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Found 144 results

  1. For the last three months I have been lowering my Seroquel dose. Well longer than that. Due to long term use I developed cataracts and my cholesterol is very high. Over about a year I dropped from 700 to 400mg. Easy peasy. This last 400 has been awful. I am going slowly. I get so sick. Sweats, headaches, can’t eat, can’t sleep. Like no sleep. So I get to none. Made it. Doing well. Two weeks out things are not good at all. I cant even explain how my head is acting. Not good on the mood spectrum (BP 1) I moved back to 50mg. (Pdoc is on board) I can sorta sleep and other physical symptoms minimized. I am rapid cycling and I am sure I am not hiding it well at work. Looking for some insight into others experiences. Did you get off successfully? How long till negative symptoms were gone? Did you have to change to another AP? Thanks for any shared experiences in advance .
  2. I’ve been dealing with major depressive disorder and anxiety for several years now. I’ve read a lot of books on psychology and neurology. But I’ve only recently started seeing a psychiatrist. I was getting prescriptions from general physicians. Currently I’m on Wellbutrin and it works great for my depression but my anxiety still shows up. I told my doctor that it feels like an under-lying current. The anxiety is constant but I keep it at bay. He prescribed me Seroquel 25mg. Today is my second day on it. I don’t think I really knew how to describe my anxiety before today because today my brain feels silent. It’s like before there was a constant negative voice, my own voice - I guess, that would always repeat any negative thought I ever had. All my doubts were vocalized by this voice. I’ve never described it as a voice before because I always associated it with just thoughts. But today those thoughts are not there. I’m calm and that’s weird. So my question is, is it really anxiety?
  3. I'm currently on a cocktail of Seroquel XR at 600 mg and Lamictal at 150 mg. My Seroquel dose got this high because of a mixed episode, so as of now, thats likely where I'll stay for a while to keep things stable. I was at 400 mg which not only lacked the sedation of lower doses, but also came with a lessened appetite. But that all came back when I bumped up to 600 mg. I've put on 10-ish pounds or so in a month, and I'm not thrilled. I asked my doctor for a Metformin Rx to help with the metabolic side effects. She was hesitant, but agreed I may need something and actually leaned more towards Topamax instead. She wants me to try 1 more month of dieting and exercise to see if I can manage without adding another med. Now I'm leaning towards Topamax, since maybe it could have mood stabilizing properties to it, in addition to curbing appetite and helping me lose weight. I'm not overweight by any means, but I'm definitely hyper-vigilant about my body and tend to...obsess. Has anyone taken Topamax and found that it (1) helped with appetite or weight control and (2) had positive effects on their illness?
  4. I'm currently taking 150mg Seroquel XR about 7pm to go to bed at 10pm. If I get up before 9am, I'm exhausted and almost seem drunk. If its a weekend & I can sleep later, I'm at least able to walk around but a zombie till after lunch. Dr says to increase to 200mg then to 300mg. I've heard the higher the dose the less drowsy. What have your experiences been with this drug. I'm also on depakote ER two times a day & Adderrall two times a day. Dr says cyclothymia and I'm pretty sure he's right!
  5. My old psych-NP gave me seroquel for sleep around the end of December last year. I haven't taken it every night as she wanted or else I wouldn't be still sitting here almost 11 months later with around 50 or 60 25mg pills left. I have used it randomly for particularly tough nights where I know I can't sleep or I just feel really amped up/anxious and don't want to take more than 1mg of Klonopin. Is this ok to do? When I do use it, it ranges from 25-75mg and I sleep like a baby.
