mental health goals

Setting Mental Health Goals for the New Year

Everyone knows the process of making New Year’s resolutions and goals, for better or for worse. Many people set well-intentioned goals about losing weight, improving organization, quitting drinking or smoking, or improving finances. There’s nothing wrong with setting these kinds of goals, but what about goals for mental health? Simply stating “I want to be happier” isn’t going to enhance your mental health, but setting specific and attainable goals can. Plus, working toward your mental health goals can help you achieve your other New Year’s resolutions more easily.

At Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare in Prescott Valley, Arizona, our goal at our rehab facility is to help people struggling with co-occurring disorders (Addiction and mental illness) have access to the high-quality care they need. You’ve come to the right place. 

What are Mental Health Goals?

Mental health goals pave the way for overall well-being and personal growth. They often include objectives that include the following:

  • Reducing anxiety levels
  • Managing stress effectively
  • Enhancing self-esteem
  • Fostering positive relationships
  • Improving coping mechanisms

Setting these goals can be instrumental in promoting mental resilience and maintaining a balanced state of mind. However, it is important to remember that mental health goals are unique to each individual and may change over time. Mental health goals can be short-term or long-term. Short-term goals are typically achievable within a few weeks or months; long-term goals may take years to achieve. It is important to set realistic and attainable goals for your mental health. This will increase your chances of success and motivation to continue working towards them.

Why Are Mental Health Goals Important?

Mental health goals are essential; they help to promote overall well-being, enhance emotional resilience, and improve one’s quality of life. They provide a sense of direction, fostering motivation to undertake healthy habits and behaviors geared towards improving mental health. By setting mental health goals, individuals can track their progress, recognize their accomplishments, and create an actionable plan to confront challenges. They serve as a powerful tool in managing mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. They do this by providing a structured approach to dealing with such issues.

How to Set Mental Health Goals

mental health goals for new years

Setting mental health goals can be an integral part of achieving a balanced and well-rounded life. It’s imperative to identify what areas of your mental health you want to improve. This could be anything from reducing anxiety, improving mood, or boosting self-esteem. In addition to this, it’s important to implement SMART goals. SMART goals are those that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This might mean setting a goal to meditate for 10 minutes every morning for a month or to write in a gratitude journal each night before bed. It also helps to remember to be kind to yourself. Progress may be slow, and there may be setbacks along the way, but every step toward your goal is a step in the right direction.

Examples of Mental Health Goals

Setting mental health goals can play a crucial role in managing mental health challenges and promoting overall well-being. Some examples of mental health goals may include the following:

  • Regular exercise
  • Mindfulness practice
  • Healthy sleep habits
  • Positive social connections
  • Balanced diet
  • Professional help

How Does Regular Exercise Help Mental Health?

Regular exercise plays a significant role in maintaining and improving mental health. It releases endorphins, the body’s natural mood elevators. This can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and feelings of depression. Additionally, regular physical activity promotes better sleep patterns, leading to increased energy and improved concentration during the day. Engaging in exercise also bolsters self-confidence through the achievement of fitness goals and appreciation of one’s physical appearance. Ultimately, the mental health benefits of regular exercise underscore its integral role in an overall healthy lifestyle.

How Does Mindfulness Practice Help Mental Health?

Mindfulness practice plays a crucial role in mental health care; it fosters a sense of present-moment awareness that can decrease anxiety and improve mood. Additionally, mindfulness practice helps individuals to observe their thoughts and feelings without judgment. This has the potential to break the cycle of rumination and worry that often accompanies mental health conditions. Mindfulness practice also promotes stress reduction and relaxation, providing a powerful tool for managing daily life challenges. Studies have also suggested that mindfulness can physically alter the brain, strengthening areas associated with emotional regulation and focus.

How Do Healthy Sleep Habits Help Mental Health?

Healthy sleep habits significantly impact mental health, playing a key role in mood regulation, cognitive processing, and overall brain function. Adequate sleep allows our brains to process emotions, experiences, and memories more effectively. Conversely, sleep deprivation can lead to an increased risk of mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders, and mood swings.

How Do Positive Social Connections Help Mental Health?

