Seroquel is satan’s favored poison

(from 2008  – the days I was still withdrawing from the cocktail)

I’ve been having a rough time bouncing around. I went to San Francisco for a month. Came home for a week, went into town to house sit for a week, then came home to move into the cottage yesterday. Since coming home from San Francisco the bouncing around has left me very unstable without a sense of place. Half the time I haven’t even known where I’m going to be living. The two nights before coming home to get my stuff to move into the cottage I had two sleepless nights. I felt completely out of whack last night and so I thought I needed to sleep whatever the cost. I was wrong….the cost of sleeping has been far greater than sleeplessness.

I took a 25 mg Seroquel. A tiny dose in the realm of how high Seroquel doses can get. I hadn’t taken Seroquel in a year and a half. It was one of the first drugs I went off of. It was my “sleeper” drug. I always slept a hard 11 – 13 hours on it. That is what I wanted last night. I just wanted to be knocked out so I could move today and settle into my new temporary home. I got home yesterday and tried to move over to the cottage and was so sleep deprived I couldn’t do it. Before getting anxious about the move I had been sleeping 8 – 9 hours a night again, so I know it’s possible to stabilize. I just need to be in one place.

In any case, I took the Seroquel. It made me sleep alright. A good 11 hours. It also turned me into the nasty bitch from hell. And the fogged out of my head bitch from hell. And the suicidal bitch from hell and the crying, eyes rolling back into my skull bitch from hell—graphic courtesy of my husband. I had no idea my eyes were rolling.

I would much rather be sleep deprived.

Is there any clear way out of this predicament—I mean the larger one I’m in—this withdrawal trip? I wouldn’t wish this withdrawal journey on my worst enemy. I’m tired. I want to give up. I want my life back. Will I ever be healthy again?

It’s an ugly Catch-22—damned on the drugs, damned coming off of them. I can only hope that being off of them long term will break the Catch.

(epilogue: yes I got free of all drugs and am healing from the iatrogenic illness)


(2016 update) *it is potentially dangerous to come off medications without careful planning. Please be sure to be well educated before undertaking any sort of discontinuation of medications. If your MD agrees to help you do so, do not assume they know how to do it well even if they claim to have experience. They are generally not trained in discontinuation and may not know how to recognize withdrawal issues. A lot of withdrawal issues are misdiagnosed to be psychiatric problems. This is why it’s good to educate oneself and find a doctor who is willing to learn with you as your partner in care.  Really all doctors should always be willing to do this as we are all individuals and need to be treated as such. See: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up

It’s become clear to me that whenever it’s possible that it’s helpful for folks who’ve not begun withdrawal and have the time to consider a carefully thought out plan to attempt to bring greater well-being to your body before starting the withdrawal. That means learning how to profoundly nourish your body/mind and spirit prior to beginning a withdrawal. For suggestions on how to go about doing that check the drop-down menus on this blog for ideas. Anything that helps you learn how to live well can be part of your plan. That plan will look different for everyone as we learn to follow our hearts and find our own unique paths in the world. Things to begin considering are diet, exercise and movement, meditation/contemplation etc. Paying attention to all these things as you do them helps too. The body will start letting us know what it needs as we learn to pay attention. 

For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

Support Beyond Meds. Enter Amazon via a link from this blog and do the shopping you’d be doing anyway. No need to purchase the book the link takes you to or make a donation with PayPal. Thank you!

77 thoughts on “Seroquel is satan’s favored poison

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  1. I am right there with you. I stopped taking Seroquel (600mg for 3 years) back in January and haven’t been able to sleep before 5am past 11am, more than 2 hours at a time since then. I did stop kind of abruptly because my insurance ran out so I didn’t really have a choice. It’s been incredibly hard. I am so tired. I have tried everything. I feel your pain and wish that there were answers for us. I don’t know if you feel this way, but I am scared I am damaged for life! You are in my thoughts and I hope people who are thinking about taking this drug are warned better than I was about it. Good luck.

  2. Hey, glad i found this site…..
    I am 30 years old now and i have been a victim of Seroquel since 2004 I have seen many different psiquiatrists in NY, Dominican Republic and Costa Rica. They increased and decreased my dosage on seroquel with the hope to control several diagnosis I´ve been diagnosed with.

    After a great consumption of drugs and alcohol in 2004, all of a sudden i could´n sleep. I suffer from obsesive compulsive thinking, and when i go to bed i cannot sleep at all if i don´t take 200mg of seroquel. I´ve forgotten how it feels when sleep sensation comes in.
    I have become very dependable on seroquel and i am getting very very afraid that something is dying inside me.
    Every morning i wake up very estressed and tense and feeling like older everyday.
    I really need help, i am someone who can stop thinking about a specific subject, looking for conclusions and explanations. I am a very lonely man who is been deprived from starting his life in society because of my mental stress, ansiety and unclear thoughts.

    I am afraid to go to bed today as always because something of me very important stays there, like an accelerated elderliness. Seroquel hits and gets into conflict with my thinking but later on it knock me out.

    I am looking for alternative methods to lower my thinking or stop that obsession, but it never leaves me alone. I try meditation, acupunture, reiki, etc.

    Of course, i have 96 days clean from drugs usage, it is the longest time i have been clean since i had 15 years old.

    I am working very hard going to NA meetings and some psicologists that are helping me out to kill the social fobia and enter society again.
    But in the mean time i have to take this goddamn medicine.. i just don´t want it, but i can´t sleep without it.
    Today i feel like i am 50 years old but i haven´t lost hope.
    PLease, i´ i am looking for suggestions, i want to really get into the holistic aspect of life, i want to feel life again.

