Thursday, April 1, 2010

Update on Bipolar Meds

Hope you had a great day and are ready for the weekend. I had a ton of back pain today. It seems to be getting worse as the months go on. Ugh!

For the bipolar treatment I was trying last summer, I was attempting to find a way to treat the BPD naturally. I posted all the info last summer on an alternative to Lithium Carbonate (medicine prescribed by docs), called Lithium Orotate (which you can get at health food stores). I started the trial by doing just a small dose, and over 3 months time I worked up to a maximum dose (or what I could find listed on the internet as a maximum dose). Unfortunately, I have to report that this did not work for me in the least. It was a very stressful time in my life, and I ended up in a very bad state. I tried to remedy this by seeking out a therapist and giving that a try as well. The downward spiral continued. Eventually, after being off of meds for a year, I finally went back to the psychiatrist and decided to try another round of medicine - hoping to find a good combo this time.

I am happy to report that I am the most happy and comfortable I have been in many years. Mentally, I am now clear and happy, and I feel like I finally have the perfect mix of meds (combo of 900mg Trileptal and 40mg Celexa). I wish I can say, in this instance, that the alternative treatment was a raindrop in the desert, but for me I didn't feel that way at all. That doesn't deter me from continuing to try alternative treatments for other things, but I feel that my body and brain really responded wonderfully to the Rx and not the the holistic choice. That, however, does not mean that I will be using the medicine as my only source of relief in my battle with this mental illness. In fact, I think the other treatments are just as important. I am working on a mix of yoga (an old lady class for people with disabilities! Ha!), meditation, swimming, water fitness classes, counseling, diet/lifestyle, continuing to abstain from alcohol, and treating myself with love. I will continue to report on my progress!

For the few of you I know with EDS and bipolar disorder, don't feel like all is hopeless. It takes time to find a treatment that is right for you - and I won't discount anyone for anything that they try - I just wish you happiness and peace of mind. And, as always, know that you are not alone. :)

Much love to you all! I am off to bed to try and sleep - if my back will ease up just a little and allow me to rest! Have a low-pain Friday!

xoxo
dani

9 comments:

elise said...

Hi Danielle,

Thank you for that post. For the longest time I was reticent to deal with Rx drugs for my mental health (depression/anxiety). However, the alternatives didn't work out and the ultimate alternative - ending my life - was definitely not an option. So, I reluctantly tried the med route and have to say it saved my life.

I'm glad you realized you were in a bad way and reached out for help. Stress is toxic to our brains.

I also have med-resistant depression, which was initially diagnosed as BPD type 2. Regardless of what my imbalance called, lamictal added to my regular antidepressant helped. I have a friend who tried the lithium route and she hated it. Good your psych'trist listened to you and found a combo that was agreeable.

You deserve to be happy. It is also good that you feel empowered by the other things you can do to help your wellness. I've read that the combo of meds and counseling work significantly better than either method alone.

Yoga for older people - I actually might seek that out! My bendy bod doesn't like normal yoga because it is too easy to flop into a bad position. Does your teacher spend more time with each person? Gotta love endorphins!

Love is a good thing. One can never have too much love in this world.

Be good to yourself and I hope your back feels better tomorrow. That pain is so debilitating. Foot and neck pains are what get me.

Take care. You are in my thoughts.
~e

Vegan Danielle Davis said...

@Elise - what a lovely comment! Thank you for taking the time to write! :) Yes, my mental state is superb these days, and I owe it all to my new medicine and my doc listening to me. I am glad to see that you have found a combo that works for you too. No matter what the 'condition' is called, it is just nice to feel 'myself'! As for the yoga, I will do a post on it in the future. I had to take a break due to some (I think) torn ligaments or tendons in my foot - but when I go back I am gonna do a note session and write a post on it. I love my teacher. She did a ton of research on EDS and works with me to make sure I am not hyperextending anything. I am very fortunate to have found her. I would never consider yoga otherwise! Keep me posted on how you are doing! I look forward to reading more of your comments! :) Gentle hugs!

carrieb said...

Hi danielle,
Just found your blog. I have eds/hms and also bipolar. I was only diagnosed with the eds/hms in 2007 age 27. However i have received treatment for bipolar since 1998. I was on lithium for a very long time with no real benefit and in 2007 I actually went blind becuase of overdosing by my drs of the lithium! When they finally figured what was going on in 2009 they took me off it and all my bipolar meds and i have been med free since then for the bipolar. My eds/hms specialist sent me to a gynochologist who discovered that i had a massive sensitivity to oestrogen which was the cause behind my bipolar. I now have a progesteron only implant (which is normally used for contraception) which has more or less made the bipolar non-existant. Sometimes progesterone can make eds/hms worse but its not been found in my case. Anyway keep going on the hunt for alternative bipolar treatments as i would hate for anyone to go through what i did. Also it would be really intresting to talk to you as i really want to see if there is any connections between bipolar episodes and eds flares, and also if coming off lithium carbonate made your eds/hms worse as in my case. Anyway thanks for a great blog. iv started a blog on eds/hms myself so please follow and thanks for all the great leads on things to look into treatment and support wise. Carrie x

Anonymous said...

