I'm BP2 and have been stable for almost a year now. However, I have been working hard at giving up nicotine over the past few months.
I manage to get through about a week, suffering through nicotine withdrawals (been there, done that). However, at about day 7-8 I start to rapid cycle again; generally into a deep depression. It hit me in the teeth today; I fell into the lowest depression I have really ever been in.. I actually had to leave work because I couldn't hold it together; I started having sobbing fits; something very out of ordinary for me. I was cycling all morning, I'd snap out of it for a little bit and then fall right back into the depression. This is exactly how I used to cycle, before being placed on Lamictial; up and down all day long.. But, the depression is much more severe this time arounf.
Has anyone else had this issue with nicotine withdrawals and being BP? I really need some answers here, I'm pretty beat up.
I do believe this happens because my mother-in-law is BP1 and whenever she is without cigarettes she seems to be manic.
I would say it is important to quit smoking, but maybe go about it differently. Have you tried gum or patches? Also there is that drug Chantix. At my office we have had patients on it and it really does work. It blocks the receptors in the brain or something so your body doesn't want the cigarettes. But, it is a prescription and you should ask your doctor about it. (It does cause crazy dreams and stuff so best to talk to your doctor.)
I would say cold turkey for you is not a good idea.
I've been using the patches; they've been my stand-by every time I have given up chewing. I am thinking about using the gum, just because I'll get a solid dose of nicotine every few hours. I think that may help out with the issue. At the very least, it's time to dump the patches; I've been trying to quit with their help for months and it hasn't worked.
I've been through nicotine withdrawals before; the depressive episodes I have been cycling into are a whole lot worse than nicotine withdrawals. The nicotine withdrawals follow a predictable pattern for me as well; the first five days are tough, but I get through it. But, after that, it gets better. In the past, after five days, I never even thought about having a dip.
But, now, I get through those five days, I feel fine for a day or two and then I start to cycle. At this point, we're addressing the BP issues along with the nicotine cessation.
My doc doesn't want to go with Chantix, she's had several BP folks crawl the walls after taking it. Any medication that has anxiety or agitation as a side effect will probably cause problems for me. And, the problem isn't the cravings; I get through those just fine. In fact, when I hit my depressive funks, I don't get nicotine fits at all.
Im a smoker and my doc wants me to give up but my doctor has told me to tell him when I am going to give up smoking as it can effect the levels of your meds, something to do with the liver and the chemicals in the ciggies. I am on epilim so not sure if this applies to your meds but its worth checking in with them.
I had an emergency meeting with my shrink yesterday and we increased the Lamictal from 200mg to 250mgs. The increase helped; it pulled me out of the depression. I have realized, that over the past month or so, my mood has been pretty low; and when I cycle into depression, it's pretty severe.
However, everytime I have increased the Lamictal, I become a little hypomanic for a few days, which are followed by several down days. But, I even out after a few days, so it should be alright. But, I am concerned, because I don't know how severe these down days will be.
I am hoping that this increase in Lamictal will lessen the cycling; it always has in the past. But, again, it's making me a little manic and that really does bother me. Any switch into hypomania concerns me, because I know there will be a down side. I don't get full blown, grandiose thought mania, but it's still a concern.
I was diagnosed BP2 with rapid cycling almost 9 years ago. This was determined when I was put only Zoloft while depressed from recovering from alcohol addiction. Then I was put on a very low dose of Lithium and very low dose of Wellubutrin and it worked great for a few years. Then I got the Lith 6 years ago and had no problems . Then I got off the Wellbutrin 4 years ago due to some panic attacks. My psychiatrist said that I could stop the meds since she termed my issues " situational" and I had no cycling and no relapses with the drink. I have been sober now 9 years. I decided I needed to quite smoking and my med Dr. prescibed Chantix knowing my history. I have been on it now for 26 days and I am miserable. I had problems with mania the 4th day and nearly went psychotic on the 2nd day of my acutal quit from cigarettes. The side effects mentally, emotionally and physically have been so bad that my Dr. advised talk half a dose or quit. Chantix had been working as far as my not having severe cravings to smoke, so I dosed down and also started a slow wean to avoid the horror of Chantix wihdrawal as well as the nicotine withdrawal. Chantix did nothing to relieve physical symptoms. Then the started and then depression when I started to wean off and now for the last two days, I am cycling again just like I did 9 years ago. I am so upset and miserable. Can someone tell me if I am really bi-polar, or is it the nicotine leaving my system, just as the alcohol, or the Chantix that started this ?
