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About alen

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  1. @Gearhead I started the Lithium in March and the Invega in April. I can't remember if my Lithium dose increased or decreased since March since I have amnesia from the hospital...I guess the Invega is the most recent change. Two injections of that and my feelings are blunted; however, the Lithium could also have kicked in and flattened me. I have no clue.
  2. Wow it's been a while since I wrote this post! I have some updates: The Seroquel made everything so much worse; my fatigue got much worse and I remember sleeping all the time. I can't remember if it helped my depression because I didn't journal and my memory is probably screwed lol. In March, I switched to Lithium because of Seroquel's intense zombie-like effect and it triggered massive emotional instability and severe insomniatic mania, eventually culminating into yet another psychotic episode. Like clockwork from my first psychosis last year (I think my mania hits me in the spring), I was hospitalized for a month! I was discharged last month and now I'm dealing with losing some of my emotions, fatigue, dissociation, and a lack of appetite. All similar issues to before. I made a post yesterday about it. The struggle is real. On a positive note, my depression did eventually fade! Yay! Right now, I am the most stable I've been since my diagnosis last year. Milestone reached! Ideally, I'm not where I want to be but I most definitely celebrate this stability while I figure out my meds. My therapist told me that I'm on an upward trajectory. After the rough patch came hope. Let's hope it lasts! Thanks everyone for your support! <3
  3. Hey, all! I'm so glad this site exists. First, I was diagnosed Bipolar 1 with psychotic features a year ago. I recently just got out of the hospital for a psychotic episode and mania and my pdoc put me on Lithium right before the hospital coming off of Seroquel (FUCK that drug); I've been on 1800 mg of Lithium since mid March. I'm also on 250 mg of Lamictal and have had two injections of Invega once a month since April, 156 mg each. Two days ago, my pdoc lowered by Lithium dose to 1350 mg because I can't stay asleep at night from having to pee multiple times during sleep. He said we could try a diuretic, too, and said that my fatigue is probably coming from my high doses of Lithium and Invega. Lastly, he stated that one day I could possibly be fully stable on Lithium or Invega alone depending on how everything works out in my recovery journey. I've noticed some drastic changes with my emotions: I can't seem to feel sad or angry...like at all. Someone mentioned a mass shooting to me and I felt nothing, which would've elicited sadness in the past. My father isn't speaking to me right now because of his gross homophobia and I feel...nothing. Not angry. Not sad. Not hurt. Just...nothing. I hurt my friend's feelings the other day and I felt a pang of guilt which faded very quickly. I can't seem to be stressed about stuff and physically can't worry about things. I would call this disturbing but my med-induced apathy doesn't actually let me feel a lot of concern about it. Also, my hobbies feel boring to me, which majorly sucks. My stomach does not ever physically rumble to signal hunger but I do get really thirsty, probably from the Lithium. I feel dissociative a lot where I feel like I'm living in a video game or in a dream which never happened to me until I was medicated. The positive changes: no mania or depression! And I can still experience joy and happiness. Anxiety is mostly erased, too, replaced with calmness and apathy. So, after all of that, I have the option to toy with my meds with my wonderful pdoc but I don't know which medication is erasing some of my feelings. I think it might be the antipsychotic Invega but I just don't know. I'm telling my treatment team all of this ASAP and I'm meeting with my pdoc in 3 weeks. I really want to reach a baseline that doesn't sacrifice some of my emotions in the process. I'm not sure if what I'm experiencing is a "normal" baseline where before I was so used to feeling so intensely and now that I'm not...it feels flat. I think what I'm experiencing is a simultaneous mix of emotional stability and emotional flatness. I'm definitely missing some core emotions and I need some medication adjustment for sure. Does anyone have experience with these meds causing these side effects and/or have any advice on how to proceed? Thanks a bunch! <3 Alen
  4. Update: I reduced my dosage of Seroquel to 150 mg last Wednesday (8 days ago) and I can already feel a difference! I had slight withdrawal insomnia and have been taking Ambien on and off. It's to be expected with such a sedating drug. I'm starting to feel more like myself! I'm less tired, mentally sharper, and my personality is coming back. It's definitely not hypomania because I don't have an unnaturally elevated mood or lots of energy like I did the other week. I felt genuine anger today (at something validly angering) and teared up listening to an emotional song; I don't remember the last time that's happened! I'm slowly starting to feel more alive. I even wrote a mini-essay today to process my feelings and it feels like my creativity is slowly returning! I used to be a very avid writer and antipsychotics killed that...until now. I have 6 days left of taking this godawful zombie drug. Thank God that I realized that it was sucking my soul. I still feel mentally foggy and disconnected from my body which I know will go away once the Seroquel is out of my system because I never felt that way until taking antipsychotics. Almost there! Thanks for the support, everyone!
