mood stabilizers vs. antidepressants - Mothering Forums

mood stabilizers vs. antidepressants

hopeland's Avatar hopeland (TS)
04:05 AM Liked: 0
#1 of 10
11-13-2005 | Posts: 367
Joined: Oct 2005
Does anyone have any experience coming off of an antidepressant and using a mood stabilizer instead? I have been on many, many antidepressants and they only work modestly at best and even that seems to lessen over time. For the past 10 months or so I have been taking cymbalta(antidepressant) and then added lamictal later in order to augment the effect in theory. It helped a bit maybe. After much research on the net I am leading towards the idea that I have an atypical form of bipolar. I dont have manic episodes but have mood swings between very depressed and blah...and extreme irritabilty/irritability. So after reading an article by a psychiatrist online stating that antidepressants may cause this form of bipolar to be more unstable I decided on my own to taper off of the antidepressant slowly and stay on the mood stabilizer. I have been taking half of the antidepressant for about two weeks now and didnt notice much effect until the last week or so. I am becoming more depressed and weepy...I dont know if it is a normal effect from the withdrawal or proof that I need to be on the antidepressant. So sorry this is so long but am wondering if anyone else has any experience with this sort of thing.
MrsRoss's Avatar MrsRoss
05:39 AM Liked: 25
#2 of 10
11-13-2005 | Posts: 201
Joined: Aug 2005
Well, I have no experience with the specific drugs you mentioned, but I do have similar experiences with antidepressants alone.
I actually can't answer your questions, but wanted to say that I understand what you're going through. Anti-d's work for about six months at best for me. I'm currently trying to decide if I should wean and add a mood stabilizer or not.
hopeland's Avatar hopeland (TS)
05:46 AM Liked: 0
#3 of 10
11-13-2005 | Posts: 367
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Theoretically adding a mood stabilizer as an augment may help for you. There are also durgs which are know to sometimes give a "boost" to the antidepressant. You might also have your thyroid checked if you havent already. Thanks for the reply it is difficult.
jmreinke's Avatar jmreinke
06:04 PM Liked: 0
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11-13-2005 | Posts: 1,714
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I don't really have an answer to your question, but I did want to offer support. Figuring this stuff out can be tough. Zoloft worked well for me once, and then I took it at a different time in my life, and it wasn't as helpful.

Are you under the care of a psychiatrist? I'm assuming you are under the care of a dr. of some sort, in order for you to have the prescriptions. I just noticed that you said you were weaning off the meds on your own. If you aren't seeing a psychiatrist, maybe one could help you pinpoint this a little better.

I was just concerned since you said you were weaning yourself. However, I too have experience in weaning myself from anti-d's, so I do understand at the same time.
hopeland's Avatar hopeland (TS)
07:55 PM Liked: 0
#5 of 10
11-13-2005 | Posts: 367
Joined: Oct 2005
I have been for years but am not at the moment due to a move out of state.
jmreinke's Avatar jmreinke
12:48 PM Liked: 0
#6 of 10
11-14-2005 | Posts: 1,714
Joined: Jan 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by hopeland
I have been for years but am not at the moment due to a move out of state.
I figured you had been. I'm thinking about going to see one. I've seen therapists (and am currently seeing one), but I'm wondering if seeing a psychiatrist might help. But, I'm also interested in doing what I can to not go on meds if I can help it.
hopeland's Avatar hopeland (TS)
05:38 PM Liked: 0
#7 of 10
11-14-2005 | Posts: 367
Joined: Oct 2005
you may already know this but psychiatrist just write prescriptions after an intake of about 30 minutes then follow up with med checks once a month...
jmreinke's Avatar jmreinke
06:06 PM Liked: 0
#8 of 10
11-14-2005 | Posts: 1,714
Joined: Jan 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by hopeland
you may already know this but psychiatrist just write prescriptions after an intake of about 30 minutes then follow up with med checks once a month...
Yup. I know. That is better than when I went on Zoloft... I was just given an open prescription, with no follow up to see if the dosage was right, to see if it was helping, the right med, etc. So, I'm thinking that a consultation with one may be interesting. I'm already in therapy, so I'm not interested in them doing anything else but manage meds - if I even do any meds. We'll see...
hopeland's Avatar hopeland (TS)
10:50 PM Liked: 0
#9 of 10
11-15-2005 | Posts: 367
Joined: Oct 2005
Janette,
Have you had your thyroid and blood sugar checked I know those can be causes of depression/anxiety also? I am going to try a natural regimen and see if it helps any. I have an appointment to see a nurse practicioner next week to get refills on the meds I take now. I dont have any insurance and it took me about 20 phone calls to find somwhere that had a sliding fee scale.
jmreinke's Avatar jmreinke
03:32 AM Liked: 0
#10 of 10
11-16-2005 | Posts: 1,714
Joined: Jan 2003
I haven't had my blood sugar checked, but I did have my thyroid checked about 18 months ago. It came back normal.

I'm going through a lot in my life right now, so the emotional upheaval is actually par for the course. It would be nice to feel a little better so that at least I can be a more attentive mom to my girls.

Thanks for the suggestions!
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