It is generally recognized in antipsychiatry circles that antidepressant drugs induce manic or hypomanic episodes in some of the individuals who take them. Psychiatry’s usual response to this is to assert that the individual must have had an underlying latent bipolar disorder that has “emerged” in response to the improvement in mood.
The problem with such a notion is that it is fundamentally unverifiable. Psychiatry defines “bipolar disorder” by the presence of certain behaviors and feelings. If a person meets these criteria, he/she is said to have bipolar disorder. What immediately needs to be noted is that bipolar disorder, in common with psychiatry’s other “disorders” has no explanatory value. To illustrate this, consider the following hypothetical conversation.
Parent: Why does my son behave in these extreme ways?
Psychiatrists: Because he has bipolar disorder.
Parent: How do you know he has bipolar disorder?
Psychiatrist: Because he behaves in these extreme ways.
The only evidence for the illness is the very behavior that it claims to explain.
As spurious as this is from a logical point of view, the notion of a latent bipolar disorder is even worse.
Why did my son become manic after starting on antidepressant drugs?
Because he had a latent bipolar disorder.
How do you know he had a latent bipolar disorder?
Because he became manic.
What psychiatry is doing here is applying their spurious explanation retrospectively. Before the individual showed any signs of mania, he must have had bipolar disorder because he became manic at a later date. But nobody could ever have verified that hypothesis, because the occurrence of a manic or hypomanic episode is the primary criterion for such a “diagnosis.”
Although the “latent bipolar disorder” is psychiatry’s usual explanation for these episodes, one occasionally encounters acknowledgement that the antidepressant was the primary causative factor, and in practice, the two conflicting theories exist side by side.
- The manic/hypomanic episode was caused by the antidepressant drugs.
- The episode was caused by the underlying latent bipolar disorder.
Theory 2 is more popular in psychiatric practice, and is routinely told to those clients who experience this kind of mood switching. Up till now it has been difficult to challenge theory 2, because it is essentially unassailable. One can’t prove or disprove the existence of something that is inherently latent.
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But recently some evidence has been published that favors theory 1: that the manic/hypomanic episodes stem primarily from the antidepressant drugs. In November 2013, Psychiatric Times published an article by Ross Baldessarini, MD, a Harvard psychiatrist, et al titled ‘Switching’ of Mood From Depression to Mania With Antidepressants.
The article reports on, and discusses the implications of, a meta-analysis conducted by the same authors (Antidepressant-associated mood-switching and transition from unipolar major depression to bipolar disorder: A review, Baldessarini RJ, et al, Journal of Affective Disorders, May 2013). Here’s the opening paragraph of the Psychiatric Times article.
“Bipolar disorder often presents initially with one or more episodes of major depression, and an episode of mania or hypomania may first occur during treatment with an antidepressant, stimulant, or other agent with mood-elevating effects. Such ‘switching’ of mood into mania, a mixed-state, or psychosis can be dangerous. This switching is particularly prevalent among juveniles and young adults exposed to treatment with an antidepressant or stimulant for a depressive, anxiety, or attention disorder. Such pathological shifts of mood and behavior may represent adverse drug actions or a manifestation of undiagnosed bipolar disorder.”
The authors go on to state that they had reviewed available research on two topics: a) antidepressant-associated mood switching; b) changes of diagnosis from unipolar depression to bipolar disorder.
They identified 51 studies involving nearly 100,000 individuals who had been diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) without a history of mania or hypomania, and who had been treated with an antidepressant. They found that mood switching (i.e. to mania or hypomania) occurred in 8.2% of participants within an average of 2.4 years of antidepressant use, or 3.4% per year. (The rate of mood switching was 4.3 times greater among juveniles than among adults.)
The authors also reviewed 12 other studies in which individuals who were initially considered to have unipolar depression (MDD), were assigned a new diagnosis of bipolar disorder because of the occurrence of spontaneous (i.e. no antidepressant associated) mania or hypomania. These switches occurred in 3.3% of the individuals studied within 5.4 years, i.e. 0.6% per year.
So, manic or hypomanic episodes were 5.6 (3.4 ÷ 0.6) times more likely per year for people diagnosed with MDD who were taking antidepressants than for people with the same diagnosis who were not taking these drugs.
The authors’ comments on this difference in the Psychiatric Times article are interesting:
“A particularly intriguing finding was the large apparent excess of antidepressant-associated switching over reported spontaneous diagnostic changes to bipolar disorder. This raises questions about the diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic implications of antidepressant-associated reactions.”
“If the relatively low rates of new bipolar diagnoses are not due to under-reporting, their marked difference from rates of antidepressant-associated mood switching leaves open the possibility that direct pharmacological, mood-elevating actions of antidepressants may be involved in mood switching, in addition to hypothesized “uncovering” or perhaps even “causing” of bipolar disorder. Of particular concern is that these ambiguous possibilities leave specifically uncertain the potential value of long-term treatment with antimanic or putative mood-stabilizing agents.”
In the Journal of Affective Disorders article, they also state:
“An important, unresolved question is of the significance of AD-associated mood-switching. Two plausible possibilities are: [a] responses reflecting the presence of BPD, or [b] a direct pharmacological effect of mood-elevating treatments that may be transient, relatively rapidly reversible, and not followed by a change in diagnosis…The several-fold higher proportion of patients with mood-switches among unipolar MDD patients than the rate of later re-diagnoses of BPD is consistent with the possibility that some AD-associated mood-switches may represent pharmacologic reactions (AD-induced mania). It is also likely that AD-associated risk will be greater than spontaneous mood-elevations regardless of cause. It is important to note that the reported rates of re-diagnosis to BPD may be somewhat overestimated if some cases involve drug-related mood-elevation and not only spontaneous mania–hypomania. That is the ratio of AD-associated mood-elevations to new diagnoses of BPD may actually be even higher than we found.” [Emphasis added]
What the authors are pointing out here is that antidepressants are clearly implicated in the “excess” incidents of mania/hypomania, and they have even raised the question of a direct causal link.
Their brief reference to “diagnostic … implications” isn’t entirely clear, but is, I think, a challenge to the DSM-5 decision to allow these kinds of antidepressant-induced manic episodes to count towards a “diagnosis of bipolar disorder.”
In DSM-IV, incidents of this kind were excluded:
“Note: Manic-like episodes that are clearly caused by somatic antidepressant treatment (e.g., medication, electroconvulsive therapy, light therapy) should not count toward a diagnosis of Bipolar I Disorder.” (p 332) [Emphasis added]
But in DSM-5, this has been changed to:
“Note: A full manic episode that emerges during antidepressant treatment (e.g., medication, electroconvulsive therapy) but persists at a fully syndromal level beyond the physiological effect of that treatment is sufficient evidence for a manic episode and therefore, a bipolar I diagnosis. (p. 124) [Emphasis added]
So under DSM-5, the possibility that the mania was caused by the antidepressant has been eliminated in favor of the popular psychiatric notion that it “emerged” during the antidepressant use, and the manic episode can be adduced to support a “diagnosis of bipolar disorder.” This is psychiatric spin of a very advanced order: eliminating the DSM-IV admission that the drugs have the potential to inflict this kind of damage, while at the same time expanding the concept of bipolar disorder, which is good for business.
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But, here come Dr. Baldessarini et al collating and publishing research, some of which, incidentally, has been around since the late 60’s/early 70’s, clearly establishing a large excess of manic episodes among people taking antidepressant drugs. And, notably, they have taken the additional step of writing up their findings in Psychiatric Times, a medical trade publication written for “psychiatrists and allied mental health professionals who treat mental disorders,” with a circulation of 40,000.
And, perhaps most significant of all, is Dr. Baldessarini et al’s reference to “prognostic and therapeutic implications.”
“Indeed, it is not even proved that drugs considered to be mood-stabilizing are highly protective against antidepressant-associated mood switching, although such protection is widely assumed. Moreover, there is very limited evidence that prolonged antidepressant treatment provides substantial protection against recurrences of bipolar depression and that it might contribute to emotional instability or rapid cycling.”
In other words, in cases where antidepressant-associated manic episodes have occurred, continued use of antidepressants “might contribute” to instability and rapid cycling, i.e., recurrent manic episodes.
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There has been an increasing recognition on this side of the debate that the so-called antidepressant drugs precipitate manic, and even violent, reactions, in some of the individuals who take them. There has even been speculation that use of these products is linked to the much-publicized incidents of murder-suicide in recent years. Brian, at AntiDepAware, has amassed a great deal of anecdotal, but compelling, information on this issue. Joseph Glenmullen, MD, a psychiatrist, has discussed antidepressant-linked mood switching in his book Prozac Backlash (2000). He describes several cases from his practice, including individuals who became floridly psychotic, sometimes with graphically violent themes , after taking SSRI’s.
Psychiatry has resisted suggestions to conduct a definitive study on this matter, relying instead on repeated dogmatic assertions that the “meds” are wholesome and necessary, and that the incidents are the result of “untreated mental illness.”
But the Baldessarini et al study and, incidentally, an earlier Offidani et al study of which Dr. Baldessarini was a co-author, represent a major assault on that notion. Tragically neither article appears to have attracted much attention in the psychiatric field, where antidepressants are still being prescribed routinely as front line “treatment” for depression and various other “disorders,” and no major alert with regards to mood-switching has been issued. I have no inside information on this matter, but it occurs to me that Dr. Baldessarini et al have written the Psychiatric Times piece in an attempt to disrupt this complacency, and to generate some recognition among their colleagues of the enormous implications of antidepressant-induced manic episodes. But perhaps their efforts have been in vain. It is now 14 months since the publication of the Psychiatric Times piece, and 19 months since the original journal article, but no major change in psychiatric prescribing is evident, and psychiatrists are still telling victims of this effect that they must have had an “underlying bipolar disorder,” that the drug has activated. As I’ve said many times, psychiatry does not take kindly to criticism. And this appears to be true even when the criticism is from one of their own.
