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Chris11: Seroquel, Valium, Lexapro and mirtazapine - drug free for 1.5 years


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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




- 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.


Edited by ChessieCat
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Mid 2016 - 2 weeks Valium (lowest dose, up to 3x per day), 2 weeks 25mg seroquel, 6 months lexapro (minimum dose)

2017 - tried quitting lexapro cold turkey, had insomnia so went to mirtazapine 7.5mg for 9 months. Tapered to 0mg in 3 months

2018 to present - drug free

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Chris11: Seroquel, Valium, Lexapro and mirtazapine - drug free for 1.5 years
  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Chris11.  Congratulations on being drug-free.  We're happy this site was able to help.


The withdrawal symptoms you describe are typical and should improve over time.


If you do try acupuncture, be sure to tell the acupuncturist that you want only calming and not activating effects from the treatment, nothing that arouses your nervous system, and no detox.
We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 




Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.
This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions, post updates and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.


Gridley Introduction


Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.


Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium  

End 2021  year 1 of taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of taper at 2.75mg 

Current dose as of Feb. 25, 2023 2mg

Taper is 89% complete.


Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  


Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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Thanks Gridley.


couple of updates:


- booked in my acupuncture appointment for next week. Really hoping this helps with the tension headaches


- still waiting on sleep study results


- put up a blockout blind so my bedroom is now almost pitch black. Early days yet but I found I slept a bit more solidly. Bit harder to get going for work in the morning.


- usual morning anxiety. Impacts my ability focus and socialise. Went for a run at lunchtime. Started feeling a bit more human by 4pm. 



Mid 2016 - 2 weeks Valium (lowest dose, up to 3x per day), 2 weeks 25mg seroquel, 6 months lexapro (minimum dose)

2017 - tried quitting lexapro cold turkey, had insomnia so went to mirtazapine 7.5mg for 9 months. Tapered to 0mg in 3 months

2018 to present - drug free

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