My newest book, Bipolar Depression Unplugged: A Survivor Speaks Out is available as an eBook from Chipmunkapublishing in London. The following is an excerpt.
"Between 1993 and 2003, I took 25 different medications in different dosages and different combinations. And I got sicker and sicker.
One of the most depressing days of my life was in 2003 when I downloaded and read the American Psychiatric Association (APA) 2003 Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Bipolar Disorder. I wanted to cry. The guidelines for prescribing medication for Somatic Treatments of Acute Depressive Episodes were based on the flimsiest information.
I was dumbfounded when I learned that studies on lithium had been completed before 1980. There had been no published controlled studies of valporate (Depakote). The two studies on carbamazepine (Tegretol) included only 36 patients.The studies on lamotrigine (Lamictal) were equally distressing.The summary statement of one study reported “in a flexible-dose, placebo-controlled study of lamotrigine in 206 patients with bipolar I or bipolar II major depression, both treatment groups improved significantly (response to lamotrigine was 50%, response rate to placebo was 49%), but lamotrigine did not distinguish itself from placebo.”
I finally realized that for ten years, I had been taking an array of toxic medication whose treatment guidelines had been based almost solely on anecdotal information because there hadn’t been any substantive studies."
(to be continued)