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  1. Hello, I am struggling with withdrawal from Mirtazapine presently. My Dr. Put me on Prozac 10 mg. When I started experiencing anxiety. I need off as it is not helping and probably making things worse. Has been 6-1/2 weeks on. How do I taper to avoid additional problems? Dr. Said no tapering needed. I’m not sure I believe that! Thanks you for any suggestions you can provide!
  2. Just thought I'd post a quick intro post. I've been taking Mirtazapine since July after a bout of insomnia (not my first) which was so severe this time that my mental health deteriorated very badly and after a suicide attempt I was eventually hospitalised. Thankfully the Mirtazapine was the thing that eventually helped turn the corner with the sleep. After only a short time I knew I wouldn't want to be on it long term and started a quick taper pretty quickly. I figured as I had only been on it for about 3 weeks I would be fine to do a quick taper - more fool me! Gave myself horrific withdrawal and accepted I would need to do the slow taper. I've been tapering since then and am now down to 7.5mg, doing a 10% drop every 3 weeks. So far on that method I have managed to avoid bad withdrawal - a couple of icky days here and there but something that could equally pass as PMT or coming down with a cold, and nothing that seems to follow any set pattern. A world away from the horrific WD of a too-quick taper! It feels as though I've been tapering for forever, but I realise I still have a long way to go and am already extremely nervous about what happens in the Spring when I get down to the low numbers. My primary concern is avoiding rebound insomnia as I know from experience that when I get it, it often kicks off a cycle that can lead me to an extremely dark place, both physically and mentally. On the flip side I am desperate to be off of it because of the weight gain - from being a size 8 all my life to the size almost-16 I am now, my body doesn't feel like my own. Though I'm in a pretty good place right now I'm always interested to hear/read about others experiences and tips with tapering as the one thing I have learnt is that everyone is different!! Sending good vibes from me to all of those who have struggled with the tapering and withdrawal - it still staggers me that doctors really have little clue about how difficult it really is. Gill xxxx
  3. Hi all, I recently completed a taper of Valium over the Feb - Sept 2019 time period via a daily liquid microtaper (sooo glad to be done with this!), but from my siggy, you can see I am also currently on Lexapro and Mirtazapine (both of which I have been on now for around a year). I would like to taper off of both of these (not the same time, but lexapro first, mirtazapine second) over the coming months and am just looking for more information from those who have successfully walked this path before me. If anyone is tapering a benzo, I am an open book regarding my experience and what has helped me (fish oil and kefir are the two supplements that helped me the most, by a mile). I am wondering if there is a way I can taper my antidepressants in a similar manner - very very slowly, gradually, and consistently, but also a pace that is based on symptoms / experience as opposed to a pre-set path. Thankfully, none of these are controlled substances, and I have a doctor that is very supportive of working with me, so I am all ears to this community and look forward to joining and learning in advance of my remaining tapers. Thanks, Jim
  4. Tappered down over 2 mnths from 15mg-0.46mg been stopped 2 days now and eyes and head hurt, feel ok not up or down,sleep been ok so far,im aware its in system till day 8 any tips on how to push through,i hate this brain fog x
  5. I tried to taper off of Mirtazapine in March by skipping pills; I was not aware how dangerous this was at the time. My withdrawal symptoms were mild because I was lucky. I had some anxiety in April, but nothing major. I went cold turkey after my prescriber told me that I didn’t need to taper Mirtazapine. He also pressured me into taking Effexor, which caused me to develop severe full-body itching. I was taken off of the pills immediately because it was suspected that I was allergic to them. I suffered from severe withdrawal symptoms during the week where I wasn't taking any medication (sweating, diarrhea, anxiety, heart palpitations, shivering, lack of appetite, nausea, dizziness, flu-like symptoms, and insomnia). I tried to speak with my prescriber about tapering and withdrawal symptoms, but he insisted that everything I was experiencing was my ‘anxiety’ and put me back on Mirtazapine. I am now preparing to taper off of Mirtazapine properly. I came here to learn how to do this as effectively as possible.
