One-third of Youth Treated for Bipolar Developed Schizophrenia Symptoms

Rob Wipond
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Over one-third of young people who were treated for bipolar disorder developed schizophrenia within eight years, according to a study in Schizophrenia Research. In addition, treatment with antipsychotics was “significantly associated” with poor psychosocial adaptation.

The team of psychiatrists from a hospital at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in France did a follow-up assessment of 55 adolescents hospitalized between 1993 and 2004 for bipolar disorder. Of these, 35 (63.6%) were still suffering symptoms of bipolar disorder, while 20 (36.4%) had begun presenting symptoms of schizophrenia.

“Psychosocial adaptation was moderate to poor for most patients, and 91% of the patients had at least one relapse,” wrote the researchers. Along with low socio-economic status, intellectual disability, negative life events and a history of sexual abuse, treatment with antipsychotics was “significantly associated with poorer psychosocial adaptation.”

Seven people at follow-up were not taking any psychiatric medications of any kind, but the researchers did not provide any distinct analysis on how those people had fared.

Diagnostic transition towards schizophrenia in adolescents with severe bipolar disorder type I: An 8-year follow-up study (Consoli, Angèle et al. Schizophrenia Research. Published Online September 10, 2014. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2014.08.010)

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Rob Wipond
Rob Wipond is a Victoria, British Columbia-based freelance journalist who has been writing on mental health issues for fifteen years. His research has particularly focused on the interfaces between psychiatry, the justice system, and civil rights. His articles have been nominated for three Canadian National Magazine Awards, six Western Magazine Awards, and four Jack Webster Awards for journalism. He can be contacted through his website.

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56 COMMENTS

  1. ‘Over one-third of young people who were treated for bipolar disorder developed schizophrenia within eight years…’ this is in keeping with psychiatric drugs turning people into longterm psychiatric patients. This was my own experience between 1980 and 1984.
    Most of the time there is no genuine ‘bi polar’ or ‘schizophrenia’ to begin with.

    • Fiachra,

      I agree. The ADHD drugs and “antidepressants” CAUSE the “bipolar” symptoms, and the “antipsychotics” CAUSE the “schizophrenia” symptoms. One has to wonder how many decades it will take the “professionals” to figure this out.

      Oh, at least some have known for decades, and the actual purpose of the “mental illness” stigmatizations is to cover up easily recognized iatrogenesis and sexual abuse of women and children by men, and no doubt, other crimes against humanity by unethical people who’ve been given too much power.

      Psychiatry pretends to be “medical care,” but in reality, it’s just an unjust form of social control.

      • It’s not in professionals interest to figure it out. Bad “mental health” is good business. Business is maintaining people on psych drugs. Recovery is bad for business. “In recovery” is good for business.

        As you point out, what we actually have here is a prescription drug problem. The Stimulants used on ADHD cause mania, as do anti-depressants. This leads to another diagnosis, bipolar or schizophrenia, and other drugs. This combination of drugs makes up a cocktail, and that’s a problem in itself.

        The industry starts talking co-occurring disorders, but what’s happened is they’ve managed to put a person on multiple drugs, and now that person is dealing with this broad range adverse drug effects. Rather than sensibly thinking we should get this person off all these chemicals, clinical thought runs along the lines of this person’s case is more severe than we first thought. Either this person’s drug dosage needs to be increased, or he or she needs an additional chemical in his or her system. Either way, in many many instances, drugs are the problem, not disease.

        • Frank
          ‘In Recovery is good for business’ – I caught my GP Practice (Central London) claiming for me as Severely Mentally Ill in 2012, without telling me, and took them to the UK Parliamentary Ombudsman. The GP Practice even had me ‘diagnosed’ with the wrong obsolete ‘diagnosis’. The UK Ombudsman let them off with a slap on the wrist.

          In 17 years with this GP Practice I had never presented with a mental health problem. In 28 years in the UK I have never taken a penny in Sickness benefit. I am a net UK Taxpayer. If I had been Severely Mentally Ill over this period of time I would have cost the UK taxpayer about £1 million.

          The UK Ombudsman man is now trying to run away from my (historical) records because they contain suppression of Adverse Drug Reaction that I can substantiate with documentary evidence.

