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 Post subject: Not doing too well...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:26 am 
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Hey guys...

Shit has become really difficult for me in 2013. Actually the decline probably started in Dec 2012. Basically the anti-depressants I was on to manage my bipolar stopped working. Thanks to Agomelatine / Remeron and my own persistence I'd had a good 10 months of success in my studies, relationships, life in general. But in Dec the depression caught up with me and I started to think I'm worthless, felt incapable of being around other people, thinking of suicide regularly etc. That was 4 out of 5 days. Occasionally I seemed to have "okay" days where I didn't feel like that, where I'd call my girlfriend and say "Babe I think I'm better", only to wake up the next day only wishing I could go back to sleep so I could forget the feeling weighing down on me.

Anyway what's happened is the doctor agreed I'd experienced anti-depressant "poop-out" and was going through a period of bipolar depression. The lithium seems to fuzz out the depression, and apparently affords some kinda suicide protection for people with bipolar which is definitely a good thing. But it's no fucking answer. Psychiatry is pretty stumped for answers with bipolar TBH. He's now trialling me on a tricyclic anti-depressant and I was really hopeful it might be the medication that I could stay on long term.. But its positive effect vanished after a few days, if it was there at all, and I've been left grappling with my doctor as I'm convinced we're wasting our time with this medication ... he however wants to stick with it, increasing the dose higher and higher over the last 3 weeks to near toxic-levels (more on this later). In the meantime I haven't been attending any of my summer school classes, so I've failed my summer unit which will mean staying at university another 6 months longer.

The issue is my addiction's also come back into play. Heroin is a SHIT anti-depressant for me these days. It was stripped of its shine and title as "the answer to all my problems" a few years into my using. I don't look forward to using it. I use it because for a little while I can't "feel" the feeling that's gnawing at the insides of my brain. It's a way that I can kill myself without killing myself. I also spend a lot of time googling latest bipolar treatment hoping to find some kind of holy grail new treatment that will cure this frustrating condition (bipolar is the most fatal mental illness by far).

I actually e-mailed a guy recently - the guy who runs this site - http://www.psychotropical.com/ - because he seemed to know a lot about TCA anti-depressants. He replied with his skype deets and offered to skype. I took him up on the offer. Here's a doctor / psychiatrist (semi-retired) who has written many papers for some well respected journals and knows a shitload about anti-depressants. He actually gives advice for FREE. He told me that my doctor is being incredibly negligent by prescribing close to 300mg of Dosulepin without checking my blood levels first .. and that if the coroner investigated my body and found I'd had a seizure from Dosulepin overdose and my doctor didn't check levels, he'd be in big shit. So today I see my doctor, tell him I was told by this respected guy that I should get my levels done ... and he goes into instant EGO-PROTECTION MODE (Psych's are good with that shit) and tells me "no it's okay you're a tall guy with a big liver blah blah" .... anyway I don't know who to believe? The doctor on the psychotropical website (seemed like a raelly cool guy btw) also suggested Clomipramine as the most effective TCA, yet my doctor says that TCA's are all the same and there's no differences. It just seems that there's so many contradictions, and that my doctor has very little experience with TCA's but is trying to hide it?

Anyway that's just the driving frustration behind why my bipolar isn't doing anywhere fast. But the last 1-2 weeks I've been using a bit... maybe every 3 days. I've been starting to drive a dealer around in the evenin running errands... I've started smoking cigarettes again. I really just don't give a fuck anymore. The bad thing is I don't like the drugs. Even if I wasn't doing drugs I'd still be getting involved in crazy shit.

I just can't believe how I can go from swimming 2-3km's every two days, studying getting HD's and D's and being in an awesome relationship, calling up my friends regularly and organising events ... to wanting to self destruct all because of some fucking flaw in my brain chemistry that makes me stop caring about my life, seeing myself as worthless, damaged, waste of space, sometimes suicidal. When it gets to that stage I usually use heroin.

Congrats for reading my self-indulgant diatribe.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:52 am 
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tejay this may not be much help to you but'. i have the same problems you have i think and your typing is 10 times better than mine :o make sure your doc is keeping track of all your meds

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:56 am 
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TJ - I'm really sorry you're going through this. I've sensed that you were in a down cycle for a while now. If there's any saving grace of bi-polar it's that it's BI-polar, which means now that you have cycled down this far you will inevitably cycle back up at some point. I discovered that you can use this forum as a journal of sorts. You can look at all of your own posts in order by date, and maybe by looking back you can get a feel for what the timing is of your up cycles and down cycles. Have you ever tried that?

