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Rat Queen/Mouse Matriarch
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A little background: I've been in and out of the psychiatric hospital since I was 14 and I'm now 25. I have bipolar disorder, panic disorder with agoraphobia and social phobia. I'm rarely able to leave the house without having someone with me. There was a point where I was completely housebound and couldn't even take one step out the door so there has been some improvement through behavioral therapy.<br><br>
Have been switched from medication to medication to try and find something that works for my depressive moods and phobias. Citalopram (celexa) made me gain 15 lbs. in a month once I got to a higher dose so I asked to be taken off of it. I didn't want to gain any more weight. I haven't had that kind of weight gain since zyprexa. It's been replaced with bupropion (wellbutrin) which hasn't caused me to gain any more weight but it tastes DISGUSTING (can't swallow pills - have to crush and eat/drink them in something) and it's not really addressing my issues enough. I dread taking it every day. Abilify made me feel twitchy and I can't justify government insurance paying roughly $700/mo. (more than I receive in monthly SSI payments) for a 2mg pill that has no generic form and gives minimal benefits. I've also gone from alprazolam (xanax) to klonazepam (klonopin) and now to lorazepam (ativan) for panic disorder. The lorazepam makes me feel less sleepy than the others but I'm still afraid to drive while taking it. I'd like to be able to stay alert and attentive on the road even if I feel like I'm dying inside from anxiety. Other antidepressants I've been on in the past that didn't work were paxil, zoloft, lexapro, pristiq, remeron. Other anti-psychotics were geodon, risperdal and zyprexa. Anti-psychotics mainly benefit me when I'm delusional or hallucinating which is not me right now.<br><br>
When I met with my psychiatrist today, she asked if I would be up for going back on abilify and trying prozac along with the wellbutrin, lamotrigine, lorazepam and birth control pills that I'm already taking. I will take them but I feel like I'm about done trying new meds. The only medication that's even remotely helped me is lamotrigine (lamictal). It helps keep my moods stable enough to stay out of the hospital. I'd like to continue taking it but I'm extremely frustrated when it comes to finding other meds that'll work for me. I've been considering alternative treatments like ECT and wondering if I'm treatment resistant enough at the moment to be a candidate for it. My biggest obstacles though are my phobias and I'm not sure that ECT would be able to treat those in any way.<br><br>
Sorry, I'm desperate, frustrated, depressed and needed to vent. I may also be a bit more vulnerable to my depression at the moment because one of my mice developed dermatitis on his neck that looked pretty bad for about a week and it really upset me. The medication the vet prescribed and daily cloth baths seem to finally be working and he isn't scratching nearly as much as before. My dad has also brought on a little drama. He has to live with us for a while because he has a restraining order against him and can't go home to his other family. He hasn't been too much of a bother but the whole situation has brought up painful memories which I'm dealing with. I don't want his younger children to go through any of the same **** I did as a child. I've been having terrible acne breakouts and he always taunted me for having acne as a teenager (by taunted, I mean he threw things at my face and called me a hideous monster) so I'm stressed that he's judging me every time he looks at me. I'm also very disappointed in myself for not signing up to start college in the spring but I really don't think I'm ready to try again. I'm feeling like a failure and that I'm going to be stuck like this forever.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":hug:"> I think we've talked a bit about this before. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time. To the best of my knowledge, ECT does not help phobias. It helps with depression, but they're not sure why. They recommended it for me at one point, but I was too afraid and didn't want any memory loss.<br><br>
I've been having a pretty hard time since the summer. Like you, I feel like a failure. But we're not. We have disorders that keep us from being able to function like other people. I don't know if I'll ever be "cured", but there is always hope. I have a very close friend who had bipolar disorder and a few other things, and she is now considered cured. She still struggles with mild depression from time to time, but it is nowhere near as bad as it used to be.<br><br>
I'm not sure there is anything I can say that will make you feel better. I know what it is like to be at the bottom of the well, and it always seems that nothing anyone says makes me feel better about my situation. But just know that there are people who care about you and want the best for you. Many hugs.
 

