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DeeDee: Psych drug nightmare-help/advice needed


DeeDee

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Hi everyone-

So sorry and grateful at the same time for others on this horrific journey.  I thought i did a slow taper off Mirtazapine from 22mg to 0 over 5 months time.  It was a horrible withdrawal--suffered greatly with panic/fear, depression, nausea, wanting to die, instrusive thoughts, sleeplessness and nightmares to name a few.  I honestly thought that once I got off the medication all of that would just go away.  I now realize I should have slowed the taper WAY down.  4 weeks after I stopped Mirtazapine--which was May of this year--I started getting hit with severe suicidal thoughts.  Not the passing ones I had during the taper, but severe and acute,  They would last about 36 hours and then life.  I would feel fine for a day and a half or so and it would all start again.  My husband kept me alive-no joke.  He did everything from screaming at me to comforting me and refused to take me to the hospital. 

 

Anyway, I stayed like this for about 4 solid weeks.  LIVING HELL does not even explain this.  I did not want to reinstate but felt I had no choice and I did at 3 mg.  It did nothing but did help me sleep so I would get 6-8 hours of not having to deal with this at least per day.  I don't know how I was able to drag myself to a holistic dr in June who put me on Iron and Vitamin D and some mutation supplements based on my 23 and me results.  Believe it or not, this helped.  The acute sucidal junk lifted and I was left with other symptoms of course, but that one really let up some for me...still comes back a little in waves.  At the beginning of July, I decided to drop Mirtazapine to 2mg.  Mistake!  It has been pretty rough. 

 

I talked to my phamacist today who put me on some progesterone and he said I need to stay at my 2 mg dose for months.  I HATE this med and SO want it gone.  I have no idea how to get out of this mess I am in. 

 

Any advice I would greatly appreciate.  I see very clearly that I tapered too fast and probably should have taken a year minimum.  I really thought I was doing it correctly.  Thanks so much,

DeeDee

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Hi DeeDee-- welcome to the group.  I'm so sorry to hear that you're having so much trouble.

 

 Mirtazapine is a real bear to get off of.  It is amazing how slowly one has to taper off of this stuff, unfortunately 5 months is not slow enough.  We suggest being very careful when reinstating as a little can go a long ways toward helping.  Doing just 3 mg was a good place to start, but I think you dropped too quickly again. Alto is much better with reinstating than I am, and she should be along any time now.  In the meantime here are a couple of links it would be a good idea to look at;

 

Tips for tapering off Remeron (mirtazapine)

 

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Also if you would please add a signature block with all of your usage and tapering information it would be really helpful.  That way we can see at a glance all the information we need to make suggestions.

 

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

The suicidal thoughts sound horrible.  Be sure to give DH a big hug and thank him for getting you through it.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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  • Administrator

Welcome, DeeDee.

 

It sounds like your reinstatement is working -- sleep is very important for recovery from withdrawal syndrome. Give it some more time, probably months, the other symptoms should reduce, too.

 

See About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

and The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

The waves of despair are "normal" for withdrawal syndrome -- see Neuro-emotion and Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thank you! I have had less panic and fear these last 2 days. This week I sometimes felt like I was in the verge of losing my mind. Yesterday and today it's more that I feel close to having the feeling of losing my mind - if that makes sense. All very very distressing! I will stay on my 2 mg and pray for some form of stability. I don't feel like I will ever get better or get out of this- but I see that is a pretty common thiught here. These drugs are so evil.

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  • Administrator

That is better. Please let us know how you're doing.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Administrator

You know you will have waves of bad symptoms, you ride the waves and come out the other side. Over and over until the waves go away.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thank you guys. Are there folks who have pushed through the suiciidal horribleness and survived and it really went away? It lessened up this evening but I know it's coming back.

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  • Administrator

Yes, that is a typical pattern. Many of us, including me, have been through it. See our Symptoms and Self-care forum for suggestions about how to cope with symptoms http://tinyurl.com/3hq949z

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Today was horrific. Suicidal thoughts all day...I am so screwed. How do people survive this?

This is an extremely relentless, brutal and tiring time and it is not easy ...but you can survive this.

One good thing is that you are informed and you know its not you its the drug wdl. Many are not privy to such insight. I still am so thankful for the day i lucked out and stumbled upon online support like this.

 

"Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never" Winston Churchill World War II speech.

 

You will make it, you will make it, you are going to make it.

Its a game of daily survival and slowly in time it will recede. It may take many months. I can testify i survived it also. Just knowing that other people were out there who had gone through this and survived gave me strength and hope at crucial times. And i sometimes reminded myself if so and so got through this and came out the other side then so can i.

