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Carlos J.
Carlos J. @carlos-j

How a Digital Tool is Helping Me During My Mental Health Journey

Carlos is a participant in a patient ambassador program at Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc., made up of people dedicated to sharing their stories about their journey with serious mental illness and treatment. Contact us to learn more about this opportunity. Call 1-844-815-0984. Email I’m 44 years old and live with major depressive disorder (MDD), and it always feels somewhat risky to open up about it. I never know how people will react or if they will look at me differently. I started noticing symptoms of MDD after being promoted to my dream job in my early thirties. I was the perfect candidate for the role! I worked in the banking industry and was good at protecting people’s money and their security. However, after working in my new role for some time, I started to lose interest in a position I worked so hard for and dreamt about. I was losing focus at work and lacking motivation to perform well. I was fixating too much on one or two negative aspects about my life at a time and had difficulty shifting my attention to certain tasks, including the work I love doing. My friends didn’t really understand what was truly going on, and many thought the symptoms I was dealing with—changes in my mood, sleep schedule, and energy—were due to burnout and that I only needed some rest. Thankfully I was able to find a psychiatrist, who was able to notice the signs and diagnose me with MDD. However, when I reflect back on my journey with depression, it really started much earlier, back when I was a teenager. Sometimes it can take years to properly pinpoint MDD as the root cause. After eleven years of working together, my psychiatrist let me know that he was retiring, which was devastating to me. He had played a key role in helping me identify triggers and discover different coping mechanisms over the years. We tried so many different medications, and we had finally gotten me to a good place where we felt like my medications were working. It took a long time to establish that trust, and now I needed to start all over. I began to shut down after the news, unable to keep up with my daily routines. There is a stigma attached to talking about mental health, which made reaching out for help really difficult for me. The concept of starting over with a new doctor was scary to me, I didn’t know if I could do it. It was actually my dog, Wynter, that noticed my lack of energy and absence of routine and gave me a nudge (literally) to find that new psychiatrist. I knew I had to do something when I started to see how it was impacting his life too. I didn’t have the energy to play with him, which often left him scratching at the door in frustration — that wasn’t OK with either of us. I remember reading the profile of one doctor, who marketed his approach as cutting edge and patient-centered. After I started working with him, I quickly realized he was the best fit for my needs. He recommended adding the ABILIFY MYCITE ® System, to my current antidepressant. ABILIFY MYCITE ® (aripriprazole tablets with sensor) is a prescription medicine of an aripiprazole tablet with an Ingestible Event Marker (IEM) sensor inside it used in adults for the treatment of schizophrenia; treatment of bipolar I disorder alone or when used with the medicine lithium or valproate for acute (short-term) treatment of manic or mixed episodes, or maintenance treatment; and the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) along with other antidepressant medicines. The ABILIFY MYCITE System ® is meant to track if you have taken your ABILIFY MYCITE ®. It is not known if ABILIFY MYCITE ® can improve how well you take your aripiprazole (patient compliance) or for changing your dose of aripiprazole. Please read full INDICATIONS and IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION below, including BOXED WARNING for Increased Risk of Death in Elderly People with Dementia-Related Psychosis and Increased Risk of Suicidal Thoughts or Actions. He said using the system would empower us with ingestion data and provide visibility into my activity level and my assessment of sleep quality and moods. I decided to give it a shot, and I’m happy to say that I still use it today. I record my daily data, which helps me to have a more productive conversation with my psychiatrist during appointments. It also helped me build that client-therapist relationship and trust. Viewing the data in the system makes it easier for me to remember important points and to share more about my experience with MDD. I feel like I play a more active role in my own treatment with the information and insights I get from the app. In addition to confirming my medication ingestion, another aspect that I have found particularly helpful reflecting on seeing how my moods fluctuate during the month. Reviewing this data with my psychiatrist helped us identify exercise as an important part of my journey. Only functions related to tracking drug ingestion have been evaluated or approved by FDA. MDD can be a challenging journey, but with the support of my psychiatrist and treatment like the ABILIFY MYCITE ® System, it has been a manageable one, and I’m grateful for that! Everyone’s treatment journey is different, what works for me may not work for someone else. It’s important to have these discussions with your psychiatrist to find what works best for you. INDICATIONS and IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION for ABILIFY MYCITE ® (aripiprazole tablets with sensor) 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 mg INDICATIONS: ABILIFY MYCITE is a prescription medicine of an aripiprazole tablet with an Ingestible Event Marker (IEM) sensor inside it used in adults for the: Treatment of schizophrenia Treatment of bipolar I disorder alone or when used with the medicine lithium or valproate for: acute (short-term) treatment of manic or mixed episodes maintenance treatment Treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) along with other antidepressant medicines The ABILIFY MYCITE System is intended to track if you have taken your ABILIFY MYCITE. There may be a delay in the detection of the ABILIFY