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Seroquel Withdrawal - reality check
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Bipolar Disorder is also known as "Manic Depressive Disorder". This forum is for questions and support for people with, or for loved ones of people with Bipolar Disorder. The forum covers topics ranging from Aggressive Behavior, Affect on friends and Family, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Appetite Changes, Chronic Pain, Denial, Depression, Difficulty Concentrating, Euphoria, Guilt, Manic Depression, Medications, Mood Swings, Poor Judgment, and Sleep Disorders

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Seroquel Withdrawal - reality check

Hi, I have been on Seroquel for 5 years up to 1100 mg (yes, one thousand one hundred) and two years ago because of severe side effects (problems focusing and severe trembling) and because my moods were very stable my psychiatrist accepted to lower it progressively to find a dosage that would allow me to function well with less side-effects. It's been two years of gradually eliminating this drug.

Everything went well up until Sept 2011 when I reached 125 mg. My moods were perfect but the insomnia kicked in mildly but when I reached 100 mg my family doctor told me to take either Gravol or Benadryl to help me because the insomnia was really worsening. That did help me but when I reached the day (a monthe after)  to go down to 75 mg it didn't work anymore for the Benadryl but a double dose of Gravol did. When I reached the day to go down to 50 mg (another month after) the Gravol worked only for about 6 hours and without it I coudn't even take a nap. I thought that my body would adapt gradually but it never did.

The plan with my psychiatrist was to take more time (an additional 4 months) for the remaining 50 mg but after trying to reach her and getting an appointment in a month and a half I decided that I couldn't live like that for an additional 4 months of torture. As a bipolar my sleep is very important. So, after a month I took away another 25 mg and I started to shake, got severe nausea and huge headaches. After two weeks of that I let go of the last 25 mg and thought I was dying. I had cancer before and went through chemo and the nausea was comparable. I kept telling myself that each day was getting me closer to being healthy and free of that extremely addictive drug but after 4 days I saw my family doctor who prescribed me Ativan 1 mg. I slept almost normally for a few days until the negative side effects of Ativan kicked in, the nausea became worst ( I couldn't look at certain food) and worst I started to have suicidal thoughts when nothing was wrong in my life and also feeling very irritable. I read the description of the side-effects of Ativan and quit that thing after 7 days of it and the day after the severe nausea was gone and the suicidal thoughts were just a bad dream (that could have taken my life!).

At that point I realized that my poor brain is trying to get back to normal after years of heavy duty Serqquel use and that it may be too sensitive at the moment to add anything else. Beside my lithium, my synthroid and my Tamoxifen (post-cancer therapy) I don't take anything else not even a Tylenol. After quitting the Ativan, the severe insomnia (about six 20 minutes bouts of sleep during an entire night in bed and an incapacity to nap kicked back but since I knew what was on the table I kept repeating to myself  that eventually I would start to sleep again.

As of today, a month after stopping completely Seroquel I see slow progress, three days ago I was able to have a 5 hours sleep (cut in two) and last night I got a total of 6 and a half hours (2 hours-4 hours-half an hour over a 9 hours period). The nausea disappeared last week and only a mild discomfort is left in my stomach and the light headache is still there but it could just be the lack of sleep.

I wrote this because I couldn't find the info on the internet and usually people who take the medication at a low dosage report no side effects and the pharmaceutical companies were writing that the effects lasted only a week and were light. It is for those who take over 300 mg that I was reaching out to. Even though I am on my way and nothing is perfect right now I am improving and even though my body aches of not sleeping my mood is lively and my concentration is back. My psychiatrist had told me that my severe depression of 8 years ago might have affected permanently my capacity to focus and concentrate and for an avid book reader like me I had put the books aside after trying to read but getting tired of reading the same paragraph over and over again. Guess it was the Seroquel after all who did that because I just read an entire book in three days and I was so proud of myself.

People say it is not addictive but I don't agree. I want to add that this drug helped me when I was vulnerable and it allowed me to do the necessary changes in my life, in my beliefs and in my way of interacting with other people and the world in general. That is why I am able to live without it. The drug was a tool. The drug can numb your symptoms and you think that your problems are gone but these powerful drugs will never produce a miracle in yourself, you have to do the work. I am happy to be off of it but I know that I needed it even though it had great side-effects.

