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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.

Seconding the weight gain. I am 5'4 and was around 95-100 pounds when I started Seroquel. (I had been chronically underweight my entire life.) I became 149 before my doc took me off it, which was a gain of about half my original body weight. In seven months. I'm now down around 130 and doing ok there, my doc says my weight is fine now. So be careful, these can be nasty, although I've heard Seroquel is worse than Abilify or Zyprexa for gain.

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.