Thursday, May 28, 2009

Seroquel: A Bipolar Patient’s Opinion

As I’ve mentioned in previous blog entries, my educational background is in psychology. I also have been previously employed as a pharmaceutical representative (for oncology and neurology drugs). That’s the professional stuff. The personal part of the story is that I am diagnosed Bipolar II and have been on Seroquel (aka Quetiapine, say kwe-TIE-a-peen) for the past four+ years. Seroquel is an atypical antipsychotic medication used to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

My opinion of the drug…LOOOOOVE IT!!!!

When I Went on Seroquel
I was previously on Depacote and the antidepressants Wellbutrin and Zoloft for management of my bipolar symptoms. Then I went off meds during a pregnancy and was put on some entirely inappropriate meds by a new (quack) psychiatrist I was trying out after my pregnancy. Big mistake. Ended up undergoing a week of psychiatric day hospitalization, which, thankfully resulted in my being prescribed Seroquel for the first time.

Why I Almost Wasn’t Put on Seroquel
I don’t remember what the quack doc had me on, but I do remember him talking to me about Seroquel and dismissing the drug due to his concern that I would gain weight. I am not obese or even significantly overweight, but this bad doc took it upon himself to decide that, after a pregnancy I would prefer to be slim instead of sane. Bad call. The size of my ass is just not as much of a priority as is my mental health.

What I Like About Seroquel
Now there are several different drugs used for the management of bipolar disorder, and different patients respond to different drugs. I am certainly not recommending that all bipolar patients run out and get some Seroquel, but the drug is certainly something that I would recommend any patient struggling with bipolar symptoms at least discuss with his or her psychiatrist.

You Can Feel Its Effects Right Away: Compliance (a patient taking meds as prescribed) is a huge issue for most patients, particularly those with bipolar disorder, since some of the symptoms, at least of hypomania, can be downright pleasant. Even knowing better, I’ve had lots of problems staying on meds, mainly because the effects of antidepressants and other drugs used to manage mood take so long to build up to therapeutic dose (meaning that there is quite a delay between when you take the drug and when it works). Seroquel, at least for me, is somewhat sedating. I take it at night and it helps me sleep and helps to quiet the ‘chattering’ in my head that often keeps me awake. The instant effects of the drug help me stay compliant.

Seroquel Helps With Insomnia:
I know that I just mentioned this effect, but it is important enough to stand alone. Many bipolar patients have trouble sleeping, and lack of sleep can precipitate a manic episode—a vicious cycle. Managing sleep is extremely important.

Dangers of Seroquel
Seroquel is not recommended for elderly patients with dementia-related psychoses. And certainly if you are pregnant or considering having a baby, you need to discuss your mental health and medications with your doctors. Recently, some of the people who develop diabetes while on Seroquel have been suing AstraZeneca, but the lawsuits have been dismissed. Bottom line--Any drug has risks, and psychiatric patients are a high risk population. You don’t get somethin’ for nothin’. Sit down with your psychiatrist and discuss whether the possible benefits of taking a med outweigh the risks.


One and a half hour phone call with lawyer (cost: ~ $375) regarding ongoing custody crap with ex-husband (a 52-year-old man who wants support for his part-time care of our one child. Support from me, a part-time employed mother of 2 additional children under four years of age). For $%#& sake! This and writing deadlines have help to put me all over the bipolar landscape today. Mixed episodes! But played with my little ones this evening and delighted in their adorableness. Priorities. Remember what is important.

Manic 10 ... MIXED... 1 depresseD

This blog is for informational purposes only, it is not intended to be used for the treatment of mental illness. If you are having emotional troubles, please see a mental health professional.


  1. Moods.... gotta love em. (ugh pfft)

    I wear a mood ring so I can easily tell what's going on. But it's not by choice... it's court ordered for other people's safety! HAH! lol

    Great post! ;)

  2. seroquel hated me and I hated it back! no matter what dose I tried I could never wake up, felt slow and sluggish all the time. I know several people who swear by it. here I am one of 5 people in the world that doesn't mind lithium too much.

