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“… This sense of inundation and doom moved me to see a GP. It is to be noted that this GP did not even refer me to the mental health team, but rather took it up himself to prescribe a drug called Seroxat. As we tend to do, I put my trust in a medical professional, and took the drug. After a couple of months, I went back and told this same GP that I felt like I was losing touch with reality because I was finding it increasingly hard to focus or control my behaviour, so he doubled the dose.
The result was my first psychotic episode that saw me run away, spend 24 hours walking around Gatwick Airport booking flights and not getting on them, and eventually being escorted out of the departure lounge. I was taken to see a psychiatrist in London who mistakenly diagnosed me with bipolar disorder based on those symptoms he was seeing.
Those were not symptoms of “ME”; they were a horrific side effect of Seroxat. Had I just been taken off that drug at this point, this is where the story would end. I was taken off it, but it was replaced with Lithium and Lamictal, drugs to treat bipolar disorder. As hard as it is to believe, I then spent about ten years continuing to have psychotic episodes and mood swings, which were taken by psychiatrists to be further evidence of my diagnosis, and having doses not only increased but, as the years went by and still having pschotic episodes, the drugs changed for others to find the ones that would work.
None worked. Why? Because the drugs were the problem; the drugs themselves, in my case, were triggering the psychotic episodes the whole time. I spent ten years, however, convinced I had bipolar disorder because the psychiatrists said so, and believed I must have such a severe case that, despite drugs, I was still having episodes. It was not until four years ago, having lost my 20s to chaos, that I became totally desperate and pleaded at a local psychiatrist to help me because I was at the end of my rope. The initial point of my visit was to say if the drugs aren’t working then please just take me off them. Little did I know that this is what I should have done years earlier. Had she taken this course of action, because ultimately it was up to me whether or not I took those drugs, the end result would have been the same and a shock: I am way better now without them. But this psychiatrist actually spent about two hours looking over my entire case history and asked me the only question no other psychiatrist had thought to ask me the entire time: “Had you ever had a psychotic episode before being put on any of these drugs?” And of course the answer was no…..”