    Thanks and sorry for my bad english, i am a caribbean man living in Dominican Republic.
    I send a hug to all of you..


  3. Im glad i found this site,I am very familiar with the terminology.I was on paxel for 3 years,it wasnt working for me anymore so was switched to prozac,that didnt seem to help either so was then put on seroquel at night and then sertraline in the morning,not to mention that i have a medicine cabinet full of expired trazadone,that i was prescribed for insomnia,I am diagnosed with ptsd,bipolar,ocd,social anxiety disorder,yes the childhood was rough,
    at first i was happy with the seroquel,i have been less than 100 pounds all of my life and have struggled with gaining weight,despite the fact that im middle aged now and have 3 children,
    then it happened,up all night eating,yes!!!eating!!!anything i could get my hands on,from about 20 minutes after i took my pill until i went to sleep,not to mention the fact that the seroquel relaxed me so much it sent my restless leg syndrome into high gear,so eating and twitching my legs,now im up to 110 pounds,and just last week my neihbor asked me if i was pregnant,wow,yeah ive gained weight but it is all in my stomach.i am on my first day without any meds,im trying things solo now.please wish me luck!!!

    1. shelva,
      I hope you’ve tapered slowly otherwise what you’re doing is dangerous. Please go to my about page for resources on tapering as safely as possible…and learning ways to take care of yourself so you won’t be tempted to take these drugs.

      Seroquel gave me the munchies too…and I never even had restless leg syndrome until Seroquel and it went away when I went off of it…it’s definitely one of it’s adverse effects.

      please take care of yourself.

  4. She has not been on it near 6 months. I would say about 4 months or less. The reason our doctor put her on it was she was having severe anxiety attacks and could not sleep. She also takes ativan three times daily regularly. My hopes are that the ativan will help counteract some of the withdrawal from the Seroquel. Starting next Tues she is supposed to drop another Seroquel. That would mean she is down to one instead of three a day. We are tapering one pill at a time for at least 7 days. So far she is doing well at this rate. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed. 😉 Linda

    PS: I’ve been afraid of this drug for her from the start. But she begged the doctor for something to help her sleep. She was relentless in her efforts with the doctor. I really felt sorry for him.

  5. My 86 yr. old Mother is tapering off Seroquel 100mg that she has been taking three times daily. This is doctor’s orders. I just want to know how long it will take. She is supposed to taper off one pill every 7 days until she’s not taking any at all.


    1. Linda,
      Seroquel and any neuroleptic is dangerous for the elderly…very dangerous…can cause stroke and death…so it’s probably good that she is going off…but it sounds way too fast to me…

      how long has she been on it…that makes a big difference…if she has been on it more than 6 months she should really take several months to come off of it.

      without knowing particulars I can’t say though…occasionally there are reasons why someone should come off faster if there is a imminent danger involved in remaining on a drug…otherwise a very slow withdrawal is best and most docs take people off way too fast.

  6. If, indeed, Satan truely has a favored posion, it comes in a very pleasant package – and it seems to offer a great dichotomy between good and evil.

    Seroquel very well could be the nector of the gods, well, those gods that are seemingly fat, lazy, and aloof.

    So if it is satan’s poision, or the gods nector, either way, it is a power too much to be played with.

    If you will allow me, for a moment at least, to share a brief story.

    Imagine a girl, as beautiful as Aphrodite and as playful as a kitten, with long brown hair and eyes full of wonder, becoming something barely recognizable, almost grotesque.

    I met her four years ago, at a dimly lit bowling alley of all places. I quickly engaged her, and we quickly became friends..

    I was there when she had her surgeries, and when her father almost passed.. and yes, I was there when she was diagnosed with being bi-polar.

    She dissapeared for two days. We found her lying under the balcony in an apartment complex.

    Less than five hours later, she was admitted.

    So, as time rings endless, two years pass.

    She is now taking 250mg of Seroquel, and coupled that with lamictol. When she isn’t working, she sleeping. She has gained close to 50 pounds..

    and whats worse, she is a shell of her former self.

    Yet still, there is good in this. She has not gone missing, nor had any of what you call manic episodes..

    I’m wondering if she’s just too drugged to care.

    So, without further prattle and much ado, my question is simple..

    Is there anything she can do?

    She can’t live without medication, we’ve watched her try.

    She can’t live with her current medication, it eats her up inside.

    So, is there anything that is comprable to Serohell out there that doesn’t have such relentless side effects as that abominable drug? – Or, at least any other medication that we may ask her doctor about?

    It seems, for the most part, that people around here seem to know what they are talking about, or at least, can provide some good input..

    Any help would be much appreciated… and I wish all the best of luck!

    Gotta run, got boats to build!

  7. Vickie:

    Amen to what Gianna has told you! I don’t think it can be stressed enough that what you did is very dangerous. Take it from someone who has suffered for quite a while as a result of coming off of several psych meds too fast – it ain’t pretty and it puts your body in total shock! Educate yourself in the way she has recommended, too. And go back on your meds!

  8. vickie!
    my only advice and it’s pretty adamant is to GO BACK ON YOUR MEDS.

    Cold turkey withdrawal is DANGEROUS.

    Please visit my About page and look at the posts on safe, slow withdrawal and alternatives…

    There are support groups you can join to learn how to care for yourself in other ways and books as well.

    Please reconsider what you’ve done and reinstate your drugs…you will only feel worse than you do now if you continue in this fashion.

