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Old 10-17-2006, 08:27 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Posts: 6
Chooky75 HB User
Pretty Down

I've been reading some of the posts here and have found them to be helpful with how I've been feeling lately.

I was diagnosed with bi-polar, predominately depression about 8 years ago. As I was doing ok with on the medication (lithium and zoloft), I decided, with the suggestion from the doctor to slowly come off both medications.

I've been off the zoloft completely for about a year now and the lithium for almost 2 months.

Over the past few months I've noticed that I've become less social and confidence-lacking. I went to the doctor and councellor a couple of weeks and told him about my concerns and I mentioned the thought of re-commencing medication. He basically said that he didn't recommend re-commencing medication unless I was really depressed. I told him that I wasn't totally depressed but I didn't want to get any worse.

Over the past week, I have noticed that my mood hasn't improved but has become worse. There have been changes at work, with someone leaving, giving only 2 days notice, and someone else commencing in a new position so that's left me with a bit more responsibility. All of this has overwhelmed me and I ended up having a teary outburst in front of my boss because I was confused about what my new responsibilities would be.

I guess the bottom line is that I'm not coping well at all with this and am thinking that is most likely due to no longer being medicated, at least in part. Work yesterday was a real struggle..I am now off work for the rest of the week and thank god, my boss seems to understand (I ended up being completely honest with him about my history with depression and my medication situation).

I'm just wondering if anyone has been in a similar situation and/or has had any experience re-commencing medication.

Has anyone used St Johns Wort, as I started taking it last week, worrying about going down again.

Your help would be appreciated. Thanks for your time...


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Old 10-17-2006, 09:08 PM   #2
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: quincy, wa, usa
Posts: 778
kiehn HB User
Re: Pretty Down

Im surprised your doctor even took you off your meds in the first place.
Bipolar is a life long condition. You were wise to listen to your inner wisdom
about wanting to get back on meds. It may be necessary to visit the emmergency room/walk in for immediate help then find a different doctor that understands bipolar needs constant meds. Being you have already been on the meds they may be willing to prescribe them.
By the way Im on the same meds seems to be a good combo for me to. I never had much luck with st john wort but everyone is different. It's suppose to act like a antidepressant but becare it doesnt bring on a manic or hypo manic episode. There are a couple of other natural amino acids based from the food we eat they are helpful for depression but once again be very careful watch for hypo/mania until you can get back on your meds. They are tryptophan or HTP-5 and SAM-e both can be purchased at a health food store or at some pharmacies at least here in the states anyway. Listen to your inner voice you know you body better than anyone. Get yourself some help and keep posting. Sue

Old 10-18-2006, 01:58 AM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Posts: 6
Chooky75 HB User
Re: Pretty Down

Thanks a lot for your reply Sue!

Yes...I guess it is strange that the doc suggested that I should see how I go without medication.

When I asked him (the psych) this months' ago, he said I should see how I go without it because I've been quite well on the same meds for more than 4 years (he seemed to think that 4 years was the benchmark?). I then replied that I've probably been well because I've been on the medication (it seemed obvious to me!?). He then mentioned that there a quite a few people that are on various medications but who still become depressed or manic.

He basically said that if I didn't need to be on the medication, I shouldnt be taking it, which makes sense. It now seems evident that I need it, due to my lowering mood.

Just another questions....I have been diagnosed with the bi-polar, although have only had one manic/hypomanic episode in my early 20's (I'm now 31). Having said that, I've been medicated with lithium and zoloft since that first episode.

Has anyone else been diagnosed with bipolar but have had only one manic episode! Just interested...


Old 10-18-2006, 09:43 AM   #4
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: quincy, wa, usa
Posts: 778
kiehn HB User
Re: Pretty Down

Bipolar can be different for each person and I hope you get several responses to help you see this. For many trauma or even the stress from the brith of a child can set off a manic episode and that is what happen to me. I had always suffered from depression than after the birth of my second child I had a manic episode, several years later I suffer a several emotional trauma and ended up in the hospital were I was dx as bipolar. Then several years later with another family crisis upon us I thought I didnt need my meds and stopped taking them only to end up in the hospital again several months later. That was 7 yrs ago and I have never stopped my meds again.

Some people cycle moods many times a day, some weeks, months or years.
Some people only experience 1 or 2 manic episodes in their life. Stress, trauma, emotional crisis or even puberty or menopause can trigger a manic
episode. Hope this helps some, Sue

Old 10-18-2006, 07:59 PM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Posts: 6
Chooky75 HB User
Re: Pretty Down

Thanks for your reply Radagast. Don't worry about sounding blunt...I didn't think that at all.'s true that the situation at work, with the extra responsiblities, etc has ruffled my feathers a bit and that not knowing what is going on with the vacant position hasn't helped. It has been frustrating but having a crying fit in front of my boss is not reallly the most rational thing to do.

To answer your question about things not being explained to me, sometimes they're not and I have to seem to question things a lot so I fully understand and feel confident in what I'm doing. But because I've lately become more stressed and 'flappable', it's been increasingly hard to concentrate and to take things in and remain focussed.

Additionally, even prior to this situation at work, I've noticed that I've slowly become less social and a lot less motivated, ie have stopped interests that in the past I've enjoyedl. I know that things should try to be solved without medication, where possible but I'm pretty down at the moment and have felt my mood has gotten worse over the last couple of months.

I am seeing the doc again tomorrow but have already decided to recommence on the zoloft, as I don't see any other way at the moment. Something has got to help me with this complete lack of motivation.

Thanks again for your input Radagast. How do you cope with your illness? I don't know too much about Asperger's.

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