Good luck to anyone going through the same withdrawal and who is trying to cope. I will post later when the effects are gone in order to leave a full testimonial of Seroquel withdrawal.

Marie-Lou
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19 Comments Post a Comment
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585414_tn?1288944902
  Yes I experienced withdrawal symptoms when I was changed from Seroquel to Risperdal and had to titrate off on at the rate my psychiatrist told me to. That is not uncommon. Its chemically separate phenomenon from addiction and if a person follows their psychiatrist's titration schedule in time these concerns will pass. Also when a person takes an antipsychotic (out of the ones currently available) temporary movement disorders such as akathesia can create a sense of motor restlessness and discomfort and those can be treated with a side effect pill within a psychiatrists' discretion. Also each person responds differently to each medication so you might be able to tolerate one medication more than another. Find out more about available options and discuss this with ytour psychiatrist.
   Also be aware there a new generation of antipsychotics in clinical study the NMDA receptor modulates (google, "A New Class of Antipsychotics in Development, Psychiat
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585414_tn?1288944902
Posted too quickly.  Also be aware there a new generation of antipsychotics in clinical study the NMDA receptor modulates (google, "A New Class of Antipsychotics in Development, Psychiatric Times) that are showing  a far more favorable side effect profile.This has some websites for informational purposes you could discuss with your psychiatrist on all currently available treatments:
http://www.medhelp.org/tags/health_page/34/Mental-Health/Useful-Bipolar--Depression-Webisites?hp_id=523
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Avatar_m_tn
Tks for your comments. It is good to be in a place where people can relate to what you go through. I take note of your links to the new meds but since there were no relapse since the two years withdrawal of Seroquel we decided to stick to Lithium and see for the next weeks for any signs of my moods getting off balance. The plan is to go back to a small dosage of Seroquel if it happens but with the severity of the withdrawal side effects I just went through I might bring your suggestions to my psychiatrist!!!!!!

Tonight I had a HUGE breakthrough, I started to doze in front of the tv!!! After weeks of not being able to sleep this is good news.

I want to add something I didn't put in my list and it was that I started to take Omega 3 three weeks ago as I found info saying that this could help with the connectivity of the brain cells and with withdrawal symptoms. Is it just time or the Omega 3? but it surely didn't hurt except for the fact that I didn't take the enteric coated ones..... didn't appreciate that with nausea.

I took Risperdal for a few days 8 years ago and stopped because I was getting very weird anxiety attacks from stupid things. Everything got back to normal when I quit. These meds give a different reaction from person to person. You have to try, Effexor given to me to alleviate the depressive symptoms got me even more depressed and after just a couple of months of using it I had to go through pretty bad withdrawals side effects.

Seroquel did it's job for 5 years. You have to go out of it gradually because even when you do so like me it is difficult. Or can be very difficult depending on the person but I think there is not enough info about that.

I agree with the addiction comment, I'm french so my vocabulary is not perfect, it is more like the brain is learning to function differently with the meds and when you stop it has to learn to function without it. That can take a certain time and you feel weird in the head in the beginning and it is a bit frightening. But after a month and with my ability to read back I can say that the brain has recovery resources that are incredible. It is fascinating but not in the worst of the withdrawal symptoms!!!!
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2159979_tn?1336839531
Marielou, merci beaucoup pour des renseignements utiles. Moi aussi, j'ai besoin de telle information quoique hier, pour la deuxieme fois, j'ai pris la decision de n'en plus employer Seroquel. En tout cas, merci. BTW, I am not French, but, as you very apparently do with English, I LOVE, French and feel deeply the beauty of Gallic culture - to the roots. Your posts are so very important, and someday I wish to contribute my experiences also, if I may, because the pain is too great, and no one seems to understand how to help. I am addicted to Seroquel, but must, alas, say goodbye to my old friend, because it hinders, more than helps, now. At any rate, I am going to try eating more foods that help make serotonin, avoid all stimulants (coffee, soda, sugar, etc.). In addition, I am will do Transcendental Meditation each day, and exercise. Seroquel can extremely useful; but, it can turn into a nightmare. Really, thank you for starting this thread. It is needed, and greatly appreciated. My name is Harry. I live in California.
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574118_tn?1305138884
Merci pour vous les deux. je ne suis ni Francais ni Americain mais malheureusement un intoxiqué par le seroquel. I only take 150mg but i have been trying like hell to reduce it but in vain. each time i cut 12.5 (half a pill) i up it back to 150 again. i have been like this for a year and half now with no success. I called Astra Zenica office in Cairo/Egypt where I live they told me it isn't addictive on the contrary it's against addiction, now I am sure I was right and it's bloody addictive. I remember to have stopped risperidone many times cold turkey with no harm done, but seroquel forget about it.

