My wife, Jo, has had problems with depression for the last 12 years, but only recently has she been diagnosed with bipolar due to responses when she stopped taking fluoxetine, mainly.
After venlafaxine and quetiapine for a few months, Jo was put on Lithium (Priadal). She was maintaining about 0.8 on her bloods, but has in this time, gone from a UK dress size 10 to a 14. Jo has always prided herself on her appearance, so is finding this very hard now - especially as she looks more pregnant than the 7 month gone lady downstairs from us.
I'm about at my wits end. I want to support Jo, but am scared if she stops the lithium (which is now what she wants to do). She has been offered Depakot, but knowing the common side effects as being weight gain (at the top of the list) followed by poor concentration and bad memory, neither of us feel it's the right thing.
So there's the dilemma. Stay with lithium which Jo is sure is causing the massive bloating and weight gain, or ditch it all and either go without or try going back to fluoxetine.
Unfortunately, the Psyche is about as much help as a paper bag under water.
When Jo did stop fluoxetine in the past, she had quite short manic episodes of about 1 to 2 hours, before coming crashing all the way back down with a very big bang.
In all honesty, I'm struggling, feel a bit on my own, and also feel like I can't help Jo to resolve this (keying nicely in to my "useless" self-perspective that sometimes rears his ugly head).
Any help, suggestions, experiences or advice (in any combination you like) would greatly be appreciated.
Dan & Jo T.