I was diagnosed with Bipolar II with rapid cycling, and I am currently in a mixed episode after an antidepressant induced hypomanic episode last November after taking just one antidepressant tablet! (which is according to my psychiatrist is very unusual and to him quite astonishing). I saw the psychiatrist in March, and currently am not on an medication due to suspected partial seizures (which I have been told is the likely cause for the sudden switch when I was put on the SSRI Sertraline Hydrochloride, and is accountable for some of my daily mood switches). I have recently had an EEG and an MRI, and am due to get the results in the coming weeks.
I've been worried about taking medication because of my experience with two SSRI medications, the first being Citalopram when I was 17, which got rid of the racing thoughts but caused rapid heart rate, pins and needles, nausea, dizziness, disassociation, twitching, difficulty swallowing, flushing and made me incredibly irritable and angry. It took me 6 months after just two tablets to fall back from a mixed episode, and plunged me into a severe depression. The second, Zoloft was a lot more pleasant - and induced a hypomanic episode where everything was lovely, everything tasted so much better, life was amazing, I was able to get incredible amounts of work completed to a very high standard in a short period of time (achieving a first (1:1) in my second university essay) and I suddenly could love again. Life was purposeful. However, this gave me tremors, a headache and flushing and made me need the loo a lot.
Currently I'm bothered by the symptoms of racing thoughts, so I'm constantly living in my head as opposed to being able to focus on the things in my environment, being just emotionally flat and apathetic (with no interest in much), physically exhausted, no energy, no appetite but I feel pressured to do a lot (get a part time job, join societies at university, go out more etc...), distracted, and I'm worried about my speech trouble where I'm thinking too fast and not getting my words out properly, and I'm finding myself not wanting to be around people and I'm also restless.
The options for medication I had were Abilify (5mg) (the psychiatrist was keen to put me on this one because of a) the side effect profile being less than the AED's and Lithium, and b) potential for becoming pregnant given its little effect on an unborn foetus) or Epilim Chrono extended release, 200mg. Obviously I've had to hold back from taking any medication due to the seizures because the neurologist would need to prescribe the right AED, and the prescriber doesn't want to put me on an AED that could worsen my type of seizures etc...
I just wanted to ask what peoples experiences are from the medication. I'm really worried about weight gain (I finished loosing the weight I wanted to loose last August, and achieved a 5 stone loss in 18 months, so I'm quite conscious about this) and I'm concerned about the osteoporosis side of Epilim Chrono. As well as this, I also worry about my intellect as I'm at university, and whether these will destabilise my mood like SSRI's (I know these are mood stabilisers but I'm worried about how they will physically and mentally make me feel).
Does anyone have any advice about how I will feel in myself, or the side effects that I may have experience on Epilim Chrono extended release? - I assume this will be the medication of choice following the results of my EEG and MRI which I should receive in the coming weeks, as well as my history of seizures.
Thank you ever so much for your help in advance, this site has proved to be an absolute blessing.