Too much lamictal =cognitive ‘dulling”

carters little nerve pills
carter’s little nerve pills


a box of these with shit kickin lemonade?
a box of these with shit kickin’ lemonade?
“Thoughts are the shadows of feelings, always darker, emptier, and simpler.
I don’t care if they’re fake or real, I just thank them for showing up at all.
I have black periods. Who does not? But they are not a part of me;
they are not a part of illness, but a part of my being. What am I saying?
I have the courage to have them. Four o’ clock in the morning. This sucks.”
-Alkaline Trio “Warbrain”

“You say I’m fixable. A classic case, lack of will. I say I don’t wanna try, I’d rather sit here all night.”
-Alkaline Trio “My Standard Break From Life”

My response to this:
“I’ve realized that my mind doesn’t work exactly the way it used to. I dont know if this is medication related or just the fact that I’ve got so much stress in my life from other things. but i used to really love people challenging me to think, and philosophy and stuff of that nature. someone brought up the topic of suffering the other day, and how one’s amount of suffering is almost inversely related to their amount of possessions.  Now, in the past i would have jumped on that and talked about it, and played devils advocate and whatnot… i basically just said “yup, makes sense.”  It bothered me.  i wonder if i even have the brain power anymore to think through an entire critical chain of thought without having it just drop off mid-idea.”

could it be too high a dose of lamictal ?

  • useful for “preventing excessive electrical activity in the brain. It does this by preventing sodium from entering nerve cells when they begin to fire rapid and repetitive electrical signals. A build up of sodium in the nerve cells is necessary for the electrical signal to build up and be passed on to other nerve cells. As lamotrigine prevents this, it helps stabilise the electrical activity in the brain.

decreased electrical activity in the brain = decreased cerebral glucose metabolism = mental deterioration

Solution 1: Talk to doc re decreasing dosage


why bother thinking? brain? what brain? ahhhh..... airhead, California airhead... 

  • lamictal prevents the release of a neurotransmitter called glutamate from the nerve cells in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that are stored in nerve cells and are involved in transmitting messages between the nerve cells.
  • Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that acts as a natural ‘nerve-exciting’ agent. It is released when electrical signals build up in nerve cells and subsequently excites more nerve cells.

glutamate toxicity

  • “Glutamate is a powerful excitatory neurotransmitter that is released by nerve cells in the brain. It is responsible for sending signals between nerve cells, and under normal conditions it plays an important role in learning and memory.  There are two general ways, however, that glutamate can actually be damaging to nerve cells and the brain as a whole.
  • First, there can be too much glutamate around; abnormally high concentrations of glutamate can lead to overexcitation of the receiving nerve cell.
  • Second, the receptors for glutamate on the receiving nerve cell can be oversensitive, such that less glutamate molecules are necessary to excite that cell.”

Solution 2: thought helmet

a hat is a hat is a hat: if i could wear one of these and not have to take meds, itd be a no brainer: hands down winner is this thought helmet ... Should I order 2?
a hat is a hat is a hat: if i could wear one of these and not have to take meds, it’d be a no brainer: hands down winner is this ‘thought helmet” … Should I order 2?

“In both cases, cells activated by glutamate become overexcited.” Link

not quite as sexy ...
not quite as sexy …


higher order thought processes 

glutamate deficiency results in cognitive dulling

how about this one? guaranteed to ward off intrusive thoughts ... might not fit in the mini though
The user puts the helmet/pod on his head and switches it on.
or an idPod
So how does the idPod actually work?
The user puts the helmet/pod on his head and switches it on.

The machine tunes into anxiety signals of emotional dysfunction (madness) caused by danger situations (i.e. the apprehension of images/experiences that are highly charged and emotionally threatening); these may be termed raw images.
The idPod now identifies a theme through a blizzard of anxiety signals, extracting this from the manifest contents of the user’s experience.


