Bipolar Diagnosis: Navigating Between Scylla and Charybdis
May 01, 2007
When a new patient with depression enters your practice, you face a diagnostic dilemma. If you miss bipolar disorder (BD), and prescribe an antidepressant, you can do harm. But if you call a unipolar depression "bipolar," you may also do harm, because lithium, anticonvulsants, and atypical antipsychotics carry significant risk as both short- and long-term treatments. In addition, the label of "BD" currently carries much more stigma than the term "depression."