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thesecretlifeofamanicdepressive


Member

Posted Tue Feb 12th, 2008 2:26am Post subject: Managing bipolar depression without medication?
Hello, this is an "I need your experiences, please" thread.

The skinny is, I can't take antidepressants because every time I have tried, even with a mood stabiliser, they trigger dysphoric mania.

The medication I take now isn't helping a depression that I am slipping into and which is getting deeper.

I've discussed therapy with my CPN and I am wondering- can it only be helpful to a degree? I have always felt that largely, my swings in mood are very biological. They come from nowhere and I'm not *triggered* by things, even though I've had many traumatic experiences such as recently losing a best friend to suicide.

Whereas I want therapy to help me cope with these events, and with the actual realities of having severe manic depression (as refered to by doctors, nurses and everyone and by me if I'm honest), I don't know how helpful it will be regarding the kinds of biological depressive swings that I feel I experience.

Any advice on this?

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Matthew619


Member

Posted Tue Feb 12th, 2008 6:54am Post subject: Managing bipolar depression without medication?
I, too, feel the same way sometimes. Well, before the medication. You mention antidepressants, but why not try a mood stabilizer?

Granted, some mood sabilizer work better on the mania side than the depressive side, but they eventually even you out, sort of speak.

And I had fears when going on medication and you may be feeling them as well. I felt that if I took the meds they would change my personality. I was in these states for so long that they became a part of me, and I was so scared that I wasn't going to be the same guy that everyone knew. Which is complete bollocks now because I have been on meds for 7 months now and I am still the same old realistic, pessimistic chap with piss and vinegar running through my veins.

I know this is not a whole lot of advice, but I do hope it helps. And sorry to hear about your friend. Whatever you may believe, or whichever God, may that god bless your friend.

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Fourth Feline


Member

Posted Tue Feb 12th, 2008 12:03pm Post subject: Managing bipolar depression without medication?
Hi Seaneen ,

This is not a conclusive reply, but is a collection of observations from the progress of my own treatment this last few years - which has been 'tuned' to avoid mania - even though I am only B.P.type II and if I recall correctly, you experience B.P. type I.

For me, therapy was very inconclusive - and counseling never brought up anything I had not thought about before I went to the session. I was cheerfully discharged from both, for as a fairly analytical/obsessive person, my own internal thoughts where addresing the 'issues' 24/7. I needed to learn how NOT to think about being Bi-Polar, but instead keep externalised in hobbies and similar distractions.

Therefore, for me drug therapy was essential - as so ( eventually ) was seperating myself from as much stress as is humanly possible.

I do feel to have benefited from ( in my youth ) having Cognitive Behavioural Therapy , for the reason Chris B. quoted in another post. Chris said something like:

" You did not learn your illness as I did mine - but you can still learn how best to deal with it".

The principle of that has helped me to trim the neurotic edge of my psychosis as best I can at any given point - and remains an ongoing daily project.

Back to medication, I had been for many years immune / treatment resistant to most drugs and combinations of drugs.

I eventually found that Seroquel ( which I understand you already take ) worked best with Tranylcypromine . Tranylcypromine may be inappropriate for you as it is activating, but perhaps there is hope in the other more sedating M.A.O.I type drugs or similarly older ones ?

Interestingly enough, I find that taking Seroquel at night, improves my quality and stability of mood through the next day. My Psychiatrist informs me this is true to his own research / findings.

The interesting thing is that my specialist is now allowing me to withdraw from my long term Sodium Valproate mood stabiliser because the research data being fed to him and the progress of his own patients seems to indicate that Seroquel is showing more mood stabilising AND anti-depressant qualities than Depakote. I do not honestly know where Lithium fits into those findings.

He feels that the optimum ( once a patient has been reasonably stabilised ) would be Seroquel + the antidepressant that best suits the patient's pathology.

