Anxiety and medication journeys

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I've started this thread as the other one "Any one taking Escitilopram and Mirtazapine " has got so long.

A bit of my background.

I am 57 and have suffered from anxiety and depression for many years.

This escalated when I was diagnosed with breast cancer aged 43.

It escalated again when I lost my mum last year.

I was initially taking Citalopram, Tamazepam, and Zopiclone.

This was after a while changed to, Citalopram, Diazepam and Zolpidem.

After a few years, I was changed to a different AD, but after a few months it was obvious it wasn't working for me.

I was then put on Sertraline, which I could not tolerate at all.

I was then put on Trazadone along with Diazepam still.

This worked well, until on a visit to my GP at the end of May I mentioned my anxiety had been playing up again.

He took me off Trazadone cold turkey..... big mistake!

Put me on Mirtazapine, after a few weeks increased the Mirtazapine which sent my anxiety rocketing!

I was referred to the mental health nurse specialist at my surgery who told me to taper off Mirtazapine and introduced Escitilopram at 10mg daily.

For two weeks I was a wreck, I had horrendous withdrawal from the Trazadone and on top of that withdrawal from Mirtazapine and side effects from starting Escitilopram!

My GP then introduced Quetiapine too, as I was running on pure adrenaline , having daily panic attacks etc.,

So now I am currently on,

Escitilopram, Diazepam and Quetiapine.

Things appear to be settling down, into my 6th week of Escitilopram.

But my sleep is still a big issue, go off to sleep but am awake a few hours later!

Well that's my background of my journey with Anxiety and medication, I have a appointment with the mental health nurse specialist this afternoon, so will see what he has to say.

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  • Posted

    Hi Karen good to see a new thread couldn't keep up with the old one lol.Glad to see your improving.l hope Nikki and Ann are too.

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  • Posted

    Hi Karen

    Found it! I hope your appointment goes ok this afternoon, thinking of you.

    I had a rocky start but have had a couple of relatively productive and calm ish hours! Now can feel anxiety coming on. 

    Will rest as best I can for a bit and write more later X

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    • Posted

      Hi Nikki,

      How's your day been?

      Mental health nurse specialist was very pleased with me, said long term they would like to see me off Diazepam and Quetiapine but not for ages yet..... thank goodness 😅 

      He thinks the Escitilopram is starting to do its stuff, said it can be up to 7-9 weeks before it kicks in properly!!

      Didn't have any answers regarding my sleep though, guess I'll just have to live with it!

      Was talking to my neighbour earlier, her husband has a lot of health problems and amongst other medications is on Sertraline, apparently they tried him on Mirtazapine and he was pacing and awful on it, fortunately they took him off it pretty quick so he didn't get any withdrawal symptoms.

      Seems Mirtazapine really doesn't suit a lot of people!

      Hugs 🤗 

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    • Posted

      Hi Karen

      That's really positive about your review with the nurse. Such good news! Though I know today can't be easy and I've been thinking of you.

      That's good there's no rush to be off the supporting meds!!

      I had my usual difficult afternoon with no sleep and the unsettling stuff as I was trying to drift off. This really bothers me and it's one big thing I'm going to raise next week. That and night time sleep and anxiety!

      Something is different but I'm still struggling. The biggest impact is the effect all this is having on my physical health as my mobility is badly affected now and I can't handle any trips out as they leave me fatigued but with adrenaline racing and I'm unable to rest properly and then the anxiety is worse! I can't even begin to access anything that might be beneficial to my mental health and self esteem while like this as I'm so debilitated with the ME/CFS.

      I'm hoping and praying there's a solution.

      That's interesting about your neighbour's husband. I can't face coming off Mirtazipine if I have to as been on it now 4 months at different doses and in combination with different things. But I want the best solution for my issues.

      I hope you're doing ok this evening X

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    • Posted

      Thank you Nikki,

      It has been a emotional rollercoaster of a day, but my mental health nurse specialist knew today was going to be like that.

      So sorry you've had another difficult afternoon, I wonder what's causing these racing thoughts and heightened anxiety?

      I think you definitely need to bring it up next week.