I shall go back to read carefully your mail to see how to do it. The problem each time i cut my dose, i have mixed states and i am relying on it as my main regimen.

thanks
ezz
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Avatar_m_tn
I have never been on as large a dose of Seroquel as you. For me, 400 mg (my current dose) has been plenty. I suffer from Bipolar Type II and this medication was a small miracle when it was first prescribed, but that was several years ago. It pulled me out of a major funk then and allowed me to sleep. Now I can't sleep without it and I think it is addictive for that reason; or at least it should be characterized as a drug that can cause dependence. My diagnoses, along with some of their signs and symptoms, are as follows: I have anxiety and depression, along with hypomania which primarily causes impulsivity, insomnia, intrusive thoughts and suicidal ideation. I also suffer from social anxiety. This isn't the complete list, but we'll stop there. As a mood stabilizer, Seroquel has worked to some degree, but I am lethargic most of the time, I have poor memory, and little to no motivation. When I take it, I can’t get enough sleep. I don't LIVE, I exist. I feel that I have a learned helplessness with the issues surrounding my mental health. While I have a healthy body -- knock on wood – it is a shame that, mentally, I feel as if I have a terminal illness. But I digress -- back to the Seroquel and your post ...I felt an affinity to what you wrote right away, having found your comment when I googled, “my poor brain bipolar.” Your description of your problems with focusing; striving to find a dosage that would allow you to function well with less side-effects; the instructions from the doctor to take Benadryl for sleep (as if this would help with chronic, severe insomnia); the frustration of having available appointments scheduled so far out with the expectation that you’ll manage through the torture for months and months; your description of how, as a bipolar, sleep is very important to you (this struck me because this has become an obsession for me because, without sleep, I can’t cope); that a family doctor would prescribe you anything without contacting your psychiatrist first, especially a strong benzodiazepine like Ativan; that you take Lithium, which is the next med my provider wants to “try;” that eventually, after weaning off of Seroquel, your mood is lively and your concentration is back (my primary reason to titrate off of it).  It was a scary thought that, as your psychiatrist told you, your severe depression of such a lengthy time might have affected permanently your capacity to focus and concentrate, but that you proved him/her wrong. All of those things that you wrote about resonated with me. People say Seroquel is not addictive but, like you, I don't agree either. It was helpful at one time and I’m glad it’s available, but it isn’t the answer. You said the drug was a tool and, by the same token, I would call it a weapon to fight a war with many fronts. But now, I wish to press on without it, under the care of my healthcare team. At any rate, I appreciate you sharing your progress.


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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Micheal,

Your comments about the side-effects of Seroquel on your personality resonated a lot with me because after 4 months of being off Seroquel I realize that this medication was killing my personality. Yes, my moods were not only stabilized (what do they mean about that anyway?), they were non-existant and I didn't even know it.

In the last few months of self discovery many friends have made similar comments about having Marie-Lou back after years of having as a friend a:  "zombie", "dopped-up", "frozen", "lethargic", "emotion-less" Marie-Lou they didn't recognize anymore, that scared them and made them feel so sad for that lively, driven and happy person with a strong personality they once knew. Some confessed that they contacted me less often for that reason. They didn't know how to deal with that lifeless Marie-Lou. The world is changing around me right now because I can see it with a clear mind. It is quite beautiful.....