Positive social connections play a crucial role in promoting mental health. They offer a sense of belonging, improve self-confidence, and provide an avenue for emotional support in times of stress. These interactions can stimulate positive emotions, reducing the risk of anxiety and depression. Additionally, social bonds can encourage healthy lifestyle habits, such as regular exercise and proper nutrition, which further boosts mental well-being.

How Does a Balanced Diet Help Mental Health?

A balanced diet plays a crucial role in shaping mental health. Nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains supply essential vitamins and minerals that facilitate the proper functioning of the brain. Regular intake of a balanced diet provides the necessary fuel for the brain, promoting mental clarity, improved mood, and overall psychological well-being.

How Does Professional Help Impact Mental Health?

Professional help can have a profound impact on mental health. Therapists and psychiatrists provide critical support, advice, and treatment options for individuals experiencing mental health challenges. They can help individuals navigate their thoughts and emotions, offer coping strategies, and provide a safe space for open dialogue. This professional intervention can lead to improved mental well-being. This could include reduced symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders, ultimately promoting a healthier, more balanced life.

The Difference Between Resolutions and Intentions

Resolutions and intentions, while seemingly similar, carry slightly different connotations. Resolutions are firm decisions to do or not do something, often associated with the start of a new year. They are specific, measurable, and time-bound. For example, a person might make a resolution to lose 10 pounds within three months. On the other hand, intentions are more about the journey rather than the destination. They embody an attitude or mindset one wishes to cultivate and are typically broader and less measurable. An intention might be to live a healthier lifestyle, which could encompass a variety of behaviors. These may include eating better, exercising more, and reducing stress.

How to Set Intentions; Not New Year’s Resolutions

Setting intentions, as opposed to forming New Year’s resolutions, allows people to approach life with a positive perspective and purpose. The process begins with identifying what matters, what an individual values, and what they aspire to manifest in their lives. It’s helpful to find a calm, quiet space to reflect deeply on these matters. Once intentions have been identified, they can be written down, making them more tangible and real. To reinforce intentions, people can create practices such as meditation or journaling. Setting intentions isn’t about striving for perfection or rigidly adhering to a plan. Instead, it’s about cultivating a mindset of openness, growth, and possibility.

mental health goals

Accomplishing Goals Means Enjoying Rewards

Achieving personal or professional goals often brings about a sense of joy and satisfaction, which can be seen as the reward for one’s hard work and dedication. These rewards are not always tangible, like a promotion or a bonus; they can also be intangible, such as the feeling of accomplishment, increased self-esteem, or the respect and admiration of others. This intrinsic reward system serves as a powerful motivator, encouraging individuals to set higher goals and strive for continuous improvement.

How Do I Stay Committed to My Mental Health Goals?

Committing to mental health goals is a continuous journey that requires dedication, self-awareness, and patience. Many different strategies can help, including the following:

  • Setting habit-oriented goals
  • Setting mission-oriented goals
  • Seek support
  • Practice self-compassion

Setting Habit-Oriented Goals

In the pursuit of personal growth and self-improvement, setting habit-oriented goals is a key strategy. Unlike outcome-based goals which focus on the result, habit-oriented goals concentrate on the process. They encourage the establishment of positive patterns of behavior that can lead to long-lasting change. By setting habit-oriented goals, we focus on the small, daily actions that culminate into significant transformation over time. This approach fosters consistency and builds resilience, enabling us to tackle challenges and attain success in our endeavors.

Setting Mission-Oriented Goals

Setting mission-oriented goals is an effective strategy for maintaining focus and achieving success. These are goals tied to a larger purpose or mission, creating a strong sense of direction and personal investment. A mission-oriented goal could be, for example, “Improving my coding skills to develop an app that assists individuals with disabilities”, where the mission is to create a positive societal impact. By setting such goals, we not only keep ourselves motivated but also add meaning to our efforts, fostering both personal growth and broader positive change.

