62 thoughts on “Bipolar Disorder – When we use Lithium

  1. What to do if all medications don't work any more, including ECT? I had bipolar 2 for 16 years, 5 years ago it changed to schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, because my body rejects everything. I'm very gratefull for you taking time to educate people. My doctor does not do/or know what to do. 5 yers in a mixt state not easy. Do you know what else is there? I always discuss with her found alternatives.
    You have a grate structure and time for videos. Thank you so much!

  2. I was on lithium for a year. It saved my life, but the monthly blood tests, the shaky hands, the constant metallic taste, not to mention the weight gain, it made me feel physically crummy. It was worth it, though. I remember the first moments my mood began to lift. It was actually last Christmas. I was sitting in China town and told my family “I finally feel as if going to be okay.” After a year long battle, thanks to lithium. It still brings tears to my eyes. I went off it on labor day and I’ve lost 30 pounds (I’m on lamotrigine) and my Bipolar will never haunt me again. I turn 18 next month. Without lithium, I wouldn’t be having any more birthdays. Funny how you uploaded this today.

  3. Before you read my comment Please Understand this is me trying to dig deeper for my class that is full of bipolar that take lithium. I’m here trying to get more answers.

    Here is my opinion. We all have opinions. Im here to respect yours. This is my opinion about video in short. It’s great . It’s informative. Thank you . Please post more Dr.

    My other opinion is
    This is a nice short exploration. Please can you go deeper. This has been said before on many other YouTube videos . and it is still the basics. Can you please go deeper than this? Please. Also I have sooooo many clients who take “Shrooms” aka psilocybin with lithium. And I won’t tell you their results because it’s gold and my team has spent years collecting the data. So what about natural meds with Lithium? Lithium with weed? How does lithium effect the glutamate and serotonin activity? That’s a start. I have more but I’ll stop

  4. i was prescribed lithium while in the hospital. Lithium and Abilify really helped my condition. But of course I was concerned with the long term effects on the thyroid and kidneys. So when I was stable again I slowly weaned off and if I'm ever in crisis again I will suggest Lithium again. Do you think that is a good plan? I have been pretty stable since then, I simplified my life (working less, got rid of stressful relationships, consistent therapy and educating myself, staying alert to stress and symptoms) I struggle but have not experienced anything to the level of crisis – for me that is the only time I feel is necessary to take these drugs. Anyway, I had previously been on a antipsychotic/antidepressant combo, also tried mood stabilizers (which i had allergic reactions to) and none of that was as stabilizing as adding Lithium. Anyway, maybe you could explain how/why bipolar depression is different than unipolar depression. I thought depression was depression. how do they differ exactly?

  5. Merry Christmas. Meeting you was the most wonderful thing that has happened to me. You give me Euphoria, Gratitude, Admiration, Enthusiasm, Happiness, Satisfaction, Amusement. You are an amazing person & An amazing human bean. May all your dreams and wishes are fulfilled. I wish you heartfelt wishes & blessings towards your way. I pray that you receive more than you have hoped for and asked for. I am thankful for giving me the unique opportunity to be able to wish you a heartfelt wishes & blessing towards your way and I pray that You will continue to bestow blessings of health and joy, successes in your life. have an amazing Christmas with your family, friends, And everyone that you love dearly. I am wishing you many more blessings towards your ways.

  6. This was really informative! As I’m on lithium bicarbonate right now, it’s worked better than Seroquel, personally. Thank you for this information!

  7. I was on lamictal for years- different doses, different times to take, etc, because I absolutely refused to take Lithium. After realizing the damage I was doing to my co-workers, bank account and myself I started Lithium December of last year. For me it was an awesome choice. We found the right dose,etc and I’ve felt really good. I did get hypothyroidism, but I’m ok with taking thyroid medication. My mental health is so very important and when I’m in my right mind life is good.