          • Fiachra,

            Exactly, one of the purposes of the “mental illness” stigmatizations is to cover up ADRs and other easily recognized iatrogenesis. Apparently, all the doctors seem to really know how to do, is blame patients. As a family friend said, when asked how he felt after graduating from medical school, “I know enough to be dangerous.”

          • Fiacra: I accidentally saw my mental health records when I was discharged from the crisis unit to a group home placement in the “community.” Chronically mentally ill. On the one hand I was being told that I had bipolar and a chemical imbalance similar to diabetes. So I suppose that there is something on the chart of a diabetic that says chronically physically ill.

        • On the other hand, drugs can be the thing that keeps one stable. As someone with Bipolar disorder, I for one couldn’t function without the 3 drugs that I take. With them I have a great job, haven’t been hospitalized for 6 years and lead a pretty normal life. Granted, it took about 2 years to find the right “cocktail” for me, but I would NEVER consider not taking my meds. I have been taking psych meds for about 20 years and am 60 years old.

          • I’m glad they work for you, Majesty. But they do not work for all people. Psych meds should NEVER be forced or coerced upon anyone, nor should they be given under the guise of a “safe … med.”

          • You may be one of a very few minority that the drugs seem to work for. Unfortunately, for countless other people who’ve been put on these drugs their lives have been destroyed or made almost unlivable by the effects of the drugs. You can’t judge the effects of these drugs just by your experience with them. You are one of the very lucky few that the drugs don’t cause great problems.

            After taking a so-called “antidepressant” for about five years I removed them from my life and would never consider ever going back on them. When a so-called “medicine” works only a little better than a placebo you have to stop and wonder and ask some very important questions. And to think that the “antidepressant” that I was on cost over $200 a month, I may as well have gone out and spent all that money on candy and not had all of the horrible effects that the damned things caused for me. Today I am totally drug free with the exception of blood pressure medicine.

          • Majesty: The noticeable negative reaction to psych drugs was tremor and increased thirst from lithium which caused remarks from students. I stopped Lithium three years ago-no more tremors, but phrenologist, primary care physician and psychiatrist all concur that it was Lithium that caused my stage 3 kidney disease after over twenty years of use. I am 53.

          • I don’t want to sound patronising or try to talk you into getting off meds if you think they work for you and you don’t suffer any side effects but I often hear things like: “it took about 2 years to find the right “cocktail” for me” which can just as well mean spontaneous recovery and/or placebo effect. And surely enough if one then tries to get off the meds he/she’ll experience withdrawal mania, psychosis or other pleasantries so it will be concluded that the drugs are needed to keep one stable.
            It’s funny how when psych surviviours tell personal stories of drug induced harm they get dismissed as “anecdotal” (although there are actual studies showing both side effects and low efficacy of the drugs) but when someone says “these drugs helped me” it’s treated as a proof of how awesome they are.

      • Exactly, Someone else
        Its possible to turn even a well person into a ‘Schizophrenic’ with Psychiatric drugs. At this stage I think everybody knows someone that wasn’t really too bad mental health wise until the went for ‘treatment’ and now are long term disabled.

        • The game of ‘Whackamole diagnosis’ is almost at the point where psychiatrists can predict the pattern.

          “I whack the ADHD with this drug, and up pops Bipolar, I whack that with this drug and up pops Schizophrenia. I whack that with this drug and ….best I hand this person off to another service”.

          All these smart folk can’t figure out where the problem is? Somebody pull the plug on the Whackamole would they.

          • “Whack-a-Mole diagnosis” – LOL! “Somebody pull the plug on the Wack-a-Mole” is right.

            “Unmasking” bipolar and schizophrenia with antidepressants, ADHD drugs, and antipsychotics is absolutely greed inspired and unethical behavior, not “proper medical care.”

    • I wondered about this also. I am an incest survivor and my father was not your normal run of the mill pedophile, as bad as that is. He was twisted beyond the pale. In any case, as an adult when I sought treatment, everyone wanted to give me antidepressants, etc. Fortunately, all of these medications had horrible side effects and I worked thru the nightmare with therapy. I noticed that a woman I knew who had a similar background of extreme abuse went the psychiatric drug use route. She has been living on disability for over 20 years and I am still self supporting. I think the fact that the drugs did not work actually saved me.

