|Q: Bipolar II or Unipolar
My mother has bipolar disorder type II. I have been diagnosed with
the same, but I have only had depressed phases, I use lithium.
Mustn't I take antidepressants?
Dont I have a unipolar disorder?
Hello Ms. H' --
Good question. No accepted answer; that is, this is still
controversial. Many people with cycles of depression do not respond
well to antidepressants alone. Mood stabilizers work better, although
sometimes it takes more than one. Is this "bipolar"?
Doesn't make too much difference if you get better and the cycling stops.
Might make a difference if antidepressants could make you worse, which is quite
possible if you really have "bipolar disorder".
Take a look around the 'net for information on
lamotrigine. In the U.S., there is growing enthusiasm for this medication
as a treatment for cycling depression that doesn't look "bipolar" in
any other respect. Some of my patients need an additional mood stabilizer
if they take lamotrigine -- although it appears to be a "mood
stabilizer", it's too powerful an antidepressant for some (not many, it
Published June, 2001