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Disclaimer: In writing this post I have used terms like “bipolar disorder,” “major depressive disorder,” etc., in order to describe the journal articles being reviewed. This was simply a reflection of the fact that the authors had used these terms, and should not be read as an indication of any endorsement on my part of the validity or usefulness of these terms. Indeed, it is the central tenet of this site that the so-called psychiatric diagnoses have neither explanatory nor predictive validity, and are destructive, disempowering, and stigmatizing.
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This article also appears on Philip Hickey’s website,
Behaviorism and Mental Health
Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.
One of the greatest deficits in psychiatry besides accountability is common sense. Alcohol use precedes hypo-manic behavior in some people and it is generally recognized as the cause. Few folks who get involved in bar fights or domestic disturbances after drinking are labeled as having bipolar disorder since alcohol effects are so well understood by the public.
If mania is going to be claimed to be a result of a chemical imbalance in the brain, it must be assured that the imbalance is not man made (from drugs). Since antidepressants alter the natural balance in the brain, it can be safe to assume that the negative effects are more than mere coincidence. When mania is the result of psychiatric therapy it needs to be acknowledged as such. Failure to do so damages the individual victim of malpractice and makes psychiatry the danger to the public that it is in its current form.
There’s also energy drinks too, ever drank too many of them in a day ? Oh man !
I would like to comment on the topic of energy drinks. Please bear with me while I provide the context for my story. In 2009, after a normal and emotionally well pregnancy I gave birth to my beautiful daughter. She could be categorized as an “aware” baby as she rarely slept and was constantly crying (colicky). She would wake 6-8 times per night between 10pm-6am. I had zero support or help from anyone besides my husband, who traveled 5 days per week. I had good spirits, though. I handled it very well emotionally. However, I felt dizzy all the time and would lose my balance while walking. I sought medical advice for this and my blood/hormone levels were checked. The doctor concluded that even though I felt emotionally/mentally well, I might benefit from an anti-depressant because “lots of new moms benefit from them”. She prescribed 20mg Celexa and I took it for 6 weeks. I puked, couldn’t sleep, and eventually my body adjusted and I just felt numb/ emotionally absent from my life. I was advised to stop taking it. Within the next 3-6 months I fell into a grating depression. I could function but I was irritable and negative. At that point, I sought help from another doctor. This doctor saw my withdrawl symptoms from Celexa and told me to try a different ant-depressant- 20 mg Lexapro. I took that for a few months and then felt a bit too happy and like my mind was taking off on it’s own course, without me. It felt awful, and so I tapered off that drug on my own. Next, I got pregnant and felt really depressed the whole time. After the birth, I once again had a colicky baby who screamed and did not sleep on top of an active 2 year old, a move across the state, and still no help at home. I slept about 2 hours per night, broken of course. No naps, no breaks. Beautiful, perfect yet needy, crying children wrapped around my legs and in my arms. I checked myself into the ER one night when I felt “disconnected from myself”. They put me on Celexa again and sent me home with a follow-up psych appointment. The next doctor looked at my history and said, “you’ve had 3 depressive episodes. I will increase the dose of Lexapro.” I took that as prescribed for 7 months until I felt really agitated, energetic, and out of control (hypo-manic). My doctor then told me that I’d had 3 depressive episodes and 2 hypo-manic episodes within 4 years, therefore, I had bipolar disorder. I explained to him that I never had these symptoms of massive depression or hypo-mania prior to taking SSRI’s. I told him I wanted to get off Lexapro and he agreed. However, he wanted me to switch to Lamictal for mood stabilization. At the same time, weaned my child because I did not want to take Lamictal while breastfeeding. So, all at once I stopped breastfeeding (which in itself can cause depression as hormones rebalance) and I stopped Lexapro. Within 1-2 months, I became suicidal. Writing notes, plotting. I begged my doctor for medicine and he gave me Lamictal. After taking Lamictal for 3 days I felt violent, irritable, truly insane. I then drank an energy drink called Spark by Advocare as recommended (3 scoops per day) and I did this for a few days to help me feel “better”. Within 5 days I was so manic I wrote a 600 page book, proclaimed I had a direct connection to God (as an atheist this was odd), and since I lost the desire for food/water and my ability to feel pain vanished, I literally thought I could do anything I wanted without physical consequence. I was certifiably crazy. And I knew it. I agreed to check into the ER, where the doctor looked at the label of my energy drink and said it was the equivalent of drinking 12 cups of coffee per day, plus the Lamictal. OMG. I spent the next 11 days in inpatient care (what an odd experience). I lost 11 days of life with my children. They looked at my “manic episode” and “history of depression” and gave me the diagnosis of Bipolar 1. I was put on 3 anti-psychotics. Worst experience, ever. I cannot even describe the hell that was my brain. They released me on all these meds and I became violent with my own children (as a peaceful, educated parent I had never laid a hand on my children. I do not believe in punitive discipline and had an emotionally healthy relationship with my kids). I begged for help around the house. I put my kids in childcare. I tried to wean off the meds with the help of my doctor who agreed the types and doses of meds I had been put on were all wrong. In the meantime, I got to experience “stigma” from family/friends. I had to grapple with this diagnosis– that I still feel was CAUSED BY SSRI’s AND ENERGY DRINKS. Since finding this blog I feel huge relief. I am not crazy. I have hope again. Thank you!
I wanted to add I am currently taking 75mg of Lamictal and feel irritable, chronically tired, mentally stunted, numb (unable to genuinely, spontaneously tell a joke or laugh), and I’ve gained 15 lbs. I’ve never had a weight problem and work out 6 days per week (30 minutes cardio, 30 minutes weights). I cannot lose the weight. I absolutely want to get off this drug, but my current doctor believes that my hypomanic esisodes that happened while ON Lexapro were caused by “underlying bipolar”. I do not believe I can trust him to help me off. Additionally, on several occasion since declaring myself “God” I have assured him I am not religious and have returned to my non-manic, atheist self. To which he responded, “Now, you and I both know you don’t believe that.” He believes that if I am “saved” then I will be healed of bipolar. It’s nuts. I feel like I’m trapped in Disneyland except I’m the only one who knows the characters are not real!
You’re so not the only one! The trajectory of your story is unfortunately very common, with negative reactions to SSRIs being labeled as “bipolar,” resulting in more drugs and worse reactions until everything spirals out of control. But many of us were able to stop that cycle and find our way out — I hope that you can too.
How can I safely get off 75m lamictal? And more importantly, how am I going to “convince” those around me who think I’m mentally ill, that I’m in fact, NOT? At this point, I feel like my psychiatrist, spouse, and close friends view me with bias as a “patient”. Yet, it will be hard to fully recover without their support. Has anyone been though that aspect– healing the relationships?
It is hard repairing our real life relationships, that the psychiatric industry destroys, with their stigmatizations / defamation. I would recommend asking your family to read Whitaker’s books, and / or Breggin’s books, since these expose the psychiatric industry’s fraud and toxic drug effects quite well.
As to getting off the Lamictal, which is a supposed “mood stabilizer,” actually an “anti-epileptic medication, also called an anticonvulsant.” Hopefully you can convince your doctor to wean you off it safely. The last drug I was on, after my antidepressant / “safe smoking cessation med” induced “bipolar,” was lithium, also a “mood stabilizer.”
I may not have been weaned off the lithium appropriately, because my doctor at the time wasn’t interested in participating in the appalling child abuse cover up with iatrogenic malpractice fest I came in to him dealing with – it was actually much worse than yours. So this doctor just stopped prescribing the “mood stabilizer.”
I did end up suffering from what’s known as a super sensitivity manic psychosis about six months later. So I absolutely recommend you warn your family about this possibility. And the worst thing that your family can do is hospitalize you, because you’ll just be defamed as bipolar and massively drugged again.
I recommend you look up a website called bipolar or waking up. The guy who writes that blog, from my understanding, provides services to help people who’ve gone through possible spiritual emergencies that resulted in bipolar diagnoses. And supposedly provides “loving” help for people as they go through what is now largely recognized, except by the hospitals, as drug withdrawal induced “super sensitivity manic psychosis.
I’m not saying you will definitely run into this type of withdrawal effect, but just that it is a possibility that you and your family should be made aware. But the reality is you can heal and get away from the defamatory and disempowering psychiatric system. My best to you.
I went though a lot of the same feelings as you but somehow managed to avoid the bi-polar label…by either good luck or the fact that my difficulties came to a head years after I began ‘treatment” so that put the psych doc in the uncomfortable position of having to admit missing a “diagnosis.”
I fired the p-doc and spent hell weaning myself off of all the garbage they’d had me on for years.
You are not alone! Stick around, things will get better.
I have a very similar story; the 2 kids and no sleep for years in particular.
I have not healed the relationships. Pretty much on my own now but drug free and a handful of really good friends.
We ought to start a club.
Thank you all so much for your support. It means the world to me. I asked my husband to read about anti-depressant induced bi-polar and he is COMPLETELY on board with me getting off lamictal and lexapro. He agrees that this is EXACTLY what happened to me! We both agree I need to find a new psychiatrist who can advise/monitor symptoms as I taper off so if anyone has recommendations in the CLEVELAND, OHIO area please let me know. We are going to hire house help, babysitters, and put together a workout plan/down time plan for both of us. He is 100% on board with making this investment my future (and thus, the future of our family and children). I am not alone. I have hope. I am terrified of the withdrawl side effects but hopefully I’ll have a strong enough safety net to catch me and keep our family functioning for a while. I am so encouraged– thank you for the responses!
