Pdoc Added Zuclopenthixol to Help w/Hyperactivity
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Q:  Pdoc Added Zuclopenthixol to Help w/Hyperactivity

Dear Dr. Phelps, 

I just had to write you to tell you THANK-YOU!!! 

I have had severe depression since I was 19 to present.(55yo) I was diagnosed 3years ago with bi-polar, rapid cycling. 

I was particularly happy to see your section explaining anxiety as possible hypo-mania! I have suffered with some form of this including the rage, periods of extreme insomnia, and all the rest. About all I can say that the only symptom I have NOT had is the full-blown mania with psychosis. Everything else I have experienced.  

I am currently hypo-manic, and have been since Christmas. I have been concerned that it would keep escalating, resulting in disaster. My psychiatrist has now added zuclopenthixol, to help with this hyper activity and feeling almost TOO, TOO FANTASTIC!!! I feel like I am on speed. 

I realize you must be very busy, but if you may step in and help me I would be extremely thankful!  I feel as if at times I am on a tight-rope and want to stay as "normal" as possible!  

I am an American living in Germany, married with 8yo twin sons.


I hope to hear from you soon. Any help is help!


Dear Georgia -- 

It sounds like you are looking for some additional ideas on how to slow down your hyperactivity. Zuclopenthixol is a medication approach to this problem.  I can't make any medication recommendations, but I will show you some interesting information about using changes in your light exposure that might potentially be of some value (I can offer this because it is not a prescription for action, but rather just information that you might be able to use on your own without taking any significant risk).  It's also either free or cheap depending on how you look at it.                                 

You're probably familiar with the idea of "light therapy", used as an antidepressant in seasonal mood changes.  We know that antidepressants can sometimes trigger manic symptoms.  So one might ask, might the opposite of light have the opposite effect?  In other words, if light can be an antidepressant, is it possible that darkness can be a mood stabilizer?

Unfortunately -- in part because darkness is free  -- there has been very little research done on this idea.  But there are a couple of very suggestive case reports, and a small study treating mania with darkness.  These are described in my essay on dark therapy.  At the bottom of that essay you will find a link to a bigger-picture consideration of the roles of light and darkness in bipolar treatment.

 I hope that something in there may be of use to you.  If so, share it with your German psychiatrist!

 Dr. Phelps

Published May, 2008


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