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Old 07-08-2005, 09:46 AM   #1
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Worried About My BF

There's so much stress on my BF as so many of you know who have been following my threads so I know it's got to be wearing on him.

The new pdoc he's been seeing was extremely thorough in the intake (4 sessions) and chose not to change his meds but a few weeks later, to present, he has been getting sicker and more agitated and he's even saying that he sees that nothing seems to be working any more. He has little to no appetite and I keep saying that with all the meds he's on, he needs food in his system so no wonder he's sick. He has nausea, headaches, no appetite, the Ambien is not keeping him asleep any more, yet he has a difficult time getting up in the morning and he had an anxiety attack this week (I think I mentioned it in a thread on here).

He got to see his pdoc this morning (another great find - she squeezed him in at 6:30 a.m.!). So she's dropping the topamax (as it's not helping w/the migraines) and adding Seroquel (keeping the lithium and lexapro) to take in the morning. Now, I thought Seroquel was for sleep.

Has anyone had this much problems with their meds? The combination he was on has been the only combo that has ever worked for him. Is this what happens - your body inevitably gets accustomed to the meds and they just don't work any more?

I don't feel like I'm asking the right questions or putting my thoughts into the right words but hopefully I'm making some sense.

It's just so hard to watch. He's been trying real hard, doing everything he's supposed to, going through the emotions and hassle of seeing a new pdoc and therapist and he's getting so discouraged that nothing's working.

To sum it up - ugh!

 
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Old 07-08-2005, 10:24 AM   #2
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Re: Worried About My BF

Quote:
Originally Posted by angelblue65
Now, I thought Seroquel was for sleep.

Has anyone had this much problems with their meds? The combination he was on has been the only combo that has ever worked for him. Is this what happens - your body inevitably gets accustomed to the meds and they just don't work any more?
Seroquel is an antipsychotic, it's for lopping of mania, it just happens to have a strong sedative(you'll sleep until next tuesday) effect. I have a friend who is clinically depressed and was given seroquel for sleep, I questioned that big time. But he got really sick on the stuff so he's off it now. But I digress. As for your second question, in a word: YES. In a second word: Si. In a third word: OUI. I personally believe that it's possible the body gets used to the meds and builds up a resistance. I've never heard a doc verify that btw. But I have personally reached a level of okayness with a med that only lasted a few weeks before it would seemingly stop working. When I was first put on seroquel I used to fall asleep within 5 minutes. That was 4 to 5 months ago, now it takes upwards of an hour. But that's just been my experience. Anyone else?
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Last edited by reesie; 07-08-2005 at 10:24 AM.

 
Old 07-08-2005, 11:31 PM   #3
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Re: Worried About My BF

Yeah, Celexa alone worked for me for a few years, but didn't do much good after I had my baby and it was clear I was BP. I still take it, but only in conjunction with other drugs.

A friend of mine who has anxiety attacks (but no BP) is on Lexapro and Wellbutrin. That combo works pretty well. Add the Lamictal, and you've got my med combo, too.

Don't know if it'll work for him, but has he tried Lexapro (or Celexa) and Wellbutrin in addition to his mood stabilizer? How has Lithium worked out for him? In my own experience, I didn't like Lithium much. I'm a big fan of Lamictal right now.

And yes, it's generally a known factor that meds will need to be changed up from time to time. It's only natural since anyone's brain chemistry and ability to cope with stress at 25 is probably not the same at 35.

 
Old 07-09-2005, 05:20 PM   #4
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Re: Worried About My BF

Thanks guys for your take on the meds situation. And ZBaby - good point about the age difference and how you handle stress.

Knowing now the "signs", my BF did not exhibit any during I'd say the first 6 or so months we were together with the exception of not needing alot of sleep. And he was not on any meds at all (because of moving from out of state and not yet setting up with a new team of docs). He then gets put on the meds that used to work for him and he's worse BUT along with that at the same time came a second surgery, unsuccessful btw, still can't go back to work, problem with his son, etc.. So he's dealing with extreme circumstances, long-term stressful situations and I guess it's no wonder there's a need for a new med combo.

 
Old 07-09-2005, 09:09 PM   #5
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Re: Worried About My BF

Angel - if a med has worked for you in the past and you go off it, the effectiveness of that drug will not be the same, so it might not work as well as before.