LoveLife that’s so great that your husband is supporting you in your decision! One resource I would recommend is this guidebook you can download, it’s helped many people get started in their journey to come off psychiatry drugs: http://willhall.net/comingoffmeds/
The resources page of this website list this doctor in Ohio:
Accepts Insurance: No
Address: 3610 West Market Street, #102
Type of support offered: prescribing/tapering, supplements, mindfulness based psychotherapy, mind-body skills
Fairlawn is near Akron, which is not too far from Cleveland.
I do not personally know this doctor, but she claims she will taper drugs.
And I relocated to northeast Ohio not too long ago. So if you’d like to get together and talk, or would like my assistance, I’d be happy to help you.
Hey Lovelife, that is indeed an awful and sadly all too common story. A seemingly innocuous prescription of an antidepressant turns into a merry go round of SSRIs, mood stabilzers, benzos and antipsychotics with a bevy of ever increasingly severe psychiatric labels. It is wonderful that your family is on board with creating a safe space to taper off the mood stabilizers. As a therapist I am often confronted by people who want to taper off but their family is not on board and that makes it far more challenging. The only suggestion I would have is to go slow. Some docs want to taper folks off far too quickly and there is much evidence that a slow taper is the best bet. I also would suggest trying to optimize your diet with lots of whole foods and reduce stimulants such as caffeine and sugar as they can make the taper much harder. Even though you are tapering off mood stabilizers, http://www.survivingantidepressants.org is a good resource and support forum for tapering. Good thoughts sent your way…
Thank you all so much. I just made an appointment with Dr. Skillicorn. I feel very fortunate to have found this page, and the advice of people who have experienced similar stories.
Lexapro cause mania? 10yrs ago went through hell with my wife. No history of drugs or mental illness – zero. MD gave sleeping aid, then stronger, then SSRI. Six months later completely crazy, paranoid w/all manic signs. Tried suicide twice. Went to mental hospital. Three shrinks diagnose Bi-Polar. Mania went on for 5 months straight. File for divorce, affairs, non-stop talking, shopping, arguing, etc-all signs of mania. Mentioned to the shrink that I read in the American Psyc Journal that SSRI induced mania is not Bi-Polar? He laughed at me, continued her on SSRI and said that was impossible. Finally talked her into getting off Lexapro. THREE WEEKS LATER she was 100% back to normal. True story. Simple as that. That was over 10 years ago and ZERO signs of any mania or depression since she ended the SSRI. She recalls the episodes as uncontrollable behavior and some of them she cannot recall. These drugs can be very very dangerous, scary.
The funniest critique of such reasoning may be found here:
Has a psychiatrist had to get up in a court of law and defence this offence against reason?
As I have written to other such opinion pieces:mental pain/distress causes both a diminished quality of life, and potentially death in cases of suicide.
As a research psychiatrist for 25 years I feel it is reasonable to state that all opinions of all treatments are profoundly flawed, and biased by one for or another by ideologies.
As Claude Bernard stated almost exactly 200 years ago:with no model of a disorder, there can be no logical nor scientific method for treatment.
Bitterness towards medication use impales those whose life it saved and enthusiasm for psychotherapy does a disservice to those lives it potentially wasted.In the spirit of Bernard-the obverse can be suggested as well.
Blogs are for ideologues.Time might be better spent understanding a model for these problems, and thus a logical approach to treating them.
The lack of a model for these problems is, indeed a huge issue. But perhaps more concerning is that the definitions of these “disorders” get in the way of developing such models, because it is assumed that everyone meeting the criteria for “bipolar disorder” has the same problem and requires the same solution. So not only do we not have a working model, we have a confusing, non-working model that is purported to work, and all research is filtered through these warped lenses. I only wish Psychiatry as an institution were interested in finding a logical model for understanding “mental illness” differently, but it’s clear that this is not going to happen within the field, as they are married to their warped “chemical imbalance” model, regardless of evidence to the contrary, and even a REAL iatrogenic chemical imbalance (like that caused by antidepressants resulting in a manic episode for some users) is still dismissed as irrelevant and forced to fit into the pre-existing paradigm.
“Time might be better spent finding a model for these problems, and thus a logical approach to treating them.” It strikes me that’s the flaw in psychiatry’s DSM5 that Philip is pointing out, theloniusmonk. The fact that the DSM-IV was wise enough to point out that ADRs of antidepressants was not an acceptable rational for proof of a “life long, incurable, genetic” “bipolar” diagnosis, but the DSM5 is not so insightful, is a troubling trend for psychiatry.
And absolutely, finding a new model, one that doesn’t merely claim that the now known ADRs and withdrawal symptoms of the psychiatric drugs themselves are proof of “lifelong, incurable, genetic” “mental illnesses” is where the “mental health” industry should go. But, “The rooster crows immediately before sunrise, therefore the rooster causes the sun to rise,” is psychiatry’s current theology, and a stupid and unacceptable one.
And I personally am your proof of the stupidity of the DSM5’s current theology. I’m someone who had no prior personal or family history of mental health issues, including no depression, documented in medical records. I had the now (and in 2001 well marketed to doctors as the “happy, horny, skinny drug”) well known effects and withdrawal effects of Wellbutrin (odd dreams, weight loss, increased libeto, and “brain zaps”) misdiagnosed as the “life long, incurable, genetic” “”bipolar mania.” I had been misinformed that this drug was a “safe smoking cessation med,” this was why I was supposedly was put on the drug. And the odd effects I had misdiagnosed as “mania,” are not actually “mania,” even according to the DSM-IV-TR definition itself. So, the etiology of my “bipolar” was a desire to quit smoking – is “bipolar” actually a worsening of that initial desire / “disease”? Of course not.
But, as Robert Whitaker’s book points out, over a million innocent children were misdiagnosed as “bipolar,” via this (and the ADHD drug) same iatrogenic pathway. This is psychiatric malpractice and harm on an almost unfathomable scale. The APA should be ashamed of themselves.
The bottom line reality is, the psychiatric industry created a “bible” of stigmatizations describing the ADRs and withdrawal symptoms created by their own drugs.
So, we should not discuss research suggesting that antidepressants induce mania, and the implications of this effect on misdiagnosis and mistreatment, because in your opinion, “Time might be better spent understanding a model for these problems, and thus a logical approach to treating them.” As a researcher, you are perhaps familiar with the tenet that open, critical discourse is the essence of science. Dr. Hickey’s blog described peer-reviewed scientific findings with obviously important implications for mental health research and practice. Theories and practices that do not survive rigorous empirical scrutiny deserve vigorous rebuke, especially when they have the potential to do harm. The opposite approach, antithetical to the spirit of science, is to discourage vigorous analysis of scientific evidence. Despite pulling rank as a “research psychiatrist,” your credibility on this site is diminished by your repeated attempts to discourage critical analysis, even when it is focused squarely on reputable scientific findings.
“All opinions of all treatments are profoundly flawed” sounds like ideology to me.
“Bitterness towards medication use impales those whose life it saved?”
No, it doesn’t. Bitterness in people disabled or impoverished by psychotropics, and suffering hellishly for months or years, does not prevent others from going on pills if they want to.
The warnings are inadequate, and the drugs cause permanent mood, cognitive, and bodily symptoms. The mood problems are not depression. People describe them as a mix of terror, despair, and dread. They also say there are no adequate words. Can last for years.
It is science-denying to declare that ADs cause no dependency and no life-wrecking iatrogenic mania. The people who go through hell with these grossly aversive and disabling outcomes have science deniers in academia to thank. The denialism is taught to future clinicians.
Make a study of it.
After going thru 10 years of hell ,my wife divorced me and ran off with another man after we moved to miami .I got drunk and tried to commit suicide in a desperate drug depressed induced mania .I ended up almost dead and in the psych ward totally depressed and also being catholic embarased of what i did.I was sent to a local psychiatrist and prescribed several regular antidepressents and got not only depressed but terrible manic .I would tack lexapro and wallibutrin and also effoxor .I never took any antidepressents before! My mania got worst till a couldnt sleep ,eat or watch tv.My doctor sent me to another more quailified doctor in miami where he said i was bipolar and needed to take lithium right away before i ended up dead .I gladdly took the medication because i was going crazy and under real pressure from my wife in the divorce .I took 2 or 3 pills and started to feel less aniety , then i took my 3rd or 4th dose and went into a suicide /homosidal trance.I have always been very considerate of life and never ..even under extreme distress thought of seriously hurting someone .But now i found myself loading my shotgun and logically in my mind at the time killing people who had hurt me or betrayed me .I luckily for me had a deep catholic and morale backgroung from my parents !I threw the medication down the tiolet and got into my truck and drove off, ruining my divorce case and future life and went to a cheap motel 6 and basically barricaded myself in.I was getting parinoid(i was previously baker acted) that the police or my wife …who was planning against me …where coming for me .Anyway after several days of depression and actually overdosing on the pills besides lithium i was giving …which after taking with whisky i went and threw them up.I called my wife up and told her i left the house for good and she had a fit! After all we had pets and lots odf assets i left without locking the door .Anyways along as she got me to sign over the deed to the house and power of attorney ..she took me to a 6 month behavioral program called headstart in broward county.I knew i had lost the last 20 years of my life savings but if i was dead what difference did it make .This lock down clinic was for mainly crack heads , rapist , alchohol and most where there for court order programs .Anyways i stayed there for 7 months and never got better , i saw a doctor once a month and was basical told by the only nurse in the program what to say ..it was like one flew over the cookuo nest.After 7 months i was on depokot, seroquel , adivan,and another drug or two.
I was no better when i left and told them so , but the money for the prograM WAS UP.
