Anyone diagnosed as bi polar?

Hi guys

Long time lurker first time poster.

My story seems to be different from a lot of you (will post in the template shortly). After quitting the drug I had sexual side effects, brain fog, anxiety, insomnia and wild mood swings (which I self-diagnosed at the time as “crashes”) for about 2.5 months. All these have subsided except for the serious mood swings, which have continued unabated and have recently caused me to be diagnosed as bi polar rapid cycling (due both to the symptoms and a history of the disease in my family). I have been placed on an anticonvulsant/mood stabiliser (lamictal - which has no sexual sides to speak of, though ironically significant hair loss has been a factor) which has assisted significantly and enabled me to get on with my life to an extent.

My question is whether anyone has experienced on going depressive periods (which for me last from a few hours to a day or two followed by periods of feeling normal and stable) or deep mood swings on their own or in conjunction with their other symptoms? It seems that most people report long deep periods of depression rather than quick cycling periods as I suffer from.

It also seems that the majority of uses report that the mental side effects subside over time. If anybody has suffered from these issues, has anyone gone on to recover?

Id say im bipolar, but only capable of severe lows up to manageablely okay moods. Its like sitting around the tv and eating a good meal and calming down for a few hours are the highlights of my day.

I find this thread funny. All of us suffering PFS are diagnosed with anxiety and bi-polarity :laughing: .

I can relate to your story quite well. Before I ever found out Propecia was the cause of my issues, I was seeing a psychiatrist and was very open/honest about everything going on, and was still taking Propecia at the time. He prescribed mood stabilizers (abilify, lithium) which are primarily for those with Bi-Polar. I refused to take the lithium because one of the side effects could cause hair loss.

Things kept getting worse and worse, job, stress, marriage, kids, home projects etc. So I fired this doc and found another who had me take the MMPI test in order to figure out if I really had Bi-Polar. Turns out I don’t have Bi-Polar, but I DO exhibit some of the behaviors. Not being happy with this, I found yet another doctor who was qualified in both areas, psychiatrist and psychologist. Ultimately diagnosed with ADD. BiPolar and ADHD are closely related disorders.

Long story short; The damage Propecia was causing severely impacted my cognitive abilities as well as wild mood swings, not to mention the physical aspects and sexual desire. I lost a 6 figure career as a result, and did not have the desire or confidence that I could find another job. I’m still unemployed, 3 years. But fortunate to have a wife of 21 years who is supporting our family.

hey guys - thanks for your responses

i was wondering how people’s depression presents? is it a general down feeling that wears off in time or does it come in waves between periods of relative mental stability? i have had periods of intense depression (usually no more than a few days or hours) followed by periods of normality.

Also when the mental side effects disappear do they disappear as a gradual increase in periods of normality, or do they just stop suddenly.


yes there is a cycle to it, a cycle to the sexual side effects as well. Its hormonal.

Unfortunately that friend who is going through it thanks to Merck. Frazzier should kill.

How long did you take the abilify? Did you notice any changes while on it?

It is suggested in some research to stabilize symptoms associated with anti-dopamine drugs (e.g. that lead to dopamine super-sensitivity); which may relate to the effects observed with finasteride.

I was diagnosed bipolar and was on nearly a dozen medications in an attempt to treat it. I rapid cycled as well, usually several times a day, and very rarely went manic. It was more of a cycling between varying states of depression, and when I did go manic it usually ended in psychosis.

This went on for years and suddenly stopped. I have no idea why. Now I’m just left with crippling fatigue, exhaustion, brain fog, and the usual PFS symptoms. The medications never helped and often made it worse. The only thing that did help were stimulants (Ritalin and Adderall) because they gave me a sense of control and alleviated some of the depression. I am still prescribed Ritalin, and it’s the only thing that helps get me off my ass and get dressed in the morning. I had to take it to write a few posts tonight.

I wish you the best of luck. This is a monster of an illness and the only person I would wish it on is the pharmaceutical companies because they deserve to know what they caused. Fuck them all.

I’m glad Lamictal is working for you. It did nothing for me, except scare me a few times with a rash that I was praying to god wasn’t Steven Johnsons!

Hi guys
first of all excuse me because weak English.
My story:
I started to use FINPECIA( the Indian type of propecia) 3 years a go. I began to feel side effects approximately 5 months a go. no considerable sexual but dramatic and horrible mental disorders. brain fog, severe contentious thinking, depressed some times in day and feel normal and energetic other times( the symptoms of rapid cycling bipolar), inability to make decisions even very simple ones,irritability (when I feel angry I really can not control myself and my surrounding people are bothered a lot by my aggressive behavior), loss of short memory, fatigue, no hope for future and some suicidal thinks. I am very freaked out and deciding to wean off fin.(now 0.25 mg a day)
anybody felt the same feelings specially bipolar symptoms and survived. In this dark months I lost 6 job opportunities by my choice. i am very talented but I have panic attacks, feeling of guilty and various mental problems thanks to this drug(I think the drug is the main reason)
I am young and really cant tolerate this situation. because of the variety of mental side effects I think it can not be a special mental disorder. it is a mix of all mental problems I mean it can be a hormonal change in the body leads to rapid mood swings. any idea?

Depression is a listed side effect of the drug.

Drug inhibits allopregnanolone, a neurosteroid implicated in anxiety and depressive disorders. Get off the drug and most likely your issues will resolve over time.

For more info read articles on homepage, viewtopic.php?f=8&t=38

I had mild depression on the drug, with the worst issues occuring 6-8 weeks after I came off. I’m almost 100% now (20 months later).

For us who are sensitive to these sort of neurosteroids changes, the results can be horrific. Hope the titrating works and you are able to get off the drug safely.

My father has always had a mild bipolar condition his whole life but after finasteride I haven’t noticed it as much. Might be anhedonia but it seems to have resolved his bipolar tendencies. He took it for a week for prostate issues a couple of years ago, he has PFS too.

It would be great if both your father and yourself completed the survey. The more that contribute to the survey the better, and the fact that two members of the same family with the condition will be incredibly useful data points. It only takes about an hour of your time and would be greatly appreciated by the whole community. Many thanks in advance.