Well, there have been a lot of advancements in knowledge about bipolar since the 80s, that for sure. I'm glad you're getting things worked out.
If you meet me now you would have no clue I have anything wrong. If I am off my mood stabilizer I am just as psychotic as I can be.
I knew I acted crazy but I didn't know they had a name for it. :)
Yeah, sometimes it's only after you've got better that you can really have the insight into how distorted your thinking processes were. I really cannot imagine what I would be like now without meds (scary).
Actually many atypical antipsychotics (if not all) are FDA approved for treating bipolar as well. The full spectrum of bipolar is complex. Bipolar with psychotic features is not that rare. When a person has bipolar with psychotic features they have psychosis specifically during moodswings. When a person has schizoaffective as I do they experience psychosis all the time (as I did before my current recovery). The whole spectrum of bipolar to schizophrenia is linked up and they are just learning how. Bipolar appears throughout my family including my mother who just started treatment for cyclothymia (mild bipolar) so there are clear links.
If you want to know more about what the Abilify is treating it might make sense to ask your psychiatrist specifically what they saw of concern and how they feel the Abilify is helping. I always asked what was going on in this manner from a long while back so I could have a better self understanding and know how I was being treated and if things didn't work out what to look for. I do know when I signed up here (not due to my choice but because they couldn't find anything I could tolerate) I was off a mood stabilizer and I did experience grandiosity and some aspects of paranoia as I require both a mood stabilizer and antipsychotic to function. With both now I have basic stability.