  2. Again, bravo Sherlock. If they just went on MIA and read some comments from people who had the “pleasure and honour” to be on these wonderful drugs they’d have known without even doing the study. But hey, it’s nice they published it.

  3. I always thought having a severe mental illness would be so obvious within 1-2 psychiatrist visits. This article is saying schizophrenia is not noticed by the prescribing pdoc who has been poly drugging his victims, oh meant, clients for years? Would the pdoc not think this was unusual?

    Happened to me and I had no idea the drugs altered my behavior. MIA is a gold mine of info from former psychiatric victims and unfortunately psychiatrists coming here to read it.

      • My wish would be that someone from the UK Royal College of GPs would visit this website. Because some of its members are really wet behind the ears. A five year old would have conducted an interview better than the last GP I have seen.

        He loaded up reference to nonexistent symptoms of severe mental illness onto my notes. He ignored several requests from me to remove them. When I went official he removed all the symptoms and told me he had no problem with me working on Building Sites. Severe mental illness diagnosis can change with the weather in the UK.

      • wileywitch,
        Been there with the stigma. Years ago went to the ER and this horrible ER doc saw my MI diagnosis in my chart. He said, “nothing is wrong with you except you’re crazy, go home” and my friend heard him say this. I’ve been denied medical help due to this stigma.

        I was told later by other psychiatrists I had never been mentally ill but what to do with my diagnosis? A fear is being branded with a scarlet MI for Mentally Ill.

  4. aria
    It is a mine field of information. I think Dr Peter Gøtzsche is right when he says “My studies of the research literature in this whole area lead me to a very uncomfortable conclusion: the way we currently use psychiatric drugs is causing more harm than good.”
    There’s plenty of evidence now that ‘Schizophrenia’ as an illness is caused by treatment and withdrawal syndromes, and that it should be ditched as a diagnosis.

  5. Lets see: 55 adolescents who are mostly from impoverished backgrounds, many not taking their meds anymore. Gee, sounds like real good science to me! To all of you who say anti-depressants are dangerous, useless and just plain no good: THOSE DRUGS SAVED MY DAUGHTER’S LIFE!!! Without them she would have been dead two years ago. Think before you generalize like that!

    • I’m glad antidepressants saved your daughter’s life. But they shouldn’t be forced or coerced upon anyone as is currently happening in our society – and the doctors don’t seem capable of comprehending the words, “Your drugs are making me sick.” And the antidepressants will likely cause birth defects in your grandchild, if your daughter ever has a child, just an FYI.

    • SingingMom,

      I am also glad that meds helped your daughter. But the issue is that for many people on this site, they have destroyed our lives and doctors don’t seem to care that this is our experience. Our voices should not be silenced.

      I hope that if your daughter changes her mind and decides she doesn’t want to take the meds, that you will be fully supportive of that decision. And by the way, if she decides to get off of meds, make sure she tapers very slowly to prevent withdrawal symptoms that look like a return of the illness but aren’t.

      • Hi Singing Mom
        I too am glad the meds helped your daughter and I hope she continues to do well.
        However, my experience is different. After nearly 50 years with NO mental health problems I was put on these meds for understandable stress (called “depression”). They nearly killed me…twice, by making suicide seem like a truly noble option. They resulted in me being locked up and forcibly medicated in a psychiatric ward, which resulted in my first ever psychosis – a highly traumatic experience, believe me.

        There are many studies that bring the efficacy and safety of the meds into question, and much evidence that casts doubt on both their efficacy and their safety.

        In the interests of your daughter’s longer term well being, it might be wise for you both to read the info now she has improved and make a fully informed decision re the ongoing use of psych meds, especially given their dangers to unborn babies, should your daughter conceive.

        • Kim,

          Did you also get your “first ever psychosis” from being forced or coerced onto antipsychotics? I know there have been journal articles since at least 1964 stating that the neuroleptics can cause psychosis in never before psychotic people.

          But today’s psychiatrists seem completely ignorant of the reality that antipsychotics can and do cause psychosis in at least a percentage of the population. Instead, they seem to be under some sort of “odd delusion” that blaming the patients who don’t react well to their drugs, rather than the drugs, with worse “mental illnesses” is “appropriate medical care.”

