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Category Archives: Brain Chemicals

Dystonia / Dyskinesia Reactions

I had a dyskinesia reaction to Geodon, which my doctor put me on to help the mania. It was like a rave party in my body. My legs and hands were spasming so bad people around me thought I was having a full blown grand mal seizure. I kept saying ti didn’t feel epilepsy-like. I was still fully conscious and understanding everything around me, I juts couldn’t stop the twitching. It was really weird. So off I went to hospital where I stayed for the night. Then I went home. Then I went back and stayed another night – and that’s when the casualty doctor figured I was having some kind of reaction and gave me a drug to counteract the geodon in my system.

I felt as high as kite after that. I had no clue what was going on around me for a few days. My mom was furious, how can a drug that’s supposed to help you actually CAUSE so much more damage?

So I decided I didn’t want to be on those meds, went back to hospital and stayed for about 2 days, just flushing all the drugs out my system with enough saline solution that I had to pee every hour. I also got a range of tests done, MRI, catscan, another eeg. And, well, I don’t have a brain tumour or anything (yay!) just the epilepsy…the electric pulses in my brain werk nie so lekker nie (afrikaans for my brain is fucked up). I was glad there is nothing hugely neurologically wrong of course. But I was bummed about having to change my psych meds. I’m now back on zyprexa. That little white pill that knocks you out and “makes you eat like a horse” (my doctors words!)

I’ve already gained about 2 kg and it hasn’t even been a month yet. Sigh. I mean it’s not too bad, I’m short, I weighed 51 kg about, I needed to put a bit of extra weight on. BUT I don’t want it to carry on! I’m way to vain for that shit.

Anyway, I found some cool info on dystonia/dyskinesia reactions. Read if interested:

A number of drugs are capable of causing dystonia. In most cases, people develop an acute dystonic reaction resulting after a one-time exposure. Symptoms may include intermittent spasmodic or sustained involuntary contractions of muscles in the face, neck, trunk, pelvis, and extremities. The symptoms are usually transient and may be treated successfully with medications such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine).

Another type of drug-induced dystonia is called tardive dystonia. Tardive dystonia is a form of tardive dyskinesia, which includes involuntary movements that resemble multiple movement disorders. The term tardive means “late” to indicate that the condition occurs some time after drug exposure, and the terms dyskinesia and dystonia describe the types of movements involved. Tardive dyskinesias are neurologic syndromes caused by exposure to certain drugs, namely a class of medications called neuroleptics which are used to treat psychiatric disorders, some gastric conditions, and certain movement disorders. The amount of exposure to such drugs varies greatly among patients. Tardive dystonia and dyskinesias may also develop as a symptom of prolonged treatment with levodopa in some Parkinson’s disease patients.

Drugs belonging to this class of neuroleptics include (trade name listed in parenthesis): Acetohenazine (Tindal), amoxapine (Asendin), chlorpromazine (Thorazine), fluphenazine (Permitil, Prolixin), haloperidol (Haldol), loxapine (Loxitane, Daxolin), mesoridazine (Serentil), metaclopramide (Reglan), molinndone (Lindone, Moban), perphanzine (Trilafrom, Triavil), piperacetazine (Quide), prochlorperzine (Compazine, Combid), promazine (Sparine), promethazine (Phenergan), thiethylperazine (Torecan), thioridazine (Mellaril), thiothixene (Navane), trifluoperazine (Stelazine), triflupromazine (Vesprin), and trimeprazine (Temaril).

Symptoms may develop after weeks or years of drug exposure. Both tardive dystonia and other tardive dyskinesias typically involve (but are not necessarily limited to) the muscles of the face. Symptoms may also include muscle spasms of the neck, trunk, and/or arms.

The movements typical of tardive dystonia are generally slower and more sustained than other dyskinesias, though the presence of a dystonic tremor in opposition to the main dystonia movement may cause a more rapid appearance of movement. Dyskinesias are usually characterized by quick, jerking movements that may include grimacing, tongue protrusion, lip smacking, puckering, and eye blinking. The arms, legs, and trunk may also be involved. Movements of the fingers may appear as though the individual is playing an invisible guitar or piano.

The frequency and pattern of movements may fluctuate. The predominant condition (for example if symptoms are mostly dystonic) will usually dictate the course of treatment.

