I started Quetiapine along with the Depakote and Mirtazapine I am currently taking.
Hopefully it will be the missing piece to the puzzle regarding the controlling the severity of the bipolar swings. The Mirtazapine I’m on already is an antidepressant that obviously gives you a lift.
With bipolar however, that alone exaggerates the episodes of bipolar you have, so you introduce a mood stabiliser to put the brakes on, which for me is the Depakote.
The exact mode of action isn’t yet known as to why Sodium Valproate works for Bipolar patients. The most plausible explanation is that by slowing down the GABA receptors in the brain, the episodes become less intense and manageable. From my personal experience, I felt no different in myself and I didn’t notice that I had any improvement in the clarity of my thoughts. What I can say about the effect is that when I was looking back at my mood diary I had kept for the psychiatrist, my entries and effort to explain myself in the writings deteriorated until I stopped writing anything at all. This was over a period of 6 months. So it had slowly calmed my erratic behaviour but also stifled my expression.
Finally, I get to the point where I am now. When you are in a manic phase, you need a sedative to bring you back down. The high is either brought down by something pulling it down or by it’s expiration of energy and the crash landing from the free fall. Neither one of these methods is that pleasant. As your brain is going slower due to the mood stabiliser, the climbing in to mania is for me, more like a creeping on your tip toes than a climb. You can feel that you are on the peripheral and as this knot of anxiety/worry/shame/guilt et al is just gathering energy bit by bit. This is a major cause of agitation and irritability, poor sleep etc. for me. This is where the introduction of Quetiapine will come in to play by keeping the manic phases in check. Keeping me in the safe zone just as Mirtazapine is doing in a “Bipolar” 😜 kinda way 👌
#Quetiapine #Mirtazapine #Depakote