  3. In response to Bipolar Buddhist: Thanks for your comment! You make a great point. Every bipolar med is not right for every bipolar person.

    Seroquel does make me sleepy. I take 100 mg before bed, and it helps me sleep. For me, that is a big bonus. When I first started taking it, I did feel somewhat groggy in the morning. This resolved over time.

    But again, there are many different meds out there for those with bipolar disorder. Everyone is different. Only by working closely with a psychiatrist can a patient arrive at that perfect combo of med and dose to treat his or her illness.

  4. Hi Hi...I am also Bipolar.And i take Quetiapine too.I did also when through trial and error of medications.But at last Quetiepine has improved my Quality of living.I take Before bed 450mg..I do agree it helps to sleep.But i do tend to wake up still groogy and sleepy.My concern and would like to know is the weight gain? since taking quetiapine i have shot up to 10kg more.and i am already a plus size so this makes acyually makes me more depressed when i go on the scales.Is there any way we can manage the weight gain??

  5. Lavendar -

    Thanks for your comment. I know that weight gain is one of the side effects of Seroquel. Let me find out more about this--the side effect, recommendations on how to keep the weight off when on Seroquel-- and I will write my next post on the issue.

    BTW, 450 mg dose. Wow! That would knock me on my can. I don't think that I would ever be able to wake up. No wonder you have trouble waking and feeling alert after sleep. I am in no way questioning the dose that you doctor has put you on. Just wondering, have you tried to back off the dose a little, under doctor supervision? To check and see if you really need to be at 450mg?

  6. What about the latest claims that Seroquel's manufacturer Astra- Zeneca's hiding information on life-threatening side effects of the drug? i m an MD who WAS also happy using it -but alas!!!!

  7. I was diagnosed with major depression with possible bi-polar. I am on 150mg of zoloft and 100mg of serequel. Serequel was the only drug which helped me sleep. I sleep like a baby all night. I tried not taking it one night and had very little and light sleep (2 hours) BUT felt great the next day. The next night I tried 50mg and slept just as well as if i was 100mg and felt just as groggy the following morning(if not more). Last night I tried 25mg and again slept just as well and just as groggy today. It seems no matter how much I take I always sleep well and feel groggy the next day. Any advice?

  8. canan -

    Thanks for your comment. Sorry about my delayed response (4mos!). It's been a rough year.

    I am unaware of the AZ life-threatening controversy, and will have to look into it.

    I do feel that, for me, NOT having Seroquel around could be life threatening. Works like a charm for me. But again, all BP patients have their own version of the illness and pharmacopia of meds that work best.

  9. Christopher -

    Thanks for contributing! You definitely need to talk to your Doc about dosing. Not a good idea to play with dosing on your own.

    That being said... I have played with dosing myself. I do feel less groggy on lower doses, but have been taking Seroquel for years. I think that it takes time for your body to adjust. So quick dosage changes (100mg to 50 mg to 25 mg in the space of days) may not give your body time to acclimate. Again, please talk to your doc.

    Seroquel is strong stuff, at any dose, and it is a cocktail for a specific audience. My hubby has sleep issues. One night he was having trouble sleeping and didn't have any of his typical sleep meds. I said "Here! Try 25mg of Seroquel. It'll put you out!" He did, and felt like a lead zombie the next day.

    This drug takes time to adjust to, and, as I learned, is only meant for those who biochemically need it.

    Christopher, sounds like you may need it, but could benefit from an MDs help to get your optimal dose worked out.

    Good luck!


  10. I was just diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, 2 weeks ago. The psychiatrist put on 50 mg of Seroquel XR. I have big mood swings and I don't have trouble sleeping. It hasn't helped with my mood swings, but I do notice I'm less depressed. I just saw my doctor yesterday and told him that I still have lots of mood swings and he up the dose to 150 mg. I will start the new dosage tonight. I'm just on a trial and error right now. What other meds are good with Bipolar Disorder?