  6. Hi all. Long time lurker, thought I’d finally join in. Age =30, Male. Straight to business: Had what you might call a nervous breakdown after quitting my job and also dropping out of University mid 2016. I was having suicidal thoughts, disordered thinking and I stopped sleeping. - Started on a low dose of Valium for 2 weeks to help sleep. This unfortunately exacerbated my depression, anxiety, insomnia, agitation. - started on Lexapro. Again, made my symptoms worse. Didn’t sleep for a week straight. Yikes. - finally prescribed seroquel 25mg. Took it before bed for 1 week. Had 1 week break. Took it again for 1 week. Calmed me down, gave me decent sleep. Didn’t touch it again. - Finished up the 6 months course of lexapro (can’t remember the dose but it was the lowest you can be clinically prescribed). - Afterwards, suffered withdrawal insomnia and anxiety/agitation, doc prescribed 7.5mg mirtazapine nightly. - finished up the mirtazapine after 9 months. Went through 3 months of hell to finally get to 0mg. Drug free for roughly 1.5years so far. I had a LOT of withdrawal symptoms getting to where I’m at now. I’m happy to discuss these so do hit me up. Mirtazapine withdrawal was incredibly difficult. Current state: - Poor short term memory recall (this is slowly getting better) - Chronic tension headache. This is my number 1 gripe. Sometimes better sometimes worse, always low level. Mostly pressure/ache forehead along hat-line but can be top of head. Started 1-2 days into mirtazapine and hasn’t gone away since. - General anxiety (worse in morning, better in evening). - Low stress tolerance - Difficulty with speech, wrong order or words, stumbling over words. If my headache is bad my speech is usually bad as well. - Brain fog - Sleeping pretty well surprisingly. Usually get my 8 hours. - starting to notice photosensitivity. Bright lights in shopping malls in particular cause me to squint a lot. what I’ve tried: Getting a dog - highly recommend. My dog is my best friend. Jaw/Head/Neck/Shoulder dry needling - this works to relieve my tension headache but only temporarily. I carry a lot of tension in my jaw. Breathe right Nasal strips - really helped my sleep and reducing severity of my headache. Thyroid testing - all results within normal range. Chiro - helped loosen up my neck and back but no discernible difference in my tension headaches. Both eyes checked by optometrist - excellent vision Running 3-4 times per week Jiu Jitzu 2 times per week Hot yoga 1 times per week Future: - have just completed a sleep study, based on the improvement I had with headache with the nasal strips. Possibly have sleep apnoea & bruxism. - acupuncture - thinking about having a weekly acupuncture session to relieve muscle tension for my headaches instead of weekly Acupressure massages. - work hard on improving personal relationships. A final note. The fact that I was on Seroquel really bums me out and I attribute most of my current symptoms to it. Despite it effectively saving my life at that time I really really regret taking it Reading about the effects of it in various websites/research papers upsets me a lot still to this day. Anyway, big ups to this website. I couldn’t have tapered and ultimately came off mirtazapine without it. Just reading everyone’s stories gave me the determination to get drug free. If anyone has any thoughts on tension headaches in particular would love to hear from you.
  7. Hello SA, SleepyMagee here. I'm a first-time caller, long-time listener, and I've been meaning to do this for such a long time. I'm sure you all know how hard it is to get started, especially when your story is a long and painful one. But I feel like I'm ready. The following will be an account of my history with mental illness and how the medication I was prescribed made a bad situation worse. I'll try and keep it as short as possible, for all our sake. I hope updates and eventually a recovery story will follow. So here goes... In September 2009 a relationship ended. It had been on and off for most of that year, and really isn't particularly important except that precipitated my first bout of serious depression. I was 26, had very little direction in life, had been working dead-end jobs and really didn't care much. But when that relationship went south and I started to feel bad, I realised that I hadn't been particularly happy for a long time. The relationship ending was just the last straw. The suffering I felt was new and scary, but I got through it. I saw my GP and was offered antidepressants but decided against taking them. After a few months I started to feel better and exactly one year after I first noticed that something was wrong I enrolled in college and felt pretty good. School was fun and stimulating, but there was always a fear that I would fall back into the darkness, and when I had a dip in my mood about a year in, I went to my Dr and asked him to prescribe me something. Looking back I don't feel like I needed the pills. But I was really worried that the depression would get worse and it would affect my work. I really wanted to finish my studies and do well. So I ended up taking 150mg of Sertraline for six months and I have to say, it was pretty good. My mood improved after a couple of months and the side-effects were minimal. The worst