I am only on gabapentin now, and I think it is making me feel stupid. I am having memory problems, trouble thinking, and concentrating, I am going to give it a bit longer as I have not been on it very long ( 2 weeks 3 days), but I don't think this one is going to work out either......sigh.....
It is very common to have side effect in the beginning when you start a new medicine. That is one of the reasons thay start you out on a low dose although they know it will take a little while to reach a therapeutic level. I will say that I have taken a lot of different combinations of meds but your experience does seem a little odd. I am surprised that you had so many horrible side effects.
I do know that if you are currently taking pain medicine it will definitely effect the therapeutic effect of many (perhaps most) bipolar meds. Also alcohol is one of the worst things you can consume while taking these meds so if you have to drink don't drink too much in any given day and try not to drink very often.
If most of your problems with the meds are that they make you feel less intelligent or they make you feel "not like yourself" then don't be afraid of the medicines. At first I thought that mine took away my creativity and my personality. In a sense that is what they are supposed to do. No matter the meds you take you are going to feel different...that is there job. We are not able to control our moods cognitively. At first the meds can make you feel the way you describe but please give the meds you are on know a chance.
No matter what I say most of us go on and off our meds because when we do a lot of times we get a euphoric feeling but the high is not worth the low. It took me a long time to accept my lack of euphoria. Also when you get the cycles under control you may be like me and find that there are also some other disorders or problems that present themselves like ADD and OCD. These are things that although you can take medicine for, you have to learn how to control them.
This is just general information based on what I have read in your post. everyone is different but I hope you got something from it. Let us know how the medicines are working. This will get better but unfortunately it takes a while. You can't give up because in my experience this disorder can worsen over time. Don't learn the hard way like I did. You are young and you have a better chance of getting stable than I did and I am not even that stable right now.
You may be unable to metabolize drugs efficiently. Since women are often not included in clinical trials determining dosage, even the "normal" dose can be too large for even the average woman. A recent example is the recommendation for the standard Ambien dosage to now be 5 mg for women and 10 mg for men (when it used to be 10 mg for everyone). If you're particularly thin, this could also play a role in what the appropriate dose is for you. A mg/kg approach, the way they determine medications in pediatric patients, might help if this is the case.
Or you could have inefficient enzymes. Maybe you should get your liver checked? That's what does the filtering in the majority of medications (and alcohol). Have you tried lithium? I think it's controlled by the kidneys, so if it is a liver enzyme issue, that one might work for you. You could retry the antipsychotics at even lower doses if they're in a form that's splittable, or maybe try one of the anticonvulsants approved in children, since those will come in smaller forms. Since you can tolerate Lamictal fairly well, using it plus something else at a really low dose might be the thing that works. And antidepressants, especially SSRIs, are generally a no-no for bipolar, especially if you don't have a mood stabilizer on board already. You should definitely talk to your doctor about this, and bring up your concerns about metabolism.
I had reactions like make me feel dizzy, like I was going to pass out/faint, vision problems = abilify, seroquel. Extreme body aches = geodon. Extreme body aches, akatishia, neausia = Latuda. Slightly elevated blood sugar, and as the nurse said the highest prolactin level she has ever seen = risperdal. Complete zombie = Invega. Flatline emotions, couldn't get sad, or happy, no opionon or care about anything = Zoloft. Had no effect at lowest dose, so raised dose falling asleep at work = Paxil. Made my thighs tingle, and numb, excessive vagina secretions (like when aroused) = Celexa. They told me to take it in the morning because it would give me energy so I did and two hours later I was falling asleep, so had to take at night, gave me a headache the entire time I was on it = Lexapro. Had a headache the entire time I was on it = Welbutrin. Made me fall asleep, then I would wake up super grumpy and yell at everyone = Vistaril. I was on the combo of depakote and effexor so not sure which one it was, but I was only awake 4-6 hours a day and slept the rest of the time. Did not control my symptoms when raised from 200mg to 300mg gave me migraine headaches = Lamictal. I can take 150mg if I take more gives me headaches = Trazodone. Had no effect therapeutic, nor side effect even when dose was raised = buspar. At least 85% of these side effects I had at the lowest doses, and sometimes but not always I would try these medications for 1 + months and the side effects never went away. Taking these medications has never controlled my symptoms, and really has just made me more sick instead of better. I don't normally drink alcohol anyways maybe once every 6 months for the last 3 years on average, and part of the reason why is that it just makes me feel sick, and has given me this effect even when I was on no medication. I don't always take pain medication, I have back problems, and actually have had most of these side effects from the psychotropic medications when I was on no pain medication. I don't get that euphoric and when I do it is really not that great, and totally unrealistic anyways. I do find that they do hinder my creativity but oh well. I really wish these medications did work for me, because I really don't want that ECT crap it takes out huge chunks of memory. I have also gotten sick from taking birth controll. I am tired of trying pills with hopes of them making me better, and only ending up with bad results.