I realized one very scary thing, when I had cancer in 2009 I didn't cry when I found the lump, was not really nervous while I waited to get the results and when they confirmed it, I didn't cry just listened to the year-long program ahead of me as if they were telling me the temperature. At the chemo center, I wasn't scared, just thought it was a long day and being extremely sick was something I had to go through. People were in haw in front of my strength and me too!!  I think that my famous "strength" came from a bottle of Seroquel numbing me of my real emotions, stealing them from me. I was not strong I was emotionless.

This is so sad. I feel that this heavy dosage (1100 mg) stole me of a normal life. I posted in February that it had been a tool but I think I should have been told to dive right inside of me at the bottom of my pain, take it in my hands, look at it, face it and find a way to deal productively with it. At first, maybe you need medication to help you in the first stages when your world seems to collapse around you and you can't bear the pain but you should be lead gradually toward the real reasons why it hurts you that much and help you find a real long-term solution not bury it under a numbing medication.

Is it  a cure if you erase normal emotions? I should have been scared of cancer, I had a huge tumor and 13 metastasis, I could have died, I should have cried and I should have worried. I should have been mad at God and life for this horrible thing that was happening to me. Instead, I zombied through the entire year of cancer treatments as if I had a headache. And at one point I nearly died and I was not scared!!!!

Is it a cure if you can't use your emotions to react to real dangers, be it an illness or dangerous persons or situations? Our emotions are not a problem, it is our reaction to them, it is our control on them, it is how we face them, it is the extent of them that is the problem. Pills numb emotions that give us vital information about the world around us.

Emotions are not our enemy. Our lack of control over them could mean that we are not able to face something else that can't be remedied by pills, our family history, the tough life we lived, our mistakes, the job we lost can tell us more about something we prefer to numb with pills, our true self, the human being that is imperfect, that needs to learn how to interact with others, deal with life events and to take good care of ourself through self respect, self love. By stopping Seroquel, the emotions came up but I was ready to take good care of them because of years of psychotherapy and just allowing me not to be perfect like I used to think I had to be in order to be loved and to succeed in life.

I realized that Seroquel and my other medications were just a security blanket against the truth about myself. Through the years of psychotherapy I was more prone to expel out of myself the real reasons why I was sometimes a little "incompetent" as a full grown adult. I didn't like the imperfections at first, now I laugh about them and I realized that my REAL strength is my very REAL capacity to face the truth about myself and to love and appreciate my very and unique personal beauty emanating from both my qualities and my defaults. When they say : "The truth will set you free", it is TRUE.

In conclusion, it is sometimes easier to take a medication and "to wear" an illness as the reason of our incompetency in life than facing the real issues in our lives and about who we really are. That is a very sad but so true reality for many of us.

Thanks for reading me, I hope this inspires you Michael and others in their quest for mental stability. It is not about rejecting medication and our psychiatrists but about using them as productive tools to help us sort through our problems not make them disappear by swallowing a magic pill or letting our doctors do the work we should do ourselves. A psychiatric illness can be a wonderful tool and opportunity to know ourselves better.
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Avatar_n_tn
Everyone's experience is individual and unique... but I feel compelled to mention a couple of things..

1) BiPolar Disease is exactly that... a disease. You can't "talk" yourself out of a disease. You can't "wish" it away, "faith" it away, or even "self-help" it away. It is human nature to ignore something and hope it goes away and I am by no means advocating to embrace medication as the ultimate solution and agree with you that it needs to be "part" of and not the entire treatment..

2) There is a big difference between "addiction" and "physically dependent". Pain killers are like seroquel in that the more you use them, the more your body can become reliant on them. That doesn't mean you are addicted. It means you are physically dependent. If you are addicted to something, you use it out of desire for the results which becomes abusive. For instance if you have a script for 3 times a day but you take it 6 times a day because you like how you feel when you take it, that is addiction. If you have a script for 3 times a day but the pain returns more frequently or taking the prescribed dose is no longer affective, that is an indication of a potential physical dependency.

