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Schizophrenia Message Board

Schizophrenia Board Index

I'm middle aged and have had problems with depression and probably schizophrenia, though I would say it is mild to moderate. I am taking Seroquel, Remeron and Clonazepam. Have read that Seroquel is mainly used for bipolar and schizophrenia. I have to admit I have acted out some strange behaviors in past years. I still have strange and disturbing feelings and thoughts on ocassion. The meds I take seem to help some, but never completely relieves them.

Is any one here taking Seroquel or generic Quetiapine (kwe-tye-a-peen)? Seroquel is over priced. Highway robbery. I recently just found out about the Quetiapine, but you have to get it from overseas. It's a lot cheaper than Seroquel and I was surprised. I'm going to try it. Insurance only covers up to a certain amount per year and then I have to start paying a lot more for my meds. Called my pharmacy and asked about Quetiapine and she acted as though it didn't exist. Earliest for a U.S. generic might be September 2011, if then.

I hope to post replies to others here and elsewhere. Hope everyone is doing ok. Thanks for reading.
Hello madasahatter and Leahcim. Thanks for responding. Hope you two are doing well. I was taking 600mg of Seroquel, but cut down to 300mg partly to help keep costs down. I may really need 600mg but will talk to my doctor about it soon. As for now I have already ordered the Quetiapine.

I don't have any problems with hearing voices, but I might sometimes imagine things that aren't there. Like my eyes are playing tricks on me. Anyway I have no real big issues up to now. It's funny how some meds can give someone a sweet tooth. It's happened to me.:)

Leahcim I was taking risperdal at one time. Not very long though. It gave me a bad side effect and so I quit taking it. That was several years ago though. As for sleep, I need all the sleep I can get and I don't really get enough. I am usually up by 5:00am. The Remeron also helps sleep a little. Take care all.
8800GTS glad to hear you are doing ok without meds. Is that right? Nothing? I have been on Seroquel I think for over 3 years. I know about the constipation, I still have problems with that ocassionally. I try to eat more balanced meals. I personally didn't care about the XR Seroquel because it caused me to feel more hungover the next day.

Due to insurance I get Quetiapine through Canada which in turns gets it from overseas like Europe or even other countries. I don't know why we can't get it directly from Europe. Technicalities I guess. My insurance only covers so much per year and then I would have to start paying full price for meds. Generic Quetiapine is about a third or fourth the cost of Seroquel. The price of Seroquel is way over priced. They really need to lower it. It does help a lot of people though.

I took Risperdal many years ago and it gave me real bad constipation. Couldn't take it very long. I have tried dozens of meds through the years to help fight my depression. I take Remeron and Clonazepam along with 600mgs of Quetiapine at night. I still have bad days, but they were even worse several months ago. Take care.
Yes, you're right about 100mg's... Sometimes doctors actually prescribe it specifically for sleep problems. Like even with people who have no psychosis whatsoever... BUT, that tends to be as low as 25 - 50mg's a night. So 100mg's is almost like a part of the mixture with the other meds... To work together as one... There is alot of theories about how mixing antidepressants with antipsychotics gets the best results... I don't know if its true, but I've tried it and it seemed to do the trick for the time I was on them...

Effexor XR is an antidepressant, (SNRI) I was on it at one point. It works with serotonin, AND norepinephrine, which is said to be directly linked to anxiety... So its used as antidepressants, AND; for anxiety disorders... From what I remember, it really makes moods better, atleast it did for me. So aside from the moods; the only thing that 100mg's of seroquel would do, is gurantee alittle bit of sleep everynight; given that its taken before bed. However, with the Effexor XR, it helps clear out anxiolytic symptoms; allowing for a good sleep and clear mind... Which altogether allows for a better mood, life, etc...

