilizer. Depakote. You can get blood levels to make sure that you are in the therapeutic range, just like with lithium. Lithium can be difficult on the kidneys after long term use, which is why doctors have tried topamax, lamictal and some other combos first. Hope this helps someone. B.
    Helpful Carter, blowingrock Rated helpful

  8. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by MayreeAngel2 View Post
    I have Major Depressive Disorder, and was recently diagnosed with bipolar II. I also self-mutilate and have body dysmorphia.
    (
    You clearly prove that mental illness is very real and something that needs to be medically supervised.

    My assistant's daughter, age 24, was a cutter pre-teens. The psychiatrists and medications have kept it in check until last year, when the illness reared its ugly head. The daughter started to drink and smoke dope; apparently this wreaked havoc with her current medications.

    @SilverShadow Your post is loaded with relevant information. Going forward, please break it up with paragraphs.
    Helpful MayreeAngel2, blowingrock Rated helpful
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  9. @MayreeAngel2 . Thank you. I will definitely do that. Thank you for reminding of that.
    Likes MayreeAngel2 liked this post

  10. @MayreeAngel2 . Your assistants daughter sounds alot like me. I self mutilated during preteens and starting doing drugs when I was 16. Mainly meth. When I was in my teens, the drs thought I might have bi polar tendencies, but doing drugs with meds is a very bad mixture so unfortunately, I couldn't be treated and never got sober enough or even came home long enough to see if it was possible unil I was 18. Then I got sober, got a job, got married and had my daughter by 22 and when I hit 24, I started doing meth again.
    I had already been diagnosed with bipolar at this point and started medication for it but got pregnant and my dr immediately dropped me and discontinued my meds. It was aweful.

    Worse than if I had never even started. I lost the baby but didn't start back up on my meds afterwards and went into a manic episode and started doing meth again. That lasted for only 3 months thank God, because I was about to lose everything. My daughter meant more to me than anything. So I got back on meds and have dealt with all the side effects because id rather be fat and sane and a good mom n wife, than skinny and insane with nothing and noone.

    Im blessed and fortunate though. Not everyone seeks treatment and sticks with it. Many people get off the meds because they don't like feeling "even" and the other side effects of these meds. My life now tho has been totally worth it.
    Helpful MMH Rated helpful

  11. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by SilverShadow View Post
    Your assistants daughter sounds alot like me. I self mutilated during preteens and starting doing drugs when I was 16. Mainly meth. .
    You didn't know it but you were self-medicating. Meth worked for you. Crack or heroin or alcohol or 'codones and 'contins work for others. All addicts have a drug of choice.

    I will say it until I'm blue in the face. Addicts turn to drugs to self medicate an undiagnosed mental illness.
    Helpful MMH Rated helpful

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    @msj288 ,

    I really feel for what you are now going thru. The same thing happened to me, "twice" once from a Psychiatrist, when I was in my 20's, and again, from, my
    another Psychiatrist, when I was in my late 40's. It was painful for me to read your statements. Psychiatrist number one, was before ADD, ADHD was recognized
    in Adults, decades ago, and after initially being given a DX for DSM II Anxiety Neurosis, later, comorbid with cyclethymia, my Psychiatrist, switched me from daytime
    Valium, and the sedatives, Nembutal, briefly, later Quaalude for insomnia, he started using me like a lab rat, due to my daytime personality, and, I went thru one
    full year of hell, I was prescribed, Mellaril (Sandoz) anti-psychotic, which immediately placed me in a dissociative fog, no euphoria, then, Sparine tablets, (Wyeth)
    another anti-psychotic, that knocked me out for 24 hours, and, I slurred my speech so badly, I withdrew from socializing, due to the extreme lethargy, later, was
    placed on Lithium 1,200 mg a day, and I was emotionless, slow, gained 20 lbs, before he reduced the dose to 900mg, eventually 450mg, and, I felt my IQ dropped
    from around 110 to 90. Lithium ruined my sex life as well, as did the most of the other anti-psychotics.

    I took @Kelly15120 advice, I made a radical change, dropped my Psychiatrist, dropped my girlfriend I truly loved, and transferred Universities from Univ of Ga, Athens,
    to Univ of Miami, CoralGables. I found a more understanding M,D there, who kept me on "would you believe Dexedrine Spansules for Narcolepsy, and, Quaalude for
    two more years, and Valium 10mg PRN, as Valium was not a controlled substance until July 1, 1975.

