Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sunshine, Lithium, and Xanax --Which ones are good for your mental health?

Oh, so much to talk about, but let me begin by sending you over to Clinical Psychiatry News to read ClinkShrink's latest article on Suicide and Sunshine

Other things we could talk about are the op-ed piece in the New York Times about how in areas where there are trace amounts of the element Lithium in the water, there are lower suicide rates.   See "Should we all take a bit of lithium."  The article suggests further study, and perhaps adding lithium to the water supply.  Before you jump to discuss kidney disease, let's be clear, these are trace amounts, around 1/1000 the starting dose when used as a pharmaceutical agent.  My sister-in-law, Meg, was kind enough to inform me that there is a tiny bit of lithium in San Pellegrino water, but I'm not sure how that measures up to the amounts that occur naturally in places with lower suicide rates.  We add fluoride to the water, and iodine to salt, why not lithium to the water? 

And, finally, there's a study linking benzodiazepine use to a higher risk of getting Alzheimers' Disease, with a specific cut off of 91 pills is what it takes to raise the risk.  I'm guessing there may be other factors here, but this may be yet one more reason not to use these medications. 


EastCoaster said...

I'd really love to be able to get a a safe source of low-dose lithium.

My understanding is that in some areas with high natural levels of lithium people do get hypothyroidism. There seems to be a sweet spot

Those living in the Andes, for example, get about 30mg of elemental lithium a day. 300mg of lithium carbonate has around 56mg of elemental lithium, so that's not that low.

I'd be interested to know the amounts in the counties in Texas with lower crime rates.

EastCoaster said...

Oh and please see

Could you Have a Lithium Deficiency by Emily Dean, a psychiatrist, who blogs at Psychology Today.

Anonymous said...

The connection between sunlight and suicide is interesting. I wondered if there was something to that. I haven't been hospitalized in several years, but the hospitalizations I had in the past were always in April or May (different years) never in fall or winter. It would be interesting to look at my records over the years and see if increases or changes in medication also correlated with change in season. I'm happier when the weather is gloomy.


Sarebear said...

It won't let me through to the article without signing up for an account there. Not sure I can think up a username and password right now that I can remember, on top of all my other ones.

Anonymous said...

much anti benzo propaganda seems to be coming from the drug companies who want all anxiety sufferers on their antidepressants.
no matter that some anxiety sufferers have severe reactions to their first AD pill