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Hantise: Hello


Hantise

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Hi, I have a similar question as BAT in another introduction thread, but i'd like to give an introduction so i'll go with it. It's just related to whether it's possible to tell if i'm suffering from a recurrence of anxiety - which i've always had but felt more in control of when on antidepressants - or from withdrawal symptoms. I've been on Mirtazapine for 18 years; many of those years at 30mg, and maybe 6 years at 15mg. I started to withdraw down to 7.5mg back in December 2016: first came down to approx. 11.25mg until February 2017, and then started on 7.5mg. In the last few weeks i've had spike in my anxiety, and the main outcome of that for me is lack of sleep - so naturally i'm wondering what's going on.

 

It was interesting to read on BAT's thread that someone said that withdrawal symptoms - other than in the weeks that immediately follow a reduction in dose - can start to occur 2-3 months after reduction. Is that really true? That's kind of incredible isn't it?  There are a lot of replies in BAT's thread so perhaps it's not necessary to repeat yourself here, but I wanted to post an introduction.

Edited by scallywag
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Hello Hantise:
Welcome to the forum.  :)  Yes, many, many people report that they get delayed withdrawal symptoms a few months after.  Many people feel fine during a few cuts, then lower down start feeling withdrawal effects. It seems that the cuts could be cumulative, e.g. when you are on cut 3 in your taper, you feel cuts 1-2, etc.  Also, some feel fine while tapering and the few weeks after tapering completely off, then feel withdrawal a few months later. This seems to happen a lot especially if someone cold turkeys or tapers fast. It seems that the brain/nervous system in many cases takes a while to register that the drug is no longer in the body.  There are explanations on this topic in the forum, I think in the "Tapering" section.

Dec 1, 2016. 10 mg zyprexa for 1.5 month. Started taper mid-Jan. 2017. Cut 1.25 mg every 2 weeks; smaller cuts 2.5 mg down. Stopped at .6 mg. May 7, 2017: zyprexa free. 
Zoloft: Dec1, 2016, 200 mg. Started taper: Jun12, 2017: 197.5 mg; Jun19,:195 mg; July 2:185mg; July 9,:180 mg; July16,: 175; July 23: 170; July 30: 165; Aug6: 160; Aug13: 155; Aug. 20: 150; Aug.27: 146 mg; Sept3: 145 mg; Sept10:143 mg; Sept17:140 mg....Nov5: 122 mg...Dec3:112.5 mg; Jan14, 2018: 95 mg...Jan28: 90 mg; Feb21:80 mg; Mar11: 75 mg; May2:70 mg; May15: 68 mg; May28: 65 mg; Jun9: 62 mg;Jun25: 60 mg:July22: 55 mg; Aug25: 45 mg. Aug28: 50 mg...Oct 28: 38 mg; Dec.4: 30 mg; Jan8,2019: 25mg; Feb6: 23.5 mg; Apr1:17.5mg; May1:1 mg; May 5: 18;  May 18:15mg; June 16:12.5mg; Sept 10:11 mg; Sept.16:10 mg; Oct. 1: 9mg; Nov. 27: 8mg; Dec.5: 7mg; Jan.1,2020, 6 mg; Feb1: 5 mg; May 1: 2.5 mg; Jn 1: 2 mg; Jy 1: 1.5 mg
Spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1pw4tjImAJ92OIVyRvZoZYjqxiKMk7wvp-ljiIi1olRo/edit#gid=0

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Thanks for the welcome Madeleine. Very interesting to read that! So it sounds as though even what I thought was a slow taper to me - coming down 7.5mg in 3-4 months, wasn't slow at all. I've been looking at the Tapering section, thank you.

 

I'm now worried that this withdrawal won't get better. And i'm also worried about getting labyrinthitis again: it isn't clear what the cause for that was - could have been stress from a recent move of house; or a virus; or even from breathing in toxins from a new mattress - but it coincided with being about a year coming down in dose from 30mg-15mg, so could have been that as well.