When you supplement the body's natural abilities (such as with pain killers) the body doesn't have to work as hard to handle the symptoms. Since it doesn't have to work as hard, it in essence becomes weaker, like a muscle that atrophies while in a brace. If you remove the brace, it is painful and difficult to rebuild the atrophied muscle, but it doesn't mean you were addicted to the brace.

Hopefully this makes sense. Best of luck to all.
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Avatar_m_tn
Let's clarify a few things..... Bipolarity is a mood illness or lack of control on your emotions. EMOTIONS ARE NOT A DISEASE, they are part of life and our mood changes with life events and people we meet. Emotionless Mr.Spock of Star Wars is not the reality. You can be angry, mad, sad, very happy and talk too fast and not be Bipolar. Let's not confuse things. Lack of control on your moods or emotions can come from various things. Your mommy and daddy never showed you how to control your temper as a kid so as an adult you have "tantrums" just like a two years old. This is just an example.  

ACTUAL FACTS ABOUT BIPOLARITY: There are no medical physical test to identify with precision a mental disorder like Bipolarity. It is purely subjective after analyzing symptoms and listening to what the patient is saying to you. It is an illness of emotions or lack of control of them. And the lithium test is there to make sure the levels in you blood are not going to make you sick physically, it doesn't measure at all your emotional state of mind. It is all subjective unlike measuring the insulin levels of a diabetic person or measuring your visual acuity or your heartbeat.

If you have psychosis and start seeing things then you can be clearly identified as a Bipolar or Schizophren but for those Bipolars like me who never experienced psychosis we are in Bipolarity limbo, it is pure speculation. A good psychiatrist will ask the good questions and will know that patients can lie about their personal history just because they can't say the truth about themselves just like me. They will lead their patients to an adequate treatment involving both psychiatry and psychology.

My new psychiatrist is having doubts about the diagnosis of Bipolarity. I have to confess that the three previous psychiatrists were never really able to tell what type of Bipolar I was. I went from Bipolar 2 but that didn't fit me really well, then I was Bipolar 1 with mixed states and even that was unclear. I was in pain emotionally so since they couldn't figure it out they kept raising the dosage of Seroquel until I felt almost nothing at all and I was happy to say that I was Bipolar instead of actually telling that I was battered as a child and molested sexually and that my mom was telling me that it was because they loved me.... Am I Bipolar or not is not important, it is finding a treatment with medication or not, with psychotherapy and me facing my personal history with my eyes wide open in order to put to rest this broken child who thought that she deserved to be hurt.

I am writing about my personal history and this is it's only value, a testimonial. But a testimonial has a value because there are many Bipolars who just like me have moods out of whack because something deeper in them is asking to be looked at.

You are doing wishful thinking when you think that a pill will fix your emotions and that your doctor knows so much about medicine that you can abandon the ship of your life to him. You are delusional or you have pretty scary skeletons in your closet that you don't have the guts to face. Having a mental illness is an opportunity to face the music to get a happier and calmer life. A mental illness is latent until events ignites it to manifest itself. There is always a trigger for the vast majority of us.

My faith and my will that you despised with your comments helped me look in the eyes the real issues at work that were there prior to being Bipolar. It is with God's help and my strong will that I did the necessary work that I was not able to do before. I was too weak and Seroquel was extremely convenient at a time when I was not able to face the music just like you probably are right now. Me too, was blindly in love with my psychiatrist and he could have given me two hundred pills a day and I would have agreed. I was so numb I couldn't think straight enough to see what was happening with my life.

When I reached out to a psychiatrist when my life fell into pieces I was asking help to rebuild it, I was instead killed mentally with a medication that is considered by many psychiatrists to be the equivalent of a lobotomy. I was not told that. They decided for me......

I am quite happy to have my whole brain back.

Work on yourself and pray God to give you the strength and enough will to find a balance between medication and psychotherapy. Life is not in a bottle of pills. You have to take ownership of your own life!!!!!

