Q:  Will My Current Meds Keep Me Stable?

I am a male in my late 30s, diagnosed as a mixed bipolar and presently stabilized on a mixture of depakote, tomopax and celexa.  For the first time +/-15 years I have my life back.

What are my chances (with medications) that I won't return to hell?

Dear Steve -- 

Great that you have had such a good response.  I wish I could assure you it will stick; and there is definitely a possibility that it will.  Some mood experts would suggest  -- unless the celexa was added last -- a trial of very slowly, like over 4 months, tapering the celexa.  You could ask your doctor/NP what she/he thinks about that.  The idea is that antidepressants seem to be "destabilizing" in some folks, and for a while there many of us were avoiding them in anyone who looked bipolar, at least without a mood stabilizer (or tapering them off ASAP if a person was rapid cycling).  I just recently heard Bob Post of the NIMH say he is less worried about doing this than he used to be, which was encouraging for folks like you -- i.e. you may not have to taper off to do very well for years and years.  

Dr. Phelps


Published April, 2001