          • You’re absolutely right, Fiachra. The “drugs don’t just flip ‘patients’ they can flip anyone.”

            The Russian dissidents claimed the antipsychotics were “torture” drugs in the 1970’s, and now the UN claims “forced psychiatric treatment is torture.”

            One has to wonder why the psychiatric industry doesn’t know this yet, especially since they’re the supposed “professionals.”

          • Hi Someone Else
            The reason they do it is because they can get away with doing it.

            4o% of ‘Schizophrenics’ attempt suicide ; maybe 17% successfully. This usually happens in the first few years. After the first few years they get to know the medication themselves and how to protect themselves, themselves. The ‘doctor’ is as much use as a bag of sand.

            There are lots of studies done into the phenomenon of ‘Schizophrenic’ suicide; and theories. But all they have to do is ask a suicide attempter?

            I’ve attempted sucide twice on strong psychiatric drugs and made complete recovery as a result of coming off strong pschiatric drugs (its probably boring the amount of times I’ve said this on MIA – Sorry)

          • Sorry Someone Else
            The first sentence should read something like: ‘the reason they don’t know it, is because they can get away with not knowing.’
            ….apologies

          • Another thing that’s really quite sad about the schizophrenia (and, no doubt, bipolar diagnoses), Fiachra, is that millions of dollars worth of research has turned up no genetic proof of them as actual illnesses.

            But 85% of the schizophrenics had dealt with child trauma issues, and these real life problems were covered up by psychiatrists who labeled and tranquilized these victims, instead of helping them. Apparently, all the child molesters know to send their victims to the psychiatric practitioners, in order to cover up their sins.

          • “But all they have to do is ask a suicide attempter?”
            Exactly. But that comes from the arrogant paternalistic notions of “lack of insight” and general idea that any “reasons” are irrelevant since the broken brain is at fault. Plenty of people have pretty good reasons to want to end their lives but they all get dismissed as mental illness. “Take a pill” is supposed to do the trick but pills don’t heal loneliness, grief, poverty, trauma, etc.

          • Complaining to a doctor about his drug’s side effects is almost like insulting him. You’re a mental case because you dare to claim the pills make you sick. I sometimes wanted to demonstrate by throwing up all over their desks just to push the point through.

        • This is in reply to Fiachra,
          HEH! Don’t feel you need to apologize for stating what the drugs did to you, and what they did to you, and that you’re recovered without them. Say that as much as you want to. Don’t feel you have to hold back telling about it when you hear the mythology/theology/ marketing scheme about the evil chemical imbalance they are said to fight (while causing chemical imbalance).
          Not that you have to always tell your story, but don’t feel you’re boring anyone. It’s ridiculous how many times you have to set straight what we’re told to believe, that may seem boring (and redundant and stupid) but that’s because it’s so hard to believe one would have to repeat it so often to contradict obsessive compulsive repetitive presumptions, ideology and the wish for a magic pill.

          • Thanks for your supportive reply, Nijinsky
            I nearly went mad trying to come off the strong medications. Its the psychiatric drugs that create the long term psychiatric patient.

          • Someone Else
            On the subject of money spent on genetic research. I was ‘labelled up’ in the Maudsley Hospital/ Kings College Psychiatric Research University, in 1980.
            They refused me psychotherapy even though I asked for it – instead they injected me with chemicals (Modecate depot). In 1984 I was ‘labelled up’ even more seriously.

            I then weaned myself off these drugs and made full recovery with the help of practical psychotherapy.

            In my 30 years of wellness the Maudsley/Kings College University, have spent many millions of other peoples money, on ‘bio psychiatric research’ with a view towards finding further chemical solutions.

    • The article very clearly states that there were seven people that weren’t taking any medications [at follow up], but there was no data on them: “Seven people at follow-up were not taking any psychiatric medications of any kind, but the researchers did not provide any distinct analysis on how those people had fared. “

      Although it’s convenient, to tag on the idea that anyone still having emotional problems isn’t taking their medications, there is no real correlation here, in the study. In fact, what correlates is that people who never were on medications, or that weened off of them recover at far higher levels. In other words if you believe people need to take medications for emotional problems, this causes more emotional problems and thus more need for the “medications” and thus an epidemic. That correlates with addiction, a fear of normal emotional responses given the environment, which then is excused and not dealt with when it causes depression, and with more profit and control for the drug companies.

