lithium day one – down the hatch


Well I’m about to try it. I picked up my script and some blood test forms today; first dose tonight and then bloods next Friday.

In 2009, Japanese researchers found that in places where the drinking water happened to contain natural levels of lithium, suicide rates were significantly lower. It prompted some psychiatrists to suggest we might help prevent suicides by adding a little bit of lithium to all drinking water. This sounds almost like an echo of the past: between 1930 and 1950, the American soft drink 7 Up contained lithium as a standard ingredient. This was done not for the mood effects, which were not yet really known at the time, but because lithium can also help against headaches. It was added to 7 Up specifically to make that drink a good hangover cure.
Lithium Tears

Oh right, like the cocaine in coke. Hmmm, they shoulda called it Lith.

It’s just a plain white pill, like all the other plain white pills. Smaller 250mg for 3 days and then on to the larger 500mg ones. I’d read about variations of it online, so I asked the pharmacist about it. (She’s pretty cool, in a permanently morose way. She went through effexor withdrawal shortly before I did, and had to do the last week of it in hospital. She says she misses the psychosis it caused. Poor woman personifies the words flat affect, but it’s possible to provoke a couple of facial expressions some days.) She looked at me morosely and said, there is only one kind here, it’s just lithium. Lithium is the element. Good, good … that simplifies things.

Swallow pill, wander to lounge with water, light a bedtime cigarette, listen to sporadic rain …

This little round, white moment might be just another box to check along the way, or it might be the miracle that nudges me into remission.

Edit: almost 3am, irritable as f u c k. Grumble … Oh well, I’ll tell my little mood tracker app all about it in the (official) morning. I lose the instasleep of seroquel – but I’ve also had a night free of RLS for a change.

O5h21 – agitated … no sleep, howling wind outside.

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battlescarred, bright, bewildered, bent, blue & bipolar

10 thoughts on “lithium day one – down the hatch”

  1. Lithium will be your miracle. I know it will. You will feel nauseous and dizzy – take anti-nausea tabs and drink or eat anything with ginger in it. And a thirst you’ve never known before. Never go anywhere without a bottle of water. Your hands will shake – any tambarine player will be viciously jealous of you :) But it will all be sooooo worth it. Stick it out (unless your blood levels are dangerous). Contact me anytime for anything, something or nothing at all. Lithium takes a bit of getting used to, but its worked wonders for me. Take care

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much!!! I’m already drinking tons more water and have added tambourine to the wishlist. Of course, the sound will drive me seriously demented, but that’s a small price to pay for being involved in processions of hippies singing kumbaya and the hair soundtrack. How did/does it affect your sleep?


      1. I’ve always battled with my sleep. So I can’t tell if Lithium affects it. To sleep I take Trepiline which is a muscle relaxant (superhero strong) and dormonoct. The thirst is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Trepeline is (I think) non-addictive. I call it my ‘magic tablet’ Sleep it second most important to your meds. So if you’re battling, try to get your doctor to give you a sleeping tablet


              1. Haha. I love the way you write. I’ve read your second post. You can expect to feel more of the physical sick, the nausea, dizziness. But I’m telling you, its worth it. Lithium is one of the oldest bipolar drugs around and its still one of the most respected. That whole kidney damage thing is what puts doctors off prescribing it. I tried all the other options. I didn’t want Lithium. But I had to take it as a last resort. And now I wish I’d taken it earlier in my life. And another option if its making you too sick is halving the tablets and just introducing it very slowly into your body. But again, really, if you feel weird or have any questions or just want to whine (I’m cool with that) give me a shout :)


                1. Well, I’d take every single side effect you mentioned for lithium over what I end up with on quetiapine any day. I shouldn’t have slept today, I’ve fucked up sleeping tonight – but jeez I don’t think I could’ve stayed awake without spinning off badly anyway. Gotta be up early tomorrow too.

                  Liked by 1 person

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