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  1. #1
    Senior Member kassem23's Avatar
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    Default Personal Journal Of A Bipolar Person (Memantine Journal)

    All through my life I've been having significant mood swings.

    Either

    I'm entirely and utterly elated to the point where hedonism seems like to be the only purpose in my life. I will feel like socializing, like coming up with insane ideas, and with doing anything that is fast-paced, and intense. Music will sound amazing, I will be driving the car and listening to the radio and feeling I am absolutely invincible. I will come online and chat to people about how amazing things are going and how energized I feel. About how I never feel tired and how I feel absolutely amazing and blessed to be in this position in my life.

    or,

    I feel like I am in a hole, wish that somebody would shoot me, can't see any purpose to my life, feel intensely lonely (despite having relatives and some friends), feel like I could die anytime and it wouldn't even matter. I will question why anybody would like to be around me, be around my very depressed personality. Feel like I have zero positive traits. I'm thin, ugly, not intelligent. People have high expectations from me and I keep disappointing them, and most importantly, the expectations I have set for myself.

    The last two months I've been on a high, and this is the first couple of days where I've felt this way (e.g. depressed, hopeless, etc.)

    I'll be starting memantine shortly (on Thursday) and will report my results here. It is the only substance that ever stabilized me in some regard and allowed me to do the things I want without alternating between these two states.

    I hope this journal will help other lost souls.
    My personal neuroscience weblog, you should check it out: The Illuminated Brain - A Weblog on Neuroscience

    "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." - Sherlock Holmes

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    Senior Member Tussmann's Avatar
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    Curious, have you ever tried any medications indicated specifically for bipolarity? Don't get me wrong, I'm quite excited to have someone else on the memantine-ship that actually exercises and has a functional keyboard.

  3. #3
    Senior Member kassem23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tussmann View Post
    Curious, have you ever tried any medications indicated specifically for bipolarity? Don't get me wrong, I'm quite excited to have someone else on the memantine-ship that actually exercises and has a functional keyboard.
    Couldn't do N-acetylcysteine due to acid-reflux. Haven't tried any of the usual bipolar medications.
    My personal neuroscience weblog, you should check it out: The Illuminated Brain - A Weblog on Neuroscience

    "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." - Sherlock Holmes

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    Firstly, I am sorry to hear about your troubles. Secondly, I would like to add that I have some memantine that I bought back in the fall during a period of deep depression/desperation and had yet to see a doc. My experience with memantine was almost instant relief from depression. I could take it at night and the following day and I would have immediate, lasting AD effects. I would have kept taking it if it weren't for the feeling of guilt I get from using drugs I don't have an Rx for. Anyways, I didn't get such AD benefits when trying DXM briefly. There is definitely some magic to memantine. I found it to be extremely anxiolytic, improve focus, and obliterate anhedonia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evanski View Post
    I would have kept taking it if it weren't for the feeling of guilt I get from using drugs I don't have an Rx for.
    I'm concerned that you may be on the wrong forum.

  6. Likes zodiac, Infinite1, GaWd, Tussmann, kassem23 liked this post
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    Quote Originally Posted by FunkOdyssey View Post
    I'm concerned that you may be on the wrong forum.
    Haha. I realize this.

  8. #7
    Senior Member kassem23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evanski View Post
    Firstly, I am sorry to hear about your troubles. Secondly, I would like to add that I have some memantine that I bought back in the fall during a period of deep depression/desperation and had yet to see a doc. My experience with memantine was almost instant relief from depression. I could take it at night and the following day and I would have immediate, lasting AD effects. I would have kept taking it if it weren't for the feeling of guilt I get from using drugs I don't have an Rx for. Anyways, I didn't get such AD benefits when trying DXM briefly. There is definitely some magic to memantine. I found it to be extremely anxiolytic, improve focus, and obliterate anhedonia.
    Quite right you are. As you can see in this recently created thread (http://tinyurl.com/7a6cnqo), memantine has very interesting effects, including mood-stabilization, and to some degree mood-enhancement (re: depression, >40mg)
    My personal neuroscience weblog, you should check it out: The Illuminated Brain - A Weblog on Neuroscience

    "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." - Sherlock Holmes

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    Senior Member dukes07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evanski View Post
    Firstly, I am sorry to hear about your troubles. Secondly, I would like to add that I have some memantine that I bought back in the fall during a period of deep depression/desperation and had yet to see a doc. My experience with memantine was almost instant relief from depression. I could take it at night and the following day and I would have immediate, lasting AD effects. I would have kept taking it if it weren't for the feeling of guilt I get from using drugs I don't have an Rx for. Anyways, I didn't get such AD benefits when trying DXM briefly. There is definitely some magic to memantine. I found it to be extremely anxiolytic, improve focus, and obliterate anhedonia.
    Why are you embarrassed about self medicating? Fuck the people who judge you.

