My husband was never medicated properly until one year ago about this time when a really bad manic episode was ruling. The silver lining was that it got him, (us), to a great doc and he was asked if he would try lithium for the second time in his life. He said ‘no’ in his 20’s and ‘yes’ at age 66. It has changed his life, (ours) in such a positive way that we can’t believe our luck.
Were or are you a drinker? Alcohol was always his first choice in an attempt to self medicate and it often made him psychotic. He didn’t know that. Even after numerous totaled cars, broken friendships, trips to jail, on and on. Talk about near death experiences! Turns out lithium can be use to help stop the cravings for alcohol. He doesn’t crave booze and is experiencing being in control of his emotions and life in a way he didn’t know existed. Also takes lamictal and that has been great at keeping depression at bay . Lorazapam at bedtime for sleep and overall anti anxiety.
The side effects have not been too severe. He did have stomach ache while acclimating to the lithium. He gained 10 lbs, but no more. This being March, he was in the past manic over the top. Showing a little now, but the meds are doing their thing. We see his med manager in a couple of weeks. I doubt she’ll tweek anything because he is in control. Sound good? Being in control? I’ll always watch his back, but I would encourage anyone with this disorder to keep at it until you find the right person(s) and meds to help you manage your one and only chance to have a good life on the planet.