Good luck!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
About addiction, I understand that I was talking about being physically dependent. What I described were physical reactions, I am not a doctor..... I used the wrong terminology. You probably have more medical knowledge than me but one thing I can tell you is that doctors don't have all the answers, they are just humans. When I started the thread while I was enduring severe physical side-effects about stopping Seroquel it was the object of my discussion. The company that makes Seroquel mentioned one week of side-effects after stopping Seroquel. They don't mention the dosage and for how long the patients had taken the drug. My doctor was out of reach and my family doctor couldn't help either. I was reaching out to those facing the same thing as I was.
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Avatar_m_tn
When I was diagnosed with Bipolarity 11 years ago I was happy to find THE ANSWER to my problems and I was participating in group meetings of Bipolars and I was chatting online about this new thing in my life and doing endless research on the internet and buying books about Bipolarity.

11 years later: I am not a disease, I am not my work, nor am I my Master's Degree in Mathematics or my bank account. I am not either my painful past. I am just Marie-Lou. Bipolarity is not my identity anymore. It is a medical problem I take care of with the help of my psychiatrist and that's all.

Life is out there, life is not an illness.

I wish that you and all Bipolars have a happy life and all the mental stability to enjoy it.
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Avatar_f_tn
Just because you lied about your history doesn't mean that the rest of us did. There is a disorder called Bipolar and it is diagnosed by symptoms that I DIDN'T lie about. How about Fibromyalga (fibromyalgia) - no test for it, shingles - no test for it... there are many disorders that don't have test, just symptoms. Your logic is flawed on this. Also although it is called a mood disorder, that is only one of the symptoms. You must have several symptoms for it to be bipolar.
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Avatar_m_tn
As I wrote it before this is my testimonial but after being diagnosed bipolar more than 10 years ago and having right now my new psychiatrist having doubt about my diagnosis of bipolarity I can tell you a mood disorder comes with psychological flaws that we all need to fix, like it or not, just because the mania and depressions that came along the way with your disease before being treated created them. Like it or not that is the truth.

Like I said, burying your head in the sand thinking that a pill will fix all of your mental problems is a nonsense and an insult to your intelligence and not showing a lot of love and respect for yourself. I am so sad when I read people like you who think they are too crazy to participate in their own treatment and leave everything in the end of the psychiatrists who treat them but I know that my testimonial will serve those who are strong enough and just ready to look at themselves in the mirror because they finally came to understand that the doctors only fix their brain's chemical imbalances and not their psychological flaws. Sorry to wake you up so abruptly. This is the truth. If you don't do that you will take a number of pills but will never be really stabilized suffering regular bouts of mania and depression and the doctors will adjust your medication again and you will see another bouts of mania or depression. I've met so many bipolars and those who relied only on pills kept getting relapses because their mental instability. Doctors are not psychics just psychiatrists.

Just like I wrote before, I did, the identification with the illness, I did the group therapy and the activities for bipolars and me too was so relieved that my problem was OUTSIDE of myself.

The bipolars I know who did well and who were my inspiration were those who took control of their lives and didn't ask a doctor or a bottle of pills to do the work they should be doing themselves.

As I wrote before, if it is only an illness explain then why there is always a psychological trigger for the unset of the illness?

The thing here is not to bring guilt to yourself. You are not responsible of your illness but you are of how you learn to deal with your moods and emotions. After more than 10 years of thinking just the way you did it took me two years, when I was weaned off my dear Seroquel to see that all the drugs in the world couldn't make me escape my personal issues. The less I was numbed by Seroquel the more they came up for me to deal with them. It would have been so easy and less painful to numb myself again like so many choose to do. By doing so, I would not having taken care of my illness I would have just been a coward and a liar.

Even if I didn't like what I saw, I decided that I wasn't going to numb me again with another pill in order to fix my personal issues.

Ted Turner is a bipolar and there many famous bipolars who have normal and productive lives, they do so because they found an equilibrium between pills and psychotherapy. Do you think they would be able to function normally if they were heavily sedated like so many bipolars end up to be, like I was and who are not able to have a normal job? Do you have a normal and fulfilling life since the diagnosis of Bipolarity Anne or are you learning to live with what is left of you? I was doing the later and I didn't see many bipolars at the meetings who had a normal life and the vast majority of them 10 years later remained the same after years of treatments.  Is that the life you dreamt of Anne? I was told I wouldn't be able to work again as a Math teacher because my illness was too severe and I couldn't concentrate and read more than magazines. I started to work part-time doing a replacement in a school. This feels so good. I wish that to you to get a life back. You wouldn't be in a forum if your life was happy and perfect. I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and I want to give hope to those who abandoned the ship of their own lives. There is hope if only you accept to face yourself in the truth mirror.

