Shaking/Rocking and (my) bipolar

My shakes are back. Its very frustrating, and something I thought had gone basically for good. I’m bipolar and I have meds that work very well. (including lithium and seroquel.) I used to shake uncontrollably when I was first diagnosed- rocking back and forth in my seat at times, but I haven’t had the symptoms in some time. I’ve started back (possibly related to med interaction from cold medicine) and its really frustrating.

I’m not quite sure what causes it. I’ve got a doctors appointment this weekend, and I’m off the cough medicine, but I’m still shaking. I’ve heard of tardive dyskenesia, but it doesn’t quite fit as far as my symptoms. Its not life threatening, but my anxiety level does go up. My doctor has never given me a precise diagnoses, but seems to think that is nothing to worry about. It used to go on for months at a time- a few hours after I woke up until I went to sleep.

Has anyone else experienced this, or seen it? When I’m experiencing it, I can stop shaking if I think about it, but some other body part will quickly start. My hands shake, or my feet. Sometimes its an arm or leg, and often it is my spine arching back and forth (that is particularly hard to stop.) I’ve read reports saying that sometimes people with mental illnesses rock as a way of comforting themselves, but this doesn’t really fit. Its not comforting, it is often tiring and sometimes leaves me sore from the constant movement. As I said I can make myself stop, but if I keep trying to not move at all, it is like attempting to not blink I can do it, but it takes concentration as it increasingly uncomfortable. Sometimes it feels like a tightness or pressure in my spine.

I’d love to hear anyone’s experiences or medical knowledge. I’m NOT asking for medical advice per se- I have a doctor, etc but would like any information.

So this is not lithium shakes, right? Sounds kind of like Tourette’s movement–where “Ya just gotta” but can restrain yourself with effort. I’ve never had that particular sprinkle on my sundae, but I imagine it’s irritating as hell. Any time I get the shakes it’s more from unbridled anxiety…if that’s even the right word. Any idea what’s causing it? Anything new/stressful in your life?

Shakey hands is how I got my nickname/username. (A name given to me since high school)

For me, plenty of sleep (7 to 8 hours), absolutely no caffeine and eating three square meals a day. That doesn’t get rid of them completely but it helps.

I also have a script of some clonazepam to help me through rough patches.

IANAD but have you heard of akathisia? Web MD here.

Its not lithium related- I had the symptoms before I ever took lithium. I am off my daily schedule of taking my meds the same time every night, due to a class that I have latter on two nights, and I’m not exercising like I should.

Akathisia sounds sort of right, but It doesn’t always have the emotional component people seem to report. (but sometimes it does.) My doctor thinks it is just a manifestation of my bipolar (which is sort of atypical anyway, because I almost never have “pure mania” just depression or mixed states.)

Oh God. Lithium shakes. I’m sorry if I find this hysterically funny as it sounds like a tasty drink for BPers. :smiley:

I am also Bipolar (2) and take Lithium. There are rare occasions when I experience something slightly similar but they are mostly when I am very tired. And, really, it’s kind of hard to tell what causes what because I also have restless leg syndrome which sometimes seems to manifest itself in my arms too.

I’m sorry that you’ve got it going on, though.

Note: Have you been diagnosed as Bipolar 2? I’ve never really had a true manic episode either. I’m not wishing for one, but perhaps it would have been easier to diagnose me instead of trying to kill me with the wrong drugs for 5 years or so.

LOL at the lithium shakes comment- can i get mine in chocolate?
my actual diagnosis is type 1/mixed. It doesn’t quite fit the profile for type 2. But then my therapist thinks I my nog even have BP, but have depression and PTSD. I just know that I was suicidal all my life until I had a doc that tried BP meds, and now I’m not. I had a LOT of wrong meds that made things worse before that. I don’t think I’ve ever known someone with BP that didn’t go through that.