I combined with another psych nurse who i meet at a hospital and lived with her .If i was healthy i never would have talked to her let alone live with her..but i was in survival mode.I had deep deep depresion alone with now deep aniety and mania .I felt like my skin was burning and my aniexty lead me to be scared to go out of the house!My girlfreind for my birthday gave me a wwekend at a local casino..i had never been in one before .At first i was like a lockin..i was afraid of all the people and noise! Then slowly we started gambling and drinking ..i started to relax and feel better.Then to make a long story short i became a compulsive gambler and drinker.I was at the casino ever day , i went thu 100,000s of dollars and pawned every precious thing i owned …it acted like the cocaine and drugs i was told to users .I went into debt..before i never even missed a payment and usually payed cash .So i found myself dead broke and in huge debt.I was going monthly to miami behavorial center and told my doctor .He said no problem ..ill right you a note for your bankruptcy judge because one of the sideeffects of antideppressents is gambling!Great tell me know!Anyways my girlfreind overdosed and was told she would not live ..she also was on antideppresents ……i after a year or two went off the drugs and became basically functional….non suicidal and working well ….So i was almost the combine killer because of lithium ..great..then i loose everthing ..then i do things i normally wouldnt .I after 2 years of no medicines at all lived a Somewhat normal life then my company went into bankruptcy and i slowly a year and a half started having panic attacks ..this led me to a doctor who prescribed zanax ,zoloft ,and trazadone .I tworked for a couple months ..then i kept increasing my dosages until it had no effect at all..i was not sleeping for days and had that aniexty attack non stop…i had lost it again and to make stories short went to hire a person to kill me while i could .I almost got it done but my BUDDY drove me to my hometown and after taking 5,000 dollars and my car dropped me off at the local emergency room.My wife had been 2 weeks in this pshych ward yeaes before from a TBI and i new the one doctor .Nothing helped and i was there 2 months until they gave me klonopin…This helped and i was released only to learn they wouldnt give me klonopin outside of the hospital .Great ,get me out of the hospital and then cut me off ..what ever happeded to do no harm.I had several football concussions and think this is where alot of my deppression comes from..i had compalined in highschool and laughed at.Anyway i asked for shock treatment which they said because of my previuos head injury it would be to dangerous ..yet when my 26 year old wife with a TBI years before they reccomended shocktreatment which i said no to .So the phsyciatric doctors say one thing one day and a complete opposite the next .they have no clue except to give out serontonin uptake drugs and call people bi-polar with no medical facts…its like the old days of lobotmys.I agree with this doctor ..i not only became suicidale with these drugs but homocidal which i never felt before.Once you have been labelled bi-polar your treated or i have been like your a lepper …i could tell you unbeilevable stories…I am sorry for going on ..but i feel like i am dieing a death of a thousand cuts .
Thanks for reading and missspelling
Don’t worry about the misspelled words.
I just appreciate you telling your story. It probably doesn’t help right now to know this, but you are not alone in all this. What you’ve described has happened to countless others who have trusted the psychiatrists and the drug companies and decided to take the toxic drugs given to them. You can wean yourself off these damned drugs but it will take a long time and you have to be very careful. There are sites on the internet that can help you do this. You can do something about this and you can turn things around. It sounds like you could use someone to listen to you on a consistent basis. Perhaps you have a good friend that you could confide in about what’s going on with you.
I know it’s easy for me to say this right now, but don’t give up hope and don’t give in, and keep fighting. You can make it through all the difficulties that you find yourself in. Just don’t give up. You won’t ever meet any of us but just know that countless others who’ve gone through what you have support you in spirit. Hang in there.
Thankyou steve ,
As i was in broward countyStart program i was on suicide watch several times .I was one of roughly 50 men and woman ..mostly with drug problems or psychizophrenia .Non of them where suicidal…the addicts where just tring to get pharma drugs to replace there street drugs and the others just would go in and out of psychosis and usely violent behavior..they would eventually be hallodalled to drewling.Non of the drugs worked very well ..they just kept me sleepy to calm my mania.
But there where very few people who worked there who took the patients seriously.The nondoctors tried to get sex from the prostitutes..the ones getting there nurse degree where regularly tring to get the people that caused them grief in jail by setting them off.It happened a few times , and when the person attacking tells the cops what happened ..well hes a mental case isnt he ..what B.S.
The med nurse used her power like nurse rachet …she would tell you what exactly to tell the med doctor what to say …he came once a month and when i wouldnt go along with her i was punished with the few privilidges i had.The doctor talked to me like i was just under extreme mental stress and said i had depression and PTSS and he said the ones who are disllusional wont kill themselves if they find god ..the so called jesus freaks.So they wherent there to really help just get payed and status quo.Most bithched more about there low pay than there concerns of patients.
While i was there i warned the staff about an ex military patient who was getting more and more psychotic and had threatened to kill me . they said yea yeawe will keep an eye on him ..shit we slept 7 to a room that had a closed door at night ! well anyway i woke up with him pounding on top of me and going nuts .Since my depression i refuse to be violent and just got up with blood on my face and went to the front desk ..they where like do you want to press charges and get the police ..i said no..it wont help him and why didnt the noncrazys due something about it for a week i had warned them..Well when the morning crew arrived they brought me into a little conference and basically said press charges or shut up.How well was this person due in jail with his problems ..not well i think.
Then i developed a very infected knee from a deadly florida spider bite and the nurse let me go for 2 weeks before somebody was concerned and brought in a real medical nurse …she said i had to go to the hospital right away and was taken latter that day.
I was with one of the program watchers and the doctor said i have to ask if you been hurt or seen abuse at the facility..i said both .and the doctor looked at the Watcher and talked to him where i couldnt hear him and that was the end of that.
So even the emergency room doctors ..the first line of defense ..dont care about or believe menatal patients ..whats the point of state regulations if they dont follow them..its like coming raped and saying so and then thay dont do a rape kit and send you home with valium!
They where afraid of me because i was a volunteer patient and had no criminal charges against me ..the ones who did where to easily dissmissed or put in jail or kicked out of the program.
Anyways i had one nice counsler who herself had been thru alot ..the other older female head counsler would just classify you and not hear a thing you where saying ..because you all are liars and repeat offenders so you dont know what your talking about.
My wife who had changed after her TBI accident started acting really narcistic and pathological after she got into the clubbing drugs.I laugh because the new 30 year cure for bipolar is manufactured street rave drugs.Its like telling a person that cant sleep to become an alcoholic .How stupid and are these people sincere or greedy?
Anyway i was to empathetic to my wife and became an enabler i now realise.But as long as se had plenty of money and sex appeal she could get anything LEGALLY let alone illegally in miami….power and money corrupts in all fields ..doctors are not gods..if anything my lawyer told me pretrial as my wifes doctors started going on vacation or whatever to avoid testifing that if you think lawyers are bad ..you should hear what the doctors lies about and did when he represented them….another story..
Well here i am 10 years latter 500,000 dollars latter and multiple doctors and medicines and diagnosis.Last march i satarted getting really sick and new i was dying..i now live with my 10 year older brother who considers me and tells me so what a burden i am to him..Anyway i got really sick .couldnt walk , sleep , eat , migraines and muslce pain all over my body. I just kept telling my brother to dont call the hospital or doctors ..this fight went alone for over a week .Then i lost consciousness and found myself in the emergency room at the local hospital..i was emitted with meningitious and in critical condition.I was in ICU for 2 or 3 days where i saw 3 psychiatrist doctors and one nuerologist.I knew i was dying and thought this would be an honor way to go .So after 5 lumbar punctures and loss of much of my vision…inability to walk ..vomiting loss of hearing and xrays of some type of gray area in the back of my head on c-scan etc .oh i local vision center came bye and looked at me and said i had rental bleeding and compression on my eyes etc ….the doctors and nurses ignored me becaue a had Klonopin and past suicidale thoughts.So the original doctors who where nice had to leave for rotation .i got sent out of the icu to level 4 the gyn. dept.The foreign doctor did not know of my record and said i was a liar and fake !!!!i was crazy she actually told me and my brother OMG who sicker the actual one with actual life threatning diseases or the foreign doctor bitch and her hack nurse telling me i was a liar and ignore my REAL Injuries .Wonder why i want to die ! TO many people in our regular health system are in it for the wrong reasons
So i had to go to a rehab center that basically was a holding area for old and bed ridden patients who where warehoused .I threw my wheel chair out and got in trouble for bathing on my own..you are allowed only one shower a week even when we had daily heavy rehab.
I was next to a poor bed ridden elderly blackman who was feed by a machine and shit and peed in his panse.His feeding alarm would go off ataround 12 am everynight and no one could turn it off because they had only one nurse for a 6 or 7 floor nursingcare home ! Forget the medicines where routinely given out wrong if sometimes at night not at all .but how couls i sleep when they wouldnt give me any hard sleeping drugs and the alarm is blasting at a jet deciple loudness . At least i found out i was 90% deaf in my right ear .So anyways i got up ..i was the only one and bithched about everybodys treatment .needless to say a 3 month rehab turned into a 4 week no test me stay!!i was glad to get out of there ..10 months latter i still havent seen a hearing doctor etc just like those poor V.A. patients.Money talks and mental patients go thru hell.I understand that no one who has had mental illness can actually feel the pain..you can certainly emphasis or try to help..thankyou .but unless your mind doesnt fuction basiclly normal…you cant actually feel or understand the pain….it is just the opposite ..many people act towards me and other mentally ill patients like we are nonhumans in many fields.Its like when people got aids in the early 80s…they think you deserve it and they are also afraid or not really concerned about us .Where just crazy..Anyways thanks for caring and tring to make your field better instead of the madness treating madness .
Actually, I am a former patient. I was held for two and a half months in the same hospital where I now work because I tried to kill myself a number of times. I’ve never experienced mania or psychosis but have been in the system and have had my life pretty well ruined because I believed all the crap about the so-called “antidepressants” which are nothing more than toxic drugs that make you into an emotional zombie.
