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Bipolar Disorder Community
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5877513 tn?1375915002

Abilify and Concentration with BP2

Hi,

Took 40 years for a doctor to diagnose me with BP2 three months ago.  Last 14 years on various ADs - SSRI, SNRI, tricyclics, Ritalin added on, etc. Back in 2002 all hell broke out with migraine complications.

Tried lithium already.  Now newly on Abilify.  I read something in a previous thread about Abilify "working with" dopamine rather than suppressing?

Anyone know more about dopamine connection they can add, especially including personal experiences with Abilify?  Ramping up slowing and currently at 2.5 mg.  Doctor thinks I may find I can stay at that level.  So far much better than lithium, but too soon to tell is cycling is quelled.
3 Responses
Avatar universal
I would suggest going over to the crazymeds.us forum to ask about this.  It's a site specifically geared towards meds, and they have an entire forum section devoted to Abilify.  And they have people who know a fair amount about the neurotransmitters.
5877513 tn?1375915002
I took your advice. Found a couple good insights. Not a lot there yet for BP2 though.  I do enjoy the writing language such as: Depression is a far more socially acceptable form of brain cooties than bipolar disorder and schizophrenia..." Ain't that the truth?

Thanks.
Avatar universal
I've found that there are a lot of people on the crazymeds forums with BP II.  A great website about BP II and other variants is the psycheducation.org site.  It's written by a psychiatrist who has seen a lot of people with different flavors of bipolar and done a lot of research, and he's really good at explaining things.  Reading that site is what tipped me off that I might have BP II, so when I finally went to a psychiatrist, I was able to tell her I thought I had it and why, and she agreed.  

So far, lamictal is working really well for me, and might be something for you to consider, since it's great for depression and has a better side effect profile than the atypical antipsychotics, as long as you don't get a rash (1/10 chance of benign rash, 1/1000 chance of dangerous rash).  It's also approved as monotherapy for BP I, and a lot of people swear by it as the best med for BP II, given that it works really well for depression.  You are always allowed to ask your doctor about different med options and risks and benefits, and don't be afraid to ask for a change if after 4-6 weeks (maybe less on antipsychotics, which tend to work pretty quickly compared to other things) it's not working or the side effects are still majorly sucky.
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