  11. Hey

    Stumbled upon your blog through the magic of random googling.

    I've just been put onto seroquel and lithium for my Bipolar II. Previously, age 13, I had been diagnosed as depressed and was on wellbutrin for 3 years...during which I felt nothing. Then at 18 I was diagnosed with bipolar and put on depakote and r-something anti-psychotic and for a whole week I couldn't get out of bed.

    I was amazed at how much of your post that I found rang true for me. I have always hated having to take meds and had some with bad side effects to boot. But just as you mentioned with the seroquel I didn't have to build up it worked right away. I've been extremely insomniac my entire life taking and hour+ to get to sleep every night, not sleeping a full 8 hours, and so on. But since the first night of taking it I've been sleeping fully. At first I felt a bit too dopey after taking it and when waking but spoke with my doctor and now I'm taking less and it's working great.

    Just wanted to say Hi, and thanks for the post!


  12. I have ben on seroquel for over a year. I love it my life was crazy befor I started I am so thankful that the doc started me on it.

  13. Hey all.. Nice to find this site.. I was diagnosed today with Bipolar 1. 44 yrs old, 8 marriages, many careers choices.. Now, today after all my messed up life, here I am. Is this a new beginning or the end idk.. Doc gave me Seroquel- taking 400 mg every night, starting slow for the first three nights.

    Im scared of who I thought I was and now who I am going to be? I have no income, jobs have been hard to hold. I need to see a psychiatrist, but don't know what to do without income.. Are there alternatives?

    After being on anti depressive meds for over 15 years with no help. Changed docs and he helped, I hope.. Also, I am a bit freaked out about the weight gain. AND what is going to happen to me and how did I end up here. I'm a bit pissed off because I don't understand everything.. How was this overlooked my entire life and wonder if I could have lived a happier one with less marriages and a good career.

    Hoping you can shed some light on the whys and hows for me.

    I dont think I am all that hyper for sure. I mean, I do have many manic episodes, I will admit to that one. I do loose my cool and get frustrated and pissed off easily. I admit that.. I do start goal orientated projects and dive in head first... But I really dont think that I am too hyper.. I need to seek psychiatric help.. I know that will help me understand me better. Now, I don't know who the hell I am at all. But I guess I never did.

    Can any offer some advice for me?

  14. Hey all.. Nice to find this site.. I was diagnosed today with Bipolar 1. 44 yrs old, 8 marriages, many careers choices.. Now, today after all my messed up life, here I am. Is this a new beginning or the end idk.. Doc gave me Seroquel- taking 400 mg every night, starting slow for the first three nights.

    Im scared of who I thought I was and now who I am going to be? I have no income, jobs have been hard to hold. I need to see a psychiatrist, but don't know what to do without income.. Are there alternatives?

    After being on anti depressive meds for over 15 years with no help. Changed docs and he helped, I hope.. Also, I am a bit freaked out about the weight gain. AND what is going to happen to me and how did I end up here. I'm a bit pissed off because I don't understand everything.. How was this overlooked my entire life and wonder if I could have lived a happier one with less marriages and a good career.

    Hoping you can shed some light on the whys and hows for me.

    I dont think I am all that hyper for sure. I mean, I do have many manic episodes, I will admit to that one. I do loose my cool and get frustrated and pissed off easily. I admit that.. I do start goal orientated projects and dive in head first... But I really dont think that I am too hyper.. I need to seek psychiatric help.. I know that will help me understand me better. Now, I don't know who the hell I am at all. But I guess I never did.

    Is this considered a mental illness and what in the world do I do now for income.. The doc has found me help for my meds.. Thank God.. I went through my last divorce in -08 and sold everythnig! lol.. I did, I know crazy right.. Its was one of those HIGHS... lol..

    Can any offer some advice for me?

