Occupation: Girl

Please close the door and switch on the fun without fail.

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pallas cat - intrigued
@cleolinda: Yes. RT @SmartBitches: Why did watch parts become the defacto shortcut signal to denote steampunk? Can I glue watch parts to, like, my cat and make him steampunk?

@fullofstars: But you have to give him a fancy name. Like Commodore Wiskerbritches of the Honorable SS Biteybits of Litterboxia.

@curryalley: That's silly. Everyone knows steampunk cats wear top hats and monocles.

@cleolinda: What does it say about me that I was like, ah, yes, steampunk cat, I have a picture of that. Would you like it in Pallas?

This was pretty much the most interesting part of my day. Although I would be interested in hearing if anyone's had any experience with an atypical antipsychotic (some of which are also used for depression and bipolar disorder, which is how it came up) like Abilify, Zyprexa, Seroquel, that kind of thing. I'm wary of the blood sugar/metabolic issues (and changes in my medication in general), but it's a possibility.

ETA: Feel free to message me privately if you don't want to get into it here.

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Would you like it in Pallas?

::giggles:: Yes, please! And thank you!

I've taken Abilify on/off [it's ridiculously expensive for me so when my script runs out I often can't get more] and I've got diabetes Type 2.

I haven't noticed any blood sugar issues although the Abilify did give me a mild case of restless leg syndrome and made me drowsy [though not as bad as when I was on Risperidone which made me lose four hours that I assume I slept through].

And I solve the drowsy issue through copious amounts of caffeine but other than that it's been pretty manageable in my case.

I used Seroquel for a while to help me sleep, but it made me gain weight like crazy!! Very not happy about that part, even though it was the only thing that let me sleep.

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Totally unrelated (although the Steampunk Cat made me lol), but you liked Charles Vess's Stardust illustrations, right?

I take a very low dose of Seroquel to help me sleep and haven't had any problems with it thus far.

OH AND low-dose Abilify is apparently more activating than not, so if you go that route, watch out for temporary hypomania stuff during titration.

Abilify: also fucking pricey. Sit down with your insurance formulary list and look up which of your options have generics. Your insurance may want you to go with one of those first, or require a pre-auth for something newer.

I was on Risperdal and Depakote for a while. The Depakote didn't really do anything for me.

The Risperdal, on the other hand, I got one of the really...odd side effects, and it would also totally knock me on my ass the next day. I don't know if it was the drug or just my slow metabolism, but I had to be REALLY careful what time I took it if I wanted to be able to go to class the next day.

No experience with those personally, but I've known people who've taken them and gone into the pharmacology a bit. Biochemically, atypical antipsychotics rely upon antagonist action (preventing the receptors from responding to) versus serotonin, dopamine and a variety of adrenergics. In very basic terms, serotonin helps regulate mood, dopamine is involved in risk-reward systems, and adrenergic compounds boost alertness and anxiety. All of them have effects on sleep and appetite. There is no clear-cut relationship (or inverse relationship) that I can find between serotonin and mood; SSRIs (which raise levels) are common in the US for treating depression, but atypicals and SSREs (which lower them) are used elsewhere or for bipolar depression, so YMMV. An excess of dopamine is postulated to contribute to psychotic states, but a deficit is definitely associated with anhedonia and a lack of motivation. More adrenaline makes you more jittery and less makes you calmer; drugs like beta blockers are used for panic attacks and stage fright because they prevent the body from responding to its own adrenaline and thereby stop the excess persperation, hyperventilation and shaking hands.

Atypicals are also usually antihistamines, although unlike other things that have a secondary antihistamine effect (like SSRIs) they are not anticholinergics. Your hay fever might go away, if you can stay awake long enough to notice.

The last person I knew who was taking the stuff was on a mix of olanzipine and fluoxetine for bipolar mood control. It was not terribly effective. The constant drowsiness was crippling and he hated not being able to think straight. He kept slamming his head into the ceiling lower and lower on every cycle until he was so miserable he was forced to switch to something else. I have no idea how much of the problem was that he was very young and very young bipolars are difficult to treat; that he had issues with eating and weighed less than I did, making it damnably difficult to get his dose right; or just that it wasn't the right medication for him.

I stick to tinkering with my neurotransmitters one by one these days, in an effort to beat the hell out of an anxiety disorder; I had a brief brush with SSRIs that was so awful that my medical records now state I am allergic to them, and anyone who thinks they're going to try anything as serious as atypical antipsychotics on me has got another think coming. The common wisdom is that extra dopamine raises anxiety, but I find that taking L-tyrosine and caffeine makes me a whole hell of a lot calmer. I have to take it in the morning or my dreams get really bizarre, though.

