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Lithium

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On Valentine’s Day 2001, writer Jaime Lowe was all set to go on MTV to debate Al Gore, George Bush, and Fidel Castro … until her new friend Mike suspected something might be amiss. Jaime tells us what happened, and how she learned the hard way that one of the simplest atoms borne from the Big Bang holds the key to her brain … and maybe also yours.

Special thanks to the mighty Sylvan Esso for 'Jaime's Song', composed for this episode. 

Guests:

Jaime Lowe

Comments [16]

Eric Carlson from Bemidji MN

Lithium was not just formed in the Big Bang. I had the impression it was when I first listened to this show. Now I hear a qualifier at the end of this episode. Lithium can't be formed in stars or their explosions, but that does not mean it can't be created outside of the Big Bang. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ethansiegel/2015/07/01/the-only-three-heavy-elements-in-the-universe-that-arent-made-in-stars/#25d98efb39e6

Aug. 10 2017 03:00 PM
Adam

She can still take lithium if she wants but it has to be plant based, lithium lyzeme forte. They sell it off the internet. I take both prescribed lithium carbonate and plant based, the plant based is much more potent only 1.5 mg is the biggest form, but it doesn't mess up your liver or kidney, and it certain works like a mood stabilizer,.

May. 10 2017 06:33 AM
Josh from Jonesville MI

I love this podcast. I use it the story about Jamie to teach periodic trends, a topic which is hard to create an emotional connection between. Thank you so much for producing this. It helps the kids in my rural Michigan town not only better understand chemistry but develop empathy for others as well.

Nov. 30 2016 07:16 AM
Big Daddy

I love cock

Nov. 27 2016 08:41 PM
Bart

How big is this sound file? I'd like to download/stream it, but I'm trying not to go over my soft data cap.

Jul. 16 2016 09:54 AM
Betsy Kaufman from NYC

Jaime (& others),
After listening to you on Only Human & noe RadioLab, I feel I should write you. I started going to the same kidney MD as you, Dr. Maria Devita, a few years after beginning Lithium in 2002 for bipolar 2. After 13 years my kidney function had dropped to 46% & I began going off of it in August of 2015. When I was completely off, 6 months later, I plunged into the old depression. My psychiatrist then put me on Lamictal (since 2007 I was already on Lexipro, Concerta & a fraction of the smallest dose Seroquel). What I want to say here is that, since I've been taking Lamictal I feel better than I've felt in my whole life! At 58!
I hope you find a good resolution to your condition...
Also, if you want to contact me, Dr. Deviita will give you my name - I am sending her a copy of this.

Jun. 07 2016 11:02 AM
alov from la, ca

My daughter was set; in an apartment, off to college.

Then the call: "Is this Carla's father? This is the neuropsychiatric unit at UCLA..."

That was seven years ago.

To say it's been rough is, of course, relative. Being in north Korea is rough. This is Carla rough.

From college hopeful to inconsistent; that's Carla in a word. But in the big picture, I've wondered over the course of these seven years if anyone's ever controlled for:

1. Exercise
2. Rest
3. Diet
4. Hydration
5. Relaxation

I've a lot to say about that, but it'd take too long. Thanks to Jaime - you sound alive and vibrant. Go get it, girl.

May. 23 2016 11:18 AM
Rosemary from Philadelphia, PA

I am so glad I heard this story. It was really moving. I can't wait until the book comes out!

May. 22 2016 07:05 PM
Ruth Z Deming from Willow Grove, PA

Great podcast. Lithium ruined my kidneys and my daughter Sarah donated her kidney. I did very well on the drug. I got psychotic often, but my psychiatrist rx'd various antipsychotics which did the trick. Got a master's degree while on lithium. When it was time to go off, had a tough time finding something to replace it. In fact, I never did. At age 58, my bipolar one was gone for good. Sometimes this happens to older people. I'm now 70 yo and run a bipolar support group www.newdirectionssupport.org in suburban Philly. Good luck to Jaime!

