A variety of medications are used to treat manic-depressive disorder. But even with optimal medication treatment, many people with manic-depressive disorder do not achieve full remission of symptoms.
Lithium has long been used as a first-line treatment for manic-depressive disorder. Approved for the treatment of acute mania in 1970 by the U.S.
Newer anticonvulsant medications, including lamotrigine and gabapentin, are being studied to determine their efficacy as mood stabilizers in manic-depressive disorder. Some research suggests that different combinations of lithium and anticonvulsants may be helpful.
During a depressive episode, people with manic-depressive disorder commonly require treatment with antidepressant medication.
In some cases, the newer, atypical anti-psychotic drugs such as clonzapine or olanzapine may help relieve severe or refractory symptoms of manic-depressive disorder and prevent recurrences of mania.
 A century later, when categorizing mental illnesses based on the course of illness, Mayer-Gross and colleagues included BD-OCD patients within the group of manic-depressive disorders.  Our Forum in the last issue  discussed the question of comorbid bipolar disorder (BD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and concluded that the weight of the evidence supported the view that the majority of these BD-OCD cases were, in fact, a subtype of BD, not two separate co-occurring disorders.