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Re: missed diagnosis - bipolar II and ssri's McPac

Posted by Sabina on August 25, 2003, at 1:08:48

In reply to Sabina, Re: first day on lexapro/hell, posted by McPac on August 24, 2003, at 23:35:27

i don't believe i said that i was having specific symptoms to the various antidepressants that signaled that i was bipolar. i don't even know if that's a pharmacological possibilty.

however, if i did give that impression then i apologize. i hope the use of all caps was only for emphasis and didn't indicate a confrontational tone/yelling. if so, i certainly didn't intend to upset you or anyone else.

i only know that it was my prolonged, dreadful side effects that led me to seek a more comprehensive diagnosis to problems that were becoming completely untenable and life threatening. i wouldn't even say that i was misdiagnosed so much as i and my health care providers simply *missed* the diagnosis.

to clarify, the "various antidepressants" were comprised *only* of ssri's, specifically prozac, paxil, zoloft, and lexapro. i had no difficulty, neither did i experience much relief, on elavil, etc.

i had also taken my fair share of benzodiazepines and painkillers. i liked ultram for anxiety, but i found it to be a very temporary fix. (however, i do have one family member who has had great success with it for emotional issues.)

anyway, i had all of the typical awful side effects from the ssri's, including dizziness, somnolence, nausea, sweating, too many to even list. they *did not* abate over time, even at a low dose. worst of all was depersonalization and racing thoughts that were extreme and completely disabling.

what i did say about that time was this:

>>>it was also at that point that i began to take a hard look at myself. i just thought i was nervous and moody. turns out, there were a lot of behaviors with which i was coping, hiding, and diminishing the importance. to my own surprise, i began to feel that i might be a misdiagnosed bipolar II.<<<

i was in the midst of a serious phyical illness that caused me to lose my job. pain, insomnia, and stress exacerbated what i had previously characterized as anxiety or nervousness to a point where i couldn't handle things without medication.

as i now understand bipolar II, i can see not only an accurate portrait of myself (barring a few tendencies that don't fit), but also my maternal grandfather. he managed to cover his symptoms his entire life, as i might have done had it not been for my physical illness.

i am still quite happy on seroquel. i cannot tell you the difference that this drug has made in my quality of life. again, i'm not saying that it's for everyone, but i would feel wrong about not mentioning it in the hopes that another person might be spared some of the pain i've experienced.

i hope this very wordy answer to a very brief question wasn't too annoying for you. ;)




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