  6. Hi all! I'm brand spanking new to the forums and I already have a question..is it normal for one's resting heart rate to steadily increase while starting Seroquel? Or should I be concerned? I'll admit I'm a bit anxious of it, though being a hypochondriac certainly doesn't help. I think I freaked myself out a bit today reading about how it can cause long QT syndrome and such. My FitBit (god bless that little watch) has tracked my heart rate steadily increasing since I began taking it (9/8/18), and I take half of a 25mg pill (so about 13mg) nightly before bed. I'm 5'8 and hovering around 108-111 lbs. Yes, I'm very underweight and that's actually part of why my doctor prescribed Seroquel, so it could help me gain weight (and raise my blood pressure). If it matters any, my only non-MI related diagnosis is ulcerative colitis, and I've been fighting that battle for ~2-3 years before it's finally recently gone into remission (before the Seroquel). I take no other medications at all and only supplement with a mild daily multi-vitamin. From previous tests my heart has been perfectly healthy, and my electrolytes/blood work have come back normal. Normal RHR for me is in the mid 60's to low 70's. Highest recorded RHR on my FitBit so far is 77bpm. I'm aware this is still perfectly within normal range, but isn't my body's normal. So just trying to gauge when/if I should be worried and talk to my doctor or ride it out. Seems like even the slightest of physical exertion shoots my heart rate into 100+bpm. Thanks much!! -P
  7. Soo, Iv been on seroquel XR for 3 years on 150mg, and recently about 2 month ago, I started drinking more and did some coke every couple days, so when I was doing coke I wouldn't take my meds cuz i didn't know how they would react to each other. Did that for 2 month now I just got my refil and I'm gonna start taking them regularly again, and I took on last night after not taking on for 3 or 4 days, and I feel anxious still and sick to my stumach, but I'm really tired like more tired then when I was on it regularly. I'm kinda concerned and i hope that it goes away, any advice would help. Yes im aware this was a bad idea I realize that now which is why I'm going back to taking them regularly and not doing coke anymore.
  8. I am currently on 300 mg of seroquel for bipolar II (mainly depression) and 300 mg Lyrica for anxiety. I want to come off the Lyrica because I think it might be causing rage and it always seems to happen after my morning dose of 150 mg Lyrica, and 100 mg of Seroquel. I take 150mg of Lyrica at 9am and then again at 5pm. My Seroquel is taken at 100 mg at 9am and 200 mg at 9pm. It is Extended Release. The Lyrica is in capsule form. Any thoughts? I am smallish 44 yo woman.
  9. Hi guys, just started seroquel/quetiapine 25 mg two days ago. I think it makes me hypomanic. Has anyone else experienced this? Does it go away? Im taking it for bipolar disorder
  10. Hey guys. I’ve been pretty stable on Depakote, but it sure does come with some undesirable side effects. Somehow it makes me feel overwhelmed. It’s kind of a brain fog 2.0 feeling. Also it haven’t helped much with my anxiety, and there’s still some depression left too. I’m also on 2 antidepressants and a small dose of gabapentin, with no luck. What are your experiences with lithium or seroquel? I do not want to feel like a zombie and also do not want to feel too flat or foggy
  11. Hi, I take generic Quetiapine 200 mg for anxiety and insomnia. There was a lot of improvement but I still suffer from anxiety/panic attacks. My doc tried increasing the Quetiapine dose up to 400 mg but I didn't notice any improvement. Looks like 200 mg is the optimum dose. If my sleep quality is good, the day will be very calm and relaxed. I observed that if I take Quetiapine 200 mg + Diazepam 10 mg before sleep then my anxiety/panic attacks are totally under control. Sleep quality was very good. There was no daytime drowsiness either. It was just perfect. But the problem is that benzodiazepines are not for long-term use. So, we have been trying to find other medications that can augment Quetiapine just like Diazepam did. Quetiapine 200 mg + Trazodone 50 mg caused a lot of drowsiness and daytime dizziness. I could not take the combination for more 5 days. Quetiapine 200 mg + Tegretol 300 mg actually reduced the sleep quality and increased anxiety (Tegretol and Trileptal reduce the effectiveness of Quetiapine). Quetiapine 200 mg + Lithium caused a lot of daytime drowsiness but there was no improvement in my anxiety/panic attacks. What other medications can I take along with Quetiapine before sleep to further improve the sleep quality? Is anyone taking any medications in addition to Quetiapine before sleep? Thank you for your responses.