  9. hi….i have been taking 300mgs of seroquel and 30 mgs of lexapro for A year and i have quite taking my meds for 5 days now and im very very sick and miserable and cannot sleep and im just curious if im gonna have any bad side effects later on from this and i weighed 100 lbs when i begin and now i weigh almost 200 lbs please i hope someone can help me or know a website i can go to for help …….thanks for listening

  10. “I have heard it from a number of sources that once you go off a psych drug and are off it for awhile, if you resume it, you have a greatly increased sensitivity to it and often react very adversely.”

    On my second time with Trileptal, these past couple months, I had different side-effects, the very effects my doctor expected me to have with my mainstay Lamictal. Bad menstral-like cramps and sharp breast pains between my period, and worse when it was actual PMS. After I tapered off the Trileptal from 150mg to 75mg, these symptoms disappeared. The only reason my pdoc suggested a second attempt was to help with my sleep disorder. Seroquel knocked me out too hard and I quit it completely a few months ago.

    My first time I had only been on it a few weeks, coldturkeying the Seroquel and switching to Trileptal as my doctor suggested (brilliant!), and switched back on my own soon after because it was making me feel completely without motivation. No feelings, good or bad, just profound emptiness.

    As far as my experience the second time, can a drug change your future reactions so much after only a couple weeks the first time? Naive question? ;}

    And yes, emac005, I’ve been there too. Lost jobs as a result of Seroquel knock-outs. Now I can’t afford to take care of my health properly or find a stable housing situation. Big heaving dramatic *sigh*

  11. I took 100mgs after being off Seroquel for a year and the
    exact same thing happened to me as happened to gianna
    except for the rolling eyes. I felt like i had gotten a good
    12 hrs of sleep and was well rested. I was wrong. I went outside and I started acting like a person with BIG problems.
    Never again.

    That said, if I was out of control or manic
    and awake for weeks on end (which happened)
    I would definitely take Seroquel. I only took 50 mgs.
    If I had gone to 200 I might have stabilized quicker.

    Seroquel has been known to lower cortisol to
    dangerous levels. What happens then?
    Your ability to handle stress is gone setting you
    up for relapse if taken for a long time or a real
    bitch of a time if taken for a day.

    To measure cortisol they give you a blood test
    which might very well show your cortisol to be fine
    at that particular time. Cortisol levels vary considerably
    from AM to PM. The only way to measure that is with
    a saliva test which doctors don’t believe in anyway.
    So you have to make up your own mind.

  12. actually it’s generally recommended that vigorous exercise be done a few hours before bed — otherwise you remain stimulated at bedtime..

    otherwise Sloopy is right—exercise is a great way to help you sleep better.

  13. Hi, Emac005,

    What about a really long and vigorous exercise before bed?

    If your neighbourhood is safe for venturing out at night, then try a brisk walk or jog – several miles in length – until you’re properly out of breath.

    When I had inmonsia inmsnoia insonmia couldn’t sleep, I used to go for ten mile hikes in the early hours of the morning.

    Occasionally, the cops would pick me up and grill me!

    Matters weren’t helped when they found that I had a “P number” (psychiatric record)!

    They would gingerly ask: “are you meant to be in hospital, Sloopy?” !

    Prejudice with a big P!


  14. emm,
    I understand all you feelings. I’m concerned however that you said you stopped the Seroquel cold turkey.

    I don’t know how long you were on it but if it’s been more than a week stopping cold turkey is extremely dangerous.

    If you want to stop taking it I suggest you go back on a dose that you were used to for some time and start tapering by very small increments—10% or less of current dose all the way down.

    It’s only been three days….please reinstate the drug because you can have a nasty rebound effect up to a couple of weeks after abrupt discontinuation.

  15. First I would like to say that I am ecstatic that I found this website…there is a lot of useful information that I plan on doing some further research on…primarily when it comes to some of the suggestions offered for alternative sleep aids. I am currently taking 1200 mg of Lithium a day – and aside from the horrendous diarhea and hand tremors I like what it is doing for me. My doc has also perscribed Seroquel that I am supposed to take in the evening for sleep….it is the nastiest drug I’ve ever taken in my entire fucking life!

    I have always hard a horrible time sleeping and for years functioned (barely) on a few hours of sleep a night or none at all because I was scared to lay down in bed because I knew if I fell asleep that I would over sleep, be late for work, get chewed out by my boss…I’m sure that many of you have been there before.

    For the past two months my doc has been raising and lower the mg dosage of my Seroquel (highest so far has been 350 mg)…even on the very low dosage, within 45 minutes of taking it I was out like a light but then up in the middle of the night wide awake…I’ve taken it with food, without food…I’ve adjusted the time of night I was taking it, I could never find the happy medium. This last dosage increase up to 350 mg, I took at about 7:00 pm….well, it put into a “coma” and I slept until 11:00 the next day! I slept through my alarm, I slept through the phone ringing several times, I missed work that day…and even when I did wake up I was so groggy and felt so drugged that there was no way that I felt I’d be able to function at work, let alone drive there.

    I haven’t taken it in 3 days…and I can’t sleep, but at least I’m not scared about how I’m going to feel the next day…or if I’m going to sleep through half of the next day.

    Anyways, thank you so much for mentioning some natural alternatives – I plan on trying them.

    Thank you!

  16. Anonymous,
    I hope you’re still doing the diet, exercise, counseling and support you talk about.

    Your friend who laughed when you cut yourself is certainly not supportive.

    Please seek some professional help if you don’t currently have it.

