Schizoaffective/Bipolar & Anti-depressants?


My new doctor put me on Celexa. He said that if I get manic to just stop taking it, but from people telling me their experiences it’s a difficult anti-depressant to withdraw from. Having a pre-existing psychotic and manic disorder, should I be taking an anti-depressant that has that intense of a withdrawal and effect?

Experiences on Celexa for two days:

after first and second dose:

mood shifts into a more positive one, clarity, heightened intuition,

and as it wore off I felt:

anxiety increased, spacyness (bumped a curb twice), restlessness/hyperactivity, cramps, sweating, lowered appetite, and anger.
I was extremely anxious and felt paranoid or afraid for no reason on it.

I’m debating whether I should continue taking it or call the psychiatrist. Then my friend said he had the same psychiatrist and he tried to put him on Celexa for depression and Trazadone for sleep and he refused. He said the doctor took one look at him and was ready to pump him full of drugs.

I am constantly debating whether or not I would be better off without being on any medication at all. Especially if I’m depressed and if I’m not depressed I’m paranoid or manic. I don’t even know if I really have Bipolar because I don’t have emotional issues.

I’m more worried about the mania from withdrawing on it. I don’t want to be on Celexa for life but it did seem to help at first. The doctor also wont put me on any benzos or downers so I feel like he’s tryng to make me manic. I’m on Adderall 20mgs a day, Celexa 20 mgs a day and Abilify 30 mgs a day. I just think that combination may be a recipe for mania.

I have good self control and I am not worried about suicidal thoughts, and Celexa did make me relatively at ease and calm when I took it for the first few hours, but then as it began wearing off I felt really crazy. I don’t know if this side effects lasts. I mean my friend got my all worried now.

I just noticed that Celexa didn’t make me feel good per se, it made me feel disinterested in everything. So I also experienced a decrease in volition, but IDK. I really want to tackle this depression. I don’t know if I’m truly depressed, but I feel it and when I’m on medication I can feel it even more. I don’t experience emotions much lately, but would anti-depressants help you recover emotions? If you can’t access that feeling of joy is it wrong to replace it? I’ve not been manic for a long time but I also don’t hear voices or have nightmares anymore. I’m not sure if I should screw around with anti-depressants.


Hi Starrynight,

I cannot and will not tell you what to do, but I have schizoaffective as well, and from my experience, an antidepressant ALWAYS triggered mania with me. I take abilify and it seems to work as a mood stabilizer very well for me. The problem with bipolar is that the only way to control the depression is to control the mania. The more manic we get, the more deep and severe our depression is going to be when the pendulum swings the other way.


I would be more concerned about the adderall than the anti-depressant. Amphetamines kick-started my first psychotic break, though everyone responds differently. I’ve heard there is a greater risk of rapid-cycling bipolar with anti-depressants, and apparently this is the most debilitating form of bipolar disorder.

None of us are doctors, though.


That makes sense I’ve never thought about that. If I get too high on mania then eventually I’ll be lower, so I’m just trying to achieve normal. If anti-depressants always triggered mania for you and we have almost the same type of illness then I probably shouldn’ take it. I’ve never really been on an anti-depressant for a long time. The longest I was on one was Lexapro and it made me manic so my doctor took me off it and said she didn’t want me to take anti-depressants. But then I got so flat that I started drinking coffee a lot to combat that, and she wouldn’t even prescribe me adderall though I’m labelled adhd.

I think the adderall helps and doesn’t make me manic.

I also get knocked out when I take Abilify now because the other medications bring me up. I don’t think that’s healthy. I just really don’t know how all this works.

I’m just saying is it better to experience highs and lows or is that what I’m trying to control?


Were you taking the amphetamines as prescribed regularly? I’m not abusing them. What was your dosage? I’m prescribed two 10mg pills a day.

I might have rapid cycling bipolar, but honestly I don’t think it’s that severe. My symptoms are not that intense. I don’t yell at people, I’m relatively calm all the time and keep an even positive outlook on life. I met someone with bipolar and she seemed a bit more loud and moody than me. I don’t typically get in fights over things, though I have been trying to build my integrity and defend myself more so as to not be walked all over.

Like to describe me is I seem relatively normal. Most people never thought I had schizoaffective or bipolar until I told them or if they saw me drunk and upset. But I definitely have a lot of low affect.

