Junior Member (female)
Join Date: May 2007
Re: Lamictal causing increased mania?
Thank you. I managed to get an appointment with the psych nurse on Tuesday instead of having to wait to see her again in December, so I'm hoping she can help me figure out something.
Cri222, as far as work goes, I'm barely hanging on. I work because I have to, because my husband can't find work with his current degree so now he's in school full time again to get a tech degree, I have 2 young children, and I'm the only income. That alone puts so much stress upon me, which makes all of these symptoms worse. I can't concentrate well at work, which means that reports I write that should take a few days to complete end up taking a few weeks, I'm never on top of anything and always just barely get things done by the absolute deadline. It takes everything in me to just hold it together to keep from having a breakdown, because I can't afford to do that. I was on medical leave for 2 months over the summer, for physical health reasons NOT related to the bipolar - was having convulsions, joint inflammation and pain, inflammation and pain in my spine, anemia, fatigue. But no diagnosis other than worsening symptoms of some type of autoimmune problem that's been developing for years.
Being in so much pain and unable to do a lot of things sent my depression spiraling. Yet now I'm physically not feeling as bad, but my mental state is horrible, I cannot catch a break. And I'm stuck. Can't take leave from work, already only had about a month of sick leave when I went on leave so I went through a month of almost no pay, still trying to financially recover from that. The depression was bad, but now this irritability and on edge and mental racing feeling is mixed in. But I try hard to appear "normal", that's what I have to do at work. Which is bad because then it just means that after all day of pretending to be normal I go home and all of these things I've been holding back come out. And I'm snappy, and have no patience, and I just want to get up and walk away. I wish I didn't work because it's not fair that work makes me hold all of this in only to come and release it on people who love me. I feel like the worst mother in the world. And really my children are one of the only reasons why I want to get better. I want to be better for them, I don't want to screw them up because i'm an emotional wreck. They are only 2 and 4 and deserve better than what I am right now. I try to hold it together for them too, but it's so hard when I spend all day trying to hold it together at work, I can't hold on. I hate feeling so out of control. I think that's why I work so hard to control my feelings, my symptoms, pretend like they aren't there, act normal, and for a while it works, it does seem to. But it all comes crashing down. I can't control it, I can't control whatever this is, and I can't stand that. I need to be in control, and I'm not.
Another big problem for me is that all of my symptoms, of everything, the inflammatory flare ups and mental breakdowns, are worse during the 2nd half of my cycle, so lately I've been wondering if going on birth control pills would help? My hormones trigger too much for me, and on top of being chronically anemic, I'm just so tired of it all. I was thought to just have PMDD for years, continued on antidepressants, and thought that's all my mood swings were - but charting my moods showed that I went through mood swings throughout the month, it was just so much worse during the second part. That's also when I learned the antidepressants were triggering the mania, and all of those years I stopped taking antidepressants because I felt on top of the word, only to come crashing down again, and go on more antidepressants, and go through the same cycle for years and years, all of it could have been bipolar all along. It makes sense, but I still have a hard time coming to terms with it. It took me years to come to terms with regular depression, that it was not my fault and not because I was a weak person, but how do you even come to terms with being bipolar? How can I honestly tell myself that I'm not crazy when I feel crazy? Like really, my mind feels insane. I used to think just being depressed was bad, and it was, but not like this. I could still function as a depressed person, or as a person coping with personal losses. I could understand why I was depressed, I don't understand this. I really don't understand why all of this keeps getting worse over time. Still makes me wonder if it could be hormone related, I should do some research on that.
How are you doing on the abilify? Is that an antidepressant? I know I've heard of it, but I wasn't sure exactly what type of drug it was classified as. I don't think I've heard of lustral. I know I've been going on forever but I'm glad that you understand some of what I am going through too. Does your pdoc think the irritability you were describing was part of mania or think the irritability was a part of a depressive episode?