You can do this.

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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Thank you Alto and NZ- it did lift last evening and today and had panic and fear - all I could think about it "it" coming back. Hopefully the fear:panic wil lift tonight. I always feel better in the evenings. I am hoping and praying that I level out if I stay on my 2 mg remeron for a few months.

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Thanks DeeDee,

The fact we and many others have survived this is proof it can be done.

But the war is won simply concentrating on surviving one day at a time imo.

I also like you found the evenings provided a pause in the mental carpet bombing and seems to be a typical way this pans out, in fact i sometimes hated going to bed as it was only a matter of hours and it would all start up again. Slowly in time it recedes ...you must hold onto that knowledge and trust it will be so.

I am in a much better place now.

 

You can do this. You will make it.

Wishing your strength.

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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Thank you NZ-my plan is to hold at 2mg for several months and see what happens...if I can stabalize.  I am so grateful for my evenings and that I can sleep.  When I wake up I feel OK until my mind starts going..then the dread, heavy chest/heart thing starts going and yep, another day has arrived to get through.  However, I am able to say 'I will feel better this evening'  that is good for now. 

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  • Administrator

DeeDee, there is a hormonal cycle that starts in the early morning, the cortisol cycle. Ordinarily, this gives you energy. When people have nervous systems sensitized by going off drugs, it can cause anxiety, panic, etc.

 

That sounds like what's affecting you.

 

The cortisol cycle is triggered by sunrise. Darkening your bedroom with blackout shades and curtains and wearing a sleep mask can reduce the stimulation in the morning. You might try that.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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last 2 days I have done better accepting my symptoms instead of fighting and wishing them away. I have developed a "who cares " attitude and it seems negative but it helped . :)

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Hi DeeDee

 

I'm sorry you're struggling. I'm struggling too. Let's get through this together!

Accepting the symptoms and not fighting them seems to be the right approach, but it takes practice because it's counter-intuitive and often goes against what we have been taught to so in difficult situations.

Stay on that does til you feel you are stable, and then you can slowly and safely taper off.

Wishing you the best 

I suffer from depression, anxiety, pure-o ocd, and panic attacks since 2004. Been on multiple different psychiatric drugs since 2006. Never had a significant WD problem before, only brain zaps for a month and then I'd be fine...............Been on Cipralex (escitalopram) 15 mg and Fluanxol (flupentixol) 1 mg since Sep 2014. Stopped taking the Cipralex after a fast 20-day taper.Took the last 5 mg Cipralex on Feb 5th, 2015. Then took Seroxat (paroxetine) 10 mg for a week, and stopped it too. Severe WD started suddenly on Feb 16th. RI 5 mg Cipralex on Feb 18th, 2015. RI worked and was relatively stable for a while................April 7 - decreased Fluanxol from 1 mg to 0.5 mg and took it at this dose for a week. - BIG MISTAKE; April 13 - WD starts creeping in; April 14 - RI full dose of Fluanxol 1 mg => severe muscle twitching and jerking when trying to relax and fall asleep, overwhelming sense of doom, dread, terror, and horror, insomnia, hoping to stabilize.
Tried doing a 10% cut off Fluanxol in the end of May for a few days, but quickly updosed to full dose because the twitching returned.
Experiencing waves and windows in the following months.
Unsuccessful brief taper attempt of Fluanxol by 5% on November 1st. Symptoms hit the next day. Too scared to continue tapering, reinstate full dose.
Severe crash in November after stupidly trying a barbiturate on November 9th. Grave mistake. Sense of unshakable inescapable internal torture, like my soul is in hell being tortured, terror/horror/dread/doom (probably akathisia?) that gets especially bad when trying to relax and fall asleep, muscles twitch, jerk and move on their own, shaking, insomnia, can't eat, confusion, disorientation, brain not working normally. Never felt so bad in my entire life. Never experiment with other meds while in WD! Praying to God I stabilize and get back to my baseline.
December - things getting even worse.

January - unbearable suffering

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Thanks Blue- I cannot imagine feeling stable again- but we shall see!

 

I am sorry you are struggling too. These meds ruin lives that is for sure. I want to beat them !

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Have had 6 days of horrific wave--lifted last Friday night and Monday night and last night.  I opened my eyes this morning without complete dread for the first time in a while.  Hopelessness and depression came pretty quickly, but lessened some by 11 am.  I went to a meeting a work and actually asked good questions.  Hooray for minor improvements.

