Bipolar Disorder and medication...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by lovemysons, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Hi all,

    Well, this morning I was opening up my yahoo mail and saw that in the news Catherine Zeta Jones has voluntarily put herself into a mental health facility to maintain her stability.
    And this got me thinking...

    What in the world kind of medication do the Star's use? I am so impressed that Zeta Jones can go on to act etc while taking medication for Bipolar Disorder.
    One of the things (among many) that I have lost due to this illness and then the medication that follows IS my creative edge, my passion's, my voice.
    It's like I can't write anymore...and have become so passive in conversation because my brain just doesn't dig forever for information anymore. I used to be such an info junkie...and now dullsville.

    I take Abilify...and while I do love the fact that I am no longer suicidally depressed or filled with extreme anxiety or take things "too far", I am NOT happy about the fact that I can't write or draw any longer.

    Wish I knew what medication would help me but at the same time leave "me" intact. Even husband says I am not the "same vibrant woman" that he married, sigh.

    Do you all have any suggestions?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I was a total zombie on Lithium and Tegretal, worse than the illness. Do you have full blown manic attacks? If not, you may not need a mood stabilizer; maybe something not as strong. A mood stabilizer, in my experience, REALLY caues you to go flat emotionally and for me it didn't feel right. I'm on an antidepressant and it doesn't change my personality. I would keep looking around if I was given anything that made me not be me anymore. What else have you tried?

    My guess is that Zeta-Jones is not always medicated or else that she doesn't take anything heavy duty. With her money she can afford people to watch her every second. Also, these medications almost always cause weight gain and I don't see that in her. I don't judge our lives by the lives that movie stars my's different.
  3. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    LOL, yes, It's different...however we do have ALOT of drama in our lives!

    I hear what you're saying about mood stabilizers leaving you flat...It's not just for stabilizing my mood. I actually had a full blown manic/psychotic breakdown Feb of 2007. So it's to manage the psychosis as well.

    I tried Lexapro before the Psychosis happend and was very clearly manic on it...won't get into all the consequences of that medication but suffice it to say I cannot take an antidepressant alone.

    Oh and the weight gain...I used to be alittle bity thing, around 115 lbs. Now I weigh close to 170...It is SO disturbing!!!

  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    From what I know about bipolar... SSRIs are a complete no-no for most, can trigger mania. Onyxx on Zoloft and Wellbutrin... Yeah, frightening. She did quite well on risperidone, so-so on Seroquel, and pretty well on Invega. Abilify led to her cutting more and more, trying to "feel" something. It dulled too much.

    Now, me? Zoloft was a complete waste of time, money, and drug as it had NO effect. Wellbutrin turned me into a monster. No one wanted to spend time with me - not even me. Celexa worked, though.

    I'm not bipolar - but I can tell you this, for me... Celexa dulls the edge of despair, but I am still able to feel joy and sadness. My creativity has dropped some, but a lot of that is due to my waking moments being taken up with Meggie... They went before I went back on Celexa! It is just possible that some tweaks need to be made.

    I wish I had the answer for you...

    Oh... And that weight gain?! Don't I know all about it. Ugh.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Depends. They call me bipolar, although I don't think I am and I didn't get manic on any antidepressants. They help me a lot. I think you're thinking of the person who gets manic/psychotic, like lovemysons.

    Actually, sometimes antidepressants make people manicky even if they don't have bipolar too. medications are medications...there are no guarantees and usually some sort of unpleasant side effect, if it is a psychiatric medication.

