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Effects - What exactly does a mood stabilizer do?

Discussion in 'Antipsychotics' started by Crook4lyfe, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. Crook4lyfe

    Crook4lyfe

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    Okay so after an emotional breakdown and some self medication w/ benzos to combat anxiety, swim was hospitalized in a behavioral hospital for a few days. Since he got out his doctors have refused to give swim anything but mood stabilizers and antipsychotics, mainly Invega(palisperidone), Risperdone, and a whooole lot of neurontin to take day and night.

    It has been about 3 weeks since his breakdown and swim feels he has improved alot yet he is still being given all of these mood stabilizers and nothing for his anxiety, just drugs that seem to dumb him down.

    So his question is exactly what is a "mood stabilizer" and how does it work? Does it just sedate and flatline his emotions and make him into a moron or are there real therapeutic effects?
     
  2. G_nome

    G_nome Palladium Member

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    May i ask if the benzos were what caused the breakdown?

    Swim self medicates with phenazepam himself at the moment, really helps. But it can't last forever.
    He's already had a few fairly bad blackouts caused by phen, scary shit.
     
  3. Crook4lyfe

    Crook4lyfe

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    The benzos probably added to the breakdown because they make swim more aggressive and reckless. He already had alot of mental turmoil and the recreational dosage of benzos, which was klonopin in this instance, make him unable to contain himself.
     
  4. G_nome

    G_nome Palladium Member

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    I feel for you man. I know all about mental turmoil and how it can lead to abuse.

    Wish i could help in some way, but i dunno enough on the subject.

    But if ye ever need/want to chat ye know where i am man.
     
  5. DextroClonazyCodone

    DextroClonazyCodone Silver Member

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    Mood stabilizers are usually anticonvulsants that act to keep you from going manic. The big secret in bipolar world is that very few agents are used for bipolar depression. Anyways, these anticonvusants act to increase GABA levels or to stabilize the voltages accross cell membranes to inhibit rapid firing of signals, which is theorized to cause mania. Obviously, antipsychotics antagonize dopamine and serotonin.
    The symptoms of mood stabilizers are generally a more relaxed feeling, less racing thoughts, a big decrease in impulsiveness, and some nasty side effects.
    SWIM used to take Trileptal, a mood stabilizer, but it didn't do much of anything but give side-effects. He also takes Lamotrigine, the only mood stabilizer approved for bipolar depression. It doesn't seem to do anything either, but SWIM is somewhat weary of going off of it. He also takes Zyprexa, Effexor, and Adderall. A pretty strange combination, but it actually works. SWIM hasn't been manic or depressed for awhile (other than normal situational mood changes).
     
  6. Crook4lyfe

    Crook4lyfe

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    aha well that makes sense. nasty drugs in swims opinion, side effects wise, but obviously they do have their good sides when it comes to bipolar.
     
  7. DextroClonazyCodone

    DextroClonazyCodone Silver Member

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    Some people find them to be amazingly effective at alleviating their mood swings. Others, like SWIM, find them to have no effects other than the side-effects, and, thus, should be terminated. A low dose of an antipsychotic works best for SWIM.
     
  8. Johnnynapples

    Johnnynapples

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    Karen the dog asked me to tell you that she says " I was put on lamictal a anti seizure medication that's used to treat manic depression or mood stability. It did nothing at all and sooner I dropped it. Just like the name its all about stability. "
     
  9. kailey_elise

    kailey_elise Gold Member

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    My roommate, Girlie, had this to say on the topic when I mentioned it to her,:

    "I was told I was being put on things like Lamictal & Abilify & Neurontin (along with Celexa) to "make my highs less high and my lows less low". The gabapentin (Neurontin) is also to help with my anxiety. Because I have addiction problems in my past (tho never to benzos, but I didn't want them even if they would have prescribed them, as it interacts badly with another med I'm on), benzos are 'not an option'. ;)

    I told them I was in early sobriety and I'm SUPPOSED to have highs & lows. I eventually kicked the Lamictal after I got a rash and got scared when I was ramping up on dose and the Abilify (with the help of a week of ill-gotten clonazepam a .5mg/day dosages) at the same time, seeing as I was already coming off the Lamictal. I figured that my dosage of Celexa should be able to hold me until I saw the new doc, who's hopefully not a dick who's first words to me (before "Hi, I'm Dr. So-and-So") aren't "WE DON'T PRESCRIBE SCHEDULED MEDICATIONS HERE!", like this last one. *snigger*"

    :rolleyes:

    ~Kailey
     
  10. imyourlittlebare

    imyourlittlebare Palladium Member

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    Noone knows why mood stabilizers work. There are hypotheses- inositol depletion hypothesis. Lithium and two other anti bipolar drugs are hypothesized to work is by depeting inositol levels in the CNS by inhibiting inositol monophosphatase. Other theories believe there is an over-activity in calcium channel functioning, sodium channel functioning, neurons having dysfunctional mitochondria.

    Theres a number of theories behind why anti psychotics/mood stabilizers work, not just alterations in GABA. Abilify works well for bipolar even though it increases dopamine activity in some areas of the brain where theres too little activity (D2 partial agonist/antagonist).

