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Alex3: total insomnia after 6 months reinstatement


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Hello first time poster here, another despairing Mirtazapine user. As per my signature below I reinstated 15mg per night since late May of 2021. It's now 4th Jan 2022 and facing work today after having another night of insomnia. I did have a nightmare so that would indicate I got some sleep of 1-2 hours at least. 30th was total insomnia, 31st slept well, 1st total insomnia, 2nd slept well and now back to insomnia on the night of the 3rd. The most distressing element of these drugs is the sleep disturbances. I would be more at peace had I been off them, but this is happening even prior to a taper and at the 15mg "therapeutic dose". 

 

Just looking for guidance/advice/reassurance. The second most disturbing part is the lonliness and the conflicting information between Dr's and the experiences of those who have struggled with this drug.

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Alex3: Total insomnia after 6 months reinstatement
  • Administrator

Hi, Alex3.

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants.

 

Here is some information to get you started:

 

Tips for tapering off mirtazapine (Remeron)

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

How psychiatric drugs remodel your brain

 

Healing from antidepressants. Patterns of recovery video (4 minutes)

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Is Mirtazepine the only drug you're currently taking? It looks like your signature didn't save. Make sure you click the "save" button after you enter your information. A direct link to your signature is here:

 

Account Settings - Create or Edit Your Signature

 

Once we have more information about your drug history and what you're currently taking, we can help you with your taper. Please continue to use this thread to document your taper and to ask questions.

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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Hi Shep, thank you for your post. I shall go through each item you've linked.

 

I type this at 04:24 in the morning having woken at 03:30 ish this morning.

 

However, amazing news. All the chronic withdrawal symptoms (headache, surges, all-out insomnia) have subsided. I had a deep sleep between 22:00 and the 03:30 and whilst that won't allow myself to catch up on the zzz front just quite yet, I now realise the (obvious) error I've been making these past 6-7 months and how I've gone from successfully tapering 10% a month to 6.75mg then suddenly crashing and having to reinstate 15mg with a host of issues.

 

***ABSORPTION!!***
 

I spoke to the Dr yesterday morning after a tortured night (4th Jan 2022) with 100% insomnia and constant surges/rushes/vibrations. He asked myself about my alcohol intake and diet over Xmas. As a now T totaller I realised what I thought all along since the failed taper (and subsequent reinstatement) that my issue is that I'm consuming the drug, but then not metabolising it as required.

 

I then explained how in May 2021 I changed my diet in response to a blood test which indicated elevated LDL cholesterol (a side effect of Mirtazapine) and whilst drinking beetroot juice (full of Oxalates. Oxalates prevent nutrient absorption and I now realise by extension, medication absorption) on a day where I didn't consume any fat (or anything for that matter prior to drinking the beetroot juice - thought I'd start the new regime with a fast). 

 

The subsequent dopamine rush was naively confused by myself as my body's response to a positive change in diet/fasting and my new emphasis on trying to get the required nutrients and minerals to lead a healthier, lower LDL lifestyle.

 

Instead, that dopamine rush was followed by a crash and the onset of withdrawals. I was in hell and oblivious as to why. Even thinking that sugar withdrawals was the culprit (facepalm) at one point.


Back to the 5th Jan 2021 Dr phonecall. The obvious problem of absorption now hit me smack in the face as the main culprit for all this distress.

 

I put the phone down and my mind filtered back to a conversation with a hypnotherapist when I tried to explain how I've failed on many attempts to try and take vitamin D supplements, but could never sustain it.

 

"Try taking it with a FAT for absorption", she said.

 

Not having a enough fat in the system was pivotal as to why the Mirtazapine was going haywire. Because as we know on these boards any tiny change(s) in doseages are quickly felt by our CNS. I then went straight to the supermarket, bought 2 poached salmon fillets and consumed both between 16:30 and 17:15 and nothing else (I had also done this on New Year's Eve after a previous night of insomnia and slept like a baby).

 

I then took the 15mg Mirtazapine pill at 9pm and over that hour my body was using it as required. Incredible relief. I fell asleep in around 10pm.

