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Understanding psychiatric medications: Mood stabilizers - Information for consumers, families and friends [package of 25]
CAMH
CAMH Publications / Booklet/Pamphlet / 2009-01-01 / 1770523227
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Mood stabilizers are medicines used in the treatment of bipolar disorder, where a person’s mood changes from a depressed feeling to a high “manic” feeling, or vice versa. These drugs can help reduce mood swings and prevent manic and depressive episodes.

Mood stabilizers can take up to several weeks to reach their full effect. Because of this, other psychiatric medications such as antipsychotics are often used in the early stages of treatment. Antipsychotics and antidepressants may also be used in combination with mood stabilizers as longer-term treatments for bipolar disorder.

Medication is generally considered to be the cornerstone of treatment for bipolar disorder; however, combining medication with other therapy and support can help you to get and stay well. Forms of talk therapy that have been shown to help with bipolar disorder are interpersonal and social rhythm therapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy and family-focused education about bipolar disorder. Other aids can include peer support, school and job counselling and housing and employment support. Eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep are also important, as are minimizing your use of alcohol and caffeine, and avoiding street drugs.

Contents

* Do I need treatment?
* What do mood stabilizers do?
* Side-effects
* Types of mood stabilizers
* Starting and stopping mood stabilizers
* Mood stabilizers, other drugs and driving
* Mood stabilizers, sexuality and pregnancy
* Is age an issue?
* Where can I get more information about mood stabilizers?
* How can I find treatment or a support group?

You may read this guide online here

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CAMH: Understanding Psychiatric Medications