Lithium pp 253-267 | Cite as

Lithium and Depression

  • J. Mendels


Following the findings that lithium carbonate is effective in the treatment of the manic phase of manic-depressive illness, there have been numerous attempts to evaluate its therapeutic effectiveness in a number of psychiatric conditions, including schizophrenia, anxiety states, premenstrual tension, and childhood behavior problems. These have been of uncertain value (see Chapter 15 for further discussion). The medical history of lithium (Mendels and Secunda, 1972) is also replete with unsubstantiated claims for therapeutic effectiveness, including efforts to use it in the treatment of gout, epilepsy, and insomnia as well as claims that it functions as a tonic and sedative. Consequently, it is not surprising that the suggestion that lithium carbonate may be effective in the treatment of yet another clinical condition, depression, has been received with reservation.


Depressed Patient Antidepressant Effect Electroconvulsive Therapy Manic Episode Lithium Treatment 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Mendels
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Depression Research Unit, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Veterans Administration HospitalPhiladelphiaUSA

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