I am only concerned that the pharmaceutical aspects of this post may be redundant due to you not getting specific relief from Seroquel in the past ?


This has been an unintentionally long post, but the gist is:

* I have found that medication is ( for me ) essential .

* The lesser used drugs can sometimes work far better than newer types.

* C.B.T. is perhaps the only talking therapy ( apart from good friends ) that was of tangible help.

All the best with the search for clues.

F.F.

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st.bipolar


Member

Posted Tue Feb 12th, 2008 12:54pm Post subject: Managing bipolar depression without medication?
Hello, this is an "I need your experiences, please" thread.

The skinny is, I can't take antidepressants because every time I have tried, even with a mood stabiliser, they trigger dysphoric mania.

The medication I take now isn't helping a depression that I am slipping into and which is getting deeper.

I've discussed therapy with my CPN and I am wondering- can it only be helpful to a degree? I have always felt that largely, my swings in mood are very biological. They come from nowhere and I'm not *triggered* by things, even though I've had many traumatic experiences such as recently losing a best friend to suicide.

Whereas I want therapy to help me cope with these events, and with the actual realities of having severe manic depression (as refered to by doctors, nurses and everyone and by me if I'm honest), I don't know how helpful it will be regarding the kinds of biological depressive swings that I feel I experience.

Any advice on this? i had exactly the same problem that you had when i took antidepressants i got drunker than i usually would and suffered from uncontrollable rage, i just gradually lowered the dosage of the anti d's and then cut them out all together, the only thing i can say that helped me is a jungian psychologist who helps you to help yourself. I was on lustral what were you taking can i ask?

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thesecretlifeofamanicdepressive


Member

Posted Tue Feb 12th, 2008 1:16pm Post subject: Managing bipolar depression without medication?
Hi Seaneen ,

This is not a conclusive reply, but is a collection of observations from the progress of my own treatment this last few years - which has been 'tuned' to avoid mania - even though I am only B.P.type II and if I recall correctly, you experience B.P. type I.

For me, therapy was very inconclusive - and counseling never brought up anything I had not thought about before I went to the session. I was cheerfully discharged from both, for as a fairly analytical/obsessive person, my own internal thoughts where addresing the 'issues' 24/7. I needed to learn how NOT to think about being Bi-Polar, but instead keep externalised in hobbies and similar distractions.

Therefore, for me drug therapy was essential - as so ( eventually ) was seperating myself from as much stress as is humanly possible.

I do feel to have benefited from ( in my youth ) having Cognitive Behavioural Therapy , for the reason Chris B. quoted in another post. Chris said something like:

" You did not learn your illness as I did mine - but you can still learn how best to deal with it".

The principle of that has helped me to trim the neurotic edge of my psychosis as best I can at any given point - and remains an ongoing daily project.

Back to medication, I had been for many years immune / treatment resistant to most drugs and combinations of drugs.

I eventually found that Seroquel ( which I understand you already take ) worked best with Tranylcypromine . Tranylcypromine may be inappropriate for you as it is activating, but perhaps there is hope in the other more sedating M.A.O.I type drugs or similarly older ones ?

Interestingly enough, I find that taking Seroquel at night, improves my quality and stability of mood through the next day. My Psychiatrist informs me this is true to his own research / findings.

The interesting thing is that my specialist is now allowing me to withdraw from my long term Sodium Valproate mood stabiliser because the research data being fed to him and the progress of his own patients seems to indicate that Seroquel is showing more mood stabilising AND anti-depressant qualities than Depakote. I do not honestly know where Lithium fits into those findings.

He feels that the optimum ( once a patient has been reasonably stabilised ) would be Seroquel + the antidepressant that best suits the patient's pathology.

I am only concerned that the pharmaceutical aspects of this post may be redundant due to you not getting specific relief from Seroquel in the past ?


This has been an unintentionally long post, but the gist is:

* I have found that medication is ( for me ) essential .