  5. Good news! I'm going from 300 mg to 150 mg of Seroquel tonight. My psychiatrist wants me to wait two weeks to go to 0. My pharmacist also said that I should do the two weeks to be safe because I’m impatient to stop taking it. My psych said the chance of mania is highly unlikely because of my mood stabilizer, Lamictal. Good news all around. I just have to wait two more weeks! So excited to be off this zombie drug! Thanks for the input everyone.
  6. @saintalto You’re totally right. I was 100% hypomanic today from 11 AM - 3:30 PM. I'm a little tired now. Resting in bed. It was fun while it lasted!!! I hope to reach a baseline once I wean off of Seroquel. I’ve been updating my treatment team as the day goes by.
  7. Good news, everyone! My psych said I could halve the dosage until I see him next week. I woke up today feeling like a different person. I had an extra spring in my step. I enjoyed music more. I danced from how I energized I felt. It is honestly ridiculous how potent and zombifying Seroquel is. My goal is to quit it entirely in the future. Thank God for advocating for myself! I'm in remission and my recovery just got a mega boost! Yay!
  8. I’m going to try to reach him on Monday. Waiting two more days won’t hurt. Thanks!
  9. Hey, y’all! I’ll start with the basics: I have Bipolar 1 with psychotic features; I’ve only had one extreme manic episode turned psychosis about a year ago. Been depressed ever since until recently. Haven’t been manic or psychotic since. I’m taking Lamictal 450 mg and Seroquel 600 mg. I’ve been taking the Lamictal since September and the Seroquel since November. I’ve been having extreme fatigue and haven’t been able to wake up early enough to function and maintain my schedule. I thought it was depression but my sleep hygiene is good and I’ve been tested for sleeping disorders (I don’t have any). I don’t feel depressed mood-wise except that I feel numbed out when I’m tired. I’m meeting with my psychiatrist in 11 days but I don’t want to wait that long to get taken off Seroquel, which I will bet money on is the culprit of my fatigue. I don’t have any physical illnesses, drink a lot of water & eat three meals a day, and I sleep at least 8 hours every night. It has to be the sedative Seroquel that I’m taking. I’m planning on halving my dosage to 300 mg for the next 11 days. I wanted to confirm my decision on here and ask: is there a risk of withdrawal or mania? I’m pretty set on tapering down and my psychiatrist doesn’t have a voicemail so it’ll me doing it without his approval. I’ve been on 300 mg of Seroquel before and wasn’t manic. I’m asking because I don’t want to have another manic episode or psychotic break at all. That shit was traumatizing. Thanks all!
