A few months after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Laura Grace Simpkins began to take lithium. It was the “gold standard” treatment and she was spellbound – at first. But she soon began to have doubts about this mysterious drug, one that stabilised her mood but stole her pizzazz. Little is known about how lithium works, and almost no consideration is given to the social and environmental costs of producing it. Should she really prioritise herself over everything and everyone else? Here she investigates her relationship with her medication and her mental health, asking if lithium is the bitter pill she has to swallow.
Diagnosed bipolar, prescribed lithium
In the first part of a series looking into lithium, Laura Grace Simpkins recounts the beginning of her troubled relationship with this mysterious drug.
Investigating what lithium is and how it works
The more questions Laura Grace Simpkins asked about lithium, the more she realised how little is known about this powerful drug and how it affects our mental health.
Finding out where my lithium comes from
The origins of the lithium Laura Grace Simpkins swallows daily are unclear. If we don’t know the provenance of our pills, how can we make informed decisions about them?
The side effects of lithium mining
Laura Grace Simpkins attempts to untangle some uncomfortable truths about the social and environmental costs of making her medication.
Conflicted and confused about lithium
Covid-19 left Laura Grace Simpkins out of work and living back with her parents. She now had time to restart her research into her medication, but was she mad to continue?