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    Old 02-15-2007, 06:37 AM   #1
    Join Date: Jun 2006
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    gav_73 HB User
    Anyone experience a relapse of depression on Lamictal?

    Hi everyone!

    In addition to the other issues I currently wrote about, I have been recently feeling like I'm falling into another episode of depression (or mania, as they have always sort of mirrored each other in so many ways). It's not particularly bad or anything, but I am starting to feel the physical and emotional symptoms that I've always experienced when I've felt bad in the past, minus the extreme stress of course. It could be related to a number of things - "senioritis," anxiety about starting over after school, etc.

    On the other hand, the "weighted down" feeling I spoke of in my email about possible MS, lack of motivation, extreme irritability, anxiety and bursts of anger; and two very embarassing nervous issues I've always dealt with when extremely irritable, which leads me to think it's more manic than depression. Sometimes when I'm feeling this way, I have a tendency to "chew" and gnaw the inside of my mouth. I will catch myself and not even notice I'm doing it until I have blood running down my mouth. It's awful and I will end up with these huge sores on my tongue and sides of my mouth. It's terribly embarassing and I hate that I do it. It's disgusting I know. In addition, I will start plucking small hairs on my fingers and face - like if I've recently plucked my eyebrows and they start to grow back even just a little, I will pick at the small hairs until I have a big sore on my face. I am very embarassed writing this, but it's not as embarassing walking around with the result of these nervous habits.

    I was wondering if anyone has ever experienced a setback of some sort when medicated. I will, of course, mention it to my doctor to see what she thinks. But I've had such a good experience with Lamictal this far. However, it could be that I was already headed into a period of stability when I started it. I have read that others have had similar setbacks while medicated and lose hope of ever getting well. I don't feel that way, but I am a little worried that the medication may not be working anymore. I guess she coud increase my dosage. However, I am worried that maybe it wasn't working in the first place. Like I said, it's not the debilitating sort of depression/mania that I've experienced before, but the physical signs are there and I hate that I do these things. I don't feel sad or like I want to get wasted or anything like that. But the nervous habits that have plagued me for as long as I can remember are returning, when they almost completely disappeared when I started the medication. It's so embarassing and I don't notice it really until it's too late. Does anyone have any nervous ticks such as these? They make me feel so embarassed and ashamed that I feel alone and am very hesitant to talk about them.

    I'm currently taking 200 mg and crumbs of Seroquel at night to sleep. Any clues as to what's going on?


    Last edited by gav_73; 02-15-2007 at 07:14 AM.

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    Old 02-15-2007, 07:04 AM   #2
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    goody2shuz HB Usergoody2shuz HB User
    Re: Anyone experience a relapse of depression on Lamictal?

    ((((((((((Gav)))))))))))) from Goody!!!

    It sounds as if you do have more stress going on which may just be a breakthrough trigger that is offsetting your newfound balance. That is my take on things although I may not be accurate. I am only going by what has sometimes occurred with Erin who is on both Lamictal and Seroquel.

    A few weeks back, Erin started going into familiar waters that as her mom had me quite concerned. She wasn't quite as bad as before she was medicated but the irritability and behavior was somewhat similar in the sense of her appearing to be hypomanic. I had read that sometimes Lamictal can do that and since she had just had an increase from 125mgs to 150mgs a few days prior that was the first thing I thought was going on. When I asked Erin what she thought it was she said that it was probably her just getting her period as well as some stressful situations taking place at school.

    We had a pdoc appointment a few days later and he mentioned that with women who are Bipolar he often sees an increase in symptoms around the time of their cycle AND/OR during severe stressful situations. He recommended that Erin take an extra 25mgs of Seroquel with her am and pm doses during those times on a need to be basis. He provided us with the script and thus far Erin has not had to use it but both she and I feel better that she has that option.

    Perhaps that is what is going on with you as well??? As far as the normal amount of Lamictal that varies. Erin is on 150mgs and so far it is holding her but I have heard that some require up to 400mg/day. It is something that is very individualized....from my research with the increases there will be a few days of increased agitation which levels off with improvement followed by a dip. You know that you are on the right dose when the improvement continues with no dipping. Of course an added amount of stress can offset things requiring a temporary increase in the med. This is something that you should discuss with your pdoc but my suggestion would be to perhaps try taking the perscribed amount of Seroquel to see if it helps. That is the med that helps the most with the irritability and symptoms you are talking about. It is quick acting unlike the Lamictal and you should see some relief of symptoms readily after taking it. How much is the crumbs of Seroquel that you are taking. Erin is on 100mgs in the morning and 200mgs at bedtime and during her monthly cycle she can up each dose by 25mgs on a need to be basis. Oh and one thing I think you will be happy to know is that Seroquel has been shown to have a great ability to address depression as well which was news to me!!! So it may very well help out in your situation.

    I hope that you will feel I said I think that the added health concerns and upcoming decisions to be made are adding some stress that is having an impact on your stability. It is something that you can take care of with your getting to know what triggers this as well as your doctor working a plan out with you that will help you through those times which will be temporary.

    (((((HUGS)))))) ~ Goody

    Last edited by goody2shuz; 02-15-2007 at 07:06 AM.

    Old 02-15-2007, 07:13 AM   #3
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    Re: Anyone experience a relapse of depression on Lamictal?

    Hey, just my experience. When first diagnosed, about a year ago I started on Lamictil. Did great for a while, them fell into a depression like none other. I don't remember my dosage, sorry. But I tend to be that way with meds. They work great for a while, then my body adapts or something, I don't know. They haven't figured it out yet. Good luck to you

    Old 02-15-2007, 07:33 AM   #4
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    gav_73 HB User
    Re: Anyone experience a relapse of depression on Lamictal?

