This is about: Antidepressants (SSRI’s) alone can cause Bipolar Mania, How I found out the hard way and still had no idea I was Bipolar and how it took a decade to find the right diagnosis.  ADHD and Bipolar and the similarities. Dual diagnosis, complex diagnosis.

If you are taking certain antidepressants and are not sure if you have a mood disorder I would stay away from these as they caused mania, hypomania and cycling between moods.  I thought I was just not depressed, thought the meds were working and trusted my doctor. It should have been a clue that this was not the right medication when I started smoking cigarettes.  Abnormal behaviors and hypomania aside, I was lucky it didn’t turn into a full blown manic episode.

It becomes more complicated when you factor in I have a dual diagnosis if Bipolar and (anxiety/OCD/panic & phobias) so I got kind of a raw deal and it took me awhile to figure out wtf was wrong with me and went to many psych drs before I found the right meds and diagnosis to stabilize my life a bit, especially since I was in bad shape for a while due to the trial and error system of mental health. Yes you can X-ray the brain but I did that and the famous Doctor who does that didn’t get it right and once again I was confused and discouraged by the lack of care or wrong care I was getting. The meds he prescribed me didn’t help and actually made me worse.

I also went through about a year or 2 of being diagnosed with ADHD which I may have a little but did not respond well to the adderall. It was fun being on it but it was not fun not sleeping, getting headaches and anger fits, also I shaved my head out of the blue, and I did a lot of other bad stuff and still stayed on the meds because they made me feel high and productive but I knew deep down this was not the right medication or diagnosis for me. 

Also an issue for me and I am sure a lot of others is getting tired of side effects from meds, even though they might be working but you would like to see if herbal remedies or OTC meds can help. Once I was on a Bipolar mood stabilizer and anti anxiety meds and went off them within a month I was in a full blown manic episode and had to be hospitalized for a nervous breakdown.

Things spiraled out of control in a matter of weeks and I was never worse than that and learned a lesson that I may be on meds for my entire life because the opposite is just not an option anymore, I would rather experience some annoying or inconvenient side effects than wind up with a messed up life and in the hospital or the streets.

I also learned that while on a mood stabilizer I can also take SSRI’s because they counter balance one another and it sucks to have to take more pills but for me I can’t exercise or eat my way out of this tough mental situation that God dealt me. I understand this and use it not as a crutch to get through life but to learn from it and grow personally, spiritually and not feel sorry for myself but just say fuck it, I am not like other people, I am not different like I’m special, I just need to know that I can’t ignore this condition as I approach my older years.  

Having a manic episode can look like a lot of things but I don’t want to get in the details too much but I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone.  The place I stayed for about a week was very bad more like jail than a hospital.  I will maybe talk more about this in a separate post just talking about the inefficiencies of the system and how they want to keep you in there to bill your insurance or charge you, and the costs were sky high, I was lucky my insurance paid for it (just the ride in the ambulence was $1500 which my insurance paid but the costs were ridiculous)but I also had to get legal help to get out of there because after a few days they legally could hold me if they thought I was not safe to be out. By day 4 I was getting very angry and felt helpless because my family was not there to get me out, not until after day 8, so i was there for 9 days and should have only been there for only a few. I am not making light of a manic episode but I learned how unfair the system was and how they keep people longer in there than they need to be. I feel like this was a blessing because the pain of being confined and locked up around people that are pretty fuckin scary to be honest, they put me in the worst part of the place with thugs and just scary dudes, because I literally would not stop talking over everyone in meetings and going on rants about how medications are bad as well as refusing to take the meds they had there. Eventually I calmed down and cooperated just so I could get out of there. I had to think it was turning a negative into a lesson learned, and sharing my experience is being vulnerable but I don’t see any other way around it than just learning my lesson and sticking with a plan to stay mentally healthy and never make that mistake again.  I am not perfect, mistakes will be made. Being healthy physically and mentally means I can be the best Dad I can be and the best person I can be, thinking about family and people who love me, I don’t want to ever let them down again like that, as soon as I see any warning signs I make sure I adjust accordingly and get my shit together so I don’t repeat past mistakes. At the end of the day, that’s all you have left is family so that motivates me to stay well and they now understand the consequences of me stopping my medications. My family understands me more and if I am having an off day or an off mood I just am honest and say I need to be alone or I need to calm down, communicating my feelings is key.

I learned from my mistakes and am always trying to improve daily, I stopped drinking alcohol, upgraded my food and supplement budget focusing on what I put in my body being mindful and also considering my mental health when I think about the what to eat and drink. There is so much free information out there about getting mentally and physically healthy that there is no excuse not to be more healthy. My next post I will talk more about my changes in diet as well as the fitness and sports I do to stay sane and enjoy life.  Thank you again for reading this and I hope you learned something and I at least helped one person!