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I Want to Know How It Affects You...

Abilify scares me.

Perhaps a month or two ago, I started seeing a psychiatrist who prescribed the anti-depressant Paxil to me. I experienced nausea and weakness in my legs and arms, among other annoying symptoms, but they passed in about a week. I know that Paxil has helped me, because my periods of despair and anxiety are for the most part over. I still have moments of despair, but instead of crying for hours and hours wanting to kill myself because of someone or something that disappointed me, this "moment of despair" has been shortened to a healthier half an hour of crying. My appetite has been returned to me, and my sleeping schedule is completely regular and more pleasant than I remember it ever being in my life.

Only recently have the suicidal thoughts begun again, but I think it's all the stress of my final exams approaching and how super promiscuous I suddenly became and my favorite romances coming to an end and coming out to my mom with the news that I like girls and will not marry any man and knowing that I have to see my mom soon and... Now that I think of it, I have a lot of reasons to be stressed, indeed. Anyways, all in all, I am not depressed anymore, but still experience a few symptoms here and there.

Now, about the Abilify... Curiously, it did not take 3 weeks for Paxil to kick in. In only a day, I felt amazing and bright and sunny and happy again. My energy and interest in life was returned to me. This isn't new to me; I knew it was only a matter of time before I was myself again. I don't necessarily mean it in the clinical way, you see, but I know that I go through cycles. There is no pattern, no straight cut anywhere - all I know is that I feel intensely happy and then intensely sad. My emotions come from the outside and the inside and are just oh so strong. So, I was happy again. The only thing that was new was that, though I was trying to sleep every night, I was waking up every 3 or 4 hours with perfect energy. It was annoying and fascinating at the same time. My psychiatrist was worried that I was too happy and prescribed Abilify on top of the Paxil, describing the Abilify as a mood stabilizer.

I immediately hated it. 3 days into it, and I couldn't shake the sleepiness, the drowsiness, the utter boredom of it all. They supposed that 5 mg was too strong for me and instructed me to buy a pill splitter and cut the Abilify in half. I did, but a few days later, I forgot to take my Abilify, and I felt so good without it that I quit the Abilify altogether and continued to take the Paxil alone every day... for a couple weeks, until I saw my psychiatrist again the other day.

She made me start the Abilify again, 2 mg every day, with my daily 20 mg of Paxil. I like this better, because now the Abilify is a pretty green instead of a sad blue, and because it is a pill with nice round edges and not the sharp little edges I had to swallow after splitting it, and because I am not excessively sleepy... and because in those 2 weeks that I was solely on Paxil, I think that I was definitely a little too energetic and anxious and impulsive...

But still, I am sleepier than I was before I started taking the Abilify... and the fact that I get more mellow on the Abilify honestly scares me. When I am super happy, I am comfortable in that I feel far away from being super sad... and in the past, becoming naturally more mellow means becoming naturally more sad... and close to despair, nearing despair...

But I know that I should stick to the Abilify right now, because just because I am hyper and happy doesn't mean I can't get super sad. The sudden switch hurts worse than the gradual fall. I guess... I have to sacrifice my hyper feelings?

And what about drinking alcohol? Can I no longer skip my meds every Friday to drink with my friends? I know what happens if I drink on Paxil, but what happens if I drink on the Abilify?

Will I no longer feel hyper happy ever again? Will the sleepiness of the Abilify go away? How should I feel about being mellow?

Reina01 Reina01 18-21, F 10 Responses May 1, 2009

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Abilify scared me as well, you are lucky all you had was drowsiness. You can read my expierence :/

I find it amazing how these psychiatrists just prescribe drugs not really knowing how it will affect the person and the person has to SUFFER with the consequences of this and stop taking medication which they are not supposed to do, only the doctor can really order that but what is the choice????<br />
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There have been numerous times when I had to stop taking this, stop taking that, and it happens a lot. DId you know that they found the original antidepressant accidently?<br />
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DId you know that a regular MD can prescribe the same drugs as a pschiatrist?<br />
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Did you know that a psychiatrist no longer does therapy unless you pay them above and beyond their insaurance payments?<br />
<br />
Think about it.