issue was a terrible case of the runs which lingered for about six weeks before disappearing. I had no issues coming off the drugs and I finished college, passing with flying colours. Between 2011 and 2013 I was on and off Sertraline twice, for about six months each time, and had no real problems. Then, in early 2014, I felt my mood had started to dip a little and so I knew what I was going to do. I went back to the GP and asked for medication, but I thought I was clever. The old Sertraline had given me that pesky Diarrhoea, and I would like to avoid that if at all possible. Surely the answer was to just try a different medication? I'd be back to my old self in no time and avoid the runs as a bonus. Simple, no? No! This is the point in the story were everything starts to go wrong and it's the watershed moment. I haven't felt right since then. The Doc prescribed Fluoxetine (Prozac) 20mg and I duly took it. Within a couple of weeks I could tell that something was wrong. I started to feel very uncomfortable in my own skin- itchy, agitated, jumpy. It was very strange. I also started to have trouble sleeping. After a month or so I went back to the GP and I don't remember how the exchange went but somehow I came away with a prescription for 40mg of the drug. As time passed I felt more ill until I realised that what I was experiencing was anxiety. Eventually the anxiety progressed and turned to panic. I had my first panic attack at 3 am one night and it was caused directly and completely by the medication. I had never had any issues with anxiety before taking that drug and the only time I've had it since is when I have introduced new medication or adjusted the dose of medication I'm on. It's never been as bad as it was at that time though. At the same time I was so activated that I was getting just 2-3 hours sleep a night and working full time. I remember telling my girlfriend at the time I was too tired to go see her after work. When she got upset I agreed I would head over to her place, but when I got there she put me straight to bed. She said I looked like a corpse and her apologies were profuse! In September 2014 things had gone too far, and I was falling to pieces. I had missed so much work over the past six months that I couldn't take it anymore and quit my job. I haven't worked since. Shortly after that I was finally taken off the Fluoxetine and went straight on to Mirtazipine. You'll have to forgive my inability to remember how long I took to updose/downdose for these meds- it was a long time ago and my memory has been effected by the drugs (note: there is no recognition from the Doctors I saw that my anxiety and continued depression may have been caused by horrible crap they were giving me. I however, was starting to suspect.) Mirtazipine was prescribed because of my difficulty sleeping, and boy did it do the trick. 45 minutes to 1 hour after my dose I was nodding off. Once I fell asleep I was dead to the world for 10 hours solid. Pretty great? Eh, no. No matter how long I slept, I woke up feeling like I'd hardly slept at all. I couldn't focus, felt 'fuzzy' in my head, was always tired and was completely numb. I was basically a zombie. I had originally hoped that I would get back on the employment horse pretty quickly after my Fluoxetine experience- I was even told by the company I left to get in touch when I felt better- but I was no more functional on the Mirtazapine than I was on the Fluoxetine. I have never felt so physically exhausted in my life, and have never recovered my energy. To this day I wonder about which was worse/more damaging. I suffered more on the Fluoxetine, but on the Mirtazipine I lost any semblance of being a functional human being. Pick your poison. I suspect that a combination of the 2 drugs effects, one so quickly after the other, has done the long term damage. So I spent a year on Mirtazapine, sleepwalking through a living nightmare. I barely left the house and when I did, I was shattered for days afterward. I think it was around this time I began to insist that the pills were making me sick, and yet I was still convinced to take the maximum dose (45mg) and made to doubt my own instincts. My symptoms, I was told, were obviously depression and an adjustment in the dosage may be all that was needed to fix all my problems. I'm slightly ashamed that it took me another couple of years to admit the truth to myself. So my relationship ended, I had to move out of the home I shared with my partner and move back in with my parents at 32 years of age, and had no quality of life to speak of. But I finally got off the Mirtazapine. It was hell. My anxiety returned with a vengeance and I had the worst insomnia I've ever had. It genuinely felt like I was physically dependent on the stuff. Apologies, I can't recall how long it took and how often I dropped the dose, but I do remember that by the end I was nibbling tiny portions of a pill every few days just to get some kind of sleep. At the same time I began to take Sertraline again because my Doctor still couldn't believe that all the problems could be caused by the medication. I doubted enough myself to allow it, but part of me knew that I shouldn't be replacing the Mirtazapine. At the very least I feel like it may have ameliorated some of the symptoms of