      People on anti-depressants also have more relapses; the “medications” called anti-depressants were marketed under highly questionable trials, In order to believe they actually correlate with helping depression you have to believe that it’s kosher to dismiss everyone who gets sick from the anti-depressants and has to leave the clinical trials as not being part of it, not counted, and then taking anyone who gets better in the placebo group the first couple of weeks out, again rigging the odds; and then still not having the “results” needed taking people who are already on a psychiatric drug (and used to it) in the trial (sort of like offering addicts a new street drug, or jet setters a new restaurant and/or resort to prove its wonders); and at first not reporting the last 7 weeks of the trial because so many people had serious withdrawal symptoms; and then not telling anyone about all the violence the drug creates once it’s approved, although this is known, as well as that people committed suicide in the trials because of the effects of the anti-depressants. And with EVERYTHING they did to get good results (which isn’t truly scientific, if you truly look at how the results were obtained), the “anti-depressants” only have a marginal or no correlation with alleviating depression.

      The article also is about bi-polar, which isn’t usually “treated” with anti-depressants, but with second wave narcoleptics.

      If a person is forced on a medication which they have no choice to take, and they have to say that they are getting better or be forced on more treatment, it is not unlikely that they will say the medications are helping (saved their life even) just to avoid more of the same. There is no real definitive correlation with anti-depressants preventing suicides, in fact they have black box warnings which say that they can cause suicide, and homocidal thoughts.

      See: www,ssristories.com

    • It’s great that your daughter is alive. My experience with the so-called “antidepressants” almost cost me my very life.

      There is no “chemical imbalance” of the brain nor should sadness be morphed into a “mental illness.” The only “chemical imbalance” of the brain results after taking the toxic drugs, the drugs cause the imbalance. They have done studies where the amount of serotonin was reduced on purpose in the brains of the test subjects and guess what? These people didn’t experience depression! The chemical imbalance bologna was introduced by the drug companies so that they could sell their SSRI’s hand over fist to a society that wants quick fixes to people who don’t want to struggle with life’s difficulties. In the end, the SSRI’s block you from feeling, from experiencing your emotions, and turn you into the perfect zombie. I’d rather not live than to exist where my life was nothing but responding to everything around me in a numb, emotionless manner.

      Thanks but no thanks, you can keep your toxic drugs. But I am glad that your daughter is alive.

  6. Malcolm Peet’s report has so-called schizophrenia and type 2 diabetes happening together as a package, and the schizophrenia part of it being the brain being impacted by a malfunctioning metabolism including health and energy supple in cells of the brain.

    My shorthand description may not be exactly correct – but here is the report.

    With honest decent Medical personages such as Malcolm Peet type 2 diabetes like schizophrenia is a characterization one can make and can be called “a real thing” — while on the important other-hand the type 2 diabetes is curable.

    What is meant by Type 2 diabetes? It is either a classification of metabolic syndrome that has gotten worse to a certain level of affliction that is classified as now being “type 2 diabetes”, or perhaps it could represent th-s plus a resultant system breakdown.

    People who subscribe to Functional Medicine, (restorative integrative Medicine by whatever name) people such as Vince Bellonzi, D.O. are not going to look at a classification of type 2 diabetes or some form of classification of “schizophrenia” as and end point that is permanent. They will take informed actions to restore over all – and specific – health and functionality.

    Raymond J. Pataracchia, B.Sc., N.D. also uses the term schizophrenia as a legitimate and realistic term. Yet it is significantly subversive to the edifice of the powerful Medicopharmaco Establishment that is run by sociopaths (or people that are ruthless and have zero moral qualms about poioning USA people of all ages inclusing pregnent and nursing women).

    Pataracchia’s usage connotes something that restorative therapies such diet, detoxification and biofamiliar chemicals can address.

    Although he speaks of so-called “schizophrenia” as a single disease this is, or can be, a good report. It is clear that – in typical USA practice – there is no single real “disease,” since diagnostic practice consists of an empowered hack asking some questions of a person and then giving her or his quote “Professional opinion” – which is then “the diagnosis.”

