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Your pros and cons of lithium for bipolar II...and go!

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Posted · Report post

I've been given the assignment to research it. I'm reading up on all the medical sites, but I'd like anicdotal stuff too. What do you like? What don't you like?

Thanks!

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Posted · Report post

Hey girl...

I like the way it chills me out and helps stablize my mood and anger, but I don't like the weight gain, blood tests and the old man feel. My body doesn't move and bend like it used to. Overall I am good with it.

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Posted · Report post

What do you mean by 'assignment to research'?

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Posted · Report post

It's not a school project. My tdoc told me to do some research for my own use. Basically, I'm burned out on meds. I've been on so many in the past couple of years. Nothing seems to work. He's trying to warm me up to the idea of lithium. He's a sly one, my tdoc.Seriously, he's a good guy. He just wants me to be really comfortable with this. However, nothing I'm reading is making me want to do this.

I've taken a couple of meds in the last couple of years (vyvanse and lamictal) that I feel have screwed me up for the long-term. I do not want to do any more damage.

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Posted · Report post

my god give it a try

I love Lithium, lots of people, me included have very few to no side effects

it is an awesome medication, and natural in a way

some people, me included feel the calming effect within three days

I would give it a try if I were you

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Posted · Report post

I've only been on it a week but my suicidal thoughts seem to be melting away. I don't feel so despairing about the state of my life. I think this is going to be a good med for me. I think it's starting to pull me out of this severe depression I've been in. I'm so pleased by this because no AD ever really worked for me (I tried about eight). Lamictal was the only thing that helped and it stopped working.

I've been reading about lithium's neuroprotective/neuroregenerative properties and it looks like it might be very healthy for the brain. Check out psycheducation.org's lithium page if you want more info on that.

I can't say too much about the downsides after a weeks use but there are the blood tests you need to check the level in your blood. Over the long run it can affect thyroid and kidney function. It can also cause some weight gain. I think you should definitely try it. Especially if you're running low on options like I was.

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Posted · Report post

Personally, I could not tolerate it. I stopped taking it because of the tremors. They were so bad that I couldn't function.

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Posted · Report post

I love lithium. It is what finally pulled me out of a year long episode of blech. I'm using it as an add on to Lamictal.

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Posted · Report post

They can have my Lithium when they pry it from my hand (along with my Cymbalta).

It works good, lasts a long time. yes it has side effects, so does everything else. It's the gold standard for bipolar treatment. The blood checks are infrequent and just not a problem, the longer you are on it and stable the less its an issue.

There is a certain percentage of people (like 20 or 25%) who don't get a response to Lithium. For most others it works well.

Don't let 'possible" side effects of any drug scare you away from trying them. And remember that most side effects fade with time.

Hope you feel better. a.m.

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Posted · Report post

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread - it has been very interesting to me. I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that I may need to try lithium, even though it has always scared me.

Getting the doctors to agree may of course be another problem!

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Lithium has been great for me. I've been taking it almost 10 years now and can only say good things about it!

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Personally lithium really helped my symptoms and I didn't gain weight or anything like that. It really helped with nervousness believe it or not. I stopped biting my nails completely (and when I went off of it I started biting them again). Why i went off it... it made me have a horrible hand tremor. I couldn't write, I looked nervous all the time, etc. I miss the heck out of lithium and might ask to go back on it at some point. It helped, but I cant really be super detailed on HOW. I just know I felt better. BTW I have bipolar II.

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Posted · Report post

Pro: works FAST, little to no side effects, really helped my symptoms for the most part.

Con: not always the best for depression (I still get depressed although it's far less severe than what it used to be), lots of drug interactions.

Personally it was a lifesaver for me, although not a magic bullet for the depression side of things.

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Posted · Report post

What are you prepared to risk to get better?

Are you suffering enough and missing out on enough of your life to feel that it is okay to try a pill that you can discontinue at any time?

If not Lithium, do you have a better plan?

Do you trust your tdoc/pdoc, have they given you reason not to?

Is the misery you are in comfortable enough that you'd rather stick with it than take a chance of something with the potential to change your life? If I offered you an envelope that could have $5 or $5,000,000 dollars in it, would you refuse it in case it was only $5 inside?

Every person here who is taking Lithium is taking it for different reasons at different times in their life with differing results. You can research all day and never get a consensus. The important thing to consider is how ill do you have to be to feel like you haven't anything to lose?

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