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last night my husband and i were talking about meds; and he asked what would happen if somebody w/o a mood disorder took, for instance, lamictal or an SSRI.

i'm not sure.

it doesn't really matter, but i'm curious now and thought somebody here might know.

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The general answer is:  Nothing.    (Plenty of caveats of course).

I've asked my Pdoc, and seen a few reports of individual drugs being tested on normals with no significant effect. There may be some of the same side effects that you and I get, but it isn't like they are going to become psychologically unstable with the diseases that the drug is used to treat. So someone who takes Eskalith isn't going to come down with Bipolar.

Many of our meds are used to treat other unrelated diseases without destabilizing. For example, the Anti-convulsants were first used for epilepsy.  The old tricyclic TCA's like Elavil are used for arthritis, pain relief, nerve damage, and migraine headaches.    Again, these are just a few examples, you can find more on crazymeds.us.

A.M.

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interesting.

my husband was arguing that an AC like lamictal would "stabilize" anybody, mood disorder or not, i think that's wrong because wouldn't that be just a tranquilizer?

so if you're "normal" and take an AD, you'd only experience side effects, but it wouldn't push you to mania because of an excess of serotonin?

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Well, this isn't on people, but I seem to recall reading about an experiment on an ape or baboon troop where they administered drugs to affect serotonin levels. Sorry I can't remember which drugs they used. However, an animal with increased serotonin would rise in social status, and vice versa.

As I recall, serotonin levels measured before the experiment conformed to the animal's position in the group.

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Well, this isn't on people, but I seem to recall reading about an experiment on an ape or baboon troop where they administered drugs to affect serotonin levels. Sorry I can't remember which drugs they used. However, an animal with increased serotonin would rise in social status, and vice versa.

As I recall, serotonin levels measured before the experiment conformed to the animal's position in the group.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

that like the coolest fact I've heard all week

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No, one can't expect a lift.    Even the author of Listening to Prozac admitted that.    And he also pondered that those "normal" people who are getting improvements are actually just sub-clinically depressed, or have marginal socialization problems, or are OCD but not disfunctional.

The author of Prozac Backlash stands on this idea, and emphasizes the dangers of feeding psych drugs wholesale to a population.

A.M.

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... an animal with increased serotonin would rise in social status, and vice versa.

As I recall, serotonin levels measured before the experiment conformed to the animal's position in the group.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yup.  And an animal whose levels of serotonin are decreased "take unnecessary and irrational risks and are confrontational without reason", and if they're given ssri's the become "less prone to self-destructive activity".  (From "The Noonday Demon").  The weird thing that an animal's decreased serotonin can cause these things which lead to a lower position in his group, but also a change in his group status (no longer the head honcho) will cause his serotonin levels to change (and not the other way around).  It's like the chicken or the egg...

Apparantly that's the scoop with people, too:  is it your brain making you do things to sabotage you or is your sabotaging behaviour that alters your brain to make you more likely to do it again?!  I think that's why the cognitive therapy slogan is sort of "fake it till you make it"- because you train your brain to actually change its stupid sabotaging chemistry. 

Ooph.  Too much reading.

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And he also pondered that those "normal" people who are getting improvements are actually just sub-clinically depressed, or have marginal socialization problems, or are OCD but not disfunctional.

Air Marshall,

Dude! That's just what I was going to say. I remember reading it in Listening to Prozac, and I'm seeing the same kind of theory in Shadow Syndromes.

For me, too, when these antidepressants are working well, they do more than resolve the depression. They allow me to be more socially adept and less self-conscious/OCD.

Greeny

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