    Movng forward many, many years now. I am now in my late 40's, and I return to undergraduate school, and grad school, 20 yrs later, and I first get the same kind of
    guina pig patient to Psychiatrist relationship. I am placed on heavy doses of "Trilafon" (Perphenzine) another anti psychotic, and 2 x 450 mg of Neurotin, (Gabapentin)
    and this was used to taper me down completely from both diazepam and alprazolam. I nearly flunked out of school from feeling this dissociative disorder, and my
    thinking is all fxxked up. A miracle happened in 1994 when I read Driven to Distraction, and Answers to Distraction (Halloween and Ratey, both M.D's with ADHD.
    I convinced this M.D after two years of hell, to allow me to try Ritalin I/R and, Clonazepam. This Psychiatrist moved later out of town, and I was referred to a Guardian
    Angel Psychiatrist, he upgraded me to Dexedrine I/R + Dexedrine Spansules, and kept me on 2mg of generic Clonazepam. My grades went way up, I made the Dean's
    List,and was graduated at age 45 (BS Psychology). Entered grad school and married a RN.

    The only problem I had 12 years later, was my wife divorced me, and I got a bit crazy, and my Psychiatrist of 15 years as of now, because I received a Restraining Order
    most unfairly, my shrink added Bipolar II comorbid to my ADD inattentive type. I was placed on Seroquel. for 6 months, and, it knocked me out so hard at night, if the
    my house burned down, I could not have waked up. I was again, in a Dissociative Trance state 24/7, even still taking Adderall I/R. Abilify I could not stand it, nor could I
    tolerate Lamictal. My Pychiatrist, after a year of experimenting with me, returned me to Dexedrine Spansules x 2 per day, and 10mg of Ambien, and 9 years of off label
    I/R Trazodone . I did not quit him because, he had many good traits. I am still with him now, and the experimenting stopped around 2009.

    Med Schedule: I am over 60 now, and after being on Dexedrine Spansules generic, and Adderall brand & generic since 1999, I am switching this month to 2 x 10 mg of
    d-amphetamine instant release 10mg. No more generic Klonopin or Trazodone (I never really liked) and no more 10 yrs use of Zolpidem. I use IOP's for my lightweight
    hypnotics, the past 5 years, switch around from Diazepam, to Triazolam (Halcion) to generic 10 mg Zolpidem.
    @Kelly15120 ,
    I took the MMPI twice decades ago, and scored a 6/4 (Fear and Anger( sky high) with a score of 95 on Paranoid Scale, and 87 on the antisocial scale (the angry scale)

    I also took in the year 2000, Theodore Millon Ph.D's MCMI-II for Axis II Personality Disorders, and I scored, a 115 over the top for DSM-III-R Passive Aggressive
    Personality Disorder. A score of 85+ means one qualifies for all of the traits of the 10 or 11 Personality Disorders. DSMIII-R code 301.84 (now removed from DSM V)
    My Bipolar score on this test was only a 60.

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    @msj288
    Just my 2 cents worth, in 2005, DELIVERED TO DISTRACTION, was published by Dr. Hallowell and Dr. Ratey. There is a entire chapter devoted to "is it ADHD or is
    it Bipolar Disorder. The examples between the two disorders are striking!!! It gave me much humility to read this chapter in this book ISBN 0-345-44230-x

    I have personally known of 5 adults of both genders, who had either Bipolar I or II, and their behavior off of their meds was UNFORGETTABLE. Embarrassing and Sad.
    Also, if you can get a rental VHS or DVD of the 1993 movie MR JONES with Richard Gere, It is about Bipolar I disease, It will tear your heart out emotionally, it is a good
    movie, I have seen it 5 times and I own it. Life is too short, IMHO I would cautiously seek out a referral for another Psychiatrist. Just my 2 cents worth.
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    I had excellent results written lamictal. No side effects. Abilify gave my muscle spasms/cramping in my feet, and I had no insurance at the time and couldn't afford it. But lamictal haS always been one of my go to meds, just because of the complete lack of side effects I experiencec
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    I have been on Abilify 30mgs daily for over 9 years. I experience no side effects from it & it really stabilizes my moods. I do not have insurance for prescriptions & I could never afford the cost of Abilify. I have been

    getting mine for free from their Patient Assistance Program. If you can meet the financial requirements the company sends a 3 month supply to the doctor & I pick it up. Abilify has changed my lifelong mood swings so