snippets from these sites:
“I definitely have trouble finding words and often find myself feeling embarrassed when I’m in a social or professional situation and I’m not able to contribute as much to a discussion.” link
remote neural monitoring .... slip into someone elses psychosis .... and chill out
remote neural monitoring …. slip into someone else’s psychosis …. and chill out
lamictal and cognitive functioning,  (just how stupid is normal?)
“As far as stupid… I was at one stage on 400mg Lamictal and 600mg of Tegretol and i felt as stupid as you can get. I could just zone out and not focus on anything. I would forget stuff pretty much the moment you stopped talking. I would start talking and forget what i was talking about, forget what the whole conversation was about. Read a book and forget what happened. Not remember any names of anything. I forgot peoples names and what they looked like. If i tried to recall anything i couldn’t bring a picture to mind. Its like it might have been there but it was just impossible to get. My sharp replies like having an argument or a witty conversation just flew out the window.
“We cut Lamictal back more and my light bulbs came back on.”
# Experience the brain state most commonly associated with supreme intellectual achievement # Process thousands more micro-calculations on a per-minute basis .... ThinkFast tunes your brainwaves and cognitive characteristics into a super performance state everytime, you can now pull out your mental A game whenever you need it.
# Experience the brain state most commonly associated with supreme intellectual achievement # Process thousands more micro-calculations on a per-minute basis …. ThinkFast tunes your brainwaves and cognitive characteristics into a super performance state everytime, you can now pull out your mental ‘A’ game whenever you need it.

“I am living with noticeable but manageable cognitive impairment. My academic history is not so different than yours only I had non-academic priorities as an undergrad so didn’t do the cum laude thing until grad school. I’m used to being one of the sharpest in the room, but now I sometimes struggle to keep up. My grammar sucks which is a blow to my ego. I over-write in expressing thoughts. Word find isn’t too bad, but it is there. All of this is a major adjustment and I feel like a part of me has been taken. All of my meds except Mirapex nibble at my cognition. At a higher dose any one would take a big chunk. For me, this is the most difficult side effect.”

“… after thinking on it some more, my pride hurts more than anything. i think i just have to adjust my self-esteem accordingly around something other than teh smarts. it’s always been the one and only thing i ever liked about myself, no matter what – i knew i wasn’t dumb. well, so much for that… i think i’m scared i won’t find anything that means as much to me.””… my pride hurts every time it bumps up against someone else’s expectations, too, and i just have to learn to deal with it. i suppose i could develop a whole repertoire of jokes about getting old or something. with new people, it doesn’t matter. with people who’ve known me a long time, i feel really really ashamed. i feel like they’ll think i’m high on my meds or drunk or god knows what. ….hen nobody would turn to me to answer the question nobody else in the room remembers the answer to (or can figure out). i just can’t be that person now.”
just another day at the hairdresser ...
just another day at the hairdresser …
“this is something else. all my days run in together now. i have to think really hard what day it was when i did something, even if it was just yesterday. everything feels like it was “last week”. yesterday was last week, last month was last week. the other day i had a little crying fit because no matter how hard i try, i cannot remember last christmas. i looked at old posts from that time, my partner related ALL the details to me… and it is still a complete blank.”
mental fog .... ?
mental fog …. ?
“I used to be able to write awesome papers effortlessly. I used to be great with my vocabulary and ability to talk in detail without stuttering/slurring or saying the wrong thing. Now it takes so much more effort.”


I thought to myself, What the hell is that black thing eating that ladies head, and where can I get one?
I thought to myself, “What the hell is that black thing eating that ladies head, and where can I get one?”

Medical Foods

“Sentra AM ™ is designed to produce two neurotransmitters acetylcholine, and glutamate. The two neurotransmitters are involved in mental arousal(1-50), mental alertness(51-99), memory(100-153), cognition and concentration(114;154-181).
I know that if I were to draw my life, it will have so many kinks, and loops and several places where there are discontinuities. And oh, yah, I also have a couple of year where I have no idea what I was doing, and a few twists and turns making it unintegrable!
I know that if I were to draw my life, it will have so many kinks, and loops and several places where there are discontinuities. And oh, yah, I also have a couple of year where I have no idea what I was doing, and a few twists and turns making it unintegrable! But then all that shit in my brain started drainin’ outta my body through my feet … ahhhhh. ALL GONE!
“Sentra AM ™ is a Medical Food formulated by practicing physicians to meet the nutritional requirements of patients who need to improve cognitive function and memory, achieve mental arousal, and maintain mental alertness. Sentra AM ™ provides the nutrients to support acetylcholine production by neurons. Acetylcholine is the important neurotransmitter supporting cognitive function, mental arousal, and memory. Under the regulations of the Food and Drug Administration,
okay, so maybe this shitll do the trick ...
okay, so maybe this shit’ll do the trick …

Medical Foods can only be used when a patient is under the ongoing care of a physician or other healthcare provider. Medical Foods are used for the management of disease states with known nutritional deficiencies. Medical Foods must contain ingredients found in the human diet and cannot be sold directly to patients without the supervision of a healthcare professional.”

or else, the little old lady who lived in a shoe ... solar powered whole eco village inside ... WTF?
or else, the little old lady who lived in a shoe … solar powered whole eco village inside … WTF?