  10. #9
    Senior Member adreno's Avatar
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    Kassem, I've felt like this most of my life, so I know exactly what you mean. It sure does sound bipolar to me. I believe that glutaminergic transmission is the key to this thing, so you are on the right track.

    Memantine makes me feel great in terms of mood and energy, but it makes me severely cognitive dysfunctional, even at 5mg. More than a week on it, and it would just get worse, rather than better.

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    This sounds more as BPD then Bipolar

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    Senior Member adreno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psych0 View Post
    This sounds more as BPD then Bipolar
    Borderline personality disorder, or emotional unstable personality disorder (ICD-10), is also a possibility. It can be difficult to distinguish the two, if even there is a distinction.

    I have seen it claimed that the main difference is that BPDs have feelings of emptiness and fear of abandonment, whereas bipolars do not. Using those criteria, I fit more with the personality disorder diagnosis.

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    Senior Member joy_shape's Avatar
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    Kassem, were you recently dx.'d Bipolar, or is it a self-diagnosis?

    I ask because I understand you also have ADHD, and that there might be some relationship between the two. How frequent are these cycles you experience?

    There was one 9 month period where I experienced an elevated mood, increased desire to socialize, increased hyperactivity, increased substance abuse, less control over spending, but not a reduced need for sleep. What's more, I was also self-medicating due to OCD, so my psychiatrist says the jury's still out on whether it was hypomania in his opinion. I just find it strange that prior to that I was inattentive, dysthymic, socially avoidant and shy, yet the emerge of an anxiety disorder seemed to cause my personality to change quite drastically.

    I've also found that anti-glutamergic agents are great for mood/anxiety, but cause cognitive dysfunction. Memantine helped me but caused negative schizo sx. at 20mg, though I didn't give them too much time to pass.
    poison saves, poison kills

  14. #13
    Senior Member kassem23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adreno View Post
    Kassem, I've felt like this most of my life, so I know exactly what you mean. It sure does sound bipolar to me. I believe that glutaminergic transmission is the key to this thing, so you are on the right track.
    I believe that it is too. See (PMID: 22280433, PMID: 20079890, PMID: 20060416, PMID: 19839996, PMID: 22005598)

    Glad to see I am not the only one though, despite how much it sucks, so thank you for the heads up.

    Quote Originally Posted by adreno View Post
    Memantine makes me feel great in terms of mood and energy, but it makes me severely cognitive dysfunctional, even at 5mg. More than a week on it, and it would just get worse, rather than better.
    Initially I had something akin to that as well, but after a while it thoroughly improved my cognition, if not only through focus and executive function, but also through indirect effects of having a more stabilized mood and being more motivated to study.

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    Senior Member kassem23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psych0 View Post
    This sounds more as BPD then Bipolar
    Nope.

    Bipolar explains my reaction to SSRIs as well. Rapid-cycling; at first, hypomania, then mixed states.
    My personal neuroscience weblog, you should check it out: The Illuminated Brain - A Weblog on Neuroscience

    "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." - Sherlock Holmes

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    Senior Member kassem23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joy_shape View Post
    Kassem, were you recently dx.'d Bipolar, or is it a self-diagnosis?
    I have been diagnosed ADHD. Haven't told my new psychiatrist about my suspicion about bipolar. He would run with everything I said for sure, but right now I like where I am at. I am getting stimulants for my ADHD, and clonazepam for my anxiety (which I restrict use of to 2x weekly), so it is a self-diagnosis.

    Quote Originally Posted by joy_shape View Post
    I ask because I understand you also have ADHD, and that there might be some relationship between the two. How frequent are these cycles you experience?
    Always something instigating them. Right now I feel like I am on the depressive side of the spectrum, and I have been and felt thoroughly amazing since I arrived to the states the 9th of December. Instant hypomania. I haven't had any fatigue, on the contrary, I've found myself unable to wind down in terms of cognitive function, and I've found myself sleep better than usual (ie. waking up fully refreshed). This is all made somewhat more difficult by the fact that there's a couple of new factors in the picture such as: weight training, new place to live (novelty + sun-exposure), new people, own apartment, own car, 10 day AAS use along with a couple of days on clomid, and so on.

    Quote Originally Posted by joy_shape View Post
    There was one 9 month period where I experienced an elevated mood, increased desire to socialize, increased hyperactivity, increased substance abuse, less control over spending, but not a reduced need for sleep. What's more, I was also self-medicating due to OCD, so my psychiatrist says the jury's still out on whether it was hypomania in his opinion. I just find it strange that prior to that I was inattentive, dysthymic, socially avoidant and shy, yet the emerge of an anxiety disorder seemed to cause my personality to change quite drastically.
    Interesting. I can tell you that I am like that with everything, except for substance abuse, as all the substances I have at my hand do not make me feel better, for some reason, they make me feel worse. That goes from cigarettes to amphetamines. Anything stimulating -- I think -- improves my cognition to such a degree that my hyperactivity and mood-boost suddenly vanishes and I am left in a depressive almost dysthmic phase. As for sleep, I've never seen a reduced need for sleep, and I get around 7-10 hours depending on my mood.


