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Abilify as a rescue med?

  • Thread starter Backwoods Beast
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Keesha

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Agreed. To be semi-fair, the first doc didn't figure out that I was Bipolar because I only saw him when I was suicidal, and he gave me the first two meds. The second doc was the first to diagnose Bipolar but I told him he was nuts. Only saw him once and I can't remember what he prescribed, but I don't think I took it. The third doc was a sports medicine doctor (same credentials as a GP but specializes in athletes) and he gave the Wellbutrin, but apparently he had no experience with mental health stuff.... Actually I feel a pang of irrational shame when I look back at that, because as athletes we're trained to be physically and mentally tough. I was generally thought to be the toughest of everyone I new. Going to the team doc was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. The look on his face... The look on my coaches' faces when they found out... Wow, memories rushing back.
Agree if they don’t know you are bipolar how would they know. My doctor knew.
He did however apologize, fessed up to making a mistake which I greatly respect and referred my to a practitioner with bipolar / schizoaffective experience.

It’s fair to say you weren’t referred to the proper people and there is nothing to be ashamed off. Mental illness isn’t a weakness. Your athletic practitioner should be advocating this. Nobody should feel shamed for seeking help. Obviously you know that logically. Don’t feel shame about having this. I’ve spent about 40 years in shame. It doesn’t help any.
 
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Ginger Kitten

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I’ve got a lot of catching up to do since I somehow missed your posts. Normally clonazepam is a short term medication. Doctors would rather not prescribe drugs that have an addiction factor BUT most of them will agree that this drug can be used longer than 2 to 4 weeks for specific reasons. Yours is a specific reason. If it’s making you feel considerably better, could you not talk with your doctor snd ask if you can be on a low dose to keep you from doing manic?

A significant in law has been on lorazepam for over 15 years and is completely fine. Maybe you could take this indefinitely to help keep you stable from getting too high. ( manic )

Hi Keesha, I've said above that Clonazepam can only be prescribed short term. I only take it for a maximum of 2 weeks. You can't take benzos (which Clonaz. is), even in small doses, for longer than 2-4 weeks. I don't want addiction to add to my woes so I would only ever take it for a limited period. I won't need Clonaz. for much longer anyway, as it's done it's job. Once I've finished the course, I then increase Quetiapine slightly, if I feel I need to. But if the agitation is gone, I don't need an increased dose of Q. It's up to me to gauge how I'm feeling, with my pdoc's input if necessary. Thanks for your concern. Kind regards, GK.
 
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Keesha

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Hi Keesha, I've said above that Clonazepam can only be prescribed short term. I only take it for a maximum of 2 weeks. You can't take benzos (which Clonaz. is), even in small doses, for longer than 2-4 weeks. I don't want addiction to add to my woes so I would only ever take it for a limited period. I won't need Clonaz. for much longer anyway, as it's done it's job. Once I've finished the course, I then increase Quetiapine slightly, if I feel I need to. But if the agitation is gone, I don't need an increased dose of Q. It's up to me to gauge how I'm feeling, with my pdoc's input if necessary. Thanks for your concern. Kind regards, GK.
Well you clearly know yourself and these drugs better than I do. I hope all this works out for you. I’ve only experienced that up and down roller coaster ride a couple of times in my life and it was horrible so I really feel for you.
 
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Ginger Kitten

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Well you clearly know yourself and these drugs better than I do. I hope all this works out for you. I’ve only experienced that up and down roller coaster ride a couple of times in my life and it was horrible so I really feel for you.

Thank you. I believe that I experience these frequent shifts in mood change because I went so long (24 years) before diagnosis, during which time my illness deteriorated and 'set in'. I believe that if a slew of doctors and psychiatrists had listened to me sooner, or even better, noticed my illness when I was 28, as my English tutor at university did in 1988, they would have caught it early and it wouldn't have had a chance to develop as it has.

I try not to dwell on it, but it's definitely a significant factor as to why my presentation is so difficult to treat now. I also believe I used to have BP 2 and that it morphed over time into BP1. Not very satisfactory, but I have to accept that I am where I am and no miracle cure is happening any time soon. It's about managing it as best I can and using increased medication once the episodes burst on to the stage. I am glad to hear you do not experience frequent mood swings yourself. All good wishes, Ginger. x
 
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Sammy4853

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I’ve got a lot of catching up to do since I somehow missed your posts. Normally clonazepam is a short term medication. Doctors would rather not prescribe drugs that have an addiction factor BUT most of them will agree that this drug can be used longer than 2 to 4 weeks for specific reasons. Yours is a specific reason. If it’s making you feel considerably better, could you not talk with your doctor snd ask if you can be on a low dose to keep you from doing manic?

