No announcement yet.

Diagnosed Bipolar by ER doctor after bad reaction to Celexa :(

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Diagnosed Bipolar by ER doctor after bad reaction to Celexa :(

    A little about me: I'm a 29 year old female who has seen psychiatrists all her life. I've been diagnosed with panic disorder, agoraphobia, and generalized anxiety. Last time I saw a psychiatrist, I was 25. Of all the psychiatrists I've seen, bipolar disorder was never mentioned as being something I might have. I've taken fluoxetine twice in my life (for two years as a teenager and once in my mid-twenties). I never had any side effects.

    What Happened:

    My career is pretty hectic and when vacation started, I assumed I was feeling burnout. I had no appetite, felt hopeless, and lacked energy. I went to a clinic because my doctor was out and they prescribed Celexa for depression. I was supposed to start at 5mg and titrate up every two weeks. I started at 5mg and took it in the morning with food. The first couple of days, it made me feel emotional and nauseated. I also felt a bit woozy. I didn't sleep well the first night (nightmares) but slept well the second, third, and fourth night. The fifth day felt good. For once, I didn't have the crippling anxiety I usually have. I had a bit more energy (but not the point where I was running around and doing a thousand things). But, I had enough energy to make appointments that I had lost the energy to make. I made a small budget for my grocery and household spending and I worked on my writing a little. Around mid-afternoon, I went to do the groceries and I was VERY happy to notice that driving didn't send me through an anxious tailspin. I went to the grocery store without panic and spent way less than I normally do. I went home and cooked dinner, sat with my wife and watched a movie. Around midnight I started to feel sleepy so I fell asleep. I woke up around 4AM with a TERRIBLE panic attack. My heart was racing, I wanted to cry, I felt like I was dying and started hyperventilating. Once it was over, I felt wide awake and couldn't get back to sleep. I started to get scared that I was having a bad reaction to the Celexa so I woke my wife up and told her to take me to the ER.

    The doctor came in and asked what was wrong. I told her that I've been taking 5mg of Celexa for 5 days and that during the day I had no more anxiety and actually felt pretty good. I also told her that I felt my libido coming back because that day I made love with my wife for the first time in awhile. But, that I was worried because I woke up with a horrible panic attack and couldn't get back to sleep. Then, she said that feeling good after 5 days on Celexa and not being able to sleep means I'm having a manic or hypomanic episode and that I probably have Bipolar disorder. I started to cry because I felt overwhelmed and she left the room to "check what the protocol is". She then came back with a script for 300mg of seroquel, said it was for anxiety and Bipolar disorder, and gave me 50mg of it in the ER to help me sleep. I took it and went home. Slept well but felt terrible and foggy the next day. I looked it up online and it said seroquel is an antipyschotic with a ton of physical and cognitive side effects.

    I asked my wife, past partners, friends, and parents if I've ever shown signs of being Bipolar and they said no but that I do have a lot of panic and anxiety issues. I didn't fill the seroquel prescription. I did discontinue the Celexa per the ER doctor's request. After stopping the Celexa (and once the seroquel wore off) I felt like my normal anxious self. Driving and grocery shopping suck again and I've had at least one panic attack per day which I quickly come down from once I cry it out and receive reassurance. Most of my panic attacks right now come from worrying that I'm Bipolar and that I'll have to take medications that dull my cognitive abilities. If I do that, I might as well kiss my career and home goodbye. My work is entirely cognitive and creative as I'm a professor and researcher.

    I'm seeing my GP today and getting referred to a psychiatrist for proper diagnosis. Can someone reassure me that if I'm bipolar I can still be successful in my career even with harsh medications? Does this sound like I was really manic because of the Celexa?
    Last edited by TheWriter; August 6th, 2019, 10:11 AM.

    The nice thing about us Humans is we are all unique. You are a different chemical factory than all others. Some limitations of the disorder may appear but it's been my experience that other changes can appear to. Like feeling better for understanding and ACCEPTING yourself. I think you are special and should not panic. You won't lose yourself. YOU will find an additional person you admire... Yourself


      Hello and Welcome TheWriter. For some people (me for one) Anti depressants are poison, they literally shove me into mania every time I've tried to take them.. In regards to seroquel I take mine in increments of 25 mg of regular release formula. I also take it 2-3 hrs before bed time and that way I don't feel so groggy in the morning. I don't like the slow release version of seroquel because it stays in my body longer and if I take the slow release .Even though the dosage is the same I am groggy in the morning. if I use the slow release version.

