Bill Oddie reveals he’s been ‘nigh on comatose’ for nearly a year after lithium poisoning


Bill Oddie
Bill Oddie has spoken about his struggle with lithium poisoning (Picture: James Gourley/Rex/Shutterstock)

Bill Oddie has given fans an update on his struggle with lithium poisoning, revealing he was ‘almost comatose’ for most of the last year. 

The conservationist and birdwatcher, 79, returned to Twitter after nine months to reveal he had been ‘knocking on heaven’s door’ but has been feeling a bit better for the past 10 days. 

He wrote: ‘For nearly a year I have been nigh on comatose. Knocking on heaven’s door with Lithium Poisoning. 

‘Saved by consultant at Royal Free Hospital. Then months mostly avoiding life and people. Depressed or asleep. Scaring my family and myself. No joy and no hope.

‘Then 10 days ago everything changed . Energy returned. No longer intimidated by tech, politics ,or the world as it is. 

‘Loving the Euros, thrilled by “Lady Parts” on Ch4trthe garden, revelling in my garden, friends, family and Sandy the dog. How?! Why? Meds, magic , or miracle?’ (sic)

The Goodies star added: ‘OK still not great at typing. Please delete first “garden”. Thanks. I am even feeling an urge to “post” regular tweets. 

‘Such as… What the hell does “woke” really mean? Whatever, I am proud to be it. Please don’t reply, and don’t bother to explain it. Ta.’

He last posted in September 2020 to tell fans he had been ‘very ill’ with lithium toxicity, telling them it had left him with confusion. 

Lithium is a mood stabilising medication but too much lithium in the blood can cause serious side effects, including confusion, light-headedness and drowsiness, according to the NHS. 


Bill Oddie
The Goodies star had been taking lithium for bipolar disorder and depression (Picture: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

It can also cause a loss of appetite and nausea as well as blackouts, muscle weakness, blurred vision and difficulty speaking. 

Bill, who found fame in The Goodies alongside Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden in the 1970s, has previously spoken about having depression and being admitted to a psychiatric hospital in 2009. 

He revealed he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder while in hospital and prescribed lithium, which he said had helped with that and his depression. 

Bill told the Daily Express in January 2020: ‘Fortunately after various forms of therapy and a number of pills which I still take, then, touch wood, it’s been not bad at all.

‘I wouldn’t dream of dropping my lithium. It’s the only thing I know does work. I’m going through a decent stretch at the moment, so let’s hope that continues.’

Metro.co.uk has reached out to Bill Oddie’s reps for comment.

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