 

So even though I'm awake at 05:20 in the morning and bleary eyed, I'm hopefully now realising the error of my ways. That a diet with enough healthy HDL fats (and possibly combined with a low oxalate consumption) will facilitate the stabilising of 15mg and the eventual 10% taper (may have to consider histamine at that point) to finally be free of these drugs.

 

 

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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  • Administrator

@Alex3Thank you for letting us know your journey thus far in your mirtazapine taper. I'm not familiar with beetroot, but I'm glad you made the connections. 

 

Did you start a Statin or any other medication when your cholesterol levels were tested at an elevated level? Did you make any other dietary changes? 

 

Please let us know how you're doing as you continue to stabilize on 15 mg. I hope your sleep continue to improve. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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Hi Shep, that’s why I was suffering for so long: an initial dopamine rush and no anecdotal evidence anywhere (Dr’s/forums/drug websites/NHS website) that beetroot and/or oxalates would affect the absorption/metabolising of the drug. Anyhow, I got more sleep last night and actually drifted off again after the classic-early-morning-Mirtazapine-awakening (morning of 7th Jan 21)

 

Very nauseous the morning 6th Jan 21 (this subsided; a classic Mirt symptom in that you’re prepared to spew your guts out and actually you just dry wretch… mirage like these symptoms and the realisation of that is a key part of the journey. This was followed by the classic withdrawal headache.

 

Today, 7th Jan 21, a hint of nausea and just the usual headache today. Work would’ve been too much so had a shower, walk and some compliant simple foods.

 

Importantly, thanks to this fantastic place and my Dr’s guidance, I’m grasping the drill. Patience!! Continuity and consistency. I take the 15mg pill at 9pm having finished eating my food between 16:30-18:00. I continue drinking water though

 

This regime will remain for the forseeable until the CNS has settled. Hopefully by spring/summer there will the prospect of planning the most intricate taper. Ideally, controlling and guaranteeing absorption is joint with stabilising, tapering and using this place will be fundamental in surviving and then thriving in light of these drugs. 🤞🤞🤞

 

As for the high cholesterol, I was a bit alarmed (hence the diet change), but importantly my Dr wasn’t and still isn’t. As for statins… if I have to take statins due to the mirtazapine and/genetics then maybe. Otherwise, I’m staying well away from pharmaceuticals as much as I can. I think many of us can relate to that sentiment.

 

No longer a lurker! Thank you for welcoming me into the fold

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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  • Administrator
On 1/7/2022 at 11:12 AM, Alex3 said:

As for the high cholesterol, I was a bit alarmed (hence the diet change), but importantly my Dr wasn’t and still isn’t. As for statins… if I have to take statins due to the mirtazapine and/genetics then maybe. Otherwise, I’m staying well away from pharmaceuticals as much as I can. I think many of us can relate to that sentiment.

 

I completely understand being reluctant to go on a Statin.

 

The more we do with diet and exercise, the better off we are. I commend you for coming at it that way, too.

 

On 1/7/2022 at 11:12 AM, Alex3 said:

This regime will remain for the forseeable until the CNS has settled. Hopefully by spring/summer there will the prospect of planning the most intricate taper.

 

This sounds like a great plan, Alex. There's no rush.

 

On 1/7/2022 at 11:12 AM, Alex3 said:

No longer a lurker! Thank you for welcoming me into the fold

 

Thank you for joining and letting us know your experience.

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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 Shep, think we're all on the same wavelength

 

Currently everything stable. Slight flavours/hints of headaches here and there, but my only current complaints are that I'm sleeping between 22:00/22:30 - 4:30 AM plus I'm getting absolutely vivid, intense dreams. That should settle down in the coming weeks and months, but you know what it's like; you have to keep reminding yourself with a pep talk... lonely scenario. Absorption is seemingly consistent now and tbf only re-sorted since Wednesday so early days. A de facto / pseudo withdrawal and reinstatement scenario

 

I have to confess, I'm approaching everything with reason and acceptance... but I'm really daunted at the prospect of getting off this stuff

 

Advised to see a Dr and then never advised of side effects, sleep disturbance and withdrawal. I think we're all in that same boat, but when this stuff is touted as "something to try" or that withdrawal = relapse...

