I'm about ready to give up


Well-Known Member
Well guess what? My damn doctor cancelled on me AGAIN! This is the second time he has done this. So far I have only seen him once. Twice now he has abruptly cancelled all of his appointments claiming to be "out of the office" that day. I am so mad I could scream. I read up some not so good reviews about this guy online and now I'm starting to believe them. This doctor never returns phone calls and is always unavailable. I think it's time for a new doctor.

In the meantime, I am weaning myself off the Brintellix. I can't stand it anymore. Not only are the panic attacks really bad at work, but they are also really bad at home and exercise is not helping anymore. Yesterday I was so anxious and restless I went for my walk and I was having panic attacks while I was walking. That never used to happen! So without this doctor's approval I am taking myself off this medication because honestly I felt better with nothing than these pills.

SWOT, to answer your question, I am not actually sure which type of bipolar I am. I never really asked. In the past I have gotten super manic with little to no sleep, and I would do foolish and stupid things like spend my rent and food money on new clothes and meet random men off the internet and bring them home. I also do a lot of cutting and I have the scars on my wrists to prove it. Totally dangerous behavior, but when manic I have no conscience whatsoever. And when I'm depressed I feel like I'm too worthless to live and I sleep 20 hours a day.

So whatever type of bipolar it sounds like, that's what I am. Thankfully My bipolar medications are still working really good so I haven't been manic or depressed in about three years. It's this anxiety that's killing me. I have had minor anxiety all my life, but since I hit 40 a few years ago it's become unbearable. I keep having my thyroid checked and my doctor has checked out my female hormone levels and everything keeps coming back normal. IT was literally when I turned 40 that my whole life fell apart, physically and mentally. I just want to feel normal again. As normal as it gets for me, anyway!


Well-Known Member
California, You have a lot of stress from every direction and are still trying to get your physical and mental health in order. Keep looking at how much you have improved! I agree with the others to check all possibilities, but meanwhile, you will have to find something that helps calm you. Maybe something new to try? I wish you luck and as you gave me ..:hugs:


Well-Known Member
I understand the anxiety. I also have conquered extreme mood swings, but not completely gotten over the anxiety. I do know of ways to calm myself down and haven't had many panic attacks for many years. Coping skills help, but not so much when it's the medication causing the panicking so I probably would have done the same as you are, but maybe ask your GP to help you wean. Unfortunately, the medications are both a miracle and a curse.

Can I ask, what is Saprhis?


Roll With It
Just a hint, and one to use sparingly, if you really need a doctor's attention and are not getting the appointment or answer at all, call the office and tell them you have a really bad problem and cry while explaining everything. of course apologize for crying as it makes you seem more in need of an immediate reply.

I have not done this often, but usually they are more than willing to help after you cry.


Well-Known Member
Okay so my doctor's appointment is in two days (IF he doesn't suddenly cancel on me again) and I need a miracle. My summer vacation literally starts in just a little over an hour. Two months of freedom. I should be relaxed and happy, but I am one big huge ball of mess. All I can think of is how quickly these next 8 weeks are going to pass by. I will be right back here, sitting at my desk, making a TON of phone calls to track down missing students by September 1st. I am already freaking out about it. Last year I didn't start stressing out ill August. This year I am totally freaking out before my darned summer vacation has even started. I don't even know if I will be able to enjoy my time off. I really need help in the anxiety department. I have 8 weeks to get ahold of myself. I hope this doctor is miracle worker, or I can find a good therapist or a good self help book. I need SOMETHING. I should be on top of the world right now and not panicking!


Roll With It
What would happen if you decided to devote the next 8 weeks to learning to truly understand your anxiety? Of course it is a big goal in a short time, bt you could make a good start. Get some books on anxiety about what causes it, how to identify triggers, and things that might work to help. Not a little meditation and exercise, I mean devote yourself to it the way youdid to your diet and exercise when you lost a lot of weight. There are good books out there, and you have to be able to find a better doctor than this one. Really work on it, and on what you have done, have done half0heartedly, and haven't done but need to try. Study it like you would anything else you wanted to learn to do. I know it may sound idiotic or strange, but if you can approach it like a challenge or something to learn to overcome, you could surprise yourself.

In spite of what you tell yourself, and what your mother tells you, you are a smart, strong woman. You have the tools to learn to overcome this, you just have to put your mind into it. Learn about different herbal remedies in teas and things - they were the first pharmacy and often can still be helpful. Look at your life and the people in it. Eliminate the ones who don't help you - including the boyfriend if you need to. Sometimes we don't realize what is going on until we really take a look at ourselves and our life and what we want to change. Once we do, we often figure out how to do it.

