I had no choice

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After self medicating alcohol to sleep for ages I have finally agreed to Mirtazapine, I didn't want too. Took 7,5 last night and managed to sleep but feel really vague but I know that's normal and am severely depressed and I am sure the alcohol was making it worse. I read on the drug but right now it seems right for me. Very scared, off work but I think I have to ride it out. Support appreciated as I just see a black hole

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  • Posted

    You need to stick with it, and give the mirtazapine a chance to work. It can take a few weeks to fully kick in. I think it's the right decision you've made, to lay off the alcohol ( you do need to avoid it when you are on antidepressants) and try mirtazapine. I've been on it for several years, in combination with venlafaxine, and it's been very successful in treating my recurrent depression and anxiety. I wish you well!
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  • Posted

    Hi Mark

    I have been on mirtazipine for 5 years now and it was the best thing to happen to me. In those 5 years, I have gone from a state of complete nervous breakdown to working full time. In the time due to other medical issues I have ended up in a wheelchair and still the mirtazipine has kept me sane!

    I wish you all the best and I hope it does for you what it has done for me

    Bex ☺

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    • Posted

      I am almost crying reading your reply thankyou so much I am so low and so scared. Thankyou so much
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    • Posted

      I know how scary depression is ... My husband also suffers from it, he is on a combination of mirtazpine and venlafaxine ... It was only when they added in the mirtazpine that he started to feel better. It will take time and you will still have 'off' days even when it is properly in your system...please feel free to pm me anytime if you need to talk ... If I can help I will. You are also probably feeling the withdrawal from alcohol (my husband did too) ... You have asked for help and believe me, that is the first and biggest step of all ☺
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  • Posted

    Hi mark,

    I feel for you. I've had sleeping problems since I was a teenager (now in my 50s ). I too, self medicated with alcohol and became dependent - no booze=no sleep. Suffice to say I was on the road to hell with dependency and depression. About 15 years ago I was prescribed zopiclone, a sleeping pill, thought to be safe. However last year this was withdrawn due to its addictive nature so I too, now take mirtazipine. The hangover feeling you've described does subside after a week or two so stick with it. It sounds like (like me) you need to learn how to sleep again. It's good that you're off work at present as that relieves the pressure. Try to adopt good sleep hygiene, a routine that involves winding down each night - there's lots of info available. You are not alone

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    • Posted

      Last night I still had to pour one but drank very little not even half a glass. I need all the support I can get
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    • Posted

      Well done Mark ... Try and taper it down each night (it has been your crutch so you may still need it beside you for a little while whilst the mirtazpine gets in your system...as long as it a small amount, it shouldn't alter the effect of the mirtazpine, just make sure it is only a small amount otherwise it can limit the effectiveness of mirtazpine)
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  • Posted

    Don't use alcohol to self medicate. I should know from personal, mostly unpleasant experiences. Alcohol can disrupt sleep patterns and increase anxiety. It's a depressant, not a stimulant and will add to depression. I know. By all means, have a drink as an occassional treat, but don't use it as an alternative to prescribed drugs. And don't turn to drink as a "guilty pleasure".

    I've been taking Mirtazapine (daily 30mg) for a year now. It reduces anxiety and helps sleep. The first week or so can be difficult. Stick with it. 

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    • Posted

      Thankyou it's nice when you can be honest about where you have messed up in your life and not be judged the docs weren't helpful. I am by myself and filling time is hard. I have always used it as a sleep aid hey guess what I have had anxiety and pain for the same amount of time !!!!
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    • Posted

      Honesty is the best policy. I've made a rule never to lie to my doctor. The more I tell him, the more he can help me. You'll be pleasantly pleased just how few people judge you. Remember: we are all human beings with our faults and imperfections.

      If you need to fill your time, then immerse yourself in some internet research for fun. I am happy to chat with you, if that helps you, too.

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    • Posted

      Hi Mark

      Don't despair, you've come to the right place, folk are this forum are so supportive, anything your doctor is vague about just ask here, especially when it comes to Mirt !

      I read your other post re the 30 mg Mirt and you can thank your lucky stars (someone is looking out for you) that you started low on the Mirt (7.5 mg), this is great ... a lot of people starting at 30 get an increase in their anxiety so your in the right direction.  7.5 and 15 mg are the more sedating and therefore will help you sleep and that seems to be your hurdle.  Some people take 15 mg for sleep and another "compatable" AD for depression.

      I think Sheila's advice is sound, good sleep hygiene is key, you can learn about this now you'll be able to sleep and therefore be more able to concentrate during the daytime.  I just finished reading a book called

      "Say Goodnight To Insomnia" by Dr Greg Jacobs, everything you need to know is in there.  I got mine on Amazon.

      He states Alcohol is "The Nightcap That Causes Insomnia" - as it doesn't help you sleep at all, on the contrary, it may knock you out but then the trouble starts, it metabolizes during sleep, it produces mild withdrawal symptoms that cause sleep to be interrupted, shortened and fragmented.  If you risk risk mixing it with sleeping tablets you risk your life (sorry don't mean to scare .... no no no)  The book is well worth a read, insomnia is my reason for taking Mirt too.  Have now started a slow WD.

      Mirt' has a start up period, yes that drowsy feeling in the morning, dry mouth, watery eyes, but I think Mirt is much better than the alcohol.  

      Are you UK Mark?  I hope you will feel better within a few days after getting better nights sleep, if 7.5 gives you that stay at 7.5 mg.

      Wishing you well

      C

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    • Posted

      Think it takes a few weeks for you to appreicate the benefits of Mirtazapine. The changes will be subtle and they will creep up on you. That includes better sleep and reduced anxiety. 7.5 mg is a good low dose. Be careful not needlessly increase the dose. The lowest dose for the best results. I think the recommended maxium is 45 mg. I'm on 30 mg and that's enough. I also take 2 other sets of pills for my mental well being.

      But in my opinion, talking remains the best medicine. See if you get your GP  to refer for some counselling or therapy. 

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    • Posted

      I agree but I was having huge low spots and they always were surrounded by sleep loss and alcohol I have other meds but I have been on them so long apparently they are not effective. The vagueness is horrid on day 1
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    • Posted

      The coming days and week are going to be tough. You might see some quick benefits, if you reduce your drinking before bedtime. Of course, you'll miss the sleepy drinking feeling. But you will get reduced anxiety. And take the Mirtazapine about an hour before you intend to go to bed. You might need to set up a pill, bedtime fixed routine. 

      This is something I learned the hard way, too. It helps to have a routine.

      Always around for a chat, if you need.

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