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Does Lithium Help?

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It's hard to blame any one medication for a nasty side-affect. Especially when I have a hard time recalling what I am on now, never mind the previous cocktail. This time is different.

After 9 years of seeing the same pdoc, I've been on pretty much everything under the sun. It's gotten to the point where I can make suggestions and typically walk out with a prescription. There are, however, a few Rx that he avoids. Adderall being one of them. Prior to the current cocktail (I can't think of anything else to call it), he had me on Lamictal, Adderall, and Lithium. Adderall, like all stimulants in my experience, sent me into UC. But, it did wonders for my ADHD. Though I regret it now, I told my pdoc about the UC and he pulled the Adderall and stuck me on Strattera. Wrong move! The affects of BP do have a daily impact on my life. Cycling is a natural part of my reality as this is the way it's been for as long as I can remember. ADHD, on the other hand, really turns up the volume under the right circumstance.

To put it bluntly, after the Adderall/Strattera switch, I've become a real asshole that is touchier than a hornet's nest on a hot summer day. In the 10+ years that DW and I have been together, we have never considered divorce until now. It has become an every-other day conversation. Even during the worst of times when BP had me bottomed out and I was using my ADHD to find creative ways to off myself without trashing the life insurance policy, divorce was not an option. Christmas eve, I told her that I understand why people kill themselves, out of the blue, while we were making the bed. No emotion, just matter of fact.

So tonight... had another appt with pdoc. I told him that I want off the Strattera. Rather than replacing it, I am being taken from 160mg/day to 80mg for 2 days and then off. The up-adjustment is going to be in lithium. I can't remember how much, but it will be between 3-4 x what I am taking now. From what I have read, Lamictal has no affect on ADHD. That leaves lithium. Has anyone had any kind of positive affect come out of Lithium? I am talking ADHD here. I am trying to shift my mind into a state where I can handle the rapid decent and perhaps head off any super-negative factors.

Thanks Much,


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Lithium has no effect on ADHD, to my knowledge or in my experience.

Now there is a mixing bowl of possible symptoms, causes and effects. Bipolar Disorder can cause difficulty concentrating and thinkning. Lithium can cause difficulty with concentrating and thinking. ADHD....etc. Other meds can too.

It can be tough to sort out. You have been on a hefty dose of Strattera, I'm surprised your pdoc didn't try you at an intermediate dosage.

If the Lithium lifts your mood from having suicidal thoughts and being depressed, that may improve your cognition.

best, a.m.

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