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DON'T! Causes Kidney Disease, which is fatal and irreparable.!



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11/29/14 10:10 A

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I was put on Lithium after having had a really bad episode that scared everyone. I became a zombie and did not function so I was taken off at my request. Everyone is different. If it works that's great. Just watch out for symptoms and get to know your body and listen to it. I'm taking Lamictal now and that works for me. I have a double whammy with Schizophrenia so I also take Risperdal. Talking things out with my doc and being open to making changes has helped me get to where I am now, zero epidsodes in about a year.

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EDWARDSC393's Photo EDWARDSC393 Posts: 2,419
11/25/14 9:29 A

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I,ve been taking Lithium for quite a while. feel good. Don,t take Depacote, it makes you sleepy and fat! Good luck, Cherie

I,m Cherie, Been with sparker for 3 yrs, I like that I'm losing it slowly! Its a lifestyle!


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11/21/14 10:15 A

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Glad to hear that it is going well for you!

Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions

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11/21/14 8:51 A

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How nice to hear, that Lithium is working well.
Remember to drink enough water as it is a salt
Sometimes thirst can be interpreted as being hungry


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BLUEJAY1969's Photo BLUEJAY1969 Posts: 9,506
11/21/14 3:06 A

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Glad all is well so far hon!

"and I said to my body softly; "I want to be your friend." it took a long breath and replied; "I have been waiting my whole life for this." - Nayyirah Waheed

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JEZEBEL2880's Photo JEZEBEL2880 Posts: 1,021
11/21/14 1:45 A

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Hi guys! Well, I started the lithium even though I was scared to death. It's amazing what we'll do in a moment of desperation, eh? Anyway, I'm up to 900mg and in a few weeks she's going to up it to 1200 and expects that will be the lasting dose. I want to say it is helping...but I'm skeptical. I DO feel better....more balanced. BUT that could be due to a number of reasons. So, it remains to be seen if the lithium is helping. However, SO FAR I still have all my hair, and the nausea passed after a few days and wasn't nearly as horrible as I thought it would be. I just thought I'd let you all know what I decided.

Thank you all for your input!

SUFFER THE PAIN OF DISCIPLINE; OR SUFFER THE PAIN OF REGRET!!!

FALL down SEVEN times - STAND up EIGHT!

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10/21/14 11:08 A

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Right, Jeanne? How dare we! LOL!

Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions

Sue



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BLUEJAY1969's Photo BLUEJAY1969 Posts: 9,506
10/21/14 8:27 A

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Sue - Did we have the same father??? J/K but really I had the same situ. Born late in life and had the audacity to be born female! How horrible that we made both those decisions huh?? HA HA!

"and I said to my body softly; "I want to be your friend." it took a long breath and replied; "I have been waiting my whole life for this." - Nayyirah Waheed

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LOFLLAMA Posts: 7,296
10/20/14 2:04 P

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My son just hit teenaged in July. Thank you for sparing me the horror that awaits! HAHA!

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10/20/14 10:44 A

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My father was verbally and emotionally abusive to everyone in the family, but he directed most of it toward me since I came along later in life and had the nerve to be born a girl rather than a boy. And in order to deflect his wrath toward her, my mother would set me up to take the brunt of his abuse. Both my sister and I have said before, some people should never have children. Looking back, I realize that he had a bipolar thing going, and my mother had depression. This post would be pages long if I described all the reasons I reached those conclusions. Anyway, I vowed I would never treat my children like that, and I kept my promise to myself. And this was all before I was diagnosed and treated. They've both grown into relatively well-adjusted, happy adults. (We just won't talk about the teen-age years. Yikes!)

Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions

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LOFLLAMA Posts: 7,296
10/20/14 8:29 A

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I agree that arguing in front of children is awful. I hate when I see a child that barely looks up when their parents scream at each other. My son doesn't anymore, but when he was young if Lenny & I were even harsh with each other Mikhail would burst into tears because it was rare enough that he was uncomfortable with it.

Now at 13 he will immediately say something to us about 'being nice'!