You’re Not Alone At Granite Mountain

There are many mental health strategies that one can utilize to improve their life. At Granite Mountain, we’re here to help. If you or a loved one would like to find out more, you can contact us here.

how to celebrate world mental health day

How to Celebrate World Mental Day: A Guide to Raising Awareness

Ever wonder why we need a day dedicated to mental health? As it turns out, it’s a huge problem that deserves our attention. Since 1992, World Mental Health Day has worked to educate people about mental illnesses and support those with mental health conditions. The truth is, that many of us experience depression, anxiety, addiction, or other issues at some point. We need to talk about it, check in on friends and loved ones, and make self-care a priority. There are little things we can all do to support mental health and make a difference.

What Is World Mental Health Day and Why Does It Matter?

how to celebrate world mental health day

World Mental Health Day, observed annually on October 10th, has assumed an increasingly vital role in today’s society. The need to raise awareness about mental health has never been more pressing. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately one in five individuals across the globe will grapple with a mental health condition at some point in their lives. These statistics underscore the ubiquitous nature of mental health challenges and the urgency of addressing them. However, despite the prevalence of these issues, stigma and a lack of understanding persist, creating barriers for those who seek help and support.

World Mental Health Day has been a symbol of hope and change for 31 years now. It helps teach people, speak up for important things, and take action. The main goal is to make more people aware of the many aspects of mental health all around the world. On this day, we also strive to garner mental health resources, help, and support from different places, such as governments, groups, and communities. We want them to create rules, plans, and services that focus on mental health.

World Mental Health Day is not merely a date on the calendar; it is a call to action, a reminder that mental health is a fundamental aspect of our well-being, and a plea for a more compassionate and understanding world. It is a day to recognize that, despite the persistence of stigma, we are making progress in the battle for mental health awareness and support. It is a day to stand together, united in our commitment to creating a world where mental health is valued, protected, and supported, ensuring that no one has to face their struggles alone.

Mental Health Statistics to Know

Over 46 million people experience mental illness each year. On World Mental Health Day, it’s important to recognize these statistics and raise awareness for this critical issue.

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting over 264 million people. Anxiety disorders affect roughly 40 million adults in the U.S. alone. Schizophrenia impacts about 1% of the population. The numbers go on and on.

With so many struggling with mental health issues, it’s no wonder that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. Tragically, over 48,000 Americans die by suicide each year. The good news is that mental health conditions are often treatable with cognitive behavioral therapy and medication. However, nearly 60% of adults with a mental illness didn’t receive mental health services in the past year.

Stigma and a lack of access to care prevent many from getting the help they need. That’s why, on October 10th, World Mental Health Day brings public awareness to these issues. By promoting education about mental illness, increasing access to resources, and reducing stigma, we can work to improve mental health for all.

How to Celebrate World Mental Health Day?

One of the best ways to celebrate World Mental Health Day is by starting a meaningful conversation about mental health. Talk to your friends and family about their mental well-being and share how you’re doing. Let them know you’re there for them without judgment. These open conversations can help reduce the stigma around mental illness and encourage others to open up and seek help.

Use your social media platforms to spread awareness about mental health issues and World Mental Health Day. Share informative posts about depression or anxiety. Promote mental health resources in your area. Use hashtags like #WorldMentalHealthDay, #MentalHealthMatters, and #MentalHealthAwareness to increase visibility. Small actions like changing your profile picture to the World Mental Health Day logo can also raise awareness. Every little bit helps to combat stigma and let others know they’re not alone.

Make sure to practice self-care on World Mental Health Day and every day. Getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and exercising are all vital for your mental well-being. Do something each day that you find meaningful or uplifting. Take a walk outside in nature. Read a book. Call a friend. Meditate or do deep breathing. Be kind to yourself and make your mental health a priority. Your mind and body will thank you.

Many mental health organizations rely on donations and volunteers to provide resources and support for those in need. Donate your time or money to organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Mental Health America (MHA), or Crisis Text Line. Volunteer at a local mental health event. Fundraise for a mental health charity. Small acts of service can make a big difference in raising awareness and helping others. Every step counts toward creating a mentally healthier world for all.