In my post I never condemned the psychiatrists as a whole, but I wanted to send a clear message about psychiatrists who are just humans like you and me are and who make mistakes and take bad decisions.

It is funny that you talk about Fibromyalgia because my sister was diagnosed with that illness about 8 years ago and told by the most respected specialist of that illness in Paris that she would be plagued with it for the rest of her life. He followed her for 3 years and his diagnosis never changed. She believed it and had accepted it but after moving to New York where she suffered again another bout of fibromyalgia she got sick again. She went to another reputable and respected Fibromyalgia specialist because her health was important for her. The diagnosis was not fibromyalgia. She had a tropical disease she had gotten on a trip to Africa!!!!! It is very tricky to diagnose an illness when there are no actual test. There is a TV show called Mystery Diagnosis that tells stories like that.

When you live for years with a mental disorder that is not taken care of you develop psychological flaws and bad habits due to the fact of not being treated. You may not have been beaten and sexually abused like I was but you have to face your personal issues too. It is not your fault, it is just work on your plate. It is up to you, you deal with them or you just take another pill to erase the problems.

The pills are not the problem, it is our use of them. Doctors are not the problem it is our use of them. They are not psychics, they use what we give them. Are you totally sure that you give them an unflawed and unbiased description of your symptoms or do you skip on a few details just like any humans would do in order to look good or just not to look totally insane? They use what we give them and you are not Mr. Spock, you are NEVER NEUTRAL. Bipolarity is not a problem either, it is just a disease but because it is a mental disease you have to do the hard work of separating the disease from the personal issues that melts into one another.

The truth will set you free Anne. Putting the blame on a mental illness for your problems in life is the easy way out. Know yourself, know your disease and then you will be able to have the life you are entitled to have bipolar or not.

I am Marie-Lou. I am not a disease.

You are Anne. You are not your disease. I sincerely wish you a happy and fulfilling life. Don't be afraid to do the work on yourself, your psychiatrist will then be able to give the real treatment and pills for your illness.

Good luck!

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Avatar_m_tn
My brother has a heart condition that is stabilized with pills......
My best friend has diabetes type 1 which she stabilizes with insulin.....
My co-worker has a chronic knees problems that he stabilizes with anti-inflammatories........

My brother is a smoker and a heavy drinker......
My best friend eats desserts at every meal.....
My co-worker is nearly 300 lbs.......

You lose control of your life and are instable psycholagically. You lose your wife and maybe even your work. You are diagnosed with Bipolarity. Yeah!!! You had nothing to do with your erratic behavior that ruined your life, a pill is going to fix you!!!!! Congratulations!!!!! I exagerate but I really wish for all bipolars who read me that a seed is going to grow in them to make them realize that if you are willing to look at yourself in the mirror an and dig at the bottom of yourself you can have a full life. This is true for non-bipolars too. They walk around unstable and then put the blame on somebody else when something goes wrong.

What was the event that triggered the initial onset of your Bipolarity? I've met dozens of bipolars and they all had a story to tell. Some did nothing about it and just left their life in the hands of their psychiatrist and continued their lives without changing anything: "It's not my fault, it's my illnes!". Or, there were the others, those that inspired me, some didn't inspire me at first and made me mad at first because I felt they were blaming me, now I know better, they meant I had to work on myself just like any other human being who came to this world imperfect: "My illness may be real but I have personal issues that jeopardize my stablity."

One is the easy way out and the other the painful path. One doesn't make you grow as a person and the other allows you to have a life as satisfying and productive as anybody without Bipolarity.

I am sowing seeds and one day I hope it will grow in those who read me even though they are not ready at first to hear my testimonial. I am writing for those who were told that they have to settle with what is left of them after a mental illness comes into their life and who think that with bipolarity their life is going to be less than what they hoped for before their diagnosis.