  12. Hi all, Im new here so bare with me.Ive suffered with Depression and Anxiety and OCD all of my life and a few years back I learned I had Bipolar Disorder and my pdoc started treating me with every antipyschotic there is and everyone of them(Risperdal,Invega,Saphris,Latuda,Geodon,Abilify)gave me a world of side effects like the anti depressants did growing up.The only thing that has help this far has been benzo’s but I use them as last resort due to I dont wanna get addicted.Ok so that leads me to last week when pdoc rx’d me my last chance Seroquel IR 400mg which was to be taking all at night before bed.well the first two days it make me a little tired but after that I can take it like candy without getting the sedation like everyone else so I started to take it in the morning with the rest of my meds but Ive noticed it seems like it doesnt matter when I take it its not lasting 24hrs.I mean for the most part Im doing well for only being on it for 11 days but Im still having a slight problem with anxiety and irritablity and intrusive thoughts.Maybe I havent taken it long enough?Maybe I need a higher dose?Maybe I need the XR?When she rx’d it to me I asked for the XR and she flat out refused and I dont know why,maybe because Im on call 24hrs a day with work,I see her again on the 11th of Jan and Im gonna again ask for the XR and see what she says,I do remember her saying it wasent generic,maybe that was the reason which I know it is because I was told at the pharmacy it was,anyway,I know everyone is diff and reacts diff on meds but I need all the advice and support I can get with this med because I like it the best out of them all.I also take Lamictal 300mgXL, and Topamax200mg, Thanks in advance. l
  13. I have quite a long history of major depressive disorder, with anxiety, along with an ED that I've recovered and relapsed with several times over the last 15 years. Over the years I've been prescribed paxil(gave me double vision), citalopram (worked well for around 12 years, but left me constantly exhausted and flat) and currently effexor-xr/venlafaxine. I'm currently spiraling down pretty badly, after over a year of several traumatic events and other stressors, and my dr has prescribed seroquel/quetiapine 25mg, to help me sleep and as an ajunct to the effexor I'm already taking. I've taken it two nights so far, and I don't know if I should persevere with it or not. It helps me sleep alright, I'm asleep by 10:30pm, instead of still being awake at 3am, however I have such a hangover that doesn't wear off until about 5pm, and it seems to be making me angry and even more depressed. This is a small dose so it shouldn't be hitting me so hard? Should I persevere? I'm currently not functional due to MDD, have had to take time off work, don't know if I even still have a job. I'm also struggling with the idea of taking an antipsychotic when I'm not psychotic. The stigma etc. Which is in my own head because the only people who know I'm taking it are my self and my dr. And I'm afraid of losing my intelligence on it. I pride myself on my intelligence. It's the only strength I feel I have.
  14. Hello! This is my first post here and I'm really hoping to get some responses... I'm new to the forum but it seems pretty active and you guys seem very helpful. I have OCD and for the past two months, I've been experiencing very distressing, violent intrusive thoughts, probably resulting from a medication withdrawal. I'd been on Lexapro for 5 years and was just going into my third month off the meds when the thoughts hit me full-force one night in late November. I'm back on the Lexapro and my doctor also prescribed Risperidone, but it hasn't been helping as much as I'd like. I've read up on Seroquel and saw that a few people here have been helped by the medication. I was just wondering if anyone has been prescribed Seroquel specifically for intrusive thoughts, (and even if it was prescribed primarily for something else), did it help lessen or eliminate the intrusive thoughts? And if so, on what dose? Thanks so much in advance, I'm looking forward to getting some help from you guys and trying to stay optimistic
  15. I realize that I have been having a bad physical reaction to remeron since I started taking it near the end of November. I am currently taking 7.5 mg, cutting down from 15 mg two weeks ago. I was wondering if anyone had stopped taking remeron after being on a 7.5 mg dose or do you need to break that in half? I was also wondering if anyone had gone from remeron to seroquel? I am already having a hard time sleeping and was thinking about going back to my old 50 mg seroquel dose at night instead of the remeron. I will see nurse practitioner on Monday but wanted to hear experiences from other people.
