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Lithium, Never Been So Scared In All My Life


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19 replies to this topic

#1 jonine1975

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 10:08 PM

We picked up my prescription for lithium (150mg) and I am supposed to take it tonight and I have never been so scared in all my life. Any comforting thoughts are welcome. I cannot believe I am this scared.

#2 AquaViolet

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 10:12 AM

Hi jonine.
I don't have personal experience with Lithium, but there are other members here who do have experience with it. Hopefully, they will post in this thread to help relieve your fears.
What are you most concerned about?
~~AquaViolet~~
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My Diagnoses: Severe OCD, panic disorder, depression
My Current meds: Geodon, Cymbalta, Klonopin, Lyrica 

My Previous meds:
Prozac, Paxil, Celexa,
Lexapro, Luvox, Zoloft, Clomipramine (a horrible med for me),
Xanax, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Risperdal,
Gabapentin (this med did nothing), Buspar (also did nothing)

#3 ElizabethJane1

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:20 PM

Hi Jonine I have been taking lithium for thirteen years. What aspect of the treatment scares you? 150mg is a low starting dose. Your psychiatrist will increase the dose depending on your response to it? He will need to take bloods weekly to start with. I am on 1,000mg for severe recurrent depression. If it is for bi-polar the dose could be higher. There are a lot of potential side effects and it is important to drink plenty of fluids and restrict alcohol as this can dehydrate you.

#4 jonine1975

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 08:33 PM

I have taken the dose 2x now, started Saturday night. He gave it to me bc my celexa wasn't doing its job. I was cutting everyday last week, and my brain was a mess...it is so early to say, but something has changed....I don't feel so impulsive right now. I don't feel all better, but I feel more hope I guess. I am not diagnosed bi-polar, just using for augmenting. He started so low bc he knows I am super sensitive. I have only been able to get up to 10 mg on celexa, and it just wasnt doing it this time around. He said he will see me in 2 weeks and see how I am doing, and if it needs to be raised. I am really hoping this will work. I've been drinking lots of water, how much should I drink?

#5 Liliah

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 11:40 PM

Hey there,

I know three people who are also not diagnosed bi-polar, but had Lithium added to their antidepressant (interesting, two are on Celexa as well). The reason was essentially two-fold: to enhance the effects of the AD, and also the possibility of a functional mood stabilizer preventing another major depressive crash. I can absolutely relate to your fears, as I am very sensitive to medication as well. Just remember that you are being monitored by a professional, and if you feel Lithium is not for you, it does not have to be a permanent thing at all. I have been on over 20 medications (including SSRIs, SNRIs TCAs, MAOIs, mood stabilizers, benzos, and anti-psychotics), and had often felt extremely nervous to try something new. and I fully understand your frustration; I have too be quite scared to try certain meds, so try not to put yourself done for being frightened. It is a natural reaction to be scared of something that we don't know how it will affect us: but remember, there is also an equal chance Lithium will be useful.

In short, I hear you. I have been totally terrified to try new medications. But as you go up so slowly, you can come off of it if it is not helping. You are under professional care. If you have any concerns, it is totally just to talk to your doctor. I have refused to try certain mediations; perhaps there is another mood stabilizer you'd be more comfortable with trying first? Or maybe this is a good choice. Either way, it seems perfectly reasonable to talk to your doctor about your concerns, regardless of what they are! It is a collective process. I really believe that; that is must be, in a way.

And here's something else: I am currently taking Parnate (an MAOI), which is the first medication ever to really, really work for me. Talk about a medication that people are irrationally scared of. As this was the second MAOI I tried, and I was not nervous this time (and largely because I'd tried every other class to no avail). In fact, I found the side effects of the other classes much worse, and the diet is not a big deal at all.

I actually drink my 64oz., as it helps with my meds as well. Vitamins too! It really took any side effects away (except insomnia/loss of appetite), and, on the whole, I feel better. Ever since I went totally nuts, I haven't even had the sniffles. :)

I hope you are doing okay, and you find a combination that helps! This may be it. You never know.

Love and light,
Liliah

#6 jonine1975

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 02:20 PM

Thank you Liliah for your response. I really appreciate it! I am a little lost for words right now, bc I am out of it + panicky, but I wanted you to know I appreciate your post and I will write more later.

#7 jonine1975

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 02:25 PM

Although one thing I want to ask, is it normal to just feel like crap when you first start lithium? I am at such a low dose (150 mg) I didnt think there would be many side effects, but I feel tired, my stomach is upset, I am kind of achy and a little dizzy. I don't think it's related but my klonopin just does not seem to be getting me all the way to my next dose =(. I really hope these things subside...I have been on my couch for the last 3 days!!

#8 jonine1975

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 05:43 PM

So much anxiety today I took my .75 klonopin at around 2 hours ago, and let me tell you it has not provided much relief. Lithium wouldnt cause more anxiety would it? Or cause my klonopin to poop out. I'm sure this are sillly questions, bit I'm just not feeling all that great.