Edited by: LOFLLAMA at: 10/20/2014 (08:30)
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10/20/14 8:19 A

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I think it is good when parents are able to think twice before arguing in front of children.
My uncle and aunt have celebrated 50th anniversary. I visited them before their celebration and asked how they did it... They answered a big reason was their children. Once the eldest son kept writing lines on a paper. They asked what was that..?
That is every time you scold each other. -
After that they were careful to wait with arguments till the children were in bed - and actually many times they did not bother making great fuss as it was so small issues.
---------
In contrary - my parents scolded each other very often. It is my impression it took away attention from us. And gave a very tense atmosphere. And both me and one of my brothers got a role as negotiators to our parents.
It is my belief that it is this constant intense atmosphere that has caused the lack of calmness in my brain. Neither my parents, nor grand parents, nor greatgrandparents etc. have been bipolar.
-----------------
I think there should be a class in school for the eldest children in child education. To day - In western society people only get about 2 children. This gives a lot less knowledge about this very important subject. emoticon


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LOFLLAMA Posts: 7,296
10/20/14 7:41 A

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Children often will be helped with coping skills & behavior modification. That's too much work for some parents....or as I like to call them 'parents who shouldn't have children'.

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10/20/14 5:16 A

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Another thing about uatomatically assuming that children of bi-polare are bi-polare..
I read on internet that if both parents are bipolare thre is a chance of 10 % that the children will be so.
Anyway children have to have a chance of developping themselves to grown-ups without meds and allways get other kinds of help when there are alternatives.
Iīd say that it gives a special responsobillity having chidren when you are bi-polare. Taking care of yourself - saying yes to the help ther are and only drinking very little or none alcohol.
Our gifts as manics are that we are able to enjoy ourselves and beeing creative without help from alcohol and drugs.



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BLUEJAY1969's Photo BLUEJAY1969 Posts: 9,506
10/19/14 7:43 P

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Sue - I totally agree with you as well as some children simply being children and being put on medications so that they are more docile and that makes my blood boil! I remember when kids were allowed to have emotions just like grown ups are allowed to have emotions!

I also agree on the least amount of meds that will do the trick! I always insisted on the pdoc lowering mine until we got the lowest dose for the best results!

"and I said to my body softly; "I want to be your friend." it took a long breath and replied; "I have been waiting my whole life for this." - Nayyirah Waheed

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10/19/14 6:34 P

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I think everyone should be given the least amount of medication, whatever it is. When it comes to children, I'm concerned about not only how it affects their brains now, but how it will affect them down the road. Some of these medications are given out too easily I know, I've worked with kids given meds for ADD or ADHD when counseling would have worked.

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10/19/14 5:56 P

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I agree totally, that people shall not be put on drugs if they can do without.
Especially children, who have not developped their brains finished.
Yes - Lithium is better than many other drugs and with less side-effects.


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10/19/14 10:19 A

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Hi, I'm Type 1 BP and have gone through a lot of meds. Finally they put me on Lithium and that worked. I'm on 600mg per day. I have not had any weight gain or negative side effects from it that I know of.

My son started having bad anxiety and was diagnosed tentatively as bipolar. They wanted to right away put him on Lithium. He was 14 years old and I said no. It's a heck of a drug and he does okay - no serious emotional outbursts, crying, serious depression, self-medicating, or mixed episodes. So I did think the Lithium was over kill in his case. I think Lithium is a pretty serious drug.



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COMELIBROS's Photo COMELIBROS Posts: 3
10/3/14 4:29 P

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Everyone is different, but Lithium is my wonder drug. Within a few weeks of starting it 13 years ago, I evened out to a manageable level and have been ever since. You should have seen the difference in my mood chart! I haven't developed any serious complications yet, though if my levels are off, I do get a little bit sick, physically. Well worth it though!



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9/29/14 11:18 A

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It was definitely Depakote that caused my hair loss since I was never on lithium. My pdoc had me take supplements to help counteract the loss. One was selenium but I don't remember what the other was. And it really helped.

Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions

Sue



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9/29/14 4:03 A

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About hair:
I have thick hair as I have written
But my mother has very thin hair, maybe it has been bad the last 15 or 20 years. She is 83. She is not on psychopharmaka but has gotten her hair permanent curled very often.
Once I attended a painting class. Here a girl who was about 22 years old told her hair once fell off. This was because of a certain color she had used.
I have only gotten my hair permanent curled twice in my life.
And never used other color then henna.


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JEZEBEL2880's Photo JEZEBEL2880 Posts: 1,021
9/28/14 3:49 P

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All great points, thanks!

