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Old 10-11-2008, 10:44 PM   #16
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Re: Anyone Misdiagnosed BP & Instead Had Major Depressive Disorder For Years?

I was wondering if you were given a small dose of Lamictal and titrated up or if you were started out at a high dosage? Sometimes you can get rashes from Lamictal if you aren't titrated up very slowly.

I was diagnosed with recurrent major depression for over 20 years. I would always do ok on the ad's then they would stop working. I had 3 years of debilitating depression. When I thought I had hit bottom I would find a whole new level of the deep dark pit.

I was on Cymbalta at the time and was started very slowly on Lamictal. I immediately felt a lift in my mood. It was very tiny at first but it was a miracle for me. I had to quit taking Lamictal last year because my doctor tried to increase it too quickly, I broke out in a rash. I tried Topamax and it made me worse. So we tried the Lamictal again but very slowly this time and I've been on it since. My psychiatrist said she thinks I have BiPolar II because I have such deep and long lasting depressions. If I do or have had hypo-mania I apparantly think I'm just having a good day.

I hope this has been of some help. Some of my friends have found great results with lithium. We are all very different and have different body chemistry. It's no wonder one drug that works for one doesn't work for another.

Good luck and God Bless

Sam

 
Old 10-12-2008, 04:13 PM   #17
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Re: Anyone Misdiagnosed BP & Instead Had Major Depressive Disorder For Years?

Sam, you sound so much like me. I'm so glad you wrote. I went up very slowly with the starter pack and my face broke out so badly...it was unreal. I had to go off of it.

I want to try it again because it really did help my mood--I'm just like you with the deep depressions. I tried abilify this weekend and there's no way i'm taking it. I was so sick, it was horrible.

With me, truly a med works pretty much right away. I know people and drs say it takes this amount of time etc., but just like you i've been dealing with this for over 20 years and I know by now that it works right away w/me or not at all.

When you say you broke out in a rash, do you mean acne or a rash on your body? Why didn't your dr. use the starter pack?

I just read your post again and you really sound like me. I thought I could relate to brit---your story is sooo much like mine. Have you been on the depression forum?

So you are still on cymbalta and lamictal? What dose of lamictal?

I tried lithium for years and it gave out on me. I really don't know what to do now...i'm so tempted to try lamictal again...if not i guess i have to try lithium again...it's so frustrating. The lexapro just isn't enough.

I thought the abilify would be the answer as the add-on for the lexapro, but it was really bad.

What state are you in Sam?

I really appreciate your post.

Your friends who have been on lithium, it continued to work for them? Do you know at what dose, etc.? I'm sorry for all the questions, I'm at the point where I just don't know where to turn.

Thank you.

Salty

 
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Old 10-12-2008, 04:23 PM   #18
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Re: Anyone Misdiagnosed BP & Instead Had Major Depressive Disorder For Years?

Forgot something, Sam, Topamax made me so depressed it was insane. No one could believe that topamax made the depression worse. Our stories are so similar---even with the hypo mania---can't remember when the heck i felt anything like that.

It's comforting to know your story is a lot mine and you have finally had success. I want it so badly...so tired of being depressed. Hope to hear back from you.

Salty

 
Old 10-12-2008, 10:02 PM   #19
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Re: Anyone Misdiagnosed BP & Instead Had Major Depressive Disorder For Years?

Hi Salty,
I broke out on my arm and my doctor did start with the starter pack she just went up faster than I had initially. I've wanted to increase the Lamictal since then and she is very hesitant.

I'm on 100 mg of Lamictal and 60 mg of Cymbalta. Yes, I've been on the depression forum, it's been a long time though.

I'm not sure what dose of Lithium my friends are on. I know they are happy with it.


There are other mood stabilizers you can try. Just try to be patient. I think a lot of mood stabilizers were intended for other uses initially. Hang in there, sometimes it takes a while to get the right "cocktail".

Talk to your doctor and hopefully both of you can figure out what you need.

Good luck and God bless

Sam

 
Old 10-13-2008, 11:58 AM   #20
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Re: Anyone Misdiagnosed BP & Instead Had Major Depressive Disorder For Years?

Dear Sam,

I've tried them all...really I have. Could you tell me exactly how you did it this time where you didn't break out? Was it just the starter pack or did you go slower? Could you be very specific...thank you for being patient with me.

Salty

 
Old 10-13-2008, 12:01 PM   #21
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Re: Anyone Misdiagnosed BP & Instead Had Major Depressive Disorder For Years?

I always forget something...Sam, do you have any side effects from the lamictal? Did you (besides the rash)?

Thank you.

Salty

 
Old 10-20-2008, 06:42 AM   #22
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Re: Anyone Misdiagnosed BP & Instead Had Major Depressive Disorder For Years?

I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder over 10 years ago. As a result, I was prescribed Lithium and Prozac, but they failed to quell my depression. When I discussed my symptoms and past experiences with my tdoc last year, he said it sounded as if I had bipolar all along. In looking back at my symptoms (intense anger, increased energy, reckless behavior, etc.), it all makes perfect sense. When I think about all of the emotional difficulties I went through back then, it makes me frustrated because I know that if I had been given a proper diagnosis, I wouldn't have had to suffer the way I did.