MYCITE tablet and sometimes the detection of the tablet might not happen at all. If the MYCITE APP does not indicate that you have taken your medicine, do not repeat the dose. It is not known if ABILIFY MYCITE can improve how well you take your aripiprazole (patient compliance) or for changing your dose of aripiprazole. ABILIFY MYCITE is not for use as real-time or emergency monitoring. IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: Increased risk of death in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis: Medicines like ABILIFY MYCITE can raise the risk of death in elderly people who have lost touch with reality (psychosis) due to confusion and memory loss (dementia). ABILIFY MYCITE is not approved to treat patients with dementia-related psychosis. Increased risk of suicidal thoughts or actions in children and young adults: Antidepressant medicines may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children and young adults within the first few months of treatment and when the dose is changed. Pay close attention to any changes, especially new and sudden changes, in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings and report them to the healthcare provider. It is not known if ABILIFY MYCITE is safe and effective for use in children. Do not take ABILIFY MYCITE if you are allergic to aripiprazole or any of the ingredients in ABILIFY MYCITE. Allergic reactions may include: rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue. ABILIFY MYCITE may cause serious side effects, including: Stroke (cerebrovascular problems) in elderly people with dementia-related psychosis that can lead to death. Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), a rare and serious condition that can lead to death. Call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away if you have some or all of the following signs and symptoms of NMS: high fever, stiff muscles, confusion, sweating, changes in pulse, heart rate, and blood pressure. Uncontrolled body movements (tardive dyskinesia or TD). ABILIFY MYCITE may cause movements that you cannot control in your face, tongue, or other body parts. TD may not go away, even if you stop taking ABILIFY MYCITE. TD may also start after you stop taking ABILIFY MYCITE. Problems with your metabolism such as: high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and diabetes. Increases in blood sugar can happen in some people who take ABILIFY MYCITE. Extremely high blood sugar can lead to coma or death. If you have diabetes or risk factors for diabetes (such as being overweight or a family history of diabetes), your healthcare provider should check your blood sugar before starting ABILIFY MYCITE and during your treatment. Call your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms of high blood sugar while receiving ABILIFY MYCITE: feel very thirsty need to urinate more than usual feel very hungry feel weak or tired feel sick to your stomach feel confused, or your breath smells fruity increased fat levels (cholesterol and triglycerides) in your blood. weight gain. You and your healthcare provider should check your weight regularly. Unusual urges. Some people taking aripiprazole have had unusual urges, such as gambling, binge eating or eating that you cannot control (compulsive), compulsive shopping and sexual urges. If you or your family members notice that you are having unusual urges or behaviors, talk to your healthcare provider. Decreased blood pressure (orthostatic hypotension). You may feel lightheaded or faint when you rise too quickly from a sitting or lying position. Falls Low white blood cell count. Your healthcare provider may do blood tests during the first few months of treatment with ABILIFY MYCITE. Seizures (convulsions) Problems with control of your body temperature so that you feel too warm. Do not become too hot or dehydrated during treatment with ABILIFY MYCITE. Avoid getting over-heated or dehydrated. Do not exercise too much. In hot weather, stay inside in a cool place if possible. Stay out of the sun, and do not wear too much or heavy clothing. Drink plenty of water. Difficulty swallowing ABILIFY MYCITE may make you drowsy. Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how ABILIFY MYCITE affects you. Before taking ABILIFY MYCITE, tell your healthcare provider if you: have or had diabetes or high blood sugar in you or your family; your healthcare provider should check your blood sugar before starting and during therapy with ABILIFY MYCITE have or had seizures (convulsions) have or had low or high blood pressure have or had heart problems or stroke have or had low white blood cell count are pregnant or have plans to become pregnant. It is not known if ABILIFY MYCITE will harm your unborn baby. There is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to ABILIFY MYCITE during pregnancy. For more information contact the National Pregnancy Registry for Atypical Antipsychotics at 1-866-961-2388 or visit are breast-feeding or have plans to breast-feed. ABILIFY MYCITE can pass into your breast milk and may harm your baby. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you receive ABILIFY MYCITE have or had any other medical conditions Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines that you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. ABILIFY MYCITE and other medicines may affect each other causing possible serious side effects. ABILIFY MYCITE may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how ABILIFY MYCITE works. Do not start or stop any medicines while taking ABILIFY MYCITE without talking to your healthcare provider first. The most common side effects of ABILIFY MYCITE in adults include: restlessness or need to move (akathisia); dizziness; nausea; insomnia; shaking (tremor); anxiety; constipation; sedation These are not all the possible side effects of ABILIFY MYCITE. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You are encouraged to report side effects to Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. at 1-800-438-9927 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or Please read FULL PRESCRIBING INFORMATION , including BOXED WARNING , and MEDICATION GUIDE . © 2022 Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. All rights reserved. JANUARY 2022 12US22EB0003