You’re absolutely correct when you say that I don’t really know what you’re feeling; every person’s pain is unique and individual. However, I do know generally what you’ve described here. It’s experiences like yours that’s driven me to go back into the system, to try and walk with those who are not as lucky as I’ve been. A former marine told me that the first rule of the battlefield is never leave your wounded behind. This is why I’m here and this is why I do care about what’s happened and is happening to you. I can’t do anything about it but I can let you know that someone out there does care. My roommate has had many of the same types of experiences and dealings with the system that you have and it has just about destroyed him. I’ve walked with him for almost six years now and slowly but surely he’s beginning to get his life back and move forward again. There is hope that we can make things better for all of us; it’s just going to take some time and some very hard work to destroy the system that makes people mad, rather than helping people find healing and well being. I don’t tell people what to do but in this case I will tell you to never give up hope. There is life beyond all of this crazy stuff.
Yes, Somebodyhelp, psychiatric “care” is torture (even the UN now states such, it’s a shame the religions haven’t yet, however). I, too, am very sorry you were sucked in, betrayed, defamed, tortured, and lost your life savings. But Stephen is right, you can wean off the drugs and recover, have hope. My prayers are with you, too.
Thank you for telling your story. I too had horrific manic episodes while on psych drugs and when I reported them to my “doctor” he laughed at me. That’s what they do to preserve their easy income, by misleading and outright lying to patients.
I hope the future is brighter for you. Knowledge is power, read up on the works of Dr. Peter Breggin for more understanding of how the drugs you were given affected your brain and how to wean yourself off of them. Keep posting here. Good luck
I’m truly sorry to hear of your plight.
I appreciate the discussion of different concerns about medication for mental health disorders. It is true that medication has not yet proven to be the perfect form of treatment, largely because medical science does not fully understand the mechanisms of mood disorders. Yet I would like to offer my own evidence for the life-saving and critical importance of a correct diagnosis and effective treatment. I am the wife of a husband suffering for many years from depression, and a teenage daughter newly suffering from bipolar disorder. Both of my family members would be dead today without medication. They have both experienced psychosis and suicidality, and those symptoms occurred in the absence of effective medication. For my daughter, who experienced manic episodes prior to her diagnosis, she suffered from recurring cycles of depression even when the manias were stabilized with lithium. The doctor in the teaching hospital put her on an anti-depressant which induced a psychotic mania. It took multiple ER visits and two more inpatient stays before she finally found the right medication combination that stabilized both the manias and the depressions: lithium plus welbutrin. I thank her day treatment doctor with that drug combination because it not only saved her life, but has brought her back from the madness that she experienced without adequate treatment. I would like to add here that before I contacted a psychiatrist for diagnosis and treatment, I tried multiple alternative treatment routes that failed, including biofeedback, psycho-therapy, and nutrition (i.e. fish oil). None of the alternative therapies worked, and it was only with correct diagnosis and medication that my daughter is stable and doing well. My husband has had a different course of treatment: he has suffered from depression for decades, and for most of those years he was able to function very well both in school and at work. Sadly, he now is experiencing a partial treatment resistance, which means that even with various treatment and medication combinations, he has only stabilized to a certain extent. However, I am 100% certain that without the medication at all he plunges into a psychotic, suicidal depression, and I remain grateful that the medication helps to keep him from those depths of despair, even if he is not fully back to himself. I can speak with absolute certainly because I saw what happened on multiple occasions when he was not on effective treatment. I will never forget the day he told me that I would never forget his date of death because it was going to be on pi day, i.e. 3/14 (he was a math teacher for many years and used to hold “pi day” programs for the students at his school). That is only one of many stories I could tell about the critical importance of correct diagnosis and treatment. There is no doubt in my mind that mental health disorders are medical conditions like diabetes or cancer. The reason for the diagnosis is not to stigmatize but to ensure effective treatment. Medical science is turning up new data every day about the mechanisms in the brain that cause depression and bipolar disorder, although so much more research still needs to be done. I hope that we can have ongoing dialogue that will help those who suffer from these difficult disorders so that they do not end up in tragedy.
You must understand that many of the people who post here (myself included) are recovering from the abuses of the psychiatric system, which included horrific experiences while medicated. You may want to think about that when posting. This is not to knock or degrade your experiences. I just think you should be aware of where you are and to whom you are speaking. Thank you.
All i’ll say is when I read stuff like this is i’m very skeptical. The way you write is indicative of someone that believes in psychiatry, and the important word there is believe.
The labels stigmatize regardless of what you think their purpose is, they were created by proponents of psychiatry.
Whatever is going on with your daughter I think that it’s possible for her to live her life without dangerous levels of lithium in her bloodstream and your husband, well what is depression really ? How much of it is a construct ? Is half the problem belief in its existence as brain disease ?
It is very important to know that the so-called “medicines” used to “treat” what you call depression are often responsible for causing the very thing that they supposedly treat. So, your husband may be experiencing what you’ve described here due to the drugs that he’s taking to treat his “depression”. It’s also important to know that the so-called “antidepressants” do not work any better than a placebo. So, taking sugar pills will often give the same results as giving these SSRI’s. SSRI’s cause not only mania, they can cause suicidal and homicidal feelings. Perhaps your husband is also suffering these effects from the toxic drugs. I’m not trying to minimize your husband’s suffering but it’s important to know what these drugs do and don’t do. They are not beneficial like the public has been led to believe.
This is not heresay, it is backed up by good, scientific studies, not studies done by the drug companies who manufacture these toxic drugs. They don’t care how many lives they destroy as long as the money keeps coming in because people believe the lies they put out.
Thanks for coming in. You are, of course, entitled to believe whatever you choose, but you should probably be aware that most senior psychiatrists today acknowledge that “mental disorders” are not medical conditions like diabetes and cancer.
Can you elaborate (new reader here)? I have been told that my “mental illness” is exactly like diabetes or cancer. I have been told I will need medication the rest of my life to manage it.
You’re psychiatrists are lying to you, based on the actual medical evidence – and my opinion is based upon researching the medical, psychiatric, and pharmaceutical industries for ten years now.
Please forgive me for being the one to have to tell you that our current medical / psychiatric community is not trustworthy or ethical – it’s all about the money. I used to think doctors were trustworthy and ethical, too. I was wrong.
That’s what they tell you to keep you compliant (obedient). There are no blood tests, scans or any other medical test that nails down “mental illness.”
I was told the same thing about medication for life..even got the same diabetes spiel. But unlike depression, there is a medical test for diabetes.
Think about it.
Thank you Philip for another great article. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to you for continuing to point out the false reasonings and blatant evasions of psychiatry. Maybe psychiatrists get away with this stuff partly because they make it a rule NEVER to listen to patients.
I would like to add a related note to commenter rsrcrw, who seems to be the voice of her husband and teenage daughter here, firmly committed to THEIR psychiatric treatment. Perhaps, rsrcrw, you just prefer other family members who are too drugged to challenge you at all.
Yes. Psychiatry is a great disrespecter of people.
As various combos of psychiatric drugs were added my diagnoses changed. Now as I look back, drug free, I realize the sham of it. I had no idea how my behavior was altered due to these drugs and I was increasing ill with toxic side effects. Every time I told the psychiatrist this he said he’d never heard of it before and said it was only me becoming more mentally ill. If you’re told over and over by a psychiatrist you’re permanently damaged you start to believe it and I did. It was a profoundly sick relationship. How any prescribing psychiatrist could not see that is so wrong.
After years of being drug free I have never had one physician say I was depressed or needed psychiatric drugs. The bad part is it’s still happening. Keep on putting these types of articles out there.
“Now as I look back, drug free, I realize the sham of it. I had no idea how my behavior was altered due to these drugs and I was increasing ill with toxic side effects. Every time I told the psychiatrist this he said he’d never heard of it before and said it was only me becoming more mentally ill. If you’re told over and over by [all your doctors] you’re permanently damaged you start to believe it … It was a profoundly sick relationship.”
That’s largely what happened to me. The psychiatrists apparently sit around lying incessantly to patient after patients, day after day, claiming their drugs could never cause the symptoms that started after being put on one of their drugs, as they create worse and worse iatrogenic illnesses in the patient. It is a profoundly sick industry.
“The bad part is it’s still happening. Keep on putting these types of articles out there”.
I meant to say
If you had a head ache and they said it might take 2 months for the asprin to build up in your system to lessen your headache you would laugh.Cause and effect lol if it takes youe 2 months to might feel better or maybe in 2 months your headache will go away sometime by itself!
Why would we think a acute disease is slowly countered by a drug that would show signs of possible in a scale of 1 to 10 …thats the way they expect mental patients to speak to them ,,,in numerolgy not in scriptology lol.
They ..the doctors want you to explain in numbers things they dont either care or understand in english .But they can write down patient A wemt from a level 2 to a level 3 in his mania ….what the hell does that mean in a REAL doctor scientific analysis .
Take 3 depressents and call me in 2 months …oh and if you start to think about suicide call 911 lol
Once your there they treat you like shit and some even say things like if you where going to Really kill yourself you already would HAVE OMG i should have died 3 times already..how can a caregiver say something like i sare you to a suicidal patient…i have found more sadistic crazy fools on the other side of the sickness.I think in 100 years they will look upon modern psychology like they looked upon blood letting in the old ages .barbaric .I have gained 100 lbs ,canr sleep ,,,have deep mania ..gambled my life away and have diabitus and cabt enjoy anything enjoyable….boy has 10 years of drugs,hospitals, doctors and being insulted by my own social security system that denies me benefits but gives illegal aliens 10x more….The slaughter of the lambs ….social sites are becoming a giant human psynopsis of borg like humanity and literrally expands virusis not only on the net but the human net,,,,ie ISIS…serial killers etc…why does a greeved or sick mind have to put on social media what antisocial illegal event he is planning on doing like a red badge of honor…are world is getting mentally and psychillay unhealther when it should be getting much better …is this a cause and effect equation or just fate?
Any Comments ….
Imagine being told you had to take aspirin for the rest of your life or your headache would never leave.
Granted, some chronic medical conditions require lifetime medication but psych disorders are not medical diseases.