      With your other health problems this and lack of sleep and rest is affecting you badly, and that really is not good!

      I've told my mental health nurse specialist that there is no point in me doing the talking therapy at the moment as my mind set is not right, thankfully he agreed with me.

      He said I still had a long way to go!.....ironically he suffers from low grade anxiety too and is very open about it!

      I hope you have a better night.

      Hugs 🤗 

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    • Posted

      Thanks Karen.

      That's good you expressed your needs around not having talking therapy at the moment and that the nurse agreed. Well done!

      It must have been a roller today. You are doing so well what with everything you've had to deal with including the medication withdrawal nightmare!

      In the past I was put on low dose clonazepam for sleep. It was brilliant. But I had no idea what it was and when the time came that I felt better a couple of years later I weaned myself off everything  super slowly and was ok (I was on 45mg Mirtazipine plus another anti depressant plus clonazepam! I had reached crisis point with depression and anxiety though as had been severely ill with the ME for three years).

      There's some part of me that wonders if the clonazepam would help me now but it's heavy duty. 

      I'm going on. Just sharing my thoughts.

      Here's to an ok night all round X

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    • Posted

      Hi Nikki,

      Could you ask about the Clonazepam next week, I'm not familiar with that medication but if it helped you before maybe it's a consideration?

      Thank you for your kind words, I went to the churchyard after the Drs and took flowers and had a chat with mum 😢

      I hope you have a restful night.

      Hugs 🤗 

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    • Posted

      I did think of you going to the churchyard with flowers for your mum. 😔 ?? I really feel for you Xx big hugs x

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    • Posted

      hi

      you had a hard day yesterday. I know what its like feeling that anxiety and not being in control.  Waking after mirtaz I have crazy dreams and feel,very anxious.  Im sure its the med. do you wake up feeling bad

      Hopefully you will get something for your sleep soon and that will help,uou feel better.  We dont realise how much sleep affects us until we lose it.

      hoping too that you can get out even for a short while, i know how difficult it is for you.

      this is such a hidden illness isnt it, people around just go about their daily life and dont even think about it.

      i dont know how i would manage without the diazepam for anxiety, as Karen says, it will have to be dealt with at a later stage.

      are you still taking the mirtazapine?  I wonder, for me, if thats my problem, its too stimulating for the brain.  Only time will tell but i dont feel any better in that respect having dropped down from 15 to 5mg.  Anyway, ploughing on awaiting my appt in October.  I think he has tried so many ssris that he might use an maoi which i dread as your diet is severely restricted, no cheese, bacon, ham, etc. Hey ho, just got to get on.

      Have a better day, sleep,when you can.

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Ann

      Thank you for your understanding words. They mean a lot.

      I do wake with anxiety and a racing head. It's less than it was but it's still hard. I'm restless all day unless I take a diazepam, which I'm doing more now as it's the only way to get through. 

      I can't work out whatnis helping and what isn't but I do know since I've been on Mirtazipine without the pregabalin it's been problematic. I'm now 4 weeks on 10mg escitalopram and 15mg Mirtazipine and I'm far from relaxed or feeling any sense of calm without a diazepam. Plus the insomnia. So I do wonder if the Mirtazipine is too stimulating as you say. If it's not helping me I'll need to come off it but have read so many horror stories about that! How long were you on Mirtazipine before reducing it Ann? 

      I feel sure there will be something to help you medication wise Ann. The thought of an maoi must be daunting but it might not be what he suggests. 

      I still think escitalopram is a good med. Just my feeling.

      X

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    • Posted

      That's great news!

      I took 2xzopicline last night, took a while to drop off but slept til 5 ish I think then in and out of sleep til 8 or so. Not ideal but I'm hoping I'll get some answers on Wed and a plan. I'm scared it might involve coming off Mirtazipine though I feel it's not a good med for me. I'll need something to help my sleep for sure!