Yes well stoppping smoking can have side effects and it is know that Chantix can have severe side effects including worsening the symptoms of bipolar. That's not to say it caused it though but you can ask your psychiatrist more when those issues are over and they can make a further determination.
I'm getting ready to quit smoking for my 4th time in two and a half years. The cycling of emotions that happens when I quit have been a complete surprise. The first few days I feel very wired, but then, like you, I seem to crash which makes me scared to try again. The depression in Dec and Jan was so deep it felt impossible to continue with my quit and I've relapsed three times because of the depression and anxiety alone. It just doesn't seem to stop. It's good to hear I'm not the only one and I'm sorry for you're suffering. Quitting smoking is hard enough without the BP in the way.
Just wanted to wish you the best of luck. Be careful of the gum, though. It's addictive too :(
Oh and yes, nicotine does affect the level of meds.
I once read that 80% of people with BP smoke cigarettes I wonder how true that is? I'm also getting ready to quit having failed in the past. I agree it's extra difficult for us as we are so sensitive to any changes in routine, and I really fear that nicotine withdrawal will bring on mood changes but I can't keep using this excuse not to quit...
Chantix has similarities to Anti Depressant drugs and has an FDA mandated black box warning for depression, suicidality.
Its side effects also include early onset Diabetes in predisposed individuals, seizures, muscle spasms and numerous others - it has been linked to numerous accidents, suicides and some murders and the FAA banned pilots and Air traffic controllers from using it.
Its not available in Australia where I am because of the side effects.
As usual its a drug that is nowhere near as safe as the drug companies and doctors say.
Personally I would not be taking a drug with psychiatric side effects on top of existing psychiatric drugs without a psychiatrist approving - I think you need to see your psychiatrist about Chantix - it has serious risks
I tried Chantix and had horrible nightmares and felt like I was crawling out of my skin during the day; terrible experience. I have recently quit smoking again (7 days now) with the help of the gum and was doing pretty well until last night and today. I feel agitated, depressed, exhausted but can't sleep and I don't want to be awake, anxiety (which always brings a little agoraphobia with it), weepy, rage, and just your basic rapid cycling fun. I've smoked for over 20 years and my lung function has been greatly effected in the last 2 years. I really need to quit and I hope my doctor will be able to help this insanity when I see her next week. I currently take lithium and am not sure how quitting smoking effects this drug.
People with mental illness should be EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS about Cantix.
I would not recommend this. I took it and lost a month of my life. Had my first ever psychotic episode, went to pdoc appt, filled rx's without knowing it, we home depressed crying, wrote a suicide letter, I was going ing and out, overdosed, ICU one day and night, overdosed in hospital room in bathroom while the babbysitter was outside the door from (more pills were in my suitcase), back to ICU, went to a mental ward for half a day and checked myself out, went to another mental ward two more times. That's the short version. I was totally out of my mind. No thought process what so ever. I did not have a hx of any of this type of behavior. I read the label when I got the Chantix, the warning label regarding mental illness and even called the co. Guess what, I thought I would be fine, nothing to worry about. Boy was I dead wrong. I should have listened to my instinct. Please don't make the same mistake I did and take that risk. It's not worth your life. This is my story on Chantix and I'm lucky to be alive. Nothing like this has ever happened to me again.
I was trying to make my long story short but I wanted to add one more thing.
I remember going to the dr appt, after that I lost my mind. I don't remember filling my rx's or anything afterwards. My husband told me everything I did. Thank god for him getting me through this and supporting me.
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