What a fraud that has been perpetrated on the world by this s0-called “science” of psychiatry.
Dr. Hickey, You are getting it all done here for survivors and anyone who isn’t here yet, too. I really appreciate how forthright and comprehensive it is on your part to bring in the Baldessarini et al. reseach article on its own terms. What an inconvenient truth here on MIA that when we stop to notice the good change or occasional upside in a clinical encounter dominated by psychiatry, it is representative of just a fraction of a percent of the everyday reality. The standard fare is lowdown hi-jinx and the spirit of autocracy amid a constant duplicity when “sympathizing” with patients, actions and pronouncements aimed directly at recruiting advocacy of all types for the benefit of psychiatrists themselves.
Excellent and commendable work. Thank you.
Why is it that organized pseudo science can be forced on the population by officials schooled in that same pseudo science, causing untold damage to millions of people ,and that even when the pseudo science is exposed for what it is, it keeps rolling forward ? Shouldn’t the relentless perpetuation of pseudo science masquerading as doctor ordered treatments be a crime prosecuted under the category of “crimes against humanity”? And if not now When? And if not in courtrooms everywhere where?
Right now, crimes against humanity is the way the world is operating. I don’t think there are enough courtrooms, attorneys, and judges in the world that could handle the caseload, were all of the perpetrators and accomplices to be arrested. It’s why so-called ‘mental illness’ (fear, rage, grief, and despair overload is how I read it) is epidemic at this point.
Relief from all of this has to occur somehow, but I don’t think it’s going to be through the legal system. It’s pretty much part of the problem, too.
I’m sure we’re at a breaking point, which will bring in change, but it’s anyone’s guess what this will look like. I, for one, however, am ready for this shift to occur in no uncertain terms. You’re right, that it keeps rolling forward, as if nothing were wrong. To me, that speaks of an abrupt change coming, kind of a rude awakening. Were the system just a tad more humble and reasonable, we might have some ease with the necessary changes that are undoubtedly coming, but I’m afraid they won’t have that, so we’ll see what happens.
But one thing of which I’m certain–it has to change and it will. More and more people are waking up to all this, and everyone is sick and tired of deceit and oppression in all walks of life. I think we’re on it, but I wouldn’t expect the legal world to be much help here. This is about we, the people…
It is heartbreaking how low this world has sunk. And I agree, the US legal system is not going to put all the Pharma deluded psychiatrists and doctors in jail. Although, personally I believe we need Nuremberg – like trials for psychiatry’s newest fraudulent eugenics theorists, and that industry’s torture of so many.
Isn’t it an odd coincidence that the Bush family helped to finance WWII and was in charge of the US when 9.11.2001 happened? And they personally profit tremendously from wars, as does Cheney, I’ve read. And it is an odd coincidence that we now have “too big to fail banks” and our founding father’s warned us of these:
“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered…I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies… The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”
It does appear we may have inadvertently allowed the “warrior elite” to take control of this country, and they are once again trying to pull off a Nazi like “New World Order” agenda. And, of course, the Holy Bible warns us that when this happens, it will be an evil inspired takeover of the world.
Wouldn’t it be weird (and wonderful) if my drug withdrawal induced super sensitivity manic psychosis did come true – it was a story about Jesus “coming in the night like a thief” “singing a new tune,” and calling judgement day.
The “psychosis” was actually an awakening to my dreams, I know this because my inspiration for my artwork comes from my dreams, and I was able to understand the meaning behind works I had done decades earlier, after this awakening / “psychosis.”
My dreams are sometimes prophetic, and technically it’s still legal in the US to pray and hope for “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Although my medical records are proof that some within today’s medical community don’t know it’s still illegal to drug people for belief in God and the Holy Spirit in the US.
Who knows, but hope is better than despair.
SE, your post hear literally brought tears to my eyes…not from sadness (although that is there from the reality which we are currently perceiving and experiencing) but really from your light and truth, that always pokes my heart in just the right way. Indeed, we’ve really sunk, and YES, hope is better than despair–as despair is hopelessness, and that is what really sinks us.
Your words ring so true to me, thank you. And I do think the kingdom of heaven is on Earth now, it’s just a matter of awakening to it, by trusting our hearts, which broadens our vision. (But don’t tell anyone I said this because, well, you know what they’d think :))
God Bless that incredibly courageous and articulate heart of yours!
SE, I’ve read your comment through a few times, and I’m really so struck with the light in it, there’s just this totally logical and heartfelt flow and ease to it, gives a really clear and comprehensive picture in just a few short paragraphs.
Personally, it seems to me that you have seen past the illusions and you know truth. I know how hard that can be to trust in such a cynical world, with all those negative and invalidating messages, but I say this because it occurs to me that if you can heal your own doubt and align with the certainty of what you say, I think that would really ground you, and this would really empower you from the inside. You really have a broad perspective which to me, feels like absolute truth, feels really good in that sense of clarity.
No doubt that you are a true visionary. I think that’s awesome!
I experienced my first antidepressant induced manic episode on sertraline in 2007 when I was studying in a boarding school.
Why was I prescribed sertraline? Because I was depressed and anxious. I came from a horrible family environment with constant conflict between my parents and a very mentally, verbally and emotionally abusive father. My story is similar to that of the girl Diana in this story: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/somatic-psychology/201205/escape-emotionally-and-verbally-abusive-father . The tactics that my biological father uses are similar as well. I left home because I couldn’t take it any longer.
Due to the torment I faced at home, academic tensions etc., I was depressed and anxious. And when I was not thinking about my father, I had these obsessive thoughts which were irrational (which I knew) but were hard to get rid of. So I used to spend my time scared of my father, I was fearful about my future and this was coupled with obsessive thoughts. I fared poorly academically despite being modestly intelligent. I don’t have a 160 genius level IQ, but I’m reasonably good at understanding things. My performance didn’t reflect my potential. I went to a psychiatrist out of desperation. He counselled me regarding my family problems, gave me ideas that I needed to tackle problems in living, thinking and feeling. This was helpful. This was also the first time I heard the term “obsessive-compulsive disorder”. Me being me, I obviously went online and read up all about it. I was also impressed by the psychiatrist’s knowledge of these things. I was impressed by psychiatry and the information it had. Mind you, the first psychiatrist I had had a fair amount of research experience and was also in a senior position. He’s also a colleague of Peter Gotzche. He had plenty of experience in clinical settings as well. I wall call him psychiatrist A.
Anyway, when I experienced my first antidepressant induced manic episode, it was wonderful. I felt so light, calm, in control, confident etc. Feelings that I hadn’t experienced for years. When my psychiatrist found out (a family member told him), he asked me to stop using sertraline immediately.
When I met him, I insisted that this was not due to the drug and gave him a reduced figure when it came to the no. of days I used the drug. I told him it was for 10 days, even though it was probably longer (I don’t remember now, it was long back). He told me that even 10 days was enough to have a manic switch. I told him that this just couldn’t be. That I became better all by myself because of my internal power rather than what the drug had done. I did not want to believe that this was not my own doing but was merely a drug reaction. He was honest about the drug reaction and he’s the best psychiatrist I’ve ever had. He did give me a bipolar diagnosis due to this though. I just shrugged it off.
Once the mania subsided, I waited for a long time for the feeling to come back. It never did.
That was until in 2009, I was again prescribed fluvoxamine for obsessive thoughts . By this time, I was into college (after a 2 year stay in boarding schools which were not very environmentally conducive for me) and the drug was not prescribed by my initial psychiatrist but by others in the medical school of the university I was studying in. This time I started to experience the “high” (what you call (hypo)mania in psychiatric jargon) again. At first I shrugged it off as a figment of my imagination. But repeatedly using fluvoxamine, noticing that the high subsided when I stopped using it, came back again when I restarted made me damn sure of the cause and effect relationship between the drug and the mania. I have tried plenty of SSRIs. Sertraline, Fluoxamine, Venlafaxine (an SNRI) and Escitalopram. They all have the same “high”. When I first used sertaline I had tremors. I didn’t know that these were due to the SSRI then. But my experience with fluvoxamine taught me that these tremors were SSRI induced. The tremors really interfere with everyday functioning. They go away when I stop using the drug. I have tried this many times.
Anyway, the psychiatrist who prescribed fluvoxamine in 2009 left the university and I was put under the care of another psychiatrist who was a medical resident. He had good intentions but not enough knowledge and experience. I told him many times that I was feeling high on fluvoxamine but he said that that’s normal and I should try a lower dosage. He should have warned me about the potential disaster that feeling “high” ((hypo)manic) can lead to. Anyway, in 2010 I had such a severe fluvoxamine induced manic episode that it was goddamn ridiculous. I was out of my mind. I did a lot of crazy things during this time and it felt damn bloody good when I was in it. I spent a lot of money and I wrote a lot of personal details of my life on the internet. A family member noticed this behaviour and took me back to my first psychiatrist who realised I was manic and asked me to stop taking fluvoxamine and asked me to take Carbamazepine. The Carbamazepine pulled me out of mania rather rapidly. In the time to come, I really regretted my behaviour when I was manic and I have since been very careful with SSRIs.
Another important thing I want to get to. The age between 18-22 was a time when I was really updating my self with a lot of science. Lots of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennet, V.S. Ramachandran, lots of websites on skepticism and rationalism, lot of articles and going through journals, watching YouTube videos on neuroscience, genetics etc. A whole lot of it. It would take way too much time to list out everything I’ve read and watched. I’ve even watched Khan Academy’s videos on behaviour and genetics and biology in general.
The only downside to this was that because I used to read so much of this, there was a period of time during which I focussed too much on my first label which was “OCD”. I pathologised my own life.