 

Anyhow, what's done is done. All about becoming proactive and self reliant with a simple, quiet life as possible

 

Thanks again Shep, I imagine its helping just to be able to put this stuff down in writing is of help

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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  • Administrator
1 hour ago, Alex3 said:

I imagine its helping just to be able to put this stuff down in writing is of help

 

Definitely - writing is a great way to cope. Have you seen our thread on this?

 

Journaling / Writing Therapy / Therapeutic Writing

 

1 hour ago, Alex3 said:

Currently everything stable. Slight flavours/hints of headaches here and there, but my only current complaints are that I'm sleeping between 22:00/22:30 - 4:30 AM plus I'm getting absolutely vivid, intense dreams.

 

This thread may help:

 

Tips to help sleep: so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia

 

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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Was hoping for some extended sleep

 

and instead suffered all out insomnia

 

Despair

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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Sunday night: all out insomnia after 22:00-04:00 sleeping patterns on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

 

Monday the Dr has given me Zoplicone and the low dose on Monday night and Tuesday night has given me some sleep

 

It's Wednesday 12th Jan 2022. I feel okay within myself, relatively at peace and no side effects to speak of (slight headache).

 

The only thing that's concerning and preventing a return to work is that the Zoplicone is getting me to sleep, not the Mirtazapine

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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  • Administrator

@Alex3You're right to be concerned about adding in Zopiclone. Dependency can happen in 2 - 4 weeks. Some people become dependent in just a few days. 

 

If possible, I would put the Zopiclone away and only use it for emergencies. 

 

 

We don't recommend a lot of supplements, as many members report their nervous systems are simply too fragile to handle them. However, magnesium and fish oil tend to be calming to the nervous system and many people report they do help. Please only add in one supplement at a time and at a small dose. For more, please see:

 

 King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

You may want to research melatonin. That would be much better than using Zopiclone. The first post in this thread states how to start out with a small dose (less is more with melatonin):

 

Melatonin for sleep

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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4 hours ago, Alex3 said:

Sunday night: all out insomnia after 22:00-04:00 sleeping patterns on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

 

Monday the Dr has given me Zoplicone and the low dose on Monday night and Tuesday night has given me some sleep

 

It's Wednesday 12th Jan 2022. I feel okay within myself, relatively at peace and no side effects to speak of (slight headache).

 

The only thing that's concerning and preventing a return to work is that the Zoplicone is getting me to sleep, not the Mirtazapine

Hi @Alex3 we both sound in the same boat. I am 3 months in to updosing due to a crash at 7.5mg. I bodged the updosing further by dropping by 7.5mg over night and went in to full withdrawals again so it's been a really rough 4 months.

 

I too am struggling with sleep, nausea, headaches and generally just feeling rubbish. Some nights I get about 5 hours others none at all. I've tried to pin down a pattern but I'm not convinced it's down to anything I am or not doing. It must just be the effect of the drugs and my mangled CNS. 

 

My question is how long to wait until I start a taper again as the though of many months like this is no appealing! 

 

I hope you get some respite soon 🤞

2011 - started 15 mg mirtazepine. 2015- successfully tapered off. 2016 - Reinstated on 3.75mg as a sleep aid. July 2019 - 3.75mg Stopped working, increased to 15 then 22.5mg.Sept 2020 initiated slow liquid taper. Sept 2021 at 7.5mg for 3 months hit very bad withdrawals (also very stressed). Increased dose to 30 for 3 weeks then reduced to 22.5mg3rd Nov - Started magnesium supplement. 3rd Nov - started oestrogen hrt gel. 20th Dec - stopped oestrogen after 3 week taper. Currently still on 22.5mg mirtazepine and oral magnesium. 12/1 started with 1 capsule omega 3 fish oil. 14/ developed very loose motions so stopping the fish oil. 14/2/2022: after 5 months on the same dose decided to restart taper with a 5% cut: 21.4mg mirtazepine. Low histamine diet and magnesium. 14/03 reduced another 5% 20. 25mg 01/05 reduced to 19mg 01/06 reduced to 18.3mg 01/08 reduced to 17.3 mg

 

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Reply to Shep:

 

Thanks Shep and yes when you start delving into these things you realise everything is a poison! I've taken Zoplicone for two nights now. I'll leave it tonight and if I don't sleep, I don't sleep. One problem I, and I'm sure many of us are facing, is that my/our Doctor prescribes and tells us one thing and if my family were to find out I didn't take the Zoplicone because "someone on a forum advised not to" then I'd get it in the neck. However, it'll just be the Mirtazapine 15mg and what will be will be.

