Mood Disorder Meds that aren't antidepressants


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It's one of the most natural medications available.

This has been my primary argument for Lithium. Its long history is another thing that made me feel safer with it than with other medications. Doctors have tried to convince me to use other meds citing that Lithium has so many known side effects but part of that does have to do with how long we have been paying attention to it and the number of times it has been used. Another thing, as you say, has to do with those higher-level doses.

My primary care suggested I start back on 600 mg per day. The dose I was on a year ago was 1050 mg/day. I already feel a LOT better. I had no crying spells at all yesterday or Monday. I had already dosed myself with 300 mg/day for 3 days before we spoke on Monday morning and I increased it. I'm not stabilized but semi-functional.

Honestly, I am a Lithium fan. I really don't want to be on anything else. It was my only daily medication for years. My thyroid thing did scare me (though all I have is a nontoxic goiter) but I think the dose I was on really did play a big part in that.

atypical antipsychotic called Latuda
Thank you.

I don't know much about Latuda yet, but Stellazine gave me tardive dyskenesia. I was damned lucky that it went away. I had it for probably 3 years, though, after only about a week of that medication and that was some seriously difficult shit to deal with. That said, I am basically terrified of antipsychotics. I realize that it may be worth thinking about based on things I have read, but I think my fear is still very much biased against it.


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RS did lithium just even you out ... did it help you with anxiety?
I commented on this as I was going to bed last night, but I thought about it more while I was in bed.

I took a behavioral neuroscience class probably about a year before I started Lithium. I remember that I wrote a paper on keeping the hippocampus healthy and that in that paper, I cited research where the hippocampi of persons who had taken Lithium had greater volume than average -- apparently, this was/is a topic of interest because it could be that Lithium is neuroprotective and maybe could be used to prevent Alzheimer's. However, it is also possible that it merely adds water weight to the brain since it is known to cause water retention.

When I started taking Lithium, it felt like I could really apply this to my own experience. Let me try and illustrate what I was saying about feeling better insulated, more clearly.

If you were mad as hell and went after a punching bag without gloves, you might feel the impact in your hands, but you might also feel it in your shoulders, neck, your ribs, sometimes even all the way down to your feet with violent impact far from your hands.

If you were equally angry and went after the punching bag with the same force with gloves, how different might you feel? You will be able to tell you hit the bag, you might even wear yourself out, but your joints aren't going to feel like someone removed the cartilage and much of the impact is dampened.

Obviously, Lithium is the gloves, here. I mention the water-retention possibility because I can't shake the feeling that increased water weight might be the thing that makes it feel like there is some extra insulation involved. I wouldn't say brain functions are slowed down, just that strong emotions seem to be lower-impact.

All of that said, I am personally going to do my best to stay at lower levels of Lithium and keep an eye on my thyroid. I am a little surprised to hear that your doc would even consider it since you already have thyroid issues, but there's probably a reasonable explanation. Have you talked to your doc about your thyroid and potential risks involved with Lithium use?


I'm sorry I haven't responded @RussellSue and @joeylittle . My migraine is a little better .

Leaning that lithium is so natural ... a salt ... something that exists on its own in the world helps ... that it was an ingredient in 7up ... I need to read your posts again.

RS thanks for sharing some of your story with me re lithium. Helps knowing it had been such a good med for you.


ONE thing to consider? (As It would depend on how accurate the mood disorder DX is, and how much dysregulated moods are a side effect of something else)... Is having an incrediably in depth physical. As a lot of misdiagnosed mood disorders are actually symptoms of something being physiologically off-kilter.

As 3 common misdiagnosed examples

Bipolar - Beta Blockers for cardiac issues / heart problems
Anxiety - Albuterol/Steroids for Asthma/RAD/COPD/Ehlers-Danlos
Depression - Thyroid Meds for hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism

... often “magically” resolve previously diagnosed mood disorders. Because it wasn’t a mood disorder. It was one’s brain thrashing about in response to the heart/lungs/thyroid not performing properly.


I got embarrassed about all this the other day ... I don't know why I'm having this shameful feeling. It's just another medication that may help at this point .

I need to understand why my psychiatrist wants to make the move to lithium.

Why does she want me to get off gabapentin?

What symptoms is she hoping to help with lithium?

Joey says lower doses for bipolar or depression. So I guess that's how its used.


Those were my long term misdiagnoses (schizoaffective bipolar) I’m actually adhd and have severe dissociative symptoms along with CPTSD and unstable mood…but I’ll tell you what worked for me. Lithium made me cool as a cucumber and leveled me right out but gave me a tremor (that went away when I got off it) and kidney function abnormalities (not sure if theyre still there). Tegretol and Topamax worked together, *kind of*. But they had a lot of counter indications for OTC meds like Advil was out, and that was bad because I got headaches from the tegretol. It’s an anti seizure med that works like a mood stabilizer. Now I’m on Trileptal which is basically like tegretol but with less med interactions. Works pretty well when I’m not experiencing severe dysregulation but again bipolar isn’t my actual thing, my mood instability is due to CPTSD and ADHD combined. Hope this helps a little


I have fairly text book bipolar 1. I’m not sure if this helps but I take trileptal 1,200mg, lexapro 30mg, and recently added metoprolol for anxiety. When I was first diagnosed I tried lithium. It was great for the bipolar but I do a lot of physical exercise out in the heat and got sick too often. Gapapentin didn’t do much for me, too loopy on depakote. After that initial juggle of meds I settled on zyprexa doe years. It was great but with all the metabolic side affects I was willing to give trileptal a try.

I hope you’re doc can explain why they want yo make changes. I was always so scared to make changes. Even if I wasn’t 100% happy with my side affects I was so scared of having a relapse.