    much for the better. I don't know what I would do without it.
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    Thought I would revive this thread. I am. Bipolar very rapid cycling. I am on Lithium, Lamictal, and Geodon. I also take. Tramadol for back pain as well as bp meds and taoazole for overactive thyroid. Not really looking for help here just looking for people to identify with who understand what being bipolar is like. This may sound crazy but I truly love going manic. I think only those who are bipolar would understand that one. Its like having this surge of incredible power where you are all powerful and can do no wrong.
    Went off my three psych meds for a while and went on a manic spree. Now looking back I feel like a drunk who comes out of a blackout and is reminded of what he did during his black out. Sheesh. Can anybody relate?
    Bit of a cynic here seems like you get tons of response if you post outlandish manic stuff but get hardly a peep if you post something truly meaningful. Peoole just dont understand us bipolar folks.
    Last edited by donaldduck; 03-04-2016 at 08:55 PM.

  17. #36
    Hi @msj288 and fellow PR friends,

    I wanted to chime in because I learned something from a fellow friend here on our forum that might help some of you, too. There is a book called The Opiate Cure written by Robert T Cochran, MD and the book is utterly amazing. I don't want to advocate additional medicine because I'm not a medical doctor, but I did want to pass along this info.. in hopes that it will bring some of you an alternative form of relief.

    The books is about stories of Dr Cochran's patients who happened to have bipolar depression and mania, ADD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and narcolepsy. His studies showed that his patients were responding wonderfully to opiates being added to their routines. I do not want to advocate the use of opiates if you don't have to take them (I'm forced to as a PM patient and being dependent on any type of medicine is a double - edge sword... because 1)it almost gives us our lives back, but 2) we truly, genuinely need them albeit the judgment received by the general public and the lack of support I happen to get from my own doctors.

    Anyways, I didn't mean to get on a rant about being judged (I don't judge and wish others wouldn't - but that's why I depend on my PR friends for support - the support I cannot get from people in my 'physical world').

    But, Dr Cochran's book discusses insights and hope for those of us who suffer from any of the aforementioned disorders. My heart and prayers go out to all of you ... I truly understand where you are coming from.
    Helpful davidpaul, wintermute Rated helpful
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gramma View Post
    Hi @msj288 and fellow PR friends,

    I wanted to chime in because I learned something from a fellow friend here on our forum that might help some of you, too. There is a book called The Opiate Cure written by Robert T Cochran, MD and the book is utterly amazing. I don't want to advocate additional medicine because I'm not a medical doctor, but I did want to pass along this info.. in hopes that it will bring some of you an alternative form of relief.

    The books is about stories of Dr Cochran's patients who happened to have bipolar depression and mania, ADD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and narcolepsy. His studies showed that his patients were responding wonderfully to opiates being added to their routines. I do not want to advocate the use of opiates if you don't have to take them (I'm forced to as a PM patient and being dependent on any type of medicine is a double - edge sword... because 1)it almost gives us our lives back, but 2) we truly, genuinely need them albeit the judgment received by the general public and the lack of support I happen to get from my own doctors.

    Anyways, I didn't mean to get on a rant about being judged (I don't judge and wish others wouldn't - but that's why I depend on my PR friends for support - the support I cannot get from people in my 'physical world').

    But, Dr Cochran's book discusses insights and hope for those of us who suffer from any of the aforementioned disorders. My heart and prayers go out to all of you ... I truly understand where you are coming from.
    I have heard of people being on buprenorphine, for mental health issues. I am prescribed for it for chronic spine pain.
    Just when you mentioned it there, It just reminded of person i spoke to one day last summer. That he was prescribed buprenorphine
    For mental health issues. And he said that i was not at the dose, which is used for opioid replacement treatment. ( in his words crazy amounts!!)
    As pain relief it used in smaller amounts.
    Helpful Gramma Rated helpful

  19. I would be very careful of any doctor who prescribes opiods for mental health issues. Yes, they work, but are a short term solution to a long term problem in my mind.

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    Bipolar meds can suck, but so does bipolar disorder. I don't think anyone should be scared of trying them. At worst, they don't help and cause reversible side effects; at best, they do work and help get your life back on track. Of course there are those rare cases in which someone has a fatal reaction but that can happen with any class of meds. Weight gain is a big one with mood stabilizers, and many of these meds are highly sedating.

    Topamax is sometimes Rx'ed for bipolar and, for me, it has almost no side effects aside from cognitive impairment. (I take it for migraines/weight loss). Everyone's different though.
    All posts are for educational purposes and don't necessarily reflect the views of Snag-A-Puss. I welcome PMs but do not give out vendor referrals. Peace!

  21. Scared to try drugs for bipolar treatment. Dr suggested trying antiepileptic drugs
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