      Hugs back to you 🤗

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    • Posted

      Hi, i dropped down slightly lower on mirtaz last night and had a terrible,sleep.  Ended up with extra 2mg diaz just to get back to sleep. Woke today with ideation not wanting to be here as its all so difficult and anxiety still there. Dont feel like seeing family or friends.  What a life. I am not sure if its the mirtazapine which is causing all this and if i can get off it maybe these things will slowly return to normal.  Are these withdrawal symptoms, imjust dont know, and i think all the psych will do is hand out another med which will send my off again.  So confused by it all and can see i havent been right since introduction of these pills.  Wish there was someone who understood the whole scenario.

      anyway, another day, hoping to get through without too much hassle.

      hope you are feeling ok - domyou feel mirtazapine is the problem out of interest?  You are on escitalopram arent you?  Maybe it would be better on its own.

      need an expert here- anyone out there?

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    • Posted

      Hi Ann

      I'm so sorry you've had another bad night and have woken with those thoughts. I struggle with those at some point most days because of the endless feeling and not knowing what is going to help or what's causing me to struggle so much. 

      I think when you reduce or increase a medication those thoughts can come strongly. I know when I increased the Mirtazipine they were overwhelming! I never had them when I started the escitalopram in the past.

      It is very confusing and I'm with you on that.

      My feeling is it's the dose change making you think like that. I know it's awful. I wonder if you need to stick with the dose you're at for the time being? I know it's not helping but maybe dropping it is too much without the help of support, guidance and a plan from the psychiatrist. 

      Either that or you try a tiny reduction every few nights. 

      I'm just getting through hour by hour. Knowing I'll probably have another change to deal with eventually unless this combination settles for me.

      I don't think the Mirtazipine is right for me in truth. 

      I'm sending a big hug X

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    • Posted

      Hi Ann,

      Sorry went back to sleep after morning Quetiapine!

      So sorry you had such a bad night and are feeling as you do today !!

      It's horrendous as you end up confused as to whether it's medication withdrawal or anxiety symptoms or both don't you?!

      I really wish you could see someone before your psych appointment, it seems too far away considering the way you are feeling!

      Just getting through daily/hourly is the only way I can cope, can't think further than that without starting to fret!!

      I really hope things settle for you, my heart goes out to you as I know how you feel.

      Hugs 🤗 

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    • Posted

      Hi Nikki,

      Sorry went back to sleep after my morning Quetiapine!

      It's interesting you say you didn't feel like this on just Escitilopram only when Mirtazapine was introduced too!

      Was that as soon as Mirtazapine was introduced or after a while?

      Hope your day gets better too

      Hugs 🤗 

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    • Posted

      How are you today.  Hope a little better.

      keep on going and the meds will sort out, whether theres to be a change or not.  They will get you fixed, time is the great healer too.

      its teeming down here. Just watched the Queen open new bridge .  Poor soul, soaking wet outside.  still, a new baby coming in spring, she will be pleased.

      im just trying to get by here, anxiety not great but getting on with the day. So many things to be done but cant motivate to do them

      have a good day.

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    • Posted

      Hi Ann

      Thank you for your encouragement. I'm not sure how I am today. There's still the restlessness but anxiety is lower this morning and I've got on with a few things. Another broken night though.

      I didn't know there's a new royal baby on the way! That's lovely news. So you just saw the Queen? How amazing. She keeps going no matter the weather doesn't she!

      I'm glad to hear from you. I've been thinking of you. I'll say the same to you that you will get sorted and will heal. I wish you could see someone sooner than October so you can get some support and a plan. I hope you get through the day ok. I'm thinking of you. X

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    • Posted

      Saw a friend yesterday, had a couple of hours chat.  Then home, still feeling not great, cant wait for bedtime and peace.

      woke today with massive feelings of 'fear',  fear of what?   The day, ability gone to see who i want, do what i want etc.

      i dont know if it is the reduction of the mirtazapine, it never really did much for me anyway, or the taking of diazepam which is causing this.  Or am i just anxious in general with depression rolled in.  

      Because i have used ssri snri tricyclic with no respite i just dont know where meds can go now.  I am worse on them each time.  Psych appt so far away.

      i am wondering if taking just the diazepam is causing this and i know i need to get off it but its so hard just now.

      sorry for the rant.  Maybe someone knows some answers.

      anyway hope you had a good day, i only saw Queen open new bridge on tv,  couldnt possibly have got there!

