What is lithium used for and why was Britney Spears 'given it'?
BRITNEY Spears told a judge she was forced to take Lithium against her will.
It was part of her evidence requesting to remove her dad as her conservator, after he was appointed in 2008 following a series of public meltdowns.
What is lithium?
Lithium is a type of medicine used as a mood stabiliser.
It is used to treat disorders such as:
- mania (feeling highly excited, overactive or distracted)
- hypo-mania (similar to mania, but less severe)
- regular periods of depression, where treatment with other medicines has not worked
- bipolar disorder, where your mood changes between feeling very high (mania) and very low (depression)
It can also reduce aggressive or self-harming behaviour.
The prescribed drugs are usually administered as tablets, but can also come as a liquid.
Anyone over 12 can take two different types, lithium carbonate and lithium citrate.
Doses vary depending on age and what you're being treated for, but it's usually taken once a day at night.
What are the side effects?
- feeling sick (nausea)
- a dry mouth and/or a metallic taste in the mouth
- feeling thirsty and needing to drink more and pee more than usual
- slight shaking of the hands (mild tremor)
- feeling tired or sleepy
- weight gain (this is likely to be very gradual)
Why does Britney Spears say she was given lithium?
The popstar, 39, claims her therapist put her on lithium "out of nowhere".
She said it followed her announcement she would take a break from live performances.
Britney claimed six different nurses went to her home to monitor her and make sure she took the medication for a month, while she wasn’t allowed to go anyway during that time period.
She said: "Lithium is very very strong, it’s a completely different medication to what I was used to.
"You can go mentally impaired if you take too much or stay on it longer than five months.
"I felt drunk, I really couldn’t even [look after myself], I couldn’t even have a conversation with my mum and dad really about anything.”
Her court appearance marked the first time she's publicly spoken out against the conservatorship, which was implemented in 2008 after a series of public meltdowns.
The legal agreement prevents Britney from controlling her life or having any access to her million-dollar fortune.
Under the conservatorship, her life and her multi-million-dollar fortune have been under the supervision of her father Jamie Spears.
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