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Lithium

(6 Posts)
TheGhostOfBarryFairbrother Sat 30-Jul-16 18:58:33

So tomorrow marks a big day... I start lithium. I'm pretty scared but my psychiatrist says that she thinks it could be life changing. The truth is that I can't continue as I am. Bloody schizo-affective disorder with rapid cycling. It's killing me.

The question is... can you please reassure me about it? I know that it'll take a few weeks to get the dose right but how fast does it work? I'm weaning off my current mood stabilizer. Also did you have lots of side effects?

fuckmyfatlife Sat 30-Jul-16 21:15:53

It can take a while to work although you may start feeling better quite soon. I've been taking it for a really long time, I think around 16 years with a couple of breaks here and there. Nothing has ever come close to working as well as lithium and I don't notice much by way of day to day side effects, I just feel like me on it. I have a fairly bog standard bipolar disorder, I do sometimes have to take antipsychotics to keep my mood down but I rarely get depressed for very long on lithium.

PaperdollCartoon Sun 31-Jul-16 17:11:44

I was on lithium for about 9 years (off it now for I think 5 years?) it was the only mood stabiliser that ever worked. Though bear in mind it's not a cure all. The dose can be adjusted up and down as needed. Only side effect I can strongly remember is having a dry mouth and needing to urinate a lot, I still need to wee all the time now as my bladder is very sensitive, but it's a minor side effect in the grand scheme of things.

TheGhostOfBarryFairbrother Sun 31-Jul-16 18:25:48

Thank you both so much for your reassurance. I've just taken the first dose. I am pinning all my hopes on it stabilising things as I can't carry on as I am.

I'll continue the antipsychotic and antidepressant, and for now I'm on a shut tonne of diazepam but that was basically to keep me out of hospital...

PaperdollCartoon Sun 31-Jul-16 21:53:05

I was on seroquel for at least half that time as well, which I found very helpful but did make me sleep literally all the time.

It can a few weeks to get into your system and get the dose right, so do give it time. Don't knock the diazepam if it's keeping you safe, but hopefully lithium will be a more sustainable option. I will say once it's well in your system it's a horrid one to miss a couple of days of, so try and keep up with getting your prescriptions on time.

And good luck flowers

PaperdollCartoon Sun 31-Jul-16 21:53:20

Can take*

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