Receive Help at Granite Mountain

Granite Mountain is committed to offering crucial support for mental health and recognizing the significance of mental well-being in our lives. Through a range of programs and initiatives, we extend a compassionate hand to those in need. Our team of dedicated professionals is equipped to provide counseling, therapy, and resources to help individuals navigate the complex terrain of mental health challenges. Contact us today!

raise awareness for mental health

7 Ways to Raise Awareness for Mental Health in May

When it comes to mental health, May is more than just a month on the calendar. It’s Mental Health Awareness Month—a time dedicated to raising awareness, educating the public about mental health issues, and working toward creating a stigma-free society.

Of course, bringing awareness to mental health isn’t a one-and-done task. It takes work from each and every one of us, year-round. But that doesn’t mean that Mental Health Awareness Month isn’t an important time to bring attention to the cause. This year marks the 74th anniversary of Mental Health Awareness Month, so now’s the perfect time to step up your advocacy efforts in support of mental health.

So what can you do? In this blog post, we’ll walk you through seven actionable tips for raising awareness for mental health during May—and beyond!

History of Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month has been around for decades, having first been declared in May of 1949. It’s a powerful movement that brings attention to the fact that mental health matters as much as physical health. Mental illness and mental health problems are extremely common!

Unfortunately, these issues are still not discussed enough across society, leaving many feeling alone in their struggles with mental health. Mental Health Awareness Month is a chance to start conversations and break down the stigma around these issues. It is time to build a more supportive environment for those who suffer from anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses.

What Is the Prevalence of Mental Health Issues?

Mental Health Awareness Month isn’t something that popped out of thin air! In fact, it has a deep history that dates all the way back to 1949. Since then, it has been celebrated annually in May and its focus has shifted over the years.

This year’s MHA’s 2023 theme is “Take some time to look around, look within,” where the Mental Health Month campaign is centered on how environments affect mental health and encourage individuals to take a close look at their surroundings and themselves.

The topics that are specifically addressed include:

  • Safe and Stable Housing
  • Healthy Home Environments
  • Neighborhoods and towns
  • The Outdoors and Nature

MHA wants to inspire people and help them understand the impact that these topics have on mental health. They will offer advice on how people can improve their environment for their well-being. And at the same time, they will provide suggestions for coping mechanisms if a change is not possible.

The Best Ways to Raise Awareness About Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Month is a great way to show support and understanding for people who are dealing with mental health issues. Raising mental health awareness can be achieved through various strategies and actions, such as:

Talking about mental health can be difficult, but it is a necessary part of ending the stigma and supporting those who are affected. You can use this opportunity to spread awareness by starting meaningful conversations and advocating support for those in need.

Take the time to educate yourself on the common signs and symptoms of different mental disorders. Learn how best to respond when someone expresses their struggle with a mental health issue. It is essential to have a basic understanding of mental health issues and relapse prevention techniques. By doing so, you can focus on providing support rather than spreading misinformation.

When someone opens up to you about their mental health struggles, it is important to listen with an open mind and without judgment or criticism. Validate what they are going through. Remind them that their feelings are valid and common among many people who experience mental illness.

It’s important that individuals who opened up about their struggles feel that they are not alone and that you can be part of their journey to recovery.

There are two strategies to raise public awareness of mental health issues.

  • Participate in Events: Participating in virtual events, fundraisers, and town halls is a great way to raise public awareness. These give mental health advocates a platform to share their stories and build community. You can also use these events to educate yourself on the prevalence of mental health issues in different communities and find ways that you can help locally!
  • Social Media Campaigns: Social media is an effective tool for raising awareness of mental health concerns and the value of getting treatment from a professional. You don’t need a large budget to make an impact on social media! By sharing other mental health campaigns or creating your own, you have the potential to reach thousands of people all over the world in just a few clicks. Plus, it’s free!

It is important to remember that mental health is a complex issue and it cannot be treated in isolation. We must look at the bigger picture and adopt a holistic approach to helping those affected. This means looking at family dynamics, environmental factors, and personal history to identify underlying issues.

In addition, it is important to remember the power of self-care. Taking care of yourself is often the most effective way to take care of others. This means eating properly, getting enough rest, exercising, and spending time with friends and family. By taking these simple steps, we can ensure that we are doing our part in raising mental health awareness in May and the months ahead.

