Intentional Chronic Lithium poisoning by the wife for preventing physical torture during domestic violence by her husband suffering from bipolar disorder

  • Vivekanshu Verma MBBS, DFM, Associate consultant, Emergency and Trauma care, Medanta-The Medicity, Gurugram, India
  • Devendra Richhariya MBBS, MD Internal Medicine, Associate Director, Emergency and Trauma care, Medanta-The Medicity, Gurugram
  • Pankaj Kumar Sahu MBBS, MD Family Medicine, Associate consultant, Internal Medicine, Medanta-The Medicity, Gurugram
  • Santosh Kumar Verma BSc. LLB. Senior Advocate, Rajasthan High Court
Keywords: Lithium, torture; mental health; mania; intimate partner; domestic violence


Lithium, was popular as a drug of choice in past for maniac psychosis, rarely prescribed now, because lithium has very narrow therapeutic range, acts as a double-edged sword- it’s under dose will not control the maniac violent behavior, and an overdose will be toxic to kidneys and Brain1 . We describe interesting case of intentional chronic Lithium poisoning reported in our Emergency, due to deliberate irregular follow-up of an elderly male suffering from manic-depressive psychosis with physician by patient’s wife and caretaker, who procured lithium drug, and misused lithium as a sword to save herself, from suffering violent abuse by her aggressive husband by overdosing him slowly chronically, resulting into sedative status of the patient, which could be diagnosed by meticulous history taking and logical investigations by treating doctor, who was able to reach on a critical diagnosis of the emergency, thus saving life of patient, from acute kidney failure as a result of lithium toxicity.