Granted, everyone should already know this, but these are serious and disturbing statistics that bear repeating since Lithium is still touted to be the gold standard in the treatment of those labeled with bipolar disorder within the psychiatric establishment. There is something seriously wrong with this picture.
A third of patients who have taken the common psychiatric medication lithium for over ten years have developed “chronic renal failure” from the drug, according to a study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. (READ MORE at Mad in America)
I have known several people made seriously permanently ill. I’ve known people who’ve needed kidney transplants and I had a client, whom I loved, die from lithium induced kidney failure. I cannot tell you how much I loathe lithium…it’s truly a source of great pain in my heart. There are so many ways to support people in healthful ways!
By the way, some people do find that taking trace (non-toxic) amounts of natural occurring Lithium to be quite helpful. The sort of Lithium used in psychopharmacology, Lithium Carbonate, is actually particularly toxic. Leave it to pharma to make sure what you take might kill you.
Other forms like Lithium Orotate, too are not particularly toxic and you need less which makes it additionally safer. There is also clinical evidence that suggests that lithium is an essential mineral at low doses and it can be neuroprotective. Lithium at trace and low doses in forms other than carbonate are also available without a prescription and you can get them in most health food stores.
If you have found Lithium to be helpful it may be worth considering natural occurring alternatives. What folks I know have found is that much lower doses and sometimes just trace amounts can be supporting to their general well-being. Generally psychiatrists know nothing about these sorts of alternatives so please do your research carefully and find others who’ve done something similar before making any changes.
If you’re unfamiliar with other more healthful ways of supporting your mental well-being please visit the drop-down menus at the top of this blog.
Also see: Rethinking Bipolar Disorder
*it is potentially dangerous to come off medications without careful planning. Please be sure to be well educated before undertaking any sort of discontinuation of medications. If your MD agrees to help you do so, do not assume they know how to do it well even if they claim to have experience. They are generally not trained in discontinuation and may not know how to recognize withdrawal issues. A lot of withdrawal issues are misdiagnosed to be psychiatric problems. This is why it’s good to educate oneself and find a doctor who is willing to learn with you as your partner in care. Really all doctors should always be willing to do this as we are all individuals and need to be treated as such. See: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up
It’s become clear to me that whenever it’s possible that it’s helpful for folks who’ve not begun withdrawal and have the time to consider a carefully thought out plan to attempt to bring greater well-being to your body before starting the withdrawal. That means learning how to profoundly nourish your body/mind and spirit prior to beginning a withdrawal. For suggestions on how to go about doing that check the drop-down menus on this blog for ideas. Anything that helps you learn how to live well can be part of your plan. That plan will look different for everyone as we learn to follow our hearts and find our own unique paths in the world. Things to begin considering are diet, exercise and movement, meditation/contemplation etc. Paying attention to all these things as you do them helps too. The body will start letting us know what it needs as we learn to pay attention.
For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page.