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03/07/2012 01:21 PM

Lithium and Depression

Ninadani
NinadaniPosts: 3
New Member

Hi,

I have been suffering from depression for the last 7 years and 3 months ago I changed to a new psichiatrist. I started a new medication: Priadel (Lithium), Seroquel, Elontril, Cloxam. I was surprised about having to take Lithium, since I read that this is used for people with bipolar disease and I don't suffer from that. Since I started this new medication I have been having some changes in my body: shaking hands and legs, a strange menstrual period and insomnia. My colleagues at work already noticed me shaking constantly and this can influence my work.

I would like to know what do you think of this medication. I am seriously thinking of changing to another psichiatrist.

Can anyone help?

Daniela

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03/07/2012 03:45 PM
Bangbang
Bangbang  
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I would not change psychiatrists till I talked to him about your undesireable side effects.

03/07/2012 07:33 PM
ange2009
ange2009  
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Lithium is one of the older antidepressant i was told.and actually heard that it is better than most newer ones.my son has been on it for the last 3 years,he had to adjust to it,but no side effects he said.

03/08/2012 08:03 PM
Sylvia4648
Sylvia4648  
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Hi Daniela and welcome. I'm sorry you need us but glad you found us. I hope we can help you bear what everyone in this group bears at one time or another. Lithium was used for bipolar disease for a very long time. Now, as I've found out in very negative ways, many psychiatrists seem to shuffle meds and diagnoses like a deck of cards, and whatever comes out on top is your condition and your med. Also, psychs get more drug kick-backs than any other groups because there is no proof of what they diagnose.

If we are to believe psychs I have every form of psychosis I ever heard of, a couple I hadn't at the time, and dementia - all serious and chronic - on the line after the one that said they had no mental history on me. The did have it, but the attending didn't write down almost anything Jim told him about me. Still, how can anybody call anything chronic w/no hisotry? As a result, I came w/in hours of dying, apparently a half dozen times. But each time some level of my conscious appeared and refused meds. I didn't even know I was alive for 3 weeks and woke in a dementia ward. Now that we've seen the drugs they gave me, in both places, my doctor says I wouldn't have lived another 12 hours if I hadn't refused them completely when I did.

I was also dx'd w/ all kinds of 'new' psychoses, and I think they have been created by the pharmaceutical companies. They have come up w/ too many anti-psychotics and can't sell them. They keep changing the use w/ something else that didn't exist until recently. And I truly believe none of these new things even exist.

I agree w/ Bangbang that it would be a good idea to talk to your doctor about what's going on rather than seeing another who could well be just as bad. And what's going on w/ you does not necessarily mean the doctor is incompetent. I'm sure you received info on the meds w/ instructions about calling the doctor for some things they list and any other strong changes. So you really can't blame the doc (well you can if you want to, but I don't think that's your problem). In my long experience, most doctors of any kind are all but worthless, and IMO psychiatrists should have come before lawyers in Shakespeare's famous line: 'First let's kill all the lawyers'.

I've suffered from depression, w/ time off for good behaviour often for a few years at a time, since I was 3. I can read people and between lines. I could do this before I walked or talked. The probable cause is fibro, but nobody heard of fibro when I was so young, and even if they did, they probably would not have considered that in a young kid; In case somebody hasn't been around for long, my system is unique - to put it very mildly, and there are a number of thingss that indicate I was either born w/ fibro or developed it at a very young age. From things I did as a baby, I think I was born w/ it.

I have lived on two continents and a number of different states. W/ my strong intuition, I can pick up on things others never see when I see a doctor once. If I knew many years ago what I know now, I'd probably be in much better physical shape than I am, and at least somewhat less depressed. We lived in Syracuse when I became pregnant w/ my daughter. Half my development was pregnant, and all raved about the doc they all saw. I had not yet realized that when I feel strongly about something, the hell w/ everybody else. I have to follow my intuition. If I had, I'd still have a uterus and would be w/o a long list of dx's.

