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Hi everyone.  Maybe someone can help me with this.  I was recently prescribed lamictal for bipolar 2.  My problem is that I wake up every morning pick the bottle up, consider taking as the psychdoc ordered me to, then I put it back down, without taking any.  I have alot of fears and concerns over taking this medicine.  I have read everything I can find on this med and have found more positive than negative. I am a little scared of the whole "possible serious, potentialy deadly rash", but haven't found alot of examples of people who actually had a serious rash from this med, so I try not to dwell on this too much.
  
The main concern of mine is how this "helps" stabilize moods.  Yes, the doc and the pharmacist gave me a brief scientific explaination of how it effect the brain, but that isn't helping to convince me that this might actually help me.  I'm not really sure I qualify as bipolar 2.  My moods don't really happen out of nowhere, nor do they last for long periods of time. My moods come and go as does the rain here in WA:)
For example:  my hubby tells me he'll be coming home for lunch the following day.  Lunch time comes and goes with no sign of him.  By the time he calls me or I call him, I've already worked myself into such much of a rage, I've had to sit outside and smoke a pack of smokes and pull weeds in order to avoid destroying everything he values or packing the boys up and leaving!

Now I know this is extreme and probably sounds crazy, but thses are the kind of things that happen daily within my brain. Certain things make me pathetically sad/depressed, crazy angry, ridiculously happy, and I know that what I feel isn't as major as what's actually happening.  I know it's not fair to him or anyone else, but I have struggled most my life to control these kind of feelings.  This is especially frustrating for him and me, because I know that with his job, comes situations that are out of his control, and he doesn't like missing lunch anymore than I like it.

Does anyone have experience with this med or these feelings?  I guess, I just don't really understand if this med can potentially help me. Does it calm you down so that you don't go through such extremes, or is it more to prevent phases of "depression" or "mania". Or both? Is it the same thing to have these extreme feelings daily or go through the "phases"?

I'm really confused and frustrated.  I quit brst fding my ten month old son so that I can start taking these meds, and now I am scared to take them and feel sad and guilty about stopping nursing. ugh...

I know these are concerns to talk to a doc about, and I will, as soon as they can get me in.  For now I was just hoping maybe someone could give me some advice, share oppinions or experiences, or even just help me understand "how" Lamictal "helps" mood swings.

Hope this isn't too confusing.  Any help is greatly appreciated!!  Thanks and hope you're having a good day!

(sorry for the rambling, I don't get out much:) )
13 Responses
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Avatar universal
Hello I liked your post it was funny LOL. I have never been on Lamictal but its about the only thing I haven't been on.. It is a mood stabiliser, to prevent episodes of extreme highs and lows, but I think many people would agree that no matter what preventative med you are on you will still get some symptoms and your moods will still swing slightly..it won't help during an episode, it won't treat symptoms it will just reduce the chances of you having episodes and make them milder..its like a brown inhaler for asthma, but you still need a blue one if you have an attack.
I have never found a mood stabiliser to be enough on its own, I have always needed a combination of meds, I need to be medicated!!!!!! lol..
The way you described how you can be made me LOL because it reminded me of myself...and I think others will feel the same. It sounds like you cycle rapidly, which makes things soooo confusing, thats the thing what makes people say " well she was fine this morning" my family will sit racking their brains as to why I have gone from taking over the world and being supermum to being a bedridden puddle of depression, its like a flick of a switch and it is so cruel!!!
I know its not "normal" so to speak, but it is normal for bipolar. I hope that makes you feel better, there is nothing worse than feeling that nobody out there understands.
Take the meds, its not as scary as you think, and now you have checked it out on the net don't do it again, I think you've got a bit obsessive ( also what I do LOL) and scared yourself.. you'll probably be disappointed when you take it that you won't feel any different LOL. It takes a few weeks to kick in, give it a month and see how you go..if this is your first med you might find that it will need increasing or that you get side effects etc..it can take a while to find the right med and dose.. but come and vent on here cos we all have a good rant about our meds lol..
After 12 years of being diagnosed I still question if I am BP so doing that is quite normal too!!
I hope this helps!
Helpful - 0
1687184 tn?1307478592
Oh looloo, you make me giggle!  Twice now, you have come to my aide, thank you.  Thank you for laughing with me, I really appreciate a good sense of humor!  I tend to be quite a smart-a$$ as I love laughing and making others laugh too:)  Glad I could make you LOL!  I feel much better now!