A significant in law has been on lorazepam for over 15 years and is completely fine. Maybe you could take this indefinitely to help keep you stable from getting too high. ( manic )
I have been on Ativan (Lorazepam) for 5 years. I have never taken more than my Psychiatrist prescribes and have never had an issue. I need it the same way I need my Lamotrigine. (and I think I need to augment the mood stabilizer). Best to you! I know exercise helps with my anxiety and depression..and my irritability!
 
LoqLamp

LoqLamp

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Sorry to play devil's advocate, but some pdoc's use antipsychotics in exactly that way, as 'rescue' drugs. I was pumped full of Quetiapine to bring me down from mania. It worked, I was far more 'level' in just 3 days. Trouble is, I've been left on it since and it's only recommended as a 'crisis' drug, so the community pdoc who left me on it for 5 years done me wrong, but them's the breaks. I now can't get off it because when his predecessor tried to titrate me down on Q and up on lithium, he and I both found I couldn't go lower than 200mg daily of Q or I shot up into mania. I do wish some of these psychiatrists wouldn't treat us like lab rats.

I think you pretty much summed up what I was trying to say originally.
 
Backwoods Beast

Backwoods Beast

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Welp... an update and a query I guess...

So even though I'm not a hypochondriac who approaches my pdoc on the regular (on the contrary, I avoid him), he didn't seem to take me all too seriously when I reached out with the manic symptoms. He was more concerned when we had a Zoom meeting and he saw that I was all over the place, but still didn't react the way you'd expect...

In the past I've been pretty much forced to take meds, or not been given a choice of what to do in certain situations. He knows that, and made it clear in the beginning that he'd try to avoid it. But he went in the complete opposite direction. He's inattentive and unhelpful when I need him to be assertive. When I'm messed up, I don't have the wherewithal to do a bunch of back and forth contemplation and get back to him in a few days with my decision on meds. I need him to tell me, "this is the best choice for the situation you're in right now." and we need to run with that.

He was wishy washy but said Abilify would be a possible option to quickly get me out of the spiral. In my mind, a "rescue med". Many of you said that it's not a rescue med, but the terminology doesn't freakin matter. I jumped on it and said fine, let's go with that (before the many suggestions to go with other drugs), because I desperately needed something.

He told me weight gain and diabetes were an issue if taken longer than a couple months. Then he gave me 2 months worth and left me to my own devices. He never checked up on me to see if things improved and pretty much flat out said it was up to me when to stop... Things seemed to get better after only a week. I don't like to take meds, so I took it for a month and thought that was more than sufficient - especially because it's a comically low dose. While on it, I thought I was actually losing weight, not gaining it, but assumed it was in my head. Now that I've stopped, I'm definitely gaining weight, the intense brain fog is back, and the nightmares, which had surprisingly dulled a little, are worsening again.

Now what the hell am I supposed to do? I don't want to get stuck on this stuff. Taking it was helpful and I actually was happy with it, but I don't want to end up diabetic in a couple months. Does stopping and starting again 2-3 weeks later have a negative impact? Not sure what to do right now because I'm kind of useless...
 
LoqLamp

LoqLamp

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Terminology does matter. The only rescues meds I know of are benzos and that’s still about 15 mins sublingually and 30mins normal. It’s like calling a beer a rescue med for alcoholism. Which it actually could be.

You can’t rely on medication to fix every issue you run into. Find something that you are happy with most of the time and stick with it. Use therapy if the other side is so bad. There is no panecea by constantly switching meds you are doing yourself more harm than good. Life isn’t 100% drugged up happy.
 
Backwoods Beast

Backwoods Beast

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Terminology does matter. The only rescues meds I know of are benzos and that’s still about 15 mins sublingually and 30mins normal. It’s like calling a beer a rescue med for alcoholism. Which it actually could be.

You can’t rely on medication to fix every issue you run into. Find something that you are happy with most of the time and stick with it. Use therapy if the other side is so bad. There is no panecea by constantly switching meds you are doing yourself more harm than good. Life isn’t 100% drugged up happy.
Whoa man, I think you misunderstand me. I do not expect medication to fix every issue I run into. I said I don't like meds. I'm not constantly switching meds. This is the first med change in years, and that's partially why it freaks me out so much. Damn dude.
 
LoqLamp

LoqLamp

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@Backwoods Beast no worries. More of just a general spewing of my mind. I wouldn’t stop though if you felt it was helping you. You could afford to spend some more time on it to see if it actually works for you.
 

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