Abilify for depression/bipolar disorder, will side effects go away?

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Good-morning!  I have recently started Abilify 7.5 mg in two divided doses (I take 5mg in the morning and 2.5mg in the evening). In the past I have suffered from severe depression possibly Bipolar Disorder but I have not yet been fully diagnosed.  My moods have improved greatly with the Abilify, I feel more like myself than I have felt in years.  I usually do not suffer any bad side effects and tolerate newly introduced drugs well....however I also take Lyrica 75mg bid, and have found my mind to be cloudy and I often feel "spaced out". I find this very concerning as I have a family and household to take care of.  I do not like my children seeing me like this!  Has anyone else had similar experiences?  Will these side effects improve as my body tolerates the drugs better?  Any help or suggestions would be appreciated!  I should add I am 42 years old and currently a stay at home mom (though I am a registered nurse), I have been unable to work for the past five years due to my mental illness and physical limitations (back injury and Degenerative Disc Disease, two central disc herniations at L3-4 and L4-5). Thanks!  smile

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  • Posted

    Hi Julie,

    I am not on the same medication as you but thought I'd share what I know. I'm bipolar but was only diagnosed 7 years ago. The mood stabiler I'm on is Lithium and worked quickly and remains a good choice. I am familiar with several trials of meds and they are seemed to take a fair amount of adjusting and some had too many side effects for me. Even after all this time on Lithium I have some side effects but they are nanagable.

    Keep advocating for yourself and expect the meds to take awhile to adjusting to. I think it's very positive that you feel more like yourself.Good luck in completing the diagnostics. I f you would like I belong to a couple of smalll private BP support groups - also an excellent online course wth live weekly sessions. If you are interested contant me privately as the moderators do not allow for this exchane of info.

    Wishing you good health and a positive attitude.

    Karin

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  • Posted

    I have similar back problems as you, one disc has prolapse. I have been reducing my Lyrica these past few weeks from 400mg and now take 75mg twice daily. I was gaining to much weight which makes my back pain worse. The anxiety is hard to cope with though because being on a lower dose. I can't comment on Abilify as ive never been on that I take Lithium 400mg daily also. I hope things improve for you though. God willing
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    • Posted

      Thanks so much for the reply!  I have noticed an increase in my weight also...from both lyrica and maybe the Abilify.  If this continues I do not know what I will do.  However I suppose a few extra pounds verses possibly losing my mind...lol...I'll continue Abilify.  Thanks so very much! 

      Wishing you a happy healthy life!  (And yes God wiling smile )

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    • Posted

      The Lyrica is great for anxiety and continual thinking..which is also part of my bipolar as that's what I was given it for its only the weight issue that goes with it isn't so great.

      I'm going to have to increase up again as the lower dose isn't helping my anxiety much.

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  • Posted

    Hi Julie--I'm a new member here as of a few days ago. I love connecting. Do you feel isolated as a stay-at-home mom? I'm a work-at-home mom, not in a couple so isolation-produced depression is a problem. My son takes Abilify and has benefited from it. Neither of us take Lyrica. I take Lamytal (in generic) 2x day, and it has really stabilized my mood swings, Wellbutrin (120 2xday) for depression (with no side effects of any of these that I know of. I have to take Restoril (temazapam) for sleep. Cloudy and spaced out comes and goes, perhaps is a state of being more common than not. I don't think it is the medication; instead, bipolar illness. Usually it comes with depression for me. When I come to that this is going on, getting going on anything helps break the spell: washing dishes, cleaning one surface (I seem not to be able to clear off stuff in any permanent way--part of the illness, I think), taking a shower, changing the dog's water. Anything. Perhaps several little things are better than one big thing that I can't complete. I, too, have had back surgery--fusion at seven levels, from T12 down to the pelvis, and neck surgery, and carpal tunnel on both hands and elbows. But I'm 65! Give your meds time, and get a diagnosis. You may need additional medication to fit your needs. I had to learn that there is no shame; we have an illness. That's all.
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    • Posted

      Hi Elizabethcarol!  Thank-you for your reply!  I will certainly take everything you have said into account...it really does make sense that it might not be the meds at all but more so my mental illness. I have been this way for years (depressed and bipolar). I have always known it and never sought help for it until recently.  I am so glad that I did.  I finally see a psychiatrist next week and I know the diagnosis from my GP will be confirmed.  As for the isolation, I should mention that I live way out in the country on the water, so the isolation of being not only at home but also in my surroundings in often overwhelming to me.  Being isolated both mentally and physically is very difficult in trying to deal with my mental illness.  I more often than not am alone with my thoughts, my husband although he is supportive to a degree, does not understand what I am going through.  I am not sure but I also may have some possible PSTD issues that all tie in to my illness.  I have started having flashbacks of abuse as a young girl, both physical, mental and sexual abuses.  This is very scary for me but I am trying to take one step at a time in dealing with everything.  This is the most open and honest I have been besides with my husband and mother who are aware of my ongoing struggles. It is actually a relief to be able to talk with someone who has an idea of what I am going through.  Thanks so much for the reply. Good-luck!  
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  • Posted

    Julie--thanks for mentioning PTSD. I wonder how many of us with the BP diagnosis have some form of PTSD. I figure I've had a significant trauma every 10 years (sexual, sudden deaths of family, loss of home and income, friendship betrayals, child going psychotic). Unfortunately, PTSD has shaped my emotional responses, not a good mix with BP, and I can't tell how much my isolating has to do with all that. But to everybody, here is my thought for the day: we have SO MUCH inner stuff to manage that we are experts in a way that so-called normal people are not. Put us in a demanding situation and hey, move over, we know lots of ways to get through difficulties. I know some people who cracked under situations that are practically daily for me. Pat on back, pat on back.
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