... officially diagnosed with bp2. I did the usual titration of 25mg for two weeks, 50mg for two, then up to 75mg. At 25mg I noticed a difference pretty immediately but assumed it was a placebo effect from finally getting the right help. At 50mg I felt even better but had an incredibly scary manic episode one night after only a few drinks; disembodied laughing, panic attacks, cold harsh words, grief, all in minute long cycles. I chalked this up to the fact that I clearly cannot drink a drop on these medicines. But then the nightmares started. Anxiety has always been very debilitating for me, and I was having vivid anxious scenario type dreams every night that lasted throughout my days. I then went up to 75mg and a few days later what had happened to me that one night at 50mg started and lasted for five days straight. The grief was immense. It was like a barrier had been unlocked after years, but it wasn't just that; memories came back, which would have been something to work through, if not for the ten minute cycling from this to rage to suicidal threats to disembodied laughing to weird philosophical rants. I immediately lowered myself (safely) back down to 25mg and was planning to go off entirely, but I've stayed there for almost a month now. It seems to be turning my life around. I feel like I had somewhat of a breakthrough that would have taken years of therapy to reach during that week of absolute hell, but could not stay doing that. So I guess my questions are:

1) Does anyone find 25mg helpful? Or am I just riding a breakthrough wave and will crash again?
2) Was this week of hell showing me that the dose was working or too high? Should I have tried to stick it out? (I almost called 911 multiple times so probably not.)
3) Has anyone else experienced this effect? The unpacking of grief? Could it have been more my feelings and memories coming back than it was a manic reaction to the medication?
4) Has anyone had a bad reaction going up, went down for a bit, and then tried again?

Sorry for the long story.