  17. CT

    Sounds insane. 1750 MG? woww. r u sure your not tweaking? Wow talk about being super drugged up..
    I hate pharmaceuticals (sp?) so much. Diet, excercise, fish oil and counseling and support. Thats what you need. Cept its hard. Im turning bipolar i swear, after my ex bipolar and my wife whos taking lithium. im so fked. I feel like everyday is so fuked up…

    I used to drink and smoke as my self destruction but i’ve been 99% clean since january 1, ive smoked twice and drank twice. Cept now after unfolding my gerber and seeing the blood on it, from my wife cutting herself a few minutes earlier in a fight we had, it set me off. I started cutting. Really small cuts. just two tiny ones. but its getting addicting. i’ve tripled the cuts and moved on to my hand from the top of my arm. I did it in the car last night. I told my friend “Im feeling like shit”. He looked at me as i pulled out my knife and started laughing. And i cut myself and he laughed some more, so i kept cutting. Good times.

  18. I feel more alert today despite the fact it was hard to fall asleep last night. I think I’ll be ok off of Seroquel. CT I hope that you will be able to come off the medication. The only advice i can really give is that I would be really careful coming off of Seroquel since they have you on such a high dose. I have never heard of a dose being as high as the one your on. I couldn’t handle that much as my body wouldn’t allow it. I hope tonight goes better then last night. One thing I’ve learned is that I need to go to bed earlier during withdrawl so I don’t keep sleeping all day.

  19. Hi. Tonight is my first night on 25mg. I’m having problems falling asleep but hopefully it will get better…Yes, Seroquel is a hard drug to come off of…

  20. CT,
    I’m so sorry you are going through such a difficult time. I know what it’s like to be hospitalized against your will and drugged against your will too…I’ve been there.

    I have to say that if you are ending up in the hospital when you go off Seroquel it’s because you’re not doing it safely and slowly. You can’t mess around with withdrawal and if you go off too fast, you will, indeed end up in the hospital.

    Also if you want to live without the drugs you HAVE to start taking care of yourself in a multitude of ways. You can start with baby steps and take your time. It took a while to get in the condition you’re in and it will take time to get out of it.

    Try working on eating well and exercising for starters–even if you don’t feel like it. Don’t mess with your Seroquel dose until you are stable—unless of course you’re totally over-sedated, but then you should just tweak it a bit. You need to get as healthy as possible before making any serious attempt to get off of it.

    Research alternative mental health care. Try Safe Harbor’s Alternative Mental Health’s yahoo group:

    Hang around that yahoo group and check out the archives and you’ll learn a lot about nutrition and healing mental health issues.

    You can get healthier CT. Just take it one day at a time and don’t be in a hurry. You’re young and you can do it— you need to take responsibility for your health–no one else will do it for you.

    Your faith in God can help too.

    I hope to see you at Safe Harbor. take care CT.

  21. I am currently being forced to take seroquel. Everytime I try to go off they put me in the hospital and up my seroquel. I used to be very motivated to keep my self healthy. Now I feel like doing nothing but sleep. I am told to take 1750 mg wich I did for a month while under supervision in the hospital.

    When I was 21, 145 lbs I liked to run alot, enjoyed exercise, and could run over 100 laps around the track I was very athletic and got good marks in school. I did very well in math, computers, cross contry, and wrestling. I got athlete of the year award and best computer programmer award.

    I have been taking meds since I was 22. I am now 25, and 250lbs and can only run about 1 lap around the track. I have been swith between diffrent meds like xprexa, seroquel, and a few others.

    I have been in the hospitals alot in the past 4 years, been poorly treated and been call many names such as bipolar.

    I am trying with the little bit of life still in me to get better and off these meds.

    My eyes are getting bad hard to see and I am suffering brain damage that may be perminate.

    I hope people really consider before taking seroquel. It is hard to get off of and over all in the long run does alot more bad than good in my opinion. I belive the world would be better if many of these drugs would stop being push on people who are looking for help.

    The only thing that keeps me wanting to live is my belief in God. Without beliving that there is a heaven and hell and may of done my self in by now. I could not imagine much worse then living on a large amount of drugs that totally change you from joyful to miserible. I hell is worse than this than I guess I’ll keep on going and hoping one day to be set free.

  22. I felt pretty good today after sleeing last night. Hopefully tonight will go better on 50mg. Its my 2nd night on it. I think I’ll be ok. Hopefully. I’m going through alot right now stress-wise and hopefully I can get through it ok.

  23. Cotter,
    even though you’ve only been on it a week if the taper is disturbing your sleep go slower.

    And seroquel does indeed give lots of people the serious munchies, causes a lot of weight gain and can also cause diabetes.

  24. Hi, I’m back for more hating Seroquel! Well, I’ve been trying to sleep the last half hour and have had no luck. I am taking 50mg of Seroquel this evening. I do also have sleep apnea. Heres were my Seroquel and Sleep apnea come into play. One of the main side effects is dry mouth with the Seroquel. Within 30 minutes or so of taking Seroquel and using my CPAP machine, my mouth becomes very very very dry all over. I’ve been noticing this now for the last week or so. So, in turn, i had to get up and grab a glass of milk. From the glass of milk it went to eating two cans(small) of yogurt and a large bowel of cereal. Now, I’m trying to lose weight and it doesn’t seem that Seroquel is helping me in losing weight, I’ve felt I’ve put more weight on since I started therapy with Seroquel. I’m going to weigh myself tomorrow at the gym for wednesday weigh ins, I really don’t want to know my weight after taking Seroquel, but by knowing it will hopefully tell if this drug is benificial or not. I’m pretty sure it isn’t the way I’ve been feeling latley. I did want to add that I never expreienced such a dry mouth before when I wasn’t taking the Seroquel. I’m going to go back to bed and see what happens next. Good night! Best of luck to those weaning off Seroquel-I am just starting my wean…

  25. Cotter,
    Again I direct you to my about page:

    there you will find links to information on withdrawal and how to support your body while withdrawing and beyond.

