All our thoughts and prayers go out to Susan Schecter from “If You Are Going Through Hell Keep Going” who is currently recovering from complete kidney failure due to lithium poisoning. I first read about it at Beyond Meds and was immediately concerned and saddened.
When I was fourteen my psychiatrist told me I was supposed to take lithium forever. Lithium slowly destroys your kidneys and causes serious thyroid problems the longer you take it. And for good reason. Our bodies are not meant to have elevated and toxic levels of lithium flowing through it day after day, year after year. It’s an artificial lithium imbalance. When I was on it, my jaw vibrated, my eyeballs swam around unable to focus, and I couldn’t pee without my toes curling in agony. It was horrible.
I can understand, for some folks for short duration crises taking this stuff. But I never understood the whole maintenance thing. Why take lithium every single day, even when you are not symptomatic or cycling? Part of me shudders to think that if I had stayed on lithium like my pdoc advised me, I would now have been under its damaging influence for twenty-one years. There is no doubt that would have shortened my lifespan. Can someone explain the appeal to me?