Classic Bipolar vs Atypical Bipolar – How To Tell The Difference

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Bipolar disorder can present in two very distinct ways. There is, a classic or textbook presentation and non-classic or atypical presentation. These are not official subtypes of bipolar disorder that you will find in the diagnostic manual. This is a clinical description of two different ways bipolar disorder can present or look.

This matters because the classic form of bipolar disorder tends to respond much better to lithium and the atypical form tends to respond better to anticonvulsant mood stabilizers like Depakote and Lamotrigine and the atypical antipsychotic medications like Abilify and Seroquel.

I use and define a lot of terms in this video. Its good for you to know the clinical terms so if you’re listening to someone else talk about this or you’re reading about it online, you’ll understand what’s being said. Sometimes when your doctor is talking to you, he or she may slip in these terms without thinking about it because it takes some extra work to do the translation in your head to speak using non-clinical jargon.

Here are the terms I discussed in this video: Classic bipolar, atypical bipolar, Atypical/second generation antipsychotics, subsyndromal, morbidity, psychological construct, hyperthymic temperament, heritable, first degree and neuroprotective.

Perugi G, Hantouche E, Vannucchi G. Diagnosis and Treatment of Cyclothymia: The “Primacy” of Temperament. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2017;15(3): 372-379.

Marneros A, Goodwin F. Bipolar Disorders: Mixed States, Rapid Cycling and Atypical Forms. 2005. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Want to know more about mental health and self-improvement? On this channel I discuss topics such as bipolar disorder, major depression, anxiety disorders, attention deficit disorder (ADHD), relationships and personal development/self-improvement. I upload weekly. If you don’t want to miss a video, click here to subscribe.

Disclaimer: All of the information on this channel is for educational purposes and not intended to be specific/personal medical advice from me to you. Watching the videos or getting answers to comments/question, does not establish a doctor-patient relationship. If you have your own doctor, perhaps these videos can help prepare you for your discussion with your doctor.

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