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What is the difference between a mood stabilizer and an antidepressant?

Asked by: Elanor Armadans

asked in category: General Last Updated: 30th March, 2020

What is the difference between a mood stabilizer and an antidepressant?

Most mood stabilizers are primarily antimanic agents, meaning that they are effective at treating mania and mood cycling and shifting, but are not effective at treating acute depression. Nevertheless, antidepressants are still often prescribed in addition to mood stabilizers during depressive phases.

Also to know is, can you take a mood stabilizer with an antidepressant?

If antidepressants are used at all, they should be combined with a mood stabilizer such as lithium or valproic acid. Taking an antidepressant without a mood stabilizer is likely to trigger a manic episode. Antidepressants can increase mood cycling.

Beside above, do mood stabilizers help with anxiety? When treating a co-occurring anxiety and bipolar disorder with medication, most doctors first prescribe a mood stabilizer to address the bipolar disorder. Starting an antidepressant (a common medication approach for anxiety disorders) before mood stabilization is achieved may worsen the bipolar disorder symptoms.

Thereof, what is the best mood stabilizer?

Lamotrigine (Lamictal) may be the most effective mood stabilizer for depression in bipolar disorder, but is not as helpful for mania.

How do I know if I need a mood stabilizer?

You’re experiencing mood swings or irritability. You turn to alcohol or drugs to change your mood. You feel chronically guilty or worthless. You have periods where you experience poor judgement, restlessness, or even euphoria.

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