Lithium Advice: So lately I’ve been... - Mental Health Sup...

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Lithium Advice

kuzuri-love
kuzuri-love
8 Replies

So lately I’ve been getting worse and worse with my depression. No antidepressants have worked. I know it takes more than just medication to help but they don’t seem to be doing anything. Today I saw my psychiatrist and he told me that sometimes when multiple antidepressants haven’t worked, it could mean there’s another mental illness that hasn’t presented itself yet.

Anyways, he prescribed me lithium. He doesn’t think I’m bipolar necessarily (or at least not manic), it’s just something he thought we should try. I have to go for blood work before I can start taking it but I just wanted to know people’s thoughts on lithium.

If you’ve ever taken it/currently are or even just know some stuff about it, I’d love to hear your thoughts and knowledge!

Any feedback is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

8 Replies
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JWestsussex

Hi, I’d be interested to know too, I have had exactly the same thing, bloods taken yesterday to start lithium next week I am so very anxious about it. What is the dose you have been prescribed ?

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Smithy115

Hi,

My wife who has had bipolar for over 50 years ( she is in her 70’s now) has been using Lithium and other drugs to aid her illness and apart from the obvious blips/adjustments to her tablets mainly due to her blood tests she was reasonably stable . When she turned about 65 her blood tests were becoming to high and as a result of that they had to reduce her Lithium intake by two thirds over time to protect her kidneys . I think Lithium can also now be called Priadel. The amount my wife now takes is 300mg which for her is far to little and she now is unstable , anger moods, constantly talking to herself , fighting with herself etc , now life is mostly hellish .

Therefore take the Lithium or Priadel you are given every night and go for your blood tests every time and on balance you should stay stable and live a much better life than without these tablets ...believe me!

All the very best 👍

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Smithy115

Without doubt lithium is and always has been the magic bullet for mental health ....the doctors will have to get the correct doze for you through trial and error and having your blood tested every 3 months ( to ensure your kidneys are not being effected) . You will feel much better within yourself very quickly but don’t stop taking the correct doze every day or you will relapse .

All the very best and try not to be worried .👍

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kuzuri-love

Thank you so much!! My doctor said the same thing about it being “the magic bullet for mental health” and obviously I trust him since he’s a professional but it’s also nice to hear this from someone else on a person level. It’s more reassuring. Thank you!

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Kaytee1981

I'm currently on it - I stopped a while ago they are hefty pills to swallow. I think they have help control my suicidal thoughts and some what manage my rollercoaster of moods. They don't start working until you get to the correct level in your blood system hence the blood test so frequently in the early days. I've got treatment resistant depression so that's why I'm on lithium but I think I need a review or some talk therapy as I'm struggling. My psychiatrist said that any overdoses when on lithium can be dangerous and if you have a history of overdoses you need to be very careful- not sure if its relevant to yourself but it was me.

Hope that helps a little PM if you want to ask something

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kuzuri-love

Thank you so much! I hope things get better and maybe you and your psychiatrist can find other things that may help as well. All the best:)

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MaskedNinja

Hi. I've been on lithium twice. For Major depression/unipolar. It's certainly not just an antimanic med. Even in bipolar disorder, it helps prevent the patient from experiencing lows as well as highs. I never got far with it either time. It needs continuous monitoring of blood levels, can have pretty off-putting side effects (like all meds) but needs the perseverance to get it working. Trial and error. It's still on my backup list.

Dosage is often calculated from body weight.

I myself take quetiapine for my depression/anxiety. Another bipolar med which started off as an antipsychotic. Low doses are known to help on their own for unipolar. Bipolar patients generally need more, 600-800mg compared to my 150 lol. At low doses, it's more of a dopamine (DA) 'agonist' (increases DA) while at higher doses it works more as an 'antagonist' (inhibits DA). Its helped before, fingers crossed it will work again.

What I'm saying is many meds have an assortment of applications for a variety of illnesses.

And stubborn depression can be undiagnosed bipolar even if you only get lows, no highs.

Are you still taking an antidepressant? Lithium can also help augment an antidepressant that isn't fully helping you.

It's good you have a doc who (it sounds like) knows what he/she is doing.

My fingers are crossed for you :)

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Bonkersy

Hi, I have bipolar and took lithium for many years until my physical health deteriorated (unconnected to the Lithium), & I had to stop taking it.

I would say the same as I would for any drug. Give it a go, and really give it a chance. Any side effects, however e r unpleasant usually settle within 3 months, and this drug could change your life for the better.

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