My name is Lisa and I just found your blog as I suspect I have EDS either Hypermobility or Classical (2) but my dr doesn't take the symptoms seriously so I can't get into a specialist. I am going to read your blog but would love to hear about the early sypmtoms before you got to the point you are at now.
Carieb do you have any links about the progestrone making symptoms worse? This was the case for me and I have a OBGYN apt. for bleeding that I believe is related to EDS in a month and would love to have some facts in hand. Thank you for sharing this blog with all of us Danielle, for those of us fighting to get help seeing what others experience is a big help :)

michelle__shell said...

Hi Danielle,

I am glad you have this website. You are just the same as my daughter. she is 26 and I worry about her on percacet it makes her like shes drunk all the time. I wish they could do something for the pain. god bless elaine

Anonymous said...

Hi Danielle - I too am EDS/HMS and Bipolar and have just found your site. Am meds free at the moment - very early days having withdrawn from Celexa and Lamictal combo which didn't work. Celexa and Seroquel combo was disastrous prior to that. Would love to know how you are getting on as it has been a while since your update. Am going to be starting my own blog soon. KittyK x

Anonymous said...

Hi Danielle,

I also have Bipolar II disorder and EDS hypermobility type.

I was diagnosed with EDS as a teenager. The major problems I have had as a result are scoliosis and pectus excavatum (sunken rib cage). I also have a lot of fatigue.

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder just over a year ago. I had been dealing with increasingly severe depressions, interspersed with periods of total "recovery," which my doctor came to recognize were actually hypomanic periods. I have to say that EDS is a pain, but it was the bipolar that almost destroyed me. The crushing depression was life-threatening and took away everything I love about myself.

Anyways, I'm now on Cipralex, Remeron and Abilify, with Dexedrine for energy. The combination has made an incredible difference in my life.

All the best to you in coping with both complex conditions. Thanks for sharing so much of your story.

Brianna Whitney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Wow. This post brought tears to my eyes. I pretty much have all of the same EDS comorbid disorders as you, and a 'Chiari' correction at 14.

I've been on antidepressants on and off since I was 14. Each time I became manic and suicidal until I had children and I couldn't bring myself to kill off their mother. This was back before the black label for suicide and antidepressants had been established.

I knew enough about BP and felt such shame that I didn't admit to myself or my doc my manic symptoms. Cymbalta induced mania that destroyed my marriage and my life.) I was going out too much not using poor judgement and ended up being drugged and raped at a bar.

I stopped the meds, but the anxiety I deal with ALMOST EVERY MINUTE OF THE DAY came back.

I got real and began working with a psych (who is amazing!!) and am on a few different meds lamictol, Xanax, and propanolol (there's interesting info on using it to treat ADS that some theorize to be very common in EDS. Propanolol is a beta blocker and helps with adrenaline surges. I've seen people claim these are 'pseudo-psychiatric' EDS issues. To each their own, but I don't give a **** wether they think it's BP or not. The fact is, the meds work.

The other day I was reading up on the typical age of onset in BP. After finding out it can be early in life, I looked back and instantly knew when it started. Between the ages of 7 and 8 my personality shifted horribly. My suicidal idealations began at 8 years old. I cried after it hit me. I'm crying now thinking of it again. Not depressed hopeless crying but feeling true heartbreak for that little girl that who's parents didn't love her enough to care and help her. I cried for my 20s that was stolen by agoraphobia mixed with manic and severe depressed episodes. I cried for the moments of happiness my children and I missed together. I cried for me now, grieving the loss of my husband being thrown away instead of helping me. I couldn't find time for with babies, house chores, EDS, and his hatred toward me for 'acting crazy' and the poor choices I made.

He blamed my rape on my irresponsibility and my parents excused his resulting increasing physical hostility, because 'people can only deal with so much'. These are the same people who blamed a child for their suffering, so it's not much of a surprise they reacted that way.

So #1 I cried and still do for the suffering I have experienced nearly ever day of my life.

Self care used to not make sense to me. Getting my BP straightened out is the first time it makes sense, because it actually relieves my mental and physical suffering.

I know this post is 6 years old, but thank you for creating this little corner for us bipolar zebras. Few people understand the hell most of our lives have been. I hope someone who reads this will see that there is hope and relief.