| | Re: New to the board - Depakote vs. Lithium
14 years of lithium use gave me a permanent kidney disability: diabetes insipidus. My kidneys now function at only 30% capacity. Depakote gave me weight gain to 300 lb and I got sugar diabetes (diabetes mellitus). I have since lost 41 lb and now the diabetes is gone. Lamictal gave me the deadly rash, so I went off it. Lithium is very difficult to monitor and you must have blood tests frequently, because the toxic level is very easy to reach. I tried Trileptal to replace Lamictal for a time, but it's very expensive. I take only 100 mg of Seroquel nightly and 100 mg Trazadone to help me sleep. Since I have an ongoing skin rash I take a couple of Benadryl each night to also help me sleep. Seroquel will increase your appetite and can make you lethargic and depressed. Once I went a whole winter depressed, thinking I had SAD, when actually I was taking too much Seroquel. Almost any psychotropic/psychiatric drug you take will increase your appetite and contribute to weight gain. This gets very serious, because eventually you might get sugar diabetes. Be careful with everything and read up on the internet all you can. Remember, doctors want to turn you into a zombie because it lessens the chance that you might commit suicide. Most don't really care how you function, so they overmedicate you. Too much medicine of any kind can make you lethargic and depressed. I would suggest getting off Depakote as soon as you can. My exercise routine consists of a fast walk 1 hr daily, 6 days a week. I completely change my diet to fish, chicken, and fresh vegetables. I don't even have a loaf of bread in the house. Nonfat milk. Diet drinks if I take any at all. I do use caffeine to counteract any tiredness or lethargy I might get from my meds. It helps in my daily walks.