You're right, I should take the med, and I know this... I think.. and I really should lock my computer in a safe and stop obsessing over all this...I know this.... but as I say this I have another window open, researching mental disorders, and mood stabilizers...I just can't stop the insanity in my brain:)....it just keeps on running in circles, and I can't seem to shut it up!  Even my sleeping med can't quiet this insanity lately, but if I take the full dose I can't get out of be and care for my bouncy little boys in the morning..if I could just focus my attention on something else..lol this quirk of mine often drives me nuts!

The meds are supposed to take up to a couple of months to really become effective.  They start with a really low dose(they believe this reduces the risk of rash) and bump ya up very slowly every couple of weeks.  So the sooner I start, the sooner I might find some relief.  When I get out of bed in the morning, I will take the darn thing!  Maybe if I just take it before I'm fully alert, I won't talk myself out of it. It's worth a shot!

Having people like you to talk to does seem to help though.  Although I'm sorry that anyone has to experience any of these feelings, the selfish part of me is greatful to not be alone in this!  
Again, I really appreceiate your insight and experiences, so thank you!  Thank you for caring..thank you for helping me feel a little closer to some kind of normal(even if it is bipolar normal:) )

I wish you the best of luck in quitting smoking.. You made it this far, you can go all the way!!

Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hahaha I kinda knew you would be googling something or other lol, it is just you trying to make sense of it all, very common when your new to all this,  I still do it, I still obsess over a new symptom and won't stop until I find an answer, then when I get it I don't like it so I look for another ;-)  then I drive my partner mad by telling him all the info only to tell him a different version the next day!
I think knowledge is power and we should research/obsess about the chemicals we are prescribed, what annoys my doc is that 80% of the time I am right, so he says I have too much insight for my own good Lmao! For instance everyone on here says they are bipolar 1 or 2 and my doc hasn't defined my illness, he just says bipolar spectrum disorder so I reeled off my extensive knowledge between bp1 and 2 and he just said " louise for heavens sake you are multi polar!! You tie me in knots! You must be exhausted" he he he!
I still research it and I have come to the conclusion that I am a bit of both..
Why do we do it to ourselves? Why can it not be channeled into something worthwhile?

The thing is I could tell you to stop but I know.. !for a fact that you can't stop until your brain is sick of it! I pace around the room pondering these issues Lol!
I have found since being on seroquel ( another one for you to research haha) that I am not as obsessive, and a lot calmer, but I am the same as you, if I can't get up for my boys I might aswell be dead, but I can reassure you that you do get used to the meds and as the kids get older it gets easier
I am also just starting a course of cognitive behavioural therapy to help with my quirks so that might be something you could consider when your head has stopped spinning from the diagnosis..
I love the thought of helping someone, it gives me a buzz! I think you and me will get on very well!!
Here anytime x
Helpful - 0
1687184 tn?1307478592
Wow, I really never thought I'd talk to someone who understood this"querk".   I drive my husband mad at times due to my "obsessive" investigations(lol, and hobbies and projects too).  Fortunately, for the most part, he's learned that I will do it regardless of driving my own self crazy, so I can't really stop it just because it's driving him crazy!lol  And he loves me anyways!  I go, go,go; get burnt out and move on to something else, and usually come back to the same things at times. It can be exhausting!

I'm grateful for your help, and hope that I can be of some help to you sometime!(don't want to be selfish;) )  I too think we'll get along just fine!!

Thanks:D
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I'm sure you will help me and lots of others on here, it comes with the illness, I think you have to have been through it to truly understand, you have to reach that deepest darkest place to pull someone back from the brink. I'm sure you will cheer us up with your sense of humour too. You are brill!!
Helpful - 0
1530171 tn?1448129593
Please read my most recent post here.
Take care and God Bless,
Nikodicreta
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I am on Lamotrigine/lamictal and it has worked wonders for my mood. Very few side effects too. Side effects of drugs scare me too. I do a LOT of research as well. I've decided I like me on meds better than I like me off meds. I take an antipyschotic too (Geodone). That is scary crap. Took me a long time to start taking that pill. I was pretty desperate though. It helped a lot. I like me when I take these two meds. I am scared of what I become (an ultra rapid cycling mess) without them.

AND you don't have to take them forever. See it as a trial. Give it three months after you've hit the final dose. Track your moods, and if it doesn't work ditch it. You don't have to commit - see it as a try it before you buy it policy.
Helpful - 0
1687184 tn?1307478592
Lol, I love that perspective,"try it before you buy it".   I still haven't taken the darn thing, but I really think I'll do it tomorrow.  I think the whole life long commitment is what's fueling my defiance!  