    Peter Breggin’s book is the “bible” of sorts. You can purchase that book if you want. But since you’ve only been on Seroquel a week I think if you look at the online resources I’ve compiled—look at all of them—get some ideas—you’ll know how to approach it. And let your doctor know you are having serious adverse effects.

    As far as driving goes, I certainly never felt safe driving when I was on my full cocktail. I still don’t feel safe driving and try to keep it to a minimum. Trust your gut on that one.

  26. Does anyone know if driving on Seroquel is dangerous? I’ve been driving latley and I feel crappy in general from this medication and what it does to me. I’m off of benzos now and am glad. I think benzos are the most addicting ones out there, I’v been on so many I refuse as a paitent to go on them. My goal now is to come off of Seroqueol, 100mg. Does anyone have any advice for tapering on this level of dosage? Its not helping my anxiety, only making it worse. I feel tired and dizzy when I go out in public and I’m to the point now where I don’t wanna go anywhere because of how I feel. Seroquel makes me feel like a walking zombie. Thanks, Cotter.

  27. Welcome Cotter,
    I hope you’ll check out the “about” page on this site and spread your research net wide. I give lots of resources and from there you can find even more.

    Check out my side bar for additional resources as well.

  28. I am awake now. I hope I’m not taking up this discussion board on meds. I too feel that psychiatric drugs are dangerous and want to come off of them. I’ve been on all kinds of different medications in the past two years and I’m starting to realize that nothing is helping me anymore. Its great that I’ve found a place to vent about medication.

  29. Today I woke up at 12:30pm. I feel miserable. I tried what my doctor told me yesterday, 50mg at 8pm then if 50mg doesn’t work try another 50mg. I tried this and I slept 13 some hours. My day is gone. I feel disoriented and I feel the need to come off of Seroquel, its not helping with my anxiety as much as the prozac does. Today I’m just going to do 50mg before bed for 4 days then off. I can’t handle the way this medication is, I feel as if its “overtaking” me.

  30. Cotter…
    starting dose depends on what the doctor thinks they are treating. Some people start on 25 mg.

    If you’ve been on it for only a week I think your taper schedule is reasonable. You are having what would be called a “paradox” reaction because most people feel completely knocked out and can’t stay awake when on Seroquel.

    Any one who has been on Seroquel for 6 months or more should absolutely taper only by 10% or current dose–meaning it can take weeks or months to get off.

    Cotter even at just a week if you have problems you can slow down. I know that some people get addicted to benzos in just one week—I don’t know about Seroquel being that potentially addictive or not.

    goop luck…make sure you explain to your doctor that you are having an adverse effect.

  31. I’m on Seroquel 100mg. I’ve been taking this for less then a week now. I called my DR today and they said to take it at 8pm tonight. I did take it then, but then the one problem I had was trying to sleep that early. Its now 10pm and I’m wide awake after taking 100mg of Seroquel. I have no idea of what to do with this medication. I have been on Seroquel before and am experiencing the same thing as before. I’m going to taper and hopefuly go back to my normal sleep routine. I think tapering to 50mg for 4-5 days then stopping is ok.

  32. I’m sorry Beth. I don’t give medical advice. All I can suggest is continuing education yourself. There are lots of peoples experiences on psych meds all over the net. You can find information from people who support meds and those who don’t.

    As you can tell I personally think meds are dangerous and that is why I’ve chosen to go off of them.

    I wish you the best in your quest to be healthy.

    For more info to alternatives to meds besides my own website you can check out my links on the side bar to other websites that question psychiatric drugs.

  33. Please help!! My doctor gave me SeroQuel today. 25 mg. Told me to take 2. I have read a little bit about it today..Shaking in my shoes! I think if I slept for more then 3 hours I would be more manic!! Thinking about all I could have been doing (washing walls etc.) I have not been myself for a while..They THINK I might be bi-polar. Do you think I should take it and go with the flow? I wish I could personalize my plate CRZBITCH but I really want it to say Idontno..Not sure about your thoughts but what I”ve read I’m not so crazy..

    Reaching out for advice,
    Beth from the couv

  34. Hehe!

    What a ridiculously small world this is!

    You definitely made the right choice!

    I’d plump for North Carolina, any day, over the frozen tundra of northern England!

    Forming a support group sounds like a great idea, though.

    A week or so back, I spoke with a local clinical psychologist who ran a neuroleptic withdrawal group until recently.

    Sadly he said that his time is now occupied elsewhere but he suggested I started a group myself!

    I was flattered but baulked at the idea, since I’m not a competent person, and as you say, there’s so little interest at the consumer level.

    I guess this is for several reasons.

    For many people, personal mental health and psych drugs are a very private problem.

    And most consumers are completely consumed by the medical model.

    Many see no escape from the subservient role of mental patient, someone who simply follows medical advice, unswervingly.

    That leaves precious few with the motivation to rebuff the drug paradigm.

    Mindful of that, perhaps with this blog, you have come up with the next best alternative, or perhaps an even better one?

    We’re all scattered across the world, but our common purpose draws us together.

    And the support and ideas we pool are perhaps more considered than if the exchange was taking place in real time?


  35. Sloopy,
    thanks for the input…

    Guess what?? We almost moved to Hebden Bridge before we ended up here in NC. We visited Hebden Bridge and seriously considered it. That would have been awesome—to have a support group of people coming off these things in real life!!

    Hebden Bridge is so tiny it’s hard to believe it would happen there. Maybe there is hope yet that I can get something together here where I live. I do intend to start networking once I have more energy. I want to hit professionals who are like minded since I am by history also a professional. I’ve tried among “consumers” (I hate that word) and haven’t found much interest in the small groups I’m associated with—though I need to look further into that as well.