Are you aware that, like physical health screenings, mental health screenings are also available? If yes, great. Otherwise, you are not alone. Many individuals are unaware that such things exist. Mental health check-ins help us to get in tune with our thoughts and feelings, and recognize when something is off. It also helps us identify potential triggers and warning signs of mental health illnesses. It gives us the tools we need to properly manage our mental health.

Checking your mental health can take time and it may not be easy. Ultimately, it is a process that will help you understand and take better care of yourself. Just like physical health, taking care of your mental health is important and should be a priority.

We can also promote mental health awareness through the language we use. Words can have real power and speaking kindly to ourselves and others can make a big difference in how we perceive our mental health. Shifting our language to be more compassionate, understanding, and forgiving can be a great way to foster a more positive mental health environment.

Some ideas for using kind language include:

  • Reminding yourself and others that everyone makes mistakes and that it is okay
  • Acknowledging that everyone is doing the best they can
  • Practicing self-care and speaking positively about yourself
  • Encouraging positive self-talk, such as noting accomplishments and celebrating small successes.
  • Reaching out to someone if you need support

Creating a culture of understanding and kindness can help us all to better recognize and manage our mental health. By encouraging kind language, we can help create a more supportive environment and foster greater mental health awareness.

Mental health organizations often rely on donations from individuals like you to keep their operations running smoothly—so think about donating either time or money if you have the ability to do so!

Volunteer organizations and mental health facilities are often understaffed and under-resourced, so even a small donation of time or money can make a big difference in the lives of others. You can also volunteer to help with local events and fundraisers or work with organizations to create programs and initiatives that will help the community.

No matter how you choose to help, the most important thing is that you’re doing your part to support mental health awareness in your community. Making a difference in the lives of those around us is one of the most powerful things we can do, so let’s all do our part to help end the stigma around mental illness!

mental health awareness

Receive Mental Health Treatment at Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare

Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare helps raise awareness for Mental Health Awareness Month! We provide access to treatment options and resources to those who need them most. We offer a wide range of services, from counseling and psychotherapy to detoxification and residential treatment programs, allowing individuals to get the help they need to cope with their mental health issues. With expertise in various forms of addiction, Granite Mountain is equipped to address them all. Receive your treatment and contact us today! We’re prepared to help you and your family however we can.

emotional health vs mental health

Emotional Health vs Mental Health: What’s the Difference?

More and more people are now getting familiar with the concept and importance of emotional and mental health, although some use the terms interchangeably, thinking they represent the same thing. In reality, these two concepts are quite different, and understanding them both better will give a better appreciation of how the two affect human behavior.

As with physical health, knowing about the particulars of both mental and emotional health, and what makes them distinct from each other would help people achieve better overall health. 

In a world where stress is almost a constant thing, it is important to understand how to maintain health and balance in all aspects, as the adverse effects of unaddressed stress are well known.

At Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare in Prescott Valley, Arizona, our specialists can help you or a loved one manage mental vs emotional health efficiently, resulting in successful recovery outcomes. 

What is Mental Health?

Mental health is a crucial part of a person’s ability to function properly, as it is involved in practically every moment of a person’s life. It affects the psychological, social, and even emotional aspects of a person. Mental health is also largely responsible for a person’s ability to engage in thought and action.

Mental health is not a consideration that is restricted to age, as it affects and is important to people of all ages, from childhood and even onto the advanced years. The peculiarity of mental health is that it is both resilient and vulnerable at the same time. It is resilient in that it actually helps people get through some of the toughest periods in life, and learn from them as well. It is also vulnerable in that trauma of any kind could have a lasting and deeply damaging effect on it.

Proper cognitive function is also quite dependent on mental health. Things that many people tend to take for granted, such as learning, being able to remember things, and having the ability to perceive, approach, and solve a dilemma in other ways apart from the straightforward manner are all thanks to properly maintained mental health. Just as the body gets stronger with physical exercise, so does a person’s mental health improve with mental exercises that engage the mind in deep and challenging thought.