 

I'm eating quite a bit of salmon atm for healthy fats, Omega 3 and magnesium. A lot of high magnesium foods also have oxalates so it seems reasonable to gently try a bit of magnesium first.

 

I shall also look into melatonin, thank you.

 

Reply to Jools:

 

Hi Jools, nice to meet you. I think we're both at that point of acceptance, if just for our own sanity. We've a long, rough road ahead, but there's a way back for us from this, we just need to figure it out, bit by bit. Even if it's just enduring. It seems like you're stuck between a rock and hard place atm and I may well be at a similar place. Despairing

 

I hope you get some respite. Keep checking in on here. No gaslighting to be found!

 

***

 

Incidentally, I've just been to counselling and one of the things she's picked up is that since lockdown, GPs are really reining in handing out these anti depressants (UK based). If only I'd been advised of withdrawal, side effects and sleep disturbance I wouldn't have proceeded further... such is life. We now have to find a way of juggling the advice on here with that of our Dr's and get ourselves out of this mess

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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1 hour ago, Alex3 said:

One problem I, and I'm sure many of us are facing, is that my/our Doctor prescribes and tells us one thing and if my family were to find out I didn't take the Zoplicone because "someone on a forum advised not to" then I'd get it in the neck.

 

I hear you, Alex. This article may help - the FDA made an update to their guidelines about a year and a half ago:

 

FDA requiring Boxed Warning updated to improve safe use of benzodiazepine drug class

 

Since Zopiclone shares many characteristics (and dangers) as a benzo, that article is relevant. Probably nothing you haven't already read, but if family members and doctors are giving you grief, you may want to print it out and let them read it. 

 

If you give the melatonin a go, please let us know how you do. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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Well I haven't taken a Zoplicone and have barely registered a wink. Must have had light some sleep as there was a couple of fragments of weird dreams

 

The other good news is that apart from a slight headache there's no adverse effects happening atm... other than full on insomnia. If this can be dealt with sufficiently then I've a chance

 

If this insomnia carries on indefinitely...

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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So it's 03:45 am and though I don't feel wired, I seem to be a million miles from a sleep.

 

Do I just hold on? Keep taking the 15mg and trust that within a few weeks sleep will return?

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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07:15 AM Thursday 13th

 

Have barely slept moments it seems. Those "moments" do bring with it surreal dreams

 

Only on 15mg and aside from the sleep issue, I'm not currently with any other side effects (it seems). I suppose I'm a bit flat, but sleep will quickly rectify that

 

The sleep issue is really concerning though. Do I hang on for as long as possible or concede that this drug is no longer for me and start tapering? Similar to Jools, though at least she's getting 5 hours, we aren't in the midst of getting the drug out the system yet. This is not a decision to be taken lightly and on a whim

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Alex3 said:

07:15 AM Thursday 13th

 

Have barely slept moments it seems. Those "moments" do bring with it surreal dreams

 

Only on 15mg and aside from the sleep issue, I'm not currently with any other side effects (it seems). I suppose I'm a bit flat, but sleep will quickly rectify that

 

The sleep issue is really concerning though. Do I hang on for as long as possible or concede that this drug is no longer for me and start tapering? Similar to Jools, though at least she's getting 5 hours, we aren't in the midst of getting the drug out the system yet. This is not a decision to be taken lightly and on a whim

@Alex3 when I developed very bad withdrawals 3 months ago and stopped sleeping pretty much altogether I resorted to zopiclone, until I realised it was making my symptoms worse. Then I just ditched it. It did take some time for my sleep to return and I wasn't working at the time (no way I could have). I still get nights where I don't sleep at all but it usually only lasts a couple of nights and im fairly exhausted and finally sleep.

I think the problem with the zopiclone for me is, apart from it messing with my brain, I wasn't getting to the point of exhaustion because I was getting some sleep (although it's not really proper sleep) and I was just bouncing around between zopiclone sleep and insomnia. 