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I have no personal experience with any of what I've just read, but I just wanted to say I'm sorry that you have to go through all of this and what you've experienced in your life and I'm sorry. Hugs. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":hug:">
 

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I'm so sorry that you are going through all of this. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":hug:"> I've had minimal experience with what you are dealing with. I had a very close friend who was bi-polar. She was pretty stable (on Lithium) during the years that I knew her. My nephew has had some issues on and off while growing up and was just recently diagnosed with bi-polar disorder/anxiety but doing well on his medications.<br><br>
I currently work with someone who is also bi-polar with severe bouts of depression/anxiety/ADD...I have watched her moods go up and down over the last 7 years or so. We have developed a very close friendship and it is through her that I have had a taste of the torment people go through when dealing with such issues.<br><br>
I don't even know what to say to you...my heart breaks for you and I hope that things turn around for you soon. Please hang in there. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":hug:">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Rhys</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3058275"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
A little background: I've been in and out of the psychiatric hospital since I was 14 and I'm now 25. I have bipolar disorder, panic disorder with agoraphobia and social phobia. I'm rarely able to leave the house without having someone with me. There was a point where I was completely housebound and couldn't even take one step out the door so there has been some improvement through behavioral therapy.</div>
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Rhys - I'm sorry you are having such a hard time.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":hug:"> I think I read on here that you were having DBT treatment? That really made an improvement to my life more than any meds I took (not that I'm saying you should come off meds completely or anything) but that is just my experience. You seem like you have had some very traumatic events in your life and you are certainly not a failure! I'm sorry about your mouse too. I hope he improves.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>sequoia</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3058279"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
We have disorders that keep us from being able to function like other people. I don't know if I'll ever be "cured", but there is always hope. I have a very close friend who had bipolar disorder and a few other things, and she is now considered cured. She still struggles with mild depression from time to time, but it is nowhere near as bad as it used to be.</div>
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<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/yes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":yes:"> I think having a long-term mental disorder is something that needs to be managed rather than cured. I noticed that taking B12 has helped me a lot, I would normally be feeling suicidal at this point in winter but I'm feeling relatively stable and I think the sublingual B12 tablets are helping me. I read that it can help for some Bipolar patients.
 

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I don't blame you one bit for being frustrated - you've had a terrible journey. I hope you start to feel better soon. Do you have difficulty with the winter months in particular? Are you able to get some regular exercise? Please don't worry about the government's ability to help pay for your medications - that's what it's there for. We couldn't afford my daughter's medication (Lamictal is one that she is on, too) without it.
 

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Ask your doc about lithium. It's the only drug thus far that has helped me with shifty moods and depression. AND, it's a generic! The only side effects I've had was possibly some acne, but that cleared up.
 

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I don't have any advice for you but just wanted to post in support. I have bi-polar disorder and it's taken 20 years plus to get a proper diagnosis and treatment. I am now finally stable on Abilify and Venlafaxine and hoping to be able to work part time in the new year.<br><br>
I wish you all the best x
 

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Rat Queen/Mouse Matriarch
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the support, everyone. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>sequoia</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3058279"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
To the best of my knowledge, ECT does not help phobias. It helps with depression, but they're not sure why. They recommended it for me at one point, but I was too afraid and didn't want any memory loss.</div>
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The memory loss is why I never opted for it either. And you're right that there doesn't seem to be any evidence of ECT helping with anxiety and phobias.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Pixie</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3058392"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I think I read on here that you were having DBT treatment? That really made an improvement to my life more than any meds I took...<br><br>
...I noticed that taking B12 has helped me a lot, I would normally be feeling suicidal at this point in winter but I'm feeling relatively stable and I think the sublingual B12 tablets are helping me. I read that it can help for some Bipolar patients.</div>
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Yes, I'm in a DBT group and it's helped a lot with my cutting urges. I haven't harmed myself in quite a while. I take a multi-vitamin and eat/drink B12 fortified foods. Haven't had any issues with low B12 but I know when taken in sublingual form, it's better absorbed which could make a difference. I usually put ground flax seeds in my breakfasts and baked goods and I've started drinking flax milk for more omega-3 which I hear is also good for mood disorders. I'm not quite sure how much I need to be considered therapeutic though.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Poppy</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3058394"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Do you have difficulty with the winter months in particular? Are you able to get some regular exercise?</div>
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Anxiety-wise, I like winter because there are hardly any people outside. But I do notice it's harder to get out of bed. My boyfriend has been going on walks with me whenever I'm up for being outside. I'd like to go more often and see if it helps me slowly lose weight and improve my mood a bit. There are exercise machines in the basement that belong to my brother but my dad is crashing in the basement so I don't consider using them an option right now. Maybe when he's gone.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Scorpius</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3058456"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Ask your doc about lithium. It's the only drug thus far that has helped me with shifty moods and depression. AND, it's a generic! The only side effects I've had was possibly some acne, but that cleared up.</div>
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My aunt loves lithium, especially since it's supposed to be great for mania too. One of my cousins also tried it but he developed lithium poisoning and has been too afraid to go back on it. I know that the dosage can be changed if that occurs though.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Hekaterine</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3058516"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I don't have any advice for you but just wanted to post in support. I have bi-polar disorder and it's taken 20 years plus to get a proper diagnosis and treatment. I am now finally stable on Abilify and Venlafaxine and hoping to be able to work part time in the new year.</div>
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Very glad that you're finally able to get some relief! Hope all goes well and good luck to you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br>
Since the phobias are what's really hindering my life right now, I may cancel the ECT referral. My psychiatrist said she'd refer me to an ECT specialist for an evaluation if I was adamant about it but that she'd also let them know why she doesn't think ECT is the best option for me right now. I'm wondering if I'm better off if I stop trying to find a medication for my phobias and address those issues through therapy and desensitization alone. Then I can only take the medications that keep me stable. Thanks for helping me gather my thoughts.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Hekaterine</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3058516"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I don't have any advice for you but just wanted to post in support. I have bi-polar disorder and it's taken 20 years plus to get a proper diagnosis and treatment. I am now finally stable on Abilify and Venlafaxine and hoping to be able to work part time in the new year.</div>
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That is good news Hekaterine.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Rhys</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3058626"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Yes, I'm in a DBT group and it's helped a lot with my cutting urges. I haven't harmed myself in quite a while.</div>
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I had the same response to DBT.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> I haven't self-injured since about April of this year.<br><br>
(If anyone on here is interested DBT is a great therapy for people with self-harm issues and if you can't get therapy in your local area then there are DBT books on Amazon and you can work through the exercises at home. There are DBT support groups online as well.)
 