My own experience - Celexa worked okay for me warding off depression (didn't know I had BP back then), but I went off when I wanted to get pregnant. I foolishly thought I could go off and handle my moods through exercise, but I fell into a deep depression that required me to go back on the drug while I was still pregnant. Even though they doubled my dose, it didn't work as well as it used to, and I actually got worse a few months after my son was born. That's how it became clear that I was dealing with more than depression and med mgmt. needed to be adjusted.

Also, when the s*** hits the fan and you're on drugs that don't work, it's really difficult to bounce back. I had two rough years which included a lot of change and stress, so I can understand how your BF might feel right now.

It really sucks, but at this point he's got to go through the trial and error phase until he hits the jackpot with the right drug lineup. If there's a delicate way to do this, you might want to check and make sure that he's not making any adjustments to his regimen on his own. Sometimes it's tempting to take yourself off a drug cold turkey, but that can lead to more dire circumstances than if the docs gradually reduced his dosage til the drug was phased out completely.

These are all lessons that stem from my own mistakes. Stay strong and keep him motivated when he feels like all hope is lost. Like you've been doing all along.

 
Old 07-09-2005, 10:29 PM   #6
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Re: Worried About My BF

Wow, I didn't realize that just because you go off a drug, it can become less effective. He was off Lithium and Lexapro for quite a while.

He's taken seroquel now for two days and it hasn't affected him being tired during the day but then again, he's starting with the lowest dose. It was prescribed for the increase of his anxiety/racing thoughts also with the hopes of giving him back his appetite and he's taking that along with the Lithium and Lexapro.

Hopefully it will work for him because things are slowly getting worse and it's really worrying me. I'm trying to keep busy with things but it's hard nonetheless. I "miss" him.

 
Old 07-10-2005, 08:38 AM   #7
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Re: Worried About My BF

Hey Angel,
Sorry you are going through a rough patch. I have heard a lot of people really say they like the seroquel. But, unfortunately my husband can't take it. He was on the lowest dose and he would get up to go to the bathroom and couldn't stand up straight, he has hit his head on every wall in the bathroom I think. Then he rolled off the bed one morning and just kept snoring away. Even after I got him woke up and back on the bed, he didn't remember any of it. I was really hoping it would work for him. Since your BF isn't that tired from it and doesn't seem to have any ill effects, maybe it will work for him? I am crossing my fingers for ya,
Hugs,
Nodi

 
Old 07-10-2005, 09:15 AM   #8
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Re: Worried About My BF

Angel - Once your BF is stable on Seroquel (at least 1-2 months), maybe the p-docs can look in to adjusting one of the other drugs. Once he gets stable on the other drug, they should look into whether or not the last drug needs to be adjusted.

It sounds like Seroquel may be doing the trick. It would be best if he stayed on the lowest dose that proves effective for him.

Encourage a slow and steady approach, no matter how anxious the both of you are to get him back to normal. Only one drug should be adjusted at a time -- too much change in the drug regimen at once could be disastrous, and would make it harder to pinpoint what works and what doesn't.

Have you or your BF looked into anger management techniques or classes? I don't know how effective they are, but it might be good to check them out. So many people suffer from constant rage that there are bound to be some good insights that could help beyond drug therapy.

 
Old 07-10-2005, 11:25 AM   #9
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Re: Worried About My BF

Nodi-I remember reading one of your posts about the effects your husband experienced when on Seroquel. How awful.

It's good to hear from you though and thank you for "stopping by" to say hello.

Z-I hear what you're saying about adjusting one med at a time. I am thankful that this new pdoc has such a thorough, well thought out approach. Such a 180 from the other team he was seeing. They just kept throwing stuff at him. I was amazed.

He's supposed to up his dose from 25 mg to 50 mg tomorrow. And Wed. the pdoc is going to check in on him to see how he's feeling.

Today is the 4th day in a row that he just is in a rage. The difference is that he's aware, has moments where he can talk to me about what's going on, and each day has left the house so we won't get into arguments. Going for a drive has seemingly been good for him. The other difference is I don't push as much although I'm still making mistakes because it's so emotional. I understand that there is nothing to "fix" this and the only thing that will resolve what's going on is time. But it's still hard.

