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I believe that I can help.
You are not taking a relatively low dose of quetiapine. The actual recommended dose is 50 mg twice a day for bipolar.
You may very well have been wrongly diagnosed at the time and you were just angry and upset about the failure (and possible abandonment or abuse issues) of your marriage. You were self-medicating with drugs and alcohol and it is impossible to say what exactly happened 7 years ago to have the doctor diagnose you with manic depression (bipolar).
There are so many misdiagnoses, especially when it comes to bipolar disorder.
You say that you are mania free and have been since that time.
Do you have any other symptoms? Do you get very angry at times?
If you do not have any more issues of mania then you can probably withdraw from the quetiapine.
IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT YOU DO THIS VERY VERY SLOWLY, otherwise you can get back side effects, and one of them can be to develop symptoms that mimic mental illness but those symptoms do pass.
This withdrawal process is called psychosis-mimetic, means that it can (not necessarily will) produce psychotic-like symptoms even in patients that are completely healthy.
There are other possible side effects which can produce the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, trembling, getting dizzy when you get up too quickly, rapid heartbeat, insomnia, nervousness, dizziness, headache, anxiety, and excessive non-stop crying.
I am not trying to frighten you but to let you know how important it is to withdraw from this drug very slowly and on a very slow regimen of several months. It you do this you should have no problems.
I think that you should get off this medication under the guidance of a psychiatrist or perhaps your pharmacist. The slow withdrawal is recommended by the British National Formulary.
If you have any other concerns, you may jump in at any time, now, or you can return later for follow-up questions.
I see you typing.
Do you ever hurt yourself (cutting, burning, punching walls, anorexia)?
Those other symptoms that you mentioned are very likely to be caused by your withdrawal from some of the quetiapine.
Your dosage was not that high, but if you didn't need it then it was too much of course. It was making you tired and reducing the dose gave you more energy.
Were you ever abandoned or neglected or abused as a child?
No self hurt issues then.
Your problem was more like Borderline Personality Disorder, but not really diagnosable. Just some abandonment issues. Not PTSD either. Although taking drugs may have been your self-abuse.
This book can help you.
And these exercises can help with your "Mediterranean temper".
In the following books:
and/or this book:
You do not need medication but just a bit of talk therapy, particularly Dialectical Behaviour Therapy.
Is there any other way that I can help? I believe that you will be fine and can withdraw successfully from the quetiapine and manage and control your anger which comes from fear of abandonment.
I shall keep you in my prayers. I have great confidence that you will come out of this fine and strong. Congratulations on your successful relationship as well.
Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
Wonderful. That makes my day ! ! ! ! :)