Bipolar Disorder Community
Can lithium cause hallucinations?
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Bipolar Disorder is also known as "Manic Depressive Disorder". This forum is for questions and support for people with, or for loved ones of people with Bipolar Disorder. The forum covers topics ranging from Aggressive Behavior, Affect on friends and Family, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Appetite Changes, Chronic Pain, Denial, Depression, Difficulty Concentrating, Euphoria, Guilt, Manic Depression, Medications, Mood Swings, Poor Judgment, and Sleep Disorders

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Can lithium cause hallucinations?

Hey everyone,
I just recently had my lithium dose raised by my psychiatrist to 1200mg a day. It's been a week and a half and I just started noticing strange things. I've been sering things that aren't there, like people and animals where they shouldn't be plain as day.
At work i kept seeing a cat following me around, and there couldn't have been a cat in my work. I also keep sering people starting at me. Like when I was driving I would see a person standing in the middle of the road. And last night i saw a person watching me from across the street when me and my fiancee got home, when i asked her if she could see them she gave me a weird look and said if I didn't smarten up she's take me to the hospital.

I don't think this is my bipolar because I've never had visual hallucinations before, just auditory. So I was wondering if this could be my lithium, I haven't had my blood levels checked and my doctor just noticed last appointment and scheduled me for this monday to get one.


I was also wondering if being on lithium can cause your episodes to be shorter. I've noticed since I started that it didn't get rid of them but just made them shorter, less frequent, and less severe. These are all good things but I was wondering if it's normal. Like, my episodes now last anywhere from 12 hours to 2 weeks. Before they were lasting 2 weeks to a few months.

Thanks for any replies I get!
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585414_tn?1288944902
  That can happen rarely with lithium but they definitely need to check the blood level and potentially adjust the dose depending on what they find. The fact that it is reducing the severity of mood episodes means it is working but the other is of concern.
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Avatar_f_tn
I read that it can cause hallucinations.  Ask about Depakote?  And I know if I was hallucinating, I would WANT to go to the hospital.  Hospital=getting better=good.
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915369_tn?1355318410
Depakote was the first medication I was on and it just wasn't for me. I had my psychiatrist appointment and she lowered my dosage. She's pretty sure that I was becoming toxic. Since then the hallucinations have gone away (and some other troubling symptoms as well) so I'm guessing she was right.
Thanks for all your help though, both of you.
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Avatar_m_tn
Well I was told by multiple people that psych meds don't get rid of the mental illness, they just reduce the severity of it and make it manageable.
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