Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org

Recommended Posts

So obviously this is a topic fairly specific to lithium takers, but I'm curious if any of you have had the memory issues I seem to be having. Sometimes I can't remember things from one moment to the next, like when I'm flipping between browser tabs. I'll go back to work and find pieces of paper I've written on, and have zero memory of having written them. I'll watch tv shows or movies and not be able to remember key plot points only a couple of days later. My *daughter* will do things and I won't remember them. This is becoming absolutely intolerable. Human lives are made of memory. If I can't remember anything, then what's the point? It's like I've gone too far around the suicide circle back to a place where I'm not sure why I'm doing anything. I mean really, if I can't even remember things related to my KID, then I don't understand what the point is, unless it's just to be of service to other people in my life.

I'm also open to the possibility that it's another one of my meds that's causing this problem. I've talked to my pdoc about this and he's very insistent that I'm not taking anything that would cause memory issues, but I think he's full of crap, which also bothers me because otherwise I really like him. But just looking on WebMD tells me that 40% of lithium takers have memory issues, and I haven't seen anything like that about my other meds (see signature). Of course, that raises the issue of "what happens when/if I stop taking lithium?" and what could possibly replace it.

I'm certainly not asking anyone else to be my doctor, just asking about others' experience with memory and their meds, in particular lithium, and what they did about it. I won't *even* get into the twitching problem, gah!

Motoko

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have taken Lithium up to a blood serum level of 1.0 to 1.1 without any side effects except thirst and acne. I then had to discontinue. Long story. When I restarted, at sl .8 or so, I was as memory challenged as you. Totally. It was awful, truly awful and a big problem at work not to mention life in general. We back off to sl .5 or so and the memory problems went away. I still get a little bit of an antidepressant effect, so it is worth continuing. It sounds like Lithium is the source of your problems.

Carbamazapine, OMG, this is probably not your issue, but when I started it was like getting a labotomy. I hung in there for about six weeks because I was desparate to get stable after having tried many meds. Finally, the brain freeze stopped, I could think again, and I actually stabilized.

Talk to your pdoc about lowering your Lithium.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are on a lot of medication so it would be hard to just blame Lithium. It could even be the combination of all the meds. I have memory issues also, I just plain forget things. Sometimes it is an issue with work. Other times my husband is frustrated because I don't remember a conversation. I get it. It is hard. Obviously a lot happened with your bipolar to end up with that cocktail. And rapid cycling is hard to treat. hang in there

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just wanted to add that many years ago I took lithium. I also had memory problems, but not as severe as you are describing. I now take carbamazepine, but I don't really have any memory problems as a result of it. Well, maybe I will forget a word or two, but that's about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are on a lot of medication so it would be hard to just blame Lithium. It could even be the combination of all the meds. I have memory issues also, I just plain forget things. Sometimes it is an issue with work. Other times my husband is frustrated because I don't remember a conversation. I get it. It is hard. Obviously a lot happened with your bipolar to end up with that cocktail. And rapid cycling is hard to treat. hang in there

Lithium seems to be the only one (except Ativan, which I don't take much of) with documented memory issues, though as you say, it could be a combination of things. There are other things that bother me too: my typing is off, my singing is off (found some documented instances of pitch being off), my vision is off, etc. I'm starting to wonder why I take all this stuff.

Motoko

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had the worst cognitive side effects on lithium I've ever had with any med. I couldn't remember anything, I couldn't think properly, it was awful. That said, just looking at your meds, I know both carmazepine and gabapentin can mess with memory as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm appalled that your doctor told you that your meds don't cause memory issues-- as others have said, lithium definitely does, as well as carbamazepine & gabapentin (I've been on those two as well-- carbamazepine fried me completely, gabapentin is the only med I've never had serious SEs from). Pdocs saying that kind of thing really undermines patients' confidence, IMO. I really appreciate my pdoc's way- he tells me the truth and lets me make an informed decision.

