I just got a small trial bottle of 10 pills after seeing it as a freebie on iherb. I mostly use iherb for all natural, organic skin care on the cheap. Still, I sometimes buy food or supplements. And when I put in a large order to make some homemade protein bars (an Alton Brown recipe), I just happened to see these. I almost think it was divine intervention. First, I will admit to having been diagnosed with manic depression about 15 years ago. The diagnosis came my first year of college after I went to the doctor complaining that I hadn't slept much at all for 2 weeks and my heart was beating so fast I was scared I was going to die. After he found nothing wrong with me, the doctor referred me for psychological counseling. Though I was a bit insulted, as I knew my symptoms were physical, the counseling was free so I went. Eventually, the counselor sent me to a psychiatrist who diagnosed the manic depression and prescribed lithium. The trouble was, he was a major, pompous jerk. My experience with the lithium was to go from feeling energetic but jittery to feeling comatose. One time, I think I fell out of my chair in a large survey class (Chemistry) and I kept right on sleeping. It was bad and I couldn't function. So, I just stopped taking it and never went back to the pompous doctor who wouldn't listen to me.
Flash forward 15 years. I had been through periods of insomnia--bad, bad insomnia--but hadn't had a classic manic episode where you feel on top of the world, spend money you don't have, and feel extremely promiscuous. (At least, those were my symptoms during the 2 main manic episodes I know I had--1 in high school while on vacation and the one in college). I never connected my insomnia to manic depression, however. And the stress I went through got bad--including going through a year where my husband and I were both unemployed and had to move in with my parents. Well, we ended up moving far away after my husband finally found a job. The move itself was stressful and I still haven't adjusted to living in a new part of the country. Though I was far less depressed than before, I still felt anxious and my insomnia (though better) still persisted. I generally take 2 over the counter, natural sleeping pills. They got to the point they would help me fall asleep, but I would wake up 2-4 hours later and my thoughts began to race like crazy. I would obsess over anything--real life worries, or just the fact that my favorite tv show was cancelled and I didn't like the last episode, so I'd think of how I could have written it better. I needed something to help.
Well, after ordering the pills on a whim, I researched them a bit. It looks like there may be some link between manic depression and insomnia. It also appears that not all who are bipolar have lots of manic periods. Being primarily depressive is common. At any rate, though no one has ever been supportive of my diagnosis, I started to wonder if maybe I needed the lithium after all. I took my first pill, and no joke, the results were almost instantaneous. From that one little pill, I had my first good night of sleep in I don't know how long. The next day, I took 2 pills--1 with breakfast and 1 with dinner. Again, I slept like a baby. Today, day 3, I decided to try cutting back to 1 pill which I planned to take with dinner. I was ok most of the day, but while eating dinner out, I got really jittery when a baby next to our table cried a lot. Being annoyed and having a headache was one thing, but I was literally shaking from it. Thus, I have decided on 2 pills a day for the time being.
Based on my past history, I really think these pills could help. I believe I am bipolar, but either I am borderline or I have only a mild imbalance. (By the way, it runs in families and I found out a cousin was also diagnosed with it, so this makes me feel even more certain about my diagnosis). However, I think the dosage I was given by prescription was way too high. With these over the counter pills, I get, I think, 250 mg of lithium orotate which delivers 10 mg of active lithium by taking the 2 pills per day. It really, really seems to be working for me. So, for the foreseeable future, I am going to stick with it. I just wanted to give a bit of my background to drive home the fact that I have a history with lithium and a previous prescription. Be careful if you don't have a background like mine. Over the counter or not, you still need to use caution and keep the dose as low as possible.
And one more thing. I know someone on here mentioned being in 'uni' which I assume means college. Don't lose hope. Because of my big manic episode the first 2 weeks of college, I was actually flunking out of a class--ironically, intro to psychology. We studied manic depression right away, so when the diagnosis came, I was able to step back and logically admit I had some textbook symptoms. My professor was confused because I did well on pop quizzes and had the answers on the tip of my tongue in class discussions, but I could never remember to do daily assignments on time. (Time was passing by fast for me--I couldn't keep track of it). But on the first big test, there was a question about manic depression. Not only did I give the standard answer, I let her know the exact dosage I thought the doctor might prescribe. It was my way of letting her know what had been happening to me without coming right out and saying it. Things got better, however. I made an A in the class, all A's that semester in fact, and graduated summa cum laude. It can happen. Just keep trying, but take care of yourself too.