 
Old 10-20-2008, 05:39 PM   #23
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Re: Anyone Misdiagnosed BP & Instead Had Major Depressive Disorder For Years?

dreams, i'm so sorry you had to suffer. i know how you feel.

what are your meds now? are you stable and doing well? i hope so.

if you get a chance to let me know what meds finally worked for you, i'd appreciate it, i'm about at the end of my rope right now.

thank you for posting.

Salty

 
Old 10-20-2008, 08:15 PM   #24
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Re: Anyone Misdiagnosed BP & Instead Had Major Depressive Disorder For Years?

Salty,

I'm currently taking 500 mg of Depakote three times/day, 4 mg of Risperdal at bedtime and 180 mg of Trazadone at bedtime. These are the meds I've been on since my diagnosis in 2006. The Depakote and Risperdal have only been adjusted (increased) once last year when I came close to having a severe manic episode. With the level of Depakote I take, there are concerns about weight gain and hair loss. However, neither of these side effects have been a problem for me. I'm happy to report that with the exception of having mild to moderate manic symptoms every couple of months, I'm stable and doing very well. I've been fortunate not to ride the med "merry-go-round," but I know others who have been frustrated by constantly having to change from one med to another. It might take some time for you and your pdoc to find the right combination that works, but once you do, it will be worth the effort. Hang in there!

 
Old 10-20-2008, 08:44 PM   #25
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Re: Anyone Misdiagnosed BP & Instead Had Major Depressive Disorder For Years?

Hi Dreams... like you I kept getting told I was depressed probably for about 10 years and tried just about all the antidepressants out there..... finally after a mini-breakdown I went to a new pdoc who told me had bipolar. I'm just the opposite of you as I am more depressive than manic (at the moment would love to be just a touch manic!)

Hope you have a good combo of drugs.... I have a good combo, but unfortunately it looks like they just don't hold me for a long period of time as I found out this morning so it looks like I will be traveling down the ECT road once again. Good luck to you

 
Old 10-20-2008, 09:12 PM   #26
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Re: Anyone Misdiagnosed BP & Instead Had Major Depressive Disorder For Years?

Correction: I'm taking 100 mg of Trazadone -- not 180.

 
Old 10-21-2008, 01:55 AM   #27
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Re: Anyone Misdiagnosed BP & Instead Had Major Depressive Disorder For Years?

Hi Tigger!

From what I've read, it's not uncommon for many people with bipolar to be diagnosed with a different disorder (usually major depressive disorder) for 10 years prior to receiving the correct diagnosis of BP. It's a shame so many of us have to suffer through years of depression and mania (or have to be hospitalized) before an accurate diagnosis is made.

As for my meds, they are working great for me. While they don't eliminate my manic symptoms completely, I'm happy to take mild or moderate mania over severe any day.
During the time I was hospitalized for severe mania, I was extremely irritable and confused. If I can avoid it, I hope to never experience anything like that again. Once is more than enough.

I'm sorry to hear that meds aren't working for you. If you don't mind my asking, what is it like to have an ECT treatment? I'll be crossing my fingers in the hopes that it's successful in relieving your depression.

I know how you feel about wanting to experience a little mania from time to time. I went through a very serious depression many years ago and it felt as if it was something I would never escape. When I look back upon that time in my life, it makes me thankful that I have more mania than I do depression. As you can imagine, the mania feels wonderful! It's also the time when my creativity seems to blossom.

I hope you'll come back to let me know how your ECT treatment worked out. Good luck -- and here's hoping that it will give you some much needed relief!

 
Old 10-21-2008, 10:49 AM   #28
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Re: Anyone Misdiagnosed BP & Instead Had Major Depressive Disorder For Years?

When I was about 16 my gp prescribed anti-anxiety meds. After that (between about 17 and 31) I was put on various anti-depressants (Prozac, Effexor, Paxil, Lexapro) for combination anxiety/depression, but I would often stop taking them. At 31 I had my first full-blown mixed manic attack after which I was put on various moodstabilizers. Since then I have had several episodes and don't seem to tolerate ADs anymore (they push me into mania).

 
Old 10-21-2008, 04:09 PM   #29
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Re: Anyone Misdiagnosed BP & Instead Had Major Depressive Disorder For Years?

Dreams, thank you. I just wish someone would tell me what he/she took when lexapro stopped working for them. It was a miracle drug for me.

I'm scared of the weight gain and hair loss that I've read about from Dep. You have had neither one of those side effects for 2 years? Do you have a fast metabolism? I always hear of the terrible weight gain from it and the hair thinning. Do you know others who have not had these side effects on it?

My dr. mentioned Risperdal to me once. You have no side effects from that either? Could you tell me a little about Risperdal?

Traz. stopped working for me.

That's wonderful that you have been stable and found the right combo. I'm really glad.

Salty

 
Old 10-21-2008, 04:15 PM   #30
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Re: Anyone Misdiagnosed BP & Instead Had Major Depressive Disorder For Years?

Neon,

My first experience with ECT 5 months ago wasn't bad.... it was a bit nervous but I think I was more upset that I had to be hospitalised at all as I had managed to steer clear for so long (not that that was a good thing ) Since they put you to sleep you don't really remember anything that happens. The only bad thing that happened was when we tried what they call bilateral (where the do both sides at the same time as opposed to just one) as apparently it made me very very confused.... With as bad as my depression was I don't remember parts of my hospitalisation, and now I can laugh a bit about the parts I do remember.... the ECT worked, it took about 2 to 3 weeks to 'kick in', but it was wonderful when it did. So, I'm crossing my fingers I get the same response this time around....

 
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