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thank you for choosing just answer. I'm sorry to hear about your boyfriend's professional mistreatment. As you know lithium does nothing for depression and without proper blood tests can be extremely damaging to the kidneys and even cause psychosis or death if it is a high enough level in the blood. Anyone who's monkeying around with the amount of lithium is getting and not doing blood tests should be sued for malpractice and I'm concerned that your boyfriend is in mortal danger. Too many times I have seen the grieving response be misdiagnosed as a mental illness and that which is a natural process for all of us degraded to a disease. Not only that but the mental stigma and the side effects of the inappropriate medication may delay the grieving process or sidetrack it altogether as the patient become so involved in being a mentally ill that they cannot perform a function common to all human beings.
I am always surprised by people who are diagnosed as paranoid when they live in a very dangerous area. I am reminded of the T-shirt that says "even paranoids have real fears."Your discouragement about the medical community and its lack of empathy is real but that approach is unhelpful. Your boyfriend needs to take a more proactive approach to his mental health. His decision to stop lithium make sense and he should let his doctor know. I would advise against an antidepressant since that will slow down the grieving process. Too many times people start out in the stages of grief as outlined by Kubler Ross and end up stuck in a major depression because of the iatrogenic nature of psychiatry. As R.D.Lang so clearly points out people need to be educated in the fact or myth that they have the depression before they will buy antidepressants. This is especially true when the drug companies started to market in Japan where the concept of depression is totally foreign. Japanese can feel shame but they never understand the selfishness involved in calling yourself depressed despite the millions of dollars the foreign drug companies poured into media to try to educate them on the need to buy their drugs.
if you insist on an antidepressant I would strongly recommend you look into the latest literature and research on the efficacy of anti-depressant medication.
Thank you for validating what I believed. Not only misdiagnosed but giving a drug like lithium for the "first try" scared me to death. His grandfather died a year or so ago so I think the grieving is over but he still has the symptoms of depression. It's quite possible though, that he may not need to be on anything at all.
He asked the doctor about weaning off the lithium and they guy actually shrugged his shoulders and had to look it up on line.
So now he has been cutting the pills in half for the last couple of days and it hasn't been as bad as he thought it would be.
Being in South Africa is some of the issue. I am constantly reminded of how lucky we are here in the US. I told him that the next time he goes to the doc if he is not satisfied then he needs to demand another doctor. He is on a medication he does not want to be on and wants to get off. Not sure why it's so difficult to get help but that is why he is trying to do it on his own. I've been sort of monitoring his moods and such but I think he is being careful. Thanks very much for your answer. I makes me feel better knowing my concerns were valid.