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19 hours ago · bipolar issues in Mental Health

You have my deepest sympathy of being married (or tied) to a narcissist. That spells deep trouble even without a condition. Glad your getting away at least from a legal standpoint.

19 hours ago · Bipolar and ECT Treatments in Mental Health

Big decision but if it works fantastic. If you look up Dick Cavitt the well known talk show host, he did it too and he noted immediate positive changes. Treatment resistant depression really puts people in a bind. There are new avenues with things like vagus nerve stimulation ( I think it’s called that) and trans cranial magnetic stimulation. I’m guessing you have seen or hear of these even if just in passing or consultation.

My limited understanding of the procedure is that it’s nothing like Hollywood nor is it harsh like in the earlier days. If it works, how much brighter the world might be! How much less painful on the inside! Maybe even fewer trips to the pharmacy, wouldn’t that be a welcomed thought.

I’m hoping for the best outcome possible for you as I know you are. Please let the group know when and if you choose to do so. I would also ask, as is my chronic series of statements, what the best strategies are to maximize the benefits. That is to say among the various things you can control.

I suspect most of those controllable factors of diet, stress reduction, sleep, exercise, etc are always recommended. I guess ECT is a way for the pathways in the brain to get a swift kick in the teeth to change their tune.

1 day ago · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

A good way to think about this is to ask questions with what I’ve described and have people explain why I’m not correct. I’m quite willing to be proven wrong and have been plenty of times but when it comes to science and medicine, it seems reasonable to approach this issue from that angle. To be sure science and medicine evolve, change completely, and re-examine. But those disciplines are often the best ones in a position to offer rational and intelligent guidance in the latest understanding though it is anything but perfect.

1 day ago · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

It’s admirable to want to be drug free. It would be ideal. But depending on the diagnosis and neurochemistry you may very well have to treat it like a medical condition no different than type 1 diabetes, hypothyroidism, hyperlipidemia or any other condition where the body is simply wired in such a way as to cause problems.

Some individuals and groups sneer at psychiatry but it’s really puzzling because the same biochemistry, genetics and developed anatomy that sends them running to the doctor for medical emergencies is somehow not the same as that of the brain. I’ve absolutely never understood that disconnect.

Therefore, while one can take any other physical, genetic, endocrinological, or analogous system and modify one’s lifestyle, habits and factors to minimize disruption, the fact remains that a part of the system isn’t functioning well. The problem with any condition is how it interrupts life’s daily activities and quality of life. The underlying condition will remain regardless of taking medicine, so you can certainly stop, many do. But they are not always enthusiastic about the consequences and what can follow in its wake.

There are reasons that bipolar people have life expectancies at least ten years less than the average, are more susceptible to weight issues, type 2 diabetes, job instability and a trail of unhappy relationships. My suggestion is to fix what you can wherever possible to improve health, habits and stress triggers while firmly acknowledging that the biological is a fixture of life.

Finding ways to cope and improve is a vital and lifelong pursuit with no guarantees except that as one gets older it can get harder. (I think we get more intolerant, inflexible and simply slow down making bounce back and adaptation harder).

There is a book I read by an author named Alisa Roth,
Insane : America's criminal treatment of mental illness

It is worth a read and should be at the local library. It covers what happens when people stop. Everyone here likely already knows but the book is a good read and equips you to warn others and understand the bigger problems with treatment today.

2 days ago · Weaning off Effexor with CBD Oil in Depression & Anxiety

Any idea of the chemistry involved? I’m quite interested to understand that. I think Effexor alters, among other things, norepinephrine and dopamine but I’m not certain. I’m even less certain about the reasons for the harsh withdrawal symptoms biochemically. How the psychoactive agents in CBD oil bind or block receptors is quite important along with what happens if one stops CBD.

2 days ago · bipolar issues in Mental Health

I have bipolar too and it wasn’t diagnosed til around age 43, I think. The best result for medication that I have experienced is the mood stabilizer Lamictal/ lamotragine. I believe it was originally intended as an anti convulsant for epilepsy. It keeps the moods from dipping too far but it isn’t perfect.

Venalafaxine/ Effexor is a creature worth avoiding if you can help it. Once on it, you’re loathe to get off because the symptoms can be brutal.

So having meds in place at least created a buffer. After that, I picked up strategies that worked from cognitive based therapy in less than a month.

The usual self maintenance issues always apply:

Good quality sleep (I use melatonin and L-theanine, either little noise or white noise, blackout curtains and no tv, phone, computers etc 2 hours before bed, no caffeine 6-8 hours before bed.

Making sure food is nutritious

Some exercise

And diversions/hobbies

BUT, there are triggers that come regardless and identification of those is both tricky and important. Coping strategies for those are vital to defuse them like a ticking bomb or in alternate slow poison.

Non-bipolar people are severely strained in these relationships and it’s common knowledge that the mortality of bipolar/non-bipolar relationships is high.

It takes a tremendous amount of mental effort to try and stop the downward spiral even when I recognize what’s going on.

I can’t speak to fibromyalgia at all but I have to believe the added stress and unique wiring of the neurotransmitters and stress hormones in bipolar aggravate the condition.

Fri, Jul 5 3:09pm · Weaning off Effexor with CBD Oil in Depression & Anxiety

Sorry you’re having trouble with the meds. Effexor is like a big, vicious animal that crawls in and goes to sleep. It can scare the other smaller problems away. If you want something different after using it however, to get off of it, you may find it’s difficult to get rid of. Weaning off of it is a chore and there are threads on here about that very subject. That is the point when you’re poking the big vicious animal with a sharp stick. The animal isn’t particularly loyal and is apt to bite and continue to bite hard day and night before it ever tries to get up and leave.

I’m out of my element on canabis oils. Considering federal law has thwarted reliable therapeutic studies and research for decades, it seems an unproven item. My ‘barbershop’ advice is to proceed with great caution for the psycho-active agents, neurochemistry and neurochemistry-behavior are complex in action and reaction. One can always answer shop or get second opinions among medical specialists but I’d be as conservative as possible when tinkering with the neurotransmitters.

My understanding (and it’s limited at best) has been that with the most well researched anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, anti convulsants etc, the treatment is akin to throwing a handful of fertilizer in all directs rather than narrowed to one limited item. This means that the entire range, scope and depth of what is already out there as treatment is not fully understood in all the areas it affects and you may get a lot of unforeseen cause and effects.

If you add something like canabis oil, you’re throwing another wild card in the mix. Bear in mind, accidental death by medicines and drugs in general is the second highest cause of death in the country. If you decide to tinker with it, at least tell the md (preferably Psychiatrist whose job is to know how psyche meds interact) what you’re intending to do since they are in a position to tell you dangerous interactions and contraindications.

All this is made more complex and distressing if nothing else is working. At the root of all is lies psychic pain that is individualized and we want it to go away one way or another. At least make every effort to avoid doing more harm from something preventable by a few skillful questions and professional insights by those trained in the field.