I don't blame you about the ECT. It has been offered to me when I stay manic too long. I have talked to some people that said it worked well but I am afraid to do it and I would have to be in really bad shape...I'm talking manic for months will loads of self harm and perhaps several suicide attempts to even consider it. I know a lot about bipolar, medications for it, and how to fight the depression that comes along with it but I wish I could offer you something.
I don't know if you hve tried Lithium but you have likely had the option before if not but it does have some side effects and I don't blame you if you don't want to try it.
There are a few out there that you haven't tried. What confuses me is I have read a lot about the BP meds and I have heard of all of them having side effects but never some serious ones with all of them.
All I have left to offer is to say that you likely know but depression causes a lot of concentration problems and sometimes some CBT can help in pulling you out of depression.
What is your creative outlet? How long has it been since you have done it? I have taken a lot of BP meds as well. Most of what you said and some more that you didn't. I finally found the combination that works for me after 2 years and over 160 days in treatment. I know you are tired of being a guinea pig but don't give up. I don't know how depressed you are but it sounds pretty bad. If you cannot take the meds, then your only option is to use what you do have control over and try to find ways to keep your mood under control. Whatever you can do. I wrote some of my theories on fighting depression on someone's post on the depression forum. The question was "Giving Up On Life. When you get time or just want to read something you can check it out and see if any of it at all could help or at least show you how crazy I think>>>:P
I haven't tried Lithium, and honestly after all my bad experience with medications I am stating to get anxiety attacks when I try a new one, but it is not like my reaction is unrealistic or unwarranted in my case. I was really thinking about trying more natural methods. I don't really feel that depressed, frustrated would be a better definition of how I feel. I guess I really should talk this over with my psychiatrist, but don't have an appointment until May 9th. He may just tell me I need to go to the medical doctor, and see what they think too. I really wish I could get a therapist, but I can't until my medical insurance kicks in, in July. I know it is weird I have these kinds of reactions to medications, I really do wonder if I don't metabolize them right or something. Do you think having IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) could cause me to have problems with metabolizing medications, because I do have that. Sigh I don't know....
I have known a few people with IBS and if I had to just guess I would say that since some medicines are excreted through urine and some through number 2. I am not sure which ones but I think it may be possible, don't know. Your psych dr may send you to med dr and that would actually be smart. Psychiatrist are amazing with their understanding of how the mind works and the medicines for it...all of them but the ones I have met. Tha medical dr can likely tell you why you are having so many problems with the meds and then if that can be treated you night be able to try some mood stabilizers again.
I hope this works out well for you and let me know how it goes.
I just looked up most of the drugs you mentioned in your original post, and they're all metabolized in the liver (to be fair, most drugs are). Ask your doctor about getting liver function tests and whatever other studies you would need to see if your liver is working properly. Poor liver circulation can be problematic, but you might have defective enzymes (or something). Lithium is actually excreted unchanged, and it processed through the kidneys, so I think it might be your best shot if your liver is the issue. Poor metabolism would cause drugs to build up very quickly to toxic levels, because you wouldn't be getting rid of them as fast as they were coming in. Then again, I'm not sure how Lamictal fits in, since you tolerate it at higher doses than other things, but I've heard of some people taking 800 mg of Lamictal before (even though that's above recommended levels).
