I'm bipolar (mainly depressive with lots of intrusive thoughts) and rapid cycle from normal to irritable to depressed. My cycles run their course usually over a week, but sometimes over two weeks.
My problem is that so many things haven't worked. I was on lithium (both monotherapy and in conjunction with ADs - mostly Effexor) for nearly 20 years and that didn't stop any of the craziness. I stopped the lithium a year ago and switched to Lamictal. I suspect it's made things a lot worse, speeding up and intensifying the cycles - they never used to be this fast and this bad.
I can't try any of the AEDs - and choices are limited in general - because I'm hoping to get pregnant once my mood stabilizes.
I tried low dose Seroquel, but that really intensified the depression. Low dose Zyprexa (Zydis) worked for about two weeks and then pooped out. I tried to use Zyprexa PRN and it made things worse - felt a lot like the Seroquel experience.
I tried low dose Solian years ago and seem to remember it had been effective but discontinued due to terrible side effects. Also, the rebound depression was the worst I ever experienced. Because so many things have failed, I tried Solian PRN over the last couple of weeks. The first two times, it worked brilliantly, the third time it worked for about 12 hours, the fourth for about 5 hours, and the last one it didn't work at all and it felt a lot like the Seroquel and Zypexa crashes. I only wanted to use it PRN because it can interfere with fertility.
My question is: does it sound like I need to leave my dopamine the hell alone? Zyprexa and Seroquel inhibit it (from what I understand), while low dose Solian stimulates it. If so, where to next - especially considering that I hope to get pregnant.
One thought I had was maybe to try a combination of low dose (ie maximum 15mg - but most likely 10mg) Valium for the irritability and intrusive thoughts and a stimulant to knock out the depression and treat my ADD.
So sorry for the huge post. I'm at my wits' end and desperately hope someone can help me.
Edited to add: I apologize. I just realized I put this thread in the wrong category and that it should be in Treatment Options for Bipolar Disorder: The Spirit Levels of Your Mind, but I don't know how to move it.
Edited by valdoxan2011, 25 February 2012 - 06:32 PM.