Anxiety or Bipolar?

Posted , 5 users are following.


I've always been a person who overthinks and worries for as long as I can remember. I can be short and irritable, and wake up in a rotten mood for no reason and have a go at people and a few hours later just feel better and can see that I've been grotty so have to fix the upset I've caused.

Anyway, about 3 months ago I had a very bad car accident and it knocked me for 6. I went to the doctor and she prescribed me citalopram 20mg. Initially for the first 6 days I felt more chilled and kind of numb. I was going to bed and sleeping fine no problem.

On day 6 my health visitor came round and started to talk to me about the accident and possible psychological reasons (things to do with my past) why I had taken it soooo bad. I started talking about all the bad stuff that had happened in the past and I was retry upset and stressed. When I get upset and stressed I tend to talk fast and feel a bit wired and unreal.

Anyway, she interrupted me halfway through and said she was worried that it wasn't the right medication for me and I seemed manic. It was at that point she said that that the world kind of slipped away and I said I don't feel very well. I felt everything was out of control. I felt terrified, I lay on the settee screaming and shouting at her that I was scared. I also became rude and irritable and it didn't feel like me talking. After that I stopped the medication and from this moment I started having body shaking panic attacks, which has stopped now. I couldn't look after my children for a few weeks whilst I recovered from this episode. I needed sleep, I felt so confused, and I'd think incessantly about nothing. It mainly centred around fear of going mad and scrutinising everything I did and said for signs of mental Illness. I also did not recognise my own hands and was scared that if I looked in the mirror for too long o would realise it was someone else. I felt no connection to my face and body. My head felt like a washing machine. Now I am having racing thoughts at night, like someone is making me watch hundreds of cartoons at once. It's not letting me sleep for hours and is worse if my husband has to stay out.

I think I want to start medication, but the health visitor saying I was manic has made me scared of SSRIs and bipolar. The CMHT said I was not manic. The racing thoughts make me scared if I take them for a long time I'll lose it. The previous experience I had after citalopram is not something I can do again.

Was this side effects of the drug? Or did I have an inevitable nervous breakdown regardless of the drugs?

Anyone with any advice/ experience would be appreciated.

0 likes, 6 replies

Report / Delete

6 Replies

  • Posted

    First thing tomorrow would say, you haven't had a breakdown - believe me you would know if you had one, and so would everyone else around you, they are unbelievably severe. I know it's very infuriating when one professional give you a diagnosis and another doesn't agree. I've had the same, my gp and therapist think a form of bipolar,but others don't agree. The best person to see is a psychiatrist,they are the only ones qualified to give a bipolar diagnosis. CMHT people are unfortunately generally not very experienced. I've had nothing but trouble from my local team, they really are pretty useless. I'd ask your gp for referrals to proper psychiatrist and psychotherapist appointments,they will give you a better idea of the best way to manage things

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    20mg citalopram is a very high dose to go straight onto without tapering up. It's extremely common to go slightly manic when starting an anti depressant. I have tried various ones and always go a bit manic for about 1 week. I think the average starting dose for citalopram is 10mg so if you started straight on 20mg i can imagine it would make you hyperactive!

    I honestly think you don't have bi polar. It sounds like you've been manic from the medication and then had a panic attack and now severe anxiety which is causing racing thoughts. When people who have bi polar have a manic episode, they don't really know or care that they are manic. Their behavior becomes erratic. Feeling scared of going crazy is a sure sign of severe anxiety. I should know because i was diagnosed just a couple of weeks ago and my psychologist talked me through everything!

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted


    Whatever has caused your concerns it will be a good idea to talk again to your GP.

    Are you still seeing your GP or has that pathway been blocked for you ?

    Sometimes when we stop taking medications to quickly you could have contrindications. If you find yourself in that position you need to arrange an appointment, and explain to your GP your feelings and emotions.

    I take Citalopram at 20mg, I will be on them now for the rest of my life. i am sixty six at the weekend. With regard this drug I find I have few contrindications and I do take Amytryptalene for nerve damage in my joints etc. That is another AD medication

    Talk to your GP, He is in partnership with you as your healthmatters are concerned


    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hannah what you described sounds exactly what I was like when first took a SSRI, in my case it was serotonin (Zoloft) i went totally crazy and I was scared. But my doctor gave me mirtazapine and it worked totally well although I was so scared that it took me 2 weeks to make me take it. I still have anxiety (both physical and psychological) but at least now I can manage them myself. I'm also taking Atarax and sobril (oxazepam, only when my symptoms are unbearable cos it is a benzo.)

    Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up