An irony of mental health is that there are people who, upon hearing the term “mental health,” actually think of the many ways in which a person’s mind behaves erratically and does not function well. This is the opposite of mental health, which is mental illness. It must be noted, however, that mental health is more than just not having any kind of mental illness. It is the sum and total of all properly functioning processes that involve the mind and the cognitive functions of the brain.

What is Emotional Health?

emotional health and mental-health difference

Emotional health, on the other hand, is having the ability to discern what a person feels at any given moment or towards a situation or person, and also being able to manage whatever reaction the emotion instills in the person. There are many cases wherein a person could be fully aware of the emotions being felt but be incapable of controlling the action that these emotions elicit.

This is not just limited to anger management, where a person could have no control over how they behave when they are overcome with anger. Having no control over emotions could manifest in a person suddenly bursting into tears or even going into hysterics when they are sad, or suddenly behaving in an inappropriate manner whenever they feel an attraction towards someone.

Emotional health is directly linked to how a person expresses emotions. Some people could express their emotions in a manner that could be too much for others to tolerate or understand. While others seemingly display little to no emotion at all. Both the excess and the seeming lack of emotional response could be attributed to poor emotional health, as the person could be completely unsure of how to express how they feel.

Conversely, some people do know how to control their emotions, but in a manner that is also decidedly unhealthy. These are the people who tend to suppress their emotions, even up to the point where their ability to control what they feel is surpassed. Once this tipping point is reached, there is always the danger of the person having either an emotional breakdown or simply lashing out blindly, regardless of who the nearest person might be.

Maintaining an Awareness of Your Mental State is Important

Knowing what kind of emotional or mental state a person has is utterly important for both the person and the people around them. Ignoring this could lead to so many problems. This has been proven time and again with people from practically all walks of life, from every social standing in society, and every age group.

Reports of young adults doing things that no one expected them to do still shock people everywhere, although if someone had only paid attention to the telltale signs of deteriorating mental vs emotional health, they might have been able to proactively do something about it.

Being aware of the state of one’s mental or emotional health allows a person to gauge if they are close to a breakdown, where they seemingly just shut down and are incapable of doing anything else. This will also serve to protect the person and those around them if the mental or emotional breakdown leads to the person becoming irrational and violent.

Learn More About Your Emotional Health vs Mental Health At Granite Mountain

It’s not enough to just handle one aspect of the problem if it requires several different approaches. This is something we learned here at Granite Mountain. Some issues need to be addressed at the same time, or there might not be any progress at all.

We know this because we have helped many with this issue. It is a complex issue, but we know how best to approach it. Come talk to us.Yo

lithium for bipolar disorder

Lithium for Bipolar Disorder: How Does It Work?

In the majority of depressive disorders, there is only one ultimate mood which is depression. However, many individuals with bipolar disorder also undergo a second extreme mood, known as mania. The episodes of the mania are as unmanageable to a person’s life as depression can be. To treat bipolar disorder, it is just as important to treat mania and depression. 

What is Lithium?

Lithium is known as one of the oldest and most successful drugs used to treat depressive and mania symptoms of bipolar disorder. It is a mood stabilizer that comes in an immediate-release tablet, capsule, oral solution, or extended-release tablet. Lithium is also fairly costly due to its availability as a generic drug. 

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is considered a mental illness that creates extremely swift shifts between the two extreme moods of mania and depression. It typically starts in the late teen years or the early ’20s, generally before the age of 25. Bipolar disorder is considered a long-term illness, but it can, however, be managed with the proper treatment. The majority of the time the treatment for bipolar disorder includes the drug Lithium. 

Depression Symptoms

  • Suicidal behavior or thoughts
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Eating habit changes
  • Lack of interest
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of sleep
  • Tiredness
  • Sadness

Mania Symptoms

  • Extremely poor judgment
  • Poor impulse control
  • Inflated self-esteem
  • Increased energy 
  • Racing thoughts

Even when the changes between the moods are mild, it can make it much more challenging to live your life. They have the potential of causing issues in your relationships and leading to overall poor performance in school and work. When the changes are severe, it can lead to suicidal behaviors and suicidal thoughts.

How Does Lithium Treat Bipolar Disorder?

