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Do Mood Stabilizers Help With Anxiety

What Is The Best Mood Stabilizer For Anxiety

MY EXPERIENCE WITH MEDICATION (antidepressants, anti-anxiety, and mood stabilizers)

Common fear or worry to a stressful situation is acceptable and does not pose any problem. However, when there is overwhelming and abnormal sense of fear and apprehension that leads to various physical symptoms, it becomes worrisome and needs medical help. These symptoms become frequent and persistent and may interfere with the persons daily activities and take a toll on relationships, school work or job performance. Anxiety is very common of mental health condition and may affect nearly 30% of the total population.

People may present with anxiety at different levels and different scenarios. The common types of anxiety are generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias, agoraphobia, social phobia and separation anxiety.

Medical Marijuana And Mood Disorders:

The trend among cannabis and medical conditions tends to be that marijuana assists with some of the symptoms from the ailment. However, with mood disorders, cannabis often takes a step further with its ability to generate a lasting impact.

Depression specifically, and the depressive side to bipolar, seem to be quite responsive to the consumption of certain marijuana strains.

Although cannabis can also assist in lessening the impact of some symptoms of mood disorders , it also acts to relieve the depression itself.

Therefore, many patients are turning towards cannabis as an alternative to conventional medications and therapies. Additionally, the use of medical cannabis for depression relief, combined with regular talk therapy, acts as a sturdy combination for some individuals with depression.

Medications For Mood Disorders

There are many safe, effective medications that may be prescribed to relieve symptoms of a mood disorder. While doctors do know something about the typical effects of medication , you are an individual and your reaction may not be the same as someone elses.

If you decide to explore medication as a treatment option, you and your doctor will need to work together to find the right medication or combination of medications for you. This process may take some time, so dont lose hope. Many people need to try several medications before they find the best one.

Your health care provider might prescribe one or more medications to treat your symptoms. These may include:

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Medication While Pregnant Or Nursing

Try to discuss pregnancy ahead of time with your doctor if you are planning on becoming pregnant. If you become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. You and your doctor should discuss your health in detail and make medication decisions based on your need for medication compared to the risk the medication may pose to your babys health. Some medications used to treat mood disorders are known to cause birth defects, and those should be avoided. Some are not known to cause birth defects, and taking them during pregnancy may be appropriate for some women. The greatest risk for most medication occurs during the first three months of pregnancy, but some medications may also be harmful to a fetus during the later stages of pregnancy. Medications may also be present in breast milk, so your doctor may advise you to stop breastfeeding if you take medication.

List Of Common Natural Mood Stabilizing Homeopathic Herbs

Mood Stabilizers

Mucuna Pruriens

Popular because of its active compound L-dopa that is assimilated as dopamine by the body and able to pass the blood-brain barrier, Mucuna is one herb that has been used effectively for depression in cases of low dopamine.

However, I would never recommend mucuna pruriens without first knowing you do in fact have low dopamine, as high dopamine is just as bad for you as low.


Known as Wu Wei Zi in Chinese medicine, Schizandra has been shown to limit the overproduction of cortisol, which is a stress hormone that can cause a decrease in natural serotonin production over time. It also has great effects on physical and mental working capacity on subjects in stressful environments.

Maca Root

Largely anecdotal, Maca root has been reported to enhance overall mood by many, although there are little to no clinical trials to support this claim. Like Panax Ginseng, Maca root is purported to have major sexual wellness benefits with sustained use.


There was a 2005 study of Catuaba that showed very promising evidence supporting its application as an antidepressant. More research is needed to confirm, but at the moment Catuaba is looking like it has the potential to be one of the best natural antidepressant herbs.

Panax Ginseng

Rhodiola Rosea


Tribulus terrestris

Other herbs do it better, but Tribulus terrestris does have a mood-enhancing effect. If youre into the gym, it is incredible for its anabolic effect.


Kava Kava

Mulberry Bark

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What Are Mood Stabilizers

Originally coined by the FDA, mood stabilizer was a term that referenced drugs prescribed specifically for the purposes of treating psychiatric illnesses. Since then, the phrase has expanded to include treatments and supplements that are available without a prescription. This includes natural mood stabilizers.

It is estimated that over 154 billion people worldwide suffer from a debilitating mood disorder of some sort and it is believed that only thirty to forty percent have access to treatment and intervention. When neurotransmitters are so imbalanced that they interfere with an individuals ability to function and carry out their responsibilities in a healthy way, physicians will often look into utilizing mood stabilizers for the purposes of finding a healthier balance in the individuals brain chemistry. The primary neurotransmitters referred to when mood imbalance is discussed are dopamine, epinephrine and serotonin.