  16. So I recently went off antipsychotics after having been on them for nearly seven years. They weren't helping with what I needed the most help with and I (and my shrink) suspected they were responsible for the anhedo'nic malaise I've been suffering from for years now. At first I was resistant to get off them because I really thought I needed them, but then I ran out and didn't get it refilled for a couple of weeks and was like, "Hey, I don't feel DEAD inside." And I wasn't suffering any bad effects from NOT taking them, so I figured I would just take them on as as-needed basis. Which happens about once every two weeks. I just get hamster wheel brain and have to shut it off. And so far that's been working out really well. I'm curious how long it's taken for others who have gotten off them to get them out of your system. I haven't taken any Haldol in over a month, but it was just in the last few days that I really felt like I'd "woken up". I can write again. I haven't written anything other than cryptic Facebook posts since 2014. I've done nothing but read Facebook and the news and watch tv and movies since I quit my job four years ago, which I had to do because I couldn't function at it anymore. I was constantly forgetting things and fucking up, it was awful. Looking back I can't be sure if it's because of the illness or the meds. I don't really care anymore. I'm awake again. Thankfully my bipolar disorder isn't so severe that I need APs all the time anymore. I think at first I did, but I've changed a lot over the last several years since I was diagnosed. I don't have the same issues as I once did. I'm a lot more stable. I still take my other meds, mostly so I can sleep, since I also have a sleep disorder (a manageable one, thank the gods). The meds kept me from doing the thing that was probably the healthiest thing I was doing for myself: meditating. Now that I can focus and concentrate again, I can get back to a sitting practice, which gives me the mindfulness I need to stay on top of the little cues my brain gives me when I might be about to do something...off. It's nice not to be swimming in glue anymore.
  17. I have been struggling for the last month or so with the meds. I am off Cymbalta completely ( was on it for 2 years ) on Friday or Saturday I started taking 300mg XR of Seroquel from 200mg XR... the first 3 nights had akathesia . Now I am having anxiety attacks, feeling like an elephant is on my chest, I am dizzy and off balance and get this woosh of anxiety almost like I am going to black out and I literally scream and grab on to something. I can't really describe it, it's if you were to feel like when your stomach is hollow.. that's how my heart/chest feels. It's scary as fuck. I am losing my shit. I cry and close my eyes until it fades or at least where it's not as intense. I have this look of fear and everyone asks why I look scared? What the fuck? I am losing confidence in myself again, I am taking 5 steps backwards instead of forward. I am very depressed about it. And this time of the year makes me depressed.. for some reason I really miss my dog right now. I think because this time last year.. She got sick and I was taking care of her everyday and was with her 24/7 .. even the smell of outside right now reminds me of her. I still have her bed under the Piano; it is sad walking by it and seeing it empty, but I am not getting rid of it. Anyway.. Does Seroquel make you anxious and make you feel like you are falling off a cliff? Is that a thing? Am I having a bad reaction even tho I have been on it for way over a year. Isn't this shit suppose to relax you?
  18. Hi, names Hibiki. Ive been struggling for 7+ years with Trichotillomania, Depression, ADD, Anxiety (agoraphobia , panic disorder, disassociation, etc), OCD (obsessive thoughts). im currently on so many meds due to my age (17) (no narcotics due to me being underage.) and my insurance being the shittiest ever. Im currently taking regularly: •Zoloft •Buspar •Effexor •Seroquel ive ran out of all options for medications so they threw me on effexor and although my anxiety has been absolutely crucial this past year and a half (3 attacks lasting 1 month +) ive noticed a strange effect pop up these last few days. So currently I feel like im here but not here. Like everything looks weird, almost like im watching life go by through a screen. Im unable to fully concentrate on anything and i just feel exhausted. I feel like im not here but i know i am. Semi like a zombie,? Its kinda like disassociating but with my eyes. Everyone i know just looks different and everything is just strange,.. i was holding my baby brother and didnt feel like i actually was? I was talking and walking and id just suddenly stop and space out. Everything just feels distant. It also comes in waves, i will feel normal for a bit and then WHAM it attacks me from around the corner just like my panic attacks. I literally cannot explain what i feel but what is this?? Anyone else kinda feel the same?? the thing is a month ago my doctor prescribed me Effexor and she told me it would take a month to get in my system, and i feel like this is a negitive effect from it. Including my memory loss . And all ive heard is negitive reviews. So im starting to panic, like horribly. Im scared im going to feel like this forever and idk what to do? Im an artist and i can no longer draw due to this and its making me worry.