Join the Conversation


  1. I like what you have put together. I am trying to find information on the action of these (Lamictal) medications…seems likely they do dull responces. I am grateful for the candor, and am impressed with your ability to observe how they are effecting you. My husband does not have that power at present…your comments confirm what I have observed…thank you.

    1. so he is on lamictal… what is diagnosis? IMO, this drug shld be recalled. we need neurologists & fMRIs which show impact on brain functioning. Pls share other side effects. Thanks. Losing hair? Uncontrollable appetite?

  2. Awesome post. After years of trying antidepressants which did nothing for me, i found a new shrink who said “ADD” and “bipolar II” and put me on a tiny dose of Lamictal. At first, there was a peace I’d never known- i didn’t hate mysrlf, i wasn’t relentlessly judging myself or others. In fact, i felt a craving to BE with other humans. It was a miracle. Then, the stupids. Exactly what you describe: trouble with word-finding (and as a writer this is unacceptable.) i just felt kinda fuzzy and drunk. Then came the insomnia (whereas i’d always slept like a baby), the irritated gums, and the slight weight gain. I was still considering if it was worth it when my beautiful hair started shedding. Game over. I stopped lamictal and am overjoyed to have my words back! My hair is a bit slower comung back. I’m now looking into orthomolecular medicine to deal with my moods. I’m done with big pharm.

    1. wow, i never heard the term orthomolecular medicine to describe exactly what I am looking for. If you have read through any more of brainzaps, (I know it is just awesomely long) you would read my stories and all the research i have done into alternative treatments …. right now i am back where i was after a major psychotic break mb some six months back …. I am so fed up with the monopoly BigPharma has on mental health … it is an ongoing source of contention between my dr and myself … because i try to get off and fail and it goes and forth. I need to find someone who can wean me off as they introduce supplements. Effexor withdrawal is hell and I am also now on 1.5 mg of Clonopin….

      selenium depletion causes the hair loss, probably the gums as well.

      Nowadays, every shrink has the same diagnosis: ADD and bipolar. It all depends on which drug they are trying to push at the time (not that they all realize this)….

      So, you are totally off meds now? So lucky. I am so envious. Im a writer as well and the short term memory problems, word loss, inability to be in the moment has been ongoing for years…. Doesn’t immpact my writing however. A little more difficult to locate flow … but little by little as i am now really immersing myself in writing, i feel my talent is slowly returning, tapping into a ‘cellular memory …. Here read this diary I did recently for Daily Kos Healthcare series:

      Thursday HealthSeries: Music, Memory & the ‘Illusory Self’

  3. I am Lamictal for two years. BPD. 200mg. It helps me a lot. When off I am very much more impulsive and suicidal in thoughts. Make me a little slower in thought. But before I was too fast.

  4. I was prescribed Lamictal for epilepsy. Originally I was taking Tegratol and had an adverse reaction to it so my neurologist switched me to lamictal. The seizures remained so he upped my dose to 600mg a day. Last night something very similar to what you described happened to me and it scared me a lot. My neurologist told me to write down when I have a seizure so I did thinking I was having really bad seizures. I’d like to share what I wrote down;

    “I feel trapped in myself. I hear someone talking to me, but am unable to understand right away and need to will myself to respond. Everything looks so different. Clearer and sharper, but my peripheral vision isn’t very good Getting that lost feeling is ever present. Can’t seem to shake it. Not sure what it is. Considering the hospital. I feel like I am going unconscious. My head hurts. My balance is terrible and my jaw is locking a bit. I keep rocking and don’t realise it. Had the same seizure feelings trying to sleep too.
    Woke up this morning and things still seem strange. Not as bad, but strange. So easy to stare as anything and get lost in thought, but not know what I am thinking about
    Thank you for this site. It has put my mind at ease knowing what happened.