I can see how that would help someone out though, especially when psychotic symptoms/psychiatric symptoms are often times; exacerbated by lack of sleep... Sleep is very important. I remember when I started on meds, the first thing I asked the doctors was; "IS it normal, to be sleeping like 14 hours a day?" And the doctors laughed, and said, "YES!" Especially with antipsychotics. Usually they have such a numbing effect that sleep is almost guranteed in everyone who allows it into their system... Which is good for people who are psychotic, because for one, it allows them a break from IT all... Two, sleep is essential for good stability in all aspects of emotions/perceptions, etc... And three, its a way to determine if sleep is in fact; exacerbating the symptoms...

With bipolar disorder, however, it is kinda hard to make a form of treatment with meds, especially when moods; (depression/mania) seem to control what the treatment ends up being... LIKE, someone with psychosis without mood disorders, can stay on antipsychotics no problem, but someone with bipolar can be sent to manic or depression mode; while taking antipsychotics... So they have to use a mood stabilizer to hopefully help things out alittle... Lithium is usually used... But sometimes simply mixing in an antidepressant is enough. It all depends on whether or not the patient shows signs of mania/hypomania/depression and what levels of each/cycles etc...

...Say for instance, a bipolar patient has been stable for years while taking antipsychotics and antidepressants... But suddenly this individual goes manic... The first thing the doctor would probably end up doing is taking antidepressants DOWN, or OFF... Because with bipolar patients, antidepressants are rarely used... Its proven that it can and does; cause mania/hypomania in those susceptible to highs and lows... The doctor could even cut off all antidepressants, increase antipsychotics, and introduce mood stabilizer's to try evening things out... Its confusing thats for sure... But every patients different, and I mean, you can't compare anyone with anyone, even if they're exact clones; judging from the DSM-IV manual... There are also different types of bipolar. Bipolar I, Bipolar II, and I think its called clythomia or something like that... And each are different in terms of just how far moods can and do go...

The thing is, with bipolar... Is that the moods patients get in, usually end up exacerbating the psychosis... Not all bipolar patients have psychosis, BUT, all patients CAN have psychosis... So the idea is, to control the moods first, then theoretically, you can/should control the psychosis, hopefully some ups and downs, etc... Whereas with strictly psychotic illnesses; Schizophrenia; you can and do have psychotic symptoms before moods change(s), and or, even; without ANY mood disturbances...

(This is how I think about this... Its NOT by any means textbook 100% correct, but this is how I get the differences between bipolar/schizophrenia clear in my mind. As they are SO alike, its often thought they're the exact same thing(s))

Bipolar: Moods exacerbate psychosis.
Schizophrenia: Psychosis exacerbates mood.

Its kinda wierd looking at it this way, but because my doctors cannot find out which I am of these two above... Its almost like I need to figure things out for myself, than just accept an educated guess, when it doesn't really matter at all. The treatments may be slightly different, but the goal is not. Getting better is the reason for any medication to be entering your body... And you've got to accept the illness before it can be given to ya. (Could be forced) BUT, before it will start to work, getting better is not ALL about taking meds. Alot of it is getting over denail, accepting an illness, and searching for an answer outside yourself, that you can bring into yourself; so that you can then see the world more clearly; and apply it to daily living and avoid any negative thoughts/moods/psychosis, etc...

Hopefully this kinda makes sense ahaha, I'm tired again... :)

Hi 8800GTS,

Thanks for your reply. I completely agree with you that it doesn't matter which label is applied to the symptoms, just so long as there is someone to help with meds to quell those symptoms to a manageable level.

All those diagnosis mentioned have been applied to me over the past few years. I am a 47 year old mother, with 2 teenagers, married 16+ years, professional, employed, suburban mom.

I have shortcommings about each and every Dx received because, I don't fit neatly into a perfect fit with each of those Dx. e.g Borderline PD - Of the 5-6 categories identified in this disorder i.e Identity disturbance, emotional dysregulation, interpersonal, dissociation, extreme behaviour, suicidal and paranoid ideation, (and I've already forgotten the others) - I only identify with one or two of the milder symptoms, so this is called an 'underlying borderline personality structure'. Lucky me . . . .lol. . . .

But when I'm in a bad way, on a psychological downhill decline, well then, all bets are off - and nearly anything is possible.