  19. So I am in quite a nasty situation. Over 3 months ago I was able to kick my addiction to heroin with therapy and Suboxone. Also, I successfully got my bipolar II under control with Lithium ER 900mg and Seroquel XR 300mg. For the last 6 weeks I am having fragmented sleep. I am able to fall asleep relatively easily only to wakeup after 2hrs. I then go back to sleep and from then on I wake up roughly 5 times a night. I've eliminated all caffeine from diet, I don't smoke cigarettes within 2hrs of bed and I don't watch TV or use any other screen before retiring. My addiction specialist has tried me on trazadone 150mg--did nothing Doxepin 75-150mg--only makes me sleeoy Ambien CR (w/ doxepin)--barely any change. I think it slightly improves the quality of sleep in between waking up. Does anyone have any recommendations for a sleep maintenance medication? I prone to rapid weight gain from AP's and dont want to double up as I am taking quetiapine already. For what it's worth....my sleep hygiene is very good. I've started exercising in the morning before work. I work as a credit analyst and sit in front of a computer from 9 to 5. HOWEVER...my insomnia is causing me to nod off at my desk which is unacceptable. Any tips/ideas/recommendatins are welcome. Mikl_pls I'm looking your way as you are the resident amateur psychopharmacologist. ;-)
  20. Hi there everyone. This seems to be the most realistic of the sites I've found, and doesn't seem to entirely be filled with people with truly crazy or insurmountable problems. So, here is mine. I've long hated psychiatrists, and like may, have resorted to all kinds of self medication in order to get through life. Life started to get very difficult for me about 2 years ago, and I ended up ordering a boatload of valium off the dark web. Yes, in hindsight, I should have gone to see a doctor back then, but I did not. Despite how it sounds, I kept to a pretty standard dose of valium - 10mg per night. It worked amazingly. Really well. Maybe too well. Fast forward to about 1 year ago. I decided i did not want to be a drug user for life, and began a slow taper. My last dose of valium was February. My work requires a high level of attention to detail, financial calculations, technical writing, etc. I ended up getting fired. This freaked me out of course, so I went to see a head doc in May after I started at my new job. I put a fair amount of thought into my life, and I've long had a good amount of anxiety, occasional outbursts of rage that have had major problems, and reckless sex. I was thinking I was bipolar, and the doc agreed. Whatever. He gave me Klonopin at 0.5mg per day for a month along with 50mg of seroquel per night. Thereafter, it's just been seroquel. The first month was ok, but life without the benzos has been a roller coaster. Seroquel does REALLY calm me down. I am not impulsive at all. But I have barely any desire to socialize or chase women or party or anything. So in this sense, the drug is working. I don't know if I am making GOOD decisions while on the stuff, but I am not making any bad decisions. Now, here is the problem. My cognitive ability and drive is not good. Really bad. I don't feel like doing anything, and when I do - it is an enormous struggle. Even when I type this, I constantly mispel words, etc. I have a hard time thinking of words when I speak, to the point people have asked me if anything is wrong. This alone is causing me a huge amount of anxiety. Weight has been an issue. I had a big wedding to go to for one of my best friends, and I didn't take seroquel all of August so I could run and lose the weight to fit into my tux. No matter whether I am on or off, I am beginning to feel like I'm losing my mind. At this wedding, I was nowhere near as social nor articulate, despite the fact I had been off the seroquel for a few weeks. I'm not sure what to do at this point. It is really hard to find good information on this kind of stuff on the internet. Most forums seem to have people who either don't work, or are not in technically demanding finance jobs. Is it the seroquel? Residual anxiety from benzo withdrawal? Should I ask to switch to something like lithium and gabapentin? Do I just say fuck it and ask for Klonopin or whatever? Honestly, I'd rather be a lifelong benzo addict that a fat, blubbering fool on Seroquel. I would be very interested in hearing from anyone who has had cognitive difficulties with seroquel. Thanks!