SUFFER THE PAIN OF DISCIPLINE; OR SUFFER THE PAIN OF REGRET!!!

FALL down SEVEN times - STAND up EIGHT!

You don't have to go FAST, you just have to GO!



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9/28/14 3:08 A

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Therapy is important
and listening to the doctor about medicine
You are very young - You have life in front of you with wonderful and learning experience ahead of you
Being suicidal is very grave - Do a job of getting friends and show your friends and family interest. This gives bonus.
Try to write 10 positive things about your life and 10 about yourself
Connect to people in real life
Always remember - there is hope around the corner
And about Lithium - It does not give hearloss. It isnīt everybody who are able to use it. Hmm - Being thin haired or dead - What is best? Luckily this does not have to be the option. Have luck emoticon emoticon

Edited by: FRIDA11 at: 9/28/2014 (03:11)

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BLUEJAY1969's Photo BLUEJAY1969 Posts: 9,506
9/28/14 12:01 A

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I lost hair with depakote not lithium as well. I had no trouble with hair loss on lithium just a lot of other things went wrong and it didn't help me at all.

"and I said to my body softly; "I want to be your friend." it took a long breath and replied; "I have been waiting my whole life for this." - Nayyirah Waheed

Mountain Standard Time, USA

Hugs,
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JEZEBEL2880's Photo JEZEBEL2880 Posts: 1,021
9/27/14 8:36 P

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emoticon Thanks! :)

SUFFER THE PAIN OF DISCIPLINE; OR SUFFER THE PAIN OF REGRET!!!

FALL down SEVEN times - STAND up EIGHT!

You don't have to go FAST, you just have to GO!



LOFLLAMA Posts: 7,296
9/27/14 5:34 P

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Get in therapy & stick with it. It's hard work but so worth it!

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JEZEBEL2880's Photo JEZEBEL2880 Posts: 1,021
9/27/14 2:44 P

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I've never had a therapist long enough to do coping skills. That will change soon though!

Are you sure you don't mean you had hair loss with lithium? I don't think it's a side effect of depakote???

SUFFER THE PAIN OF DISCIPLINE; OR SUFFER THE PAIN OF REGRET!!!

FALL down SEVEN times - STAND up EIGHT!

You don't have to go FAST, you just have to GO!



LOFLLAMA Posts: 7,296
9/27/14 11:59 A

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I consider going to the hospital one of the best things that ever happened to me. I learned I had Bipolar, that it wasn't all in my head...that it WAS all in my head (LOL) & it was the start of some MUCH needed therapy.

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9/27/14 10:56 A

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Lisa raises a great point. I got a lot of help by learning about cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Even more so than talking to my therapist. Both are means of getting control of your thoughts and therefore your actions. In combination with the right meds, they really do help. Also, going to the hospital isn't the worst thing. I voluntarily went when I knew I wasn't going to make it through the day. That's when I learned about DBT and figured out on my own that I had bipolar 2 and not straight depression. Reading others' messages, I now remember: I lost a lot of hair when I was on Depakote.

Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions

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LOFLLAMA Posts: 7,296
9/27/14 9:27 A

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Have you learned coping skills? Personally the coping skills work better for the mania & the meds for the depression for me.

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9/27/14 6:29 A

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Thanks Frida, I've never been hospitalized, but that's only because I avoid my doctors when I'm manic or suicidal because I don't want to go. It does get very bad. I know I can't be without any meds at all, but the lamictal and cymbalta just aren't cutting it. I deal more with the depressive end of bipolar than manic, but when I'm manic I F up everything!

SUFFER THE PAIN OF DISCIPLINE; OR SUFFER THE PAIN OF REGRET!!!

FALL down SEVEN times - STAND up EIGHT!

You don't have to go FAST, you just have to GO!



