In this week’s People magazine there are three articles about people who were diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder AFTER being put on antidepressants. Reading those articles made me want to scream and throw things. My court appointed counselor told me a few years ago that Bipolar disorder was going to be the latest diagnosis – and she was right. She said that she has seen it so many times during her career – a new drug comes out, it promises to solve all the problems of the world, the drug reps hit the streets with free lunches and checks made out to doctors, and TA-DA … the diagnoses of certain disorders start to rise. She said that it happened with ADHD, anxiety, depression, and PMDD (remember those commercials? weren’t they a hoot and a half?).
While I was on Paxil, I developed SSRI induced Bipolar, but of course at the time I had no idea what was going on. All I knew was that the meds made me not give a damn about anything and that I was constantly “busy”. I would move from project to project, job to job, friend to friend … my mind constantly racing with the latest get rich quick scheme or fabulous idea. I couldn’t see the manic episodes for what they were and I couldn’t see that the depression could actually have been caused by the meds (ones that I never should have been given in the first place). I am just thankful that I never went to the doctor and filled out some quiz that would have magically told me that I was Bipolar and needed more meds (for life). Quizzes like this one:
If you really look at the questions, you can see that everything on this quiz is related to normal human feelings and emotions and that if a person takes this quiz while having a bad day then they might answer the questions differently than they would have if things were going well for them on that day. These quizzes are designed to put doubt in somebody’s mind and make them run to the doctor for a prescription.
I am not saying that Bipolar isn’t real and that there aren’t people out there who actually have it. What I AM saying is that it is impossible to diagnose somebody with it while they are taking an antidepressant (SSRI), because the antidepressant itself might be causing the mania and depression.
Being human and having human feelings and emotions is NOT a disease and there isn’t a cure for it … there doesn’t need to be.