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Old 10-08-2006, 10:54 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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ShadowedSmile HB User
Desperate for Answers

Six years ago I was diagnosed with severe depression. Since then I have suffered from a variety of symptoms, visited several doctors/therapists, and been on an array of medications. Two years ago I went through an episode where I didnt sleep for four days straight, not even for five minutes. During this time I hardly ate either. It got to the point where I was hallucinating from the severe lack of sleep. At this point it was suggested that I might be bipolar. They started me on zyprexa to help with the sleep issue and as a safety precaution for the bipolar. Later they changed me to abilify and I am now currently on topomax. However, I have never officially been diagnosed as bipolar and am primarily treated only for my depression (which I am on Effexor for). Despite being on medication I am still suffering from symptoms that are extremely disrupting my life. I have had to withdrawl from my third semester of college in a row, because once again I missed so much class it is impossible for me to pass my classes. I always have really good intentions of going, but then something happens to prevent me from showing up. The latest has been that for the past 4 weeks I have struggled with extreme insomnia. Every night I dont fall asleep until at least 3 am, usually closer to 5:00 am. At around 11:00 pm I get a burst of energy and am wide awake while my roommate and everyone else is sleeping. Then during the day when everyone else is functioning, Im locked in my room crying, reflecting on how much my I feel like a failure. I also have had a sudden extreme decrease in appetite. The thought of food is disgusting. I know I need to eat but everything I think of sounds repulsive. I eat about a bowl of white rice a day and thats it. In 3 months I have lost 20 lbs and I havent done anything to try to lose the weight. I have also began to experience panic attacks. Last week one got so bad that my roommate almost called 911.

Does this sound like bipolar? I dont have extreme highs like where I go on shopping sprees or feel impowered, but theres deffinitly something going on. Is this something I should persue further or do you think it may be just more symptoms of my depression? Any advice or suggestions you could give would be so greatly appreciated. I dont know which way to turn anymore and Im truly scared for what might happen next.

 
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Old 10-10-2006, 11:49 AM   #2
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Picali HB User
Re: Desperate for Answers

Hiya Shadowed,

Sorry to hear that things are so hard for you at the minute. I don't know whether you'd be classified BP or not, but whatever's going on you must go and see your docs and get this sorted out. It sounds as though your anti-d is not helping much (as your sleep pattern is so out of whack), or that it could be making you hypomanic (resulting in the erratic patterns you talk about).

Personally, I would make a list of all your symptoms, together with your history, and get in to see your doctor again - at the very least they need to sort out your sleep problems. There's a sticky thread at the top of the board that lists the indicators of BP - go through that and see if it rings any bells. It might be worth printing off and taking along with you.

I've found in the past you sometimes need to be quite assertive with doctors - don't be fobbed off and insist on getting this sorted out, whatever it is that's going on.

Good luck with it - let us know how you're getting on.

Picali x

 
Old 10-10-2006, 01:27 PM   #3
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NutshellNutter HB User
Re: Desperate for Answers

Hi Shadowed,
I'm sorry that you are having difficulties. Whilst I was inpatient for 'major depressive disorder' (now changed to BP two years later) I was taught about circadian rythyms. This is how your body sets up its body clock around natural light and how the body 'expects' to function at certain times of the day. From what you mentioned, it sounds like your circadian rythyms are completely messed up at the moment (almost in reverse!!!), and again, as inpatient I was taught the significance of this in depression.

Try to discipline yourself (I know how hard it is, especially when all you want to do is stay in bed and cry) - this won't be easy. You have to try to tune your body nack to its natural rythym. Set your alarm to wake you at a normal time. Get straight up upon hearing the alarm and open the curtain to let the light in. No matter how much you may feel tired - stay awake - until a normal (late end) bedtime. Then go to bed. Stay there until you fall alseep. Even if you have only managed two hours sleep, get up the next day by your 'normal' alram time. Get up straight away, open curtains, and get going for the day. Repeat, repeat, repeat. The more you do this you will see that you achieve more sleep every night as the nights go by. The more 'in tune' you can keep your circadian rythyms - the better my depression got - hopefully the same for you. It's worked for friends too.. Have a look on the www if you need more info....

Good Luck,
Nut.

 
Old 10-10-2006, 02:20 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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coffeegirl2 HB User
Re: Desperate for Answers

Hi SS

I take Abilify and Topamax too. Here is one for you..... Abilify is known for a) causing insomnia or b) causing severe drowsiness.

*When are you taking the Abilify? am/pm

*If you are taking the Abilify in the pm, then contact your pdoc asap. They need to know that you are...

a) Having difficulties sleeping- insomnia
b) Especially with Abilify
c) It could be as simple as adjusting when you take the Abilify because it could be causing you to stay awake.

I took the Abilify first time during the am. It zonked me out severely. Then they had me take it at nightime. I wasn't able to wake up in the morning. So, now I take it 3 times a day. Presto- It now works for me! Each and every drug effects every person differently, which is why you must contact the pdoc about the insomnia. The pdoc will be able to help determine what is causing the insomnia- whether it is a med or it is stress or hypomania by talking with you.

Topamax causes appetite loss and weight loss at times as well. You need to inform the pdoc of this issue as well so they can monitor your weight. I lost 25 pounds when I first began taking the Topamax. It freaked me out. I had no desire to eat either.

Abilify also causes anxiety. Contact the pdoc. They need to know how you are doing. If you are having severe difficulties, and fear for your life, then you must seek help- do go to the ER. Do not sit around at let yourself live like that. You deserve to feel better.

Thinking of you and hoping you get better soon.

Coffeegirl
__________________
a loving heart is the truest wisdom

 
Old 10-10-2006, 02:20 PM   #5
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 664
coffeegirl2 HB User
Re: Desperate for Answers

Hi SS

I take Abilify and Topamax too. Here is one for you..... Abilify is known for a) causing insomnia or b) causing severe drowsiness.

*When are you taking the Abilify? am/pm

*If you are taking the Abilify in the pm, then contact your pdoc asap. They need to know that you are...

a) Having difficulties sleeping- insomnia
b) Especially with Abilify
c) It could be as simple as adjusting when you take the Abilify because it could be causing you to stay awake.

I took the Abilify first time during the am. It zonked me out severely. Then they had me take it at nightime. I wasn't able to wake up in the morning. So, now I take it 3 times a day. Presto- It now works for me! Each and every drug effects every person differently, which is why you must contact the pdoc about the insomnia. The pdoc will be able to help determine what is causing the insomnia- whether it is a med or it is stress or hypomania by talking with you.

Topamax causes appetite loss and weight loss at times as well. You need to inform the pdoc of this issue as well so they can monitor your weight. I lost 25 pounds when I first began taking the Topamax. It freaked me out. I had no desire to eat either.

Abilify also causes anxiety. Contact the pdoc. They need to know how you are doing. If you are having severe difficulties, and fear for your life, then you must seek help- do go to the ER. Do not sit around at let yourself live like that. You deserve to feel better.

Thinking of you and hoping you get better soon.

Coffeegirl
__________________
a loving heart is the truest wisdom

 
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