I would work toward non-medication or non-traditional medication solutions as the traditional pharmacy based solutions are not helping and are hurting. Also, be sure you are not taking a medication that is an SSRI\SNRI medication. The N is for a different neurotransmitter and what you are saying sounds almost exactly like what Effexor did to me. It was the most horrible thing I have gone through. I missed some big events including one I spent 3 years working toward and I was flat out terrified to get out of the car when we got there. I was so angry at myself, but the medication approach just didn't work, esp medications that mess with the N neurotransmitter. I bet if you read and study you can figure this out.



Well-Known Member
Susie, I love you, but I don't think you understand clinical anxiety. You can't necessarily overcome it without medication and medication is not a bad thing and she should not be told it is. I've taken medications so I can live and function since I was 23 and natural remedies don't help if you are seriously bipolar or depressed. I take an SSRI that has saved my life. I'd be dead without it. And nobody had more therapy or worked harder at it than me.

CG, if you have bipolar and need your medications, keep doing what works for you, what the doctor tells you. Almost half bipolars discontinue medications and it's not pretty. It is not something that happened to you because you are "weak." It is like diabetes. And epilepsy. It is a medical disorder and nothing to be ashamed of. I'm going to google your medication. I never heard of it :) Some medications were not good for me so I didn't continue them, but I still tried to find a good combination for me and unfortunately it is different for all.


Roll With It
I actually do and have had clinical anxiety for years. I understand the need for medications. I didn't mean to say to NOT take medications, or to not work with a doctor. I do apologize, I had to leave and didn't make my entire message as clear as I try to make them. I didn't get control of mine until well after I took several months to figure out the various triggers for my anxiety and what works best for me. I know some people do well with medications, and some don't do well AT ALL on the ones prescribed. It sounds very much like CB has been through almost every type of medication that there is for her anxiety, but that other than those, she hasn't had much help. If she cannot find a good therapist to help her work through things, and I couldn't either, then she needs to stop and figure it out herself.

Some people do better with various herbs that are effective but milder than many of the rx medications. I didn't even try until I had a VERY old psychiatrist who was going to retire in 3 years who sent me to an herbalist. NOT the type of herbalist pushing some expensive antianxiety blend of herbs, but one with a ph d in the field who specialized in helping people who didn't respond to medications well. You would likely be surprised at how effective some can be IF you have a little patience and don't expect them to work with the first dose or two. The herbalist worked with my psychiatrist and I took some rx medications and some herbal medications (and I do not mean pot, I mean things that are legal in all 50 states and with our federal govt). They helped.

One thing that even some doctors (even psychiatrists) dont' get is that some patients respond badly to SNRI medications, with increased anxiety of the type of new symptoms that CB is describing. Effexor was supposed to help me with anxiety and depression, but when pushed above the barely noticeable initial dose, it spiraled me into astounding, world changing anxiety that had me afraid of everything, literally. I could barely leave my home with-o crying and getting so upset I vomited. My doctor thought if I INCREASED my dose this would stop and even the idea freaked me out. I did some reading and research in documents about what was seen in clinical trials of effexor and what I experienced, and some of the symptoms that CB is experiencing, were clearly seen. The symptoms happened because of the effects on norepinephrine caused by the medications. the patient needed to stop the medications because they did not need their norepinephrine messed with.

I had to learn about what the brain is doing that causes anxiety to be able to figure out what would help mine. Until I understood it at the basic level, and figured out how to impact those things with either medications or alternative methods, nothing really helped me. It actually wasn't that hard with the help of some books to explain what my brain was doing and why it might be doing that. Working iwth the doctor and the herbalist at that point allowed me to find medications, herbs, and other things (exercise, meditation, good sleep hygeine, nutrition, etc....) let me get and keep a handle on my anxiety and depression. The one thing I know is that if I hadn't started to do some research into anxiety, I wouldn't have figured MINE out. I cannot tell you how to fix yours, or CB how to fix hers, just like I cannot do brain surgery or fly a plane. All I can do is tell you that if you read enough, and put enough time into it, you probably can figure out what the basis is, and then figure out how to learn to fix it.

I do think many docs throw psychiatric medications at patients with-o truly understanding either the patient or the problem or the medication. My docs didn't even know that effexor acted on norepinephrine or that it could INCREASE your anxiety rather than decreasing it. It is one reason I ended up leaving that doctor and going to an old geezer of a doctor who actually took the time to figure out how medications worked before he rx'd them to anyone, and hwo was willing to sit and talk to you rather than to squeeze 10 or more patients into each hour of his day. I needed that and I think more people do too. I doubt it will happen as docs retire or are chased out of business by insurance co's and malpractice ins. But that is just me.