This is amazingly in-depth, thank you!

On low dose as adjunct to Effexor. Seems to work ok, no rebound effect if I run out. I take clonopin to sleep and metformin for pre diabetic blood sugar cooties.

I'm another one that's used Abilify, I was on a low dose for depression as an adjunct to my antidepressant. TBH, I didn't notice any side effects - no weight gain, no blood sugar issues (and it was tested, for an unrelated issue), nothing at all. It is, as people have said, pricey, that was the main down side to it.

Not to be totally off-topic, but you've blogged about this stuff before, so I thought I'd give you a heads-up about the new fuckery over at lj_releases.

Users who have enabled Comment IP logging will now also see the Country and City information of the commenter. This information is only visible to the journal owner, community owner/maintainers, or author of the entry if it is posted to a community with this feature enabled (only those who can currently see IP information). This feature is providing the publicly available geo-location associated with the IP address in the same way the "location" feature on our Update page currently functions.

Which, yeah, you can take someone's IP and figure out their address with various programs, but this is basically handing out users' locations on a silver platter. Ugh.

I've been on a few atypical antipsychotics and found them to be very sedating, especially Geodon. And Risperdal made me lactate, which freaked me the hell out.

You want steam punk cats? May I present Ebenezer and Snooch:


Admittedly the steam punk is an irregular thing for this comic, but I suspect you will find the other fantasies amusing as well. :~)

Fellow Two Lumps fan!

...I could go into Snooch haiku mode here, but sleep deprivation will not help my case.

I have nothing of note to contribute to the meds discussion. Just coming to coo re the adorable fluffability of the Pallas cat. Ie, "Omg. Commodore Wiskerbritches is the fluffiest thing I have seen. I want to squeesh him, but I know he would eat my face. With disdain. And possibly mustard."

Abilify: I was on it for about six days and it felt like six days too long. I started out on a very low dose, but would wake up in the middle of the night feeling as though someone was shaking my bed and it'd take me a minute to realize that I was what was shaking. I ended up on probably the lowest dose possible (after taking a pill chopper to said very low dose), taking it every other day, but that resulted in an emotional roller coaster. It helped (when it was every day), but I could not deal with the tremors.

Seroquel: I've been taking it for almost five years. I've never really noticed any out of the ordinary weight gain, but my appetite is affected by some of my other medications. No issues with blood sugar either. My only have-to-keep-an-eye-on-it side effect is that when the sedating effect kicks in, it kicks in hard, even in low dosages. I'm completely useless once I've taken it and if I'm not able to sleep it off, I'm a bit of a zombie. Still, in spite of that somewhat debilitating effect, it's really helped me with my depression/social anxiety (in combination with Wellbutrin).

And I understand your wariness with changing medications. I'm very nervous when a possible change is mentioned, mostly because it feels like I only have to look at a pill and hello, strange side effect.

One, steampunk Pallas cat is AWESOME.

Two, my mother's a psychiatric nurse who deals with these meds on a daily basis and sees them used in every combination imaginable. In her experience, Abilify as an adjunct to an SSRI is basically useless. It does little to help regulate moods any more than being without it. Zyprexa works for some. Seroquel is the most frequently used and tends to work the best for most people. I am on Seroquel, in combination with Lexapro, Neurontin, and Lamictal. I did notice the weight gain (but considering I was already overweight at the time, it wasn't that bad, and certainly not compared to Prozac, with which I put on 20 lbs in the first 6 weeks of treatment), but it's not severe. I take it only at night to help me sleep. It also keeps me from becoming manic, and I only very very rarely hit a hypomanic spell. At the psych hospital, it's common to use Seroquel to cut anxiety and manic episodes, even if it's not prescribed long-term. It's just that good.

It always, and also, hinges on what your psychiatrist wants to use it FOR. To help eliminate the manic/hypomanic episodes? Help you sleep? Cut anxiety? All of the above? If you and she feel it's worth the possibility of some weight gain (or blood sugar issues, though I've never had any) to balance out the other unwanted symptoms, I say go for it. Start with 25mg and work up from there. One word of caution from one user to another: Don't try and do anything vertical about 30 minutes after you take it. I will be fine and then BOOM, it'll hit me and I get woozy enough to need to lie down while my head adjusts. Best to treat it as any other sleep med and take it at night, just before you go to sleep. Also, try to take the regular Seqoquel first, before trying the XR, and try it at night before taking any in the day. It WILL make you sleepy, and the more you can avoid taking it, or having it still be in your system at full strength, during waking hours, the better for functioning purposes.