But the shrinks are an entity unto themselves. The main qualification is hubris. I've not seen many psychiatrists; met a couple of psychologists who knew what they were doing, and more social workers than I can remember who were not a 'fit' w/ me. Many professionals do not like people like me. I come in w/ the dx, and they freak saying I'm not supposed to tell them what's wrong, just the symptoms and they make the dx's. One I remember was partner to the wonderful doc I just lost to retirement after 33 years w/ him. This has made my depression about 10 times worse because Jim was the only doctor I'd met in about 30 years who believed my strange system. Never understood it, but respected me and believed what I said. In two months before I met him I saw about two dozen doctors, who all totally ignored me and each handed me an rx for a drug I took for years. But it turned on me, and it took a few days to realize the med was killing me. Whatever doctor I'd been seeing when the med changed its action told me that was impossible and gave me a new dx for the med that was killing me. The two dozen or so I saw after him all said basically the same thing, and each nanded me an rx for the same drug and each followed w/ what has become to me the worst thing anyone can say, and I'm convinced they learn it in med schools. Each one said, 'Just take it. You'll be fine.'

So Daniela (your name is beautiful), I'd call he doctor - tomorrow and tell him/her what's going on. Then if you get a new one or reduced dose - take it for awhile and see how things go. For me, one of the ways to tell the potential 'good guys' is if they listen to me and take what I say into account. If you see the shrink again and s/he does nothing about the disturbing side effects, then look for another doc.

My longest search for a competent doctor was the peds in Syracuse, and I was only there for 2 1/2 years. I went thru 7 and my son would be dead anyway if I didn't have a cousin who can diagnose on the phone. My son was literally approximately 2 hours from death when four doctors stood at the corners of the table watching my comatose child, whose temp went up a degree per hour - finally landing barely under 107 when I called my cousin. He asked me 2 questions and told me to tell the hubby to leave for the hospital right away and tell him they'd be waiting to hand it to him in the window 'cause there was no time for him to park, etc,

He said the problem was a kidney infection, and he gave me a list of meds. He told me to call the hospital, speak w/ a DOCTOR, and tell him to have the actual meds in someone's hand outside when my hub pulled in, so he wouldn't even have to stop. Of course they knew he was dying. I didn't need a medical degree to see that. And being concerned about malpractice, the meds were ready. That was my first experience w/ in and out surgery, and I don't care how much money they save, sometimes that's not called for. My son had hernia surgery that day. When it was time to go I told the nurse he had a fever. She said a low-grade fever was not unusual after surgery. I asked her what she called low-grade and got a screwy non-answer. I asked her if 102 applied. She said that was too high. I told her that wsa his temp. She asked me how I knew. It's a long story, but I can tell what anyone's fever is, and I've never been wrong beyond a half-degree.

Sorry for all that, but I think the more we hear about doctors in the new centruy the better we can become our own advocates. Believe me, nobody else will do it for us. I've been in countless medical hospitals, had a lot of surgery, but the only time I was in for in and out surgery, I didn't heal well. And if my son had been kept, they'd obviously have taken some tests and realized the problem (well not obviously ever in a medical deal). I am reasonably sure my son is so screwed up because he had brain damage from that fever - and because his whole personality changed as he healed from that difficult day. Tho more difficult for us. He wsa passed out.

Try again if you think you can talk to the guy; otherwise look for another. We can only suggest. And please let us know how things go w/ you. We care.

Warm welcoming wishes,

Sylvia

p.s. Since this is already so long, one sort of cute thing to add. I found out that my subconscious mind was not only looking out for me, but was kind to others. When my mind finally returned, I was sitting in a lounge. A woman came over and asked if she could join me. I said of course. I did not remember seeing her, but I didn't have my glasses for about 2 weeks, so I didn't see anybody. And in the medical hospital my mind was dead. If the doc who tried to kill me knocked on my door I wouldn't know him. She sat and said she wanted to thank me. I told her she was welcome and asked what I did. She said the first night she came in, she sat down in the first chair she saw, and it was next to my geri-chair. She said she was about to start crying when I patted her hand and told her everything would be ok. For some reason she took comfort in what my subconscious mind had to say. When I told her that part, she cracked up.

Gotta go do my shopping list before I can't type anymore. I can't even read my handwriting. My shoppers sure can't.

Post edited by: Sylvia4648, at: 03/13/2012 09:58 AM


03/12/2012 10:58 AM
Ninadani
NinadaniPosts: 3
New Member

Hi Sylvia! Thank you so much for your advice. I can see you have been through a lot of pain.

