Something In The Water

Bertie
Lithium Isn't Going To Fix this

Psychiatrist and – if you recall – former TD Dr Moosajee Bhamjee has been doing some… I’ll call it lateral thinking about Ireland’s worryingly high suicide rate. While others wring their hands, he at least has suggested a solution: Medicating the water. He believes that a small dose of lithium salts would go unnoticed by most of us, while being effective enough as a mood stabiliser to lower the suicide rate.

I was going to go into a long tirade about the problems with this, but in the end I think I can boil it all down to a single question:

Is he mad?

To quote the Oxford Handbook of Psychiatry:

As Lithium is a highly toxic ion, safe and effective therapy requires monitoring of serum levels. Up to 75% of patients treated with lithium will experience some side effects.

And frankly, I would describe that as the least worrying aspect of introducing forced psychoactive medication to an entire population.

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