I received the PTSD Dx in 2006 when I first sought professional help for those troubling psychological problems, apparently these are related to my childhood tauma and abuse.
So, OK, now each time I go and see the 'lady shrink' I ask her if she still thinks it's BPD, and she always answers - Yes!" Does she think it's PTSD - "yes"

Those more extreme symptoms such as dissociation, paranoid & suicidal ideation arrive when I'm on a serious downhill trajectory - I can feel the decline, I begin to not be able to comprehend events and what people are saying to me. I hear them, but can't make sense of what is being said.

In terms of you being either Bi-polar or schitzophrenic, is it possible to reside somewhere on a continum, or perhaps within a matrix of diagnostic symptoms? I guess what I'm asking is that do you really need a label to your symptoms, to know you need meds to quell the symptoms?

My feeling is that OK, lablels help us make sense of the world, but targeting meds in treating symptoms, seems to me to be a far more focused approach than labelling, and treating to the label.

I do not know if I had a psychosis last year, perhpas it was only dellirium, perhapas I may never know, but when I feel myself sliding into the abyss, I know I have to get around the paranoid ideation, and seek assistance too.

I wonder if the Seroquel was intended to address both insomnia and psychosis? I'm anti-meds too, but I don't think I'd have survived too long in my state of deterioation for very long, so meds were the avenue of least harm.

I am not Bi-polar as I don't get those great highs, but gee sometimes I wouldn't mind. I imagine many Bi-polar highs are very productive and creative times for those that have them. What's it like? Can you explain it?

In terms of hallucinations - mmmmmm? Not really, but I do get lots of sweet pungent smells. e.g handcream, cookies baking, jasmine. Funny thing happened with my Year 11 Economics class early one morning, I could smell a strong smell of cinnamon doughnuts, and I asked the class, that whoever had the doughnuts had better have enough for all of us - or there'd be trouble. The whole class looked stony pale faced at me as I continued to protest about the strong smell of freshly cooked cinnamon doughnuts. Very very funny at the time . . . .. .lol. Now even my students know I'm a nutter - oh!, great . . . .lol

In terms of whether the psych problems stem from a Thyroid illness, well there's a whole pandoara's box full of worms on this topic. Just go and have a read over at the Thyroid board. I am marginally eythyroid (just within normal limits), BUT, have very very high Thyroid Anti-bodies about 250 times normal limits. There is much controversy in the literature on whether this can cause symptoms. Discussing it here on the boards or with medicos' well It's dangerous territory! Currently taking 50mcg thyroid replacement per day, and this current amount was recently reduced from an initial 100mcg daily dose.

Interesting that quetiapine is a 'neurotransmitter'. I wonder if in years to come, at the current rate of medical research, whether all these things currently labled 'mental illness' wil become accepted as part of the 'spectum of human diversity'.
Remember, that not so long ago, Autism, cretinism, Downs etc were considered 'mental illnesses'. Just wondering if the stigma and prejudice will ever abate?

"Knowledge and education is my mission - she say's to herself. . . . . .lol."

Anyway, bye for now, and I'm happy to discuss symptoms any time you like, These boards have just been a blessing for my sanity too.
regards, waratah
There is no generic for seroquel. There are though two kinds, Seroquel XR and regular Seroquel. Ive been on both. I was on Seroquel for over 4 yrs. without insurace, it is EXTREMLY expensive. If you are getting it paid for, take advantage of it. By the time i was able to get off of this horrid medication i was taking up to 800mg a night and sometimes more during the day with absolutely no side effects and no sedatation effects either. It also raised my tolerance to all other medications that i put into my body. i warn you, seroquel is not a medication for long term use. It requires blood monitoring, it can be an onset for diabetes, you can develop tolerance easily, heart problems, high blood sugar, coma, and so much more.listen to the comercials that broadcast on television about it. look it up. I have permanent heart problems due to seroquel. I see tv showing off seroquel to everyone now like its the best new thing. its not. try and keep it at a low dose where its safe. the higher you go, the more you are at risk for health and tolerance and also, the price. Believe me. I have first-hand experience with the drug and many many others.

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