Lithium has been a lifesaver for me. I have Bipolar Disorder Type 1, with mania, trouble sleeping and anxiety as my main problems. I've been on so many different medications, it's ridiculous (Seroquel, Depakote, Geodon, Trazadone, Zyprexa...you name it). Everything I've ever tried would work for a short while and then the side effects would take over and make me miserable. What I would usually do is just stop taking my meds, which would then trigger a manic episode. When my Psychiatric NP suggested Lithium, I was a little skeptical because I know that it's an older generation drug. But I am so glad she did and I couldn't be happier with it. She started me at 300 mg (which is actually a really low dose) per night along with 1 mg of Abilify. This combination worked wonderful for me in terms of my mood being stabilized and no longer feeling lethargic. I was no longer experiencing racing thoughts that didn't make sense and I felt a new sense of hope and freedom from the misery caused by my disorder. I would wake up every morning feeling peaceful, calm, motivated and excited to start my day. I started working out again, which I haven't felt motivated to do in years. As a result, I began to lose the weight that I had put on while on Zyprexa (and still had not lost). The only side effect I experienced with Lithium was slight nausea, but this had subsided by week 2. After my first lithium blood test indicated that my level was at 0.2 (0.5 - 1.2 being the norm), my NP doubled my dose to 600 mg. This actually worked out well because I was still having trouble sleeping on some nights. This new dose gave me a good night of sleep with the added bonus of not feeling groggy at all the next morning. Now I know why this drug has been around for ages - because it has proven to be very effective for Bipolar Disorder. Different drugs never work the same for any individual, but I believe that I have finally, at long last, been put on the drug cocktail that is just right for me.
Bay Area, CA