It's just a theory, but I think it's worth getting your liver checked out and giving lithium a try. And maybe retrying other things that come in tiny doses or can be split to see if those work.
Did the Lamictal help at all when you were on 200 mg? Lots of people end up needing med combos, so that one *might* be a good starting point, if it does something but not enough at the dose you can tolerate.
If anything, I would guess that IBS would reduce absorption of medications, but that's just a guess. Don't quote me on that one.
HI , I haven't had many issue's with med's myself but my mother is the same as you , i didn't read all the effect's different med's had on you but i do know that my mum she can hardly take anything including most pain medication anti depressant's , mood stabilizer's aswell as anti psychotics , nothing agree's with her and she's not a real big woman either .
I am not that small in size 5'8" 200lbs. I gained weight unfortunately as the bipolar and anxiety and back problems got worse. I actually got my liver function tested before when they figured out I had IBS they tested just about everything that had to do with the digestion process actually, and everything was fine. That is part of how they come to a diagnosis of IBS they rule everything else out. I guess I could always get it checked again, and the doctor may have a few more idea about what to test. I don't know if the Lamictal actually helped or not. I still had a rapid cycling w/mixed episodes, and some bad anxiety when I was on it in combo with the trazodone. I really wonder if those Antipsychotics fried my brain or something. I am really sick, and I don't know what is wrong with me, and without insurance I can just go to clinics. I am sick of being sick. :-( Part of the reason they put me on Gabapentin specifically is because I am having body aches for no apparent reason. I thought these body aches were because of the Latuda, and actually when I went off of it the body aches went away within two days. I was fine for two months then boom rapid cycling, extreme anxiety, horrid body aches, amongst a bunch of other weird symptoms and I was only on Lamictal and Trazodone. urgh, sigh, urgh, sigh, sigh...........
It is difficult when your on 2 or more meds at the same time to know which one is causing what. For some people just have one works, it's when you put it in a mix that changes things. It's best to try one at a time if you can.
A thought, I have heard many people have side effects months lasting up to a year from a drug. I know yours temp went away but I'm wondering if the ones you tried before and stopped could be causing your body aches. It could just be one of them out of the mix. I too am very very sensitive to meds and take very low doses. Have tried many and had to stop.
Have they ruled out Cronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibromyalgia? Have you thought about getting a detox cleanse at the health food store?
One more thing. My psyc dr prescribed Deplin for me which is L-Methylfolate (a breakdown of folic acid). Don't worry it's not medication. You need a rx and Deplin has a coupon on line. Research it, you might want to try it. Over the counter has fillers and is not high quality.
I wondered too if I might have something like fribromyalgia, and have looked it up, and I seem to have most of the symptoms that are common with it. I have just had problems getting things figured out with doctors mostly I think because of my lack of insurance. I asked the psychiatrist if the body aches could be caused like a more permanent side effect of the meds and she said no. This was a crisis psych. My regular psychiatrist didn't even know body aches could even be a side effect of the Geodon or Latuda which is the ones I got the body aches with. Once I went without any antipsychotic for a week, and I got real sick with a bad headache, shoulder, and neck pain and tingling, and thought I might have been having some withdraw symptoms. I even ended up in the psych ward because when it happened it made me suicidal, and I asked them if maybe it was a withdraw symptom, and they acted like they didn't know anything about it. I just keep getting the run around from all these doctors, and it is frustrating. I hope I can get in with a good doctor when I get my insurance in July, but I just am going crazy wondering what is wrong with me, and is hard not to think about when I am constantly in pain. I really don't like the thought of just being miserable for the next three months sitting around waiting and doing nothing. :-( I thought about doing a detox actually already, but then I wondered if I had some liver or kidney issues the detox might make them worse. Do you know the reason you have medication sensitivities? Actually now that I think about it I have gotten body aches from drinking one alcoholic beverage before a few times, and this was even before I ever took any antipsychotics. Maybe there was already something wrong with me and somehow the antipsychotics just did something to trigger it. Heck I don't know, and I will probably never know until I find a good doctor that is actually going to work with me, and help me, lol.
