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03 Feb 2004

Bi-Polar Mood Disorder?
I have 13 year old daughter who has recently been diagnosed - Bi-Polar Mood Disorder.
Nobody seems to be able to answer my questions and i am still in the dark. What is "a maniform psychosis" and what does it mean when a mood is described as "euthymic"?
What is considered to be "normal" lithium levels,(between .2 and .4 ? or is it higher?) and what does it mean when the lithium level is "toxic"
I really would appreciate some answers that would help me to understand and thereby help my child.
Answer 3,774 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear CDR,
Gosh, it does sound like they've been piling on the jargon, and forgetting that it is their job to explain everything to you very carefully in language a normal person like yourself can udnerstand, rather than hiding behing the big words.
Basially, in a Bipolar Disorder, which used to be called Manic-Depressive, a person's mood can both get too low ( as in a depression ) or too high and elated ( in a Mania or Hypomania). When either mood swing gets rather more extreme, one might become what is called "psychotic" in which state one is imperfectly in contact with reality, and may get stuck , for instance, on fixed and illogcal ideas. Euphoria is a word for the normal state of average, even mood, that most of us aim for, between mania and depression.
Lithium is a tried and tested treatment for Bipolar disorder used for decades, and one of the relatively few drugs where the blood level is both important and relatively easily measured. Too low, and it is ineffective, too high and the level could be described as "toxic", meaning in this situation that the side-effects are more substantial and disturbing, with no increased benefits. At still higher levels, the side-effects can become more serious, so this is avoided. because there can be some differences in the methods specific labs use to measure lithium levels, each lab states their own specific range for "normal" lithium levels, which are your best guide.
I recommend that you discuss these issues further, though, with the doctor prescribing the Lithium and monitoring the tests.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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