  15. Your blog is wonderful! I am on seroquel and while I love it, I am having difficulty with my energy level which was one of the reasons I got help in the first place. I have bipolar 2, prone to depressive spells and just have hypomania, never full-blown mania.Seroquel makes me feel so, so sleepy and as the mom of an eight-month old I am worried. The other night my husband said I didn't hear her crying. :( So I'm going to talk to my dr at our next appointment.

    As for the weight gain, I haven't experienced it but on the advice of my psychiatrist I am exercising more and eating less and really watching what I eat.

  16. I am on 150 mg of Seroquel. I started taking it about 6 months ago and it has changed my life I no longer have such extreme highs and lows but I can still feel my cycling but I somehow don't react to it. My depression has not presented itself since I started taking it for my Bipolar. I do feel the manic-ness when it comes on still. Does this happen to anyone else?

  17. Thanks for this posting. I just received Seroquel today and this kind of reassured me ^^

    I am already taking Epilim but my depressed states keep coming back frequently so the doctor added Seroquel to my usual dosage.

    Wish me luck!

  18. I, too, was glad to find this blog specifically about seroquel. I just started taking it a few days ago. So far, so good.

    The first morning after I felt really groggy and tired. It really took some work to get out of bed. Since then I've had no problems. I wake up feeling up and energetic.

    The psychiatrist who prescribed it pointed out that I should take my 200 mg. daily dosage at 8 o'clock at night, which is about 4 hours before I normally go to bed. I'm wondering if people are feeling fried because they're taking it right at bedtime. You might try changing the timing to see if that makes any difference to your energy level.

    The seroquel replaces the zyprexa I was on for about the last 10 months. I started with zyprexa alone, then prozac was added. Then my timing was adjusted so that I took the prozac in the morning and the zyprexa at bedtime.

    Now that I'm off it, I hold the zyprexa responsible for my inability to get out of bed in the morning. I was definitely feeling down, that feeling of wanting to put the covers over your head and sleep in as late as possible.

    I'm retired so I have no job to get up for. I thought maybe that was what was causing the late sleep-ins, basically having no compelling reason to get out of bed. But since switching to the seroquel, I'm having no trouble at all getting up at a decent hour in the morning. I'm talking about 8:30 a.m., compared to 2, 3, 4, even 5 p.m. the last several months.

    It was really ridiculous and I was really getting down on myself. My self-respect plummeted and I beat myself up constantly.

    It's a huge relief to realize that it was my medication and not my state of mind that was to blame. Or maybe more accurately, it was my state of mind as was induced by my medication.

    Looking forward to comparing notes with other Bipolar Disorder sufferers. Although I just turned 61 a week ago, I was only diagnosed as Bipolar two years ago.

    Up until then, my doctor and I thought I was suffering from clinical depression because my life seemed to be an endless series of Great Big Bummers and crying the blues. Then two years ago I had this euphoric stretch of hypomania that lasted 24 days.

    Now I realize I did have very occasional manic episodes, but they were few and far between compared to the depressive states.

    I have a very good memory in terms of recalling my childhood and I am convinced I have been Bipolar from a very early age. I experienced death wishes from as far back as I can remember, and my thoughts of suicide became more prevalent when I got into my early teens.

    Suicidal thoughts persisted throughout adulthood and only subsided after I was diagnosed with BD two years ago. Before that, they were as familiar to me as breathing.

    Guess that's enough information for now.

  19. This posting is by far the most popular in my blog. There are a lot of people who have experience with and questions about Seroquel. Regarding the most recent comment by "Unknown"...I think it is an interesting suggestion to take the Seroquel a couple of hours before bed time to help avoid being groggy in the morning. I don't like to take it until right before I want to go to sleep, because it affects me quickly, and I like to read in bed for a while before going to sleep. Sometimes I lay in bed and read a while before taking my Seroquel, so that I get some reading time before becoming tired. I think that everyone who takes Seroquel, or any psych med, needs to see how it affects them personally, since we all react somewhat differently to medication. I think that, for most people taking Seroquel, it does make you sleepier when you first start taking it, and then the body adjusts.