 

(Not mine! Taken from http://www.dystonia-foundation.org/pages/more_info/76.php)

It’s funny how meds made to help you can actually hurt you more. I was on the geodon since October then all of a sudden the reaction just cropped up. It sucks, I liked that medication. Just not the rave party in my muscles.

Oh well, it’s all a process of trying and failing I guess. Finding what works for you. I wish I didn’t have to use the Zyprexa, but my doc and I agreed I need to be on a anti-psychotic. Rather that then another trip to crazyland.

Peace and Love to everyone 🙂

xxxx

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Oh hi there TLE!

TLE – Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. Kind of a bummer.

I’ve had it nicely under control for a little while. I’ve been on a high dose of anti epileptic medicine called lamictin. 400 mg actually and it’s been kept well under control. But I’ve had quite the awful tummy bug for 2 days now – literally hugging the toilet bowl for most of the day. And it’s hard then to keep the very important medication in and then I feel it…my brain starts getting twitchy. Get a little headache right in my temple and feel fuzzy all over. I haven’t had a seizure yet – and by seizure I mean full on fainting spell 1800’s lady style. Very dramatic. At least I don’t pee myself. That would suck.

I’ve taken extra meds and been speaking to my doctor whose helped me get the nausea under control so I’m feeling a bit better now. I work for a GP and told her how I was feeling and she very kindly actually phoned my psychiatrist to find out what to do for me. I thought that was sweet. You don’t often find doctor’s that care that much. It’s not just cause she’s my boss, I’ve seen her do it with a few patients. But anyway he said I must just try take my meds and take it easy. I’ve contemplated taking zyprexa as it dissolves right away. However it’s an anti-psychotic mood stabiliser rather than an anti epileptic. But it does relax me and help me sleep for a good while. I dunno, we’ll see if I get better after a good cup of black tea and a nap. So far I’ve managed to hold in some liquids.

S, the new boyfriend, is coming over tonight and we’re going to just chill and watch a movie. I’ll admit I feel a little wary, I don’t want to appear some sickly gross girl and put him off. He has said he wants to come and help me feel better, which I think is so kind and sweet. But like I said it’s the beginning stages and I want him to think I’m this wonderful creature who doesn’t poop or fart or burp or vomit up the macaroni and cheese she had for lunch 😀

Anyway, I suppose it’s a good test to see how things will turn out. If he accepts me in all my sickly glory and still gives me one of those sweet kisses on the forehead while stroking my cheek I definitely think he’s a keeper…as if I didn’t already!

I’ve skipped out on quite a few lectures this week so far, due to being sick. I’ve got 2 tests next week (big ones) and I must just not myself get too stressed. That’s when the epilepsy really comes up and cripples me entirely.

I found this video and transcript about the “funny feelings” you get with TLE. I get them all the time, a twitchiness, feeling fuzzy, anxious, uncomfortable and tons of feelings of deja vu.

Here’s the link: http://www.howcast.com/videos/502012-Temporal-Lobe-Epilepsy-Epilepsy-and-Seizure-Disorders

But yeah, otherwise, I guess I’m okay 🙂

Hope everyone is well.

Have a great day ya’ll.

xxx

 

 

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Epilepsy – Some Information

I live with petit mal epilepsy in my temporal lobe, which is not as damaging as full blown grand mal epilepsy. I do not have seizures as such, I rather pass out or ‘go blank’ or faint or just kind of switch off in a way. It’s like a little switch in my head flips and I’m all of a sudden not there anymore. I get awful headaches and very funny feelings all over my body, sometimes I even hallucinate and other times I’m just so out of it I cannot communicate.

My psychiatrist says that often bi polar and epilepsy go hand in hand, that the epilepsy triggers bi polar episodes and such. I was diagnosed when I was about 16 (I’m now 20) and have been on tons of medication and been in hospital countless times. It’s something my family and I have come to live with. It’s not something you can just get right with a pill and then expect everything to be fine. Because we’re dealing with hormones and brain chemicals that are constantly fluctuating (and greatly influenced by things like alcohol and caffeine). It is a constant struggle to get things to some degree of normality. Normality being not passing out every 5 minutes.

So I have come to accept the fact that I will never just get better. We can reach a place where I’m as stable as can be but even that can change so quickly.

