How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Keane Your Own Question
Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1379
Experience:  Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr. Keane is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My 27 year old daughter was just diagnosed with bipolar

Customer Question

My 27 year old daughter was just diagnosed with bipolar disorder - not the manic one. Her primary physician is working to get her associated with a psychiatrist but in the meantime started her on a trial of abilify. They started her at 5mg. She is very worried about taking this medicine as it has a very long list of scary side effects but understanding that some of those get reported because of the trials and are not necessarily common. Could you tell me what she should most expect taking this medication?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr-A-Greene replied 1 year ago.

I'd recommend that you take her to get a second opinion. Normally I wouldn't say that, but Abilify is primarily an anti-psychotic drug. It was (for some reason) approved by the FDA as more of a mood stabilizer or adjunct to a depression medication regimen in recent years - and they started advertising on TV. However, I would never suggest this as a first-line treatment for Bipolar Disorder, as the potential side-effects from Abilify are not only severe, but can be permanent (specifically extra-pyramidal side effects, which are common to all anti-psychotics). There are many other potential medications that have far less serious side effects that would likely be better for your daughter and her overall health.

I'm offering this advice for free, as it looks like you have a subscription and this question is in the mental health category, which needs to be okay'd by a moderator first for me to receive payment....but I don't care about that. I just wanted to weight in regarding the Abilify because I think it's important.

Best wishes,

Dr. G.

Expert:  Dr-A-Greene replied 1 year ago.

In fact, you mentioned that her Bipolar was "not the manic one" - I'm not sure what that means. If she doesn't also have manic, or hypomanic episodes, then it is not Bipolar I or Bipolar II Disorder (as this is one of the required criteria). So, if she has something that is more akin to Depression (with no mania or psychosis), she would likely respond well to a regular SSRI like Prozac, Paxil, or Celexa - and they're much safer than an Anti-psychotic like Abilify.

Expert:  Dr-A-Greene replied 1 year ago.

I see you've been okay'd for answering, which is good, but I'd still love to hear from you and get your thoughts.

Related Mental Health Questions