A new research study shows antidepressant-induced mania is similar to bipolar disorder, as reviewed yesterday on the PsychCentral website.
The research concluded that depressed patients who had mania induced by an antidepressant were more similar to patients with bipolar disorder than to those with depression alone.
The article concludes with:
The findings of this study confirm that treatment-induced mania is a clinical phenomenon that belongs within the bipolar spectrum rather than a coincidental treatment complication, and that it should be placed under ‘bipolar disorders’ in future classification systems.
Personally, I was not surprised in the least with the conclusions these researchers made and I am under the impression that this wasn’t entirely new information, just information supporting what is already believed about bipolar disorder.
For the most part it seems that being prescribed an antidepressant and having had an induced manic episode is how most people I know with bipolar disorder became diagnosed in the first place. These episodes of mania induced by an antidepressant seem to be one of the biggest bipolar tells for the mental health community.
My own experience involves having had a psychotic (meaning a break with reality) manic episode from taking an antidepressant once, as well as a less severe manic episode from another antidepressant. From what I’ve heard, some people with bipolar disorder have a very difficult time tolerating antidepressants in general but can take them with other specific medications and many can’t tolerate them at all.