I pee/urinate a lot too, and I can't hold my urine at all or it gives me horrible cramping. I thought maybe it was just an exaggerated sense of pain......Idk...
A Urologist would be the best dr to go to for this issue. They will talk to you and probably run some tests.
Thank you everyone for your responses. I am sure I will get all my weird symptoms figured out eventually, and from the way I see it is it might take quite some time to get it all figured out.
I was thinking about doing some journaling, amongst some other things I can do on my own to try and help alleviate some of my symptoms. Like better diet, a relaxing bedtime routine to help me sleep, maybe some light exercise, etc. I thought about herbal supplements, and stuff, but someone mentioned if I have sensitivities to medications I may have sensitivities to some herbal remedies and stuff too, which actually would make sense.
Since I can't get a therapist right now I am going to have to be more self reliant on learning coping skills/strategies. I thought about getting some self help kind of books too.
I am going to have to do these things because obviously medications are not agreeing with my body. I have had bad reactions to some birth control pills too, an extreme and rare reaction to the herpes 2 (genital) virus. It seems my body is hypersensitive to a lot of things...sigh. I will get this figured out, and if not oh well I guess.
You have got a great plan!!!
Since my first day in treatment in 2011 I have filled up 18 journals with work that I have done to better understand my mood among other things. I had to figure out why I had PTSD, how that and my addiction tied into my mood swings and well....I have written a basic summary that is my final self diagnoses based on what I had learned:
Here is the story of my self discovery,
When I first got to treatment I had no diagnoses for any mental problems. Then I found out I had chemical dependency. When I write my poems I take a sentence or a word and make it into a long poem. That is why i try to drag emotions and information out of people on here. Asking me why you are depressed is a loaded question. I need to know so much about the history of people's lives to make a determination about why they are depressed. Anyway I write a lot of poems and they are more about self discovery than anything else. I wrote poems about my childhood, my addiction, my emotions, my time at war, and being bipolar and the mood swings associated with it. That is why it is so easy for me to empathize with people on here there isn't much I haven't seen and there isn't a whole lot that I haven't learned about it.
When I was diagnosed with chemical dependency I sit down and started journaling. I had to get to the bottom of the reason I was susceptible to becoming chemically dependent. I attached that to the Iraq. Then I was told I had PTSD. Again I sit down and started writing. I had to tie in why I had PTSD and how it was related to the war. I came to the conclusion that the things I saw in war were internalized and I had no coping skills to deal with that. Then I went manic and they diagnosed me with bipolar. Again I sit down and started working on why I was bipolar, when it first began, and how it related to the PTSD and CD. I came to the conclusion that my childhood was tough and that was the reason that my bipolar became onset. Iraq was the reason that I fell into manic depression, and the manic depression was the reason I was CD.
That was when I was released and that was good enough to keep me clean for a while and have closure. Unfortunately that was not the end. I met a girl named Christine and after she moved in with me I started to fall back into depression and when it got to the point where I got suicidal I find myself back in treatment 6 months ago. I came in with all the knowledge that I had before. I had the same psychiatrist that I had last year and he had the charts to bring him back up to speed. We started where I left off last year. The first thing he taught me was thought stopping. I was told that feelings cause emotions and emotions cause behavior. I started working on thought stopping but didn't get anywhere for a while because I stayed in manic depression for three weeks slicing my wrist on the 2nd week. When I was better and out of the depression I started working again. I noticed that my hand writing was better when I wasn't depressed and I could concentrate better. That is how I realized that as I used over time when I tried to stop I couldn't because I was so depressed I couldn't concentrate and figure out why I started using again.