 

I have been on 2 mg reinstated Remeron since July 1st.  Has anyone reinstated a small dose and waited and waited and actually stabalized some?  My fear is that I will never stabalize.  Thank you for everyone on this journey.  Hate it but thankful.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi DeeDee , welcome.  Lots of people have reinstated successfully with small doses , see UselessSpork , he reinstated and stabilized at (I think) 3.5mg mirtazapine.

 

Your strategy of accepting the symptoms is what got me through many months of severe distress.  When things got bad , I said "It's this again , it's from the withdrawal and I know it's going to finish". 

It's going to be up and down for a few weeks - try to be patient.  The small improvements are already starting.

 

Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • Administrator

You may want to try a little more mirtazapine, say 2.5mg. Give it a week to see what it does. You'd be surprised what a small amount could do.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thanks Fresh and Alto. I now have a pattern I can see. 1 1/2 full days of mental hell then a complete lift for 1/2 day- this has been going on for 1 week. I don't really know what to think of it.

Alto- I must admit I am scared off going up in my dose. I get scared of making things worse!!

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I almost feel like myself today!!! Wanted to share some good news before the wave comes to take me away. Last Thursday I had an almost normal day and today is just a little better than that. My morning stomach churning/dread seems to be less. I am 6 weeks at 2 mg after reinstating 3 mg of remeron. Maybe just maybe I have a chance to stabilize !?!? Dare I dream!?!?

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  • Administrator

That's good news, thanks, DeeDee. It sounds like you're stabilizing.

 

So you went from 2mg to 3mg?

 

Also, Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Yes- I reinstated remeron at 3 mg in mid May I believe. I dropped to 2 mg on July 1st and later found this site on which I realize I dropped too much too fast for my very sensitized system. I feel I will need many months to stabilize on 2 mg.

 

I was able to go to lunch with girls from work and laugh and forget about his crap for a few hours. What a blessing. I need to rmememer this day.

 

Thank you Alto for this site. I wojld love to know your story some day

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  • Administrator

You're welcome, DeeDee.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I almost feel like myself today!!! Wanted to share some good news before the wave comes to take me away. Last Thursday I had an almost normal day and today is just a little better than that. My morning stomach churning/dread seems to be less. I am 6 weeks at 2 mg after reinstating 3 mg of remeron. Maybe just maybe I have a chance to stabilize !?!? Dare I dream!?!?

 

Happy to hear that you felt better today, I love good news!  I hope it continues for you and your symptoms improve.

20+ years of Zoloft 50-100 mg CT 03/2014 for 5 months
Back on Prozac 20 mg for 4 months CT since 11/2014
Found this forum the last day of 2014
The secret is to keep going!  Time will heal.


 
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Thank you Pug! I hope you have good days too- I read your posts :)

 

Today I feel kinda crappy but the mental torture is still at bay. I will take it!

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Mental yuck is still at bay today.  Third day in a row.  I am in complete and total disbelief here!  I dont' feel good but just don't care because I am able to actually think my own thoughts for the most part.

 

Alto-  I know I will not get this verbiage right, but my naturopath told me there are 3 pathways that mirtazapine/remeron crosses.  I have a genetic mutation on 2/3 of those.  He said that is why I have so much trouble, but says I can still get off of this med eventually.  Do you agree?  Thanks!

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  • Administrator

It may be you never metabolized mirtazapine very well, but that is not the reason you experienced withdrawal from it. See What is withdrawal syndrome?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thanks Alto- if I don't metabolize Remeron well, Can I still stabalize on my 2 mg dose?

 

I had 3 1/2 days of a window Monday evening through Thursday. It closed Friday and it has been a rough 2 days. I do not have the acute horrible thoughts- just a general feeling of not wanting to go through this, I will never make it thinking. So I guess I am in a wave. I am almost 7 weeks into the 2mg dose and hoping to stay on this dose and stabalize over the next few months. During my Window I had hope - it's js crazy how quickly that hope vanishes!!

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  • Administrator

Yes, you can stabiilize. If you're not taking any other drugs, being a poor metabolizer of mirtazapine (if you are such) at this stage is irrelevant.

 

You may want to try a little more mirtazapine, say 2.5mg. Give it a week to see what it does. You'd be surprised what a small amount could do.

 

Please put ALL the drugs you take in the Drug Interactions Checker http://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.html and copy and paste the results in this topic.
 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Has anyone used hemp oil for panic/fear/ anxiety? I was reading about it and just wondering if anyone here has input. This is so hard to deal with at work!!! I feel like I am going to lose it. I am unable to take magnesium orally but do take Epsom salt baths...just can't take this at work. Thanks!!

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