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Opioid use and bipolar?

B

BlueWater

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Do any of you think or know if long-term opioid use could lead to bipolar or a mood disorder requiring one to need a mood stabilizer?

Due to an injury, subsequent surgery and lengthy recovery, I've taken at minimum 200 doses of hydrocodone, Tramadol and oxycodone along with morphine and fentanyl in the hospital. Since my operation in Dec 2018, my OCD, which hadn't yet been diagnosed, exploded to the surface along with some symptoms of PTSD and terrible moodiness and arguments with others. I know moodiness goes with both OCD and PTSD.

I'm just wondering about your experiences and am most hesitant to ask my GP about this because I still occasionally need to take an opioid due to long-term effects of back surgery and don't want him to hesitate to prescribe them as needed. I didn't misuse the opioids I had to take and my GP knows that. I guess it just seems like an almost criminal question to ask him or my counselor. I feel like the volume and dosages I had to take, especially after surgery, changed my mind. I still remember the daily ups and downs from feeling good after a dose to irritable when a dose was due and that daily mood cycling continuing for almost two years after I had stopped daily opioid use. The mood stabilizer I've been on for eight months helps a lot but no amount of CBT can change what's been done to my mind. Input, anyone?
 
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SFGuy

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I took Hydrocodone regularly and was anesthetized with Fentanyl for minor surgery twice before my bipolar diagnosis. No change in mood. It remained as unstable as it had been before, but no more.

I take hydrocodone now up to 3 times/week. Once again, no effect on my mood, which stays at my baseline. Baseline is now fairly stable thanks to my bipolar meds.
 
2

2Much2Feel

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Do any of you think or know if long-term opioid use could lead to bipolar or a mood disorder requiring one to need a mood stabilizer?

Due to an injury, subsequent surgery and lengthy recovery, I've taken at minimum 200 doses of hydrocodone, Tramadol and oxycodone along with morphine and fentanyl in the hospital. Since my operation in Dec 2018, my OCD, which hadn't yet been diagnosed, exploded to the surface along with some symptoms of PTSD and terrible moodiness and arguments with others. I know moodiness goes with both OCD and PTSD.

I'm just wondering about your experiences and am most hesitant to ask my GP about this because I still occasionally need to take an opioid due to long-term effects of back surgery and don't want him to hesitate to prescribe them as needed. I didn't misuse the opioids I had to take and my GP knows that. I guess it just seems like an almost criminal question to ask him or my counselor. I feel like the volume and dosages I had to take, especially after surgery, changed my mind. I still remember the daily ups and downs from feeling good after a dose to irritable when a dose was due and that daily mood cycling continuing for almost two years after I had stopped daily opioid use. The mood stabilizer I've been on for eight months helps a lot but no amount of CBT can change what's been done to my mind. Input, anyone?
Hey, yeah, I got addicted to Vicodin after chronic pain/surgeries about 10 years ago, was on it for approx. 3 years on and off. It made me absolutely not well mentally or physically, so incredibly short tempered and irritable. Then the crashing depression. Far worse than my MH issues had already been. And getting off of it was an incredibly hard process.

Imo, it's not at all a criminal question to ask of them these questions. They need to be accountable for what they prescribe, and they likely will respect you for even caring rather than trying to get as much as possible. Doctors/pharm companies are the ones who have overprescribed and pushed this stuff that led to the epidemic it became, ruined plenty of lives. My doctor even prescribed it to me after he prescribed me Suboxone to get off of it. I can't look back on that part of my life without a lot of anger. I know I was the one who ultimately put the pill in my mouth, but they sure as hell did nothing short of supplying and getting me hooked.
 
fragrant_violet

fragrant_violet

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Sounds like your ok on opioids. You can take sensibly without getting addiction. Many folk can't. So yeah, point out to your doc that you know the risks and get more
 
Wishbone

Wishbone

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I'll say no because changes in mood isn't the same as hypomania or mania, which would be required for a Bipolar diagnosis.
The only way I see that coming close is if a doc misinterprets mood changes or what you're reporting as being either of these things, but I'd say that any doc doing anything like that should be fired for ignoring the medication history, not that I've even seen anything that suggests opiods can cause manic shifts.
 
B

BlueWater

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Sounds like your ok on opioids. You can take sensibly without getting addiction. Many folk can't. So yeah, point out to your doc that you know the risks and get more
Thanks. No addiction and I tapered off of them fine with the help of Robaxin and Zofran. I keep a small stash of pain meds to be taken occasionally. I think the downs of the injury, surgery and recovery plus the ups and downs of the opioids changed my brain forever. Without a mood stabilizer, I can't be nice. With it, I'm not as combative or full of rage.
 
