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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5334
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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I was put on celexa by my family doctor for depression.

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I was put on celexa by my family doctor for depression. After he increased the dose to 40 mg I experienced my first mania. I was then referred to a psychiatrist and eventually put into the mental health centre after a suicide attempt after the mania ended and I had to face all the devastation I had done. There I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and put on lithium and effexor. For the next 11 years I lived with the diagnosis of bipolar until one day I came across some information on the Internet. It was the DSM criteria for bipolar. It said that a manic caused by antidepressants did not count towards a bipolar diagnosis. I brought this to my psychiatrists attention ( my third psychiatrist in 11 years) , she reviewed my medical records and said that she could no longer treat me for bipolar. She said there was not enough information. She changed my diagnosis to unipolar and after a fewonths discharged me and said she didn't need to see me anymore. Is this misdiagnosis considered negligent?

Hi! I'll be glad to be of help with this issue.

I can imagine how distressing and devastating this situation must be for you and this whole process must be. You have been through the wringer with the mood issues. And it now seems that the Celexa may have been the cause of your problems rather than an internal process within your physiological system. I'm so sorry you've gone through this. I'm sure there have been many difficulties: you hint at this when you write about devastation.

I am not an attorney and this is the mental health forum, so I can't answer your question in terms of legal liability. In other words, if your question is whether your psychiatrists were legally negligent, I can't answer that as I am not qualified.

However, in terms of mental health practices, it is customary for mental health workers to look at internal processes for causes of mood changes and behaviors. We are trained to see symptoms such as you describe as being caused by disorders, not side effects of Celexa. That it's possible is of course known to us, but it is not common and so we don't look at it. You brought it up and it "forced" your current doc to relook at the diagnosis and see that bipolar was not applicable, rather that you have a unipolar mood disorder. I imagine your medications reflect this new diagnosis.

So, again, you may need to consult with an attorney in terms of the legal implications of the diagnoses. But as for the usual practices in mental health treatment, unfortunately, we are not really trained to look at side effects of medications unless they are rather standard and prominent or--and this is important in your case--we are not trained usually to look at side effects that mimic prevalent disorders like bipolar disorder.

Okay, I wish you the very best!

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