Obviously I cannot write my thoughts about anti-depressants without talking about Clinical Depression. This is a different form of depression from bi-polar depression; therefore the correct diagnosis is vital. It is rare for a patient to go to their doctor when they are high or in mania. We go to our doctors when we feel abysmal and the symptoms we quote such as brain fog, loss of sleep, energy, enthusiasm, concentration, memory, self esteem, confidence, feelings of joy, hope, love, almost loss of everything (apart from pessimism) are similar to the symptoms of bi-polar.
If you go into see your GP, no matter what he or she says, please, please ask for a bi-polar test or referral. Most GPs are now very much in tune with bi-polar illness and if you are also able to mention that you have experienced some of the bi-polar symptoms for mania, then some alarm bells might start ringing in your GPs ears. Some of these symptoms may include elevated mood, a highness, agitation, anxiety, irritation, recklessness (a bout of spending or sexual activity), impulsiveness, (I made my ex husband buy a house without having sold ours and we were left having to pay 40, 000 euros for the deposit!) pacing around, everything moving a bit fast, racing thoughts. If you can remember anything like this happening to you in the previous weeks, months or even years, then PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE tell your GP and ask for a referral to a psychiatrist. There is absolutely no shame in this. It is you taking personal responsibility. Also remember that doctors are not infallible and can be questioned. Indeed it makes sense to ask for a second opinion and any good, compassionate doctor will agree with this.
If this website provides just one useful piece of information, please do not start antidepressants without a bipolar diagnosis having been ruled out.
The reason I am so adamant about this is that taking anti-depressants for some people who have bi-polar can INDUCE mania. And yes, believe me this happened on/off to me for 5 years before I was finally sent to a psychiatrist.
So just what is medication-triggered mania?