  10. I’ve been on Lamictal for a solid 4 months now, titrating to a dose of 450 mg. I’ve been on Seroquel for about 2.5 months now, reaching a dose of 600 mg. The problem is, I’ve felt flat and apathetic before, during, and after taking these meds. I think my mood episodes have gotten shorter and I don’t feel depressed all the time; I track my moods and I’m usually okay with occasional extreme dips. I can still achieve good moods and feel happy, but good/okay moods are still devoid of passion, ambition, and sexual desire. I feel something missing all the time and sometimes I can’t even pinpoint what I’m feeling because it feels empty. I can function during my okay moods but they’re still not where I want to be at all. It’s a mediocre baseline where my emotions are usually flatlined. I still can’t access anger or passion or ambition. I know it’s a good thing that the mania is gone but my baseline still sucks. I’m pretty sure it’s the depression causing my emotional numbness and my meds aren’t working enough to help. That’s why I’m hoping the Wellbutrin can help my lack of pleasure and lack of feeling intensely. My psychiatrist said we could scale back some of the dosages if necessary. I’m just sick of feeling half-alive. Trying to immerse myself in activism did nothing for me and I can’t seem to believe in something larger than me; the benefits of psychotherapy are somewhat limited because my brain chemicals are imbalanced and need pharmaceutical intervention. Talking about my empty feelings won’t restore them. I can remember how I used to feel and my emotional capacity is disturbingly narrow.
  11. Ever since my Bipolar diagnosis, I never realized how much I took emotions for granted. I never thought I would lose the ability to feel certain things. I didn’t think it was possible to lose emotions like you would lose your keys or your wallet. Ever since my severe depression hit, I haven’t been able to access passion. Anger. Even sexual attraction. It feels like I always have emotional novacane injected into my brain. (I’m taking Seroquel and Lamictal.) When I do feel these emotions, it’s in very short bursts and I can’t seem to remember feeling them after the fact. I don’t feel motivated to get a job. At all. It’s like a switch went off in my brain and apathy rules over all else. I can’t seem to care about career or academic goals. I don’t have dreams or aspirations anymore. I don’t get revved up about political issues anymore. My spirituality disappeared. I’m not interested in dating or sex. I don’t feel creative anymore; I barely write and I used to be an avid writer. I rarely (if ever) feel inspired. I don’t feel like I have a purpose in life; I used to be a passionate activist for years which gave my life solid meaning and purpose. I don’t feel very connected to my friends and family. My short term memory sucks and I’m not as mentally sharp as I used to be. I haven’t been manic in months but my depression clearly robs me of feeling natural things like attraction, ambition, passion, anger, and creativity. I’m not sure if the psych meds are flatlining me, either. All in all, I’m really sick of living a sub-par life. My psychiatrist is going to put me on the antidepressant Wellbutrin next month (I have to wait three more fucking weeks) and I’m hoping to God that it can restore my long dead feelings and reduce my chronic apathy. I don’t want to feel like a zombie anymore. I want to feel passion again. I want to want again. I want to feel deeply and wholly. I want to fight for something and feel that warm spark in my gut again; it’s barely a flicker right now. I don’t want to accept any of this as my reality but I have to because it’s where I’m at right now. I don’t want to accept this mediocre sense of feeling. I won’t give up until I feel better. Has anyone experienced this, too? I want to hear some success stories. Peace and blessings.
  12. @browri No, I am sticking with those two for now. Fingers crossed! And thanks, Iceberg!
  13. Exciting updates!! First of all, I really like my psychiatrist. He's nice, practical, listens to me, and cracked a joke about Seroquel at the end of our session, stating, "It can be sedating so just be careful if you're operating a chainsaw." lol Secondly, we threw out the Abilify since it's done nothing for my depression and kept the Lamotrigine at 200 mg as a back-up mood stabilizer. Starting tomorrow, I'm titrating up to 300 mg of Seroquel XR and crossing my fingers that I'll feel better. Honestly, I just want my appetite back and to stop feeling like shit every day. Let's hope this works! Thanks again to everyone that replied!
  14. @GreenTea I'm curious: how are you feeling now after months of titrating?
  15. @browri Thanks for all the info! I am now leaning towards trying out Seroquel because my depressive symptoms have yet to be managed and it's FDA approved for Bipolar depression like you said. I tried Latuda in the past and didn't feel a difference in my symptoms, either, but maybe two months wasn't enough to test it out. Bipolar depression is such a monster to treat! Maybe starting a new thread about Rexulti could help you read about others' experiences, too.