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Bipolar and Why I Love Depakote!

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As you may know, I used to take lithium to manage my bipolar illness. In the summer of 2008, my doctor switched me to Depakote due to some bladder complications.

Well, let me tell you, I love Depakote. It makes me feel NORMAL! Lithium had a completely dulling effect, but Depakote allows me to feel subtle human feelings like bewilderment and absurdity.

What do I do now that I feel normal again?

Clean out my linen closet. My husband and I used to sleep in twin beds because I had to have a completely still sleeping surface to fall asleep due to sleeplessness from bipolar illness. In the back of the linen closet, I found over a dozen twin sheet sets from our twin beds. Garage sale time!

Make Hamburger Helper. I love this stuff. My husband hates it, so I have to make it for lunch, not dinner. I’m particularly found of the cheeseburger noodle kind.

Take a cruise. This summer we’re taking a cruise. It’s the first time we’ve been alone in four years. Our relatives will take care of our little boy. And you can bet I’m packing an evening gown for the Captain’s Ball.

Get my child on the school bus. When I do this, I feel like a typical, suburban Mom. I wave to him as he leaves.

Do laundry. This will really make one feel normal. And I’ve been remembering to add the dryer softening sheets. That’s very normal.

Go to Target for shampoo. Target is a particularly normal place.

Depakote, I love you.

No longer do I feel hopeless in the shower. Can you get your mind around how important this is?

This is not to say that Depakote will work wonders for you, but if you’re in the mood to try a new med, and your doctor is on board, try this little miracle drug.

It worked for me.

Add a Comment11 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I have been on this medication now for a year it has completely changed my entire life. My anxiety and bipolar started as a child due to childhood trauma I've known for years I was mentally unstable but chose to suffer through the depression part of bipolar and the anxiety because as a teenager I didn't know how or who to reach for to help me... Always felt alone hopeless . At age 23 After trying to take my life last December I met a dr in emerge who sat me down and talked to me told me to come see him at his office every month after the first session talking to him for hours he looked at me and said to me don't worry I can help you... When he said that it brought tears to my eyes no one had ever looked at me and told me that they can help me I didn't feel alone anymore... He diagnosed me with Bipolar and BPD then he put me on this medication almost immediately I felt a huge change I felt like I was living in reality not a dream state I felt calm I didn't have much anxiety anymore no more racing thoughts no more reckless behaviour no more fits of rage my friends and family have seen a huge huge improvement in me. I will be forever great full this medication has saved my life. When the original poster said the thing about the shower I can relate to that.... Crazy how only ppl with bipolar would get that.

October 27, 2015 - 2:24am
EmpowHER Guest

I Dont know what to feel. I take 1000mg fepakote. 15mg lexapro. Clonazapam 1.0 mg and hydroxozine pamerate. I feel anxious. In public some days. No drive to do or go. I doubt myself. I have trust issues. Crying is rare. I fear other meds. I do not want to gain weight. I was 240. Now I am at 125. After wls. Bypass. Please help. What is normal.

November 5, 2014 - 11:03pm
EmpowHER Guest

It's funny but I feel the worst when taking a shower. It's like all my past comes back to haunt me there. Do you take an anit-depressant too?

May 1, 2012 - 4:55am
EmpowHER Guest

"No longer do I feel hopeless in the shower"

Yep, Im on depakote now....feeling absolutely normal after 2 years of trying different medicines and wow, thats actually such a sad comment. I feel your pain.

March 8, 2010 - 12:14am
EmpowHER Guest

Yes, I have been suffering from this for at least 15 years with very little help from my doctor. I finally got a new doctor and he prescribed this. And unless you have bipolar you may not understand what I mean by this but, I actually have a feeling of being real again. I to love this drug, anger gone, not overwhelmingly happy but content with life. If you have bipolar find someone to help, Meds are there and boy can they help. I wish so badly I would of started this a long time ago.

February 18, 2010 - 1:01pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I wish I could say the same - I've had depression, irritability and anger issues since I was 5. Recently diagnosed bipolar II. I'm now on 1500 mg of Depakote. Absoutely no relief. Very discouraged and sad that there may not be a med for me.

May 1, 2012 - 4:53am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Don't lose hope. Regardless of the situation, there is always hope. Bipolar disorder may be a lifelong illess, but I can tell you from my own research and experience that there is no such thing as "hopeless". It is like having diabetes: It has to be managed. Medications provide relief but we must also be willing to find outlets for our emotions, lead a balanced lifestyle, and change our diets. The final one may be the most important. Do some research on diet. There is a website called bipolar-lives.com. A lady discusses her battle with the illness. If I remember right she is a nutrionist and has a book for sale that discusses the various foods you should/shouldn't eat. It is quite informational. So, keep fighting. You will win this! Just because one medication doesn't work for you doesn't mean the other 20+ won't. It is not a race, its a marathon(as my doctor told me).

August 8, 2012 - 4:16pm
EmpowHER Guest

I just found your blogs. I'm 31, I recently have been diagnosed with this life altering illness. After A LOT of reading, I think it's been there since birth! I started with Depokate 3 months ago and it's still the only thing I'm taking. After some adjustment with in milligrams, I, 100% agree with you it is AMAZING! I don't have a history with the other drugs but I do have a history of being a racketball...super bouncy and hard to catch. Now, I feel really good! I have emotions but not extreme (except when dealing with the ex-husband but I come down much faster!) I, also, don't know if it will work for everyone but I'm very glad it did for me!

November 5, 2009 - 12:55pm
EmpowHER Guest

I have been on depakote for 6 months, and have really done well. It has lifted the emotional blunting that I experienced with Geodon. Ironically, I had a terrible time on Seroquel!

May 28, 2009 - 11:12am
EmpowHER Guest

wow, what a vastly different experience than I had...

taking Depakote was one of the worst experiences of my life. I felt like my emotions had been sucked out of me, that my thoughts were constricted, that the world had slowed down so much I couldn't move. I would never recommend this drug to anyone, but I guess that's the way it goes with psychiatric meds...one woman's miracle pill is another woman's personal hell.

PS Am doing wonderfully on Seroquel and Lamotrigine.

May 13, 2009 - 4:35pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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