Should I Be on a Mood Stabilizer
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Q:  Should I Be on a Mood Stabilizer

Dear Dr Phelps,

I am 30 yo male with major depression, panic disorder and social phobia.  My father and brother are bipolar, my mother unipolar with panic disorder.  I have failed standard antidepressant treatment with most tca's, ssri's and atypical antidepressants.  I have responded to nardil and klonopin.

I have read that atypical depression and response to MAOI inhibitor are signs of bipolar depression.  With that in mind and a family history of bipolar diseas, should I be on a mood stablizer?

Am I making thing worst with nardil?

Thank you.

Dear John -- 
Good that you have learned as much as you already know (you can find more on this on my
website, if you haven't been there yet).  As you can gather, then, at least considering treating you as though you had a bipolar variant, even if you don't have clear symptoms to suggest so, may be warranted given the other stuff you've tried and the responses that you've had.  Obviously, you'd need a psychiatrist who agrees.  I hope you have one you can discuss this with, or that you try to find one.  Good luck with that.  

Dr. Phelps

Published February, 2002

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