    LMS, I was little too. Now I'm going to Weight Watchers. It's the most disturbing part of taking my medication. When I took Lithium, I not only gained weight, although I wasn't eating much, but I felt and looked bloated. Yech!
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Actually I was using Onyxx as a basis and myself as a control, LOL! And wellbutrin... Made me psychotic. So... I think it's all in the person's brain chemistry. :wink:
  7. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    For me mood stabilizers alone have been pretty much useless. I have always needed a good antipsychotic added to the mix for my bipolar mania. And when I'm depressed mood stabilizers don't help much either so I pretty much have no choice but to take a small amount of an SSRI. I really have to watch the dosage. If I go to high I get horrid rapid cycling so I need to keep the dose pretty low. Right now I'm on 20 mgs of Paxil and I am doing well. 40 mgs made me mixed manic so psychiatrist lowered it and now I'm doing fine. And my Saphris keeps me from going manic. And I hear ya about the weight gain. Remeron made me gain 50 pounds till I finally said I had enough and made psychiatrist take me off of it. Now I don't sleep as good as I used to but it's better than becoming obese. Now that I'm off of it I'm having a hell of a time taking the weight off. So I am doing my best to maintain willpower and I'm cutting back on the snacking and overeating. It will take me awhile to get back down to the weight I was but I am determined it's going to happen.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The weight-gain cycle... difficult child is on medications that have known weight-gain impacts, and we don't really want him to have to deal with that in the long run. psychiatrist said that with some of these medications the issue is appetite (rather than changes to metabolic rate, for example), in which case what helps is... plan to eat at least 6 times a day, and include protein and fats in every single meal or snack. Spread the calories out so you never get hungry.... but also spread out the protein and fats so the blood sugar stays as even as possible. After 3 years... difficult child "might" have 10 lbs he could lose... mind you, the next three years will tell more of the story, as the last three years are those "growing through the roof" years and he needed every calorie he could get!
  9. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I wish I didnt need powerful medications but I would be scared to death to try it without them. Right now Im having a hard enough time holding on to even a semblance of stability with my boatload of drugs on board. I know I cant take any SSRI's except I was able to take wellbutrin for awhile fairly successfully. However I was also on Topamax with it. I have never found myself dulled much at all with anything. I was never a very artsy person to start with though. I dont think I have lost much of the good parts of my personality. I dont sit in a corner and drool. Before the meningitis I was going to learn photoshop so I could work on images and stuff for websites because I was really getting into making webpages and websites but since then I have lost the ability to learn new things very easily. Im hoping that slowly comes back.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I would not EVER judge myself or compare myself to Zeta-Jones. I know people hwo grew up with her and/or are still friends with her. She was always a holy terror of a difficult child and about the cheapest woman in Hollywood. The things she did to her parents to save five or ten dollars are just plain mean. If she pays someone to monitor her, I would be shocked as all heck. The stories I have heard of her and things she has done take her from the frugal category to the 'uses frugality as an excuse to be an abusive freeloader even though she has a huge income" category. If even ten percent are true, PLEASE do not use her as a ruler to compare yourself.

    I am sorry you are dulled, LMS. I hope you can discuss this wth your doctor and work to find a medication combo and dosage that balances the bad and the good for the best life possible. Don't be afraid to talk this through with your doctor. It is one of the things we worked hard to teach Wiz to do, and he has said it helped him learn to insist on changes when he knew problems were happening and it helped him realize that medications helped him be the person he wanted to be. I know you often figured the docs knew best on some issues, but you know best. You know if it is or isn't working, if the side effects are too great and if you are losing yourself then it is time to sit down and insist the doctor listen and try to find a solution.

    You are a very special lady, and I hoep and pray you can find a medication combo that helps while allowing you to be yourself. (((((hugs)))))
  12. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Well thank you all for "food for thought" lol, (pun intended).

    I AM going to discuss a medication change with my doctor now. I have been afraid to do that as I didn't want to rock the boat. See, they told me after I came out of the Pyschotic breakdown that if I EVER had another one it would be "harder to bring you back". And...since I have been stable for 6 yrs now I didn't want to take the chance that something else might now work so well or fall back into the abyss.

    Step, very interesting reactions Onyxx had to Abilify. The reason I say that is because I have had a "compulsion" for several yrs now of "picking at pimples". To the point that I now have scars on my face. I am wondering if it is that same "need to feel something" that is causing this. It is not a behavior I ever exhibited to this degree before taking Abilify.
    Also am interested in finding out more about Invega. I have never heard of this I will definitely have to ask about this.

    You are such a sweetheart.
    We really have to meet up again one of these days.
    As you know I frequent the Casino's now and there seems to be one everywhere you look in OK! Maybe one of these days I can plan to stay at one of the hotel's near you...that would be fun!
    Oh and I had NO idea about what a "fruga" difficult child Zeta-Jones was, hm...sounds kind of cruel. Though it does remind me a bit of my OWN MOTHER. She often tell's me that she is going "Ski'ing", roll eyes, stands for "Spending Kid's Inheritance". She tell's me that I should not plan on her leaving anything for me. Nice huh.
    Thank you all for your insights and info.

    Lasted edited by : Jul 10, 2013
  13. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    Dear Tammy, I haven't got any experience about this, so no input to give you.

    Just wanted to send you my love.