I do know that CB needs medications for some things, but clearly these anti-anxiety medications are not working. She may have felt better on benzos, but she got into some legal trouble from them. Others either haven't worked or have caused other serious problems, so maybe she needs to keep the medications that are working and try something new. I think that until patients are empowered and take the time to fully understand their bodies, their symptoms, and their diseases, that they won't ever really feel better for very long. But that may be because my body reacts very strangely to many medications and because I have had to figure out many of my own diagnosis's and then lead my docs to them because they couldn't just take the symptoms that I had and figure it out the way I thought they were supposed to. Docs just don't know everything about medicine, and esp not about every patient's body.

But I AM very sorry if my post sounded like I wanted CB to stop her medications and just go get some herbs. As I said, I typed it quickly before I had to leave and I should know better than to do that.


Crazy Cat Lady
I think the best way to compare what CB might be experiencing with SNRIs is to compare them to what I experience with opiates and benzos.

I am frightfully sensitive to opiates. For many years I thought I could only take them in a hospital setting. Working very carefully with a nurse practitioner of all things, I discovered that I CAN take them, in tiny doses with medications to counter the accompanying nausea and with the caveat that even tiny doses make me higher than a kite. Oddly, codeine, the weakest of the commonly prescribed opiates, makes me higher than the stronger synthetics. Morphine, even in tiny doses, makes me hallucinate violently.

Once we figured out how to dose me with opiates, we found that I can benefit from the pain relieving benefits of these drugs when needed, though I still can only take them when I do not have to be functional in any way because of their psychoactive properties in my case.

At the same time, I do not experience psychoactive effects,euphoria, drowsiness, or any of the usual side effects from benzos. I take a huge dose of an old fashioned benzo for sleep ahd have for years. I have not increased the dose of that medication since the working dose was found.

Twilight sleep for surgicial procedures does not work on me because it takes such high doses of Versed that my breathing is suppressed before the altered consciousness kicks in.

It's all about metabolism and enzymes. I'ms ure that if my enzymes pathways were analysed, it would b efound that I don't manufacture the enzymes that metabolize these medications in the normal fashion.

I think that CBs problem with the SNRI medications might be something similar. That said, I cannot recommend therapy highly enough. Therapy isn't a magic fix and I know in my case that I needed to be properly medicated before therapy was helpful. But the medications enabled me to be open to therapy. Prior to that I was so anxious and so fearful that I was closed off Occupational Therapist (OT) any outside input and therapy was impossible as a result.

The ONLY SSRI I have found that I can tolerate is Celexa. NOT Lexapro despite the close similarities betweent the two drugs.Had to go off of Rememeron as it started to make me climb the walls. Effexor was horrible and going off of it was a nightmare.

I also cannot tolerate atypical APs due to dystonic reactions to the three drugs in that class I have tried. I apparently can't metabolize them properly and they build up to toxic levels in my system precipitating sx of overdose,which is basically what happens in opiates in my case as well.

I am currently somewhat stable on a whopping 600 mg of Trileptal (can't go higher due to dangerously low serum sodium levels), 200 mg of Topomax, 50mg loxapine, 30mg of Temazapam, 1mg of Ativan 2x daily. Old drugs, weird drugs, but they work, and I'm dreading some hotshot Milwaukee psychiatrist wanting to pull me off put me on the medication merry go round again.

My point to all of this CB, is that this is your body and the fact that you are bipolar doesn't mean that you've given up your ownership over what goes into your body. learn about your medications. learn about your body, and become and educated consumer. learn to assert y ourself with your psychiatrists and therapists.

Meanwhile, be good to your body. That means giving your body the nutrients and foods it needs to keep mind and body and soul as healthy as possible. expand your food horizons to take in a greater variety of fruits vegetables. No alcohol. It's empty calories, increases anxieity in the long term, destroys normal sleep, and totally screws with medications.

Minimize the stressors you can. You've got your daughter and your job. You're sort of stuck with those, though I think with the help of good counselling you could learn some better tools for dealing with both. If you are still with the boyfriend, think very carefully about what good is to bed of that.

I wish you the best. take what you can use and leave the rest.


Well-Known Member
Susie, I dn't t hink ANY doctors understand which medication may be good or bad for somebody!! :) I had to go through a trial and finally hit gold. It took ten years. I had many bad reactions and quit the drugs that gave them to me. I cannot take any other SSRI other than paroxatene, as far as my history shows.

Bipolar is serious.

I just don't like to tell people not to take medication. We aren't doctors and our experiences are not theirs. A lot of people had horrendous experiences with paroxatene, but it saved my life.

My son talked one of his girlfriends into going off Depakote (she was bipolar) and she got psychotic. He meant well. She had some side effects from it. But she needed to modify it, not go off of it.

It's a really hard game, since there are no hard and fast rules. CB may have to stay on her medications for the rest of her life. I have. Then withdrawall isn't a problem. I don't want to go back to being that person who was suicidal and non-functional and without my medications I'm like that. I just take it as if I have epilepsy or diabetes and barely think about it anymore.