    Hey there! Thanks for your quick posts. I didn't even think of "hypomania," which is what I suspect I experience when "manic" and the reason both my depression and mania are difficult to distinguish from one another.

    Goody, I don't even know how ANYONE can take so high a dose of Seroquel. Just the crumbs knock me out so much so that I can sleep up to 12 hours on less than 25 mg. I wouldn't be able to function on more than that. A higher dosage would certainly affect my ability to drive, if I could even wake up. Also, sometimes when I take too strong a dose - which would be more than half of a 25 mg pill - it hits me so hard that I almost have a panic attack! Last night I experienced that, and I didn't even take half a pill. I think this may be a response to taking a handfull of pills and overdosing while drunk one time when I was kid - not to taking the Seroquel but my reaction and fear of the feeling it gives me when I start to fade out. When my doctor told me that some people take up to 1200 mg of Seroquel, I freaked out! LOL I couldn't believe it.

    Anyway, I have called my doctor and left a message. She's usually really good about calling back pretty quickly. What's funny is that I don't feel NEARLY as stressed these days as I did last semester. Actually, I am really looking forward to moving back home and the possibilities that my future professional life will bring. I have been looking for apartments, which has been a lot of fun, and just got my thesis approved. I should be celebrating, not feeling like this. Also, the recent post about possible MS didn't really worry me, and my doctor's reaction only made me feel better. He didn't seem too worried about it. Therefore, I feel very confused as to why I feel this way.

    I am at a loss as to why I am feeling the way I'm feeling. Like this morning, I had to move my car to the other side of the street for the city to clear the snow. My car was stuck in the snow so it took me a while to get it out. I was FREAKING out! I could have punched someone in the face. I'm just grateful that my poor husband didn't come out there to help me. I probably would have kicked his ***! LOL But it's no laughing matter really, because I'm being totally serious. It's crazy. Finally, I just finished my period only yesterday, so I should be feeling good.

    Old 02-15-2007, 08:33 AM   #5
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    gav_73 HB User
    Re: Anyone experience a relapse of depression on Lamictal?

    Ooooooo! I may have figured out the culprit! I've been drinking a LOT more coffee recently when I don't need it. In addition to the possibility that it may be the cause of the irritability and outbursts, it suppresses my appetite and I have been going long periods of time before eating breakfast. I'm eating only 1200 calories a day and I've found that recently (probably because of the coffee) I've been skipping meals. I have lost 18 lbs over the past 4 months and lost more last week than I've lost yet in one week. I think this may be the cause of both my irritability, anxiety, my nervous responses and loss of energy. Last semester I felt great, did more, but didn't drink much coffee at all because I was quitting smoking and coffee would trigger my need for one. I just now threw all my coffee away so I wouldn't be tempted to drink it in the mornings anymore when I don't need it.

    Thanks for your posts! And for those of you on or looking into taking Lamictal, don't let this post stop you. Other than my recent complaints (which I now suspect are caused by an increase in coffee), the drug has worked great for me.

    Old 02-19-2007, 03:24 PM   #6
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    tsohl HB User
    Re: Anyone experience a relapse of depression on Lamictal?

    Hi gav,

    I've been traveling for a week and away from computers. I was curious how you are feeling now? Did your theory about caffeine prove to be accurate?

    You should indeed be excited with all the positive activities going on in your life. But, even though they all seem positive, any kind of change is very difficult. Maybe that is bothering you on a level that you're not even really aware of? Even when you're really looking forward to events, there is still a lot of stress involved with finishing a program, thinking about an approaching graduation, a move, etc. That's a lot of change for one time!

    In any case, I do hope you are feeling better by now .
    Take good care,

    Old 02-19-2007, 08:18 PM   #7
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    gav_73 HB User
    Re: Anyone experience a relapse of depression on Lamictal?

    Thanks tsohl,

    I have quit the coffee unless absolutely necessary - usually on school days, which is only once a week. I actually had caffeine withdrawl and experienced a day-long headache like you wouldn't imagine that first day. But the next day was better and it's going fine. I have noticed that I am feeling a lot less irritable and a lot more motivated just in the few days without the coffee. It's really crazy at how many vices I've had to give up this year to feel healthy, physically and mentally. I've quit smoking after 17 years of nicotine slavery; I've quit drinking outright; I've gone on a 1200 calorie a day diet and lost 18 lbs; and now coffee. I'm going to be a regular health nut after all this is over. But since the diagnosis, I really do feel so much better about life and for the first time in a long time feel like I know who I am, what I want and how to get it. It was such a blessing to finally get a diagnosis!

    Thanks for your concern and I will let you know the status of my progress.

    Last edited by gav_73; 02-19-2007 at 08:19 PM.

    Old 03-04-2007, 09:10 PM   #8
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    Re: Anyone experience a relapse of depression on Lamictal?

    Yes you can absolutely have "breakthrough" depression or mania (or both) while taking meds. Treating bipolar can be very delicate. Any new symptoms or recurring old symptoms should be discussed with your pdoc.
    He/she may want to increase or decrease one of your meds.
    I have breakthroughs often that pass- I have a rule of thumb:
    if it lasts more than two weeks or I can't go to work, I call my pdoc.

    Old 03-05-2007, 05:49 AM   #9
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    Re: Anyone experience a relapse of depression on Lamictal?

    I'm still cycling horribly. I've just crashed from the highest state of mania I've ever experienced...I felt so happy that I thought I must be cured, what a miracle drug...yesterday I broke down in a sudden fit of uncontrollable heaving sobs, and screaming at the top of my lungs. I thought about overdosing on my benzo, and the lack of motivation I talked about in an earlier post has returned. I'm soon to reach 200 mg. of Lamictal. I don't know what to do anymore.

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