Community Voices

A missing you birthday wish!

<p>A missing you birthday wish!</p>
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No feeling is final

<p>No feeling is final</p>
1 person is talking about this
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Background sadness, a beautiful mess.

<p>Background sadness, a beautiful mess.</p>
15 people are talking about this
Community Voices

What happened when I didn’t sleep for a week

Let’s just start with a disclaimer, do not try this at home as not sleeping is extremely dangerous and I would not recommend it to anyone - friend or foe.

I never intended not to sleep for a week, but as I later found out have Bipolar Disorder.

In simplistic terms, Bipolar is known for its extreme mood swings that can range from really dark low depressive episodes to manic highs. Both phases come with their own sets of debilitating symptoms, but for each individual who lives with Bipolar their experience will be completely different.

I know that for me, I never experienced any depression. For almost two years I lived through mania and even my mental health team could not believe at how poorly I had become. Not to mention my family and friends.

Throughout this time period I had a constant decreased need for sleep and was spending obscene amounts of money online. Every day numbers of parcels would arrive at my door and in the end I could not keep up with the constant stream of returns needed to keep my bank account afloat. That’s without mentioning the fact that my room would just be full of unopened parcels sometimes as I was losing track of what I was ordering as it was mostly crap that I didn’t want or need to put it bluntly.

So I’ve mentioned the decreased need for sleep that came with the mania I experienced in these two years leading up-to this week of complete insanity, and insomnia I can live with or I have learned to live with you might say, but not sleeping a wink is a total different kettle of fish.

About a week before the last time I got hospitalised (for the fourth time in eighteen months) I stopped sleeping altogether. I stopped eating too, not intentionally - I just wasn’t hungry.

I was already really poorly by this point, but this just was the tip of the iceberg and I simply deteriorated from there on out. I started hallucinating so vividly in the brightest of colours. My psychosis ran worsened day by day sometimes hour by hour. I was living in cuckoo land and despite my crazy, absurd hallucinations everything still seemed so real to me at the time. I can see now that I was living in the madness.

