From Robert Whitaker’s website links showing how bipolar disorder, too, has been exacerbated since the advent of heavy pharmacological intervention.
A. Bipolar Illness Before the Psychopharmacology Era
Prior to 1955, bipolar illness was a rare disorder. There were only 12,750 people hospitalized with that disorder in 1955. In addition, there were only about 2,400 “first admissions” for bipolar illness yearly in the country’s mental hospitals.
Outcomes were relatively good too. Seventy-five percent or so of the first-admission patients would recover within 12 months. Over the long-term, only about 15% of all first-admission patients would become chronically ill, and 70% to 85% of the patients would have good outcomes, which meant they worked and had active social lives.
B. Gateways to a Bipolar Diagnosis
Today, bipolar illness is said to affect one in every 40 adults in the United States. A rare disorder has become a very common diagnosis. There are several reasons for this. First, many drugs–both illicit and legal–can stir manic episodes, and thus usage of those drugs leads many to a bipolar diagnosis. Second, the diagnostic boundaries of bipolar illness have been greatly broadened.
In a review of 87,290 patients diagnosed with depression or anxiety between 1997 and 2001, those treated with antidepressants converted to bipolar illness at the rate of 7.7% per year, which was three times the rate for those not exposed to the drugs. click here for links to numerous studies
For extensive interpretation of these studies as well as a look at real people in case studies buy and read Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America by Robert Whitaker