What About Bipolar Disorder?

About 1% of people in the U.S. will experience bipolar disorder at some point in their lives, meaning that they will not only be susceptible to states of depression, but also to opposite intervals of hypomania or mania. 

Richard J. Metzner, M.D.

Clinical Professor

Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA

Founder, DepressionConsultant.com


Bipolar patients have a greater likelihood of switching from depression to mania when receiving antidepressants. Using the primary treatments for this disorder, which are mood stabilizers like valproic acid (Depakote)  and/or atypical neuroleptics like quetiapine (Seroquel), may permit safer use of antidepressants, but many bipolar people will do better without them. On the other hand, people with irritable or hostile depressions who don't have mania or hypomania will do much better, in most cases, if treated with calming antidepressants and, if necessary, neuroleptics. Merely being irritable or angry at times, which some call "soft bipolar symptoms," doesn't constitute bipolar disorder. 

We strongly recommend that, when bipolar disorder is a possibility, evaluation includes both a bipolar mania scale and the Clinaptica app. If bipolarity is detected by either scale, referral to a psychiatrist or psychopharmacologist is the next step.




Copyright 2012, Scaled Psychiatric Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.