Once I realized this I linked Christine to the depression, but wasn't sure why. I called and told her to get out of my house and go back to Louisiana and she did. If I know something is a problem I have no regrets in destroying it. Once she left my doctor told me that I was super codependent. I denied this for a while but eventually read the book and realized how that was true. I saw that based on how much flattery I get I would become manic. Based on how much criticism I took in I would get depressed. So again I looked back at my life to see how my codependent behavior had caused everything that had happened to me. I came up with the codependency fed the bipolar and the PTSD which both of caused the addiction. This was the last thing I learned before I got out this time. I met a new girl while I was in treatment and she came to pick me up when I got out. She was the most beautiful girl I had ever met and she loved me dearly. At a point I broke up with her twice. As we started falling apart I got more and more unstable and I started cutting (which I realized was the same thing as using as it releases dopamin). I started texting and calling like crazy crying every day. I became depressed again and when I came out of it I started writing again. I realized that every time I lost a woman that I cared about I fell into deep depression. I had to look back and see how that effecting everything else. I realized that the childhood that I grew up in gave me a distorted view of what love is supposed to be like. I realized that just like using I needed that instant gratification that she still loved me and it wasn't over. I realized that after I got as much "high" as I could get from a relationship I got bored with it and started to pull away. I realized that if I committed myself to the relationship even though I wasn't happy I would use again. That is when I realized something that is not likely the end of this self discovery but is the foundation for all of this. I realized I have obsessive compulsive behaviors. Again I had to look back and see how that has affected my life.
Final synopsis (for now)
The childhood I had caused the PTSD to start. The PTSD was the cause for the onset of my mental illness. The onset of my mental illness made me super codependent. The codependency started the as a way to escape. The OCD fed the bipolar and so on, vicious cycle. The PTSD from my childhood and the codependency made me susceptible to PTSD from Iraq. The PTSD from Iraq fed the addiction. Without any more excitement and that adrenalin rush that I got from Iraq I was bored back in America. The addiction caused loneliness which caused me to get back into another relationship. The codependency from the relationship and the addiction caused depression. The depression made it impossible for me to leave the relationship. Her cheating on me caused the mixed state of mania and manic depression. The mixed state caused the obsessive tendencies to kick in. The obsessive behaviors (calling, texting, crying) caused the addiction to climb to a new height and sent me into a very unstable form of psychosis. The psychosis caused my first suicidal thoughts which lead me into treatment where I became manic again. Finding Carolyn in treatment this time and falling in love with her caused the mania to come back. Her ignoring my calls caused the OCD which could have led to relapse had I not realized that the obsessing over Carolyn was the same as obsessing over pain pills. I needed my next fix of Carolyn. I started practicing patience and not obsessing and I have gotten pretty good at it. I may have thought I learned too much but it is quite the opposite.
Anyway I wanted to let you know the progress that I made by working my but off to fight depression and you have the right attitude to do the same. There is no cure for what we have but we can gain knowledge to fight it. Get control of your thoughts and never stop learning.
I know a lot of people who have a mental illness usually end up with co-morbid ones too. Meaning a lot of times mental illnesses overlap each other. Sometimes the symptoms of one can also be a symptom of another. I learned this as I researched more on mental illnesses. It made a lot of sense in that it is sometimes hard to get the right diagnosis because of this. Most people with a mental illness usually get diagnosed with at least one more. (This gives me an idea to post a poll on here about co-morbidity).
I have noticed that even though when we have more than one diagnosis we can experience them independently from each other. Sometimes problems with one can set us off to have problems with another, and another (depending on what problems you have or how many diagnosis') consequently creating a domino effect amongst them. If we are unable to stop the domino effect at some point we become more prone to cycle not just through the bipolar cycle, but creating a cycle with the co-morbid mental illnesses as well, then it becomes a cycling domino effect. It can go on forever until we find ways to stop it. Either by medication, and/or by some self realization and awareness and coping skills/strategies.