 

I was also told I should be speaking to the doctor and not people on a forum for advice, it's very frustrating and makes you feel even lonelier in all of this but I stuck to my guns and held off the zopiclone. 

 

Who knows what this drug has in store for me though, that's the thing I hate the most, the uncertainty now. 

 

 

2011 - started 15 mg mirtazepine. 2015- successfully tapered off. 2016 - Reinstated on 3.75mg as a sleep aid. July 2019 - 3.75mg Stopped working, increased to 15 then 22.5mg.Sept 2020 initiated slow liquid taper. Sept 2021 at 7.5mg for 3 months hit very bad withdrawals (also very stressed). Increased dose to 30 for 3 weeks then reduced to 22.5mg3rd Nov - Started magnesium supplement. 3rd Nov - started oestrogen hrt gel. 20th Dec - stopped oestrogen after 3 week taper. Currently still on 22.5mg mirtazepine and oral magnesium. 12/1 started with 1 capsule omega 3 fish oil. 14/ developed very loose motions so stopping the fish oil. 14/2/2022: after 5 months on the same dose decided to restart taper with a 5% cut: 21.4mg mirtazepine. Low histamine diet and magnesium. 14/03 reduced another 5% 20. 25mg 01/05 reduced to 19mg 01/06 reduced to 18.3mg 01/08 reduced to 17.3 mg

 

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1 hour ago, Jools44 said:

@Alex3 when I developed very bad withdrawals 3 months ago and stopped sleeping pretty much altogether I resorted to zopiclone, until I realised it was making my symptoms worse. Then I just ditched it. It did take some time for my sleep to return and I wasn't working at the time (no way I could have). I still get nights where I don't sleep at all but it usually only lasts a couple of nights and im fairly exhausted and finally sleep.

I think the problem with the zopiclone for me is, apart from it messing with my brain, I wasn't getting to the point of exhaustion because I was getting some sleep (although it's not really proper sleep) and I was just bouncing around between zopiclone sleep and insomnia. 

 

I was also told I should be speaking to the doctor and not people on a forum for advice, it's very frustrating and makes you feel even lonelier in all of this but I stuck to my guns and held off the zopiclone. 

 

Who knows what this drug has in store for me though, that's the thing I hate the most, the uncertainty now. 

 

 

 

Hi Jools, I'm off work too. The torture would prove too much to have to bear. Work are a bit confused as to what's going on so I typed what felt like a dissertation trying to explain the complexity of what we're trying to deal with. I'm already gearing up my life for the most simple existence possible, rejecting modern materialsm and hopefully living a life without these drugs.

 

Are you UK based? Going by on here and a few searches, I'm thinking a tiny dose (0.25mg) of melatonin could be the tonic we need for some relief. Just trying to do the due diligence and avoid over trying and making things worse (less is more and all that).

 

If we can crack the sleep I think that will open the door to short and long term recovery. Keep in touch on this thread

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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@Alex3 I totally agree with less is more, its so easy to overcomplicate things when you're so desperate for relief, I've been very guilty of that!

 

I tried melatonin but at a much higher dose and it didn't work for me, but I haven't tried the lower dose so that might work for you. For me it's just been time, rest and staying away from stimulants and alcohol. 

 

No one really gets this unless they've been through it themselves, it's a lot for everybody to get their heads around. It's too easy for people to think "it's all in your head" which in a way is correct, as it's the brain that is in chaos! But its not, as they think, something we have any control over. 

 

Try and rest, keep to a routine and hold tight. Your brain is trying to right itself. 

 

 

2011 - started 15 mg mirtazepine. 2015- successfully tapered off. 2016 - Reinstated on 3.75mg as a sleep aid. July 2019 - 3.75mg Stopped working, increased to 15 then 22.5mg.Sept 2020 initiated slow liquid taper. Sept 2021 at 7.5mg for 3 months hit very bad withdrawals (also very stressed). Increased dose to 30 for 3 weeks then reduced to 22.5mg3rd Nov - Started magnesium supplement. 3rd Nov - started oestrogen hrt gel. 20th Dec - stopped oestrogen after 3 week taper. Currently still on 22.5mg mirtazepine and oral magnesium. 12/1 started with 1 capsule omega 3 fish oil. 14/ developed very loose motions so stopping the fish oil. 14/2/2022: after 5 months on the same dose decided to restart taper with a 5% cut: 21.4mg mirtazepine. Low histamine diet and magnesium. 14/03 reduced another 5% 20. 25mg 01/05 reduced to 19mg 01/06 reduced to 18.3mg 01/08 reduced to 17.3 mg

