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you often hear that failure with multiple antidepressants can be a sign of undiagnosed bipolar disorder.  how come you don't hear the opposite?  that failure with multiple bipolar treatments, i.e. zyprexa, lamictal, lithium, can be a sign of unipolar depression?

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hmm, ok lets think about it.

- First I would argue that depression is depression.  The symptoms of depression are the same whether a person is Bipolar or unipolar.

- Next, all the symptoms of straight depression are included in the set of bipolar symptoms.

- The reverse is not true.  Assuming that the practitioner is able to correctly identitfy mood swings, mixed episodes, hypomania and mania, then by definition bipolar disorder is diagnosed and unipolar depression is excluded.

- Now all the mood stabilizers used for bipolar can be effective in treating depression.  And it is common to add antidepressants as adjuncts to mood stabilizers in treating bipolar, and mood stabilizers can be added to antidepressants for depression. Be careful though, one doesn't diagnose an illness based on the reaction to a medication.

At the heart of your question is the truth that when you feel lousy the name of your illness doesn't matter, it is the correct treatment and relief.

wishing you a better day,

A.M.

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