  20. Hi i have bipolar 3 (or cyclothimia)and was only diagnosed 8 months ago. My doc has been on a trial and error with me after being on olanzipiene for four month. Im now taking 700mg of seroquel a day. They are sure with themselves that it is only a mild form of the illness and yet at this dose it only just stabilizes me every day. I think there testing the waters with me even though i still have big mood swings. My doc says im only on a medium scale dose-yeah right. Sereoquel is a great drug even though it nearly knocks me out. Anyone else have any experience with taking this kind of dose?

  21. My husband was put on Seroquel XR 150mg after a suicide attempt-It was like a bad cop show-he held a loaded gun to his head while I sobbed in the hallway praying, bracing myself for the sound of a gunshot while trying to direct the police to our country home...Anyway, he was hospitalized, stabolized with medication & DX as Bipolar.
    I am a Psych Nurse. In fact I am the Med Nurse in a Behavior Health Unit. I know- I can't believe I missed the signs. Looking back I can clearly see the mania followed by depression, irrational paranoid conversations it all= BP.
    Anyway, I love the guy & am determined to make our marriage work. It is one thing to deal with patients @ work but another to live it @ home.
    Seroquel really really helped the mania but my husband is very sedate. I have to admit his sluggishness is a welcome break from the drama of the manic mood swings.
    I work the night shift & I don't have to worry so much about him doing something stupid like harming himself before I get home in the morning. I call him about 10 PM & can tell by his voice that he will be asleep as soon as we hang up.
    That being said, I am concerned about balanceing his meds & we are seeing a Psysiatrist & a Phychologist.
    I stumbled on this Blog while searching for ways to understand & deal with this new partner in our marriage.
    Question. Has anyone noticed sexual disfunction with Seroquel,Cymbalta & Neurontin?
    I married him 6 years ago & I ment in sickness and in health- I just need to learn how to keep us both as healthy as possible. Like I said-I love the guy.
    Thanks for being here...I really mean that.
    Another question. Any advice on how to figure out the triggers or how to avoid them?

  22. Hi WontGiveUp -

    Thanks so much for the comment! We can all learn from each other. So sorry about the troubles your husband is having, and glad the Seroquel is helping.

    I just switched from regular Seroquel to Seroquel ER, for more even delivery, and I find that I am not groggy on the ER formulation. In fact, I've always taken Seroquel at night, and kind of relied on the sedative effects to help me sleep.

    If your husband just started Seroquel, the groggines does wear off over time for most. So that may not be a long-term problem.

    If he continues to have difficulties with depression, you may want to at least ask his psych about Lamictal. My psych is considering this for me, as it apparently helps with Bipolar Depression.

    Again, don't take it from me. Make sure to communicate, as needed, with his psychiatrist during this period where your husband's meds are new, and their effectiveness for him is being evaluated.

    Good luck to both of you!


  23. luna pixie 26

    Hi i have been diagnosed bi polar 2 and/or borderline personality disorder (think they're still trying to figure me out!) 3 months ago and am taking 175mg at night and 75mg in the morning as well as diazipam 7mg a day. I am relieved to finally know what has been going on for all these years, but also missing the manic energy i used to have i feel quite sedated and am starting to miss my natural buzz. Is any one else worried about their dopamine being blocked?? I am generally a creative person, i paint and play guitar but i don't seem to have it in me anymore?

    They are probably going to up my dosage again very soon.

    Is anyone else finding that their spark has faded?

    I am otherwise quite happy with the effects i sleep like a baby, for once and think that i can think clearly?

    thank for sharing by the way its been a confusing time for me.


  24. Luna Pixie -

    Thanks for posting!

    I am surprised you are taking Seroquel in the day time too. I would be too groggy to function if I did. I take all mine at night. Seroquel (200 mg) at night, and anti-depressants in the morning (Prozac 20 mg & Wellbutrin 150 mg, both of which are not working to manage my depression). You may want to ask your doc if your spark might come back if you took your Seroquel at night. At night it lulls me to sleep too. It's awesome for management of my mania and helping me sleep!