In re: your doctor - if all TCAs were the same, why would they have different ones? I have a friend who has also been through the AD mill and can't take any SSRIs whatsoever. Finally after YEARS of suffering they finally found the right TCA for him and he is on quite a high dose. The difference in him is remarkable - you can see from a distance how much both his mood and his LIFE have improved. So maybe you're right in going to someone who specializes in TCAs. That's not a common specialty these days - most docs think SSRIs are the holy grail.

Anyway, thanks for coming on the forum and talking about this stuff. We all know addiction thrives in the dark. And who knows how many lurkers out there are going through the same struggles thinking they're the only ones. Keep talking about it and above all, keep fighting. What is your Suboxone status? Is using jeopardizing your access to Sub? And if you admit you have been using would they be willing to up your dose, and might that help? Also, would you be open to the suggestion, don't use today and go to a meeting? Do whatever it takes - we all know opiates are deadly, and we don't want to lose you.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:18 pm 
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Teejay- I just want to give you my support and tell you that I'm thinking of you. I have no words of wisdom but I'm here, reading your diatribe, and I am thankful that you chose to share with us. I hope you find something that works for you eventually and hang in there in the mean time. I am also curious as to how/ when you are sub dosing.

Virtual hugs to you.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:16 pm 
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Hey TJ,

Sorry to hear you're struggling man. I'm sure you'll pull through in time, you're a good guy and help a lot of people on here.

In the meanwhile hope this makes you laugh:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qA8gJoT5yl4[/youtube]


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:43 am 
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You're tall and you have a big liver???? What kind of bullshit medical speak is that? I hope your doctor can get over himself and try to be more helpful and SOON!

I'm sure it's an effort to keep going when you're feeling so low. But please know that you are very much appreciated here and you are worth the effort. So keep breathing in and out and keep waking up every day. And do your best to stay away from heroin, and at least be super careful.

You are due for an upswing and it's coming TJ.

Virtual hugs,

Amy

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:32 am 
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Yeah been dipping in and out of the "dark side". Spent a while driving around a dealer. Spent a while tossing up in my mind about getting involved with her as we were getting close but that was no doubt my addiction wanting to lead me down a dark path. At one stage a large amount of drugs was left in my car. I think being on Sub was the only thing that kept me from feigning ignorance Also started smoking cigs again, and haven't been swimming at all. All this while still taking at least one of my two daily doses of Sub... weird huh?

Somehow managed to be honest with my partner and aside from walking out that night I've made amends. But I'm on thin ice that's for sure.

Been put on a new anti-depressant... fingers crossed I'll be back on track. Haven't touched drugs (heroin / benzos) for a week. Start this new psych treatment today maybe it'll help me get me back together enough in time to return to uni. Fuck it's easy to slip back down. Recovery's like a game of snakes and ladders. Overall I think I'm making progress. Big picture teejay big picture.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:29 pm 
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Oh TJ, im also sorry to hear about this.

I think all you can do is pray, and keep fighting with your doctor to do the right thing. You know using heroin will make all this shit worse.

In my outpatient group, they tell us that our thoughts come first then our feelings. They tell us to talk positive to ourselves no matter what. I know how hard it is but it seems to help.

I have not been 100% either. I lost my lithium and sub in december and was off both for about a week. My husband noticed I was becoming paranoid and manic and forced me to call my doctor and tell him I lost my meds. Since then I have been experimenting on living with less sub. I used to be on 4mg no problem. Now I feel mentally unstabe unless Im on 8. Why I start fucking around with my sub dose is beyond me. So now Im back on 8mg sub and 900 lithium. Feelin good but still a little crazy. hahaha.

I guess my point with all that is, like lily, is to ask about your sub dose. Should you go up a bit for awhile? Take care of yourself TJ we all love you here!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:13 pm 
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TJ, I hear ya on recovery being like Snakes and Ladders, but it's also been my experience that I pretty much control whether I'm aiming for the snake or the ladder.

With some of your recent posts, it sure sounds like you're heading for the snake and I wanted to tell you to do whatever it is you have to do to change directions. If that means taking more Suboxone, then do it.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:51 pm 
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Hey TJ, I've also noticed since your friend died that you've pretty much been on a downward trajectory. Do you think that maybe you have some survivors guilt going on? Have you talked to a counselor about it?