* The lesser used drugs can sometimes work far better than newer types.

* C.B.T. is perhaps the only talking therapy ( apart from good friends ) that was of tangible help.

All the best with the search for clues.

F.F.

I take Depakote and Seroquel but have ditched Seroquel. I find the side effects unbearable and it's not that useful in dealing with me.

My medication review is up in two weeks. It seems likely that I will be getting depot injections of Rispieridone in Seroquel's place.

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panda


Member

Posted Tue Feb 12th, 2008 10:04pm Post subject: Managing bipolar depression without medication?
the things that have helped me are:

Vitamins: Bcomplex, omega 3, zinc by Biocare. Patrick Holford's book 'optimum nutrition for the mind' goes into specific detail about what is needed for beepers

the mdf self management course, run by the manic depression fellowship

counselling. took me a while to find one that suited me and was really effective, but now i've found her she is really helping me in leaps and bounds

the hoffman process, a brilliant course i went on recently

acupuncture, this has really helped with my sleep which was a real trigger for the mania

essential oils, particular ones for particular emotions. vetiver is brilliant for counteracting mania

flower remedies, esp rescue remedy

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ruthy


Member

Posted Wed Feb 13th, 2008 10:18am Post subject: Managing bipolar depression without medication?
Hello, this is an "I need your experiences, please" thread.

The skinny is, I can't take antidepressants because every time I have tried, even with a mood stabiliser, they trigger dysphoric mania.

The medication I take now isn't helping a depression that I am slipping into and which is getting deeper.

I've discussed therapy with my CPN and I am wondering- can it only be helpful to a degree? I have always felt that largely, my swings in mood are very biological. They come from nowhere and I'm not *triggered* by things, even though I've had many traumatic experiences such as recently losing a best friend to suicide.

Whereas I want therapy to help me cope with these events, and with the actual realities of having severe manic depression (as refered to by doctors, nurses and everyone and by me if I'm honest), I don't know how helpful it will be regarding the kinds of biological depressive swings that I feel I experience.

Any advice on this?
Hi Seaneen

I don't take medications because in my younger days (a long, long time ago ) I had a very bad experience with Lithium.

I also worry about having such powerful drugs in the house with young children.

Anyway, I don't know whether my bipolar is particularly mild but I manage fairly well without them.

I also use the flower remedies (Australian Bush Flower) which i get from my homeopath but I'm in the middle of an experiment of my own with regards those.

Basically I gave up the homeopathic pills when it was pointed out to me that they are diluted so much that not a single molecule of the original substance is actually present in the pills. Consequently I stopped taking anything from my homeopath, including the flower essences and noticed the difference; I wasn't coping.

Then I thought to myself; the flower essences are a completely different thing to the pills, they are not diluted and instead of a water base, they are made with alcohol. I started to take just the essences again.

Then I got to thinking whether it was the extracts from the flowers that was having an effect or the small amount of alcohol, after all the mood altering properties of alcohol are very well known. About the same time I read that caffeine although it is essentially a stimulant, in small amounts can calm down a hyperactive child when combined with protein. (That's how ritalin works too).
So I filled one of my old dropper bottles with whisky which tastes very similar and mixed up the bottles so that I wouldn't know which I was taking every morning and afternoon.

It's been a couple of months now and I'm still coping reasonably well. I still have the ups and downs and other symptoms besides but they are not debilitating which means that overall I still have reasonable control, which I think is the big thing!

I also take Omega capsules and watch my diet. Plenty of water, not too many refined carbs, I don't use alcohol anymore (at least not more than one or two units a week) and take a piece of very dark chocolate when i feel the need, whether it's the flavanols(or is it flavanoids ) or psychological I'm still not sure but it helps.

I recently got to going to MIND once a week and that helped tremendously because she helped me to break out of what I call the trigger trap. That's when I actually trigger myself by anticipating my mood changes and assuming that it will be too much to cope with.

hth

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