When I started smoking weed people noticed my crazyness more. But then I started smoking it every day and now it doesn’t affect me in a negative way. I don’t need weed, but it does seem like the best natural anti-depressant out there!!

I have a severe disorder, but I haven’t had any breaks with reality in a long time. That’s the strange thing, for me it was like a total break with reality but it didn’t last and I try to explain what it’s like. I couldnt shut my mind off, I had racing thoughts, people looked morphed and their eyes weird, my visual perspectives would constantly shift, I’d have blocks in my memory, had surreal hallucinations that seemed sooooo real, and caused me to question my existence.

Now that I’ve become strong enough to overcome the psychosis, the worst thing for me would be if I just lost perspective or gave into negativity from depression.

I’m just so used to losing myself I feel like my personality has evolved as a result so I have to adapt to any situation, I have a strong sense of who I am but I don’t know what I am or what i consist of. I’m constantly trying to find a place I belong but sometimes I just lose.

It’s like fatigue, my ears start ringing and then everyone around me is loud and screaming in my ears. And then I just keep sinking and drowning in all this light that blinds me.

What really is wrong with me?


I was actually taking Vyvanse, a longer-acting form of adderall. I was prescribed 60mg and I took it as prescribed.

I am cautious of psychiatric medication in general, but even more so with prescription narcotics. They are dangerous.


@StarryNight I would call your doctor - Antidepressants are usually not a good thing for those suffering with any kind of rapid cycling - mixed or psychotic bipolar disorders or even SZA - bipolar type.
Bipolar type 2 patients can sometimes tolerate antidepressants - but overall taking an antidepressant or stimulant is a bad idea if you are prone to experiencing mania - especially psychotic mania ( bipolar type 1)
I for one can not tolerate antidepressants or antidepressant type meds. I can barely tolerate Lamictal - and Lamictal is a mood stabilizer not an antidepressant.
Antidepressants can make many people with bipolar get psychotic, even if you dont normally suffer from psychosis.
Sometimes Wellbutrin or Paxil is given to people afflicted with bipolar, but its still a gamble.
Best of luck with everything, and hang in there


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I have schizoaffective dissorder also and right now the only things i am taking are the invega sustenna shot and lithium oratate. I take the invega shot for my mania and lithium oratate for my depression. I originally thought that the lithuim oratate would only help my depression but ive found out that it helps with my schizophenia as well. I get depression, bad thoughts, voices, thinking people are talking about/interpret words people say as negative things against me and lithium oratate has helped with all of these symptoms. I just started taking lithium oratate about a month and a half ago but now i cant function without it. I take the liquid form of lithium oratate which is fast acting. You can take it under the tongue(which i do) or via nasal passage. If you have schizophrenia take lithium oratate, it might end up being as beneficial for you as it has for me. It also helps with mood swigs(when im feeling slightly manic at the end of the month from my shot). I was feeling slightly manic toward the end of the month after my shot and a half an hour after i took lithium the manic feelings went away. The only thing is that the website where i buy the lithium from says to only take it 5 days a week. I was instructed to take it 7 days a week by my nurse practitioner because i dont just have mania but schizophrenia as well. You take it twice a day, two sprays each dose. It has worked wonders for me.

#10 is where i get the liquid lithium oratate from.


Adderall is a psychostimulant, Celexa an ssri, and Abilify is an antipsychotic. Your Dr. has his evidence to put you on this mix, but if you are experiencing side effects that don’t help your symptoms you should make a change. The beginning symptoms of SSRIs are intense, but it takes a couple weeks to get into your system so it’s normal for your second day to be a challenge. Your CNS has just been reprogrammed, give it a week or so and keep a log of your negative symptoms. Trial and error is a challenging process.


I don’t know much about Lithium although my son has been on it for over a year. Currently on low dose of 300 mg as pdoc was worried about possible mood component so didn’t take him off it. I have read that it is good for schizoaffective. Have you ever tried it?


I was advised not to take Lithium as if I miss or forget a dose it has severe side effects plus I’m really wary of the health effects of Lithium. I will reconsider Celexa but I felt weird on it for the first two days. I might need to give it more time. I mean, I had sex with my ex boyfriend and felt anxious and loopy on it, even had a fight with my brother so that’s not normal for me. Maybe it helped, but I feel more grounded on adderall and abilify without the celexa which made me feel crazy and delusional.