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Medications by Schoolgirlforreal: Toxic Lithium Levels

Updated on July 5, 2012

I need help!

I'm a bit nervous about my current medication situation. The following hub will describe this. It is important for your psychiatrist to follow up with you when you are in distress.

It's been 5 days since I got my regular Lithium level done. It was too high. My psychiatrist told me to stop the Lithium immediately until another test could be done. This was Friday, 1/20/12. He promised to call in another Lithim level prescription Monday when the labs would be open or when the next business day was so I stopped taking it. The dose was 600 mg.

I read on the internet that it is illegal for a pyschiatrist to stop a high dose of medication because the result could be severe withdrawl resulting in suicide. Last night after not taking the lithium since Friday evening and it was Tuesday evening, I woke up from sleep and was very angry about my life and all the pain. I was seriously wanting to die. This may be something like my own legitimate feeling, after all who wouldn't be upset to feel miserable for 20 years and not get the current help I need with my living situation being so dangerous- another story, but the feeling I had was not typical.

Well, with the lithium level coming out so high, and dangerous possibly, I suppose my doctor had to tell me to stop it and I agree. The part I don't like is:

  • He PROMISED to call in a level on Monday and did not; I did not receive my level until today Wednesday so I was worried that whole time about it
  • He not only didn't call, but did not respond to the two messages I left on the machine at his office where he works.
  • He argued today with the respite staff where I am staying (where I went to because of withdrawl I expereieced) saying he didn't have time and he was leaving the office and etc.

So, you can see my distress. Now, honestly I'm glad about the Lithium though. The side effects have been bad over the past 20 years. I would love to take an alternative mood stabilizer. :)

Now, also you can see my anger and being upset that my doctor neglected me. He knew and did not follow up with me claiming the respite was responsible for finding me another psychiatrist. Also his neglectful attitude concerned me.

I decided to call my lawyer. I mean, I need justice and why should I sit back and feel abused? I called them and they are going to call me back about it. I want to report my psychiatrist's behavior. The respite staff here were also very disturbed at this doctor's attitude which was very strange on the phone to them.

So, I'm dealing with a lot of anxiety but I know a few things:

  • My body is safe from toxic lithium
  • I am doing fairly well without it which is great!
  • I am coping

It's not easy to worry. I am also worried about my housing situation as since the death of my father I've found living alone much more difficult. It's hard for me to motivate myself to get out everyday which results in desperation and anxiety at being home alone. I really need a structured environment or my self destructive condition will continue. So, I'm trying to advocate for that as well. My insurance has always only let me stay at respite no longer than about 9 days. I have been to respite 3 times since my father passed and I don't want to be a yo yo.

Read about a woman's testimony about how a woman who was on antidepressents for 26 years is now off of them and doing well. She was suicidal from the medication. Click on the Link- Facts About Bad Treatment
Read about a woman's testimony about how a woman who was on antidepressents for 26 years is now off of them and doing well. She was suicidal from the medication. Click on the Link- Facts About Bad Treatment

Perhaps I am overreacting do you think? I always get nervous when stressful things happen, though this seems to be a legitimate concern, don't you think? The only way I'm making it through is faith, faith in myself mostly that I can stay in control. I don't like feeling out of control, it's scary. I truly want my life to improve and it has, but I was it to continue. I'm really scared at my reckless behavior since my dad passed and I'm told it can be several months to heal. How am I going to deal with lack of structure? How am I going to deal with going back to the same situation?

The reason is money. My insurance doesn't cover me staying in respite for months like many do who have better insurance. Not that I want to, but I want to do what's best for me. How will I advocate to stay here in respite?

These are things I have to pray about and have faith that it will all work out for the best. I'm sure my medication will solve itself and perhaps being off lithium is making me deal with life more. In any case, I know myself and my limits and what I need.

Contact Dr.Breggin: 607-272-5328 in NY for appt. Also radio show Mon 5pm prnFM and call in: 888-874-4888


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    • schoolgirlforreal profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Hi crazybeanrider!

      Thanks! Yes, I am doing better, I'm off Lithium and I'm glad because it caused me too many awful side effects and numbed my senses- it's amazing how "more alive" I feel now. twas sad but true.

      Doing well!

      thankyou :)

    • crazybeanrider profile image

      Boo McCourt 

      6 years ago from Washington MI

      I am so glad you are alright from the toxic lithium levels. I have been on and off lithium over the years, and you have every reason for your concerns, as it can quickly go bad if you are not monitored properly. Shame on your lazy doctor. That man shouldn't be in his chosen profession if he doesn't care about the needs of his patients. I hope your next one is better for you.

      It is wonderful you have respite to fall back on, as that can be so helpful. I am sorry for your loss and the sorrow you must feel. You are obviously very strong, advocating for your own needs is often difficult. You are doing a great job, I hope you are doing better as of this comment. Rooting for you!

    • schoolgirlforreal profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Thank you, lisa

      your comment is much appreciated!

      My brain has been muddled and so many descisons lately. I'm back on a lower dose for now.

      It's really life stuff that's most challenging, all these decisions.

      I will be seeing a new doctor though :) so thankyou :/ LOL

    • profile image 

      6 years ago

      I hope you found a new doctor. You are correct is knowing that stopping the Lithium is dangerous. As with any drug, it should tapered off. You don't want to send your body into shock. Especially when treating depression.

    • schoolgirlforreal profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Hello Nell

      Thankyou for stopping by, reading, and commenting.

      I am okay now. I am back on a smaller dose of Lithium.

      I was pretty angry as you can see! LOL!

      I'm thinking it's the present what matters, and the future, 'what am I going to do in the future to make life more meaningful?'

      My family has offered for me to stay....we'll see

      yes company is most important...

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      Hi, what a nightmare, I hope you are okay, I think I remember reading that Lithium in small doses is fine but too much can be poisonous, but obviously you know much more about it than me. I am sorry about your father, I totally understand the panic and depression caused by your loss, after my mum and dad passed away I was a nervous wreck, I still have terrible panic attacks, and my brother suffers from depression, and is on medication for that too. as for your Dr. it seems that these days they are so uncaring, have you any other family you can go stay with? it seems that you need company more than anything to help you fight this, you shouldn't be on your own, take care nell


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