    Love, Esther
  14. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Oh Esther, You are such a dear. Love to you too.

    Don'tcha just wish we could meet up once a year at Fran's? It was such a nice time to get aquointed with each other in person. Do you think you will come to the USA again one day? If so, I would LOVE to see you again!

    And...Haven't seen an update on your difficult child in quite some time. Is he still living in Australia?

    Take care always,
  15. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    Yes, it was fun at Fran's, wasn't it? I haven't got any plans to come again to the USA at the moment. If I win the national Lotto, I will come again!!! I am waiting for all you wonderful people to come and visit me here in Israel!!! Isn't anyone planning a pilgrimage?

    Yes, my difficult child is still in Australia, in Sydney. I put away some money every week in a special box that my husband prepared for me that I cannot open, and within a year I should have enough. It is very expensive to fly to the other side of the world. I started on 1 January, and I am planning to go to visit him in January. I am still working, self-employed, doing editing and proofreading, and thank heavens I have loads of work, so luckily I am able to save that money. I am happy to say that we have good contact with Oriel by phone and occasionally Skype, and in our case it is true that "absence makes the heart grow fonder," since our relationship has improved and I can even say that quite often I actually feel that I miss him, which is amazing.

    I see that Marg is no longer active here on the board, which is a shame because she is always so interesting and has such wonderful input. Anyway, I will contact her before I go, because I think she lives quite near Sydney. We'll see.

    In the meantime, it is always special to see postings from people like you -- one feels different about people one has met in the flesh!! A special connection.

    Look after yourself. You have been through so much, and I admire you for coming through it all the way you have done. Your family are lucky to have you, Tammy.

    Love, Esther
  16. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Oh Esther,
    So all I have to do is win the lottery in order to make a trip to Israel huh? Maybe I'll get REAL lucky at the casino one of these days!!! ;-)

    Good for you for saving money to take a special trip to see Oriel. How Exciting!!! I hope you get to see Marg too I'm sure that would be a delightful time.

    I am trying to look after myself better these days. I recently found out that I am severely anemic so now I take Iron 3 times a day and it is helping. They scared me and told me that I would need a blood transfusion if I were to require surgery and that if I were to be in an accident I would bleed out on the scene before help could arrive!
    This explains why I have slept the last several yrs away! But am doing so much better now.
    I hope you are taking good care of yourself too. It's important that we see the docs and get things checked out BEFORE they become life threatening.

    Anyway, You sound good! :)
    Take Care,
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Tammy, I remembered something as I read the posts of others.

    When I first got stable on the Paroxatene, perhaps the first time I was stable in my life, I stopped being able to be creative, which was my main identity. In particular, I loved to write and could write for hours at a time for days at a time. I missed it a lot, but not the depression!!

    As time went on, one day I felt like writing again. Nothing had changed in the medications department. I just had "the urge" again. Since then I have been e-pubbed many times and have made some good money doing it. So my creativity came back. I am also in choir and drama.

    I don't know why the urge to be creative came back, but it could happen for you too!! And I understand your being afraid to mess with six years of stability. That's a long time. I'm similarly afraid. I won't mess with my medications.

    In short, I truly, truly think I understand how you feel and I really, really care too. I wish I could offer more, but you do have that from me.
  18. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Thank you Midwestmom,
    You're a sweetheart!

    Ya I used to write letters to the Editor of our local paper all the time and get published but haven't been wrapped around politics in a long time. Also used to write about happenings in my children's lives...sigh, back when they were all young and innocent, before drugs took hold of my difficult child son's.

    I would love for the "urge" to just grab me again. I am trying to engage in reading more information/news out there to form an opinion. My brain has just been on Hold for so long now.

    I even stopped going to Al Anon and AA after the psychotic breakdown as some of the hallucinations that happend that week were at Al Anon and AA and I related the two together. It was terrifying!

    Anyway, thanks for letting me know you could identify with the "writer's block". I don't expect to become rich and famous from writing but I sure do miss having a "voice", a strong opinion, and all the reasons to back it up!

  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    LMS,I'll never become rich or famous through anything. I just enjoyed anything creative and the Paxil seemed to block it, which saddened me (but not enough to want to be depressed again). I was very happy when it came back, but that was after many years and it still isn't the same as it used to be.

    Really, our health has to come first. I wish I didn't need medication, but I know what would happen to me if I quit taking it so it's not an option.

    Big hugs!!!! I understand :)