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There's another thing that bugs me about all this as well. We all presumably went on psychotropic meds for a reason, so why shouldn't we expect that some of the symptoms, which the meds did actually control a little bit, will return if we haven't improved our lives in some way from when we first started taking them?

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blazesboylan

Hi Hantise,

 

Welcome to SA. As regards your last post, I sometimes feel similarly myself. It's not by accident that I have ended up on a cocktail of drugs. I was severely ill on two occasions and hence the medications. At the moment, I don't feel that they are really working for me any more and from a health point of view the safest approach is to taper off very slowly.

 

You could read Breggin's book - Your Drug May Be Your Problem. That might answer a lot of questions for you about these issues. It argues that a lot of the psych drugs can potentially cause a lot of the symptoms that they are supposed to cure.

 

I take mirtazapine myself. As you will see in my signature. I haven't been on it for particularly long though. I wish you the best of luck anyway. And welcome.

 

Blazes.

Previously - zopiclone, risperidone, lyrica (pregabalin), ativan (lorezapam)
 
01/Aug/2016 -  65mg effexor, 4.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
12/Aug/2016 -  75mg effexor, 4.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
03/Oct/2016 -  70mg effexor, 4.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
29/Oct/2016 -  65mg effexor, 4.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
25/Nov/2016 -  65mg effexor, 4mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
25/Dec/2016 -  60mg effexor, 3.6mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
18/Jan/2017 -  60mg effexor, 5.25mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
27/Mar/2017 -  54mg effexor, 5.25mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
23/Apr/2017 -  54mg effexor, 7.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
09/May/2017 -  75mg effexor, 7.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
08/Jun/2017 -  75mg effexor, 6.75mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
18/Jul/2017 -  75mg effexor, 6mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
 
Sometimes valium. Not daily. Supplements - Sterols and Stanols.
 
Note : I would really hope that nobody uses my tapering history as a guideline. It might not work well for somebody else tapering similar medications.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Hantise, welcome to SA.  If you are having withdrawal symptoms while tapering it means that your taper is too fast and you need to slow down. You would be best to hold your dose now for a while to stabilise and give your brain a chance to catch up. If the symptoms are more than just a bit uncomfortable, or persistent you could go up to a slightly higher dose. When you have been stable for a few weeks you could then resume the taper. It is more difficult to taper at lower doses. Many people think that it is ok to jump off at a low dose but that is when the taper should be slowed down. 

 

Withdrawal can appear even as long as a year off the drugs, doctors would say that it is relapse but this can happen to people who have taken them for pain, yet they get the awful withdrawal symptoms. They were never depressed or anxious before the drugs! 

 

Here is a link on withdrawal or relapse.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/14870-withdrawal-or-relapse-or-something-else/

 

Tapering mirtazapine.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5301-tips-for-tapering-off-remeron-mirtazapine/

 

Tapering 10%

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

Demonstrates the importance of a slow taper. 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6036-why-taper-paper-demonstrates-importance-of-gradual-change-in-plasma-concentration/

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 27/05/2017 at 8:17 PM, blazesboylan said:

Hi Hantise,

 

Welcome to SA. As regards your last post, I sometimes feel similarly myself. It's not by accident that I have ended up on a cocktail of drugs. I was severely ill on two occasions and hence the medications. At the moment, I don't feel that they are really working for me any more and from a health point of view the safest approach is to taper off very slowly.

 

You could read Breggin's book - Your Drug May Be Your Problem. That might answer a lot of questions for you about these issues. It argues that a lot of the psych drugs can potentially cause a lot of the symptoms that they are supposed to cure.

 

I take mirtazapine myself. As you will see in my signature. I haven't been on it for particularly long though. I wish you the best of luck anyway. And welcome.

 

Blazes.

 

Hi Blazes, thanks for the reply. How is your tapering going?

 

I think once started on a course of meds like these, they do become self-defeating, I agree. Because they can never fix the psychological problems which existed before, and by blindly relying on them we sort of forget the need do the hard self-exploration work necessary in order to have a lasting change. I also think that if doctors gave 2 weeks of intensive psychotherapy in moments of crisis, instead of drugs, this would be a better option.