Along those lines, I was talking to an addict friend of mine a while back and we got to talking about our near OD's. Both of us were stunned at how we both almost had fond memories of the events. Fond memories isn't quite the right word, but it's all I can think of right now. Anyway, we both realized then how sick our addiction is and how insane our addiction is.

For a long time I really struggled to try and understand every facet of my addiction. I'm one of those people who wants to try and understand everything and figure it out, but that day I was talking to my friend, I instantly understood that I would never come to completely understand my addiction because of how sick it is and because it's insane. That realization helped me to stop "fighting" my addiction and taught me to just accept it and learn to live with it.

Gosh, I hope this made some sense to you.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:39 pm 
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Yeah it does make a lot of sense to me Romeo. It's like there's a dark side (addiction) and a light side (recovery), and when you're on either side you lose complete touch of what it's like to be on the other. Like in my addiction, I'd remember looking at people going to work in the morning on the train, making an honest living, striving to get ahead and not understanding one bit of it. My life was doing whatever I had to to get money, scoring, using ... and sustaining my life so that I could continue doing so. "Normal" life just passed me by like another stream completely, and everyone in it spoke what was like a foreign language I didn't understand at all.

I think with my recent dalliances into the addiction world, sub's probably been the only thing stopping me from going under completely. I'd still usually have one of my two daily doses, and that was enough to stop myself feeling my hits enough to fall back in love with heroin. While I got an effect from the gear, Sub definitely blocked it enough to make pulling out of it possible. And when you're with someone who's essentially giving you free drugs, that slide woulda come very quickly. She'd just been kicked out of her boyfriend's place because (at least it was obvious to me) he wanted to get clean. She was no doubt looking for someone else to drive her around and give her a place to stay. I do remember enough of addiction to know that everybody has to serve a purpose. And she definitely tugged at my rescuing streak. I kept reminding her of how much money she could be raking in if she only stopped blowing her profits on her multi-gram a day habit. She kept telling me how much she wanted kids and that her clock was ticking, but honestly I couldn't see it while her head was sitting between her knees. I was regularly pushing the idea of Suboxone, telling her she could own "smack town" if she only got clean.

As for survivors guilt. There's no doubt what happened has played some kind of a role. Shortly after he died I felt like I had to have one last hit "for my mate" - as sick as that sounds. And I do feel like I could have prevented his death if I only warned him of how vulnerable he was to overdose at the time ... but I didn't wanna put that idea in in his head. But my bipolar was going downhill a while before he died, so both seemed to happen at a bad time.

Anyway, this new medication (Clomipramine) is fucking strong. Never had an anti-depressant feel like it worked literally the day after I took it. I don't feel like using today. That's really heartening because in the past SSRI/SNRI medications have made me turn into a drug-fiend. I actually feel happy. Touch wood this will last. Hopefully Orange Doll I won't be pushed to the manic side. Fuck this illness can be like a tightrope walk sometimes. I'm familiar with CBT. At one stage I was so "programmed up" with techniques nearly every thought was corrected in some way. However I found when mental illness (in that case depression) took over, it became so much harder to correct my thoughts, eventually I gave up trying. Mania ... correcting thoughts .. wouldn't even bother. I'd be enjoying my thoughts too much.

I take my hat off to you that you manage your illness and your mood episodes without using. Heroin (and cocaine/speed in the past) became my "turn to" relief whenever I felt sick from a pretty young age (16). When in the midst of depression or mania it can be hard for me not to give into old routines.


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 Post subject: reason
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:25 am 
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hey. um.. f corrective thoughts. i am just wondering on the whole basis of this and now to read about how it with the forum that i have been turning to since my true attempt whhich is for in my own self setbacks. i respect this place and thank you for all not that i am alone with these idk thoughts, control , attempt s wishing u the best and always know that u are not alone . and wondering how u today?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:59 pm 
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I'm okay wisharer... I'm alive, which is a good sttart. How are you?>


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:39 am 
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Hey Tee Jay, Sorry to read how you feel dude. Do you usually have swings of depression? My point is
that Bi-polar is known more for the manic and hypomania ,which I thought was complete opposite of what you described.

lack of norepinephrine/Dopamine could be what is ailing you.

Talk to your dr about maybe trying a trial of a psycho-stimulant for a few days or a week or a month.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:46 am 
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I tend more to depression these days ... in the past though (early 20's) I was having equal mania to depression. I won't lie. I miss the feeling of the early days of mania. It's like a hit of cocaine that lasts for days ... however like coke it ends up in some psychotic crazy thinking.