      I know many people who are in successful jobs even though they have bipolar. Please don't hesitate to ask more questions or if something isn't clear please ask for clarification. Take Care. paul m
      "Alone we can do so little;
      Together we can do so much"
      Helen Keller


        I'm a DVM student with bipolar I. You can absolutely have high cognitive functioning with bipolar, you just have to find the right mix of medications, which unfortunately can take a while. But it's absolutely possible.
        Pressure makes diamonds....


          Welcome to the forum TheWriter. I had a major depressive episode in University during my studies, and in spite of it, and because of my determination to get thru it, I graduated. I went on to have a career as a health professional. I did have to take some time off during my early career years because of mania. I always bounced back and returned to work. Once my meds got sorted out, the few absences from work I did take, weren't necessary.

          Humans punish themselves endlessly
          for not being what they believe they should be.
          -Don Miguel Ruiz-


            Hi TheWriter,
            this sounds like a bananas experience to me. I would hope you are able to get a diagnosis from a mental health professional, especially if it will be a life long thing. Celexa made me manic, but the ER psychiatrist I saw said it can do that to the non bipolar.
            In the end, if you are bipolar, yes we can be successful. For me itís simply having a very strict regiment; which I am sure many successful people do anyway. I hope you are able to find some answers and with them some peace.



              I went to see my family doctor and did get a referral to psychiatry. Based on history and symptoms, my doctor doesn't think I have bipolar disorder. She would like me to try another SSRI to see how I respond. For the relentless panic attacks I've been having, she prescribed a short-term of ativan. I haven't taken it yet as I'm scared of its addictive properties but I keep it around in case I get a really bad panic attack. I've been doing the breathing exercises my doctor taught me the other day when I feel panicked and it helps a bit. Anyway, my doctor doesn't even think what I experienced was hypomania as I didn't having racing thoughts, pressured speech, impulsive behaviour, or lack of sleep. The only thing that kept me awake that night I went to the ER was my terrible panic attack. I'm seeing her again in a week.

              My blood work also showed a magnesium deficiency as well as low iron. So I'm on prescription-strength supplements of both. So far, everything has been going well.


                Some of the most successful people in the world have Bipolar Disorder.

                I don't think that being Bipolar is a weakness or deters someone from being successful. If anything, having the right medications keeps people from being manic and controls their Bipolar urges.

                When I was first diagnosed, I didn't believe Bipolar could be true for me. Like you, I asked family and friends if I ever showed signed of being Bipolar and they said no, but recent use of the anti-depressant Cipralex drove me into a few manic episodes (coincidentally my first manic episode was on my birthday). These episodes led me to be arrested, jailed, and then placed into inpatient psychiatry where they found out I was Bipolar.

                There are still days I don't believe I'm Bipolar at all. I've continued to be successful at my work and continue to want to improve myself everyday. The only thing I've noticed is a slight change in my motivation (because I used to be very driven prior to my manic episodes that happened in August/September of last year).


                  Hello TheWriter. In my experience ativan is only addictive if you use it all the time(every day). I do know some people that found ativan addictive, but they tended to be regular users of it and had other problems with addictive substances. I liken it to beer, Having a few beer a couple of times a week does not make a person an alcoholic, but there is no doubt that for regular daily drinkers of beer, that it may become addictive. .Many people do drink regularly and show no ill effects. Ativan is like that. Some people can get addicted if they use it regularly, while others may not. Take Care. paul m
                  "Alone we can do so little;
                  Together we can do so much"
                  Helen Keller


                    Hi The Writer,

                    That sounds like a very unsettling experience you went thru. I hope that you are getting the answers you need and that you find a nice balance soon.

                    It sounds like the ER doctor was jumping to conclusions. I have had similar experiences. It is almost as though some doctors don't understand how devastating a diagnosis (or possible diagnosis) can be.

                    Take care,