B

BlueWater

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Hey, yeah, I got addicted to Vicodin after chronic pain/surgeries about 10 years ago, was on it for approx. 3 years on and off. It made me absolutely not well mentally or physically, so incredibly short tempered and irritable. Then the crashing depression. Far worse than my MH issues had already been. And getting off of it was an incredibly hard process.

Imo, it's not at all a criminal question to ask of them these questions. They need to be accountable for what they prescribe, and they likely will respect you for even caring rather than trying to get as much as possible. Doctors/pharm companies are the ones who have overprescribed and pushed this stuff that led to the epidemic it became, ruined plenty of lives. My doctor even prescribed it to me after he prescribed me Suboxone to get off of it. I can't look back on that part of my life without a lot of anger. I know I was the one who ultimately put the pill in my mouth, but they sure as hell did nothing short of supplying and getting me hooked.
I waited too long to ask for the surgery hence lengthening the time I needed steroid epidurals and opioids during the pre-op phase thus sending my mind into further disarray. Then the surgeon was a bit dismissive of my complaints during recovery so getting into PT took longer. I didn't get addicted nor did I accept every pain prescription offered to me. I tapered off with the help of Robaxin for leg cramps and Zofran for nausea. Still there were phases months later where I'd need to go back on pain meds for two weeks here and there to get pain in another area of my body under control. I think the trauma plus the ups and downs of both the meds and the recovery changed my mind to where I need Lamotrigine to feel even all day and not have angry outbursts. My sleep was already fragile but this experience has for the most part robbed me of my ability to fall asleep on my own. Thanks for your input.
 
2

2Much2Feel

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I waited too long to ask for the surgery hence lengthening the time I needed steroid epidurals and opioids during the pre-op phase thus sending my mind into further disarray. Then the surgeon was a bit dismissive of my complaints during recovery so getting into PT took longer. I didn't get addicted nor did I accept every pain prescription offered to me. I tapered off with the help of Robaxin for leg cramps and Zofran for nausea. Still there were phases months later where I'd need to go back on pain meds for two weeks here and there to get pain in another area of my body under control. I think the trauma plus the ups and downs of both the meds and the recovery changed my mind to where I need Lamotrigine to feel even all day and not have angry outbursts. My sleep was already fragile but this experience has for the most part robbed me of my ability to fall asleep on my own. Thanks for your input.
Please keep in mind that the brain can heal and change over time. I'm working on my neuropathways right now, lol, and research is showing the brain can heal. Hope is not lost. At 50, I can say I've been through many, many phases of crap, many meds, and the brain has an amazing capacity to heal in many ways. xx
 
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BlueWater

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Please keep in mind that the brain can heal and change over time. I'm working on my neuropathways right now, lol, and research is showing the brain can heal. Hope is not lost. At 50, I can say I've been through many, many phases of crap, many meds, and the brain has an amazing capacity to heal in many ways. xx
Thank you so much for the encouraging words!
 
S

SFGuy

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The trauma around surgery could trigger symptoms or bring bipolar to the foreground. After surgery last December, I experienced post-op dementia & a hypertensive crisis. They were horrifying. It didn't affect my mood beyond 2 weeks, though, probably because of bipolar meds I was already taking.
 
B

BlueWater

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The trauma around surgery could trigger symptoms or bring bipolar to the foreground. After surgery last December, I experienced post-op dementia & a hypertensive crisis. They were horrifying. It didn't affect my mood beyond 2 weeks, though, probably because of bipolar meds I was already taking.
Thank you. I read somewhere that trauma can bring bipolar and other mental illnesses to the foreground. Over two years ago when I was struggling badly but hadn't yet gotten into talk therapy my obgyn told me a traumatic surgery can bring "other things to the surface". She was right. For over two years after that operation I tortured close family and friends with my anger and mood swings. Thank you for being straightforward and kind in your replies to me. All of you on this forum sharing your experiences give me the courage to try new meds, a fear I've had for almost thirty years. Now it's not so much the side effects that make me as afraid but a relationship with my pdoc that isn't quite right as of the last year. Sometimes, I think we know each other a tad too well for the psychiatric portion of my care. I need the courage to be assertive with him and the know how to do that without losing my relationship with him. I see my counselor this Monday and plan to talk about that very thing. Thanks.
 
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