In 2012, I stayed as an inpatient for 20 days in a hospital because I was depressed (horrible past and constant academic failure). To say that I didn’t have a good time is putting it mildly. I didn’t get along at all with the psychiatrist who was seeing me then. He may be a good doctor otherwise but he was also a resident (or something equivalent). Both of us didn’t get along with each other and I could see his contempt for me (or rather my behaviour) in his behaviour.
I was horrified by the discharge summary he wrote for me. In it he mentioned things about me like:
1.)”Patient had one episode of mania without psychosis in 2008 and one with psychosis in 2009. Though the episodes occurred when he was on sertraline (50 mg) and fluvoxamine (300mg) his compliance with the treatment regimen is doubtful and both episodes subsided without any intervention. Patient had a problem accepting a bipolar diagnosis.”
I felt so angered when I read this that I mentioned it several times when I visited next. I will talk more about this in the text that follows.
2.)He mentioned that I had tics in the past fulfilling the criteria for Tourette’s syndrome.
3.)He mentioned that I had hand washing compulsions in the past.
I’d like to address this one by one, especially my first point.
Why did I have such a problem with the first point? Well, some back story. When I had sessions with him, I asked him repeatedly why I had been given a bipolar diagnosis despite my manias being SSRI induced. After all I had never had a spontaneous manic episode ever in the past. He could not give me a convincing answer. I asked his higher up regarding the same issue. And she told me something similar to what you mentioned Dr.Hickey. Her words were: “There are two schools of thought. One that the manias are antidepressant induced, another that there is an underlying biological …. (I put dots because I can’t seem to remember those words).
Now, coming to my compliance. That I was not compliant with my medication is true in a sense. But that there is even the slightest possibility that ANY of my manias were spontaneous or due to another drug OTHER than SSRIs is untrue. I have used SSRIs on and off 100s of times. I know very well how the SSRI high feels and it is unique and distinct from other highs.
I can understand why the something-equivalent-of-a-resident psychiatrist might have thought this. I mentioned to him some other substances I used to use. And I also told him that sometimes I would stop them out of fear that SSRIs may interact with them and I also mentioned the side effects. But this fear was only initially (don’t think I mentioned this). Later on (not later on than meeting him, I’m talking about a time before meeting him) I realised that if you use SSRIs AND the other substances, the high is even better. Also, all the manias occurred DURING the periods of compliance and the high faded eventually when I stopped using them. I have also used those other substances WITHOUT SSRIs and they do not cause the SSRI kind of ((hypo)manic) high at all (I’ve tested this out many times).
I told him that even psychiatrist A agrees with me. But he told me that maybe he didn’t have enough information. The truth is. It is this sort-of-resident guy who did not have enough info. He did not prescribe my antidepressants, didn’t see me during my episodes of mania (both of which psychiatrist A did) and our therapy sessions were less than cordial. Not to mention, he was not there to see me when I was taking the antidepressants. I will give him credit for the use of the word “doubtful” rather than being absolutely certain though.
In his view his views were fortified by the fact that I have someone in my maternal family who has a bipolar diagnosis. Little did he know that this maternal family person with a bipolar diagnosis experienced some trauma in her youth as a result of which she experienced depression. She was prescribed SSRIs which made her manic and then she was given a bipolar diagnosis. The trauma part is second hand info. from family members but the SSRI mania part I asked her one-on-one several times. She told me that she never experienced mania other than due to the use of SSRIs. The psychiatrist that I didn’t get along with (the something-equivalent-of-a resident guy) mentioned on my constant questioning of my bipolar diagnosis that I also have a family history of bipolar disorder. However, I doubt he knew that the maternal family person who experienced manias experienced them due to SSRIs.
Also, the 2 episodes of mania he talked about were in 2007 and 2011. Not 2008 and 2009.
Coming to the Tourette’s syndrome part. I may be partly responsible for this. Thing is, I had very mild tics when I was young. They lasted for a very short duration and were in no way distressful nor did they make me dysfunctional. I had seen video talks by doctors that having tics is in someway statistically correlated with developing obsessive compulsive behaviours. However, I am not currently well-versed in statistics (I know the basics like what mean, median, mode, variance, standard deviation etc. are but I have no knowledge about effect sizes, confidence intervals, chi-square tests, the difference between statistical and clinical significance etc.). I thought that this might be my case because I was constantly seeking to explain my own life (in a scientific manner). I have seen some videos of kids with Tourette’s and their tics are very distressful and dysfunctional. They are prolonged and interfere with daily activities. I have never had such tics. Sometimes, I thought I had problems that I didn’t have because I would read up on OCD literature and be like “Yeah, I had that and that and that” even though I may have had one instance of such behaviour and in a completely different context. So after having read up all this stuff, I mentioned whatever tics I did have when young. I think he just played along with my story.
Coming to the third point, I never had hand washing compulsions in the past. This is something erroneously written. Maybe this is because sometimes they see several patients at once and then write their notes when they’re a bit free. I’m not sure.
In 2013, after I dropped out of college not having completed my course, I was once again horribly depressed and yet again an inpatient lasting nearly 4 months. This time I had yet another doctor as my psychiatrist. He was good natured and modestly intelligent but I found most of it to be a waste of time. We were quite culturally dissimilar. He was not articulate enough. He had difficulty understanding how to deal with me, how to react to the ideas I was putting forward. I asked him to show me the notes he wrote on me and I found some of it to be simply his subjective opinions which didn’t make much sense to me (although obviously somethings would have been accurately pointed out). I think he lacked experience and worldliness. But I think he would have been good for some types of people. I also noticed that the more I cribbed, the more drugs they gave me hoping to have good outcomes.
I wanted my first psychiatrist back at all costs because he was the only one who got me right most of the time and understood what I was trying to say.
Currently I am back to my first psychiatrist who I like and get along with well. I have mentioned to him all the problems I’ve had with psychiatry while he was away on sabbatical and I was not seeing him. He told me that sorting out someone’s mind is not as straightforward as fixing a broken bone. You sometimes make mistakes and then you correct them.
He has also been kind enough to give me his personal no. which I do not abuse as I know he is a busy person. I have also probed him about why psychiatrists give bipolar diagnoses for SSRI induced manias. He told me that this are is not something that is not understood very well and they do the best with what they have. He mentioned that the manic switch rate on antidepressants in patients who had a first episode of spontaneous mania is much higher than those of people with unipolar depression. He also agrees with Nassir Ghaemi’s view that those who experience antidepressant induced mania almost always have bipolar disorder (though I have many doubts regarding this still). However, he also says that antidepressants are widely overprescribed.
From August 2015 to early March 2015 I was employed. Psychiatrist A initially asked me to take only Lamotrigine. I found that the drug did not help my mood. Even adding a bit of quetiapine didn’t help me. It helped me sleep but not my mood. I wanted the SSRIs back again but he didn’t prescribe me any. One day when I went near my dad’s house I heard him speaking some horrible rubbish about me. I felt so irritated and my mood worsened because it had brought back memories of the past and a fear of the future. I went to a medical shop and bought SSRIs (even before this I would sometimes use some old leftover stock I had). I told psychiatrist A that I did. He told me that real happiness will come when I sort out my life rather than use SSRIs. When I went to him, he prescribed mirtazapine. Mirtazapine has no antidepressant effect at all in me. It doesn’t give me the “high”. It does have a moderately powerful sedative effect though (which I thought it didn’t have initially because I was drinking alcohol as I was in too much goddamn pain and I thought that the sleepiness was just due to drinking too much). I know I should not buy SSRIs without a prescription but when my mood deteriorates to the point where I have difficulty functioning and working, I see no choice. Also, the “high” is not one swift high where you’re immediately manic on use. It goes along a gradient depending on the dosage and duration of use. So if you’re very depressed and anxious, first you become less depressed and anxious, then euthymic, then hypomanic, then more hypomanic, then manic and so on. The problem is if you take SSRIs (at a certain dosage) continually you tend to eventually become manic. So I’m very careful about my mood on SSRIs these days. I do not want a repeat psychotic manic episode. Taking a mood stabiliser sorts things out of course. My psychiatrist (A) has also mentioned that most people who take antidepressants do not become manic. It is a small subset of the people who are put on SSRIs that experience this effect. I know for a fact that all people who use SSRIs do not become manic. I saw many people during my inpatient stay who used to take SSRIs and didn’t have the mania problem. I also have friends and family members who’ve taken SSRIs and have not gone manic. In fact, one guy during my inpatient stay mentioned to me that sertraline caused no mood change in him at all. I told my psychiatrist (A) out of desperation that I needed SSRIs. He told me to take them and call him if I feel high. I am careful not to get too “high”. Sometimes, I forget to take them for a while. I did this recently and I noticed my mood deteriorate and become more ruminatory in nature. I started taking SSRIs again and I feel better. I have also noticed that using Mirtazapine along with the SSRI helps the tremor to some extent. I’m still trying to find the right combination of drugs to help me out.
Psychiatrist A also says that there’s no such thing as a SSRI “high”. What I call a “high” he says, is just (hypo)mania. Well, this is just something semantic. To me, it does feel like a high. It’s something that comes with the usage of the drug and eventually stops on not using it.
The thing is, due to all this psychiatry stuff, my biological father has found an easy way out to get away with his abusive nature. To make things worse, my biological father is a doctor. He uses the insanity card against me (he used to use this tactic against my mother before and still does). Even if I have an underlying predisposition to depression and anxiety, predisposition is not predetermination. The outcome of my life would have been far better had my father not been as abusive as he is and had my parents not had the kind of conflict they had. I can’t actually get into the details of this anyway. In any case, I don’t live in the US. I live in a third world country and my biological father comes from a very orthodox, rural family in my country. He is decent at his profession, makes a fair bit of money and also gets away with things because he has money to throw around and he is very useful to a lot of people because of his skill. He is also not too bad to others and his abusive nature is largely directed towards my mother and me. He is verbally abusive to many though. Unfortunately, even though he has native intelligence he is quite ignorant about many things.
