Diagnosis plus medication is not ideal

Here is a second quote from Robert Whitaker’s book.

“…before medication, 15 to 20 percent of bipolar patients became chronically ill. Half remained symptom-free in long-term studies after a first hospitalization for mania or depression. Seventy-five to 90 percent worked, and showed no signs of cognitive decline.”

I would have been one of the 75-90% who stayed well without medication having no significant mood swings for 17 years and no talk of bipolar disorder until I was persuaded to take an antidepressant.

This is not about everyone giving up medication – some people need to stay on their meds. I am wondering how many others would have stayed relatively well if they had not taken that first tablet?

Whitaker, Robert, Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America. 2010, Crown (Random House). ISBN 978-0-307-45241-2.

When bipolar follows on from antidepressant meds

“Today, one percent of all American children have it, and more than 65 percent of them developed bipolar after being treated with a stimulant or anti-depressant” Whitaker

Most people I know and work with who have a bipolar diagnosis say that they took an anti-depressant shortly before they were diagnosed.

Health professionals need to think carefully before giving antidepressants to people who show any signs of bipolar disorder.

Whitaker, Robert, Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America. 2010, Crown (Random House). ISBN 978-0-307-45241-2.

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