I've been on lithium two different times, and both times my memory has been deeply impacted. This go around, I have similar issues to what you describe, and it sucks. Inability to remember appointments, things my kids need, getting places on time, basic day to day things I'm supposed to do. I'm also pretty dumb, can formulate or hold on to thoughts or articulate them. Word finding problems, spelling problems. And I feel just vacant. BAH! It's part of the reason I am not able to go back to school right now.

However, my reason for staying on the lith (& others) is because I need it to survive, and my kids need me alive, zombie or not. Actually, my 12 yo daughter recently told me they much prefer me on meds to crazy, even though I'm slower. It's really as simple as that. Not to mention there are benefits that the lithium gives me-- my obsessive thoughts are broken up, I'm less delusional, I'm able to just let things go rather than hold on to misery. There's more, but I can't remember what I was going to write, ha ha. No, really. Ha.

Oh yeah, the biggest thing of all-- I'M NOT SUICIDAL. Out of the 33 years since I first tried to do myself in at age 8, I have had perhaps 1-2 years during which I wasn't constantly suicidal. This is like the hugest thing EVER for me.

My cycling is sort of under control, too, in that I'm not up and down, I'm just down. But that is to be expected coming away from the Year From Hell.

I also ramble a lot more now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Say one-say all. I agree that lithium affects my memory. Have been on it for twenty years and there are a couple things that I focus on when I am beating myself up for... oh ya... for forgetting Any thing.

First I can find a way to deal with the memory loss. Mania takes me out of my world.

Second- I just keep reminding- whether I want to or not-I am pretty much in the HERE&NOW not by choice,just the way it is

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was just sitting here and was wondering where the hell has my memory gone to I used to be sharp I've made a living with my ability to remember the smallest details for years for example we have hundreds and hundreds of different types of equipt. and all with their own what we call personalities and at one time I could remember every problem i ever had and every problem another mechanic had and how it was repaired I could recall passwords wire pin outs for connectors ghost procedures for pc's and now I'm being honest to I can barely remember what line the equiptment is on besides how to repair my short term and long term have both gone to the shitter I tell what I'm going to do I' taking myself off this crap even if the pdoc doesnt wont me to this lithium is doing way to much harm than good I think it's taking my ability to fabricate I'll bet you I couldnt weldd a tv stand together now I just cant see it it's gone all gone all of my talent

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My memory is better on lithium than off, because off, my mind races and I forget everything.

I remember odd, random things though.. always have, even before meds. I'm doing online learning and am quite ahead in my class.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

benzo's are for racing thoughts

I'm not sure if you are responding to sandorfalot here, but that is not all benzos are good for, nor are benzos the only thing that helps control racing thoughts. Lithium, for instance, can work very well for racing thoughts as sandorfalot and I both wrote.

I would rather remember being crazy than not remebering anything

Well, bully for you. I would rather be alive and not feeling as if I want to peel my skin off. I guess your crazy is easier too live with than mine, if you prefer it to memory problems.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wasn't pissed off. I was clarifying what you had written because it could have been misleading for people that don't know meds very well. Nor was I "speaking for" sandorfalot- I merely repeated what she had written.

Also, I never said you were being a bully. "Bully for you" means "good for you"- I was saying that it is all very well for you to feel that way about medication, but I do not. It was kind of sarcastic, sorry about that, but I'm kind of tired of hearing that people will stop medication for non-life threatening side effects. I put up with a lot of SEs to get well because being mentally healthy is vitally important to me. For me, some memory loss is less worrisome than being delusional and suicidal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

well i'm sorry for being kinda of a ass well an ass but it's upsetting to me because I couldnt figure out why the asses I work with are making fun of me because of the forced speech,the memory loss, loosing my train of thought while i'm talking as a matter of fact I went to someones ass last friday because he was making fun of my forced speech and I didnt know that this was brought on by lithium and I will definetly have a talk with my pdoc over the fact that he didnt let me in on this fact and i will be getting a replacement as for the benzos I am correct on that and as well you are to so that means we're even steven and I did sense your sarcasm but I shouldnt have had any reaction because you really dont know with whom your writing to in here

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...