I went for a visit with my reg doc today, just to share my concerns and gain another medical oppinion.  She too, told me that it's not something I'll have to take forever, and she really believes that it can give me a little relief from myself :).

I'll be starting cbt in the next few weeks, so I gotta just remind myself that this is just a temporary tool on my path to happiness!  I'm just so darn stubborn sometimes!  Tomorrow morning, I'm going to put my fears aside and take the pill!  Like you said, I can ditch if it doesn't work!

It amazes me how much better I feel about everything after I talk about it here.  This has been a rough couple weeks for me, but just knowing that there are always people here wanting and willing to help eachother, has made this whole situation alot easier on me(and my hubby too:) )

Thank you for your support lindahand!
Helpful - 0
1699382 tn?1307603715
Hi there, im new to this group...

I was diagnosed with Bipolar II in 2006 and went onto Lamictan and cipralex, i developed a mild rash (like mosquito bites) which my psychiatrist didnt seem to think was a big deal, i stayed on the meds for 3months and stopped.

Towards the end of last year my moods became unmanagable, so i was started on the Lamictan and cipralex again in August. The side effects were bad, insomnia, yawning like a crazy person, insane dreams....I was then sent for an EEG to determine if i have Epilepsy, the results were abnormal and the nuerologist concluded that i have Temporal Lobe Epilepsy which in turn has caused the Bioploar condition. I need to go for an MRI to determine if the Epilepsy is being caused by Mesial Sclerosis, if so i might have to have brain surgery...Scary!!!!Hence i have still not had my MRI done!!!

Back to you, the nuerologist had me on to higher dose of the lamictan, so i was falling off to sleep as my desk....once the dose was decreased everything evened out....so the side effects do disappear over time!! However the cipralex made me gain almost 10kg in 6 months,,so i stopped it.

Last month i almost had a nervous breakdown before exams...so decided it was best for me to stay on the anti-depressants, so im now on Venlor XR.... side effects are insomnia and strange dreams and also loss of appetite (yay i have lost 2kg's so far)...but ya i think being on both the lamictan (which serves as both a mood stabilizer and a anti-epileptic) and the antidepressant really really helped....I was exactly how you described yourself...(my bf describes it as taking a level 1 situation and making it a level 10)

I hope this helps u.... And if ever u need to talk to someone who understands....i am available....
Helpful - 0
1687184 tn?1307478592
hi Shanya, welcome to the group!

I am also pretty new to this forum but have found that this is a great place to share gain information and lots of support!!

Thanks for sharing with me.  Yesterday was my first day taking the lamictal(I was being kinda stubborn:) ), so I haven't noticed anything unusual yet.  That gives me hope, knowing that you adjusted to it and that it was helpful!

Wow, what a scary situation you're in!!  Has this been very difficult for you to deal with?  How are you maintaining overall?

I understand why you are scared, but are you gonna get the MRI done soon?

I hope that you are feeling well. You seem like a very nice person, thanks for the insight on Lamictal!!

If you need someone to talk to about everything or a place to vent, this is a very good place.  You are also welcome talk to message me!:)  I hope all is well...


Helpful - 0
573297 tn?1304709140
I was a pharmacy technician before I started working for the government. So I had the knowledge of all these medications, their contraindications and side effects so yeah it made it easier on me. Lamictal does keep me awake if taken at night so I take it in the AM now with Lithium and because I have hypothyroidism that seems to give me adverse effects with antipsychotics....these are the only meds I can rely on. They do make a difference. They are both mood stabilizers but Lithium is the anti manic mood stabilizer and Lamictal is the anti depressant mood stabilizer.

Here is something else for all the "normal bipolar" like me.....it isn't obssessive....it is resourceful. I am VERY resourceful! Research right???? lol
Helpful - 0
1687184 tn?1307478592
Yes, exactly... resourceful!  It's just necessary research! :)  No matter how we look at it, it's not the worst querk we could have!  I like to think of my "obsessing", as looking for knowledge!  I'm just on a never ending quest for knowledge! :D

Ah, the "anti depressant" mood stabilizer... the makes a little more sense!  Thank you!  It really comforts me to know that so many people have had positive results with the lacmictal... today is only the 3rd time I've taken it, and today is the 3rd time I've had to convince myself that I should be taken it... but I can't give up being stubborn now:)

Thank you:)
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
3rd day - Congrats. I know this takes a lot of courage. Just keep reminding yourself - this is just a test, not a lifetime committment.
Helpful - 0
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