Using Antidepressants in Bipolar Disorder

Ariana Taylor

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Bipolar Disorder is a sudden mood change. One minute you feel happy and extremely excited, and the other minute you are severely depressed and have suicidal thoughts. So, what do you think is this feeling normal? Mood swings may be normal, but if you are constantly facing and interfering with your day-to-day routine, it is a cause of concern and needs medical intervention.
Antidepressants in Bipolar DisorderPhoto by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

You may have this mental condition due to past traumas or have drug-induced Bipolar Disorder. In both situations, the line of treatment is almost the same, but the latter comes under co-occurring Disorder that may require rigorous treatment.

What is Anti-Depressant?

Anti-depressants are drugs used to treat mental conditions like anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Though it is used widely to treat some illnesses, long-term usage can make you dependent on the drug.

So, it is advisable not to self-medicate with these drugs as they have severe side effects. Before prescribing, your doctor will check the medical history as these medicines are known to have adverse effects that may interact with other medications.

Is the anti-depressant helpful in Bipolar Disorder?

Anti-depressant relaxes the brain; it modifies the brain neurotransmitter responsible for the feel-good factor. It eases the depression symptoms, but what happens in Bipolar Disorder? You may have depressive episodes, but you may also have manic episodes where you feel highly euphoric.

Anti-depressants increase the euphoric effect, exaggerating manic episodes in people with Bipolar Disorder. The proper medication will neutralize both the depressive and manic episodes. So, the use of anti-depressants in bipolar disorder treatment is controversial.

Side effects of anti-depressants

Never take these medicines without the doctor's advice, especially when you have drug-induced Bipolar Disorder because these medicines can interact with drugs and alcohol. You have to monitor your health and discuss the side effects of the medication. Some of the side effects are:

  • Agitation
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Sleepiness
  • Reduced sex drive

What's your role while you are taking anti-depressants?

Every medicine has side effects, and the results depend from individual to individual. Some side effects are crucial to monitor as they may be causing more harm than benefit. It is your sole responsibility to check the medicines you take and discuss them with the doctor.

Take according to the prescription – never self-medicate yourself! Your friend may be prescribed for a similar condition, but the same may not fit you. A doctor has prescribed after scrutinizing all the requirements. If you take medication on a friend or other suggestion, you may worsen your condition.

Also, it is recommended to take medicine for the required period. Do not extend the period by your wish. These medicines have severe side effects, and prolonged use may harm you.

Note the side effects – Unlike other medicines, it too has side effects. Some side effects are severe, and you need to bring them to the notice of your doctor. So, once you start the medicine, note down the changes, you are going through.

Discuss the side effects with the doctor to change the medicine and the treatment plan accordingly.

Know the drug interaction – note it if you have diabetes or have other chronic illnesses. These medicines may interact with other drugs or slower the absorption.

Also, if you have drug-induced Bipolar Disorder, you need to be more cautious as these medicines also interact with the drugs. If you continue taking drugs with these medicines, more health issues may arise.


The anti-depressant medicines are not enough to treat Bipolar Disorder, though your healthcare provider will check the severity and quantity of drugs you are taking. Most doctors will prescribe other medicines like mood stabilizers, anti-seizure, and antipsychotic drugs to bring the desired results.

Bipolar Disorder may be a life-long condition, but the proper lifestyle like exercise, yoga, meditation, therapies, and family support can help you manage your life peacefully and happily.

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Ariana Taylor a health, fitness expert and personal trainer, life coach, blogger, my mission is to cut through the sound in the health and fitness industry and to empower women to create supportable solutions for mental health, happiness, and self-as

Los Angeles County, CA

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