I don't mean to be ignorant by any means by saying this and I am certainly not simplifying anything but I feel like I actually have a fraction, a very very very small fraction, of understanding of what it's like for my BF to have all these thoughts in your head that you just want to run from. There's so much stress and thoughts and emotions and hurt and frustration that's running through my head and it is not stopping. It's like I want to close my eyes and make all of it go away so I don't have to feel any of this. But there's no outlet, none of this is going away, and I am trying to take care of myself while all this is happening but there's no break from the feelings. I can't focus on anything else because there's so much "up there." Is that what it's like all the time with racing thoughts?

And to make matters worse, this morning we got a call from my BF's Mother who is sending his younger son home to us for a couple of weeks because she, for whatever reason, changed her mind. The deal has always been that the boys go up to their mother's for the summer. This summer, they had the option of there, their Aunt's (where their cousin is and all these cool projects to do they were looking forward to) and their Grandmother's. His Mom knew how much stress he was having with his kids - she's the one who came down when he had his breakdown a couple of months ago and said she would take the younger one for the summer because she was worried about him and knew he needed the break. Now, he's in a state where I don't know when it's going to get better and add his son to the mix - the one who is disrespectful and pushes his Dad's buttons like you wouldn't believe. I'm not giving up but there just doesn't seem to be a break for him........for us. Now I feel like

I found some support groups near where I live for SO's like myself, I think some through NAMI, I can't remember. I don't know if it will help but I'm thinking of going to check it out. I know to help my BF is to help myself.

I don't know what I would do without this board and without all of you wonderful people. I feel very fortunate that I have support from others here.

Thank you.

 
Old 07-10-2005, 11:42 AM   #10
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Re: Worried About My BF

WOW! I am so impressed with you and your stick by you-ness. How difficult things must be for you. I truly hope that the new drs and the new meds are going to work out. Good luck to you and your bf. I wish you a ton of strength to deal with all the new sets of problems coming your way. Take care!

 
Old 07-10-2005, 02:31 PM   #11
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Re: Worried About My BF

This may sound simplistic, but the problems with the younger son might be lessened through a change of perspective. When you anticipate problems, you're more likely to have them. At least that's what I've found in my own life. You mentioned in another thread that your BF's son was being more considerate during your weekend move and was nice to you. If there's some way to reinforce that and praise him for noticeable improvements, things might get better little by little. With your BF so wrapped up in his own BP and life problems, the son might be acting out to get his Dad's attention. Subconsciously, ANY attention is better than no attention. You can't make him change his ways, but you can change the way you respond to him.

Yes, I'm sure you've tried everything in the book. It's just my opinion, but I'm not the one living through this. One thing about this is that your son's presence may be more of a blessing than a curse. You and your BF might be able to bond with him in ways that you couldn't with the older son around. And having another person around will force your BF to seek more effective ways to keep his rage in check.

The power of love is an amazing thing. You and your BF have it in spades, and I hope you're able to channel it to your advantage.

 
Old 07-11-2005, 07:57 AM   #12
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Re: Worried About My BF

Z-What a great perspective! In one way it's simplistic but I mean that in such a way that I am ashamed I didn't think of it that way. I am so caught up in my own stuff that my emotions have taken over and I can't seem to take a pro-active approach to anything at the moment.

When things are going along ok, I am able to clearly look at things and not react. When things start "feeling" like everything is out of whack, and "feeling" personal, then I get all caught up in that emotional spiral that only leads to more negative stuff. I just wish I had a switch so that when my BF gets in these agitated states, I can just turn it off and go about my business. We'd all be the better for it. If I'm the one who CAN control what I do, why is it so hard, especially after all this time - I should know better.

So here I am "feeling" like it's all personal and not being able to get out of that thought process, even though my reasonable self would see it that way (but my reasonable self is somewhere on vacation hiding out) and my BF only sees that I'm perpetuating things (reasonable) and not seeing how it feels on my end.

It's like we're on a merry-go-round. When it's slow, things are good, we're enjoying the ride, and we can get off at any time but when my BF gets in these hypomanic states, the merry-go-round starts spinning faster and faster and I don't have time to think because everything is happening so fast. I want to get off, I know I SHOULD get off, but I can't. So I stay on for the ride because it doesn't feel like I have a choice - that if I left while things were still spinning, I might never be able to get back on (feeling like I'm losing him) and I get dizzy from it all. When the merry-go-round finally stops, I'm thrown off looking for my BF and hoping we can get back on when it starts up again, each time holding my breath that there'll be room for me to get back on.