 

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Yes, holding the nerve and sitting tight is an important theme throughout this. I think I'm just waiting for the Mirt to build back into the system after the absorption problems (assuming that theory is at least vaguely correct). I saw a post via a "Dennis" on the Patient forum who advised that actually tapering from 15mg may not be best advised. Anyhow, that's for another day

 

Big step forward with work due to the essay I wrote. Took my manager a while to absorb and it's dawned on her the difficulty/complexity of these situations. We need help really

 

We have a different outlook in the UK with melatonin:

 

https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/melatonin/

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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@Alex3 you did ask and yes I'm also based in the UK 🇬🇧

 

Keeping my fingers crossed that you get some sleep 🤞

2011 - started 15 mg mirtazepine. 2015- successfully tapered off. 2016 - Reinstated on 3.75mg as a sleep aid. July 2019 - 3.75mg Stopped working, increased to 15 then 22.5mg.Sept 2020 initiated slow liquid taper. Sept 2021 at 7.5mg for 3 months hit very bad withdrawals (also very stressed). Increased dose to 30 for 3 weeks then reduced to 22.5mg3rd Nov - Started magnesium supplement. 3rd Nov - started oestrogen hrt gel. 20th Dec - stopped oestrogen after 3 week taper. Currently still on 22.5mg mirtazepine and oral magnesium. 12/1 started with 1 capsule omega 3 fish oil. 14/ developed very loose motions so stopping the fish oil. 14/2/2022: after 5 months on the same dose decided to restart taper with a 5% cut: 21.4mg mirtazepine. Low histamine diet and magnesium. 14/03 reduced another 5% 20. 25mg 01/05 reduced to 19mg 01/06 reduced to 18.3mg 01/08 reduced to 17.3 mg

 

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Thanks Jools, same to yourself. I'll take 4-6 hours. If nothing's happening by 11ish then I'll consider a low dose Zoplicone

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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Friday 14th Jan 2022

 

First sleep without Zoplicone since Saturday. Hopefully a sign of progress

 

Slept from around 22:00 - 02:30 with vivid, racing, intense dreams, but better in the context of everything.

 

Seemed to get off again after that (in and out) and when asleep, it was back to the frenetic dreams.

 

If absorption was the issue then this is a de facto/pseudo reinstatement and I've just got to keep the nerve and hang in there.

 

Hope everyone else struggling can see some fragments of light at the end of the tunnel

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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  • Administrator

@Alex3As much as possible, please try not to fret the lack of sleep. I know that' easier said than done. It really looks like you're going through classic windows (or partial windows) and waves. 

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

The less you do to rock the boat with z-drugs, the better off you'll be in the long run. You may find guided sleep meditations on YouTube to help, wearing a sleep mask to block out unwanted light, taking an epsom salt bath if you're able to tolerate a bit of magnesium. Make sure your sleep hygiene is good and you're avoiding the computer and TV in the evening. If you do find yourself needing the relaxation of watching shows in the evening, perhaps try blue light blocking glasses:

 

Light-sensitive? Try blocking out blue light

 

Please add Zopiclone to your signature. It will also help to add the dates you take it in case you later wonder if you've developed a dependency. Here's a direct link to your signature:

 

Account Settings - Create or Edit Your Signature

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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@Alex3 that's good to hear. My sleep, once it returned to something approximating normality, started off with about 3-4 hours,. Waking early and then going in and out of sleep.

 

Don't be put off it you have other nights with no sleep as that still happens to me now, it's just not linear. 

 

I had a good day yesterday and actually slept about 6 hours last night, but today for some reason the tinnitus is louder and lots of tears so far. Its so bloody unpredictable. I try and go with it but feels like a mountain to climb. 

 

Hope you get the same tonight but don't worry if not, sleep will return especially if you had absorption issues. 