  8. Dr. Tracey, I have been on sodium valproate 2x200mg a day since March. It helps blocking the Lexapro-induced jaw clenching at least 95%. It’s good for anxiety. Is sodium valproate similar to lithium?

    Wishing you a peaceful and healthy Christmas. 🌟

  9. Love your videos, merry Christmas. When I was on lithum I know personally I felt more suicidal depression, and was depressed more often. So I stopped taking it, but I was also a teen when I was on it. My advice to anyone is make sure whatever drug you're on that it's right for you, don't do what I did and lie to the psychologist cause you're tired of changing drugs. I haven't taken any meds since, but I have learned how to deal with my bipolar. For instance I know I can't be anywhere near social media while manic or I'll get myself in trouble, and usually best to avoid it more so when I'm depressed. Again love your videos they're always great.

  10. Thankk you for the explaination..I've been diagnosed bipolar type 2 too..and my doctor gave me sodium valproate 200mg..but now Im taking 2 pills morning and night.. May I ask you about my mania doctor? I've been so confused whenever Im laughing and cheering happily with my family..I didnt know if Im on the normal happy or am I on my mania episode.. Im afraid to laugh too much as I always think that it is a mania not the normal happy..and my apologizes for my terrible english doctor

  11. Hi Dr. this is very informative I’m 1 am 6 weeks post ECT. I had a total of 12 ECT treatments my suicidal ideation‘s persisted so the doctor said it was not successful enough to continue or do any other maintenance. I don’t feel like lithium is doing anything for me any recommendations. Do you have any suggestions ketamine is not an option for me as my insurance does not cover and it’s very expensive here thank you so much bye-bye

  12. Thanks Dr. Marks.
    May you make a video on the best way to treat BPD?
    I’ve been having a hard time. I was prescribed a SSRI and went into a deep depression. I have quit taking those meds and am now going through a bipolar mania. I don’t know what to do from here and I know I’ll be back in the dark soon.
    May you enjoy your holidays and thank you for the uploads.

  13. Please do a video on MDD with psychotic features, I'd love to hear more about it! I have it and I never see anything about it.

  14. I have Aspergers and ADHD. Possibly I devoloped a bipolar disorder long time ago as well. In 2015 I went to a clinic for anxiety treatment. They try to give me a mild mood stabilizer but I reacted to it weirdly. Then they gave me some antidepressant called Sertralin here in my country (germany). I told the doctor that it works fine but it was a big fat lie. I liked It because this meds pushed some buttons into the direction of mania first. After a while I really felt moody from taking it. Well, I don't take it anymore. I don't take meds at all. The clinic told me they're not willing to treat me with meds because of my comorbidity. I really don't have a clue what else to do or to take. I feel so depressed the last few days and I'm waiting for the next "high" to come (hypomania?). I can't say that I'm unhappy per se but it's so exhausting.

    Thanks for uploading. You do a great job!

  15. Huh. I’ve got bipolar 2 with mixed features. I have no baseline- I’m always either depressed or hypomanic (and that also with depressive features).

    I’m on Lithium. I think it’s maybe because I have a very long term problem with suicidal ideation, maybe? (Hit enter too quick).

    I’m also on quetiapine. I tried just the lithium, but it didn’t seem to do much of anything for my depression, and my anxiety shot through the roof. So they put me back on the quetiapine, and I’m now on both of them together.

    I’d been thinking that I might like to try a different medication rather than lithium, because even medicated, I’m still having hypomanic episodes every now and then (every two months or so), and apart from those episodes, I’m constantly depressed. Like I said, no baseline whatsoever. So I feel like I should try something else to see if it will help more than the lithium. But I’m now a bit concerned that my suicidal thoughts and ideation will get worse if I go off the lithium, without anything to replace it for that symptom. Before I went on the lithium, I did have an attempt, and while I’ve still been suicidal, it hasn’t been that bad since I went on the lithium.

