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Psychopharmacology: Unit 2 - Antidepressants/Mood Stabilizers

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Mental Health |  Science
Dr. Sam Liss
Course Levels:
Audio and Video
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This course will now begin the examination of specific classes of psychotropic medications. Unit 2 will explore the pharmacology of the mood (affective) disorders, including unipolar depression and bipolar disorder. Brief overviews of the respective pertinent psychopathologies are included as a means of introduction to their drug treatments. Subsequently, drug classes are explored, as are individual medications. There are also references to nondrug treatments when applicable.  

The PowerPoint presentation for this unit will focus upon the most important relevant concepts and the most significant medications used in clinical treatment. The presentations are not all-inclusive; rather, they are meant as a relatively concise "springboard" from which further discussion might arise. For example, I did not include ALL relevant and possible adverse effects/interactions, etc. for the sake of clarity and time.

It is suggested that, to accopany this course, "Stahl's: The Prescriber's Guide," be referenced by learners for more specific and detailed information regarding individual drugs. This text seems to be the ideal complement for topics presented.


As the course now begins to examine topics more associated with clinical practice, it is hoped learners might better relate and become even more involved in relevant discussion. It is also hoped that the introductory and fundamental topics covered in Unit 1 will serve as a basis for a more thorough understanding of the material covered in Unit 2 (and future units).


Dr. Sam Liss's Profile

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Affiliated Faculty

Union Institute & University

Sam Liss, (M.A.) is in his 12th year instructing psychopharmacology and neurophysiology for the Psy. D. and Masters/Certificate curricula at Union Institute and University. He previously served as faculty at Vermont Technical College (VTC) from 2000 – 2019 in their undergraduate nursing program. Sam has taught general pharmacology, human anatomy and physiology, microbiology, nursing math, and other science courses for VTC. Prior to teaching, he was a hospital and community practicing pharmacist. 

Sam has twice served as Chairperson of the VT Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) and as chair of the Advocacy, Outreach and Education (AOE) committee of the Vermont State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) - both gubernatorial appointments. He was VP of the Board of Directors of Vermont Center for Independent Living (VCIL) from 2001 through 2020. He was also appointed to the Green Mountain Care Board General Advisory Committee (advising the GMCB on health care reform). More recently, Sam was appointed by former Governor Shumlin to serve on the Governor's Committee on Employment for Persons with Disabilities (GCEPD). Sam has been an advocate for people with disabilities for many years - specializing in eliminating inherent disincentives to employment. He is involved in the health care reform initiatives in Vermont, having served on a number of committees and workgroups.