May. 22 2016 04:44 PM
barb marsh from maryland

Hi Mary, I was just like you. Started in my early teens no sleep crazy busy go go go. They never gave me Lithium. I raised 3 kids, stayed married.employed was a superstar.Then in my 30,s they said I was depressed ? Started a long road of every new drug on the market.Nothing worked I felt Wackado never sleeping.As a Landscaper I began having lots of pain. Yep Pain Management which is another word for addicted to heavy doses of narcotics.My Bipolar allowed me to take much higher doses than most. I got so desperate I took all my meds one day, I wanted 2 die, my mind was insane.Finally diagnosed Bipolar. Trials w meds led me to Serroquel,and valium.I sleep well,crazy dreams.I wake up awake.Sometimes I need extra doses in the afternoon. Not a perfect life but its better. I wish u well and pray 4 us all.
It made me gain weight so be aware.

May. 22 2016 12:44 PM
Fred Porter from Pe Ell, WA

I enjoyed your program today,but I was hoping that you might get to the cause of the problem. It is not normal for people to have to take a lithium supplement so what is causing it... One of the things that will do it is an imbalance with the levels of calcium and phosphorus. This will effect the levels of 7 (I believe) other minerals and there are a lot of signs of those deficiency diseases on the rise also.

May. 21 2016 10:19 PM
Richard Foulkes Jnr

my psychiatrist referred me to this podcast which Im grateful for
thank goodness for the doctors and people who care...and in the long run its up to us bipolar people to let them know whem meds are toomuch or not working or are just right.Im going off lithium ..kidney toxicity after 30 yrs on lithium.Looking fwd to it..my story is different to Jaimes similar, I love the performance art form of acting, sometimes getting too carried away in the mania sickness of bipolar to pull back, yet wanting the attention of other humans..sure police are humans ..hahaha
realising that PERFORM FOR FREE NO!!!! Utilise the energy of natural highs for commercial gain!!!! Yes for acting jobs YES! Theatre YES! ADs YES! Films short and Feature YES!.......on the street NO! pedestrian crossing NO! Bipolar is part of my life, time to make it PAY!!!!! hahahaha beats being detained because people dont want to hear abt suicide how governemnts are racist or how down people are..people ring police for all sorts of vindictive reasons..they get scared of the energy a bipolar person possesses when they are literate,expressive correct in enunciation brown pissed off articulate and handsome hahahaha save it for the camera theatre old fruitey.....darling..Im 59 this year still got a lot of acting music within oh yes literature..and yes highbolar never depressed

Mar. 29 2016 10:12 PM
Emily

I completely disagree with the portrayal of Jaime's experience. Speaking as someone who has bipolar disorder, a manic episode does not simply appear out of nowhere. This is a huge mistake to make on such a widely-listened-to podcast because it gives people the horrifically wrong idea that a manic episode can occur at the drop of a dime. I'm disappointed in Radiolab and I don't respect it nearly as much as I did before hearing this episode.

Mar. 16 2016 08:48 PM
Jon from Bogotá

A whole story on Lithium and no Nirvana in the background music? For shame, for shame.

Jan. 29 2016 05:04 PM
Grateful Mom from NY

I mentioned this podcast to my 20 year old daughter, who was recently diagnosed with BPD, and she wanted to listen to it. She laughed, she cried, and she was inspired that she could have a fulfilling life, like Jaime. Thank you for sharing your story so openly.

Nov. 19 2015 07:11 PM
Lynne from Illinois

I loved hearing Jaime's story. Until I listened, I never knew anyone who shared my experience with lithium. When I was prescribed it, what I will forever refer to as my miracle drug, I could never explain how or why it worked--it was such a mystery. To hear how Jaime describes her experience is exactly how I would describe mine. Thank you for a wonderful podcast.

Nov. 09 2015 10:14 PM

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