But what I would like to do with this post is clear a few things up.

Epilepsy isn’t gross or contagious, you can’t swallow your tongue or anything like that. Although with grand mal seizures they can be pretty scary and violent. We are normal people. Every now and then our brains just experience a little electric storm and we may lose consciousness or lose track of what we were saying. It doesn’t make us fainting damsels in distress or rude because we got confused and did not remember a conversation – it just makes our brains a little different. An electrical storm took place in our brains and we were unable to receive or send out information effectively. It is neurons misfiring. We are not stupid or rude or drama queens (and kings!)

For me personally, I feel an epileptic attack coming on and am most often able to stop what I’m doing and lie down. Because I just faint or black out I have hurt myself countless times (falling down stairs etc.) and it’s not fun. As the years have gone by I have been able to recognize the signs and take my medication and look after myself. I’m usually down and out for a few days until my body recovers and I can resume life as usual. It’s hard, but we have learned to deal with it and try make the best of it.

I’ve scoured the internet to find a video that may explain things a bit better, and raise some awareness for those living with epilepsy.

Also it’s very possible to go through life not knowing you have a form of epilepsy. Ever been called a “scatter brain?” Ever been lost in a daydream and can’t recall what you were doing or thinking? If these go hand in hand with some other type of mental disorder, it’s a very real possibility you could be suffering with a mild form of epilepsy and should ask your doctor about it and get test done.

I found a video on YouTube that debunks some of the myths about epilepsy. I found it pretty interesting:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4u1hYsVmfs

I tried to upload the video directly but couldn’t quite get it right!  :-/

If you are looking for more information, visit http://www.epilepsy.com/

 

Also, here is my video blog of what it’s like to have a seizure :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9JalA8n6dk&feature=g-upl

 

Thanks for the read and take care everyone. Have a great day 🙂 xxx

 

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on November 2, 2012 in Brain Chemicals

 

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Aside

First off, I would just like to say I’m not a brain doctor or psychologist (though I am studying to be one) the following is just my observations and own research that I have done.

This post is going to be about the biological causes of depression. When looked at it scientifically, depression is caused by an imbalance of specific chemicals in the brain. If you have been diagnosed by a doctor, it is likely that this has been explained to you (if not, get a new doctor!) because it is the fundamental reason clinical depression occurs. I’m not going to get too scientific here because I’m not yet licensed to do so but this is from my own research:

According to the book Psychology – the science of Mind and Behaviour clinical depression is described as “an intense state that leaves one unable to function effectively.” You may lose your sex drive, self esteem, and motivation to even get out of bed. Cognitively, you may experience difficulty concentrating, making decisions and experience intense feelings of loneliness, pessimism and self blame. When it comes to your bodily functions, you may gain or lose weight quickly, experience insomnia and become unresponsive to the things that used to make you happy.

Depression can be genetic but it is also caused by an imbalance of chemicals. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which carries impulses through a synapse (which is sort of like a ‘bridge’ between the neurons). It can be described as a happy hormone (along with dopamine) and when there is too little of this, the body loses its ability to feel pleasure in certain aspects.

I love this : (** I got it off google – if the image belongs to you, tell me so I can give credit)

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This is where different medications come in, that alter the chemicals in the brain allowing for the synapses to increase levels of serotonin. I myself am on Zoloft (and limictin and rivirtril and zyprexa – quite the combo!) which works on these chemicals.

An interesting sketch (** refer to above disclaimer)

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Although depression does have its physiological components it also can be triggered by childbirth (postpartum depression) and certain life events such as a death, physical illness or even a big move. (Death and moving house are said to be 2 of the most stressful things than can happen to a person.)

It’s not that easy to just look at depression like it some sort of simple disorder when the pain you are in (whether it’s a constant pang in your chest or complete numbness) is so real and so consuming. For me, boiling it down to simple science has helped me understand the illness, although this does not help one overcome it.

It takes more than just medication and therapy to overcome depression. In large part it is a choice. Although we can’t simply ‘decide’ to be happy (it’s a little difficult when it feels your whole life is clouded by a dark shadow), you have the choice to try.

My next post will be about different therapies and ways we are able to overcome our constant sadness by simple day to day activities.

Have a wonderful day everyone

xxxx

Depression – Part 1

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Brain Chemicals, Depression

 

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