Lithium for bipolar: Hi Everyone. I... - Action on Postpar...

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Lithium for bipolar


Hi Everyone. I had PP in December 2016 after the birth of my twins. I was treated at home by the Crisis team. I'm recovering from subsequent depression, anxiety & OCD & have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Within the last week I have recently started taking Lithium as a mood stabiliser & feel much more motivated & calmer. I just wondered if anyone else has experience of taking Lithium? Would I expect to feel so much better so quickly?

Thank you.

11 Replies

Hi Holly, thanks for posting that! Good question.

I'm glad to hear you're feeling better and yes I think lithium can start to work within a week or two of starting it.

I can't remember too well from when I started on it 5 years ago but I know it helped me during the depressive aspect of PP.

I'm really glad to hear you're feeling better and any other questions please go ahead!

Best wishes,



Hi Holly, this is a great question that I'm sure that many others that come to the forum will be interested in. Whilst you wait for more replies this previous thread has some good information about other lady's past experiences on lithium: I'm sure others with more recent experience will also be along soon to share how it worked for them.

Best wishes


in reply to TraceyR72

Thanks Tracey.

Thanks Amy.


Hi Hollysrw and welcome to the forum,

I took lithium after my PP episode in 2009 and remained on it for 3 years, with planned reductions towards the end. Whilst I don't have any other mental health diagnosis, I found it really helpful in my recovery. It was added to my medication regime whilst still in the MBU, where I spent 3 months as an in-patient, as the staff were finding the anti-psychotic alone to not be effective enough (from what I know, although I am not a healthcare professional).

It certainly helped me get to where I needed to be, in terms of being well enough to get home. And it helped me during the years afterwards too, as I took the anti-psychotic for a year, so lithium for the additional 2 years. As a drug, I know that with lithium it is about finding the right "therapeutic" level and that this was checked regularly by bloodtests, as well as to check my liver and thyroid function. This is something that was done by my GP. So I think it is possible that it is working at the right level for you, and this will be checked. It's positive to hear that you are feeling the difference too. I think mood stabilisers can be really helpful and whilst we are individual in our PP experiences there are certainly others on the forum who have experienced similar.

I hope that some of this is helpful to you. Recovery from PP can be tough and when you find something that works, medication-wise, it's certainly something to stick with, in my experience. I think the passing of time, as much of a cliche as it sounds, is a really great healer too. Recovery, although sometimes a bumpy road, is something that I noticed more as time went on and I could look back to this time last week/ month/ year. The milestones with our little ones are really important too.

The Choice & Medication website might also give you some useful information:

Take care, xx

Hi Holly,

Like you I had PP after the birth of my baby and I am slowly kicking off the depression that has followed it. How about we share tips to recover together?

One friend suggested going to the pub for Fizz Friday and it's lifted me. Maybe you could arrange a pub night out with friends too :) x

in reply to Arabella-

Thanks Arabella.

I find exercise & mindfulness help me. I try & keep a sense of humour as much as I can! What strategies work for you?

Best wishes

in reply to Hollysrw

I'm a girl that likes to keep busy, so I arrange to see friends, and take my daughter to the local park at least once a day. Leaving the house is very motivating for me, and you never know who you'll get chatting to.

I am a Buddhist and chant every day, which helps too.

And simply being able to talk to people about PPP here makes me feel better.

I will make an effort to do the mindfulness, good tip! Xx

in reply to Hollysrw

Most seem to regard Lithium as one of the best medications. BW x

Hi Holly how are you doing? Hope this finds you well x

Lithium is good but have to check levels often to sure they do not get to a toxic level. Although this never happened to me in many years. It does have a lot of side effects and I noticed can make normal life harder to deal but obviously if it's needed that more imp. I am currently off lithium while preg and fine. My advise is see how things go later and assess whether you need to keep taking in future. It not possible for some to stop and be relapse free but others I think could. I have serious bipolar 1 history with many episodes years ago but have seen in last two / even three pregnancies being off meds completely and having no relapse I feel for myself I wud be ok in future when things more settled without it.

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