    Anyway, there could be a number of reasons. But SWIMs GF benefited greatly from abilify. She didnt feel sedated, seemed happier, and now is able to be much more predictable. It was a god send. Although cymbalta helped her too, her bipolar overlaps with ADHD a lot so theres no clear right or wrong med. Thats someone ppls docs gotta take into consideration and ppl need to talk to about there docs. Not being afraid of mentioning whether there was a psychotic break, voices, lots of substance use/abuse, inability to follow directions, inattentive, or just plain angry. All of these are diagnostically important and could help aid the search for the right medication.
     
  11. zeno

    zeno

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    MedicationWhy you might choose itlamotrigine/Lamictal
    • Depression is the dominant symptom
    • Rapid cycling
    • Need all the antidepressant you can get
    • Afraid of weight gain
    lithium
    • Classic bipolar I symptom pattern: euphoric mania and severe depressions
    • Significant manic symptoms
    • Need all the antidepressant you can get
    • Suicide risk is a concern
    • Very inexpensive
    quetiapine/Seroquel
    • Depression and agitation are both severe
    • Severe sleep problems
    • Anxiety is a significant symptom also
    • No family history of diabetes
    divalproex/Depakote
    • Need something strong and fast
    • Male, and not afraid of weight gain
    • Rapid cycling
    • Significant manic symptoms
    carbamazepine/Tegretol
    • Rapid cycling
    • Severe sleep problems
    • Can't take Depakote (e.g. afraid of weight gain risk)
    • Can't afford Trileptal, or need the stronger option
    olanzapine/Zyprexa
    • Emergency-level symptoms
    • Need help really fast
    • Can use on "as-needed" basis
    • (If you continue to use it regularly) Not afraid of weight gain
    oxcarbazepine/Trileptal
    • Milder symptoms, can risk a possibly weaker agent
    • Significant manic symptoms
    • Alternative to Depakote as a starting place
    • Low long-term risk is appealing
    omega-3 fatty acids/
    fish oil
    • "Natural"; biggest known risk is "seal burps"
    • Milder symptoms, can risk a weaker agent
    • You want to add a possible mood stabilizer without adding more "medication"
    • Depression is a major symptom
    • Willing to take a lot of pills, or swallow (flavored) fish oil
    verapamil
    • Possible alternative for pregnancyWisner
    • Low side effect risk
    • Tried many other medications but not ready for clozapine
    clozapine
    • Tried everything else
    • Severe symptoms
    • Ready for major weight gain, weekly blood tests
    • Ready for one of the most effective medications we have
    atypical (2nd generation)
    antipsychoticsLow-dose boosters for specific problems (as add-ons to "real" mood stabilizers?)
    • Seroquel: for sleep and agitation; has weight gain risk
    • risperidone: for elderly, at very low doses; or BPI perhaps -- tricky antidepressant effects in some
    • Geodon: no clear role; but hey, it causes less weight gain than Zyprexa, and really helps an occasional patient
    • Abilify: strong antimanic, not so clear regarding depression -- but still learning about this one (as of 1/2009)
     
  12. DextroClonazyCodone

    DextroClonazyCodone Silver Member

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    zeno- What is that website you got that from? If I recall, it is extremely helpful and educational and for SWIM, it started to guide him in the right direction in his treatment. I just forget what it was called.
    Thanks for posting that.
     
  13. zeno

    zeno

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    http://www.psycheducation.org/index.html
     
  14. morganz0r

    morganz0r Newbie

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    in swims experience mood stabilizers have seemed to stop the mood swings from going up but do not stop them from coming down. basically swim has felt zombified to depressed and never happy.
    also mood stabilizers like deprakote or lithium can cause extreme weight gain.
     
  15. SamanthaRabbit

    SamanthaRabbit Silver Member

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    My rabbit has been prescribed different benzos over the years to help with her anxiety, but only for emergencies for the most part.

    Mood stabilizers and antipsychotics are pretty much routine for doctors to prescribe when having instabilities. Although they can have negative side effects such as weight gain, loss of emotion, and sometimes sexual side effects, they can really do wonders for someone who is having anxiety on a frequent basis. My rabbit has been helped overcome some of the hardest times in her life with the help of mood stabilizers, and although has had negative side effects, she has also been in the situation that the positive effects outweigh those negative ones.

    My rabbit has found that being prescribed benzos for daily use (Clonazapam in her case) can lead to breakdowns and do more harm than help with anxiety.
     
  16. chibi curmudgeon

    chibi curmudgeon Gold Finger

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    Jesus Fucking Christ, please tell me no one was stupid enough to prescribe Invega and Risperdal together. Invega is a metabolite of Risperdal. Is the chibi curmudgeon going to have to choke a shrink?
     
  17. imyourlittlebare

    imyourlittlebare Palladium Member

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    Side note, risperidone really isnt a "mood stabalizer" Its an atypical antipsychotic. While that class of meds has been used for the management of anxiety that hasnt responded to other treatments and bipolar disorder, they all have a little bit different action.

    risperidone is atypical bc of its antagonism of serotonin receptors AND, its esp unique bc it depletes 5-HT and has been used to induce "depressive-like states" in rats. Although its not as common as olfactory bulbectomies, forced-swim tests, chronic stress, and the other 14 models of depression. Interesting side-notes for ya folks!