Bipolar: has anyone been diagnosed without ever taking an antidepressant?

Posted , 4 users are following.

Hello,

I was diagnosed Bipolar I about 8 years ago when I was 23. I was always just depressed and anxious before that and never had mania. I only got diagnosed AFTER I took certain antidepressants (only SSRIs) such as: Lexapro, Zoloft, and Prozac. I would like to know if there is anyone out there who is defintely biploar and has experienced a real manic episode without ever having taken an antidepressant before. I am just wondering if these medications are what trigger my mania. Currently I"m taking mood stabilizers, but usually they make me depressed so I need to be careful with them and not take too much. I am doing ok for now but need to be careful because when stressful things happen, I get very depressed. Thank you for your help.

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    I thought the diagnostic criteria for bipolar was to have at least one manic episode,otherwise its classed as depression? I know there's different criteria in different places though, just wondered.
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  • Posted

    Hi,

    In response to your post I apologize for forgetting to mention that I have had 2 severe manic episodes in my life. One was triggered by Zoloft and the other was triggered by Lexapro (according to Psychiatrists in the hospital). I would just like to know if I am "safe" to take no mood stabilizers (will not get manic without them). I am currently taking Lamictal and Abilify but they tend to make me more depressed. I am also taking Wellbutrin for depression but it does not help that much and makes me anxious. Thanks again!

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    • Posted

      Ah I see. Well all I can say is to talk to a psychiatrist about medication, they are experts in brain chemistry, much more knowledgeable than a GP who will generally just throw any old rubbish at you,they don't really know anything about mental health issues
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    • Posted

      I agree it is definitely necessary to see a psychiatrist, I do see one pretty regularly. I respect them for the most part because they are intelligent and know a lot about the medication. However I have received false information from a few (one has completely contradicted the other in a question I had about lamictal). I guess the point is, that I think the medications are flawed and very unpredictable so it is helpful to also get advice from other people too. It might just be that I have bad health insurance though, since they usually only see me for about 5 minutes each session once every 2 months, which isnt enough time to really go over all the symptoms and side effects. Thanks again 
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  • Posted

    Obviously we need to look at the evidence (good studies) to be sure -  individual cases, though illuminating, come in many contrasting forms. But here's my experience in response to your question, Catherine. I had many episodes of mania and some episodes of low mood before I ever took any course of meds from doctors for my condition (my mood-swings started in my mid-20s). The first time I got a bipolar-related diagnosis was at the age of 39, and since then I've tried various meds, ending up now with the most effective so far: quetiapine. My experience is that my mood swings were far worse when I was unmedicated, and much better after I started taking quetiapine (3 years ago).  To be sure, these things are different for everyone, but that's how it was/is for me.
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  • Posted

    Hello Catherine,

    I can identify with you. I was diagnosed 16yrs ago as bipolar and I have not been on antidepressant. I was rapid cycling manic but I thank God it is now under control.I am on a mood stabilzers as well.  I self talk a lot and I know what triggers me up and what takes me down so I try to avoid these things.

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