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Re: SSRI-induced manic state?

Posted by JohnL on November 1, 1999, at 3:37:01

In reply to SSRI-induced manic state?, posted by Ellen on October 31, 1999, at 18:19:24

> I'd really appreciate hearing from anyone who has experienced hypomania (a mildy manic state) when taking SSRI's. I think that's happening to my sister (she's neglecting her children in order to carry on an affair which has broken up her marriage--very different from how she was before starting Paxil). She doesn't think anything is wrong (but people in mania often don't, I gather) and won't talk to her doctor about it. She was started on Paxil by a previous doctor, so her current doc never knew her pre-meds. Has anyone else had a similar experience? I think she might hear it from you better than from me! Thanks.

Hypomania feels great. Unrestrained sexual behavior. Elevated energy. Faster talking. Faster thinking. Decreased need for sleep. Spending sprees. Heigthened creativity. Many artists and musicians happen to be manic-depressive. Their masterpieces are usually done while in the up-phase. Hypomania is often triggered by getting on or getting off an antidepressant. It may settle down on its own and remain at a stable level. Or the swings might get worse. Time will tell.

Like Bob said though, a lot of damage can be done while feeling so good. Extramarital affairs, devastated finances, neglected children. The good times don't last. Maybe days, maybe weeks, but there is a crash coming. It's unavoidable.

There is the possibility she isn't hypomanic. Maybe her true self is coming out of the shell? Hypomania sounds more likely though.

Don't know of any way to intervene. I was in this position once and had to make tough decisions. I informed the person of my concerns, I was scoffed at because of it, but I told them straight out (not behind their back) what I was going to do about it. And then I did it. All I could do was call the doctor and the counselor. They were both made aware of my concerns. They couldn't do anything except ask me to try to get the person in for an appointment. The only thing they could do was put my phone call and my concerns in their records for permanent reference. Whether my concerns were correct or not was irrelevent. The fact they were concerns at all, true or not, was valid enough reason to include them in the records.

I would definitely call her doctor...actually, both of them. Ask them to put your call in the records. Maybe they can offer advice. I don't think that's intrusive. On the contrary, I see it as being the only responsible thing to do. But the poor children. And the husband. Ouch.




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