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Dr John B
Dr John B, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  PhD in Clinical Psychology, registered clinical psychologist.
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10 years ago I went to my family doctor for a depression. He

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10 years ago I went to my family doctor for a depression. He started me on a low dose of antidepressants and told me to see him in 2 weeks. The starting dose was 10mg of celexa. At the follow up appt 2 weeks later I was still the same. The doctor increased the celexa to 20 mg and to see me again in 2 weeks. The next follow up appt the celexa still wasn't helping so he increased the dose from 20 mg to 40 mg and told me to see him in one month. At the follow up visit in one month my family doctor found me to be manic. I had never heard that term before and didn't know what it meant. I was spending a lot of money and was very reckless. I caused alot of damage and lost many things due to the manic. I was then sent to see a psychiatrist who tried putting me on a mood stabilizer. I didn't like the side effects so I did not take them. Soon after I stopped taking the celexa my manic went away and I had a severe depression happen. I was put into a mental hospital for attempt suicide. There I was seen by a new psychiatrist who diagnosed me as bipolar. I was put on new medication and 10 years later I am still on the same medication. I have only had one manic episode in my life and that was while on celexa at 40mg dose. I have read the DSM and it states that a manic while on antidepressants is a void diagnosis for bipolar. So have I been taking medication for bipolar ( lithium and effexor) for 10 years and is it possible I was misdiagnosed???
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr John B replied 4 years ago.



Yes it is possible that Bipolar Illness was miss-diagnosed. If the manic episode was substance induced then it could not count as the minimum 1 manic episode required for a diagnosis of Bipolar Illness. However, if you have a vulnerability to Depressive episodes and there is a risk of you experiencing a substance induced manic episode in reaction to anti-depressant medication (which it sounds like happened previously) then it would be common practice to treat the problem with an anti-depressant AND a mood stabilizer. In this scenario the mood stabilizer is used top prevent mania so that an anti-depressant can still be used. So, you may have been miss-diagnosed as Bipolar but you may still have been treated (or needed to be treated) in the same way.


I hope this has been of some help. Please let me know if you have further questions or would like me to clarify any part of my answer.

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