    I am heading to the doc tomorrow to see what else he has in his magic pharmacopeia to mange my depression.

    I am a creative person too and am always aiming for mild-hypomania (I think that's what "the spark" is). I love to be busy and productive, and I am at my best when I am hypo-manic, constantly moving and producing. But it is sometimes a hard thing to balance. If I start wobbling into full-blown mania, I can't sleep and have problems with repetitive songs or thoughts.

    But I have been in a depressive episode since July. It's getting old...sleeping, crying, sleeping, crying. I need some happy asap :)

    Good luck! Stay in touch!


  25. Still a popular post I see as I googled Seroquel and got here. I have been offered low dose generic Seroquel PRN, as needed. But I am very medication sensitive and have a strong history of insulin dependent Diabetes in my family so I am not entirely sold on the idea. I do see the logic and agreed to consider it though.

  26. Hi Ninetails -

    Thanks for posting! Seroquel PRN? Hmmmm...weird, as needed. How do you decide how much you need? I am taking 200mgER at night, and it seems to be working well for me. But I started out at 50 or 100mg...can't remember. It is a drug you have to get used to over time. Makes you very sleepy.

    Have no idea how Seroquel, and Bipolar in general, interacts with diabetes. Make sure to talk to both you Psychiatrist and you General Care Physician, and see if they agree.

    Seroquel will make you very sleepy at first, and potentially long-term. Take it at night.

    Although you were Rxed PRN, did your psychiatrist give you a starting dose?

    Good luck! This is a great community. Leave a post whenever you need info or want to share.



  27. Moodie wrote: "I love to be busy and productive, and I am at my best when I am hypo-manic, constantly moving and producing."

    Same here, and I've courted that with a diet of prozac (day) and seroquel (night/sleep), by way of the notion that I'd rather be hypo-manic than depressed. Problem is that mania makes it hard for me to focus on anything that doesn't grab me by the collar and pull me into focus.

    I'm a poet who has the inclination if not the fulfillment of writing profound stuff. I can be very clever when I'm manic but as surface stuff it doesn't interest me.

    The difficulty is switching gears from manic (clever) to meditative (profound). I've used alcohol and pot in the past to switch those gears, and yes it does work, at some cost.

    That's why now I'm going on carbamazepine (day) and seroquel (night), no more prozac. This will be my first mood-stabilizing drug, which I had always avoided because I equated it with slowing down which I equate with depression.

  28. Long blog! Blogged Seroquel and got here.
    Wish I'd found you a year and a half ago when DX BP1 at 61yrs old. Almost successful suicide attempt after 10 days on Seroquel XR 200mg at night. Overdosed on barbituates ended up in coma on a ventilator for 7 days. Then another week in hospital and another in a psyche ward.
    Was stabilized on Lamictal 200mg, Lithium 300mg BID, and Gabapentin 300mg BID. Soon weird side effects appeared but hard to link as I have some neuro deficits due to an accident 3years ago. Falling over but not dizzy, couldn't drive (steering wheel always loose!), loss of manual dexterity etc etc, had extensive neuro work up - all normal. I finally suggested to P doc and neurologist maybee it was the Lamictal. It was and are all resolved but now doc wants me back on the Seroquel @ 100mg at night. I am scared of it but have become more depressed off the Lamictal. I'm like a zombie on Seroquel, just don't feel normal, but I will persist.
    I desparately miss my hypomanic state which allowed me to have a successful career and generally feel energized as well as made me bitchy, arguementative, hypercontrolling and arrogent. Being depressed for two years has been hell and I battle suicide constantly. I am hoping the Seroquel will help but I think I'd rather be off all meds and be monitored closely. I don't like the Lithium blah but with Seroquel on top I'm not too hopeful of improvement in my mood. I am very sensitive to most meds but need to get to a energy higher level. Any thoughts.


  29. trSeroquel and suicide, any thoughts?

