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I'm scared of meds/Anyone taking meds w/out side effects?Anyone not even taking meds?

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Old 08-10-2007, 05:54 AM   #1
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Unhappygirl74 HB User
I'm scared of meds/Anyone taking meds w/out side effects?Anyone not even taking meds?

Sorry about all the questions but it's been a week and I can't decide if I want to make that call to a psychiatrist. I'm doing okay for now which is making me not want to call. Yet I know w/out fail that I will be in a low and screaming at my poor children and dh. But something that is different is I'm finally doing something about my weight. I've lost 12 pounds already but still have alot to go. I don't want the medicine to effect that. I have read so many times on this board how it makes some of you gain. I CANNOT handle any more weight gain!!! I know if I keep losing this might keep me feeling good. So I guess here's where I need your help in answering my questions. For those who might have a slight weight problem, does the medicine effect you gaining more? Do you know why? Anyone definately with bipolar that doesn't take medicine? How do you handle your highs and lows? I absolutely feel crazy when I have a low and can't stand to be in my own freaking skin. How will I fight that feeling? How can I be a good mom and wife? For those who do take medicine, have you found the right one/ones and how long did it take for you to find the right one and what type of side effects do you have?
I am absolutely freaking out about taking medication. I haven't been officially diagnosed but I am quite sure what the psych. diagnosis will be being that my twin sister was diagnosed. She actually doesn't take anything either but she's divorced and alone and we can't even tolerate being together. So it doesn't appear she has her life under control. The difference between me and her is I care. I care to not hurt my family and I care to make myself better. They tried all types of medication and combinations and she said she never had any work. So I guess I see myself going that way too. But maybe she had a horrible doctor? whose to say I'll get a good one though?
Just rambling, sorry. But if anyone could help me with my questions that would be so wonderful. And hopefully I haven't ****** some moderator off and they'll delete my post. I know I'm supersensitive but for heavens sake the rules on the weightloss board are a bit harsh. I refuse to go back there because I don't want to have to worry about every word I say and if it's offensive or wrong. Sorry, like I said I'm just supersensitive, just ignore my rants.

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Old 08-10-2007, 07:40 AM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2007
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FallenAngel2007 HB User
Re: I'm scared of meds/Anyone taking meds w/out side effects?Anyone not even taking m

i have the same fears as you. I was recently diagnosed as well, as bipolar II. Luckily, my doc agreed to let me try lexapro by itself. i mostly have depressive episodes, and I was on lexapro before for several years and it worked well. I told my doc I feel like I've made it to 35 without having to be seriously medicated, I don't want to suddenly be taking 3-4 pills daily because of a diagnosis. I would like to try just lexapro alone, since that worked for my depressive episodes before. He agreed, after warning me that I have to be wary for signs of mania as that sometimes happens when you treat a bipolar person with an antidepressant, and that if I check in with him frequently to let him know how my moods are, if I"m evening out, etc. And I agreed that if I feel it's not enough, that I do need something else, I'll be honest with him and let him know.

The thing is with me I've only experienced mild hypomania, and I've never been depressed to the point I've thought of suicide or anything, so I'm hoping this alone will work, at least for a while. And if and when it stops being enough, then I'll agree to him adding a mood stabilizer or whatever.

I've suffered with weight issues as well, and am finally down to where I want to be so I share your concerns about weight gain also. Lexapro doesn't cause weight gain for me though so that's a plus as well.

I just started yesterday though so don't know how it will work for me but will definently keep ya posted.


Old 08-10-2007, 08:13 AM   #3
Join Date: May 2004
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goody2shuz HB Usergoody2shuz HB User
Re: I'm scared of meds/Anyone taking meds w/out side effects?Anyone not even taking m

Hi, UG ~ I KNOW how important losing weight means in terms of self-esteem as well as keeping you from the depressive side of things. That is why you MUST lay that out to your psych doc from the very beginning when it comes time for choosing meds. Unfortunately most do cause weight gain some more than others. However, there are a few that are known to be weight neutral. They are Abilify, Lamictal, Trileptal, Tegretol, & Topamax. Some even say that Lithium causes very little weight gain.

The important thing to remember is a med that causes weight gain in one person may not in another so you should leave your options open to trying the meds starting with the ones that tend to be weight neutral if at all possible but realizing that you shouldn't be closed to a particular med that may work for you and not cause very much in terms of weight gain. It's all trial and error and so long as you have a good communication with your pdoc in terms of keeping track of the meds and how they are helping you it will be easier and quicker to find the right ones.

