A complete change of opinion

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When I first started Mirtazapine, a little over a month ago, I actually posted a topic on here singing its praises, telling anyone that would listen how wonderful it is. At the time I had been suffering from insomnia due to health anxiety, and was constantly in this overly emotional state due to exhaustion. Eventually, I gave in and started 15mg of Mirtazapine. I slept like a baby, so of course I thought it was great.

I'm now a little over a month down the line, and I'm starting to change my opinion on Mirtazapine. I don't feel it is helping my anxiety, and I am beginning to think it is helping me sleep a little too effectively. Like, it really knocks me out. I went to sleep last night at 3am (that is kind of normal for me), and didn't wake up this afternoon until 4pm. Sometimes, I wake up feeling heavy headed and a little bit groggy, despite all the sleep I am getting.

And, last of all, I am not sure it is doing much for my anxiety. I have health anxiety, so I am constantly freaking out that there is something seriously wrong with me, even when multiple tests and examinations beg to differ. Now, I don't know if Mirtazapine is CAUSING the symptoms I am suffering from, or just not helping with the anxiety brought on by this symptoms, but I am as on edge as ever I was. I am having this weird shocks, or like crawling sensations, inside my head, and it constantly freaks me out, due to my health anxiety, that it is a brain tumor.

I am seriously considering quitting Mirtazapine; can anyone else share their experiences with me? I'm only 27, and I only started taking meds a month ago, so this is all very new to me. Any advice that can be offered would be massively appreciated.

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  • Posted

    Some people really like mirtazapine and it works for them. It didn't work to good for me. I had a good day then bad and I started getting health anxiety from it , cause I never had it before the mirt. I am now weaning off of it and that's a problem in itself and I was only on it for 2 months. I'm now down to 5 mg. Thank God!!! My next drop will be 1.25 mg to 3.75. Its up to you and your doc on what to do but he might tell you to up the dose. That's a decision you will have to make. But if you have any doubts, the sooner you decide the better the withdrawals are more physical and hard
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  • Posted

    All I can say, David, is that if you want to stop, now is the time to do it - one month in, you may escape relatively unscathed!  Mirt gets its hooks into people pretty fast and is one of the worst to come off of.

    When Patty9019 asked if you had tried anything else, I wondered if she meant non-drug techniques for dealing with the anxiety.  All the psych drugs have the risk of not working while in the meantime you get hooked and risk withdrawal coming off.  Low serotonin has never been proven the cause of depression or anxiety, and in some people higher serotonin actually CAUSES depression and anxiety!  I think of citalopram as being one that has such horrific start up effects of anxiety and such because of the IMBALANCE it causes; it is only when the nervous system finishes it's "push back" process to bring about homeostasis, months later, that people start to feel better, but relative to the horrid start up effects, anyone would think the drug was now "working."

    I know in the UK it is hard to get on the lists for cognitive behavior therapy and the like, but that is but one route to dealing with anxiety that actually works and has NO SIDE EFFECTS AND CAUSES NO WITHDRAWAL!  If you do a web search you can find lots of CBT self-help.  Meditation/mindfulness is also proven to be helpful, and there's tons of guided meditations with anxiety as the focus.  Another option is "emotional freedom techniques" which can help anxiety.

    My suggestion is to get out while the getting's good on the mirt.  If you choose to do that, cut back by a 1/4 dose per week and then off (take as long to get off as you have been on).  If you find yourself having serious withdrawal at any point along the way, hold at that dose until it resolves, and add an extra week before resuming cutting. 

    Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Hey, Betsy! Thank you so much for replying! I was actually put on Mirtazapine for anxiety; I have never had depression. Some of the things I have been going through, the symptoms, I never had until I started taking Mirtazapine. I have only been on them about a month, so I think now is as good a time as any to ease off them. I have made an appointment with my GP, for May 23rd, but I might try to get an earlier one so I can start coming off them sooner. If I wait until May 23rd that'll mean I've been on them almost 2 months. I am on the waiting list for CBT therapy. The thing is, Betsy, I don't know whether to come off all meds altogether after coming off Mirt, or to try for a different drug. Thoughts?
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    • Posted

      If you are intent on coming off of them, better to start now than wait longer and get more hooked.  

