It depends. Some people are able to just be on lithium or another mood stabilizer. Others, usually those with bipolar II and have worse depressions than mania, may require an anti-depressant in addition to a mood stabilizer. However, NEVER just take an anti-depressant alone without a mood stabilizer! This can provoke a manic episode...
"Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal,' must necessarily be 'inferior.'"
I'm BPII ( I think anyway) and tend toward depression than mania. I'm on an anticonvulsant and antipsychotic both working as mood stabilizers. My mania is well controlled but I get wicked depressions often. As a matter of fact, I seem to stay depressed at some level practically all the time. So in my case, no, a mood stabilizer alone has not been enough.
In haven't failed! I've accomplished much. I just found a lot ways that don't work . . . yet.
I love this board! Everyone is always so friendly and helpful. I also don't know if I am bi-polar, but I do feel like anti-depressants make me more irritable and anxious. Mania, maybe? I do not suffer from the severe depression....more of a "guilt" type depression from being so irritable. Probably not true depression at all. Does that make any sense? Anyway, I am thinking about asking my dr. for lactimal and would like to take it alone, if possible.