I use to write poetry a lot too. I think I used it as a way to get my strong emotions out, and a kind of way to express them. I do think it was therapeutic for me. I really didn't have anyone to talk to about how I felt either, so it was very much a way or an out let to communicate to the world how I felt. I think there is a lot of writers amongst those with bipolar. There has been some research done that has linked bipolar and creativity. There are also a lot of artists, composers, and musicians, that are bipolar. Writing is actually my preferred method of communication.
I am actually hoping that maybe some of my journaling will help some other people as well. I will definitely share what I have learned through research, and experience with others. Knowledge and wisdom are important, and educational therapy does help too.
Amy, Unfortunately I don't know why I am sensitive to so many meds. My grandmother couldn't take any meds not even a Tylnol, everything made her sick. Maybe it's hereditary and that's where I got it from.
When you get insurance maybe you can find a dr that practices both medical and natural remedies, or a Naturopath.
As for you getting sick stopping your meds for a week. Don't worry you are not abnormal with your reaction to stopping the meds. The dr always advises you to taper off meds and not abruptly stop them. A majority of the time you will have withdraw symptoms. Everyone is different in the way they react to meds and withdraws. Same goes for symptoms. Just because their not listed in literature doesn't mean you can't experience them because we are all unique.
I know this sounds strange because I couldn't believe it myself. I went to the bathroom all of the time a few years back and had done so for a long time. I went to a urologist. They did a test to see how much I was emptying out urine. Did another test to see how much was left in my system. There was still urine left. They then did an X-ray. My wole intestinal tract was full of number 2, even though I went everyday. Boy was I in disbelief. They explained that my intestines were pushing on my bladder making it impossible to empty completely causing me to go to the bathroom frequently.
There solution was to do the same cleanse as you would do if you were having a colonoscopy. Then to have a better diet because I don't eat very much and drink either prune juice or take something like Benefiber and also to try and eat foods with fiber in them. I don't know if this could be the issue for you. I can tell you I didn't now I had this problem.
If you decide to go completely off med be careful and have a dr lined up in case you need him/her. You know you can always go to the hospital. I have to take meds no matter what or I would be in bad shape. If and when you withdraw from your meds, I would do some research and go to the health food store (if you can't go to dr yet) and your still having problems. Your body will be free of meds and you could try some supplements. One at a time to see how your body reacts. Have you ever had bloodwork done. In particular, Vit D, Vit B's and iron? I take Fish oil (without mercury). I also just started Deplin that my psyc dr prescribed for me. Research this, it may help you.
I have gotten several responses from people having the idea that being sensitive to medications could be an enzyme problem, and a lot of the enzyme problems can be genetic. I actually posted this question in 3 different places, because I really didn't know where to post it, lol.
As for stopping the meds I was on the lowest dose, I guess you could cut the dose in half and taper off that way....??? That would only work with tablets though....Idk. I am on gabapentin now, and will continue to take it, but at this point I can't really tell how well it is working, so I will wait and see. It is easy to not take the meds when they just make you feel sick. I probably really need them to, but they just don't seem to work for me.
I keep feeling like I am having heart palpitations, but even when I don't feel particularly anxious, and no anxiety attack either. Haha I don't know it is kind of weird though. Have been to the doctor twice they say they find nothing abnormal. I try to ignore it, but it is really annoying, lol. Maybe I should post a question about it in the anxiety forum.....Maybe I should do an experiment and take an Ativan...if it works and stops the heart palpitations I can then assume it is anxiety ....right? I think I will try that. I try to avoid taking it as everyone says they can be addictive, and I already have enough problems I don't want to get addicted to anything, lol. I don't seem to have any bad side effects with the Ativan though. I am on the lowest dose though. 0.5mg. I only take it as needed.
