Bipolar Patients Have High Drug Burden — Especially Women


Over one third of people with bipolar diagnoses admitted to a Rhode Island hospital were on four or more psychiatric medications, says research published this week in Psychiatric Research. “This increased reliance on polypharmacy does not appear to be contributing to decreased rates of illness chronicity or functional impairment in [bipolar disorder],” according to lead author Lauren Weinstock. Women were significantly more likely than men to be on combinations of antidepressant, anti-anxiety, and/or stimulant medication, all of which are controversial treatments for bipolar and which, together “lack an evidence base.”

Abstract →

Weinstock, L., Gaudiano, B., Epstein-Lubow, G., Tezanos, K., Celis-deHoyos, C., Miller, I.; Medication burden in bipolar disorder: A chart review of patients at psychiatric hospital admission. Psychiatry Research. Online February 1, 2014

Shooting Pills at Bipolar Disorder (The Atlantic)
Bipolar patients have high Rx burden (Brown University)
Study finds high Rx burden for bipolar patients (Medical Xpress)
Assessing the Drug Burden of Bipolar Disorder (Psych Central)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. They can’t figure out why women are forced to take massive quantities of drugs? I’m pretty certain it is because men can be pigs who want to control women. At least, in my case, that was the case. I was forced to take combinations of 6 and more drugs, based on lies from an ex-pastor and his good friend, who wanted to cover up the homosexual molestation of my three year old son. Unfortunately, I’ve learned my ex-religion is regularly covering up homosexual child abuse.

    I’m hoping some day to convince the ELCA and psychiatric industry of the impropriety of defaming women with “lacking in validity” disorders, and forcing women onto “chemical lobotomy” drugs, and toxic drug cocktails that cause anticholinergic intoxication poisoning, merely so pastors and psychiatrists can cover up the sexual abuse of innocent three year old children.

    I’m quite certain that is not the business either doctors or pastors should be in, but have the medical proof it apparently is. And it all boils down to the fact Bishop Mark Hanson, and his male chavanist pig lawyers, don’t want to “pay” my family for the betrayal. But maybe he forgot that hell hath no fury, like a woman scorned.

    Sorry to keep mentioning the psychiatric crimes committed against my family. But I believe it’s important to point out the reality that the psychiatric industry is utilizing their ability to defame others, then render people senceless and make people ungodly sick with their drugs, for evil purposes. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. And the doctors, and even pastors and bishops, can’t be trusted to use the antipsychotics ethically.

    And it makes me sick they’re forcing children onto them, merely because it’s profitable. It’s so sick.

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  2. Over one third of people with bipolar diagnoses admitted to a Rhode Island hospital were on four or more psychiatric medications…

    Has anyone ever noticed that like in my case most people never see the inside of a psych hospital until AFTER they start on the path of psychiatric drugs ?

    There are some people who did the get drunk and suicidal routine and others who swallowed the bottle of Tylenol PM over a breakup or something and of course they too are started on the endless road of psychiatric drugs.

    Thats how the label and drug money machine works, one episode of crisis = a lifetime label and drugs, my guess is this ‘machine’ puts out 1000s of new mental patients a day every day on and on it goes making its billions with dead bodies and ruined lives in its wake day in day out never stopping.

    No one ever asks the simple questions , are you better now than before starting psychotropic drugs? Would you like help getting off them ?

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  3. Dealing with psychiatrists is complete insanity. Their world revolves around belief in a stigmatization “bible,” that has no scientific validity or relevance to reality (other than, apparently the ADHD drugs and antidepressant drugs CAUSE suicides, violence, and the bipolar mania; and the antipsychotics CAUSE the schizophrenia symptoms).

    Copy_cat, the etiology of my “bipolar” was agreeing to get help from a “Christian” therapist because I was in denial of the sexual molestation of my three year old baby, thus obviously confused by the cover up of the abuse by a pastor who unbeknownst to me at the time was best friends with the alleged child molester, disgust at 9.11.2001, and adverse reactions to improper withdrawal from a “safe smoking cessation med” / actual dangerous antidepressant, worsen by the major drug interaction that drug had with Ultram and a NSAI Voltaren. A bad drug cocktail given to me because my PCP was paranoid of a malpractice suit, due to the fact her husband was the “attending physician” at the “bad fix” on a broken bone. But I didn’t find out her motive for the bad drug cocktail until I picked up my medical records years later. In other words, the etiology of my “bipolar” was lack of ethics and greed of unethical and incompetent doctors, pastors, and alleged child molesters. It’s good to know the actual etiology of one’s “bipolar.”

    But what’s odd is the DO who was trying to “cure” my “bipolar,” by way of poisoning me with combinations of 6 drugs, all which have major drug interaction warnings stating they cause anticholinergic intoxication, thought the etiology of my “bipolar” was “something from childhood and the church.” He was seemingly completely deluded by the “Christian” therapist, whose medical records are full of lies and gossip from the pastor and alleged child molesters. Isn’t it great we now know the etiology of at least one bipolar case. And my subsequent pastors told me shipping people off to psychiatrists to be defamed, rendered senseless with drugs, tortured, and hopefully murdered was how doctors and pastors have historically covered up their malpractice and sins. So lack of ethics and greed of unscrupulous people is likely the etiology of lots of “bipolar” victims.

    Maybe, if psychiatry wants to maintain it’s credibility, or regain credibility, it shouldn’t be in the business of covering up child molestation for unethical pastors and religions, and covering up the “easily recognized medical mistakes” and “complex medical mistakes” via their “controversial iatrogenesis” / defaming and poisoning patients any longer?

    At least I personally have no respect for an industry that seems to do nothing but attack, defame, and torture people who have already been victimized, while hypocritically taking payment for and claiming they will help the person. I have no respect for an industry that attacks, defames, and tortures our societies’ weakest – the children and elderly.

    But hey, a little good news, the headline on a local paper today was “Treating kids without drugs.” Hope, hope, hope, pray, pray, pray for societal wisdom and justice some day!

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