My girlfriend recently went into the hospital for depression and suicidal threats. she's never been diagnosed BP, but they put her on a mood stabalizer (not sure wich one, starts with 'L'). any how, I'm guessing that means they think she is BP, but I have never seen mania from her, just depression and something close to "normal". I'm wondering if you can have BP without an obvious mania. She does swing rapidly from "normal" to severly depressed.
basically I went searching for 'mood stabalizer' just to see what it was and how it was different from an AD. It just seemed it was always mentioned in the context of BP disorder. I didn't know if they gave Mood stabalizers just for depression.
She probably doesn't have bipolar. I have had similar experiences to your girlfriend (I'm not bipolar; just depression) but I have been given mood stabilizers in the past, and my doc is now considering putting me on Lamictal. If you look up Lamictal online (and other mood stabilizers for that matter) it just talks about the bipolar issue... But they can also be used to treat unipolar depression in some people.
But... you could always ask the doctors straight out. Or if you can't, your girlfriend can; she has the legal right to know.
The problem with the rash from Lamictal is usually caused when the dosage of the drug is too great or it is increased too quickly and the body doesn't have a chance to adjust. I think this med gets a bad rap when often the problems are caused by the prescribing doctor who doesn't necessarily know what he/she's doing. When administered properly, it is a real life-saver for many! If your girlfriend doesn't find something else that works well, after some time passes, she might want to give it another try, at a lower dose. Good luck. tsohl