As many as one in five people being treated for depression in primary care could have undiagnosed bipolar disorder, according to researchers.
Psychiatrists assessed 154 people being treated for depression by their GP and found 29 met the diagnostic criteria for bipolar disorder.
The authors said: “It is likely that many people being treated for depression by their GP will have been prescribed antidepressants. For people who in fact have undiagnosed bipolar disorder, these drugs may be at best unhelpful and at worst harmful.”
- Smith DJ, et al. Unrecognised bipolar disorder in primary care patients with depression. The British Journal of Psychiatry 2011; Advance online publication.
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