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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:51 am 
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Hey everyone,

Does anyone feel that their suboxone acts like a mood stabilizer? I have bipolar disorder and ever since starting suboxone my family and I have noticed how incredibly stable my mood is.

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If you want to read about my theory behind this, continue reading. Otherwise, I would be very interested to hear if anyone has had the same/similar experience. Thanks!
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So continue reading if you want to hear about my grand theory......................


It could be a result of not using drugs anymore but I don't think that's it. I never used opiates for long periods of time, it was actually marijuana which I used most and which was my big problem drug. I used marijuana to slow my mind down so that I could hold on to one thought at a time, like a train track. So during my pre-suboxone days I was struggling with bipolar and self-medicating with marijuana. I don't believe the marijuana was the cause of my bipolar symptoms. I have also used marijuana while on suboxone without exacerbation of my mental illness. The amazing thing is that since being on suboxone marijuana doesn't have that attraction it once did nor does it have the same intense effect. I have bought it a few times since being on suboxone (i've been on subs for 2 years) and when I am done with my stash I never worry or have the urge to go get more and it lasts me for much longer. I AM NOT ENCOURAGING THE USE OF MARIJUANA.(Marijuana can be a HUGE problem drug). I am simply describing the use of it. Even when friends smoke I can take it or leave it. It's like I do not have the urge to self-medicate with it anymore, it doesn't have that grip on me anymore.

I believe this is due to suboxone. Again, this isn't a post about marijuana. It's a post about how my bipolar symptoms have dissapeared to the point that I do not have the urge to self-medicate anymore.

It's incredible. It could be an age thing... who knows, I was 27 when I started suboxone and I hear that mental illness gets better as one ages... And also interest in marijuana decreases with age. When I felt my bipolar symptoms going wack was when I was lowering my dose to 2mg, that is when for a month I started feeling that energy, sleeplessness, "wake up and bolt out of bed, can't wait to get the day started" feeling. So because I felt things getting out of hand I went to a shrink last year who put me on lithium for the first time in my life which worked like a miracle. But then I increased my sub to 4mg and didn't feel like I needed the Lithium which I was right. I used to have outburst, and inability to control my emotions. When I would plan for things down a few months down the road I would ask myself, "what will my mood be then? I hope it will be ok".

It's incredible. I recently started tapering unsucessfuly but when I got down to like 1mg (I take 4mg) I started feeling intensley and it felt almost like it does when I am manicy. It's like the cap to the bottle was removed.

I still get depressive episodes and I had one which was pretty bad, I slept 10hrs a day, felt like I had zero energy and like I was 80 years old and had to try hard to move my legs forward. But that is still nothing compared to the severe severe depression of my pre-suboxone days.

I think that suboxone might be working as a mood-stabilizer because it lessens the intensity of your emotions. The problem with bipolar disorder is that your emotions are too intense. With suboxone it levels those feelings out.

And actually when I decreased me suboxone during my taper I purposefuly went back on lithium since I thought it would make the taper easier. Well it did but it also made me feel extremely flat which I did not feel while on suboxone and lithium (I only took lithium during that period last year when I went down to 2mg). So then I stopped the lithium and once again due to the lower suboxone (I got down to 1mg before going back to 4mg) I felt emotions. I even felt music viscerally, in my body, like I had smoked some marijuana. When I smoked marijauana while on a stable dose of suboxone (4mg) I curiously enough didn't feel the music like I used to in my pre-sub days.

Can anyone relate? I have hears a few people mention this so I thought I would bring up the connection between suboxone and bipolar again. Again, my mentioning of the marijauana in no casual light. I am not advocating it.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:07 pm 
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Hi Dahlia,

I hope that more research is done in this area. Many people probably feel that it is not worth getting addicted to treat depression, but those people aren't the ones suffering. I think that the flip side of harm reduction is quality of life. When folks are suicidal or severely depressed I think its worth thinking outside the box. It's the stigma of addiction that drives patients and doctors away. If we could all work on lowering the stigma, more avenues of treating severe depression and bipolar disorder may become available to everyone.

I read this opinion article: http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2014/03/19 ... d-agonist/

I think that the comments section is more important than one person's opinion. There are so many who are suffering!

I'm happy that you've found that bupe works for you, Dahlia. I only hope that you can maintain your supply of bupe. I think your hypothesis has real merit.

Amy

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:13 am 
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My Bi-Polar disorder is under control with Suboxone as well. It also has gotten rid of my depression. I'm actually in the best mental state that I can ever remember. I've been on numerous mental health medications since I was 12 years old and tried to commit suicide for the first time. Nothing ever worked for the depression except opiates. I spent years of heroin use trying to get normal, not high. When I started Suboxone I was on Seroquel, Lemictal, Zoloft, Klonipin, and Trileptal. Within 90 days of being on Suboxone I was able to talk my doctor into weaning me off the mental health medications and I've been great. So it didn't surprise me to see that a new formulation of Buprenorphine is most likely going to come out in 2016.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 11:20 am 
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Hi All, I have no doubt in my mind that suboxone works to treat depression. I was experiencing mild bouts of depression associated with menopause. Thats when I started taking more and more tramadol. Once I started suboxone, all of that was gone! Also, the pain in my knees from osteoarthritis lessened. Suboxone has been a miracle drug for me!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 11:55 am 
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Subs have also helped by depression 110%. however, I still need my SSRI in conjunction with subs. I have taken an SSRI separately and I have taken Subs separately and i will have to say that neither one ALONE helped my depression . But the combination of the two seems to do the trick.

