Bipolar + Anxiety?

1 Oct

My anxieties are getting out of hand some days-before I talk to my shrink about it next week, anyone have any experiences with meds/therapy that could be useful to me?


Tired of thinking the world is out to get me. As much as I don’t want to be on more meds, I can’t live like this. Crazy SUCKS.

20 Responses to “Bipolar + Anxiety?”

  1. tulip October 1, 2008 at 10:31 am #

    Hey thor,
    I’m on a combo of Lamictal (100mgs) per day and a Lunesta (3mg) a day for bipolar + anxiety. I was on a combo of Lamictal and Seroquel but the Seroquel just made me unable to function due to EXTREME fatigue. We (my psychiatrist and I) have determined that my anxiety ramps up when I am tired and/or not sleeping and the Lunesta seems to help with that as far as being able to sleep ergo I am not as anxious. I still have my moments but it’s not an all encompassing issue for me right now. I do a lot of behavior modification on the anxiety too.

  2. bromac October 1, 2008 at 11:18 am #

    I have a scrip for Niravam to use when my anxiety goes through the roof. It melts on your tongue so it is especially mobile. It takes the edge off within 15 minutes. I highly recommend it, Thor.

  3. thordora October 1, 2008 at 11:26 am #

    I have ativan, but I don’t want to be dopey all day long (although some would say that’s the case anyway)

    The thoughts are constant, and intrusive.

  4. Kyle October 1, 2008 at 11:37 am #

    I love the benzos for sure. A year ago, I would have taken them all day every day if I could.

    I cannot recommend Jon Kabat-Zinn’s “The Mindful Way Through Depression” enough. It has literally saved me. Mindfulness has taught me to feel my feelings for what they are, listen to the messages my body is sending me, and observe my thought train without necessarily feeling inclined to react to it. Feelings are feelings, thoughts are thoughts, body sensations are body sensations. I’ve been able to find the me that transcends these three things. Not every time, not all the time, but often enough. Enough that I’m not on antidepressants for a year and only very rarely anti-anxiety meds.

    Now that it’s crunch time for me, I’m going to need to be more formal in my mindfulness meditation probably. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride. I have that anxiety in the pit of my stomach more, but I’m just listening to it and letting it pass like the weather.

  5. Kyle October 1, 2008 at 11:39 am #

    He also has another book called “Full Catastrophe Living”. It’s much of the same, and also very good. “The Mindful Way…” was written with 3 other docs and is more depression/anxiety specific and does a REALLY good job of explaining how some of us are more prone to spiral from bad time to full blown depression.

  6. Kyle October 1, 2008 at 11:41 am #

    And I started his program last year because, for the first time in my life, SSRIs weren’t working. At all.

    I now see depression as mental constipation. My subconscious trying to get a message through and me not being still enough to listen. Now I know I have to balance doing with being. We have a hell of a hard time getting into being mode here in the modern, western world.

  7. Kyle October 1, 2008 at 11:45 am #

    Of course, I’m unipolar, so YMMV.

    This person seems to have had some luck with mindfulness and bipolar:

    His work is backed up by solid clinical research, FWIW.

  8. bromac October 1, 2008 at 12:31 pm #

    The Niravam doesn’t make me feel dopey at all. A little yawn-y for a bit, but not even for long. Nothing that a soda or coffee can’t help.

  9. C.Mirro October 1, 2008 at 12:42 pm #

    My husband had been struggling with his anxiety/mental illness…he was on 20 mg citalopram,1-3mg ativan,and 4 mg risperdal…all well trying to function,be productive at a physically demanding job,and be able to focus on me and our kids.After many trips to his family doctor{who I don’t think too much of}he finally had enough and went to our local clinic. The doc. told him to stop the ativan,and citalopram immediately,and take 2 more mg of risperdal,and started him on an old school drug called Doxepin.
    I don’t know if you have ever been on that,but for him it does wonders.
    He can focus for longer periods of time,and it doesn’t make him dopey.When he comes home at the end of the day he can actually relax,and “be at ease in his own skin”.I’ve read you for awhile,and believe in you,and your ability to control this!