    So I guess it’s working for something, just not necessarily for my bipolar episodes 🤷🏻‍♀️. And at least I have quetiapine that makes the Depression part a little better, and does help with the anxiety.

  16. I have to say that I've tried plenty of meds from antipsychotics to antidepressants to mood stabilizers,and I've started lithium for a couple of weeks, my level now it's 0.8.Its basically the only med that truly works.I have no suicidal thoughts, considering I have borderline personality disorder also besides bipolar,and I had suicidal ideation all of my life.And yes,I have mostly mixed episodes and depression,only a few hypomanic ones.For me it worth taking those risk as long as I check my levels regularly,and I do at least once/twice per year the tests on kidneys ,liver,thiroid , etc.Thank you once again for this helpful video!❤️❤️❤️

  17. Hello Dr. Marks. I have a hypothetical ; ) If someone were say bipolar type 1 and would like to get off of lithium because the long term side effects are scary, what should they do? What if they already lost thyroid function and have to take a supplement for that. There must be a better option. Any feedback about alternative treatments would be greatly appreciated.

  18. I'm currently on lithium, lamotrigine, quetiapine, paroxetine, and risperidone (I have bipolar and OCD) and now I'm sure lithium was the one that had me on levothyroxin and metformin ever since. Why do I take so many pills?

    Excuse the mispellings, English is not my native language. 😊

  19. Hi Dr. Marks, Merry Christmas.
    My husband stopped taking lithium due to Thyroid and kidney issues. The Lithium was replaced to Depakote. What is your opinion on Depakote. (He is bipolar).Thank you in advance!!

  20. Thanks for the informative video! My GP had me on lithium while he thought I had bipolar disorder. Two different psychiatrists disagreed with his diagnosis and said I have dysthymia with episodes of major depression which I feel is correct. My question is this: is lithium ever an appropriate medication for people without bipolar disorder? Or more simply put: is lithium effective for major depression when it is not part of bipolar disorder? I never felt any benefit from lithium when I was on it.

  21. Dr Marks
    Lithium was discovered in the mineral petalite (LiAl(Si2O5)2) by Johann August Arfvedson in 1817. Who wants to take this old vintage antique drug it’s gotten way too many side effects and the staff gave me the shits for years Lol 😂 doctors did not know what was wrong with me they thought I had Crohn’s disease turns out it was just a lithium side effect I stopped taking it and move on to several other antipsychotics and have been fine ever cents and have normal bowel movements I do not recommend this drug for anybody I think it is garbage and it is cheap to buy out-of-pocket lithium carbonate and lithium citrate also known as lithobid . Try something new on the market !
    General repair

  22. My doctor and I suspect that I may be Bipolar, but unfortunately it takes 3-6 months to see a psychiatrist in the city where I go to university. I’m very interested in Autism and bipolar disorder and how they affect each other.

  23. I have bipolar two and I’m on latuda. Can you talk about this,I suffer from mixed episodes and have more depressive episodes and hypo manic

  24. I really appreciate your videos, your approach to sharing this information and the fact that you’re making this content. A big thank you. Happy holidays.

  25. My psychiatrist says I have bipolar tendencies and wants to put me on lithium, but when I look at the symptoms of bipolar disorder I get confused with myself because I don’t feel like I fit into that definition

  26. This is my most confusing issue. Can you be treated for pain with opiates while bipolar? I feel like pain medicine makes me manic or hypomanic. But no one can tell me if this is the medicine

  27. I was prescribed Lithium when I initially got a Bipolar Type II diagnosis. The diagnosis has since been changed and I am no longer on it. My biggest problem with taking Lithium was the weird feeling of losing touch based senses – I guess now I know what being a Zombie would feel like.