      As for the ADs, consider the fact that these drugs were never tested past 6-8 weeks before going to market, so we are the guinea pigs.  I have seen too many people on cocktails wishing to come off and it is very difficult and complicated the longer you have been on and the more drugs you are on, as well as starting/stopping/switching.  All of these things sensitize the nervous system.

      These drugs do not cure a known disease process.  There is no known disease process for anxiety/depression/bi-polar/schizophrenia that these drugs are treating; they simply alter mental states.  Long term use is coming to light as causing a greater tendency toward depression (even when it wasn't the original problem for treatment!), treatment resistant depression (we become desensitized to all of these drugs when we have been through many), shortened life span, a higher risk of dementia, and a greater risk for tardive dyskinesia, a movement disorder CAUSED by the drugs (iatrogenic) and sometimes irreversible.  

      So, since the risks of long term use are high, they really should only be used for the most extreme cases to get a footing so that alternatives can be employed.  And then they should be stopped, albeit properly!  They all have the risk of withdrawal syndrome upon cessation.

      CBT (of which there are lots of self-help free sources online), meditation/mindfulness, etc. are all much healthier alternatives that actually do work but require a bit more effort than popping a pill

      Your brain is your most precious organ.  The choice is yours as to which direction you'd like to go, but I urge all folks who have been on ADs for any length of time to at the very leasts try to reduce the dosage, very slowly, so as to at least reduce the risk somewhat.

      A lot of people really don't want to hear about this, would rather see their ADs as their life line that they could never do without, and that's fine.  But at least go into long term use knowing the risks.

      I wish you peace, David, whatever choice you make :-)

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    • Posted

      Weakening the nervous system, shortening life span, and increasing the risk of dementia; I am officially terrified
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    • Posted

      Well, I apologize for terrifying you,but you can find the info out there.   Try being me after 20 years on these things! LOL!  

      Yes, the meds cause the nervous system to remodel as it pushes back against the drug's action in an effort to regain homeostasis, but the good news is that due to neuroplasticity, your nervous sytstem can heal back.  

      When you say you don't know whether to come off all meds, are you on other psych meds?  If not, then you are dodging a bullet by not taking the mirt any longer, since the longer you are on, the more "adapting" your nervous system will be doing.  It will change back.

      If you are on others and wish to eventually come off, then it should be done very slowly, one at a time.

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    • Posted

      Hi David

      don't be terrified ♥

      I know depression/stress whether treated or untreated can reduce your life span but so can many things. (I use to smoke like a trooper! ) I don't hold on to my AD as a life line, nor do most people here, it's medication to help recovery over a period off illness. Without getting help, I would be laying in bed facing the wall. Our brains are complex and they soon let us know when there out of whack by transmitting signals to other parts of the body eg exhaustion, anxiety, stomach problems, aches and pains. Without medical intervention I would have continued to will for death as that level of despair was cruel and relentless, so death becomes a kinder option. I now shudder at my past thoughts and fears as I'm on the mend for the first time since becoming so ill. There will always be conflicting views, that's why it's better to go with your gut feeling, you know your body better than anyone..including your doctor! I didn't improve on my first AD and stupidly stayed on it for six months! It may be mirt isn't right for you or the dose may be to high,Or it may be you need to give it a little longer. I certainly do not anticipate being on AD for years but do envisage six months. I guess the question is how bad was your anxiety prior to mirt? We're you able to engage in all the things you enjoy? Please don't be put off, nor terrified the important thing is for you to feel better. You are only young and have a long healthy life ahead!

      The key thing for you is to get better asap, don't worry!

      Please keep in touch ♥♥

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    • Posted

      My doctor has told me she only visions me being on Mirtazapine until Halloween, or maybe until December to give me a full year, and then she herself is going to begin tapering me off them because she doesn't feel my anxiety is overly severe. By then, I'll hopefully have some CBT sessions under my belt, too. I think I'm going to be strong and carry on. A couple of months to a year is not forever. I just need a bit of a helping hand until I get things under control. The strange head feelings that were scaring me off the Mirtazapine have been gone these past 2-3 days, so maybe things are looking up.
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    • Posted

      Hi David

      that sounds like a great plan. I'm a due to start CBT too, my first session is on the 10th of this month. I think it's worth a try! Do let me know how you are getting on ♥

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