  21. Okay so I'm on a lot of meds now and just started seeing a new pdoc who's thinking of making some serious changes. I have bipolar, anxiety, ADHD, hypothyroidism, and a pituitary tumor. When I was first diagnosed with BP, I was on lithium and seroquel, which worked well enough until I got depressed enough to get hospitalized a second time. That's when I added klonopin and switched to depakote because lithium was starting to affect my kidneys. This combo controls my mania more than my depression and my anxiety is still bad. My previous pdoc added Strattera for the ADHD but I'm not sure it's actually doing anything. She also added a small dose of trazadone because I was having trouble falling asleep. That helps but also might be making me sleep too much. Anyway, new pdoc suggested replacing the seroquel and/or the depakote due to weight issues and fatty liver (which may be from the depakote or just cause I'm fat who knows). He thinks Saphris could replace Seroquel and be better from a weight perspective. However, I'm dependent on Seroquel for sleep in addition to my other meds, and it doesn't seem like Saphris has that same effect. I'm more open to changing up the Depakote since I gained a lot of weight on it, but I don't know how good the other mood stabilizers are with mania, which has caused big problems in the past. Does anyone know much about Saphris and sleep or weight gain? And what other mood stabilizers might be good (i.e. More weight neutral and helpful for depression and mania).
  22. Hello. After trying zoloft, prozac, abilify, and latuda, I was prescribed seroquel for bpd/depression. I am nearly 3 weeks (19 days to be exact) into and I'm not liking it at all. I have no energy or motivation, really hard to wake up, feel like im almost in a dream, and also experiencing constipation/stomach bloating (triggering body image problems). I am wondering how long I should stay with it to see if the side effects go away. I was thinking 1 month, as my next psych appointment will be right around the 30 day mark. However, I kind of want to stop taking it now, but i dont want to quit too early and possibly miss out on a well working med. The psychs i've seen always say how ap's start working so much faster than ad's so I dont know. Thanks!
  23. I have been taking 25mg at bedtime for sleep and anxiety since December. It caused me to become a zombie, constipated, bloated and crazy heartburn. The last dose I took was last Monday night. I skipped last tuesdays dose as I had to be at an appointment very early the next morning. Well later that day I started getting nausea. Then came vomit and diarrhea. Hot flashes, sweating, insomnia. I decided to stop taking it as after dealing with stomach issues that left me bed ridden. Are these symptoms of withdrawal? How long do you think this will last if so? Anything to help sleep? The insomnia is crazy. I purchased some nausea meds and the hot flashes and chill seems to be dicapting. I still have a lot of anxiety, sorta of feels like adrenaline if that makes sense. I hope someone has a comment.