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On 01/06/2017 at 10:48 AM, mammaP said:

Hi Hantise, welcome to SA.  If you are having withdrawal symptoms while tapering it means that your taper is too fast and you need to slow down. You would be best to hold your dose now for a while to stabilise and give your brain a chance to catch up. If the symptoms are more than just a bit uncomfortable, or persistent you could go up to a slightly higher dose. When you have been stable for a few weeks you could then resume the taper. It is more difficult to taper at lower doses. Many people think that it is ok to jump off at a low dose but that is when the taper should be slowed down. 

 

Withdrawal can appear even as long as a year off the drugs, doctors would say that it is relapse but this can happen to people who have taken them for pain, yet they get the awful withdrawal symptoms. They were never depressed or anxious before the drugs! 

 

Here is a link on withdrawal or relapse.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/14870-withdrawal-or-relapse-or-something-else/

 

Tapering mirtazapine.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5301-tips-for-tapering-off-remeron-mirtazapine/

 

Tapering 10%

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

Demonstrates the importance of a slow taper. 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6036-why-taper-paper-demonstrates-importance-of-gradual-change-in-plasma-concentration/

 

Thanks for this information mamma. I didn't realise that coming down in dose could be such a protracted business. It's annoying when you're at quite a low dose as well, you just want to be rid of it, but that can't be done quickly. I'm still at 7.5mg. I don't tend to sleep very well, and while there are other problems going on in my life, I suspect the withdrawal is the problem as well. I imagine that reduction is easier if we're in a stable time of our life, so we know better what things are affecting us - but not possible for many.

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Coming down from 7.5mg of Mirtazapine, when I eventually start that, is going to be a bit of weird experiment too, because at lower doses Mirt. is said to have a greater soporific effect. But is that still going to be the case when i'm down to 2mg, for example? I doubt it.   

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blazesboylan
On 2017-6-20 at 11:54 AM, Hantise said:

 

Hi Blazes, thanks for the reply. How is your tapering going?

 

I think once started on a course of meds like these, they do become self-defeating, I agree. Because they can never fix the psychological problems which existed before, and by blindly relying on them we sort of forget the need do the hard self-exploration work necessary in order to have a lasting change. I also think that if doctors gave 2 weeks of intensive psychotherapy in moments of crisis, instead of drugs, this would be a better option.

 

Hello Hantise,

 

As regards the tapering, I suppose that it is going ok. It's all in my signature anyhow. I recognise why my progress has been slow. Sometimes I have symptoms, mainly anxiety, sometimes intense, then I increase the meds again thus taking steps backwards. I started this process 3 years ago and I would have expected to be off at this stage. Instead I have quite a way to go.

 

So, in future I think that if I have symptoms, rather than put it down to withdrawal I will just sit them out and not make any changes because they generally pass after a while. There is no need to panic and go increasing meds again.

Previously - zopiclone, risperidone, lyrica (pregabalin), ativan (lorezapam)
 
01/Aug/2016 -  65mg effexor, 4.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
12/Aug/2016 -  75mg effexor, 4.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
03/Oct/2016 -  70mg effexor, 4.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
29/Oct/2016 -  65mg effexor, 4.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
25/Nov/2016 -  65mg effexor, 4mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
25/Dec/2016 -  60mg effexor, 3.6mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
18/Jan/2017 -  60mg effexor, 5.25mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
27/Mar/2017 -  54mg effexor, 5.25mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
23/Apr/2017 -  54mg effexor, 7.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
09/May/2017 -  75mg effexor, 7.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
08/Jun/2017 -  75mg effexor, 6.75mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
18/Jul/2017 -  75mg effexor, 6mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
 
Sometimes valium. Not daily. Supplements - Sterols and Stanols.
 
Note : I would really hope that nobody uses my tapering history as a guideline. It might not work well for somebody else tapering similar medications.

 

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