I don't know, does that make sense?

 
Old 07-11-2005, 11:02 PM   #13
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Re: Worried About My BF

Makes total sense. Kinda like the internal stuff that goes on with me. There's the reasonable and centered me, and the BP me, and we're always arguing It's impossible to get off the ride when you ARE the ride, but at least I know when I'm taking myself for a ride, even if I can't control it entirely. It's in some ways more difficult to be the passenger because you're always reacting to what your BF is going through. It's more difficult to keep your cool when you're two steps behind trying to anticipate when the next big bump will occur. I know that's how my DH feels, and he gets more wound up about my BP than I do sometimes.

It takes a lot of self-discipline to refrain from saying or doing the first thing that comes to mind. Patience with yourself will do wonders in increasing your patience with other people. Stay strong and remember to "guard your thoughts carefully, for they determine the quality of your life." Yes, I'm the first to admit, easier said than done!

 
Old 07-12-2005, 07:48 AM   #14
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Exclamation Re: Worried About My BF

Z-Again, thank you for your support. It's given me a lot to think about.

I certainly don't mean to complain because I realize I am in a relationship with a wonderful man. But this is killing me. Since the depression has taken hold, there was always something that "went away" yet every other aspect of his personality remained. The last three weeks, his love of holding me or being held has disappeared (and I'm not referring to anything of a sexual nature). And that is hard.

But now, it's been nearly a week, and he has almost disappeared completely. We're not arguing but we're not talking. I can tell when I try to have a conversation with him, he's struggling to listen. Everything, and I mean everything, angers him. The only thing we do together is watch a movie because that requires no interraction. I am really really worried.

I've posted before about the depressive part of this illness and those seem to be the only posts I do not get a reply to. But I'm desparate here. I just don't know what to do. Anything, and I mean anything, would be helpful. I bought a book which sucked. I'm so scared - it feels like I'm losing him.

And to make matters worse, my one support in all of this, his Mom, now seems to have backed away. On Sunday, when my BF went out for a drive, he called his Mom. I spoke to her after (he knew I called her) because I'm concerned for him. When I tried to explain to her that he's in a hypomanic state right now with severe depression and that I just want to figure out how to better help him, she told me that I should "back off" and consider "moving on", that she thinks this is too much for me. I was shocked. She told me that the conversation she had with him was calm and clear and that he is fine and she has no idea what hypomanic means. (and she supposedly knows all about his illness). She told me I shouldn't be discussing these things with him (his moods, etc.) even though I later clarified with him that this is what he wants. She's three hours away and I live with him and I've spent enough time trying to educate myself but according to her, I should just let things be. She's also a sensitive person, I'd love to see how she would react if he said things to her that he says to me. It woud be a different story then. So this just adds to the hurt.

What is frustrating is he told me that while on the phone with her, she brought up his past childhood trauma yet again (she has this discussion with him - even in front of me - DURING EVERY VISIT AND PHONE CALL). Believe it or not, she even discussed this on Christmas Day in our home while his sons were sitting in the background. He hates talking about it and it stirs things up every time for him but he refuses to tell her to stop because whenever he's "short" with her, she either gets really offended or she thinks he's in a "state" and then starts harping on THAT. It's not my battle but it's getting ridiculous.

I guess it took all of this to push me to find other outlets. I just felt that if I stayed home nights, it would help just because I'm "there." When he wasn't feeling these lows, he wanted to be together all the time. Now, it's like he looks at me in disgust that I don't feel like doing anything (my projection, not necessarily true) but of course I don't feel like doing anything because I don't feel so good myself. When people are feeling really low like he is, is there a chance of feeling abandoned if I started going out (like meeting a girlfriend for coffee or going to the gym, etc.). That's the last thing I want him to feel.

I'm just so confused on how to snap out of this myself and to do the right thing to help him.

Thanks guys.

 
Old 07-12-2005, 08:05 AM   #15
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Re: Worried About My BF

Do what's going to make you feel better. Although his mom does not sound like Mrs. Cleaver by any means, she may have a point about backing off. Both of you would probably be better off if you created some space for yourself. When the two of you are in a funk, you're not much good to each other. Make yourself happy. What he might need now is some time and space to sulk in solitude. He'll come out of his funk when he's good and ready. Maybe if he sees you taking care of yourself and enjoying time outside of your relationship, he will gravitate to you more.

 
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