Generally, they say it takes a year or two to find the right meds. For my daughter it took us about a year....the combo that works well for her is Seroquel and Lamictal both of which have not caused any weight gain. Seroquel is one of those meds that is listed as one of the antipyschotics that has the least problems with weight gain but there are some here who say that they have gained lots of weight with it. Luckily my daughter has had no problems with that. I hand picked the meds KNOWING that my daughter was already depressed and didn't need as a teenage girl, to worry about gaining all kinds of weight. Plus as her mom I didn't want her to stop taking meds that worked because of that issue and KNEW that she would be more compliant with taking a med with as few side effects as possible and less apt to put on weight. And in both cases I think that we did well in terms of those factors.

Also Lamictal and Seroquel are known to be great meds that address more of the depressive side of the disorder so if you tend to exhibit more depression than mania that may be a good combo for you as well. My daughter gets quite agitated, frustrated and angry/irritable and the Seroquel works GREAT at addressing those things. The Lamictal stabilizes her moods along with it.

I wish you luck....PLEASE do not give up with the meds. You must realize that in the beginning you will have side effects but over time they will go away. It is important that you give each med a fighting chance without giving up too early. You will need at the minimum 2 weeks sometimes more. Lamictal has to be increased very slowly in order to avoid getting a rash so it may take a few months to get up to the right dose. So PLEASE trust you pdoc to get you are a team and you must work together to find the meds that will work with the least amount of side effects.

Hang in there....the worst thing you can do is not take meds because you fear weight MUST be brave and try them and then weigh out the benefits vs. the problems that they cause you in comparison to not being on them in the first place. Remember the longer that BP goes untreated the worse it becomes and the harder it is to treat.

Good luck ~ Goody

Old 08-10-2007, 08:32 AM   #4
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langlee HB User
Re: I'm scared of meds/Anyone taking meds w/out side effects?Anyone not even taking m

Goody's point is well taken. I told the pdoc from the beginning that I wanted to try every weight-neutral med first for my teenage son because I knew he would never be compliant with a med that made him gain weight. The other thing to bear in mind is that the meds are given in low doses first and then titrated up, so if you are having a problem, they can be changed. You might want to consider keeping a mood chart (you can find them online) with notations when you took the meds and any other important info (such as weight gain, irritability,etc.) so your pdoc can have a good indicator of how you are doing with the meds.

Good luck.


Old 08-10-2007, 11:46 AM   #5
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Unhappygirl74 HB User
Re: I'm scared of meds/Anyone taking meds w/out side effects?Anyone not even taking m

well so far you guys seem to make me want to go ahead and call the doc. I don't know, I'm just so confused.

BTW, what is a pdoc?

I've heard good things about Lexapro. If I decide to just try that should I go see a regular physician or should I go with the psychiatrist?

I was on Effexor and it made me feel so naseous and tired. However it did seem to calm me alot which I really liked. Anyway, I decided a week or so ago to go see a physicians assistant, since I can't seem to see a doctor and she changed me to citalopram (I think a generic of celexa). Should I give this a try, has anyone tried it? I do know regular depression meds like zoloft don't work but it was the only thing I could take while pregnant. Is this generic celexa just a regular depression medicine?

You know, come to think of it I wasn't taking Effexor brand. My pharmacist took it upon himself to give me a generic. The PA gave me trial stuff of the effexor brand and I didn't have any side effects. I wonder if I should try the actual effexor brand???? Would it make any difference?

ps. I thank you so much for responding to my questions and helping me with this decision. I wish so much I had a friend to talk to about this.

Old 08-10-2007, 12:04 PM   #6
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jendg28 HB User
Re: I'm scared of meds/Anyone taking meds w/out side effects?Anyone not even taking m

A pdoc is a Psychiatrist. An M.D specializing in psychiatric disorders. I have been on meds for about 7 years now and no major side effects. Yes, I do have some side effects like most people, but nothing major. Beware of taking Lexapro alone if you have Bipolar Disorder. It can and probably will make you very manic. Did for me.

Old 08-10-2007, 02:47 PM   #7
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: WI
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tsohl HB User
Re: I'm scared of meds/Anyone taking meds w/out side effects?Anyone not even taking m

You do need to be careful about taking any antidepressant without having a mood stabilizer in place.

I would stay away from Effexor; it is not a good medication for those who have bipolar disorder and it is very difficult to get off of.

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