Abilify my life

Psychiatrist clearly has no faith in your standard anti-depressants for me. With the Lamictal and now with the Abilify it seems to be as if he’s treating my BPD almost like Bipolar. Lamictal is used for Bipolar-II depression. Abilify is used both to treat Bipolar and for people without bipolar as a supplement to a currently utilized anti-depressant. As I have no anti-depressant and we’re going to be ramping up my dose to a therapeutic level… idk, that’s just what it seems like to me. If he is doing that it does make a certain amount of sense to me considering both are marked by extreme mood fluxuations. Borderline Personality Disorder and Bipolar Disorder share a lot of features actually. Maybe I’ll post about that sometime soonish.

I figured it might be beneficial to give periodic updates about how my meds are reacting with me. So far I’ve been on Abilify for all of 5 days at 2mg/day. On Monday I go up to 5 mg/day. Then back to see Psychiatrist to make sure I’m actually taking them properly and am not displaying unacceptable side effects. I have a feeling he is going to watch me very closely. 2 weeks between visits is a very short leash ::frown::. The first day I was clearly rage-tastic, but after that first day I’ve actually felt Okay. On a scale of Severely Depressed to Manic, my average is mildly depressed but wild fluctuation throughout the day. This week I’ve been relatively steady and up which is very unusual so I can only attribute it to the meds (or the nice weather and dating an amazing woman). I even feel pretty today for my date. Like a little gothic princess. Too cute to function.  But anyways, here’s a list of side effects! I mean seriously. Is it any wonder I have hesitations when it comes to psych meds?
In these studies, the most common Abilify side effects included:
· Headaches — in up to 27 percent of people
· A sedated feeling — up to 23 percent  (little bit)
· Agitation — up to 19 percent <~~~ cuz I need more of this
· Insomnia — up to 18 percent <~~~~ and this
· Fatigue — up to 17 percent <~~~~ I get this with the Insomnia
· Anxiety — up to 17 percent <~~~~ Have you met me?
· Drowsiness — up to 16 percent
· Nausea — up to 15 percent
· Vomiting — up to 14 percent <~~~~ The non-bulimic kind
· Restlessness — up to 12 percent
· Constipation — up to 11 percent. <~~~~ Ew.
Some other common side effects (occurring in 2 percent to 10 percent of people) included:
· Dizziness
· Indigestion or heartburn
· Shakiness (tremors)
· Weight gain <~~~~ I will be so freaking pissed off.
· Restlessness
· Fatigue
· Dry mouth <~~~~ I propose weed as an alternative
· Joint pain <~~~~ The non weed alternative
· Throat pain
· Blurred vision
· Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
· Pain
· Cough
· Nasal congestion
· Increased salivation
· Swelling or water retention in the arms, legs, or feet.
Serious side effects include but are not limited to:
· Signs of diabetes, such as:
o    High blood sugar
o    Increased thirst
o    Frequent urination
o    Extreme hunger (see Abilify and Diabetes)
· Large or rapid weight gain <~~~~ I will be even doubly more freaking pissed off.
· Suicidal thoughts <~~~~ Sweet. In all fairness, it IS tough to be depressed when you’re dead. Just sayin’.
· High blood pressure (hypertension)
· Dizziness or fainting when going from a sitting or lying-down position to standing <~~~~ Wheeeeeee!
· Feelings of internal restlessness or jitteriness
· Any abnormal muscle movements (these movements can become permanent if Abilify is not stopped quickly)
· A painful erection of the penis that does not go away (priapism) <~~~~ This probably won’t happen.
· Signs or symptoms of neuroleptic malignant syndrome, which can include:
o    A high fever
o    Stiff muscles
o    Confusion
o    Irregular pulse or blood pressure
o    An increased heart rate (tachycardia)
o    Sweating
o    Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias)
· Signs of an allergic reaction, including:
o    Unexplained rash
o    Hives
o    Itching
o    Unexplained swelling
o    Wheezing
o    Difficulty breathing or swallowing.
These less common Abilify side effects include but are not limited to:
· Anemia
· Vertigo (a spinning sensation) <~~~~ Double wheeee!
· Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) <~~~~ So irritating
· Low thyroid (hypothyroidism) or high thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
· Gas <~~~~ Gross
· Gastroesophageal reflux disease(GERD)
· Hemorrhoids
· Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
· Canker sores
· Gallstones
· Yeast infections
· Arthritis
· Carpal tunnel syndrome
· Kidney stones
· Impotence, also known as erectile dysfunction or ED <~~~~ Doubtful
· An increased or decreased sex drive <~~~~ Either way I’d probably be ok with this.
· Acne
· Eczema
· Hair loss <~~~~ Not cool
· Varicose veins.

9 comments on “Abilify my life

  1. As if we didn't have enough probs but no pain no gain, right? Whoever came up with that saying is a sadist. I can understand why they would use same/similar meds to treat BPD and bipolar. Just from reading your blog there are MANY overlapping areas between what you experience and what I have experienced with bipolar. Yes there are also things which you experience differently but there are many many similarities so I can understand why they would use the same/similar meds. I would love to see you post something about the similarities and how they are different. Your posts are so articulate and so easy for me to understand. I have trouble understanding psyche journals, docs, etc so whenever you do posts like that I find it super beneficial.

  2. I hate side effects, but most should taper off or be milder after about 2-3 weeks. Borderline and BiPolar are so similar that people are often misdiagnosed between the two. I look forward to reading your post on it. I'm glad that your psychiatrist is really monitoring your medication. Also, Lamictal is often used as an adjunt medication…meaning that it help other medication to work more effectively.Sorry, to go one, but I have a HUGE list of medications that I've tried or my clients have.I had lots of wheee moments. Constipation…sigh! I had problems before, now it is worse. My doctor prescribed Amitiza and it works great for the dreaded problem.Okay, I ramble. Nice to meet you too.take care,Clueless

  3. Sorry! Meds are a pain…I gave up on them…just drink beer. sorry, I hope that does not offend you. can't help it. it is what I do. Never found a med to help me yet. Done so many I can't remember all of them. Ativan and valium helped me the most. Good luck.

  4. HI Haven. As someone who has been on lots of meds, I can tell you this: Driinking lots of water is a good thing. You may be thirsty anyway, and the water will help with keeping energy up if you feel sluggish, help flush kidneys, and decrease constipation Also, it helps with the weight gain. Try to keep snacks like celery sticks and other crunchy watery veggies in fridge for the munchies.

  5. @Maasiyat… I know, right? Hah. I've had the thought to do sort of a comparison/contrast post of BPD/Bipolar for a quite some time now, so I definitely want to look into it. I'm going to take my time though. I'm not nearly so knowledgeable about Bipolar, and I may pick your brain a bit if that's ok. Regardless it should be informative for sure. @Dev: They are definitely a pain, hah but I somehow don't think beer is gonna help ::laughs::. No offense taken. Thanks!

  6. @Clueless… Hello hello =) I hope you're right. I was on Zoloft and the side effects subsided after a couple weeks but that also didn't work for me in general. I guess all I can really do is monitor and see how it turns out. And likewise, nice to meet you!

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