Depakote Working Wonders For Me!!!

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Bipolar Runner Says:
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I experienced my first major depressive episode after my sophomore year of college at age 20 (in 2002). During my sophomore year of college, my hair went from being straight to corkscrew-like curly nearly overnight. I had no way to explain this phenomenon at the time, but my hair was easier to fix and added personality so I thought, hey, cool, weird for it to do this, but, cool! I think "chemicals" in my brain had started to change and remember feeling "out of place" and uncomfortable in my own skin a lot. I was a straight A student my freshman year of college and A/B student my sophomore year. I frequently swithched majors because I felt like I could not think through my decisions (irritated, fluctuating moods) and I had no idea what I truly enjoyed in life. After my major depressive episide, I was prescribed an SSRI antidepressant (Celexa). After less than 6 months on this med, I was ready to and nearly committed suicide (driving off of a mountain cliff.) I just wanted to end my misery. Driving was the only thing I felt like I had control of, so it gave me some stability, but my life was falling apart, so I was really going off a cliff in my reality and I figured, "why not end it all?" I eventually called my family who had no idea any of this was going on with me, and I was hospitalized for a week in-patient per my primary care provider who had known me since I was a kid. I dropped out of college unable to manage my life anymore with this "illness" that had wrecked my life. After seeing a psychiatrist and receiving counseling over a 2-year period, battling with a turn to alcohol (never had been a drinker before, not even casual) to help relieve/numb my own pain plus the pain of watching how I was traumatizing my family but not knowing how to feel/get better, I decided to stop ALL of my medications and by my own willpower make my life work again. The psychiatrist/counselors I saw talked about the possibility if me being bipolar (which I had never even heard of before) but they never diagnosed nor treated me as being bipolar. I was given many different antidepressants over the 2-ear time period, which none helped. Looking back, I was a cyclic bipolar with depression being the dominant force. I even had my parents buy me a punching bag so I could have something to hit because I was so angry that my life had been taken over by something I did not/could not control. I lived a miserable life, but somehow managed to graduate college in 2008 (nevermade the grades I had made before getting sick, school/learning had become extremely difficult for me since becoming "ill". I got married in 2010. In 2014, my marriage was a horror and was falling apart because I, the female, was never happy despite my husband doing ALL of the right things that would have/should have made me happy.

In 2015, a professional counselor who we had become friends with told me that she could see I was not in control of my emotions and I should see a professional in psychiatry. I was originally put on an antidepressant (Lexapro) for 6 months, then after a MAJOR meltdown, she decided to put me on Depakote ER. That was 4 weeks ago. After a few up/down cycles, a lot of sleepless nights, 2x/wk counseling (with a Christian counselor because that is my faith, and if I did not have my faith in a good God, then I would not still be alive or married), I can say I feel like a human again instead of a monster, I am sleeping well, and, best of all, I feel connected again to the world around me. I have always known the world outside of me is chaotic, but now that the chaos inside of me has ceased, I can live my life peacefully and manage the life I have been blessed to live out and not out be succumbed and taken too early due to untreated bipolar disease. After going from an 18-year old prom queen, valedictorian, high school soccer/basketball/cross-country/track athlete, and liked by people who knew me to a severely depressed/suicidal/curly-haired 20-year old to a FINALLY correctly diagnosed bipolar 33-year old, I can say bipolar disease has nit got the best of me. I believe the best is yet to come, and I am glad Depakote ER + counseling + listening family members are there to see me get o this point. Since I have wanted to have kids but did not feel safe enough/stable enough before, I will be staying on Depakote ER over the next 2 months as long as it keeps me stable, THEN in Jan 2016, I will switch to Lamictal over a 2-wk period of decreasing Depakote ER and increasing Lamictal due to the many detrimental effects Depakote ER can have on a developing baby. As for side effects with Depakote, I have not experienced any at all, so thankful! I am a runner (ran my first/only marathon in 4 hrs 10 min in 2012 after my Mom passed away from a brain tumor - 8 mos from dx to death). I had no feelings at the time of her death. I think I worked through some of my feelings while training for the marathon. I think bipolar people work through their emotions differently than non-bipolar people. I continue to run 2-4 miles a day to keep my weight from increasing. My hair is still all there and stopped being curly after I got married, go figure. This is my story and how I got started on Depakote ER, it only took over 13 years : /



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charley Says:
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Hello, I was prescribed Divalproex (Depakote) today. Over the years I've been diagnosed with adhd, add, personally disorder, manic depressive, each time a different psychological evaluation from a different physiologist, because they just didn't seem right. The meds always gave me intense rage. Just went to my general practitioner. He said they are all wrong. I have bipolar disorder. I won't go in too deep concerning the crazy choices and impulsive decisions I've made since my brain chem. changed at an early age. I've been living in my own personal video game losing touch with realty along the way. And my hair changed from blonde soft to dark and spirals also. I'm just hoping I will be able to function in the moment without worrying about messing up the future. Your story is very similar to mine although mine includes more testosterone and less educational follow through. Let's see if these meds will work on me..

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Jillian Says:

I don't know if you'll read this reply, but I have to tell you how grateful I am for your posting. Reading your story was like reading my own son's life. He was finally prescribed Depakote three weeks ago and the change is nothing less than miraculous. It's heartbreaking to read so many negative things about this drug. It has saved our lives.

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