Hope that helps! (Any other, more in-depth questions you'd like me to ask me - or my mom - feel free to message me.)

Hmm. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, I work at a hospital and of the patients I've talked to that take Seroquel, very few of them say it helps enough to make the side effects worth it. Reading this, I'm starting to wonder if it could be a compliance issue. I have no real way of knowing how many of the patients I talk to take their meds *as prescribed* at home. Your mom, working in a *psych* hospital, would have a MUCH better idea of how compliant a patient is being and thus be in a better position to say how effective the drug is when it's taken the way it should be.

It's entirely possible that the majority of patients I've talked to were just non-compliant, and THAT'S what's causing their bad experiences with Seroquel. I must think on this...

"But you have to give him a fancy name. Like Commodore Wiskerbritches of the Honorable SS Biteybits of Litterboxia."

That name has got to go into a book. I don't know the plot or the character, but that name can NOT be unused.

"Commodore Wiskerbritches of the Honorable SS Biteybits of Litterboxia."

Amazing! My next cat is going to have to be named this. =p

Your steampunk Pallas cat brightened my day. *hugs* :)

I took a low dose of Abilify for just over two years and I'm a type 2 diabetic. I didn't notice any big changes in my blood sugar, but then I've always had issues with it being high until very recently (new meds). What I did notice was that while I didn't experience manic/hypomanic episodes during my time on it, I was sleeping far more than I felt comfortable with. Sometimes up to eighteen hours a day. I had to take the Abilify at night because if I took it in the morning I was useless for the rest of the day. Other than the sleep issue, I had no problems with Abilify at all, and actually felt it was a step up from what I was experiencing without medication. One additional warning, as several people mentioned above, it is very expensive.

Last year, my new doctor changed me to Lamictal. While my sleep schedule is closer to normal now, it seems to be less effective at controlling manic/hypomanic episodes for me.

I haven't tried Abilify, but I know someone who has, and she's got other health issues too that may involve blood-sugar stuff (not sure), so I could at least ask her.

I was on Risperdal (.75 mg, as an adjunct to the 300mg of Effexor I take) and I never had any blood sugar problems at all.

Oh, and I should add that the reason my psychiatrist added this is because I have clinical depression, and I had been on Effexor for several months and he kept increasing the dosage without me noticing any real affect. Once the Risperdal was added it was an IMMEDIATE difference, but I soon adjusted to it and several months later it wasn't doing much for me any more.

Stay away from Zyprexa, by all means! I gained 80 lbs in 4 months and have never been able to lose the weight since then. It ruined my metabolism. I wish to God I'd never taken it.

Seroquel also causes weight gain and extreme drowsiness. I wasn't on it very long b/c of the weight gain. Same thing with Abilify--the psych doc promised me there would be no weight gain, but there was.

Honestly, I'd stay away from the atypical antipsychotics.

(Note: I have Bipolar, type 1)

I've been taking Risperdal for bipolar disorder for about three years. It really works to help prevent mania, and as an add-on to Effexor it really helped boost me out of very serious depressive episodes.

As everyone has been saying, the problem with atypical antipsychotics is that they do change your appetite and metabolism. The most I've gained since taking any atypical antipsychotic has been about 25 pounds - and it's been a major fight to lose it and keep it off. The drugs themselves don't cause diabetes, but they cause weight gain and metabolic issues that can lead to diabetes with long-term use.

The ones I would highly recommend is Geodon. It's on the 'newer' end of the spectrum, and doesn't have as many nasty side effects. In my experience, it was the best at alleviating both depression and mania. One good option with Geodon is that you can get it in the form of an intramuscular injection that lasts anywhere from two to six weeks, and have even fewer side effects than you get when you take a pill daily.

The only one I would recommend avoiding is Zyprexa. I took that when I was a freshman in college and it turned me into a zombie. It is the worst for gaining weight and causing blood sugar problems.

I took it for years a while back and loved it - did not have issues of weight gain or blood sugar issues (though they gave me a meter to test it occasionally, just to be sure!). It made me sleep so well...I miss it so. I need to find a new psychmeds doctor soon, anyways, but yeah - Seroquel worked well for me, in conjunction with Wellbutrin, for my particular brand of crazy.


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