withdrawal to have something else working on my serotonin. If I had gone completely CT off the Mirtazapine I may have gone insane. Although the most pernicious symptoms passed after I ditched the Mirtazapine, I never recovered in any meaningful sense, probably because I moved on to another drug and my system never had time to recover. By this time I feel like my body was just so beaten up and my nervous system so damaged that a careful, slow taper was needed, but the fun was far from over. I made one attempt to get off medication completely in 2016, but failed, but in 2017 I managed it. It was, however, a disaster. I dropped from 150mg of sertraline to nothing in about six weeks. I was assured that this was a conservative approach to tapering. It wasn't, but I soon started to feel better. June and July of were pretty good and I started to feel like my energy was returning. I thought I was free and clear. In August I began to feel ill and depressed. By mid September, six months after my final dose of Sertraline, I was almost catatonic and competely suicidal. I lay in bed all day and formulated a very specific plan to end my life. Somehow, in late September, I made the most difficult call I've ever had to make. I called my sister and told her what was happening. She took me to the Doctor and from there I was referred to my local mental health services. Within a few days I was back on medication - Vortioxetine 5mg, then 10mg after 1 week). At this point I had the epiphany I needed to admit to myself fully that the medication had ruined my life. The standard line is that the medication will take 2-4 weeks to have an effect. Within a few days of taking the vortioxetine I felt much better. Not weeks, days. Bingo! This was NOT depression. It was withdrawal syndrome. The dose was increased to the maximum of 20mg a few weeks later and at this point I didn't fight because I was so happy that I didn't want to kill myself anymore. I have to be honest now, and it might be something that isn't heard much on these forums - the Vortioxetine was... ok. There were no new major side-effects, and it improved my mood (undoubtedly because withdrawal was terminated), but the rest of my problems sort of just hung around. I was tired all the time, my sleep was disturbed and broken, I had occasional anxiety, I felt numb, I was cognitively compromised (confusion, poor memory, poor focus) and felt generally ill and weak almost all the time. But at least I wasn't depressed. So I formulated a plan. I would take my time, stabilise, educate myself and prepare for the end goal, my final tapering and withdrawal from the medication. And this time I was determined to do it for good. SA has been invaluable for mesince then. I began to taper in June18. I went from 20mg to 10mg overnight. No problems. In September I went from 10 mg to 5mg. No problems. In January this year, I believe it was the 5th, I stopped taking the medication. No problems... for 2 months. And then withdrawal began. I am almost 7 months free of the medication now, and the short version of the story is that things are going ok. Not great, not terrible, but ok. I'm think I'm about where I expected to be. I guess I'll keep you updated if I can as my recovery progresses, but this isn't the time or place. But I will say this- the waves and windows are REAL, folks! So, thats the end of my sad (and very, very long) story. If you made it this far, thanks for reading and don't be afraid to ask me anything. Sleepy
  8. I recently discontinued Seroquel 150mg (prescribed for agitated anxiety and insomnia), and now on Trazodone 250mg and Mirtazapine 30mg. I had been on Seroquel since Sept. 2018 . I feel awful - sleeping less, agitated, angry, depressed, don’t want to get out of bed, lack focus and hard to think straight. I feel dumber and want to avoid. Any insights on how long it may last or how to make it easier? I’m concerned that none of the meds have really helped me with anxiety/depression beyond getting some sleep. I am doing therapy, EMDR, exercise and meditation. I feel like a weird version of myself and don’t want to be around people. I get feeling hopeless about feeling better or like myself again.
  9. Hello everyone, I'm in desperate need of some help and advice. I have been on Amitriptyline for 3 and half years at a dosage of 100mg, this helped me to sleep because of anxiety. Exactly 4 weeks ago I went to see my GP as my anxiety has been increasing. They suggested trying Mirtazapine. So for the first week my Amitriptyline was dropped from 100mg to 50mg, them for the second week it was dropped from 50mg to ZERO. Then I went straight onto 30mg of Mirtazapine. During all this I have had the worst time ever, I have not slept during these 4 weeks, complete insomnia! and flu like symptoms! And my body feels like it's been hit by a bus. I have lost faith in my GP surgery as I get different information from each doctor and they dont seem to care at all, they never explain things clearly enough and had I known all this I would never have taken the medication in the first place. Can anyone offer any help or advice, I'm desperate?! Will the insomnia get better? I'm at the point of stopping the mirtazine and just going back to 100mg of Amitriptyline. 😕
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