for me it just gives me a rush of energy, thoughts seem more in order.. but there is a terrible bored feeling.. like I cannot find enough to do..might try skipping a few days to see if that keeps boredom at bay..lol

Abetterway...<br />
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Some people have real reasons why they are on the initial drug...I don't agree with zombifying people and I know meds are a last resort...but sometimes its the only option. I believe in CBT and yeah sure some symptoms can be psychosomatic...HOWEVER...some are not and some people have exhausted every other avenue...okay yeah for YOU things are the way they are and you can cope without meds...well done with the mind over matter...but to assume everyone is the same as you is just rude, and to make people feel worse about taking meds when it already probably breaks their heart...just not nice...I think you need to think before you cast judgement over millions ba<x>sed on YOUR individual experience. As for skipping meds, everyone is different and having a night out doesn't mean you do not take your illness seriously...I know for Me I skip around 3 or 4 times a year so I can feel 'normal' when out with my friends...only after 2 years of fear of missing a dose and NEVER drinking have I got to the stage I am now. As for Promiscuity...I have never been there (luckily) but if you knew anything about mental health you would know that this is a common symptom and the fact it is being recognised by the author here is a good thing...think before you speak...yeah your experience is valuable and it's nice that you can share it but DO NOT use it to judge other peoples lifes and conditions!! <br />
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Please expand your mind further than the end of your own nose...Peace

This drug sounds terrifying. It sounds like most people just enjoy the slight high and rush of energy they get from it. If you werent taking those other drugs you wouldn't need it to make you feel more stable. You should stop taking the medicines and just realize that all your fears and anxieties are real and that everyone feels that way. You just need to deal with stress differently than you do and stop using your condition as an excuse to give in. I suffered for decades with severe depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, hopelessness, and bouts of OCD. One day I felt numb and did not like my emotional reaction to an experience I had and I decided to stop taking the meds. I changed the way I perceive things- if you know it's just your mind and not reality, you can learn to ignore those thoughts until they eventually disappear. You sound depressed because you are overwhelmed with school and the fact you are gay. However you don't seemed concerned enough about your condition to skip your medication in order to get drunk and have permiscuous sex on the weekends. I mean you no disrespect and I am only concerned at the amount of people becoming medicated zombies because it's easier to numb te feelings away than it is to deal with the issue and make it through. Good luck

Abilify has really helped elevate my mood w out inducing hypomania. I am "soft bipolar" but rapid cycling. Seroquel helps a lot at 50 mg but still had a couple of really depressive or anxious days every week or two. Ability had sorted that out. The price though is a vastly interrupted sleep schedule<br />
I take about 4-5 mg / day

I believe that Abilify is prescribed at too high of doses.<br />
"Aripiprazole displays linear kinetics and has an elimination half-life of approximately 75 hours"<br />
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If the 1/2 life is around 75 hours than that means that it actually stays in your system for 1 week.<br />
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I've found that a dose of 7-10mg abilify 1 a week has worked great for me. I take it on Saturday night am a little sleepy on Sunday and am good to go for the other 6 days.<br />
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I'm mild Bipolar II<br />
I take<br />
400mg Provigil morning<br />
1mg Xanax at night<br />
7-10mg Abilify once a week.<br />
<br />
On this combination I'm the best I've ever been!<br />
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I'm not a Dr and I realize that everyone reacts to drugs differently also my illness is minor but based on my experience of being overdosed with Abilify initially I feel that many Psychiatrists are prescribing too high a dose.<br />
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I found my ideal level of Abilify by experimenting and basically not consulting my Psychiatrist.

Ooo thanks for your comment! You felt muffled, too? Interesting.<br />
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Awesome! Austin is amaaazing! x)

BTW, I am from Austin, too!

I have taken a low dose of Abilify with lamictal for a long time. I haven't had any trouble with mood swings, but I have had a lot of trouble sleeping through the night. I had a sleep aid, but it doesn't really work. And no hyper feelings at all, not even a harmless little high, for such a long time. My doc doesn't think I should change anything. But I feel all muffled and don't like it. I hope things continue to go okay for you, and keep an open dialogue with your doc if you're worrked.