    I have ideas about who to contact.

  36. Hi to B.Wilde and, Hi, of course, to our fine host, Gianna!

    There is a group dedicated to neuroleptic withdrawal which meets at Hebden Bridge, W.Yorkshire, England.

    The group’s website is and it holds quite a lot of practical material on withdrawing from neuroleptics like Seroquel, Risperdal and Zyprexa.

    One of the inspirations behind the group is Dr Rufus May who was once labelled schizophrenic but made a full recovery and is now a practising clinical psychologist with the British National Health Service.

    On the website are audio recordings made by Dr May and others in which they discuss withdrawal strategies.

    Click through “Links” then “Coping With Coming Off Conference”


  37. Absolutely B!
    You might want to start with Peter Breggin’s book Your Drug May be Your Problem

    It’s a guide to coming off drugs.

    Basic principle:
    come off 10% of current dose. That means you start with cutting down by 10 mg. When you’re on 90 mg you cut down by 9 mg ect. To do this you may have to do a water titration—crushing up the pill and making a suspension of it in water or alcohol mixed with mostly water and then measure it by the ml. You have to know a little math.

    Cut by 10 percent every week to two weeks or slower if you body feels it too much.

    Eat a whole food diet. Do some research on nutrients that heal your brain.

    Look at my “about” page for more info.

    good luck.

  38. Gianna you wrote “under certain circumstances one MUST sleep”
    I used to believe this as well. If I didn’t sleep I believed I would go mad.
    I can from lack of sleep have visual glitchs, and audio ones, but I know what they are from so they are not frightening.
    If a problem arises I stay calm, and clairify the issue.

    To sleep I lay down and relax, concentrating on the idea/thought a pleasant image such as a beach if necessary.
    This might be meditation , I don’t know.
    As my body is still, if I do not lose consciousness, it is still restfull nearly the same as sleep.

    The next night I relax and hope for sleep and it may come.

    I also cheat a bit.
    I use earplugs to cut down on startling noises.

  39. Wow, that’s so cool you got to take a retreat with her–that’s one of my dreams. I think I’ve read practically every book she’s written and they’re all worn and dog-earred. I refer back to them again and again. I’m sure you know she has a website with lots of readings and talks and lessons on it (

    I had heard that about her and the bipolar (maybe we could just call it ‘the polar bear’). I always wanted to know more about that. She mentions it briefly in her “The Depression Book”…it kind of sounded like she never got officially diagnosed (luckily!), but that one of the monks suspected she was and helped her learn to work with those energies. I had the feeling (but don’t know) that she had never been on medication for it. I would love to pick her brain about the whole thing.

    I love her and pema chodron the best, but now you’ve turned me on to this other guy (the one who wrote about dukkha), and I really dig him too. I ordered his book and am waiting on it’s arrival!

  40. amen Doe,
    My husband gets this completely. He feels bad that I’ve left because he knows in part it’s to protect him. And I’m living like a nun. Minimalism. I’m taking care of myself and I don’t need material stuff about me.

    I love Cheri Huber. I did a retreat with her once. She is wonderful.

    I’ve heard she was once upon a time diagnosed bipolar—but has of course shed that label long ago.

  41. Obviously the self-absorbed comment made by sigh pushed a lot of buttons–mine included. It’s something we’ve all heard a lot, usually from people who don’t understand what we go through and if they themselves had to bear it, wouldn’t last a day.

    Also, it doesn’t help that these sorts of things are said in a judgemental kind of way…(the unsaid thing being ‘you’re so selfish’).

    Cheri Huber, who is a Buddhist monk, encourages people NOT to follow the common mainstream advice of doing volunteer work and giving to others when you are in a deep depression. She feels we need to attend to ourselves at this time, and that it’s not a good time to interact with others and in fact could be a harmful time to interact, where you can do more harm than good, because you’re pushing yourself to do things that you aren’t really capable of at the time, and trying to give what you don’t really have to give. When we try and do that, we usually blow up and hurt people, because it’s too stressful and everyone feels bad, ourselves included.

    Here’s how I feel about it:

    Focusing on others is fine if you’re up for it and it feels like the right thing for you to do. However, there are times when it feels right not to focus on others and just take care of yourself. In fact, this can be a way of taking care of others.

    Sometimes, like during withdrawal, your synapses feel fried and you need to be alone to recharge and not have any extra input. If you allow yourself to do this when you need to, then after you get what you need, you have something to give others. (the ole oxygen mask analogy…the mother has to put one on herself before she can take care of the child and put his/hers on).

    However, if you just keep focusing on other people when your spirit is crying out for solitude and no sensory input, then you are not being kind to yourself and you have no kindness to give anyone else.

  42. Stephany,
    I’ve just posted a wonderful Buddhist teaching in which, self-focus is certainly central.

    All Eastern Practices deal with the focus of our inner being and understanding it’s nature.

    My goal in this time alone is to meditate daily for hours as I will have the time.

    That as well as writing a personal journal—not what you see here and doing artwork and pastels for the work I’m doing with my therapist.

    I greatly appreciate all the mutual support that goes on in these dialogs.

  43. I was just using ‘daily explorations’ as an example of how we can watch who reads our blog; not inferring anything else.

    My comment is addressed to the ‘sigh’ person who questions Gianna’s “self-absorbed” journey.

    I also disagree, I believe self-focus is the key to success in this situation.

  44. This is Gianna’s site, so I can only speak for myself, not her, but whatever she writes here, is based on her personal journey, and anyone traveling past this blog, or mine –as I saw ‘daily explorations’ on my site meter today as well–…can have an opinion, but in fact these are personal blogs and honestly I say hit the pavement and find another blog with un moderated comment section to dump in.