I keep craving Fish, and dairy (yogurt mostly), and sweets, sugar. I know that the sugar and sweets cravings may not be healthy. I do however think some cravings are, as it would make sense for your body to crave certain things that have something in it your body is lacking or needs more of. I did start taking a multivitamin too though.
I have been to the hospital a few times for different things, a lot of times they are not very helpful, lol. I may try to go to the clinic to see if they can help with anything. I probably do need some blood work done on a few things, but no never had a vitamin check.
Yes we are all unique, and can have different reactions and stuff, but not everyone sees it that way, but I am glad that you do. Sometimes if we experience things out of the ordinary (especially if people know you have a mental illness), sometimes they get labeled, psychosomatic (which everyone thinks means imaginary illness, but is not the actual definition of it), or hypochondriac, or something like that. Some people would rather be judgmental, instead of trying to understand and be open minded. Which in my opinion is very sad and unfortunate really.
I agree that sometimes our bodys tell us that we need sugar, sometimes I have to convince my mind that it does but it usually agrees with me.
There are those who see us as crazy but I think the same thing about them. They complain about the world around them and I struggle with the battle within me.
Anyway I wrote this poem about myself:
They tell me stop working live for the day
They make it sound easy here's what they say
They say I'm an addict for coping with pills
They say I'm escaping the way that I feel
They say I'm ****** up because my parents were mean
They say I'm suicidal from the trauma I've seen
They say I'm an artist for the poems I write
They say that I'm gifted, perhaps they are right
They say I'm spiritual the people I've touched
They say I'm heartless the women I've loved
They say I'm challenging the doctors I see
They say I'm like jello being nailed to a tree
They say I'm bipolar with a complex brain
They say I'm codependent I'm going insane
So try on my shoes let's see how you cope
If you don't go insane perhaps there is hope
My kids took enzymes before a meal to help them digest and get more nutrients from the foods they were eating. The nutrionist recommended this. In my experience, enzymes are harmless. Good idea to research and see if this would help you.
Even on a low dose it could still effect you coming off any med. It is usually easy to cut pills with a pill cutter. Cut them once and then if you need to cut them again. Depends on how slow the taper. If it is capsule try to get it in tablet form otherwise you can open it up and split the powder. Some meds are not suppose to be cut so ask a pharmacist or dr. Some meds have worse withdraw sx than others. See if you can get info about the drug your on and it's withdraw sx to give you an idea. Your dr should know too.
I think your experiment sounds like a good plan.
Remember the fish oil (with no mercury). There is a lot of positive research on fish oil for mental health.
I think with different genetics it is different specific enzymes that are lacking. So the ones they sell at the health food stores may not fix the problem necessarily in these cases.
I took the Ativan, it sure did put me in a better mood, however did not stop the heart palpitations,lol.
I think I will get some fish oil, because I can't eat fish everyday, lol.
The enzymes you (may) lack might not be in the digestive tract, but in the liver. I don't know how testable they are, though, because I don't think they're the ones on a liver enzyme panel. Taking extra digestive enzymes probably wouldn't hurt, though.
If you feel like you're having heart palpitations, ask about a Holter monitor. You carry around a portable EKG machine for a few days while it takes continuous readings. It would probably be helpful to write down the exact times when you feel like you're having heart palpitations, and they can look for anything abnormal. If you get them really often, then a regular EKG might do it, which would be easier.
Most tablets are cuttable, the exception being anything labeled as extended or sustained release. These usually have a warning telling you not to cut them in the info sheet. You should still ask a pharmacist first, but you can likely use that to help taper to avoid withdrawal symptoms. A compounding pharmacy might also be able to make a lower dose pill special for you (you'll probably need a prescription from your doctor).
I sometimes get a thing where my heart skips a beat, and takes a few really slow beats afterward before going back to normal. If this is what's happening, it's probably harmless. I noticed that too much caffeine increases it though. If you drink a lot of caffeine, try cutting back for a while and see if that helps. Just don't go cold turkey, because you might get really nasty headaches and other unpleasant side effects.