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The increase in side effects, however, was dramatic.I started feeling really nauseous, as if I wanted to throw up all the time.And unfortunately I got stuck in the mild depression as the Epilim kicked in more strongly.
I was able to go back to my regular daily schedules, which no longer seem insurmountably difficult or too slow paced and rigid. When I stabilised enough to go to see my psych, she increased my dosage from 400 mg/day to 600 mg/day.
In fact, I didn’t need to pay too much attention to being bipolar except to take the medication regularly and marvel at how easy normal people have it. It doesn’t seem like much, but it did stabilise me.
The stabilising effect kicks in only after I’ve taken it for about two to three weeks and it kicks in progressively, so I have to be careful when I start taking the Epilim to prevent it from prolonging my depressions. It took nearly two and a half months to get my life back in some semblance of order.
The problem with Epilim is that it is too much of a good thing. Worse than that, stopping the Epilim cold worsened my cycle pattern and instead of a 14-20 day cycle pattern, I ended up with a 6 day cycle pattern, which was terrifying.
I used to take Epilim (Depakote, Depakene, Valproic Acid, Divalproex sodium) as a mood stabiliser.
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When taking it my mood swings stopped and I felt more solid emotionally.I also found out that Epilim and alcohol don’t work very well. While I was home stabilising, I was drinking about four to five cups of coffee per day.It was Friday and I was relaxing with friends and I decided to have a beer. When I first started taking it I would be groggy all the time. And my sleep pattern was shot to hell, so I didn’t notice any grogginess.I wasn’t keen on either of those options because a lower dosage could mean that I might destabilise again, as I had done the last time. I don’t think it was acid reflux in the conventional sense of the term, but the sensation was there.And switching to a new medication would mean trying to find out if would work – a process that would lose me about three to four months of my life as I switched, destabilised, and tried to settle down again. I also got photosensitive during the third week I was taking the Epilim at the 600 mg/day.However there were problems…it tended to stabilise me in mild depression.It took me a number of months to figure this out, but once I realised it was doing this I stopped taking it.I got up at nine, staggered around for forty minutes and went back to bed. When I am not on Epilim, my body temperature returns to normal.Got up at twelve, stayed up for half hour and fell back asleep. It scared me because this is such a classic symptom of depression. It wasn’t until Monday at work, when the coffee kicked in that I realised what had happened. One cup with breakfast, as much as I feel like during the day, and one or two cups after dinner. I even go to bed when I feel like and fall right asleep. When I last started back up taking Epilim I was quite manic.If I don’t drink coffee after dinner, I fall asleep within two hours of taking the Epilim. I also run an elevated body temperature when I am on Epilim, as if I have the flu. It pulled me back down within a day, which is a bit quick, but I have tended to be a bit sensitive to drugs.However the Epilim didn’t immediately stop the cycling, so I also cycled past normality into a slight depression.