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please tell me again, what a mood stabilizer does?


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Some people can function on a mood stabilizer alone. Some can't. Some people have depression it doesn't help with, and an anti-depressant can be useful in that case. Some people have hypo/mania, anxiety, sleep issues, or psychotic symptoms that an anti-psychotic is helpful with.

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As Glen said, the mood stabiliser stops the swings, but where you stop on the depressed -> manic scale is a personal thing. Once stabilised, some people need AD's to bring them up to a 'normal' level, others need AP's or AAP's to bring them down to 'normal'.

I take lamotrigine as a mood stabiliser, and that stops any downward swings. I take olanzapine as a mood stabiliser and that stops any upward swings. But everyone's different.

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Yeah, what the others said. It varies from person to person and not everyone needs the add ons. I've also seen more people here who are stabilised on two AC's rather than just one.

I take Lamictal to keep me from swinging too low and Trileptal to stop me from swinging too high. That deals with the basics of the BP issues, but I also have severe sleep problems and (very) occasional psychotic breaks, so my AAP covers that. I had WB chucked in the mix when I was suicidal earlier this year, and there seems to be no reason to ditch it.

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I can tell you exactly what each of my meds do for me and what they were prescribed for. Everyone is different.

Lithium - prevents mania

Gabapentin - reduces anxiety/agitation

Seroquel - lifts depression, helps further with anxiety, eliminates insomnia

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here's what my meds do:

lamictal- anti-cycling agent that mainly prevents depressive swings and hypo swings, but won't stop full mania

topamax- anti-cycling agent that is thought to work together with Risperdal to prevent mania (in a few studies)

risperdal-atypical antipsychotic- anti-cycling agent, prevents depression and mania spectrum, prevents psychosis- is thought to work well together with topamax

wellbutrin- prevents depression

klonopin- anti-anxiety agent

inderal- anti-akasthesia and EPS

so you see, there are a lot of things besides cycling that a bipolar person needs to consider that medication is there to treat. depression, mania, psychosis, anxiety, insomnia, and akasthesia may merit their own meds.

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  • 2 weeks later...

okay, i think i understood this at one time, but i have since forgotten.

if we take a mood stablizer, what is the need for ad and aap's?

I'm on Lamictal and abilify and zyprexa. The Lamictal stops the monthly cycling and creates a more stable mental state, as other people have said, too. I'm also on Abilify which further stabilizes after being majorly stabilized first (via lamictal). The zyprexa allows me to sleep, mostly, and may curb some daytime mania, too.

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