In a hurry?

Olanzapine As Mood Stabilizer

Olanzapine is known to be one of the most famous antipsychotic as well as a mood stabilizer.

As long as it came out as antipsychotic by the FDA, psychiatrists started trying to figure its effects for mood stabilizing properties.

Now the FDA has also approved it as a mood stabilizer. It means that you can take this antipsychotic without any symptoms of psychosis at all.

The main reason to offer antipsychotic for mood stabilization is the fact that it has been found extremely effective in reducing the effects and symptoms of bipolar disorder.

It even may help antidepressants work in people who dont clearly have bipolar disorder.

Olanzapine for anxiety is unbelievably effective, and has rather fewer side effects than any other medicines.

Recommended Reading: What Herbs Are Good For Anxiety

Also Check: What Is Social Anxiety Means

Are Natural Mood Stabilizers Safe

As with all treatments for mood disorders, it is recommended that patients speak with their doctors before altering their treatment regimen. Natural does not always mean safe and not all treatments are suited for all patients. Even two individuals suffering from the same mood disorder may not react the same way to any given mood stabilizer natural or not. However, in comparison to prescription drugs, most natural mood stabilizers are safe. The majority of supplements listed in this article are safe for consumption, but its important to do your own research about which one is best for you.

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What Are The Age Recommendations For Mood Stabilizers For Kids

5 misunderstandings about Bipolar Disorder

Mood stabilizers have primarily been developed for and tested on adults, and there is no set age recommendation for any drug. Many of these medications are not officially approved for children and teens, though professional guidelines direct their use for child-onset bipolar disorder. The FDA approves lithium for the treatment of manic symptoms in children aged 12 and over.

Also Check: What’s The Best Medicine For Anxiety

Learn About Your Bipolar Disorder Medication

When starting a new medication, educate yourself about how to take it safely. Questions to ask your doctor about any new prescription include:

  • Are there any medical conditions that could be causing or exacerbating my mood swings?
  • What are the side effects and risks of the medication you are recommending?
  • When and how should I take this medication?
  • Are there any foods or other substances I will need to avoid?
  • How will this drug interact with my other prescriptions?
  • How long will I have to take this medication?
  • Will withdrawing from the drug be difficult if I decide to stop?
  • Will my symptoms return when I stop taking the medication?
  • How often should you talk with your doctor?

    During an acute manic or depressive episode, youll likely need to talk with your doctor at least once a week to monitor your symptoms, medications, and any side effects youre experiencing. This will become less often as you start to recover. Once youre feeling better, youll likely still need to review things with your doctor every few months. However, its important to see your doctor right away if you experience any of the following:

    • Suicidal or violent feelings.

    Let Bodily Reactions Happen

    If you feel anxiety in your body, don’t freak out. Instead, try and relax your muscles, take a few deep breaths and let a sense of calm take over your being. “Instead of trying to push the sensations away, allow them to simply pass through your body like a wave,” recommends Hudson. Sweaty palms, racing heart, flushed face and twitching muscles are all symptoms of physical stress, so perhaps putting a few ice cubes on your forehead or wrists in conjunction with peaceful thoughts can help cool the body down.

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    How Long Does It Take To Work

    In certain cases, the antidepressant and antimanic benefits of lamotrigine are noticed pretty early on in the treatment cycle, says Dr. Aiken. For some other patients, though, effects are seen after about a month of being on lamotrigine treatment. But there will always be others that take a bit longer to experience the positive effects.

    How Mood Stabilizers Perform Functions In The Brain

    Mood Stabilizers Anti Depressants Things Not To Be Ashamed

    Until now, none of the neurologists or general physicians is able to identify the exact mechanism of mood stabilizers. However, most of the doctors have perceived-

    Lithium Stabilizers. Lithium stabilizers are able to modify both the turnover and production of specific chemical compounds referred as neurotransmitters found in the human brain. Two common neurotransmitters capable to regulate both behavior and mood of a person are dopamine and serotonin. Lithium thus affects the activity of the mentioned compounds present in a particular human brain.

    Antipsychotic Medicines. Antipsychotic medicines available as aripiprazole and olanzapine are also effective in dealing with brain neurotransmitters. Olanzapine performs its functions by avoiding excessive activity performed by dopamine and aripiprazone increases dopamine activity in the brains specific areas and reduces the same in other areas.