I’ve also learnt some things from my experiences. Psychiatrist A is right when he tells me that pharmaceutical drugs are not the key to turning my life around. Indeed. Problems in living and interpersonal human problems are not solved by modifying brain chemistry with drugs. Popping pills will not get rid of my biological father, will not get my past back and won’t do a whole host of other things. I like to use the monster analogy. If a monster tramples your city and you’re about to die because of it, popping pills and/or endlessly talking about it to another person (psychiatrist/psychologist) will not get rid of the monster. You have to do something to get rid of the monster. That being said, I have also come to realise that I do need drugs to keep me stable (and probably for quite some time) even though I’ve hated SSRIs for their side-effects (I still don’t like the side effects). I have had interpersonal problems and problems in living. I am just scared that my psychiatric labels may hide them and increase the emphasis on my problems as being largely biological in nature without any emphasis on my interpersonal problems and problems in living. Let me see what happens.
With regard to point 1.) That the two episodes of mania subsided with no intervention is not true. In 2007, the intervention was to stop using the sertraline. In 2011, it was administering carbamazepine. Something the doc should have known if he had read his notes properly.
Also, on a general note, I don’t have the kind of obsessive thoughts I had in my youth. The science reading phase of my life took care of that problem. However I do tend to ruminate if I’m not on SSRIs (less if I’m on them). But these ruminations are associated with real interpersonal problems and things that have happened to me.
I should also note that mania (antidepressant induced or not) is dangerous.
In 2011 when manic, I bought lots of expensive stuff, made my personal history public, sent a psychotic message to my biological father (which was horrific when I later read it later) in which I talked to him as though he was some misunderstood genius and as if I was doing really well (a causal factor being my desire to have a father who is understanding) etc.
” Anyway, in 2010 I had such a severe fluvoxamine induced manic episode that it was goddamn ridiculous.”
Correction. It should be 2011, not 2010.
Also, my bipolar diagnosis came as a result of the first anti-depressant induced manic episode I experienced.
In fact, in Akiskal’s scheme, they have a subtype called “Bipolar 3” if you experience antidepressant induced mania.
I was diagnosed with BPD after a 4-month long manic episode induced by Zoloft. I was on a series of BPD medications for 4 years until I took control and decided to start going off of them (with my doctor’s knowledge, though not necessarily approval). I am now several months medication-free and feeling better than I can ever remember. I don’t have any family history of BPD and believe I was misdiagnosed based on the manic episode that was CAUSED by Zoloft. I am so happy to be medication free but feel deceived by all the doctors who kept me unnecessarily medicated for 4 years of my life. I want to prevent this from happening to others. I hope my story can help others to question their decision to use antidepressants, and their BPD diagnosis if based on a manic episode induced by such use. I also had no withdrawal from Lamictal, the last drug I went off of, and think some stories of horrendous withdrawal may be intended to scare patients from going off of it. Feel better than ever without it.
As happens with criticisms of psychiatry, this story has some valid points but it rather over eggs the custard.
Saying that BPAD and manic behaviour cause each other is perfectly reasonable. There are two different types of explanation: descriptive explanation and mechanistic explanation. Saying that the behaviour is caused by bipolar disorder is more of a descriptive explanation as it is the name given to a syndrome. If someone asks why it is light outside, the answer is that it is morning, but morning is defined by the sun coming up: circular but not a problem as it is a descriptive explanation. If someone replied that the earth had rotated and exposed them to the sun’s rays which were reflected and detected in the eye, then that would be a mechanistic explanation.
The story over eggs the custard in saying that the psychiatrist would have only mentioned the behaviour. They would have excluded other causes of manic behaviour, such as drug use, medication side effects (!) and delirium.
That rather detracts from your good point that calling a side effect an illness is stupid and offensive.
But there again, there is over egging hinted at. The question which you raised, but have not answered, is, “Would a manic episode have happened eventually?” (This is the difference between causation and precipitation, by my use of the words). I don’t think that you need the study you mentioned to answer the question you asked by saying, “no”.
I suppose that if you kept things neat you would write too little to have a blog.
P.S. I’m a psychiatrist. I was searching the net to see what the risk of causing an elevated mood if someone is given antidepressants when they have a family history of BPAD.
So Mr.Psychiatrist, what is the answer to that? Would a manic episode have happened anyway without any antidepressants?
P.S.- Not that I’d get a response, but if you ever do read this, I would also advice you to take note if the “family history of BPAD” that you seem to seek in patients is also a result of antidepressant induced mania.
Hopefully, you do not mistake iatrogenic drug induced occurrences as spontaneous manic episodes and justify it with a “family history”. Not saying you do do this. But simply asking you to be aware.
He who fights with over eggers should be careful lest he thereby become an over egger. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.
This is my life now. I started suffering from hypomania after taking an ssri (depression which began due to a very bad relationship I was in). I then began taking antipsychotics to help the MDD. It helped a lot, but I didn’t like the side effects. I stopped them, and dealing with the depression was much better due to life changes I made. However; I am still suffering from hypomania. Days where I can’t stop eating, hyper, behaving recklessly in general, including sexually, with alcohol, socially.
Colors and sounds are so vivid and the stimulus is overwhelming.
After a few days, I’m extremely tired, and back to normal.
Looking back on my life, I’m pretty sure this “hypomanic” behavior was always a part of me, but in a much less stronger way… how “excited” I would get over little things… it was always a charming, childlike part of my personality.
However, now, it’s become much more extreme.
This is why I believe in the theory that it exists but it latent.
Now, sadly, I believe I will have to go back on drugs.
The antidepressants can cause “mania” or “hypomania.” But withdrawal from the antipsychotics can also cause mania, it’s known as a drug withdrawal induced super sensitivity mania. This type of mania is the result of too much dopamine getting into your system, because your brain had changed how it processed dopamine while you were on the antipsychotics.
I suffered from this as well, after being weaned from the drugs. It can likely be helped by a brief return to a low dose of the antipsychotics, and a slower taper, if you so choose. Or it will likely go away on it’s own, once your brain heals from the damage done to it by the antipsychotics. Best wishes on your healing journey.
This article makes me both happy and sad.
I am now trying to figure out if I experienced a hypomanic episode due to a latent Bipolar 1 disorder or as a result of SSRIs. The aftermath (now) is difficult because I question whether everything I did during this period, all of the good and all of the bad, was a) the result of a serious mental disorder or b) because my pharmacological treatment was poorly managed, or c) a mix of being rational and irrational because of a) or b).
I question a) whether I am seriously ill for life with bipolar disorder, or b) whether this is a one-time thing that happened because an ill-informed resident offered me pharmacological treatment without follow-up.
Mostly, I believe in the latter. However, this article gleaned that there is no way of really knowing the origin of many manias, and that psychiatrists skew more towards the bipolar diagnosis, which has been my case from the get-go.
I can understand this: it is easier for my MDs to offer a new diagnosis rather than saying “I/they made a mistake, I/they should have done better by following-up and assessing whether the SSRI was still necessary, and in the future I/they will/should be more careful with SSRIs because they can have very serious long-term effects and outcomes.”
All of the docs I have seen since have been the same: no, nobody believes me when I question my meds; yes, I am being treated with more intense psychiatric drugs; no, I’m still not being cared for well, I have little follow-up; yes, I think this is wrong and am very uncomfortable with the situation.
Mostly, I think that the system is flawed and my psychiatric care has much to be improved on. But maybe, just maybe, I am seriously ill. Who can say, really? How do I answer these questions? How do I come to terms with the uncertainty?
I just couldn’t let this article go without a comment. I know for a fact that these drugs can cause mania, violence etc. And here’s why. I had a good friend and neighbor who’s sister’s husband had lost his job and he was down in the dumps (like we all would be). After looking for a few weeks for a new job and getting nowhere, he was feeling really down. It was totally situational. Let me first tell you about this man! He was a good man, a good husband and a good father. He was well educated, had 3 almost grown children.
His wife suggested he talk to someone (a psychiatrist) to try to get through this bad patch. In hindsight, that’s the very worst decision he EVER made to agree to that. He did see a psychiatrist and of course, the first line of defense was to put him on antidepressants. He hated how they made him feel so instead of the doctor taking him off, he added to them, kept switching them and messing with them. He did not feel like himself. He tried on numerous occasions to go off these drugs, but by then, his normal brain chemistry had been wacked out by these drugs and he could not find a way out. One night, after going off these drugs, or trying too for days, he came home in a manic state (totally and completely out of his life long character) and stabbed his wife 12 times. After the horror of it and him realizing what he had done, he called 911. He did not end his own life, but many many do once they realize what they have done,. She survived. He was arrested, placed in a state controlled mental hospital, given one shock treatment after the other because he was questioning and resisting the long list of pills they had him on. Needless to say, they destroyed this gentle man. The drugs first and then the state. He came out 3 years later like a zombie. His wife and family took care of him with the help of home care and he was eventually put into a home. My heart broke for him and his family and it enraged me how this can happen.
The psychiatrists at the time took no responsibility for what happened to this man and stated he had an underlying bipolar disorder which was a total and complete fabrication. So a word of warning. What can start out as situational depression (and yes, it can last a while until the situation changes) can end up destroying you if you are not careful about your own treatment. Psychiatry is not psychiatry anymore. They are simply drug pushers and frankly it is very lucrative for them to be. They turned all these made up disorders into quasi diseases in order to get paid by the insurance companies for their services, and that’s a fact. Be careful before you swallow that first pill. This man isn’t the only person I have witnessed become something they never were on these drugs. Throughout my life I have had periods of anxiety and depression. It’s life, it happens but I will NEVER EVER take one of these drugs. I tell myself that I’m human, I was built to feel things and sometimes the things we feel are not always pleasant. I’ve become quite resilient. It’s not allowable by the psychiatric field to feel God given feelings anymore.