    Quote Originally Posted by joy_shape View Post
    I've also found that anti-glutamergic agents are great for mood/anxiety, but cause cognitive dysfunction. Memantine helped me but caused negative schizo sx. at 20mg, though I didn't give them too much time to pass.
    I always hit the nail immediately and take a 20mg dose. I always find it highly pleasurable in that I am completely disintegrated from my self, and it allows me to see the beauty in things. Whenever I bumped the dose I felt reliably amazing for a couple of days, and then I stabilized. I really didn't care about the brain-fog and cognitive dysfunction in the beginning because I was feeling so damn good. After a while, I also didn't see any cognitive disruption, but rather, an increased ability to function in school and personal life. Unfortunately, it was taken from me, and seized my experimentation after about 20-30 days of use, if I recall correctly.
    My personal neuroscience weblog, you should check it out: The Illuminated Brain - A Weblog on Neuroscience

    "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." - Sherlock Holmes

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    Yes, I got to 20 mg, got severly cognitive dysfunctional, the brain fog didnt lift, even after a month, It was worse than being depressed, anyone could help me here out, I would like to try it again.

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    Senior Member kassem23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSTiamat View Post
    Yes, I got to 20 mg, got severly cognitive dysfunctional, the brain fog didnt lift, even after a month, It was worse than being depressed, anyone could help me here out, I would like to try it again.
    Try taking in the 5-15mg dose range?
    My personal neuroscience weblog, you should check it out: The Illuminated Brain - A Weblog on Neuroscience

    "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." - Sherlock Holmes

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    I always hit the nail immediately and take a 20mg dose. I always find it highly pleasurable in that I am completely disintegrated from my self, and it allows me to see the beauty in things. Whenever I bumped the dose I felt reliably amazing for a couple of days, and then I stabilized. I really didn't care about the brain-fog and cognitive dysfunction in the beginning because I was feeling so damn good. After a while, I also didn't see any cognitive disruption, but rather, an increased ability to function in school and personal life. Unfortunately, it was taken from me, and seized my experimentation after about 20-30 days of use, if I recall correctly.
    Yes! I experienced the beauty perception as well. Any speculation about the science behind it?

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    Senior Member kassem23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evanski View Post
    Yes! I experienced the beauty perception as well. Any speculation about the science behind it?
    Yes. There are functional ionotropic receptors in the retina activated by glutamate. (PMID: 22138137) Moreover, I believe it has to do with some kind of interference in prefrontal band activity (PMID: 17452287), i.e. "These results indicate that memantine affects involuntary attention without otherwise changing auditory processing of the stimuli. As memantine-induced changes in MMN were detected only in EEG, we suggest that the effect is mostly related to the frontal cortex." (MMN = mismatch negativity). One could even speculate that depression has a kind of negative optic filter, and alleviating the depression would allow for a more colorful and vibrant world, so to speak.

    Note, this is all speculation. It is nothing that has been tested per se. Mostly because normal people are not as aware of their subjective-interpretation of reality, as most of us are; because of having tried several drugs, or just a neurogenetic difference, I don't know. Additionally, you couldn't really study this in rats... Something similar happens with high-doses of EPA, and also with Piracetam, and I think we speculated that EPA/DHA had direct effect on retinal cells as well. I do not remember the MOA of piracetam alone, however.
    My personal neuroscience weblog, you should check it out: The Illuminated Brain - A Weblog on Neuroscience

    "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." - Sherlock Holmes

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  22. #20
    Senior Member adreno's Avatar
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    Just found this new study:

    Curr Pharm Des. 2012 Jan 18. [Epub ahead of print]
    The possible involvement of NMDA glutamate receptor in the etiopathogenesis of bipolar disorder.
    Fountoulakis KN.
    Source

    3rd Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. [email protected].
    Abstract

    Glutamate is the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain and the ionotropic NMDA receptor is one of the major classes of its receptors, thought to play an important role in schizophrenia and mood disorders. The current systematic review summarized the evidence concerning the involvement of NMDA receptors in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder. Genetic studies point to the genes encoding the NMDA 1, 2A and 2B subunits while neuropathological studies suggest a possible region specific decrease in the density of NMDA receptor and more consistently a reduced NMDA-mediated glutamatergic activity in patients with bipolar disorder in the frame of slower NMDA kinetics because of lower contribution of NR2A subunits. However the literature is poor and incomplete; future research is necessary to elucidate the mechanisms underlying bipolar disorder and its specific relationship to a possible NMDA malfunction and to explore the possibility of developing novel therapeutic agents.

    PMID:
    22280433
    This basically suggests that NMDA underactivation contributes to bipolar disorder. Also, it has been theorized in other studies that schizophrenia (a related disorder) involves hypoactivity of the glutaminergic system.

    EDIT : just saw you already linked this study. Still isn't this the reverse of what you'd expect?

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