    Anticonvulsants Medicines. Anticonvulsants perform their functions in the human brain by simply boost the exact amount of any natural and nerve-calming type of chemical referred as GABA. Moreover, such medications reduce the amount of glutamate, another natural type of nerve-exciting chemical. A majority of people experiencing episodes related to mania and depression have shown increase in the glutamate levels. Along with this, anticonvulsants stabilize the brains electrical activity and thereby, calm various episodes related to mania as well as stabilize the mood.

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    How Do People Respond To Anti

    Anti-anxiety medications such as benzodiazepines are effective in relieving anxiety and take effect more quickly than the antidepressant medications often prescribed for anxiety. However, people can build up a tolerance to benzodiazepines if they are taken over a long period of time and may need higher and higher doses to get the same effect. Some people may even become dependent on them. To avoid these problems, doctors usually prescribe benzodiazepines for short periods, a practice that is especially helpful for older adults , people who have substance abuse problems and people who become dependent on medication easily. If people suddenly stop taking benzodiazepines, they may have withdrawal symptoms or their anxiety may return. Therefore, benzodiazepines should be tapered off slowly.

    First Line/classic Treatments For Acute Bipolar Depression

    The consensus in the field is that non-antidepressant treatments should be considered as monotherapy before using antidepressants to treat bipolar depression . . The medications with the best data from randomized controlled trials are second generation antipsychotics . Although this partly reflects the capacity of pharmaceutical firms to fund large scale studies, the consistent efficacy across multiple studies suggests true antidepressant activity. The two SGAs with the best data are quetiapine and lurasidone, both of which demonstrated efficacy in at least two large scale placebo controlled studies . Olanzapine and cariprazine have also shown efficacy in at least one double-blind study each. Not all SGAs have shown consistent efficacy. Ziprasidone was ineffective in one controlled study while aripiprazole failed its registrational trials . In general, optimal doses of SGAs for bipolar depression are substantially lower than the doses used to treat acute psychosis or acute mania .

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    Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

    Some of the drugs in this category are mentioned below along with some of the indications. All of these may be considered for treatment of anxiety depending on your particular symptoms.

    • Paxil : Paxil has many uses, including major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder , panic disorder with or without agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder , and post-traumatic stress disorder .
    • Zoloft : Zoloft is approved for the treatment of a number of disorders including major depressive disorder, OCD, panic disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
    • Prozac : Prozac is approved for treating depression, OCD, and panic disorder.
    • Luvox : Luvox is commonly used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder .

    Women Who Are Pregnant Or Who May Become Pregnant

    Psychopharmacology Antidepressants, Mood Stabilizers, Atypical Antipsychotics

    The research on the use of psychiatric medications during pregnancy is limited. The risks are different depending on which medication is taken, and at what point during the pregnancy the medication is taken. Decisions on treatments for all conditions during pregnancy should be based on each woman’s needs and circumstances, and based on a careful weighing of the likely benefits and risks of all available options, including psychotherapy , medication, or a combination of the two. While no medication is considered perfectly safe for all women at all stages of pregnancy, this must be balanced for each woman against the fact that untreated serious mental disorders themselves can pose a risk to a pregnant woman and her developing fetus. Medications should be selected based on available scientific research, and they should be taken at the lowest possible dose. Pregnant women should have a medical professional who will watch them closely throughout their pregnancy and after delivery.

    Most women should avoid certain medications during pregnancy. For example:

    Antidepressants, especially SSRIs, are considered to be safe during pregnancy. However, antidepressant medications do cross the placental barrier and may reach the fetus. Birth defects or other problems are possible, but they are very rare. The effects of antidepressants on childhood development remain under study.

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    Treating A Mood Disorder Takes Time

    What’s most important, psychiatrists say, is to recognize that something is wrong. Then see a doctor regularly.

    “It’s a good sign if your doctor wants to see you more than once before prescribing something,” says Goodstein. “It’s better if your doctor wants to see you regularly, rather than prescribe the medication and say, ‘check back with me in six months.'”

    Because bipolar disorder is condition that is ongoing but not always evident, the National Institute of Mental Health recommends long-term preventive treatment. The institute notes that a combination of medication and psychotherapy works best to keep the disorder under control over time.

    With most people, “things are more complicated than they seem on the first visit,” Goodstein tells WebMD. “Almost always, there’s something more going on, and a doctor just can’t know all that in one visit. It’s erroneous if they think they can.”

    It’s important to get treated for any mood disorder, because it can affect your own quality of life — as well as the people around you, Goodstein adds. When you’re depressed — for any reason — “You don’t care about yourself. You don’t care about those around you. And often, you don’t have the motivation to get help because you feel hopeless,” he says. “You might think there’s no way to solve your problems. But that’s not true. We can treat your depression, so you’ll be better able to find solutions to your problems.”

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