At first I felt in total control. I thought it was part of my mission and that my hallucinations were part of a new feature or something, a bit like a spy. But most importantly, I thought I could manage it. But no one can manage psychosis without backup. Without outside help, and that usually includes lots of sleep, good food, medication and an outside environment. That was what I needed at the time because my psychosis was within the four walls of my house and so I needed to escape that environment. It has gotten to the point on the night before I was sectioned where I was seeing messages in the sky and the bricks of my house were closing in on me. It was amazing and terrifying at the same time.

I can see why people who live with Bipolar don’t want to seek treatment as mania is totally euphoric but the thing is it impacts on every aspect of your life. I lost my job and my home because of this stuff and have lost many friends along the way due to lack of understanding. Now I am well I have got many things back but there are certain things I don’t want back because if people don’t want me at my worst then they don’t deserve me at mr best, and it’s as simple as that.

My parents could see I was unwell and they were already on it and were calling for reinforcements but it’s not always as simple as that with the NHS, because truth be told I had been crying out for help in a certain sort of way for a lot longer before it had come to this.

I could see holograms and orbs for days in the hospital even though I had been medicated, which just shows the power of sleep deprivation and what it can do to brain and thought.

I understand why my hallucinations were there as I don’t think they are totally random. I think mine come from deep within my brain, like TV shows I had watched and recent news pieces I had read and just general thoughts and fears
I had. That’s what I mean, imagine all of what’s inside your brain totally spluttered out into hallucinations and verbal diahharea and that’s what I went through for two years. And then the sleep deprivation just exacerbated that tenfold.

I’m hoping that by talking about what I went through that this could help just one person. To me now this is just a memory and one that I hope I will never have to go through again as I am still recovering from it now. But with the right medication and treatment then I should be well on my way. #Bipolar #BipolarDisorder #Sleep #SleepDeprivation #order #Anxiety #MentalHealth

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Community Voices

Your story is a blessing to someone else

<p>Your story is a blessing to someone else</p>
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The highlight of my day today is having a slight breeze and sitting outside with the birds and sounds ca of chimes # CPTSD #chronic ILLNESS #Pain #Bipolar #Grief

Community Voices

Really? For real? As if I had enough to worry about.

*Disclaimer: This is Me pouring out every word on my mind last night, half asleep.

As noted on here, I’ve been working on problems that mainly deal with my own, ever-changing narrative. Nothing will ever be perfect but I do my best to try to reach my goals and be successful in small steps. Add in my mental illnesses and I’m wiped out.

I’ve always wanted to help others like me and to make a positive change in someone, make them feel like a worthy being. This is a lifelong task. When I help others I learn about that person, illnesses if applicable, and ways to help them start recovery. I feel so fulfilled when I can reach at least one person.

While I’m battling my own demons, it seems as if our human maker up in the skies or whatever has some sort of hidden key that will allow someone to have a life with less difficult tasks so one can fulfill their life without so much internal noise.

But in reality that key is hidden for forever, maybe as a test. A test across our lifetimes, with all of the obstacles that can be means of success or a way to learn information for yourself or how to help others. In contrast, this test can ruin your goals, hiding in the back of your mind, constantly whispering.

I promise I didn’t carry one this time for no reason; All of this relates to one another. When I was in school, K-12, I hated American history. We learned of some important figures, but that was greatly outweighed by the absolute filth that people can populate. Racism, sexism, and so many other revolting actions took place, capturing the minds of families across the country. I hated it, especially as a mixed race woman. I’ve been chastised become in different, as well as my sister. I protect my little sister in anyway I can/when she needs, but I feel like I take some racism, which is wrong, but if someone is an ignorant prick to her my eyes become red because I love her and I will not stand for that behavior.

It’s so much easier to learn and pay attention to the past so we can make changes, one by one, in order to become a better society, strengthening our culture, fighting all of that negativity that should exist in 2022. I don’t believe that it will ever end, but step by step we can transform into a country with empathy and patience.