Lithium is a mood stabilizer as previously mentioned that is used for long-term treatment for bipolar disorder. Mood stabilizers are generally the first-line therapy option for bipolar disorder, which means that they are the first thought of drugs utilized for treatment. Lithium can treat the most severe of the two types of bipolar disorder which is manic episodes. 

It can decrease the intensity of manic episodes. Lithium is also able to make the individual’s depressive symptoms much less severe. The exact science of how Lithium works are unknown. Indeed, Lithium is extremely effective. However, the exact amount of Lithium that is needed to be effective is extremely close to the amount that can be poisonous to your body.

How Does Lithium Work for Bipolar Disorder?

Lithium works for bipolar disorder by reducing the frequency and severity of mania. It might also work by preventing and relieving bipolar depression. Lithium is also known as Lithobid and Eskalith is one of the most studied and used medications for treating bipolar disorder. 

Studies have shown that lithium for bipolar disorder can reduce the risk of suicide significantly. It also helps prevent future depressive and mania episodes. As a consequence, it might be prescribed for lengthy periods as maintenance therapy even between episodes. 

Lithium acts on an individual’s central nervous system (their spinal cord and brain). Doctors aren’t 100% certain on how Lithium works to stabilize an individual’s mood, but it is thought to overall help strengthen nerve cell connections in the person’s brain region that’s involved in regulating thinking, behavior, and mood. 

How Does Lithium Make You Feel?

It was reported that Lithium can affect how awake and alert a person feels. Even by taking the correct dose, you’re able to still feel less mentally sharp and drowsy when taking Lithium. It’s extremely possible that if you feel confused and drowsy the Lithium dose is too high

If the Lithium dose is too high, Lithium toxicity can be being experienced. If you experience any of the symptoms below, it’s essential to get checked out immediately to get the Lithium levels checked. There are many additional signs of Lithium toxicity such as the following:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Muscle weakness 
  • Slurred speech 
  • Tremors

Lithium Common Side Effects

Roughly about 75% of individuals who take Lithium for bipolar disorder generally have some side effects, although they are usually minor. The side effects become less bothersome after a few weeks once the individual’s body adjusts to the drug. Sometimes the side effects of lithium for bipolar disorder can be relieved for the person after the dose is thoroughly adjusted. 

However, you must not attempt on changing your dose or the schedule on your own accord. Also, do not try to change the brand of Lithium without checking with your pharmacist or doctor first. If you are experiencing any problems, please speak with your doctor.

  • Hand tremors (If the hand tremors are particularly troublesome, dosages are sometimes able to be adjusted, reduced, or even additional medications can also help.)
  • Decreased thyroid function (which can be treated with thyroid hormone.)
  • Increased thirst and urination 
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Lack of coordination
  • Poor concentration
  • Muscle weakness
  • Impaired memory
  • Weight gain 
  • Drowsiness
  • Hair loss
  • Acne

Additional Side Effects at Higher Dosages

  • A lack of muscle control during the voluntary movements, such as picking things up and walking
  • Ringing sound in your ears
  • Blurry vision
  • Giddiness

Rare but Serious Side Effects

Lithium can cause many serious side effects in certain individuals who have specific conditions. It is also able to interact with particular drugs to cause serious side effects. The side effects that are discussed here are particularly rare. Most of the individuals who engage in this drug do not experience these side effects. If you are worried about any of these side effects, definitely talk to your doctor. 

If you already have kidney issues, chances are taking Lithium can lead to kidney failure. The actual level of this risk depends on how severe the individual kidney disease is. Kidney failure is reversible when the Lithium treatment is ceased at a reasonable time. Your doctor will most likely be certain to assess your kidney function before even prescribing Lithium. 

In extremely rare occurrences, Lithium treatment has been known to trigger Brugada syndrome in individuals who are inclined to it. Brugada syndrome is the unexpected, fast and uncoordinated closing, fluttering, and opening of the ventricles of a person’s heart. It’s not exactly known why the heart does this. The risk of unanticipated death from Brugada syndrome is quite high. It is most common among men of Southeast Asia origin. 

