Monthly Archives: February 2014

Effect of Seroquel (quetiapine) on my daily life


seroquel pills

Life has been great after I started taking Seroquel and Lamictal since Oct 2013.  That time, I went to a psychiatrist because I was feeling very suicidal, hopeless and depressed as I was unable to function at college.

Then, my Pdoc says I have Bipolar II Disorder.  Somehow, I feel that I kinda like the idea that a drug / medicine will be able to remove all my worries, anxieties, hopelessness, fear… basically things that I am struggling with daily.

Seroquel (S) / Lamictal (L), I don’t know which had more of an effect on my currently almost worry free days.  I take S 200mg, 1 tablet and L 25mg (used to be 50mg), 1 tablet, both after food. When I just started, I was taking in random hours, not consistent at all!

There will be days I take at 11pm, some at 8pm or 10:30pm… Due to the super drowsiness caused by S, but not by L, I sometimes purposely take L first at 9pm, then stay up late to surf the net, watch movies, stuff like that so that I won’t be sleepy which will happen if I take S at the same time too.

But now, there’s a huge problem. Thanks to the super annoying drowsiness & fatigue by the AstraZeneca made S, I hit a car once when I was driving to work, pretty much dozing off every other minute. Other times, I find it very very difficult to concentrate on everything I do, simply because I am so so SLEEPY!

There are many types of scenarios which may happen in no particular order or pattern:

  1. I take S at around 9-10pm, I feel so so sleepy then I can’t stand properly, and was knocked off to sleep within 30-45 minutes time.
  2. I take S at around 11-11:30pm, I can stay up till 1am and still don’t feel tired.
  3. I take S, I sleep, I was woken up by mum, I got out of bed, I feel extremely tired and I went back to sleep.  Then mum disturbed my sleep within 5-10 mins again, I got out of bed, I still feel like sleeping and I went back to sleep. This process repeats for 3-4 times until I was really running late for work, then I forced myself to get up and get dressed, wash my face etc… The problem is, even though I tell myself the night before that if I ever feel like going back to sleep again after being woken up by mum, I would remind myself of the consequence of doing so, which is being late for work. I thought that would make me able to stay awake and get prepared to depart. Turns out, it’s as if my brain don’t process any of that information when I try to tell it. It’s as if the most important thing at that time was to go back to sleep.
  4. I take S, I sleep. I wake up the next morning feeling tired, then I go to work, I feel like sleeping. After 2 hours or so, I am able to work for a bit.  Then after lunch, I feel like a zombie again.

The huge problem now is that I feel so tired throughout the day (most of the days), and yet I have a 30 minute programme for my piano diploma exam which is just around the corner.

My teacher has been commenting about my lack of focus for the whole of last year.  It has been ages and it is super annoying for me.  I hid the fact I was seeing a psychiatrist and taking medications. But for some reason, she asked me one fine afternoon whether I was taking any medications at the moment.

I wanted to lie to her because she had just been plain annoying. But unsure why, I told her the truth that I was taking medications. She asked what they were for. I just said one word “Mood”, hoping she would fucking mind her own business and shut up!

She even asked me to ask my Dr if he could write a letter for me saying that I am taking medications that affect my focus / attention / concentration (whatever) which affects my piano performance. She wants me to give that to my examiner.

She even quoted one of her students’ experience in a similar case, which ended in a way where she passed even though she had several slips in her performance (which is not allowed in Diploma level) because of the letter.

In addition to that, she wanted me to ask my Dr whether I could stop my medications 1 month before my exam in March/April.

Obviously I didn’t want the fucking letter.  Yes, I took 3 years to practise and prepare for this Diploma, due to me stopping piano lessons for more than ½ a year because of my depression.  But hell no I want that damn letter to help me pass. To me, it’s some sort of a disability shit, where it’s like telling the examiner, “I have a problem with concentration here, you better pass me.”  WTF!! I never would want the letter, I want my hardwork to be paid off and I don’t want the Diploma cert which is given because of the “concentration problem”.