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    • Posted

      Hi Ann

      I did wonder after I'd put that about the Queen that it was probably on TV!

      I so feel for you and your confusion and frustration Ann. That's how I feel. I don't know what's helping or causing problems. I'm not feeling well at all and don't know if it's lack of sleep or the meds! My head is so stuck. Can't enjoy anything.

      I don't know what will help me get my sleep back and stop my racing head and all the other things! I feel like I've been tied up in knots because of all the med changes and add ons. I've googled so much I don't know anything other than I'm worried about it all.

      It's good to have a rant Ann! 

      I want to be off the diazepam too Ann but I know that'll be down the line. Will need a proper schedule for that.

      Sending hugs from rainy Devon X

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    • Posted

      Oh so good to hear drom you and that you feel like me that all this to-ing and fro-ing on anti deps and the augmentations which dont work is just making us feel worse.

      i have been trying to do some research into the newer meds but imknow if i mention that to my consult he will just sit with his old prescription drugs and try a different one on his list.

      try reading up on Deplin reviews, vIibryd and others, brintillex etc. If you havent already done so.   There are people out there getting better on these and we are stuck on meds which arent helping.

      i am worried about it all as i feel they are not really listening to me and one size fits all isnt working. 

      Wouldnt it be nice to just be able to go out and say you have enjoyed something for once?  I dont know about you, but its so long since i did that i have almost forgotten what it feels like.

      sorry you have rain, its been like this for a few days here, good for garden but nothing else. I had lovely holidays in Lynmouth, Teignmouth, and Moretonhampstead when i was well. Lovely County.

      hope you feel better as day proceeds, and remember, although we may be at either ends of country we still have this illness in common - and not very good doctors it would seem!

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    • Posted

      Hi Nikki,

      When do you have your psych appointment, is it this week?

      It's awful keep feeling rubbish isn't it?!

      Jeez I'm the same googled so much ended up confusing myself!!

      I'm still getting waves of anxiety which my Dr and mental health nurse specialist are aware of but haven't changed any medication!

      Think I've forgotten what normality is!

      Hope your day gets better.

      Hugs 🤗 

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    • Posted

      Hi Ann

      Seeing psychiatrist tomorrow but not holding out much hope as I seem to have more problems than I did with the insomnia now too and the Zopiclone only works for about three hours!

      I'm scared and upset by it all.

      I live very close to Teignmouth smile lovely little town.

      How are you getting by today? X

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    • Posted

      Hi Karen

      Yes got my appt tomorrow.

      Got to get my boy off to school for first day back then wait to go to appt.

      Just feeling hopeless on and off today. I'm missing feeling joy about simple things.

      X

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    • Posted

      Hi Nikki,

      I really hope your appointment tomorrow is positive for you.

      You and Ann seem to be struggling even more than me!

      Maybe it is the Mirtazapine ? Who knows?

      It's like a guessing game isn't it?!

      I don't really know which of my medication is working and which isn't!

      I have managed to catch the bus into town and back by myself today, with the help of a Diazepam!

      It takes a lot of doing I can tell you!

      Hoping you and Ann get answers soon.

      I love Lynton and Lynmouth, we've had lots of lovely holidays in Devon and have relatives who live in different parts of Devon too.

      Hugs 🤗 

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    • Posted

      Its hard today, feel fear but dont know if its due to dropping down mirtaz, anxiety not good so have taken diaz.

      i do hope you get a good outcome from psych tomorrow - do keep us advised what he thinks

       i too found zopiclone only put me to sleep, didnt keep me asleep. I really understand how scared and upset you are.

      maybe a new regime will help.  

      If you feel up to it ask about some of the newer meds which may work better for you than the ssri or snri they all use.

      dont be afraid,these drs are only people with med knowledge who should have our best interests at heart.

      try to get through today.

      thinking of you.

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    • Posted

      You just caught my eye with Lynton i have such memories of having to go up and down the funicular every day, my sons loved it.

      well i got to supermarket with hubby and two diazepam, met an old schoolfriend and mnaged a chat.  Nerves all on edge, what for dinner? Appetite needs stimulation!