  • A heart that feels like it’s beating abnormally
  • Feeling like you’ll faint; lightheaded
  • Experience shortness of breath

In rare cases again, individuals who have taken Lithium with other drugs utilized to treat psychiatric disorders have developed brain disease. It’s quite imperative to discuss all of the medications that you take along with over-the-counter medications, herbal and vitamin supplements. By doing this, your doctor will be more equipped to avoid damaging interactions. 

Brain Disease Symptoms

  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Tremors
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

Notify Your Doctor

You must notify your doctor if you have suspected that you’re experiencing continual Lithium side effects or if you develop the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Unsteady walking
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Slurred speech 
  • Confusion
  • Fainting 
  • Fever

Inform your doctor about your medical history, including heart disease, kidney disease, cancer, allergies, and epilepsy. Make certain that your doctor is aware of all of the drugs you are taking. Avoid products that are especially low in sodium (salt) since a low sodium diet can lead to exceedingly high Lithium levels. 

While taking Lithium, it’s pivotal to use caution when operating machinery, or driving, and limit alcoholic beverages. Individuals who engage in Lithium for bipolar disorder should consult with their doctor before taking any nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen. Since these medications can overall increase Lithium levels. 

If you happen to miss a dose of Lithium for bipolar disorder, be sure to take it as soon as you remember it. Unless the next scheduled dose is within two hours or six hours for the slow-release forms. If it is, skip taking the missed dose, and resume your standard dosing schedule. Do not “double-up” to try to catch the dose up.

There are however some serious risks to consider. Lithium has been linked to specific birth defects and therefore, should be used with caution especially in pregnant women, especially during the first three months of their pregnancy. The actual safety of breastfeeding while taking Lithium is controversial and should also be discussed with the doctor in advance.

In some individuals, long-term Lithium treatment is known to interfere with an individual’s kidney function and can even lead to permanent kidney damage. This is why periodic monitoring of the blood tests are utilized to measure kidney functioning is so essential.  

Why Do Bipolar Patients Stop Taking Lithium?

Bipolar patients stop taking Lithium typically because of adverse effects which were known as the most common cause for Lithium discontinuation. Among the adverse effects, creatine increase, polyuria, diabetes insipidus, polydipsia, diarrhea, tremor, and weight gain were the top five reasons why Lithium is discontinued. This was discovered alongside the previous findings of three of the previous studies, which also found that the most common were adverse effects.

It was discovered that Lithium discontinuation happened more commonly because of “internal resistance to treatment” rather than adverse effects. There were only a few patients that stopped taking Lithium because of hyperparathyroidism or hypercalcemia, which are adverse effects associated classically with Lithium. About one-fourth of the patients who had discontinued Lithium was due to the perceived or actual lack of effectiveness. These same patients had to restore Lithium afterward.

How Quickly Does Lithium Work for Bipolar?

Lithium for bipolar disorder typically takes numerous weeks to begin to start fully working. Commonly, your doctor will order periodic blood tests throughout your entire treatment because Lithium can affect thyroid and kidney function. Lithium for bipolar disorder works the most effective if the actual amount of the drug in the individual’s body is maintained at a continual level.

The Lithium level in your body must not be too high or low, but just right. Your doctor might also suggest that you drink about 8-12 glasses of fluid or water a day during treatment and also use a standard amount of salt in your food. Both fluid and salt can affect the levels of Lithium in your blood so it’s vital to consume a balanced amount every day. 

The actual dose of Lithium for bipolar disorder will vary among each individual and as the phases of each illness change. Even though bipolar disorder is treated often with more than one drug, some individuals can manage their condition with Lithium alone. 

Does Lithium Change Your Personality?

Substantial effects and mood changes are induced by Lithium carbonate. Dysphoria, a loss of interest in interacting with others and the environment, lethargy, and even a state of increased mental confusion was reported. There weren’t any generalized effects discovered in the responses to the personality changes. 

Manage Bipolar Disorder With Lithium at Granite Mountain 

If you are looking for top-notch therapy and treatment for various forms of drug addiction, look no further. We have a nice variety of addiction programs ranging from ones that treat alcohol addiction, drug addiction, and mental health. Contact us today to get started on your journey.