  28. Thank you for all your videos. My son hasn’t been diagnosed with bipolar but it’s something the team that helps me with him and I have suspected for a long time. I feel like the mental health system has failed us. When he has that down it’s sounds like a mixture of mania with depression. He does super crazy things like trying to brake into to homes, stealing from me, fighting with anyone, is on probation with GPS and still try’s to get out of the house…. among many other things. I’ve taken him to Childrens hospital before for being suicidal and even though he’s text me things like this will be over soon and you won’t ever have to worry about me. They let him out saying he’s not sympathetic, then he tried to jump off my running car… I want him to get the proper help but at this point I don’t know where to turn. I know there’s more then just depression and anxiety going on with him. He’s behavior goes up and down.

  29. I was diagnosed with Bipolar many many years ago…. my first med for it was depakote then years later after a break down and in the mental hospital it was changed to lithium and seroquel ….. I am taking a new med lamotrigne because i was having bad episodes of destroying things rages and going off on people for many years and I told him and since this new med I've been hypo some but nothing like previously to this med….. I feel clear headed and more chill … I asked him to take me down on lithium he said ok but he also said he was worried cuz I've been on Lithium for over 12 years …. I want off I am diabetic and I am Paranoid I could die one day from my levels being off… Yes I have a paranoid personality and much more OH and I take Seroquel too / Quentiapine He Also Put Me on Cymbalta …. Scares Me To Be On SO Many! I take others too

  30. Lithium was the first medication I was given for bipolar. I think I did have a more classic presentation at that point. There were a couple of times that my level went slightly toxic, and that scared me. I was also very poor with medication compliance, and I'm fairly certain that has led to major changes in the severity of symptoms and in the bipolar cycles. I've been on quetiapine and a mood stabilizer for some time now, and I don't think I know anyone with bipolar disorder at this point in time who takes lithium. It seems like a wider recognition of the various manifestations of bipolar has led to more diagnoses, but fewer people with the classic presentation, if that makes sense.

  31. Great video Tracey!! I am on lithium for my bipolar disorder 2 – I never knew the side effects but I never thought to look it up either. However, I do make sure every doctor I see knows all my meds since interactions can be scary.

    Keep up the great work and information!! I turn to you when I’m down to help me understand what is going on with myself. I hope you had a wonderful holiday and happy new year!!!!

  32. Could you please discuss how lithium interacts with other medications? I have chronic pain but was told anti inflammatory meds can harm your kidneys. How do I stop taking lithium? I'm on camcolit 400mg once a day.

  33. Just found out my cousin has bipolar II, alcoholism AND borderline personality disorder. He has always been wracked with psychiatric illness, now it's all been labelled. He's always been super non compliant with treatments of any kind. He's had a sad life.

  34. I didn't have a very good experience with lithium unfortunately, but have been on valproate + an SGA for several years with good success. I'm going to be titrating off of the valproate soon as my partner and I are thinking of having kids in the new year which is super exciting! I'd love a video on treating BPAD in pregnancy. Thanks for the video! Great hearing other people's experiences with lithium too 🙂

  35. I had reached 750 mg of Lithium a day. It made me feel numb, not depressed but definitely not happy either. Just blah. I couldn’t focus on anything and I had actually started gaining weight around my stomach which is extremely hard to do with my fast metabolism. one evening I took it on an empty stomach and I was throwing up all night. I never took it again since then and have found other ways to manage my symptoms and I seem to be doing so much better

  36. Dr. Mark's , can you please do a video on disfunctional families. aI know that is a complex subject but any input would be appreciated. We had a great Christmas and two days later my sister and I where close to a physical altercation!! I dont feel that we have severe issues but we are very headstrong. Bottom line is that it seems like we can only get along for brief moments during special occasions and that's it. Should I limit my contact and not think that things will ever get better?

  37. Do you have experiences with people who have both BPD and bipolar? And what effects do other mood stabilisers like anticonvulsants have?

  38. My previous psychiatrist said I was bipolar and having mixed episodes, but he still wanted me on lithium. My new therapist says I likely have PTSD. I also have hypothyroidism. I don't know what to expect, and I am wondering if going on lithium was a mistake.

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