  45. I’m in agreement with much to learn from eastern arts – willing to learn from any art – also, from any person who has undergone pain, and come out on the other side –

    We need to support one-another.
    Life is short –

    I don’t feel like engaging in a battle on this site –
    This is a place of refuge for many – it offers a heart-felt journey….

    Not always with answers, but certainly not void of hope –

    Surely, we can move beyond these ‘barbs’ and into the spirit of recovery –


  46. I will vacate.

    It just seems that an astonishing amount of self focus goes on here and it doesn’t help drug withdrawal or anything else. It really doesn’t. I have been on and withdrawn from far more psych drugs than 37 so I’m talking from experience. I couldn’t get better and stabilized until I was able to focus outside my own skin, mind and concerns, not using others merely as support or as props for my own misery, but getting outside of my head for a change. It is hard but worth it. Some of the Eastern therapeutic approaches seem more effective, at least for me.

    The American way is far more self-focused and on pills and electroshock too, for that matter.

  47. “..Taking the focus off oneself (strange concept, no?) and.. all those Operating Procother things alien to the self absorbed really do help…”

    A flippant, indifferent and arrogant “sigh”, indeed!

    The hallmarks of a psychiatric “professional”, yes?

    And one with nothing better to do than hurl barbs at a mental health recovery blog.

    What’s the matter?

    Short of geriatrics to electroshock today?

  48. In spite of years of agonizing pain, Gianna has reached out to others – not only on this blog, but on Safe Harbor –

    Also, personally as a close friend.

    She has taken 37 psychiatric medications – I cannot even begin to wrap my head around what the pain must feel like withdrawing from these damned thigs…..

    In spite of it all, she reaches out daily to others – on this site, on others as well…..

    Give me some more of these ‘self-absorbed’ human beings – hell, fill the globe with them –

    The world would be a better place –


  49. I am aware the comments are primarily for the purpose of supporting Gianna, thus my comment wasn’t a specific criticism, but rather a helpful idea in general. Outer-focus works.

  50. Psychiatric meds aren’t the end all. Meds aren’t always the answer. A little over the counter Benadryl can be just as effective if one must lean on pills.

    Taking the focus off oneself (strange concept, no?) and focusing outward, caring about others, doing for others, and all those other things alien to the self absorbed really do help.

  51. Roman,
    I never had that kind of trouble when I took Seroquel regularly and for me the withdrawal wasn’t that bad because I was on 11 mg of Risperdal at the time. I hadn’t taken Seroquel in a year and a half when I took it last night. Now tonight 24 hours later I’m still really screwed by it—totally ugly experience. So it seems to be an acquired sensitivity as Sara suggested.

    I’m concerned you may be tapering too quickly. Especially if you’re suicidal— slow down and keep on eating well, add some supplements like fish oil and magnesium etc. Exercise is great too. I wouldn’t keep on withdrawing until your suicidality goes away. It sounds dangerous.

    You clearly have a lot of motivation. Good luck.

  52. Wow! The involuntary eyes rolling sounds awful. I had not heard of that one before. I guess I’m blessed to have not had that experience with Seroquel. I am still taking Seroquel, infrequently (only when I need sleep). And lately that has been the case. I completely understand why you would need to sleep Gianni. If I go through just one sleepless night, I have anxiety and I am prone to having panic attacks.

    It’s been 6 weeks since I’ve stopped taking Effexor, so I believe that I am over the withdrawals from that. I’m tapering my Lamictal, with suicidal results, but I had light therapy through tanning today; went to the gym, and just walked briskly for 45 minutes. I’m eating healthy, and all that shit. But I am wondering what to expect when I finally stop taking Seroquel. Gianni, since I didn’t have the same side effects that you had with the Seroquel, I’m not sure that we would share the same experience, but I am curious to know what I can expect when I finally stop taking Seroquel. It will be my last drug to cease taking, as I realized I couldn’t stop them all at once.

    But maybe you or anyone else can give me an idea of what to expect.

    Forgive me. I’m sure I can find it posted here somewhere.

  53. Wow, for once there’s a side effect I didn’t get! I don’t get the withdrawls you do; I get the side effects and have to come off immediately.

    I cannot believe you get 11 hours off of 25mg of Seroquel. 75mg is perfect for me to get 9, but that costs me $112/month, so I only take 50mg and settle for 7 good hours and a few restless hours. After all the meds I’ve been on trying to sleep, Seroquel is something I cannot live without. I just watch my blood sugar. When I was on 100mg for a while, it started to rise.

    Part of the gossip articles today are about Britney being on Seroquel. I’ve said it before. She gives crazy a bad name.

  54. Gianna, I seriously believe once you STOP and I mean, slowly unpack, rest and get settled that the increased sensitivity to the withdrawals will let up. When I was coming off of Seroquel cold turkey [50mg] I needed absolute quiet. No noise, no input period. That’s what you are giving yourself with the cottage, so just take it easy and I’m sure this wild awfulness will slow down. btw the eyes rolling up is ocular dysfunction and that’s what Zyprexa and Risperdal did to my daughter; so bad in fact, that her eyes remained stuck looking up for hours. I read the tiny tiny package insert and told the pdoc, he said, nah it was a eye doctor issue. Took her to the eye doc, then the PCP ultimately is the one [of all ppl] to say it was the Zyprexa and to reduce the dose. Honestly, this stuff is so nasty, but I totally agree with needing sleep and 2 times after removing seroquel I used a 25 for sleep too. I felt that awful fog again and just made sure I didn’t take it for more than 3 days. The sleep loss can make us insane, and I say that with description of how I feel when I haven’t slept–unable to function, think, and want to rip my hair out to say it nicely.

