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I. Feel. Like. Poop.


turtlefairy5
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Okay, so background info. first:

I have mental illness. I've been taking what's called an atypical or second-generation antipsychotic (AAP). Due to weight gain, doc wanted to switch me to a traditional or first-generation antipsychotic (AP). But traditional antipsychotics carry with them some pretty scary side effects, things much more scary than weight gain or diabetes, though apparently rare. In any case, I've been tapering off of the AAP in preparation to go on the AP, but, ultimately, I got freaked out and just couldn't do it.

I thought (hoped) perhaps I could get off the anti-psychotics all together (I'm on other supportive medicines) and treat my chronic insomnia with Ambien (heretofore the AAP's have helped me sleep). I took 5mg of Ambien last night, but did not sleep. At all. Not an hour. Not a half hour, not even a 15-minute doze. This is typical for me if I don't have a chemical (and apparently a sufficient amount of a chemical) to put me down.

By this morning, I felt incredibly weak and shaky and nauseous. I woke up my mom and started crying hysterically. I've felt this way all day. I still haven't slept. I think I might've had a light 5 - 10 minute doze. I feel sick, like I'm coming down with something. I'm having palpitations, and I keep taking my pulse, but it is within the normal range when I am laying down (elevated when I rise, of course). I've taken my temperature, but it was normal, though I feel feverish. My eyes have been watering - they're red-rimmed, I'm pale, my nose has been running, I haven't had an appetite, and I had diarrhea. Also, fluid seems to be running out of me at an alarming rate. This morning I had a couple glasses of gatorade, and over the next couple of hours I was up to the bathroom 5-6 times. I think I must've pee'd out more than I took in. I would go to the bathroom, return to the couch, and immediately feel like I had to go again.

Why? Why-why-WHY?

This is (I know this will be censored) ****.

Aggghhhhhh. I can only type out a scream on this forum because I'm too weak to scream for real.

Amber

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Amber, darling, I have nothing but sympathy and support, no help. Be so very careful, it is hard when your brain's not working right. Call your doc, maybe your taper is too fast. Get some rest, even if you do not sleep, lay down and try to relax.

(((((((((((((((((((((((hug)))))))))))))))))))))))))

Jennifer

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Thanks so much, Jennifer. Kind words and sympathizing (I know you can empathize, too) really help me to feel better and try to calm down a bit.

And I should say that my mental illness is bipolar disorder, just in case people are scared of me from that post. HA! Not too scary, though serious enough. I try to joke about it - you could say I'm squirrly, but not quite batty. :lol:

Amber

*edited to add that I just realized for the first time that your avatar, Jennifer, is an owl. I've been looking at it and thinking eagle all this time. Talk about brain not working right. Owl makes more sense. Ha! Good grief. (rolling eyes at myself)

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Oh sorry to hear what you're going through. Medication issues are the worst (I HATE taking new medicines. It's both scary and stressful for me to take a new medication). And our sensitivities with Dysautonimia mess with medicines - we have such a harder time than 'healthier' folk.

I hope you get things straightened out - if Ambien isn't working - wow, that stuff pretty much knocks me out on 5mg, but sometimes I have to take 10mg when I am really wired AND not eat for about three hours before taking it. It makes a huge difference on effectiveness for me (emptier belly). Can you ask for doctor about trying a 10mg?

Mental health + Physical health are stressful to have to treat together. I feel for you. I went through some very difficult family things last year and that on top of my illness was traumatic. So please take care of yourself and know there are others out there who at least can relate to what you're going through and things can get better. We all have our bad days/flare-ups/etc so sometimes you just need to vent.

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Amber, sweetie, I'm so sorry you are feeling so bad. I can understand a little about the mental illness thing, I've dealt with severe depression myself and Sara has some mental issues as well. I have been able to overcome my severe depression through counseling, medication and lots of prayer. I do know the frustration and fear associated with a mental illness. You have many friends here, and we are not judgemental, only compassionate and caring. I do know from Sara's experiences that medications can have such an impact on your mental health. Take good care of yourself and come here often for support and love.....