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9/27/14 4:19 A

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After 23 years of Lithium, my metabolism got too low.
Low metabolism could lead to hearloss, but I got Eltroxin against that, so I did not experience hairloss.
In the 43 years of Lithium I havenīt experienced side effects.
I donīt like to be drunk. So this is an absolute exception in my life. But I do not live a life without a little alcohol now and then.
I think using medicine in general always means one does not feel feelings thoroughly. This is a good thing when you easily get sore. But it is also a problem not to feel immediately when someone goes beyond your limits. This is something I think about but cannot see an option. Options to medicine are for rich people who have money to go to advanced therapy. In US there are very clever therapist like for instance Brandon Bays with her The journey. And other Americans who have travelled around the world and gotten advanced tools for life changes and for getting stronger in life. Whether or not to take medicine also depends on how severe the manic attacks are. Do you have to go to hospital?
The thing about not feeling feelings thoroughly is a disadvantage in marriages. Feeling limits have been walked over after the situation makes a close relation difficult - I believe. My ex says I am so nice and calm. But I felt chocked about some things he did and did not react in the situation because the feeling came too late. This has also been the case in official meetings where I realised things were wrong too late.


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JEZEBEL2880's Photo JEZEBEL2880 Posts: 1,021
9/27/14 12:48 A

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Thank you all for your input! I'm sorry I wasn't on here, I thought I would get an email notifying me when someone replied! I came on here to check cause I thought it was strange no one had yet, and glad I did!

I've been on and off of Lamictal for the past 10 years and it kind of helps but just not good enough. I'm on 200mg per day plus 120mg cymbalta and 10mg ambien to help sleep. On the plus side, the Dr says the lithium will replace the lamictal and cymbalta for sure.

I get awful side effects from the cymbalta - I feel like I'm high, and NOT in a good way!

Drinking isn't that big of a factor, if it was just the drinking, I would go for the depakote. But the depakote has the same kidney/liver risks as the lithium.

It's weird though that a few of you mentioned weight gain, because the reasons she was wanting lithium or depakote is because the other options caused weight gain....maybe it's just a greater risk? I don't know.

I AM really nervous about the hair loss. And call me vain, but I don't know if I could stick with lithium if my hair falls out, even if it does mean stable moods.

I will have to have tramadol for pain, because I have chronic pain too. I have fibromyalgia and degenerative disc disorder and narrowed disks. Things get rough with that a lot.

SUFFER THE PAIN OF DISCIPLINE; OR SUFFER THE PAIN OF REGRET!!!

FALL down SEVEN times - STAND up EIGHT!

You don't have to go FAST, you just have to GO!



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9/26/14 6:34 P

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I have been on Lithium since I was 17 in 1973
Each time I have stopped using Lithium I have gotten manic within a year
It could be because my brain has gone used to Lithium or because my brain needs Lithium. I donīt know.
During pregnancy one is more balanced. It is necessary to begin Lithium right after birth and give milk substitute to your child. I felt really good but got manic and my child was taken away from me. This was the worst experience in my life. If taking Lithium during pregnancy it is said that there is 20 % risk of damaging the heart or lungs of the child. This better be examined further.
I have thick hair.
When I was 41 I got low - hmm what do you call it?- Anyway I put 20 kg on due to Lithium. Now I take Eltroxin besides Lithium.
I canīt say whether another kind of medicine would have made my life better or therapy or a kind of big life change as I have not gotten the option. For some months I have taken Lamictal in stead of Lithium. This made me get speeded and I was hospitalized. So I went back on Lithium this was 7 years ago.
In US the use of Lithium towards bipolar who get manic was started 10 years after Denmark as Lithium is a ground molecule and it is easy to get hold of so medicine factories canīt earn a lot of money on it. Maybe this is the reason that it is not used so much any more. All kinds of medicine have side affects. As far as I have seen people on other kinds of medicine take many kinds of medicine at the same time. In the last 3 years my liver figure has been slightly high. The doctor says it is not distinctive. I have asked whether I can eat differently. My doctor knows nothing of it. I have thought of changing doctors to one who knows more.

Edited by: FRIDA11 at: 9/26/2014 (18:40)

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9/26/14 11:27 A

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I have never been on lithium myself, but I was on Depakote for a while. I fought going on it because of the side effects, but I did eventually. I really don't remember how it affected me, sorry, but I haven't been on it for years. Lamictal works great for some people, but it sent me to the emergency room when my dosage was increased. That was pretty scary. I couldn't talk or write. The only way I could communicate was through sign language. I could only stare straight ahead, and my left side was markedly weaker. There are lots of other meds out there. I'm on a combo of meds that keeps me relatively stable. It took a lot of experimentation, but we hit in a combo that I've been on for a few years now that just needs to be tweaked now and then. And I do enjoy an occasional glass of wine with dinner

Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions

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TREATL's Photo TREATL Posts: 6,611
9/25/14 7:13 P

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I have been taking Lithium since 2007 and it has done a great job for me as a mood stabilizer. I have my blood chemistry drawn every 8 weeks to check for my kidney and liver function. I use a very occasional ibuprofen for pain (I also have rheumatoid arthritis). If I use alcohol, it's an occasional glass of wine. The most important guideline is to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily to avoid dehydration--one of the primary risks for kidney failure. Keep in touch, okay?

