It has been several years since I tried Depakote. It seemed to work for several months then it stopped working. I know you said that you do not want to go on lithium, but I have been on it for 5 years and it has worked great for me. It does cause you to gain weight, but you have to ask what your priorities are. Last year my doc added Cymbalta to my meds. Its great, it works on both the emotional and physical symptoms. Good Luck.