Sending gentle healing hugs to you (((((((((Amber)))))))))

Susan

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has your doctor tried something like Abilify or Geodon? as far as I remember, they are not really associated with weight gain, usually, and the side effect profiles aren't as bad as for the first-generation antipsychotics. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder previously (now just with vanilla depression and ADHD), so I know how frustrating the medication merry-go-round can be.

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Thanks, everyone! Yeah, I thought about asking my doctor to increase the dose of Ambien. I am very, very difficult to put down. Some people can lick a tablet of Seroquel and sleep for hours, but I was up to 100mg at one point. I have a long history of insomnia, plus some post-traumatic stress issues. I have to sleep with a light and the t.v. on, even though that's not recommended, because I will really freak out really bad without those things. I'll feel like there's a demon or ghost in the room coming to attack me. I've had some hearing-voices issues in that respect, sort of. The t.v. and light keep the monsters away.

I've considered Abilify and Geodon, but they can have more of a stimulating affect and potentially bring out my mania/anxiety.

I'll get this worked out eventually, hopefully. Like POTS, it can be a long journey trying to figure out MI. Like Katja experienced, it can be confusing to diagnose and misdiagnose, and then difficult to treat.

Thanks for the encouragement and advice, ya'll!

Amber

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have you had a sleep study? I know that mood disorders can cause pretty profound sleep disturbance, but maybe there's something else going on, as well? It could be worth looking into, if you have severe sleep disturbance. I did have one recently. I haven't had a chance to go over the results with a doctor yet (I will in a couple of weeks), but the sleep tech strongly implied, in the morning, that he had seen a lot of very weird stuff going on, throughout the night, though I'd always assumed that my sleep was relatively normal, aside from waking up at inopportune hours :huh:.

I also wasn't sure if this could be relevant to your case, since you only give a brief description, but I wanted to mention this, in case it is relevant - if you only hear voices at night, or even at other times, they could in fact be hypnagogic hallucinations, which may indicate some kind of parasomnia, or possibly something like narcolepsy (which is far more difficult to identify, and far more complex, than the usual stereotype of simply falling asleep at inopportune moments). I know very little about sleep disorders, but the brief description you give made me think about this. I don't actually hear voices, per se, but I do have something resembling brief auditory hallucinations, which sometimes give me pause for a few moments, but always feel "synthetic" enough that I have no difficulty identifying them as such. They almost always occur when I'm waking up, or dozing off. I've never had visual hallucinations or psychosis, but I do have somewhat difficult-to-describe experiences, which resemble dreaming while I'm awake - sort of like watching a movie - which may indicate that my brain, in a respect, is going into REM sleep at times when I'm not actually sleeping. Sometimes sleep disorders can be very difficult to detect, with the person often unaware of the symptoms, some of which may mimic, or worsen those of primary mood disorders. I hope you don't mind that I went into all of this, without knowing other details of your case - if you think any of this could be relevant, though, I'd be happy to give you any other info I have, or you could also PM me about this.

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oh yeah, I'm sure I probably have some sort of sleep disorder issue going on. Absolutely. I don't know how they would even study me or get to see me sleeping at all, because from what I see the sleep study rooms are dark and quiet, and under those conditions I just don't sleep at all. Can they get any information from you just laying there awake all night? Also, there's the money issue - I'm very quickly running out (took out my retirement at the age of 29), and I don't think I could afford it even with health insurance.

I don't really hear voices particularly at night or just before sleeping or when waking up. They come more when I am in a depressed phase, day or night, and it just takes on a different aspect of the critical voice in my head. When I get really, really depressed, I start to hear a voice in my head telling me to hurt myself/kill myself/etc. And I seem to have a very loose definition or sense of them not quite being my voice. It's so difficult to describe. It isn't auditory.

Anyhoot, thanks for the help and advice!

Amber

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