#9 swimfan93

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 06:44 PM

You're probably not feeling great because you are so anxious (i feel sick when I'm super anxious). I've been taking lithium as an adjunct for depression for years (along with seroquel, xanax, adderall, lamictal, etc).
It's been around for awhile and it's pretty safe. You are starting at a low dose, and the only danger really is "lithium toxicity" which is from a very high lithium level. I take 900mg and my blood level is usually .7 I think?
It is a very effective drug and it may really help you.
Try to relax. Do some deep breathing, maybe go for a walk, take a bath, watch a funny movie...Just try to calm down. It will be okay, and lithium is a drug that has been helping people for years and years. And If it wasn't safe it wouldn't still be on the market!

#10 jonine1975

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:03 PM

I hope something will help, bc I feel so agitated and irritable, almost angry. Is it maybe bc the lithium is not quite working yet? After my first pill of lithium I felt pretty relaxed the whole day. Then yesterday I started feeling agitated and then worse today. I just wish my klonopin would chill me out.

#11 Valk0010i

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:43 PM

We picked up my prescription for lithium (150mg) and I am supposed to take it tonight and I have never been so scared in all my life. Any comforting thoughts are welcome. I cannot believe I am this scared.

Lithium has been a life saver for me. And 150mg is a very low dose of it. I am on 1200mg which supposedly the average.
Everything I say is well intentioned and my opinion, sorry if you feel hurt or offended by it.

#12 Valk0010i

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:44 PM

I hope something will help, bc I feel so agitated and irritable, almost angry. Is it maybe bc the lithium is not quite working yet? After my first pill of lithium I felt pretty relaxed the whole day. Then yesterday I started feeling agitated and then worse today. I just wish my klonopin would chill me out.

Lithium from what I understand takes a month or so to really work.
Everything I say is well intentioned and my opinion, sorry if you feel hurt or offended by it.

#13 jonine1975

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:47 PM

So I might still feel this annoying agitation and irritation? It feels like anxiety, but doesn't feel like panic attacks. It feels like someone gave me a bunch of caffeine (which is something I'm super sensitive to) and it's incredibly annoying to me. Anyone understand that feeling?

#14 Valk0010i

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:52 PM

So I might still feel this annoying agitation and irritation? It feels like anxiety, but doesn't feel like panic attacks. It feels like someone gave me a bunch of caffeine (which is something I'm super sensitive to) and it's incredibly annoying to me. Anyone understand that feeling?

Yeah I know how it feels, without knowing specifically your being treated for, I can't say much. But I doubt the lithium would be causing it.
Everything I say is well intentioned and my opinion, sorry if you feel hurt or offended by it.

#15 jonine1975

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:45 PM

The dr chose lithium to augment my celexa. Sucky thing is I was on 10 mg of it and it was making me feel feel activated, this was after 5 weeks...so he said go down to 5 mg, I did that a few days, but then I went up to 7.5 bc I was feeling really crappy at 5 mg, as I said I am sooo sensitive to meds, thats why he started me at 150 mg for lithium. I take .75 klonopin 3x's a day...the only dose that really seems to **** it for me is my night dose with the lithium...it helps me get sleepy. Argh, the crap thing is feeling sleepy now, but still restless...bout 3 more hours and I can hopefully knock out.

#16 krispy30

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:58 PM

The one thing I would say about Lithium is to be really watch your weight. I don't want to worry you but I gained a lot of weight to the point where it was unhealthy. As soon as I stopped taking it, I lost all the weight. Also, Lithium is a natural salt and I don't think you are feeling these things because of it. The reason you have to drink so much water is because of the salt, which can dehydrate you. Lithium never worked for me but I know it works for tons of people. Your symptoms could be due to anxiety about having to take it.

Also, it takes some time for it to work but you could possibly experience some side effects already. I am VERY sensitive to meds and I feel side effects right away. Sometimes they do subside. A lot of people have this reaction over Lithium-I did-I was scared to death-it actually is on the table of elements and has been around forever. Many people swear by it.

I hope it helps you.
Krispy

My long bout being misdiagnosed Bipolar II for the last year and a half, along with the following drugs: Lithium, Serzone, Lamictal, Neurontin, Remeron, Cymbalta, Abilify, Seroquel, Depakote, Propranolol, Ambien, Trazadone, Sonata, Valium, Ativan, Paxil, Prozac, Wellbutrin, Zoloft and Temazepam (these are the only ones I can remember. There are MANY more)


Current diagnosis: GAD (severe) OCD (severe) MDD ( Severe), Agoraphobia, PTSD

Possible diagnosis: Dysthymia with recurrent MDD

Current Meds: 30 mgs. Nortriptyline, 163 mgs. Seroquel, 1mg Klonopin 4x/daily, 15 mgs. Temazepam/10 mgs. Sonata, 7.5 mgs. Abilify

#17 jonine1975

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 09:06 PM

Your symptoms could be due to anxiety about having to take it.

I never thought about that, I was very anxious the first and second night I took it, tonight will be night 4. I am catching myself over analyzing and over researching this med. I am drinking my water...cause I read it's very important, I drink a lot of water anyways. I really hope this med works for me...all last week my mind was totally focused on self harm, I hurt myself everyday last week. After my first dose of lithium my brain didn't have those racing scary, dark thoughts...I just want it to continue so badly!