2011 - started 15 mg mirtazepine. 2015- successfully tapered off. 2016 - Reinstated on 3.75mg as a sleep aid. July 2019 - 3.75mg Stopped working, increased to 15 then 22.5mg.Sept 2020 initiated slow liquid taper. Sept 2021 at 7.5mg for 3 months hit very bad withdrawals (also very stressed). Increased dose to 30 for 3 weeks then reduced to 22.5mg3rd Nov - Started magnesium supplement. 3rd Nov - started oestrogen hrt gel. 20th Dec - stopped oestrogen after 3 week taper. Currently still on 22.5mg mirtazepine and oral magnesium. 12/1 started with 1 capsule omega 3 fish oil. 14/ developed very loose motions so stopping the fish oil. 14/2/2022: after 5 months on the same dose decided to restart taper with a 5% cut: 21.4mg mirtazepine. Low histamine diet and magnesium. 14/03 reduced another 5% 20. 25mg 01/05 reduced to 19mg 01/06 reduced to 18.3mg 01/08 reduced to 17.3 mg

 

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Sat 15th Jan 2021

 

Best sleep in about two weeks. Continuous from 22:00ish to all the way through to 08:15ish Sat morning.

 

No Zoplicone, no waking at 02:30 or 04:30. Just a peaceful, restful sleep. Can't even recall disturbing dreams like buildings collapsing or falling through the air kind of thing. Life changing

 

I had started to feel better in the evening prior. Had some simple rice, chicken, ham, a peeled apple and some blue cheese (plus a cheese toastie). I think part of the puzzle is having enough ***continuous*** fat for absorption for nutrients/minerals and the Mirtazapine.

 

When reinstating or on Mirtazapine I think the key (at least for me is diet/absorption)

 

You can do everything right regarding blue-light-screen-hygiene etc. but if the Mirtazapine isn't working you're not going to get much joy at all

 

Conversely, if the Mirtazapine is working as it should then blue light etc. isn't going to be too pivotal. That's not to say we shouldn't be getting into better habits etc. but just to emphasise our lives seemingly pivot on the power of Mirtazapine

 

Thanks both for checking in

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

Link to comment

Tinnitis is something I've only started noticing in recent months, Jools. It's terrible isn't it? I've been in denial about it

 

Turning off the plug sockets in my bedroom weirdly (psychosomatic/placebo?) seems to help. As I lie here typing this message it's not so much a ringing, but a constant white noise that's hissing

 

Shep, I've only had two nights of 3.75mg Zoplicone. I appreciate it's worth mentioning anything (and if Zoplicone is a cousin of benzos then of course proceed cautiously), but I'm thinking to focus on the drugs I was on for weeks/months continuously? I'm sure there are exceptions to that and I'm happy to start include any emergency doseages:

 

Lorazepam mid 2021 for 5 days

Temazepam mid 2021 for 2 days

Zoplicone 3.75mg Monday 3.75mg Tuesday

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

Link to comment

@Alex3great to hear you got a good night's sleep. Makes all the difference doesn't it!!

 

The tinnitus we get in withdrawal isn't like true tinnitus. For me it sounds like an electric current running through my brain. I also get weird sensations on my ear drums, it's so disconcerting. The hyperacusis is the worst though 😔

 

For many the tinnitus resolves once off the drug so I wouldn't worry too much about it. 

 

Enjoy your day now you've rested 😁

2011 - started 15 mg mirtazepine. 2015- successfully tapered off. 2016 - Reinstated on 3.75mg as a sleep aid. July 2019 - 3.75mg Stopped working, increased to 15 then 22.5mg.Sept 2020 initiated slow liquid taper. Sept 2021 at 7.5mg for 3 months hit very bad withdrawals (also very stressed). Increased dose to 30 for 3 weeks then reduced to 22.5mg3rd Nov - Started magnesium supplement. 3rd Nov - started oestrogen hrt gel. 20th Dec - stopped oestrogen after 3 week taper. Currently still on 22.5mg mirtazepine and oral magnesium. 12/1 started with 1 capsule omega 3 fish oil. 14/ developed very loose motions so stopping the fish oil. 14/2/2022: after 5 months on the same dose decided to restart taper with a 5% cut: 21.4mg mirtazepine. Low histamine diet and magnesium. 14/03 reduced another 5% 20. 25mg 01/05 reduced to 19mg 01/06 reduced to 18.3mg 01/08 reduced to 17.3 mg

 

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Interesting regarding tinnitus (or our version of it at least). Sounds the opposite of disconcerting which is like heaven to our ears (ironically!) when navigating all this

 

I'm a different person entirely with sleep. Reborn!