This is a fraction of how my typical day goes. I am extremely exhausted and wish that I could have a weekend alone for self-care, so that I could reset for all of the previous scenarios.

THEN this utter bullshit event that Roe V. Wade was overturned. I barely put the news on and I felt such anger, disgust, worthlessness, and so many other feelings. I couldn’t help but become weak, seething, finishing with a good cry.

These pendejos are brainwashed, set in their older ways without wanting to adapt the laws that reflect the population. We all have our opinions, but we’ve all had a friend who has listened to us when we thought we were having reproductive and were scared. We’ve all had the friends that would make sure they would be at your appointments, while offering comfort or even holding your hand. You cadhdashdan’t tell me that these less than competent, souless women have never had those experiences. They’re letting men heavily influence their their such easy discussions, turning into nimrods, instead of using theirs own cognitive development. They need to take a stand for all issues so that, once again, so that we so dont repeat history over and over agin. It’s imperative that you study and then collaborate with others to get the best education so that you can help the cause, rather than continue this external and interior informariion.
My incoherent thought process weighed weighed so much.!. So many thoughts. #Bipolar 1 with psychotic features #Womensrightsj

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How do I calm down? #DV #Bipolar #BPD #PTSD #Incest survivor #Depression #panic attacks #Anxiety

So I am at DV shelter and for the last two days another client in the house has seemingly singled me out to abuse?! I think she's on speed or something too? So she is screaming and yelling at me calling me names etc and the staff at shelter felt that I should go in my room? I am capable 100% of not talking to or being around that person! She just will not leave me alone? After having another attack from her maybe an hour passed by and she started talking to me like we were old friends asking me what time I had to work today? I at first didn't respond after 4 more times I just said I don't wanna talk to you and then she starts right back in on me!? Telling me she wants me kicked out and that I don't follow the rules just not making any sense?!? So my question is how the heck do I not think about it and go about my day?! I left the shelter very early so I could avoid that person entirely but I feel unsafe unprotected and I feel like I am allowing this person to run me off?! Its just that in the past due to my anti social bpd ways I can be violent after all the abuse I have been handed I guess I have used that to get my way?! Just the way my abusers always have? So I don't trust that I will be able to control myself I am so angry I haven't slept or showed or kept my appts today I'm sitting in my car in front of a friend's house bawling!!! How an this be happening and how do I make it stop!!! Do I just run or get a ppo?? The thing is I am moving out in less than a week and have great things a new apt job to look forward to but I am jot handling this drama well at all!! I'm trying not to beat myself up but I am mad that she is getting to me! I feel like I am being mistreated all over again!! I cry more when I am mad than ever! I dislike crying very much! What really bothers me is missing everything work! physical therapy! I just can't do it!! Staff at shelter told me to just let it go dont let it bother you so much?! Which made me more mad!!! If I fuck this up before the shelter helps me move out I will lose all of the household items and furniture the shelter is providing me and all of my transition help from them as well?! That cannot happen!!! Well fuck!! Not sure what I am gonna do now but I do know that I am taking my meds now! Help and please don't say just let it go!?!? Please?

6 people are talking about this
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What now!?

#BPD #Upallnight #Bipolar #PTSD #DV OK so I am still at this womens shelter and everything has been going well until yesterday this woman who is also staring here has been trying to talk to me then spewing hate and accusations at me saying she is going to get me kicked out and I am dangerous to kids and nasty and racist?!? Wtf??? I have had zero problems with anyone I share my pop cigs whatever I try to be kind and helpful so now I can barely come out of my room with her here!?! I have spoken with those in charge here and they say to stay away from her so I do but have accidentally run into her in kitchen so after all the drama she again talks to me and asks me what time I have to work tomorrow and I say I have nothing to say to you so then she lost it! I think she's on meth because it's belligerent and strange and makes no sense??? Any ideas???

6 people are talking about this