    Pataracchia repeats what Robert Whitaker in The Pharmacaust (one of the video’s Robert and Loren Mosher made at Zuzu’s Place) relates from Raquel Gur’s brain imaging studies.

    “Brain structure loss is one of the biggest and most significant ‘side-effects’ of neuroleptic treatment. Maintaining brain structure is an important part of the nutritional protocol for schizophrenic pathology. The natural course of this disease and neuroleptic exposure are both associated with brain structure compromise.”

    Dan Burdick, S.E.A. Springfield Eugene Antipsychiatry

    Diet, diabetes and schizophrenia: review and hypothesis – Malcolm Peet
    http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/184/47/s102.full.pdf

    Optimal Dosing for Schizophrenia – SAFE HARBOR PROJECT
    Raymond J. Pataracchia, B.Sc., N.D.
    http://www.alternativementalhealth.com/articles/nutrients-schizophrenia.htm

    The Pharmacaust – Robert Whitaker and Loren Mosher, M.D. at Zuzu’s Place
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vkRt46QMms

    Raquel E. Gur, M.D. – MRI Study
    http://psychrights.org/research/digest/nlps/subcorticalMRIVolumes.pdf

    Carl Pfeiffer – Twenty-Nine Medical Causes of “Schizophrenia”
    Excerpted from Nutrition and Mental Illness
    by the late Carl C. Pfeiffer, Ph.D., M.D.
    http://www.alternativementalhealth.com/articles/causesofschizophrenia.htm

    How to Find a Doctor You Can Trust, Functional vs. Mainstream Medicine, Nutrition | The Truth Talks PsycheTruth with Vincent Bellonzi, M.D.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99INrbeiCwA

    Functional Medicine
    PsycheTruth with Vincent Bellonzi, M.D.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeq6xRU2ASQ

  7. Someone Else mentioned ‘blame the patient’. Here is my experience –

    Should ‘treatment’ (a drug) prove ineffective, the blame does not lie with the treatment, but with the patient: the patient is ‘treatment resistant’. If the negative effects of a drug are intolerable, it is not the drug that has failed but the patient: the patient is ‘non-compliant’. A drug is never simply useless and harmful, instead a spurious shift of blame is alleged to explain it’s uselessness and harmfulness: the patient must be a co-morbid drug user or be doing something else so bizarre it interferes with the action of the marvellous medicine. Should the patient’s symptoms worsen on the drug or the patient develops new symptoms it is not the fault of the drug, but the fault of the patient’s underlying pathology.

    Perhaps worst of all is the claim that the mystery ‘illness’ is likely to lead to aggression or violence in a patient with no record of either. On which basis the patient loses their personal liberty and is forcibly medicated against their wishes and the wishes of their family. If that doesn’t succeed in making the previously gentle and placid patient aggressive and violent then continuation on a high dose of neuroleptic or SSRIs eventually will, falsely validating the original bullshit allegation and outrageous iatrogenic course of action.

    Oh, and any violent outburst so occurring and blamed on the original ‘mystery’ pathology – ‘we told you so’ – also happened because the patient was either not taking enough meds or must have stopped taking them.

    • “Perhaps worst of all is the claim that the mystery ‘illness’ is likely to lead to aggression or violence in a patient with no record of either.”

      I attended a police station last week AngryDad and was asked to empty my pockets before they would speak to me. I asked why and it was explained that I “had a history”. Confused by this because my criminal history basically consists of a $50 fine for a bit of pot 30 years ago. History? Oh you mean the facts that the Mental Health workers had to make up to justify locking me up? THAT history.

      The gift that keeps giving is mental health. Stigma, prejudice and discrimination all from a need to make someone look ill.

      • boans,

        I got stopped by a policewoman because the sticker on my license plate was expired. Four cop cars showed up due to this egregious offense, can you say intimidation? And do you think that was due to my prior iatrogenic illness? If so, what ever happened to medical records being private? “Stigma, prejudice, and discrimination all from a need to make someone look ill” for profit.

        Angry Dad,

        What happened to you is apparently typical for the psychiatric industry. It’s an insane industry.

        And what’s particularly sad is most the children defamed as “bipolar” were misdiagnosed (according to the DSM) due to adverse effects of either the ADHD drugs or antidepressants in the first place.