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    • Posted

      Wow well done Ann!!

      Little steps!!

      Yes Lynton is spectacular I can imagine you had such fun going up and down the funicular.

      We have some wonderful places in this country.

      I hope you find something to stimulate your appetite.

      Where are you at now with the Mirtazapine?  X

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    • Posted

      Down at 3.75 for last week.  Dont know if its that causing me to feel very vulnerable but it has never done much for me, maybe it pushed up anxiety. Who knows.  Just need something to work, i am trying so hard to push on but sometimes feel defeated. Hope they will have something to lift me, i have too active a brain i think!
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    • Posted

      Hi Ann

      Thank you for your support. I've just got myself so tangled up trying to work out what's going to come of my appointment.

      I think either way it's going to be a few more weeks at least of battling on!

      I realise how depressed I am now. 

      The only thing I can think of for sleep will be something with more side effects/ dependence! 

      I feel like I need a clean slate and try something new but that's not possible without major withdrawal!

      You've done well today getting out! I hope you can put together something nice for dinner.

      I'm happy you have such great memories of Devon. You and Karen! It is a beautiful county. 

      X

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    • Posted

      Hi Karen

      Well done on your bus trip to town! Wow! I don't underestimate what a big deal that was!

      That's lovely you've enjoyed times in Devon. I've taken my son for holidays in Devon too even though we live here 😁

      The North coast is spectacular isn't it and the South coast is gentler and pretty. 

      I paint pictures of Dartmoor ponies as just love the moors and those beautiful animals X

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    • Posted

      That's a really low dose and if your trying to get through with just that and Diazepam it's no wonder you feel so vulnerable!

      Though, as I know only too well, high dosages of Mirtazapine can make anxiety worse too!!

      You must be worn out with it all Ann, 

      That's exactly how I felt, totally defeated, got to the point that I'd shower but not bother with styling my hair, didn't bother with makeup, just didn't care!

      Felt so consumed by the anxiety, panic attacks and depression, I couldn't see anyway out!

      As I've said, I'm not sure if the Escitilopram is working or it's just that the Quetiapine has me sedated?

      I certainly don't intend to stop the Quetiapine or Diazepam anytime soon!!

      I just wish your psych could see you need help now!

      Hugs 🤗 

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    • Posted

      Hi Karen, have you had any side effects from the Quetiapine? Apart from sedation! Which sounds very appealing right now! 

      X

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    • Posted

      Wow you must be an amazing artist Nikki, I used to love art, but am nowhere near in your league!

      I should imagine it's quite relaxing when your in the right mind set, which obviously your not at the moment !

      What time is your appointment tomorrow?

      Hugs 🤗 

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    • Posted

      Hi Nikki,

      No not really, very calming, does increase your appetite, but as I wasn't eating and was losing weight that wasn't a bad thing for me!

      Have had to tweak the day and night doses a few times.

      But no major side effects x

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    • Posted

      It is such a lovely thing to do when you're calm and can feel the joy. I'm missing it!

      That's great you used to love doing art! Such a pleasurable thing. 

      Thanks for the feedback on the Quetiapine. My appt is at 11. So nervous. X

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    • Posted

      Hi Ann,

      How are you feeling today?

      I had a goodish nights sleep, still getting waves of anxiety so am going to talk to my GP about that on Friday.

      It seems like this year is flying by, so consumed with my mental health it feels like I've lost track of time!

      My granddaughter starts primary school today, I feel bad as I was there for her brother and sisters first day. But my daughter has sent be lovely photos of her.

      Damn this bloody anxiety!!

      Hope your day goes as well as it can x

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    • Posted

      Hi Nikki,

      Thinking of you today with your son going back to school and your psych appointment.

      Hope your appointment goes well xx

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    • Posted

      Hi Ann, thank you.

      I'm still taking in the outcome of my appointment. It was a very long session and the psychiatrist was lovely. 

      I'm having to change my medication completely. I have depression. I have to come off the escitalopram (which I've been on for 6 years) and Mirtazipine then start Sertraline. I'm scared but I have to try it. 

      No help with sleep. Told to stop taking Zopiclone and use diazepam. 

      X

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