Anger & Is the Med Doing Its Job?
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Q:  Anger & Is the Med Doing Its Job?

I'm on lamictal. Sometimes it really feels like it's working great and everything is good. And I'll feel happy and comfortable around people. I'll go out and be happy, but i do stay up really late. And then now, I stay locked in my room and just like lay here and if anyone like knocks or anything i start screaming at them. It's sadness, but I'm also really really angry about every little thing. I'm wandering if the anger has anything to do with me being bipolar and if my medicine is doing its job.


Dear Jennifer -- 
It sounds like you're seeing some pretty obvious cycling of mood and energy, and wondering "isn't this what lamictal is supposed to be treating and preventing?"  I think you're right on both counts. If you look at the folks being treated for bipolar disorder in the clinic associated with Harvard University, where some of the world's experts practice, you'll find that the majority of the patients are taking more than one medication.  So, it may be that lamotrigine alone can't control your cycling.  In my view, it's not clear yet whether simply increasing the dose can solve this problem.  I think I've seen a patient or two where increasing the dose might have increased the cycling, though I'm not sure about that.   Thus, this is a matter for discussion with your doc' who's prescribing the lamotrigine.  Good luck with that. 

Dr. Phelps


Published September, 2003


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