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DebbyDowner

I'm fed up! Need Advice-Please-Recent 'attempt'

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Hi all. I love this board and I am so thankful for all of you guys. I am really fed up with my own bipolar situation though. I seem to be getting worse-I was dx'd in 1998 and I've been on so many different cocktails it's ludicrious.

Two and a hald weeks ago I was so depressed on a pretty huge cocktail (and I do love my dr. she is so sympathetic and caring-really) that I said screw it and took five bottles of my pills and ended up in the er and then hospital-psych. Third serious attempt as an adult. I am so tired of meds just not working and cycling constantly. I will say though the dr. in the hospital talked me into taking lithium and I felt different in a very good way despite even more serious weight gain.

My question is to you guys-does anyone know if Lithium is a last line med for severe manic depression as opposed to the newer atypicals? Because I have always been so against it. Thanks guys I really need some hope.

Much luv!!!

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i was given lithium befor i tried anything else my current doc calls it a work horse cause its been around for ever and has been proven to work fo bipolars i was on it for 3 years it slowly started to work less about year 2 then i switched i only gained alittle weight because i have a really active job so you have to exercise and drink LOTS of water, really important i think Lithim just has a bad rap i hope it works for you!

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I don't take Lithium, but I have heard that it is the golden standard for bipolar disorder, and is the only "true" mood stabilizer, or something. I hope Lithium helps you! Try to hang in there until you can find a cocktail that works for you.

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Lithium changed me life, seriously, it's awesome stuff. I was scared of it but now I have my life back.

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Lithium was the very FIRST medication I was put on for Bipolar and it works great in combination with a couple of other meds! No need to be afraid of it, as long as you get your blood level checked at most every 3 months and also get blood tests for thyroid and kidney function regularly and drink an adequate amount of water, more in hot weather, you will be fine and glad you tried it!! Good luck with it!!

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Lithium was the first med I tried. Sadly, it didn't work for me, and I've tried it since and it was toxic for me. Very upsetting. You're lucky in the sense that it doesn't seem to be one of those "fickle" medications--if it works for you, it usually stays working for you (maybe with some minor tweaks and add-ons). Good luck!

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Lithium has a pretty high relative success rate for bipolar patients though a lot of doctors choose to use the newer medications for various reasons. I hadn't been on lithium until I'd been futzing around for about seven years with other meds. Which really was a bad call. I do a lot better on it. It doesn't work for everyone, but it can work for a lot of people and make a large difference.

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My pdoc wanted to use Lith first with me, but I was pregnant and he didn't want to take the chance. We have however switched from Seroquel to a combo of Lith and Lamictal and it seems to be working quite well.

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I doubt very much lithium is the "last line" of defense.

It worked well for me for a long time. Except eventually I began to notice language impairment, which I took to mean toxicity (pdoc wasn't convinced.) So I take depakote now, which is fine.

good luck

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I was scared of lithium before I started, but I soon learned that it was no big deal. You will likely be thirstier than usual and may get some tremors, but those symptoms can be managed.

I took it for four years before switching to depakote, which works a lot better for me for my manias.

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The impression I got from my pdocs when I was first diagnosed is that lithium is often a first-line med. Certainly not a last resort anyway. When I was diagnosed I was offered the choice between lithium, Zyprexa and Lamictal.. Possibly Depakote as well, I'm not sure. But yeah it seems to me to be regarded as THE bipolar drug. I also thought the cornerstone of BP treatment is generally a mood stabelizer, lithium or an AC. APs used as monotherapy is a relatively new thing, I think. Lithium does carry risks, such as thyroid and kydney damage but AAPs have some pretty serious risks as well, pretty bad weight gain, metabolic syndrome/diabetes, movement disorders, TD.

I hope I'm not generalizing too much here this is just the impression I get from the pdocs I've seen and peoples experiences shared here on CB.

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Lithium is a miracle. For many people, especially BP 1 with a tendancy towards

mania it is THE med. You should give it a try.

Just drink a lot of water as you probably know.

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I took lithium for about 3 years. I was afraid of it initially because it's so symbolic of bipolar disorder; like, once I'm on it, I'm really bipolar. There was no room for denial anymore. I had no problems with it and would take it again in the future. The only reason I went off it was because I stopped meds altogether (a really bright idea :wacko: ). I didn't notice weight gain at the time but I was also still in my teens. Drink LOTTTTTSSSSSS of water. I had to double my already high water intake. And do your regular bloodwork like rowntree said. It's got a good track record and has been around a long time.

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I've been taking lithium for 9 years on and off between trying other meds out there and always ended up back

to lithium, for me the only side effect was weight gain usually 10 lbs. and that is not bad I can deal with

that, Like everyone said stay hydrated and do regular blood test that is important.

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I'm rather fond of Lithium, actually. I believe it was the third med I tried. The shaking from the tremor was a pain, but it really made such I a difference at that point in my treatment, that I didn't care. It's an excellent med for mania in BP. In fact it's the only thing that will bring my friend Jenn down at times.

My situation is different in that I have MDD with fluctuating severity that stays within Depression Episode guidelines. It seems to respond very positively to BP meds, a bit uncharacteristically so according to the pdoc who rx'd the Lithium. It's not a last line med, it's just a good one that requires blood testing and certain cautions with things like drinking enough water, etc. It may be tried later on for that reason, but I see no reason not to make it an initial part of treatment. It pulled me out of my suicidal ideations almost immediately when nothing else did. Unfortunately my symptoms got worse and it stopped working, but I don't regret taking it at all & I'd do it again.

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I haven't tried Lithium yet, but i would if my med cocktail stopped working. You really can't judge the meds by the side effect profile (I am guilty of that, for the AAP's), they may work for you with only one or two of the side effects. I've got some weird twitches sometimes from the Seroquel and sometimes some trouble jumbling words but it is much much better mood-wise so I don't even care.

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You don't list your previous meds, but if Lithium is working well for you, go for it. Like I've posted before, it didn't work for me, but everyone's different. There may be other drugs out there that work even better for you - who knows, right? You may still be going through the "drug seeking" period, which can last longer for some people than others. Hang in there; the right combo is likely out there, but you just haven't found the magical mix to stabilize your condition. It can take a while, which is frustrating and sometimes dangerous if you're suicidal, but there doesn't seem to be an alternative. Wishing you all the best in getting stabilized. Keep posting here, since it really helps during those difficult times!

abitcrazy

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