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How does lithium work

Posted by barbaracat on July 1, 2005, at 13:26:43

In reply to Re: Vive le Lithium! Maximus/Barbaracat, posted by yesac on June 30, 2005, at 17:55:17

I've heard also that lithium responds better to bipolar I and I believe that's what I am. Other mood stabilizers that have worked for BP-II acquaintenances have done nothing for me.

Most of my bipolar episodes have fallen in the milder II class, but I have had some absolute corker manias complete with hallucinations and hellish psychotic mixed states depressions which I understand is a BP-I phenomenon. All you need is one truly classic BP-I experience to know how different it is from BP-II. Unlike going from a 3-speed to a 10-speed bike, or dial-up to DSL, it's not just a matter of same thing but higher speed and intensity, but something different altogether. For me, I'd have to say the difference is greater intensity, but with definite psychosis, both enjoyable and horrific.

It feels distinctly electric to me. In fact, with many of the artists labeled 'bipolar', you can see this electric quality to their paintings, jaggy spiky outlines and such.

I read about glutamate, calcium and so on, but my gut feeling is that lithium, being an elemental metallic salt, is primarily electically conductive and that's where the business goes on. - Barbara

> >> I wonder the same thing. None of the other mood stabilizers, anticonvulsants do a thing for me, only lithium. I've been on the trail of how it works for some time and, as with most research when they don't know, theories keep changing. But I'm doubly intent on finding out now after this recent experiment because whatever it is that makes us so susceptible to what lithium does no doubt affects other bodily systems as well.
> Well, I don't know either, I have no idea how it works or why some people respond. But it seems to be basically the only thing that has worked for me so far, out of many many drugs. And, as I've mentioned, I'm not even diagnosed as bipolar, just sort of an agitated depression/ mixed state type thing. Supposedly, lithium works *best* for people who are "classically bipolar" (ie bipolar 1), and anticonvulsants work better for other forms of bipolar and non-classic features like rapid cycling or mixed states. Anyways, I don't know if that holds any truth.
> But there are some people who do not respond at all to lithium.
> I guess it's just like other drugs too. I mean, why did I not respond to so many other things? But some people do. Lots of people do. Why? And why does it seem that I do not respond to stimulants for attention problems, even though so many people do? In the end, no one knows these answers, at least not yet.




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