    So, take care and make sure to stop. I say that because I am one who does not stop and had to train myself to do it! [as in literally sitting down and being quiet, reading, etc.]

    Enjoy the cottage and I hope you have a nice space to sit and do pastels.

  55. Thank you Sloopy!! You lifted my spirits. I am in the cottage now surrounded by all my junk—nothing unpacked. Crashed on a bedroll. Will buy bed tomorrow hopefully!!

    I barely made it here after waiting several hours for the seroquel poisoning to lighten up.

    Lighten up being the operative saying here because I still feel ghastly. Tonight I will sleep with only the aid of my amino acids which were doing just fine until I got agitated about moving. I look forward to my normal feelings of shittiness to return.

    Sleeping on the floor won’t be fun, but it will only last a day or two.

  56. Hi!

    All said, it sounds like the house move went smoothly. We’re often told that moving can be as traumatic as bereavement and relationship breakdown.

    So I would be congratulating myself for having kept it together well enough to post a blog entry, of all things!

    As for the Seroquel, I remember asking my psychiatrist about it (I must have been completely bonkers).

    He dismissed it out of hand for me, and sniggered that the industry dubbed it “Zeroquel” on account of its mildness. How little he knew!

    The involuntary rolling of the eyeballs in their sockets is a well documented adverse reaction to the neuroleptics.

    I think medics call it an “Oculargyric Crisis”. Since it can result in eye damage, it is an adverse event that is normally treated as a medical emergency.

    Except, of course, when it is happening to a mental patient. Then it is typically ignored, or even mocked by psych staffers (as I once witnessed).

    Take bestest care, Gianna!


  57. this is hearsay but I have heard it from a number of sources that once you go off a psych drug and are off it for awhile, if you resume it, you have a greatly increased sensitivity to it and often react very adversely.

    You are right about that. I’ve heard it too first hand from people I know. Like I said I learned the hard way.

  58. Val…thank you for the laugh!! Ah…Well your very occasional 12.5 mg solution is a scenario I would be happy with when this is all over. I just have no idea how much permanent damage has been done. No one knows, least of all me, if I can indeed recover completely and really never need anything pharmaceutical ever again. Sure I’d like that to be the case, but I am not fool enough to be certain permanent damage has not been done. And I’m not fool enough to end up in the psych ward psychotic because I refuse to take a single pill to knock me off a dangerous course of sleeplessness—.

    You WON’T see me being a daily drug user when it’s all over though. That I can be sure of….well I guess there is a small bit of room for doubt for that too…I do have to get off the rest of the shit I’m on first… and again…there is no telling.

    I am optimistic in spite of all the upheaval and pain I’m suffering to get there.

  59. “eyes rolling back into my skull bitch from hell” — wait a min, I thought that was MY husband’s description of ME!!!
    Thanks for the laugh even if it was unintentional…If you can just hang onto your sense of humor, all is not lost!
    Hang in there babe… I don’t think I ever went into much detail, but last spring the 1st old-skool shrink I consulted w/Rx’d me TRAZODONE (although he claimed this was primarily for my insomnia). The more I read up on it, the more the hair stood up on the back of my neck! [not to mention that lovely hung-over, hell-bitch on wheels persona the next day]
    But I still have a few tabs on hand bcz if I found if I chop them into quarters (that’s 12.5 mg), on those occasions when I MUST have a decent night’s sleep, that will allow me to drift off w/out as big a price to pay The Day After…

  60. Sara,
    You have to understand that under certain circumstances one MUST sleep. I will take drugs under acute circumstances—I may have to learn the hard way what to avoid as today shows, but I am not completely hard core anti-drug. All an absolute attitude about these things shows is inflexibility. I will do whatever I need to do to get off drugs and if that includes judicious occasional additional drug taking so be it.

    My drug of choice will be benzos from now on. I’ve used them intermittently to get sleep successfully in the past. Once I start withdrawing from them I’ll have to reconsider what the preferred “big gun” will be

    Complete sleep deprivation is not something to trifle with.

    I ask you to please refrain from judgment.

    Thank you for your wish for peace for me. I know it’s sincere.

  61. In some ways it surprises me that you even had the Seroquel on hand. Once you finish your taper and sustain the withdrawal for a certain period of time I would hope that you would dispose of the drugs, never to be tempted again. I admit to being concerned about your being alone as you continue your withdrawal process. It just seems like it’s a really dangerous time and also that there is a lot of importance attached to how you look after yourself with nutrition and rest (if not sleep). I appreciate though that you are also sensitive to human interaction. Also this is hearsay but I have heard it from a number of sources that once you go off a psych drug and are off it for awhile, if you resume it, you have a greatly increased sensitivity to it and often react very adversely. I honestly think this is why psych docs have to keep switching people to new drugs and can’t go back to “old standbys”. It’s like an allergic reaction. All this being said I honestly hope that you find the path you need to continue your withdrawal and achieve ultimate success. Peace be with you.

    1. Hi Urban,
      Yes, of course there are things she can do. But SHE has to want to do them…not you.

      Can’t live without meds? If she hasn’t tried utilizing other supports then you don’t know the answer to that…

      Diet, meditation, exercise among many other things can help people ditch the drugs. But people have to have the motivation and desire and aptitude to learn how to do those things appropriately for themselves…

      My “about” page (tab at top of page) gives some resources as to where to start researching such things.

      In any case, you can’t make anyone decide to make changes, so don’t expect anything from her. It may not be her path to choose a way without meds. You can certainly let her know there are options, but beyond telling her they exist she needs to be the one to pursue them.

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