I am going to my doctor on Thursday and will talk with her about what is happening with me. I am even gaining weight, which is horrible!!

I am sure my doctor will say that I have to continue taking this medication and that the side effects are "normal"...I will have to decide what to do afterwards.

Since depression came into my life, I am no longer "me". I feel artificial...Medication has taken over my life. And the pain I feel for the past 7 years has already led me to do desperate things...as trying to take my life twice. If I try again, I just want to succeed and leave this world where I no longer have free will, dreams, pleasure...

I will keep you posted.

Thanks once again.

Love, Daniela


03/12/2012 03:12 PM
Bangbang
Bangbang  
Posts: 7140
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I would ask for another medication that does not have those side effects. There are alot of different meds out there

03/13/2012 08:37 AM
scooby64
scooby64  
Posts: 383
Senior Member
I'm an Advocate

Having taken lithium since 1985, it is a way of life for me and of all the medications, it has more to do with my balance and stability than it seems to have to do with mood.

It was explained to me by my doctor that lithium is a salt that apparently my body does not produce enough of, so that's why I have to take it to bring my lithium level up to "normal."

In the first days of lithium usage, there was quite a concern with "lithium toxicity" and the first patients had their blood drawn almost daily until it could be shown that the drug was at a reasonable level (0.6-1.2) is a target range (parts per million or something) - and I cruise at 0.8 and that works for me.

I cannot comment on the use of the other drugs you are taking - your psychiatrist should be your best source of information about that. All I can say is that when I really, really need sleep (I'm wired tight), a little Seroquel is a wonder drug. But I've found that "a little" for me works and "too much" is another matter.

The more we know about the drugs we take, the side effects and talk to other people who also take the medications we do for our disorders, it can only lead to having more intelligent and efficient conversations with your doctor - and save you both time and money.


03/13/2012 10:08 AM
Sylvia4648
Sylvia4648  
Posts: 5177
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Daniela, re the weight gain, I was able to take one antidepressant for a few months in 1983 before prozac and all of its relatives came along. The tricyclics are stronger than the newer meds, and in 2 weeks I had a job - after 8 months of almost total depression paralysis. Unfortunately, that class of drugs is known for weight gain. There are choices w/ the newer meds. Ask your doc for one that's weight neutral or known for causing weight loss. There are no guarantees, but either of these has a better chance of not causing you to gain weight.

Good luck, and let us know?

Sylvia


03/28/2012 02:54 AM
Ninadani
NinadaniPosts: 3
New Member

Hi to all!

Hope you are all ok.

I went to my doctor and explained her about my shaking hands and the other symptoms. The only thing she did was to reduce Priadel to 1 pill and a 1/2. And said that the symptoms are normal...The problem is that this is already affecting me at my job: all my colleagues have noticed my shaking hands and some days ago, I was going to have a meeting with an artist and his manager and when I gave them coffee, I spilled some coffee on them!! I was so embarassed and my boss was there too.

There is one thing I don't understand: I have been taking all these types of medication for the past 7 years, but I always feel the same way: empty, without willpower and always wishing to die. Why I am no longer that strong, determined, confident person, who had dreams and purposes and worked hard to make them true?! What happened to that person?? I don't recognize me no more...it's like my soul has died and my body is just breathing...


03/29/2012 05:26 PM
Sylvia4648
Sylvia4648  
Posts: 5177
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I'm an Advocate

Hi Ninadani and thanks for coming back w/ the report. I would call your doc and tell her you do not want to live w/ shaking hands, that you don't consider shaking hands to be normal, that the problem is affecting your job, which, I assume, you do not want to lose. Tell her about the coffee and tell her this is part of your job and you'd hate to burn somebody - or yourself. (Some of these things are veiled, sort of almost subliminl threats of malpractice. Their malpractice insurance is thru the roof, and if you did burn yourself or anyone else, I'm reasonably sure she'd be liable. But please, sweetie, so not ever say you will sue or mention malpractice. The little things willl sink in.

Tell her outright that you want to be weaned from the med and would appreciate her help. If she still says it's 'normal' and refuses to budge, I think that would be time to see another doctor. I've known many people who took lithium over the years, and none of them had shaky hands. I don't know if they just didn't have that particular side effect or if there's somethng different in the brand name you are taking. If all things fail, I once told a doctor that all I wanted from her was the respect she wanted from me, and I asked her to please let me finish what I was telling her. W/ the new doc, I told him, in a nice tone of voice that I didn't expect him to set aside an hour a week to call me (Jim did), but I would appreciate it if he'd let me finish my question before he starting answering. He smiled, apologized and heard me out. If you're at the end of the line anyway, it can't hurt. One major problem for me w/ doctors is that I get side effects not listed anywhere. The drug that caused me to have black-outs, to the point where I stopped eating or drinking and passed out w/ my kidneys nearly crashed, has almost no side effects listed. Jim and I agreed to put that, and one other that gave me potentially fatal side effects on my allergy list. If a doc wants me to take this med and I tell him it almost killed me, he'd most likely tell me that was impossible and I should take it. But if it's listed as an allergy, they can't play games.

Something else that I know was the reason the last pdoc forced me to take a med contra-indicated for every one of my conditions w/ all but promises that all pain will rise, often quickly, and even when the drug is stopped, the pain level will not go below where it is when the med is stopped; is that the pharmaceutical companies give out kick-backs, and pdocs are known to get these offers more than any other specialty because most of the time they can't prove or disprove a mental condition. I see a possibility your doc is using the new drug instead of plain old lithium. I often have better luck w/ the plain old drugs. Unfortunately they keep taking them off the market leaving me w/ another problem I can't treat.

The negligence in mental hospitals, and now that I've read as far as I can for now w/o throwing up, the maltreatment in the med ctr, was far worse than the mental hospitals, and they were hell. I was abused, neglected,dehuanized, ignored, and continually being told I was making up all the pain. The social worker in that hosputal almost kiled me by lying about the amount of drugs they were giving me, and not telling the attending what Jim told her to immediately tell him or I'd be dead in a few days. And he didn't know about the other 8. When I finally refused meds and came back to life, I found hints of things I didn't know for sure until I got home. But when she couldn't kil me, she set out to make my life unliveable. And she did. She left me w/ no reason to live.

Also I am now a mental patient. The cops keep getting calls and coming around, and I got locked up once more because a cop was angry w/ me and ran out when the screener came, and I'd bet my life, even if I thought it had any value, he bribed the guy. No regular procedures were followed. Four copa and the screener kept yelling at me, they wouldn't let me change out of torn, dirty pj's or bring any clothes, even underwear, toiletries, and worst of all, it turned out, my walker. One of the cops handed me a cane standing by the door. Only canes, after all the mistreatment, super increased pain - partly from the things they call beds but which are harder than my floor, and other changes, my canes won't keep me upright except for a few steps. I keep them where I can reach them if I begin to lose my balance.

I am telling you some of this, Ninadani, to, I hope, give you some info on dealing w/ doctors. I almost left off one of the most important parts. Believe me it took me a long time to be able to do this, but work hard to keep things impersonal and restrain anger. You can catch more flies w/ honey than vinegar. And until I made myself get it, I had more and more problems w/ each doc along the way. The only feeling allowed to be expressed in my family was anger. Obviously when I'm totalled stressed to the max, I go back to what comes naturally. But it only hurts my 'case'.

So, sweetie, I suggest you call her back and tell her you want a med that won't make it 'natural' for you to shake, and if she refuses, cut your losses and move on. And please keep us posted? Also, if you'd like to talk to me in private, feel free to send me a pm. I'm not on as much as I'd like, but I generally answer pm's w/in a couple of days at the latest.

I suggest that you write down what you want to say to her because when we are nervous, we tend to forget. I called the new doc a few weeks ago and asked for an appointment. He makes house calls! The day he came my aide was flittering about doing her things, the maintenance guy came to check my water heater and then was in and out going for parts. I totally forgot to show him the things that were the reason I asked for an appointment in the first place. I had my list on the computer, right next to me, but I was so thrown by the commotion that I never even thought of looking.

Again, good luck and remember, no matter who pays the bill (you, insurance, a parent), the doctor actually works for you. So try to stay calm but w/o budging from your position. BTW, I've known a few people over the years who took lithium, znd shaking hands was nothing I ever saw - and one of them and I spent a lot of time together. We had kids the same age, and she was pregnant. Try and keep me away from a baby. LOL

Hopeful wishes for a soluion,

Sylvia

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