That is another reason why I plan on staying on a low dose of subs forever. I feel like together with my SSRI, I am a normal functioning person.

I have to say the subs give me energy and a positive outlook on life. I am so happy that I have found the med mix that works for me.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:51 pm 
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Raudy1975, I am so happy when I hear people say that they have a med regimen that works in treating their depression! It can take such a long time for them to work and work right! What a relief! It really upsets me when people don't have any joy in their lives. That is no way to live! Very happy for you!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:19 am 
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Hi

I was using marijuana and alcohol to self medicate for 20 yrs, along with other stuff.
I stopped the dope nearly 2 yrs ago now and he alcoholic in me took over in a really bad way. I have stopped drinking for nearly 9 months now and in jan this year I saw a psychiatrist who diagnosed bipolar. I am on lamotragine for it but that didn't really do much, even after upping the dose. Abusing opiates and benzos was the only way I knew how to be normal. To cut a long story short, I got too addicted and dangerously using street bought meds that I sought help from an AOD place. I was put on sub 1 week ago and although am not quite stabilised for addiction yet I do already feel like my moods are normal now. I was usually functioning way too high every day until I took my illegal cocktail after work to slow my racing thoughts and iritic behaviour and moods.
Sub has levelled me out. It feels strange to be 'normal' but I definitely like the predictability of my moods now. Im not behaving like im on speed anymore (I hte speed) and I put it all down to suboxone. People have noticed already how different my behaviour is and in a good way.
So, I agree its the sub helping my bipolar for sure. I think my doc even said it has that effect as well but font quote me on that.
Good luck with it all


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 12:58 am 
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I have bipolar type 1, and I'm not really sure I've experienced any mood stabilising effects from Suboxone. But I also take lithium, low dose zyprexa and an anti-depressant. I will concur that all opiates, in my experience, detach one from their emotions to some degree. On smack, methadone, and even Suboxone, I don't get the same buzz from listening to music. So in that aspect opiates I suppose are similar to lithium and the anti-psychotics.

In my experience though I'm still prone to experience depression while on Suboxone. And depression is the predominant symptom of my bipolar these days. I had a brief manic spell when I was on interferon, but other than that it's been nearly 10 years since I experienced a full blown mania.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:21 pm 
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Exactly, TJ, suboxone will not help stabilize everyone, only some. If you had felt aided by bupe you would not have had to get off of it during spells of depression. Just like not every type of typical anti-depressant works for people, bupe won't work for some people.

In the comment section of the article I posted above, many of the people who said that bupe helps their depression said that they had been diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression. It's those cases that require some outside-the-box thinking.

Amy

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 11:23 pm 
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I really relate to a lot of what's been written in this thread. I truly believe that some of us suffer from problems with our endogenous opioid peptides. I'd be interested to see if RLS or IBS are correlated with depression (treatment-resistant especially) or anxiety, for example.

I was an emotional cripple even before I ever got addicted to anything; in fact, it's what led to my addiction -- I was never much of a risk taker by nature, but when you feel happiness for the first time (and that is almost literal, almost not an exaggeratio: feeling anything except miserable was a once-a-month thing for me if I was lucky, before pills came along), well, you tend to want to come back to it!

Of course, illegal opioids led to all sorts of problems worse than the ones they solved. Suboxone has been a godsend for me. As Amy alludes to above, my depression was treatment-resistant: I tried literally every depression drug and therapy that was available to me (excepting MAOIs, because life without cheese is no kind of life...). Even amphetamine, benzos, and intensive multiple-times-weekly therapy didn't really change my basic situation, although it was the closest I got to being able to live a life -- before Suboxone.

I didn't expect anything from bupe except help with cravings and withdrawal, but now, now that I'm on buprenorphine for addiction, I feel normal... not high, not euphoric; I can still be sad or stressed; but I can feel. Even better, I can want -- I can have the energy and the desire to learn and do!

To someone who has been depressed for his whole life, that alone is a miracle!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:06 am 
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Crossfinger, I'm so relieved for you that suboxone therapy is working! After reading the post above I just had a big smile on my face that I wanted to share! :D :D :D

Amy

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:06 pm 
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Aw shucks, thanks for carin'! :) It's because of you (and the rest of the Suboxforum gang) that I was able to finally take the plunge, and have been able to navigate all the various difficulties one can encounter. I feel truly blessed for finding this medication and this forum!


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