  5. I’m a college instructor & on Lamictal for the 2nd time. On 150 mg & refuse to go higher. The cognitive dulling crept up slowly (same with the Bupropion/Wellbutrin) & seems here to stay. My problems with “meds” began about 3 yrs ago. It took @least a year before I could get anyone to “listen” to me, & when someone – a neurologist – finally did, it was more out of compassion. He was unwilling to order the MRI I requested, so he did a CAT Scan. He was so surprised to see a small mass that he ordered an MRI & referred me to a neurosurgeon. I had a brain biopsy: It was a cyst. I wasn’t expecting a tumor. I simply wanted answers. Within 2 weeks of the surgery, it became apparent that the cognitive dulling was still there. I soon found a Chinese doctor who makes herbal teas. The teas- along with 3,600 mg of Omega Fish Oil- did the trick. Naturally, I cannot remember the timeline for this scenario, but I do know that Wellbutrin was at the heart of it, and that at some point, I started taking Lamictal and then stopped. Well, I’m on again, & it’s subtle & scary. A few months ago, I reapproached the neurologist; he performed an MRI with dye. When that turned up nothing, he refused to order an fMRI. My psychiatrist, not from the same practice, said that he, too, felt it was unnecessary. (Unfortunately, I stupidly stopped taking the Omega Fish Oil some time ago. So, now it’s back to square one in that respect.) I never wanted to go up to 150 mg, but it’s necessary. Because I refuse to try Wellbutrin again, there are few options. Also, I can’t afford to be a guinea pig as I navigate the classroom. Bottom line: I am at my steadiest career-wise. Cold turkey is out of the question. I know that, from the outside looking in – particularly if providers & “normal” folks are doing the looking – I may come across as having delusions grandeur or as confusing a “calm” mind with a “dull” one. Many people think that “stability” is worth any cost: They don’t have to live with the consequences of ballooning to 300 pounds. I recently learned that a colleague’s doctor is a famous surgeon, so I emailed her in hopes that I might get a meeting with him or a referral to someone phenomenal. (That’s actually how I found this site. I was just refreshing my memory on the whole Lamictal-cognitive dulling connection.) If you have any feedback or suggestions about anything, including what to say to her, that would be helpful. Although we are colleagues, we have virtually no interaction. She’s a brilliant, impatient, & garrulous woman. If, by some miracle, she doesn’t think I’m completely intrusive, I have to word my request cautiously & briefly, without saying anything too damning. As someone with a “non-specified mood disorder” & AD/HD, when I deal with medical professionals, I am aware that my background makes me an “unreliable historian.” Can’t afford to be perceived as one at work, too. Sorry for the long post! (p.s. I’ll look into the SENTRA AM.) Thanks!

    1. Im interested in the fact that you did go to a Chinese Dr. I have been doing a lot of research on chinese meds for coming off psychopharmaceuticals …. there is a new finding you might want to discuss with a chinese herbalist even tho its for parkinson’s there is much research which connects area of brain with mood disorders/depression/etc. Chinese medicine offers new Parkinson’s treatments

      I would also seriously consider Ivengar Yoga and Reiki healing meditations ….get those Omegas going big time and ask dr about research findings and trials re the role of glia as well as transcranial stimulation.

      Unreliable historians. HA! Keep posted. Keep that mind busy busy busy ….

  6. Hello: I double-checked & BJ Wang is an herbalist, but I can’t confirm that he’s an MD. Most important, of course, is that he’s so effective. FYI, his site is: I’ll share the Parkinson’s-herb research with BJ & the psych. RE: Yoga – I’ve been putting it off for various reasons; one of which, ironically, is that I’m extremely inflexible, so it’s uncomfortable. (Just had my 3rd ACL surgery.) But, I’m ready to let yoga win. Clinical trials: Brilliant! Re: Omegas -After the brain surgery, I worked with an MD who was willing to listen to my Omega findings & do some research of her own: 3,600 was the ‘dose’ she was most comfortable with. What’s your sense of that? Lastly, someone told me about Tom Tam who does Tong Ren vibrational healing. He holds free Sunday sessions: I went once b/f my knee surgery & he said the problem was not the ACL, it was something else. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make out his words. Hope to go back in the next couple of weeks. Look forward to keeping abreast of your findings, & hope I’ve managed to share something useful. Thanks again.

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