Bipolar is a weird condition. You can be depressed all your life, but if you've had one (hypo)manic episode you're still bipolar. While they don't know that much about why it happens, they speculate that its underlying cause is quite different to unipolar depression. ie a person can only have periods of depression their whole life, but the moment they go hypomanic after taking an anti-depressant, it means their depressions have had a bipolar origin, and often they get re-diagnosed bipolar. That's like my sister. They're thinking now that it's a mitochondrial disorder where the lil energy cells in our neurons release too much energy for a while, then burn out for a while and have to recharge. The research is early days but it's looking promising.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:32 am 
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I am guessing you tried the geodons, the abilify's and the zyprexa's with no relief?

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 Post subject: right now
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:30 am 
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i am doing ok right now. thats the struggle for me its ok then its hectic and i get not ok. lol day to day. i almost feel like as long as i am struggling i am still moving in the right direction,
always looking for the magic answer that i know is in me not out there. i feel i need some out there just to manage me. ok .. how u doing this monday? was glad to hear that rb had there thing hopefully that will help drive down the cost somewhat here in us. does any of that have effect where u are?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:59 am 
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Wisharer to be honest the RB thing won't make much difference to the consumer down here. Might sound weird considering how much I speak out about RB. Generics might save our government some $, but we pay approx $5 a day dispensing fee regardless of whether it's methadone or Suboxone / Subutex and it doesn't matter what dose you're on. 2mg or 32mg pay the same. Generics will give us more choice but I still think it'll be $5 a day.

I know what you mean about looking for the answer. I've often thought that everything'd be okay if I just had that answer that'd tell me the way to approach recovery and all the puzzle pieces would fall together. At the moment I'm a bit dazed and confused getting used to this new medication, but I'm not using and I've stopped smoking again and I'm going to work and I'm functioning and trying to make things better.

I like to think as long as I'm working towards struggling less ... I'm going in the right direction. How's your Monday?

god_from_the_snake wrote:
I am guessing you tried the geodons, the abilify's and the zyprexa's with no relief?


Hey sorry I missed this post. Yeah I've been on Abilify and Zyprexa and a few of those meds. They're great anti-manics and have saved my ass on more than 1 occasion, but my doc doesn't like prescribing them long-term unless the person really needs em. They also don't do much for the depression. I got my high-school-certificate on Zyprexa and did quite well even though it turned my tall skinny ass into a tubster who needed at least 2x large whopper/w/cheese meals at lunch to feel close to full.


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 Post subject: Wishing you well
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:18 pm 
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Hey TJ,

Glad to read you're doing a bit better on the new meds. This whole bi-polar thing spins my brain around. Did this exist 100 years ago? I think back then they just threw you in the dungeon if you showed any mental illness.

Your illness is on my mind quite a lot. My wife's ex best friend is mostly manic but she disappears when it goes the other way. Most of her problem is meth, and that's why she's an "ex" BF. She uses meth to stay out of the depression part. But now she looks and acts like an old time meth addict. No real grasp of reality anymore. Very sad.

You may or may not remember, but about 5 years ago, the man who literally saved my life in AA committed suicide. The county hospital doctor cut him off his bi-polar meds. He hung himself right in front of the building so they'd see what the results were of his mis-treatment. That one hit me hard and I wondered why he didn't call me like he had done in the past. His girlfriend told me that when his meds were cut off he started drinking again after 25 years of sobriety. He was so ashamed of it he didn't call me.

So when you talk about your illness, it always makes me a bit sad. Please be a good boy and take your meds even if they aren't perfect. It really sucks to be an addict on top of that.

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 Post subject: Re: Wishing you well
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:40 pm 
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rule62 wrote:
Glad to read you're doing a bit better on the new meds. This whole bi-polar thing spins my brain around. Did this exist 100 years ago? I think back then they just threw you in the dungeon if you showed any mental illness.


It was in 1913 that the term manic depression was first used to describe people who oscillate between mania and depression... so that's like 100 years ago this year. Some time in the 80s they stopped using the term manic-depression and replaced it with the nicer sounding bipolar disorder.

That story is real sad Rule and it's always a real shame to hear about a loss that could have been prevented with better care. It's good that he experienced 25 years of sobriety and relative stability that's more than a lot of addicts / alcoholics can achieve.

I always found AA more open to people getting treated for mental illness than NA, where some members take the "drug is a drug" idea too far. Maybe I would have done better in AA.


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