Citalopram causing me to spend too much money?

Edited , 3 users are following.

I've been on 20mg for 5 weeks. Since starting citalopram I have been spending more money than usual. At first it started with me buying new skis. I thought that was a good thing, because it meant I had more energy and interest in activities. Then I started buying food I didn't need (ice cream, candy, drinks). I thought that was a good thing because it meant my appetite was back. Then I started ordering stuff online (mostly books). This all continued until last week when I decided to use a week off school due to COVID to take a spontaneous trip to another city. My university is kicking everyone out of the dorms, so I brought all of my stuff with me. I basically decided that if I liked that other city I would just stay there. While in the other city, I bought a computer (that I didn't really need) from a friend, and bought plane tickets for a couple weeks from now to visit a different friend. I was also considering buying tickets to Mexico to live there for the rest of the semester (all of my classes have switched to online)

I usually wouldn't spend this much money. Before I became depressed, I was very frugal and would have planned out any of these expenses. I honestly can't tell why I'm doing this. It almost feels like I just don't care about the consequences. Like when I bought the skis I tried to find the best deal possible, but in the end I didn't really care that I was spending actual money.

Has anyone else experienced this? How did you deal with it?

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  • Posted

    Hi, I have a condition called Cyclothymia and when I get hypomania (Google it if you haven't heard of it but mild form or bipolar type disorder) one of the things I do is buy lots of things like you describe whereas when I'm depressed I buy very little. The hypomania comes when I increase my antidepressants due to becoming depressed and I've been put on mood stabilizers in an attempt to prevent this. With bipolar, the spending can be incredibly reckless. With me, however, everything takes on a rosy glow and I want to buy all of the nice things. Don't know if this sounds like how you are but I'm happy to tell you more if it does. Laura

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    • Posted

      Hi Laura, thank you for the response! With your spending during hypomania, how much do you think about what you're buying? For me, it's like I still think about what I'm buying and how much it costs, but the thing in my head that would usually tell me I don't need to buy something is gone. For example, when I bought the computer from my friend I still negotiated a good price, I just didn't consider that I don't need the computer.

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    • Posted

      I still think about the cost and I wouldn't make a major purchase that we couldn't afford (that's associated with bipolar mania e.g. buying a sports car etc and causing massive debts). My issues are on a much smaller scale and tend to be related to fixing issues in the home or upgrading things e.g. new cushions because it would be nice if we had some, matching tubs to put all of the different bird seeds and feeding stuff in and then labelling them all and making them all organised, lots of new plants for the garden just because they look so pretty in the garden centre etc. I'm not sure if I convince myself that I need these things or if it's a compulsion to fix things or what.

      When I was teaching, my husband and I had plenty of money but now finances are a bit tighter. I go from worrying we can't manage on my husband's wage when I'm depressed and buying hardly anything to buying lots and lots of little things. With Cyclothymia you have awareness that you are doing the spending and can kind of limit it but it's still worrying. Spending is just one of my warning signs of hypomania. I have many more which together make episodes difficult.

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