Lamictal (Lamotrigine)

Started by Bella, June 18, 2021, 03:33:50 PM

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Hi all!
I have a question about Lamictal (Lamotrigine) which is a mood-stabiliser. It is normally used for treating bipolar disorder.
Does anyone on this forum, who have  CPTSD, any experience with it? My psychiatrist prescribed these today, and I thought I just give it a chance... but now I'm scared!


Hi Bella!
While I don't take it, my brother who is bipolar does and I can tell you what I observe. Caveat: it's not the only thing he takes, nor is it his only issue. Without it, he can get much more down/depressed, so it does level him out in an upwards fashion. While he doesn't get a lot of manic highs without it, he is far more easily irritated and angered without it, and will then just withdraw and not deal with anyone. So as something that levels someone out to a "normal" or functional level, yes it works. But that's just my observation.


Thank you CactusFlower for your response... Yes I do believe it works for  a lot of people. But for someone who hasn't got bipolar disorder, would it be a good idea to try it?
Like, I have days where I function quite well, and on those days I feel quite confused about my situation. Do I have CPTSD at all? And then I get triggered, and feel suicidal, just like that. I've come to know these episodes as emotional flashbacks. And now I wonder if lamictal has an effect on flashbacks or not...


That I have not heard of either way. Is there perhaps a telephone Nurse advice line available in your area? sometimes hospital websites or even health insurance advertise them as well. You might be able to ask them if they know anything. They're not able to prescribe, of course, but at least they're medical professionals.


Yes.. that might be a good idea! Thank you!  ;)


Hello Bella.  I started taking Lamictal back in 2015 when I was diagnosed as bipolar and ended up being on it for about four years, so maybe my experience will be helpful for you.

To kind of add to what CactusFlower said, my doctor said at the time the drug was prescribed that it was used to treat depression in people with bipolar disorder.  Knowing what I know now, I think the doctor made a mistake diagnosing me as bipolar, and in reality my issues are caused by CPTSD.  But I didn't know anything about CPTSD at the time, or that it even existed, and unfortunately my doctor never stopped to consider whether what I was experiencing could be trauma-related.

That being said, did the drug help?  Honestly, I'm not sure.  During the time I was on it, I did have periods where I felt better, and also periods where my depression was still pretty bad.  If anything, the effect was subtle... the drug certainly didn't create a "night and day" difference where I could clearly tell it was having a positive effect, and when I eventually stopped taking it, I didn't feel noticeably worse.

However if your doctor believes that the drug may help you, then I don't think there is any downside to giving it a try.  It may help alleviate some of your symptoms, and if so then there is certainly value in that.  Unfortunately my experience with psychiatrists is that they often just look at patients as a set of symptoms, and quickly turn to medicine as a first and best solution without considering the underlying causes of why we feel the way we feel.  Hopefully your doctor is aware of your trauma history and is focused on treating you as a whole person... if so, and this medicine is being incorporated as part of a larger overall treatment plan, then I think it could be a good thing.

I hope this helps.  Best of luck to you in finding the relief you need.


Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts about this, Zanzoken!
I appreciate it a lot!
I think you're right about how many psychiatrists just pull out prescriptions on medicines, instead of take all aspects of a persons story into consideration.
Fortunately I now have a psychiatrist that seem traumainformed, and even though trust is an issue, she seem to be trustworthy... that's the reason I dare to try it. Like you said, it will most likely not have any downside to give it a try. Been on it for a week now, and obviously can't feel any changes yet... I hope it will level out those pits of darkness that overpower me sometimes... that I won't fall so deep.
Anyways, thanks again! I always value other peoples experiences, cause it brings more understanding to my own situation!  :grouphug: