The Lithium Thirst: or, Why is My Glass Already Empty?

I’ve just finished my iced green tea from Panera. That’s 20 ounces of liquid, and I still want more. Not because it tastes so good (and believe me it does) but because I’m still thirsty. Welcome to the life of a Lithium taker. If there’s one side effect (besides the weight gain) that I can’t stand the most since I’ve been taking medications for Bipolar type I, it’s the Lithium thirst. The tremor I can handle even though it is embarrassing to eat soup sometimes when it’s especially bad. But the thirst. I am almost always thirsty.

The thing about being thirsty (and you don’t realize this until after you’ve gained five pounds) is that if you drink sugary drinks to quench this thirst, not only will you have a major sugar high, but you will gain weight. Plus, sugary drinks tend to make you more thirsty if anything else. So it’s true what all of the doctors and nutritionists say: Drink Water.

Ah, water. Water will become your best friend after you start taking Lithium. You will get to the point where carrying a bottle of water with you is almost as important as carrying your phone. You will become anxious if you go somewhere and the water glasses are too small. I’ve become the person who asks for a bigger water glass because I don’t want to have to ask the server to refill my glass every 5 minutes. I haven’t gotten to the point where I’ll ask for the pitcher to just be left at the table. However, when there is a pitcher of water on the table? I’m in heaven.