Plus, Seroquel was giving me problem free days, for once I feel good, for once I am not thinking about past sad events so often anymore, for once I feel I have a future ahead of me. Personally, I think if any changes should be made, I think the dosage may be reduced.

Anyway, I emailed my Dr about what my teacher suggested, even though I didn’t want to include the letter, but somehow I decided to write that part in as well. It took me 1 hour to think and rethink about whether or not my email was written properly before I sent it this morning.

Sometimes, I hope he would give me some Ritalin to make me more alert. I used to take them when I was depressed 2 years back. Fuck, I always want to get off the meds a.s.a.p. when I am taking them, but when I stop them already, I find ways to become psychologically sick so that I can go back to a Dr to get those drugs…

I don’t know why, but I feel I am just thinking differently at different times. Super positive about my future at times and sometimes playing a victim role, pitying myself and so on.

Visit to the Pdoc

this day is the day where I am supposed to see my Dr again.

During this appointment, I had many things to tell him.  About my crazy hyper cool yeah mode at work which just happened out of the sudden… and also the days where I don’t feel like doing anything.

As usual, he offered possible explanations to my complaints. Making as if things are normal. As in it’s normal to feel restless, not wanting to work on some days, while passionate to do what I do on other days.

I questioned his diagnosis this time, asking him if he was sure it wasn’t a pure depression.  I forgot his response, as I was just out-of-it at that time.  I often get distracted in sessions.  Just like my counselling sessions before.

Frankly speaking, i wanted myself to be able to stop medications and all those sessions a.s.a.p. !! It makes me feel dependent on medications.  But i just knew I would be desperately wanting to go back on meds when I start to face problems particularly emotional problems or make-believed problems.

I seem to always want to understand everything I deal with on a daily basis.  It’s like something I NEED TO ACHIEVE.  unsure why.

When I told Dr I called a helpline for some comfort during my sadness, he said that he doubt how they would be able to help.  As I contacted a clinical psych to ask for charges, it turn out to be 300 over bucks for a one-hour session.  Even though I should be able to claim the money, at this point of time, I do not see a need for that yet.

What was even more depressing and making me suspect his motives is that he said it could take months and months for me to get to the level of “normal” that I want. He asked me what I expected from him,  I don’t know.. Now I think of it, I would probably say Miracle.

I got to learn to be patient, he says.  I don’t want to!  I just need to get back on track ASAP and do what I love, at my very best!

I also asked him if my history of depression and this thing now would affect my future employment. He believes not as seeking medical help is a private matter, NO ONE needs to know.  I agree to this too!  I CHOOSE WHO and WHEN to tell.  No one else can tell me otherwise.

What I forgot to tell him was that the medications seriously affect my concentration. I could not focus on driving nor playing the piano.  I have a piano exam soon in March.  I got to focus which I hardly can with the meds playing around with my brain.

FInally, I got my prescription for Seroquel and Lamictal at the same doses again. This time, surprisingly, he charged higher fee of 120 bucks compared to its usual 90 bucks consultation. it was 45-50 minutes long. Not sure why he charges at a higher rate, didn’t bother to ask at that time either.

Tada, that’s all

Messy Me

Overwhelmed with fear and sadness

I FUCK LIFE!!!! WONT YOU MOOD SWINGS and BP2 LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM SO TIRED, I CANT SEEM TO DO ANYTHING RIGHT darn it!!! Another hours of suffering… that will never end. What’s the POINT!!! look at the bright side. what bright side? You feel a little ok now right? Then it’s gonna be fine. You always do get fine. I will be soon..

Today is yet another day where I feel the downs again.  I just am disappointed in my inability to predict what my mood will be in the next moment.  I don’t know, really.

I waited for a time where I could have my privacy. I called a local helpline, not putting any expectations, just calling hoping for someone to lean on, who will listen to me.

As usual, the beginning of the conversation while calling a helpline is full of fear.  I trembled as I try to explain my condition to the stranger at the line on the other side of the phone.

I felt comfort as the person emphatise with my condition.  She seemed to be able to comprehend what I was saying.  I felt relieved.  After 1 hour of talk, she gave me some tips to cope with my overwhelming moments of depressive states.

I slept the night feeling peaceful.