  10. Jennifer October 1, 2008 at 12:42 pm #

    I like Kyles take on depression. Mental constipation.

    For me, I;m now off my meds and I have begun to be very mindful as to what my body is trying to tell me. I will see if my library has that book. Sounds like something that I personally need right now.

    I have no experience with the Bi-p. But anxiety, yes. Ativan knocks me on my ass so I very rarely take them. I wish I had something insightful to add.

  11. Gabriel... October 1, 2008 at 6:13 pm #

    Two, maybe three hours of GTA4. But really loud. And with the entire Slayer catalogue set on “repeat” and “shuffle”. It’s like a giant dose of sunshine for your soul…

  12. Marcy October 1, 2008 at 11:27 pm #

    I did pretty well on .5 mg of Risperdal, prescribed for something like clarity of thought and for anger, but what I read about it scared me so I got off as soon as I could.

    I totally echo what Kyle said about mindfulness practice — for me, I learned that stuff through DBT, which I’ve mentioned here before. I keep my skills manual by my bed and often turn to the skills first when I’m in a difficult situation. It is especially good for slowing down, letting the emotions in and out, not getting all meta about what I’m feeling and thinking — you know, like I tend to get anxious ABOUT feeling anxious.

  13. Marcy October 1, 2008 at 11:27 pm #

    I should also mention that I’m not bipolar, but have depression and anxiety. I’m currently on just a low dose of Zoloft.

  14. Eden October 2, 2008 at 12:35 am #

    I use Lorazepam, sometimes one and sometimes two but only rarely. Yoga is helpful too. So is orgasm. Seriously! 😉

  15. Marcy October 2, 2008 at 9:10 am #

    I also forgot to mention Ativan. I use it fairly rarely, mostly at night when no other skills are helping beat the anxiety down and I need to sleep.

  16. thordora October 2, 2008 at 9:40 am #

    I’m using it daily at this point. I can’t work or function in a relationship or with my kids without it. I was getting physically ill.

    I have an appt next week, and will get a real drug. Not happy about this, but….I can’t live like this, or expect others to do so.

  17. Humwawa October 2, 2008 at 11:09 am #

    I get that lovely, just stuck my finger in a power outlet/the world is now imploding anxiety at the slightest provocation. My best trick is to think of a goal and repeat it to myself over and over and over again. Such as: I will find my car in the parking lot, my car is in the parking lot and I’m finding it, it’s time to get in my car… a sort of mental white noise. I have used Ativan, and still do when things get really rough. It makes me dopey as well. Sort of like being drunk without the fun. What ended up reducing the frequency of anxiety attacks was, yes, yoga and excercise and breathing. But in the beginning I really needed the Ativan every day.

  18. B October 2, 2008 at 5:46 pm #

    I love that Kyle said, “I love benzos for sure”. They have definitely helped me. I took Xanax for about ten days and decided that I should stop before I got addicted. Now I’m on clonopin (clonazepam) which is just a very nice way to tell your nervous system to calm the fuck down. It’s also been helping me tolerate back pain. I highly recommend it because I can still function on it.

  19. thordora October 2, 2008 at 6:02 pm #

    It’s just so frustrating because one minute I’m calm and collected and rational and the next I’ve built a small nothing into meaning someone wants to destroy me. It’s a bit much to handle.

    My appt can’t come too soon.

  20. surly girl October 3, 2008 at 8:39 am #

    fluoxetine 60mg per day all the way.

    for me, at least, there are no noticeable side effects – but i started on 20mg a year ago and have gradually increased the dose. a year ago i couldn’t leave the house – i am currently halfway through rolling out a work-based training project which has me travelling all over europe. couldn’t do it without the meds.

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