Pharmacological Treatment

“Never trust a letter of mine not to exaggerate thats (sic) written after a night lying awake looking at a bottle of chloral and saying no, no, no, you shall not take it.” *

During her lifetime Woolf was given many drugs including chloral, a sedative to help her sleep. Unfortunately, Woolf never had access to the mood stabilizer lithium, a substance credited with revolutionizing the treatment of mania. Would Woolf have committed suicide if lithium or newer drugs were available to her? We will never be able to answer this question, but psychopharmacological treatment has freed many people from debilitating mood swings that can lead to hospitalization. Today our medicine chest includes:

-- Anticonvulsants
-- Antipsychotics (typical and atypical)
-- Benzodiazepines
-- Antidepressants




Medications: National Institute of Mental Health



Goodwin, K.F. & Jamison, K. R. (2007). Manic Depressive Illness: Bipolar Disorders and Recurrent Depression. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Part V: Chapters 17, 18, 19, 20, 24 & 25

Research Papers


___References for this Section____

* Woolf, V. (6 vols. 1975-80). The Letters of Virgina Woolf. (N. Nicolson and J. Trautmann, Eds.). New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.