This is a message of hope and a kick in the butt for the lazy. Don't stop seeing your psychiatrist but if he doesn't meet your needs or if he doesn't listen to you, change him! Don't stop taking your pills but if they are making you crippled with severe side-effects, you have the right to ask for another treatment or medication. Don't stop seeing your psychologist, but if the approach leaves you cold or you don't go anywhere, change for another approach. BE PROACTIVE. THIS IS YOUR LIFE.

Good luck!! I send you all love and hope. We can all have a bright future but the rewards are bigger for those willing to do more work....
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As I was reading your withdrawal symptoms from Seroquel I can totally relate to a lot of what you were saying.

I was put on seroquel just under a year ago for bipolar disorder, 600mg to be exact.  I was also put on Lithium which I have found to be really helpful, for bipolar disorder of course.  When you say that the seroquel gave you a certain ability to function and to sleep well, I truly can agree with you.
As time went on I started to gain weight, my appetite was incredible and all I wanted to do was eat.  I had horrendous joint pain, I could not even bend over to get my shoes on, my husband had to do it for me.  This started to get to me and I knew I had to get off it.  The first time my psychiatrist reduced it, I was fine at first but in the end had to go back to my regular dose.  Second time I begged hime to get me off it, he gave me another form of medication to increase gradually while I slowly tapered off the seroquel.  I am only just free of this drug.  I have lost over 20lbs in weight, my aches and pains are almost gone, but the bad thing is the sleep.  I am not able to fall asleep until late, I am waking up early, I have no appetite and am having to force myself to eat.

I was doing really well and now of course am scared because when I do not sleep as those with bipolar know, it can be very destructive.
Anyway I wish anyone coming off seroquel the best off luck.  As I say when I was very bad it did the trick, as with all drugs in the psychiatric world it is all trial and error.
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Getting back to a normal sleep pattern is difficult but it can happen. It did for me. My concerns about the link between NO SLEEP and GOING MANIC was on my mind when my doctor suggested to take Gravol. You get used to it so don't take it for long periods but once in a while it feels good just to have that in my night time drawer just in case.... Instead of panicking as I watch the clock in my bed, I get up, take a pill and let the magic happen.

When our sleep is more stable we feel much more at peace.

Good luck.
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hi mary lou,

thank you for sharing your experience.  i have been searching blogs and support groups and counseling for ways to understand why my boyfriend of five years committed suicide a few months ago.  although i am repeatedly assured that it was not my fault by family, professionals, and friends, i myself have trouble believing i could not have been more supportive.

he had been on 150mg of seroquel (as well as 100mg of zoloft) for the last 18 years, and began to taper off early 2012.  he was fine and living better than ever.  then, about 2 weeks after he went down to zero mg (of both drugs) he began to have severe insomnia followed by panic attacks.  within another few weeks he was back on both pills at increased doses (450mg of seroquel), temazepam for insomnia which did not work, and 40mg valium a day for anxiety.  3-4 weeks passed and the pills were not taking effect, and symptoms of insomnia and panic ever increasing along with talk of suicide which he was fearing.  he hardly slept, needed to take leave from work for his last two weeks, and had lost a significant amount of weight.  finally, after 6 weeks he took his own life.

your story is helpful to me as it reinforces the idea that it was not me that was at fault, although I don't currently believe this.

best of luck to you
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I find difficulty in reading the lengthy posts. I would be grateful should you tell me what drugs you take right now or whether all the drugs. Have you replaced seroquel by another or quit antipsychotics or what sort of therapy you are taking
thanks
ezz
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Thank you for your information. I was on 800 mgs of seroquek and 20 mgs of lexapro. I have been on them for over four years and I just went cold turkey. I have experienced all kinds of withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms from severe vomiting and nausea, dizziness, headaches,insomnia and severe Itchiness lol. My entire body goes thru spurts of this But this could also be from the lexapro.Today is day 5, and im so tempted to go back on my medication (yes, they are prescribed). Another side effect I can say is weightloss. I lost 10 lbs in 4 days, its kinda scary. Im staying hopeful and can't wait till the withdrawals are over. Thanks again for your post!!
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