Antidepressant-Induced Mania linked to Bipolar Disorder

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.

3 responses to “Antidepressant-Induced Mania linked to Bipolar Disorder

  1. That’s exactly what happened to me. After 3+ years of taking Zoloft(as a teenager, no less), I had a severe manic/psychotic episode, and now am diagnosed as severely bipolar. I have tried going the no medication route, via empower plus, but it just didn’t work for me. I need to be medicated, and know that I will be for the rest of my life, because the alternative is worse. Although some days I wonder if it’s worth it. Sometimes I think my mental health would be better today had I not been put on antidepressants, and at such a young age. Did using antidepressants f**k me up for life? I guess I’ll never know.

  2. ColonialPunk, I was also under the impression that this was old news. I recently had a discussion with a fellow blogger about how the Bipolar NOS category was where they usually classified individuals that were legitimately bipolar, but only had true mania (as opposed to hypomania) emerge from antidepressant use.

    However, regarding the above comment by Allison Kay, I have never read anything nor found any studies linking the use of antidepressants to being a causal agent for bipolar, instead that this can only unmask something that was underlying but already there.

  3. On New Studies

    Everytime the press, peer reviewed or not, uses the phrase “New Study,” I think about my box of Tide which says “New and Improved,” and has, for decades. You should also know that while eggs are the perfect food, eggs will kill you. It seems to depend on whether the study is funded by the Egg Producers of America or not.

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