Like most with bipolar disorder, I love the fact that my medication has increased my wellness. Subsequently, the side effects are a loathsome reality. Seroquel has been my pdoc’s choice for managing my manic, psychotic, and anxiety symptoms for the past year. It has shut out the noises in my head resulting in clearer thinking. After a few days on Seroquel, it was like someone turned off the radio that kept changing stations in my mind. With Seroquel, I stopped sending my boss and coworkers emails where I prattled on my solutions to work situations. When my children brought their friends over, newly medicated mom did not blurt out the first thing that popped into her mind during conversations. Most importantly, I began to sleep through the night. Until Seroquel came into my life, I found myself only sleeping a couple of hours a night. The other time was spent recklessly shopping on the Internet. Finally, never a real drinker, Seroquel stopped me from showing up to my son’s football games “tipsy.”
My favorite website for learning about the medication I take is “ Crazy Meds.” The web-site’s writer, Jerod Poore, gives the straight up truth according to actual takers of the medicine, not those sitting in an office writing about it. For example, when he says “ Seroquel (quetiapine fumarate) is notorious for two things - making you sleep until next Tuesday, and giving you a hangover when you eventually wake up ” he lies not. Armed with expectancy from his descriptions, a year ago I began this medicine. I really believe it has saved my job, my marriage, my relationships, and my life. At first, I did want to sleep all the time and I still have a hard time waking up in the mornings. I also regularly find myself having to stop my conversation to think of the word I want to say. It is like I have some blanks in my vocabulary. But, as I have written in my blogs, the alternative is not desired.
Even with all the benefits recognized, recently I decided I no longer wanted them. I weaned myself off Seroquel. It was only a matter of time, days in fact, before I was choosing all the aforementioned behaviors. I also became psychotic. I began to believe the unreal was real. It was quite scary. Honestly, I do not know if it was the altercations with others, the many packages that kept coming to my door, or the picture in the living room that tried to stare me down, but I came to realize life was becoming unmanageable (again). I called my pdoc and got back on the wagon. My pdoc is wonderful. She never missed a beat. While laughing along with me at some of my escapades, she gently yet firmly, confirmed my need to get back on my medication. She always upholds my dignity and for that I am grateful.
So, back on the wagon again has brought some sleepiness and yesterday I could not remember the word “pillow”. I was trying to get my daughter to bring me one. I finally said, ”You know the thing you sleep on.” She tartly replied, “Mom the bed won’t fit in the living room.” Because she has learned to use context clues well, she brought me my favorite pillow. Not wanting to live life full of regrets, I have decided to keep Seroquel in my life, even with it’s sometimes troublesome side effects. As always, the alternative is not tolerable.
I am on that wagon too so I have been struggling with that as well and feeling quite depressed lately. However, by reading your post, I went from crying to laughing (!!), mostly because I could perfectly relate to what you were saying....particulary about the emailing, shopping, pictures staring you back, and forgetting the word "pillow." LOL! I had such a bad seroquel hangover the other day that I accidentally wore one black leather clog and one gray sweater clog to work with my brown outfit!!! Everyone got a laugh though!! I also like the fact that you said you have children. I don't yet and I often wonder if I ever even should. I really don't want to pass this genetic thing that goes back in my family for at least a couple generations..... Anyway, thank you for brightening my day and giving me a little laugh :)