 

Same to yourself, thank you

 

Thinking of diet etc. may be worth looking into histamine as well. It seems that's a factor when coming off

 

Long term, I think once we're truly over this we'll feel so much better. Rested, not tethered etc. seems a long road ahead, but one day, one day

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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Quick update

 

Friday 14th Jan - excellent sleep

 

Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th Jan - decent sleeps. Some dreams, the odd wake-up, but steady and solid all things considered.

 

No Zoplicone touched

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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  • Administrator

Sounds like you're stabilizing, Alex. Great to read. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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 Shep. Yes, I think so too

 

My only real complaint is vivid nightmares/dreams. Falling through the sky, falling through the ground, getting trapped... horrible. Freud would have a field day I think

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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Third 3.75mg Zoplicone Wednesday 19th Jan 2022

 

Sleep very broken and dreams rapid/intense/disturbing

 

It is now Saturday 22nd Jan 2022 and all out insomnia has returned. I suffered through rather than touch a Zoplicone

 

Due back at work on Monday

 

Mental torture

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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@Alex3 if you're not ready to go back to work then take more time. The added pressure of knowing you're going back will probably contribute to the insomnia.

I don't know what else to suggest other than keep pushing through and continue to stay away from the zopiclone as that isn't the answer unfortunately. 

I'm still having episodes of complete insomnia but they tend to be for one night now as opposed to 2 or 3, so things do eventually settle down but it has taken a long time. 

Hang in there, it will get better. 

2011 - started 15 mg mirtazepine. 2015- successfully tapered off. 2016 - Reinstated on 3.75mg as a sleep aid. July 2019 - 3.75mg Stopped working, increased to 15 then 22.5mg.Sept 2020 initiated slow liquid taper. Sept 2021 at 7.5mg for 3 months hit very bad withdrawals (also very stressed). Increased dose to 30 for 3 weeks then reduced to 22.5mg3rd Nov - Started magnesium supplement. 3rd Nov - started oestrogen hrt gel. 20th Dec - stopped oestrogen after 3 week taper. Currently still on 22.5mg mirtazepine and oral magnesium. 12/1 started with 1 capsule omega 3 fish oil. 14/ developed very loose motions so stopping the fish oil. 14/2/2022: after 5 months on the same dose decided to restart taper with a 5% cut: 21.4mg mirtazepine. Low histamine diet and magnesium. 14/03 reduced another 5% 20. 25mg 01/05 reduced to 19mg 01/06 reduced to 18.3mg 01/08 reduced to 17.3 mg

 

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Everything you've said makes sense, Jools

 

I don't know about you, but I've half a mind to chuck this drug in the bin, and just chuck myself into getting this over and done with

 

I've had enough of this being exacerbated by originally tapering and then failling in reinstating. If the bloody thing's not being absorbed then why prolong the time tethered

 

A lot of it is mental preparation and being ready to endure a prolonged period of insomnia and withdrawal, with the knowledge that with each passing second is a second closer to being drug free

 

Part of the hell is having the rug pulled underneath our feet and then being presented with the awful withdrawals out of nowhere. BUT, if you can approach it with awareness, presence of mind and endurance

 

My brother's often queried the benefits of cold turkey. Two weeks of hell and then improvement were his general findings

 

A clear landscape where you can just focus on getting yourself better and away from these drugs.

 

Look at me, tethered to 15mg and needing another drug in order to just get some disturbed kip. Perhaps a detox to try and escape these confines... short term hell for long term freedom from pharma. There's no risk of seizures as what you get with benzos/opoids

 

I don't advocate this for folk with kids and a mortgage etc.

 

My job would be in question or at least a drop in pay. Again, I may have to bite the bullet and break free whilst I can

 

 

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Alex3: total insomnia after 6 months reinstatement

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