While leveling up in Lamictal, some patients become activated and experience signs of hypomania including:
- Euphoric mood
- Decreased need for sleep/insomnia
- Rapid thought patterns
- Increased energy
It looks like I may be one of those lucky individuals. The insomnia/decreased need for sleep is the main one I’ve noticed, and it does feel differently than my usual insomnia. There’s a buzzed feeling, like my blood is rushing closer to the surface of my skin, especially in my face. I’ve had this before, but it’s usually only when I’ve been high–acid and mushrooms especially, but it also happened a few times while I was acclimating to Concerta.
The racing thoughts are harder for me to classify because that tends to be my baseline “normal” with a +1 power up provided by ADHD. I think the difference for me is that when I’m manic, my thoughts are running hot and opposed to just zipping along in their own merry chaos. Picture a hamster on its wheel. My hamster said “Fuck you, wheel!” and built an entire cardio circuit in my brain where it dashes about in 30 second increments in whatever order it damn well pleases, thank you very much! That’s ADHD.
Now, sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes, my hamster gets it in its head that it wants to run better, harder, faster, stronger and it turns to a shady character that hangs around sometimes that doesn’t seem to do anything but lurk and loom and just be kind of scary, instead of trying to find a personal trainer or something. This character starts slipping it speed and cocaine and suddenly my hamster feels like a superhero. And at first, maybe it is. It can suddenly do twice the work in the same amount of time. And it is awesome. It feels good. There’s still no real firm pattern or direction to how it travels the circuit, but it’s being just as random, only faster! Harder! Better! Stronger! WHEEEEEEEE!
Unfortunately, maintaining this pace is not possible, especially under the influence. Their little bodies just aren’t meant to cope with the chemical rush and they start getting loopy and addled and feverish. Shady character says “Hey, no worries little buddy. You just need a bit more!” and my hamster believes that because it remembers how good it felt at first. It wants that feeling again. Then it will start doing stupid, self-destructive things, like hyperfocusing on the rowing machine with a wrenched shoulder, ignoring how much it hurts because it is compelled to do this one thing over and over and over again. No matter what. My hamster, the flighty little bastard, is no longer in control of itself and it will keep going until it collapses. That’s mania.
(I feel that this is the part where I should point out that I never promised coherency on my About page. The important thing is this makes sense to me. So there :P
Also, cocaine and meth are bad, m’kay? Especially for hamsters. Don’t ever give your pets street drugs! themoreyouknow.gif)
As it stands right now, I think my hamster just got its first hit, only the drugs were cut with something that’s making it slightly clumsier as it races from station to station. Simply put, my thoughts are trying to race, but stuttering. I have racing thoughts tinged with the stupids where words are a bit harder to find, but I can search for them quickly enough that I don’t think it’s obvious from the outside.
Next up is restlessness, and again ADHD complicates this because I am a fidgety, fidgety bastard. My hands are always doing something: taking apart paperclips, clicking pens, doodling on sticky notes. My leg bounces. I shift position in my chair a million times throughout the day. The only thing I can say on this is that I seem to be doing it faster? But that could be a misconception on my part.
And energy. Yes. Not so much in an excess (I tend to classify the fidgety/restless energy as its own animal, because I can still be fidgety and restless during a depressive episode and still not have the means to do anything about it) but more like I’m finally getting up to a normal level. I’ve made plans for this weekend and I don’t have any underlying anxiety about my ability to follow through with them. I can’t say I’m complaining about this. :)
Euphoria ties into the above because I’m not noticing new feelings so much as an absence of specific feelings. This morning I woke up and didn’t feel lethargic. I didn’t feel hopeless. I didn’t feel tense and anxious about some unspecified doom lurking outside my front door. The lack of those feelings made me feel good. Not euphoric, just steady.
Lamictal is known to start working after a couple of days for bipolar depression. I’d say we’re right on track.
I’m feeling pretty positive about the course of this treatment so far. And I’m still rash free!