    My interest stems from my near fatal suicide attempt 18m ago 10 days after starting Seroquel 200mg. I had just been diagnosed BP1, started on Seroquel, and ended up in a 7 day coma on a ventilator. Another week in hospital and one more in a psyche ward ended with me promising to attend AA and see a shrink regularly. All this at 60 years old.
    I have been seeing my great psychiatrist and taking Lithium, Lamictal and Gabapentin but still fighting suicidal thoughts and sudden deep troughs of depression. Had to come off Lamictal because of weird side effects and have been persuaded to go back on Seroquel 100mg. I am nervous and sceptical but willing to try it for a month. Astra Zenica has specific suicide warning on web site. Hate the way it makes me feel, drugged, dazed, get nothing done in a forgetful haze.


  30. My 28 year old son was just diagnosed Bipolar. The state mental hospital has him on Seoquel and he doesn't like it. He said he feels like he is a fog and it is causing E.D. He says he does not want to take it. If he won't take his meds when he gets out how will he ever live a normal life. It took the hospital 3 days to calm him down,he was in a severe state of mania and having physcotic episodes. Is Lithium a better drug than Seroquel?

  31. Hi Moodie

    Just want to say that I found your blog very specific and informative (experience wise). I'm 28 yrs. old, female, diagnosed with bipolar disorder last sept 2011 and been hospitalized for 5 days for mania with psychosis. Im from Philippines and been on Seroquel 300mg (cut it on 2) for almost 2.5 mos now. with 500mg Valproic Acid as mood stabilzer taken before bedtime.

    My experience with Seroquel is that it never fails to make me sleep except for some nights that I tend to think alot (like having a fight with my husband whose in Canada right now), thus im still awake upto 6am in the morning. The downside is that I think this drug causes depression at some level for each user. In my case, I dont take a bath, not brushing my teeth and not on my active state anymore (especially last month, really gross but its true), and not taking care of my 3-year-old son like I used to be, (thank God I have a nanny). I dont know if Im in severe depression or im just plain lazy. Im not seeing my psych since dec. (coz im too lazy to go) and planning to ask for antidepressant hopefully in lieu with valproic acid that I dont think does help in the first place.

    This is my first time to comment on anything on web and I find it comforting. And I think Im still in denial stage since Im just newly diagnosed.

    More power to us bp's and keep writing!

  32. I am bipolar 1 and I want to know if anyone is taking lithium and also taking seroquel but only during a manic phase (not all the time)? I am new to this, does it work? how does it work if seroquel takes a while to kick in? Do others take different meds but only during manic episodes.


  33. So I recently was diagnosed Bipolar and started on Seroquel...I know this is an old post, but I wondered if anyone can help me...

    I'm wondering why I'm on Seroquel? I understand it's an anti-psychotic, and in both highs and lows I can have psychosis...but does it just stop the psychosis, and will I still have mood swings? Or for some people does it stop / prevent the cycling too?! Does it have mood stabilizing effects?

    Just trying to understand this med and why I have been put on it...very grateful for any help :)

  34. Anonymous -

    Seroquel is used for mood stabilization in patients with bipolar disorder, and well as for treating psychosis in bipolar and schizophrenic patients. From what I understand and have experienced, it works better in controlling the manic end of bp than the depression end. For me, Seroquel has been extremely effective. It does make me sleepy, so I take it at night. The side effects that you may experience (mainly feeling sleepy) typically become less pronounced over time.

    If your doc prescribes a med for you, and you don't understand why or what it's potential effects will be, ask for clarification, and keep asking questions until you understand. That's what we pay shrinks the big bucks for :)

    Good luck!

  35. I have just started Seroquel today for my bipolar that I have let get out of control over the past year or two. I'm the kind of person that has a problem with taking meds, even when I know I need it. Mainly because I am scared of the unknown. This blog made me feel a little bit better about the choice of meds from my Doc, but I'm still a little weary and I"m not sure what to expect from it.