lithium alternatives?

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/17/2007 7:43 AM (GMT -7)   
HI! New here, hoping someone can help. I was dig. BP about six months ago, although I think I have known it for most of my life, and was put on lithium. I am having some side effects that put a kink in my life and am wondering about effective alternatives to the max. dose of lithium.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 657
   Posted 3/18/2007 7:17 AM (GMT -7)   

Welcome to the board Toodle :-)

What side effects are you experiencing?

I've tried doing a search which came up with Tegretol (carbamazepine) but you really need to speak to your doc as I do not know about meds. I'm sure they will understand that it's imparing your quality of life. They might give you an alternative or they might give you something else to combat the lithiums side effects.

Let us know how you get on , take care ,

Smiler tongue

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 3/18/2007 9:14 AM (GMT -7)   
I found the following link on HW, and it might be a little helpful. 
I have been on Lithium, Lamictal, Abilify, Zyprexa and Trileptal as a mood stabilizer in the past.  They each had different side effects, but have similar mood stabilizing affects.  I just know what works for one person doesn't ness. work or happen to another.  Lithium was not too bad for me, just made me feel a little flat and slight weight gain which was almost impossible to lose.
I hope you will be able to talk to your Dr. soon and resolve your issue.  I always had a fear of getting the scary or unbearable effects and it has happened to me on two of the meds I have taken in the past, and totally symphatize with you.
Good Luck! smurf

"What is life? An illusion, a shadow, a story,
And the greatest good is little enough:
for all life is a dream, and dreams themselves are only dreams."
~ Pedro Calderon de la Barca, Life is a Dream

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/18/2007 5:54 PM (GMT -7)   
thank you both for responding. i am also on lexapro right now. i still am exp highs and lows for one thing but the worst, other than a 20 lb weight gain, is stomach & digestive problems. it makes it hard to lead a normal life when you spend all your time either in the bathroom or in bed. as for docs, i am currently looking for a new one. the one i see is in a local clinic. i only see him for a half an hour and it seems like he spends the first fifteen minutes of each appt looking thru my file to remember why im there.
i have read thru most of the post and am also wondering do most people with BP end up unable to work? i know i have gone thru several jobs in the past several years for what i now know to be problems associated with my BP. it is kinda scary to think that it can impair me like that. i also worry the my kids will suffer from this. i pray every day that they don't!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 151
   Posted 4/1/2007 8:42 AM (GMT -7)   
I too am concerned about the WORK part! My son (17) is Bipolar and I can see that life's going to be a major struggle for him! He was doing SO good and then Bipolar reared it's ugly head!!!

He sees his dad on Disability and not working and assumes that will be his fate too...It's SO discourging!! Dad is basically a lazy bum, Psyzophrenic Paranoid, Affective whatever...We're divorced and he's living elsewhere.

Anybody got some "hope" out there??? What jobs are Bipolars good at doing??? Can they hold down jobs????

Matt is in 12th grade so LIFE is coming soon!

I too worried about my kids getting what my ex had. I thought I was free and clear and then my youngest developed the BP...sigh...and then neither his or my life has been the same.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 4/2/2007 6:30 PM (GMT -7)   
If bipolar disorder is managed well a person can hold almost any job they like.  I know there are several physicians in the area with bipolar disorder.  The medical board knows of their conditions and decided they are stable enough to practice medicine.
I know of a woman named Kay Jamison who has bipolar disorder.  She is also a professor of Psychology at John's Hopkins University.   She wrote a book called "The Unquiet Mind" about her struggles with bipolar disorder.  Teaching at an Ivy league school is a pretty big deal, yet she does it despite the biplar condition.
I have bipolar disorder and will be graduating from college in a month.  I have been going to school full time, and working part-time.  Every summer I have been working full time.  I plan to work full time once I am done with school.  Already I have an interview lined up for a promising job that pays very well.  For the past four years I have been on a mood stabilzer that has kept me stable..
People would not know that I had bipolar disorder unless I told them.  I told a professor that I had bipolar disorder and she was absolutely shocked.  She said that she would have never of geussed, and that I was functioning normal.  I told a close friend that I have bipolar disorder and her jaw literally dropped open.  Then she spent the next few minutes asking me if I was joking.
It is possible for your son to have a promissing future.  Make sure you get him the medical help he needs now.  Find a good psychiatrist that your son is able to relate to.  Also, make sure that he gets on an effective mood stabilizer.  Bipolar is a condition that can be managed and it is not a life sentence to misery.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 151
   Posted 4/2/2007 11:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for the encouragement. This disorder is so frustrating to deal with! But we're (I'm) trying to BE POSITIVE and not let it take over the future as it has definetly taken over the present to some's just so overwhelming until you get the hang of it.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 4/13/2007 9:46 AM (GMT -7)   
My husband has not been able to work productively in over two years and was disagnosed BP 16 months ago.  He is now trying to get on disability and is only 49 years old.  He is truly mentally disabled.  He has made under 10K in the last 2 years combined, although he workd full time, and is better off staying at home.  He can't handle being self-employed any longer.
His memory is greatly impaired.  He cannot find anything he put away. His thinking does not follow a logical progession.  This makes me wonder how much the severity of the cases can vary.  Maybe he has a particularly severe case.
I just pray that the SSI comes through.  We hired a company to handle the claim for us.  He can't think well enough to do it, and I'm under too much stress already.  It won't be much money, but it will be way more than he makes now.  I'm a public school teacher in a low-paying area.  Thank goodness our plae is paid for, and the vehicles.
Perhaps if he can get stable and remain stable he can go back to work.  Remaining stable is the big problem right now.  The medicines work great for a while and then it is as if he becomes immune to them. 
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