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Rat Queen/Mouse Matriarch
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Agreed that DBT is awesome. It's the only type of therapy that's really worked for me.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":hug:">Just wanted to give you a hug and say good luck and hang in there. I hope you can manage this without additional meds, through DBT and therapy instead.<br><br>
ECT really scares the **** outta me . It just seems so barbaric.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("> I'm glad you are exploring other options at the moment.
 

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I'm really sorry you're going through all of this Rys....by any chance, do you also happen to suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder during this time of year, with the days being shorter and it being darker longer? Maybe some light therapy could help too?<br><br>
You literally have been on nearly all the meds I'm familiar with,and like Scorpious, I was going to ask about lithium. It really does a great job for many people...you just need to have your levels checked so you don't end up toxic. I hope you can work through your issues, especially with your dad in the same household. Good luck!
 

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Pills are pills. The best is to work on your own mind, pills can help of course, but given the problems you describe with them, i wouldn't count too much on them.<br><br>
I know it's easier to say than to do, but i advise to do what makes you happy, what gives your face a beautiful smile and makes you feel like if you had wings. Little by little, step by step, taking your time, at your own rythm.<br><br>
Most of the people i knew with this kind of problems say that pills always make them sick, including in their minds, they got like bored of always taking thousand of them, day after day.<br><br>
They all felt better with time, generally when something unexpected and good happens in their lives, or sometimes it's just a shift in their minds, they realise something and in just a few days they got visibly better. Sometimes it takes more time, but at the end when they became happy, their eyes had stars in them. Sometimes there were still a little scared from time to time, but it was very rare and short.<br><br>
And remember that whatever comes to your mind, you are not a failure. You are awesome.<br><br>
I don't know how you look or how you think, but i know that you are better than you think. And stronger than you think. I'm sure that there is a lot of people who are far from being as strong as you are, and since you are on this forum and care about your mice, i'm sure you have a big awesome heart full of beautiful love.
 

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Rhys, I hope your mouse is doing better. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br>
I have been reading a lot about vitamin D and depression; many people are deficient and it makes the depression worse. Sunshine on bare skin is the best for this.<br><br>
Also, have you tried meditation and yoga? I have to meditate every day and do yoga at least a couple of times a week or I can't handle anything the rest of the time. There is stuff on the web to teach meditation and there are lots of good yoga videos available, too, so you can even do it yourself.<br><br>
I wish you the best. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> A family member of mine is taking klonopin, wellbutrin, and lamactil now, and she is struggling with medication issues, too.
 

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Meditation is a very good idea indeed. It's certainly better to learn with a true teacher ( the kind wich teach for free and says you cannot eat animals, as opposed to those who leave their phone numbers on streetlights and ask you for money and don't care about other lives ), but if you can't i guess you will have to do with internet until you feel good enough for a teacher ^^
 
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