Lynne

Co-Leader, Dealing with Depression Team

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ? Maya Angelou

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9/25/14 5:41 P

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I loved how Lamictal worked, however as it built up in my system I had an allergic reaction. I wish I could have continued taking it. We stopped it and after the symptoms went away we tried it again and after it built back up reaction came back. :( But it was great until then.

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BLUEJAY1969's Photo BLUEJAY1969 Posts: 9,506
9/25/14 5:22 P

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I had a really bad experience with Lithium so I will refrain from commenting on that but have you tried Lamictal (Lamotrogine)? I did not gain weight with it and it works so well for me! I can't say enough good about it! I have some tiny pill rolling in my right hand when I am tense after 15 years of taking it but it's such a minor thing.

As far as not drinking goes - you have to decide whether you want to control your bipolar or whether you want to drink! I am a hard butt about this I'm afraid because I too used to like to get drunk a few times a year and I had to make the hard decision but I haven't had a drink in 19 years and I can't say I miss it very often. I did at first but I would just ask myself if I really wanted to get my moods under control or not. I don't mean to be unsympathetic I just know sometimes you have to make the hard decisions for yourself and to save your own life from being so hard!
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"and I said to my body softly; "I want to be your friend." it took a long breath and replied; "I have been waiting my whole life for this." - Nayyirah Waheed

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DEBTEVELDAHL's Photo DEBTEVELDAHL Posts: 15,928
9/25/14 3:33 P

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What are you currently taking in place of the lithium? Have you talked to your doctor about other medications that may work as well as lithium, but do not cause the same physical side effects? Sometimes it takes experimentation to find the right medications just for you. Take care and God bless, Deb

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Deb
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FINDINGBOBBIE's Photo FINDINGBOBBIE Posts: 2,381
9/25/14 2:57 P

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I was on lithium for several months. It did help slow me down, way down. I had no energy. It did help with my anxiousness and my fidgeting, it also helped with my short temper. I did have a few side effects and the side effects were bothersome enough to make me quit taking it. I gained 30 pounds in 3 months, constant bone pain, and my hair started falling out. The bone pain was the main reason I quit taking it, the pain felt like shin splints than ran the entire length of my legs and back, it didn't go away. Aleve was the only thing that worked for the pain but wasn't supposed to take it with the lithium.



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LOFLLAMA Posts: 7,296
9/25/14 2:49 P

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I was on lithium when I was first diagnosed. I gained 65 lbs. I went off it after about 6 months because of that. I cannot remember if it helped. I'm sorry.

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JEZEBEL2880's Photo JEZEBEL2880 Posts: 1,021
9/25/14 2:34 P

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Okay, I'm pretty terrified because I'm going to be starting on lithium soon. I won't be able to take Ibuprofen or Naproxen for pain anymore. And it can cause damage to my kidneys. And as if my hair isn't already thin enough, I'm also at risk for hair loss!

However, the only other (non- a-typical anti-psychotic med) option for me is Depakote, which has the same risks with the kidneys AND it's a big no-no to drink alcohol. I don't need alcohol to survive or anything, but I like to get drunk a few times a year and just really let loose! If it were the drinking only, that would be fine, but with the same kidney risk, I don't know. On top of that - on the serious off-chance that I ever decide to get pregnant - Depakote can cause serious birth defects, like Spina Bifida. (Way not cool!) I'm 90% sure I'll never have kids, but not 100%.

The problem with A-typical anti-psychotics for me, is the weight gain. That's NOT an option! It's hard enough for me to lose weight. And it's not an image issue for me, it's a health issue - I need to LOSE it, not GAIN it!

The psychiatrist swears by the lithium, and says it's the best mood stabilizer for bipolar, but of course, I'm freaking out, and so are people in my life.

Anyone have experience with it? Good or bad?

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