  24. If you are taking either of these medications and are experiencing suicidal feelings, I want you to hold on, and tell yourself it is the medication and not you. Hold on: you have a precious human life - taper gradually off the drugs, and find other ways of dealing with the symptoms for which the medication was prescribed. After my experience with the world of psychiatry, I have this to say: if you can find a way of functioning without antipsychotics, then don't be pressurised into taking those medications. I found in my case that even when I was largely functional, and not suffering too much, there was some zeal on the part of the psychiatric profession in trying to push antipsychotics at me, simply by virtue of the diagnosis. The diagnosis was an episode of psychosis, or with psychotic elements, and therefore antipsychotics were strongly recommended. This was even after I was experiencing these strong suicidal feelings which were so uncharacteristic of me, and which I hadn't been experiencing before taking the drugs. I decided to try an extremely low dose of Abilify - less than the so-called "effective minimum dose", since I found it hard to function on the dose originally prescribed (something which the prescribing psychiatrist didn't really accept.) On this "below minimum" dose of Abilify, I started to experience strong agitation - one of the side-effects. Therefore I doubled my dose of Clonazepam. As a result, I became very tired - my energy levels plummeted, and I found myself having to limit my sporting activity to about a third of previous levels. My walking became relatively slow. I started to develop symptoms associated with schizophrenia which I hadn't had previously: less mobility in my facial expressions, it started to be a struggle to look after myself, to clean my home, to go shopping - though I forced myself through it all. I started to go to bed early because of extreme tiredness, and stopped going out in the evening, and as a result became socially isolated, and felt myself spiral into a depression. Weeks before becoming depressed, I already started to experience suicidal feelings - disembodied: unlinked to depression. My depression was so severe that I found it hard to eat, and rather than gaining weight as is the tendency on this drug, I rapidly lost weight. I found it hard to write fluently - the drug seemed to affect my muscular ability, and lost my articulateness, finding it relatively hard to express myself (and as you can see, this is something I have no trouble doing without the antipsychotics!). I lost my creative ability, and was unable to engage in the activities that made my life meaningful. These also contributed to my spiralling downwards. Deep inside the depression, I lost interest in all the things that had made my life meaningful up to that time. Instead of accepting my view that the suicidal feelings and depression were linked to the drug Abilify, the psychiatrist described it as "the evolution of an illness". Another psychiatrist decided to transfer me instead to the antipsychotic Seroquel, even though it states in the contra-indications that this drug may intensify existing suicidal feelings, and surely enough, it intensified mine. Since (I presume) I was on such a low dose of Abilify, the psychiatrist didn't instruct me to taper Abilify, but simply to stop it, and start Seroquel. I was taking half a tablet with the minimum dosage. Since I didn't like feeling suicidal, and I guess I didn't want to end up going that way, I decided I wanted to discontinue the antipsychotic medication. I was told that I could simply stop taking the medication: I suppose it wasn't felt necessary to advise me to taper the medication as it was below the minimum effective dose as recognized by the psychiatrists. (As a result of my experience, I would advise anyone to taper when coming off an antipsychotic - however small the dose. If, like me, you are taking half a tablet a day, you could then take it every other day for a while, and then every third day, etc.) I started to experience almost total insomnia which lasted about 6 weeks. At every stage, it was not acknowledged by psychiatrists that the manifestations I was experiencing were caused by medication, or withdrawal from it. Thus, the insomnia was attributed to my depression, rather than to withdrawal from the medication. It was on the internet that I was able to learn that chronic insomnia is a withdrawal effect from Abilify and Seroquel, and since I had only taken Seroquel for a few days while still having Abilify in my system, I must have been withdrawing from both. I was prescribed the highest dose of the sleeping medication Zopiclone (Zimovane) intensified by an extra Clonazepam tablet at night; this provided me with about two hours of sleep a night. While affected by this insomnia, I was still experiencing suicidal feelings, and would be lying awake almost the whole night thinking of the pros and cons of various ways of killing myself. After about 5 or 6 weeks, with the antipsychotics out of my system, the insomnia ended, and by this time, I had started taking an antidepressant, and my suicidal feelings subsided. By now I have come off all medication - including the antidepressant: Citalopram, since it was affecting my memory. If I feel the need, I take the very occasional half a tablet of Clonazepam. I firmly believe, following my experience, that a proportion of psychiatric patients are being misdiagnosed based on the manifestations of the side effects of antipsychotic medication, and the expression of beliefs which have nothing to do with brain chemistry. I further believe that for all the lives that may be saved as a result of the administration of antipsychotics, there is a significant proportion of patients who commit suicide not because of their illness, but because of the side effects of medication which they may be unnecessarily or inappropriately prescribed. These numbers then get lumped together with the numbers who commit suicide as a result of their illness, and is used as further evidence that suicidal action or attempts are symptoms of psychotic illnesses. If you are feeling suicidal, you will not believe that your life is precious. But hold on - because it is.
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