#18 krispy30

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:48 AM

Whenever I start a new med, I research it to death, causing such anxiety and depression, on top of the anxiety and depression I am being treated for. I think that sometimes it is a self-fulfilling prophecy and our anxiety manifests itself into physical symptoms. I know that happens for me. I convince myself I am going to get some awful side effect and then those horrible bouts of anxiety come up-and not even my Klonopin works for me-at ALL. I have learned to stay away (for the most part) from the computer and NOT read the side effects. When I do this, I have much less anxiety.

I said this on another post, but I think people (except here) tend to only write about their negative experiences with meds. Lithium has done wonders for SO many people, but you probably didn't find that in any internet searches.

I am having the same problem with Abilify that I started a few weeks ago-I am STILL scared to death every time I take it. It has done wonders for me but I too am so afraid these good feelings will go away. Like you, my racing thoughts are barely there and I just feel so much more motivated. I just try and not think about it and take it one day at a time. Thinking about the future is only cause for more anxiety.

I hope this helps. You are not alone...always remember that.

:thumbs-up:
Krispy

My long bout being misdiagnosed Bipolar II for the last year and a half, along with the following drugs: Lithium, Serzone, Lamictal, Neurontin, Remeron, Cymbalta, Abilify, Seroquel, Depakote, Propranolol, Ambien, Trazadone, Sonata, Valium, Ativan, Paxil, Prozac, Wellbutrin, Zoloft and Temazepam (these are the only ones I can remember. There are MANY more)


Current diagnosis: GAD (severe) OCD (severe) MDD ( Severe), Agoraphobia, PTSD

Possible diagnosis: Dysthymia with recurrent MDD

Current Meds: 30 mgs. Nortriptyline, 163 mgs. Seroquel, 1mg Klonopin 4x/daily, 15 mgs. Temazepam/10 mgs. Sonata, 7.5 mgs. Abilify

#19 jonine1975

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 04:25 PM

.

I am having the same problem with Abilify that I started a few weeks ago-I am STILL scared to death every time I take it. It has done wonders for me but I too am so afraid these good feelings will go away.


It's hard to say when it is helping and when it is not, my thoughts don't seem so stuck on hurting or death, but I am still depressed and not doing much, although I did get up and make my own food today...HUGE step! So I need to stop discrediting myself. The depression sucks because I just want to feel some sort of happiness, you know? I don't know if lithium helps with any depression or if it is just to stabilize moods and help bp people with their mania. I wish I could go up higher on my celexa, but it amps me up to an uncomfortable place, weird at such a low dose....not even 10 mg...geesh!
I over research too, which sometimes gets me in so much trouble anxiety related.
Thank you for your kind words, it is nice to know I am not alone. :gathering:

#20 krispy30

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:15 AM

No, I promise you that you are not alone! Because I have horrible OCD, I will literally spend hours in the internet until I find the right answer I am looking for. I usually end up in so much pain and anxiety because I can't find any good reviews on the meds I take, which leads to more anxiety/OCD. I convince myself that I will get every single side effect, gain 200 pounds in a month, and get even more depressed. This is all from negative feedback on the internet. I think that when people have positive experiences, they tend to not write about them. I obsess over things to the point they start happening OR little things happen to me and I automatically blame it on one of my meds.

One thing I wanted to ask you-do you ever suffer from chronic pain? I don't know if it is from being depressed for so long or tapering off Seroquel, but I am always in so much pain...like a tension headache, except all over my body that makes me feel physically ill.

I am not a doctor but I believe Lithium helps BOTH with depression (usually when most other meds have not worked) and also a mood stabilizer with BP patients. Because I was not BP, Lithium made me manic and before that, I was on Lithium AND Seroquel. I was a zombie. I would just lay in bed all day, incapable of doing anything. The Lithium never worked for me personally but you may be different.Also, you need to give it about 4-6 weeks to really know how you are doing it.

Making your own food IS a big step, just like taking showers for me was/is a big step. They are little things for others but huge steps in the right direction for us.

Try and stay away from the research! I wil try and do the same.lol. If you ever need to talk, message me...you WILL get through this. When we have bad days, we tend to forget that we actually have had good days-our brains just want to focus on the bad. You ARE capable of having good days!
Krispy

My long bout being misdiagnosed Bipolar II for the last year and a half, along with the following drugs: Lithium, Serzone, Lamictal, Neurontin, Remeron, Cymbalta, Abilify, Seroquel, Depakote, Propranolol, Ambien, Trazadone, Sonata, Valium, Ativan, Paxil, Prozac, Wellbutrin, Zoloft and Temazepam (these are the only ones I can remember. There are MANY more)


Current diagnosis: GAD (severe) OCD (severe) MDD ( Severe), Agoraphobia, PTSD

Possible diagnosis: Dysthymia with recurrent MDD

Current Meds: 30 mgs. Nortriptyline, 163 mgs. Seroquel, 1mg Klonopin 4x/daily, 15 mgs. Temazepam/10 mgs. Sonata, 7.5 mgs. Abilify




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