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Hello. This will probably be a long post. But i'd like to start by saying this forum has been a great help to me. Thank you for everyone that posts here. I've been on mirtazapine since i was 18. I'm 26 now. worked my way up to 45mg and stayed on that until 2 years ago when i went down to 30.
I'm going to mention a few things about me that i think are relevant.
after being on amytryptaline i was put on mirtazapine for insomnia and depression when i was 18. In hindsight my insomnia was from the fact i regularly smoked weed and had become dependent on it for sleep and the depression i'd had for years stemmed from a difficult childhood. i don't believe anything was wrong with me in terms of chemical imbalance or an actual disorder that i couldn't have resolved myself, had i been mentally capable or had someone to guide me.
i was an alcoholic from 19 to 25 never daily drinking apart from a couple of month long episodes, but 3/4/5 nights a week to excess. I went through an unpleasent withdrawal off that although not at the delerium stage. had a few months where i've drank to much and had slight withdrawals since but for the last 6 months i've only drank a handfull of times, normally still to excess though. The last month i've had nothing and i'm done with that now.
About 2 years ago i had a hernia operation and struggled sleeping afterwards due to the pain. I upped my dose to 60 mg thinking it would help me sleep better. I was at 60mg for about 5 weeks. i didn't notice any side effects but i was on codeine and other painkillers throughout and felt pretty off it anyway.
went straight back to 45mg and for the next few weeks i noticed i felt quite nauseated and also had something which i wouldn't have been able to describe if i hadnt seen it written on here as "brain zaps". These happened mostly when i was in bed. Having had an operation pushing my bowels around and having being on codeine for over a month i didn't pay any attention to these symptoms and they went within a month.
I went to the doctor at the start of this January and told him i wanted to start tapering down as i didn't like the side effects it had given me, particularly affecting my social life. I think once i was on this drug i lost my spark and most of the charisma i had. the side effects took a while to kick in and i think because the process was gradual i was unaware anything had changed. People i'd not seen for years pointed it out to me though. My dreams were messed up and i would get dizzy occasionally. For a reason i couldn't work out the doctor didn't think that coming off it was a good idea but i told him i was going to do it anyway and i could do with his advice. He said to halve 30 mg for 2 weeks then stop. He also said there'd be no side effects.
A few days went by and i started to itch on my back and the lower half of my legs. A woman at work had gone home because of itching the first day i noticed it, so again i thought nothing of it and thought there might be chemicals around or dust or something like that. Itching got worse and went to my stomach as well even though i'd had a short break from work. Thought it may have been because id switched a brand of supplement i'd been taking or because i was using a different shower gel. I even brought shower stuff meant for babies incase it was that haha
about 10 days on 15 mg i was starting to get less sleep as well and generally feeling ill so i went back to the doctor and asked his advice again. The only thing i'd noticed about mirtazapine was i slept better on high doses, although that goes against what i read on here. He said to try 22.5mg for a week but from his demeanour i could see he didn't really believe me. He also gave me a speech on how some people think doctors are in on a conspiracy to get us drugged up so they profit from it, and i shouldn't come on forums like this one because they fill your head with rubbish. At this point it wasn't in my mind that reducing mirtazapine was causing me any symptoms other than insomnia. He'd told me there would be no withdrawal, I believed him and id approached it with a positive mind. I'd not looked anything up to do with mirtazapine. That changed when i got home.
i found this site and it's helped me a great deal in terms of knowing what to expect, to reassure me that i'm not losing my mind and has pointed me in the direction of sources to show that my doctor's recommendation for withdrawal was too fast.
since January 24th i was on 15 mg and as of last night i had about 2mg. I dont have scales to weigh doses. i break ten days worth of pills into roughly the same size and take them biggest to smallest. the smallest pill is then used as the marker for the next lot that i break. I make them slightly but noticeably smaller than the last of the previous batch then repeat the process.
I'l try and keep this short, these are the symptoms i've noticed since january
Brain zaps - occasionally. between 15mg - 7.5mg. none since below 7.5mg
Anxiety - I get nervous in social situations, not overwhelmingly but i can feel myself blushing and i stutter a bit when i speak sometimes. Mainly just with people i'm not good friends with. This didn't happen when on 30mg, i just had no desire to talk to people haha
Sleep Disturbance - nowhere near as bad as i feared so far, waking up a few times a night but getting 5 hours or so.
Confusion - cant explain it other than i feel like i've just appeared in a situation even though i was concious of entering it. My memory is bad, particularly short term. I can get half way through a sentence and i just lose track completely. This doesn't happen often though.
Jittery - my body feels shaky and i'm easily startled. People saying hello makes me jump or if theres a sudden loud noise that i'm not anticipating my hearts jumping around! Any sort of stress or conflict that i witness makes me feel like im vibrating and i feel sick.
Lethargic - I've felt really sedated the past 2 weeks, not much energy and constantly tired.
Itching - a tiny bit, not really a problem anymore.
Racing thoughts - i would have thought i'm losing my mind if it wernt for this site.
Manic - I have moments when i'm really hyper, mentally.
Nausea and lack of appetite - not too bad managing to eat 3 meals a day but i'm not really hungry for them. Feel a bit sick in the morning and after eating
Dreams - when i do sleep my dreams are very intense and sometimes extremely disturbing and graphic.
Sweats - couple of night sweats, i have a clammy face in the day and look terrible.
Depersonalised - feel a seperation between my mind and body. Weird feeling but i'm ok with it.
My withdrawal symptoms would be scaring me and i would have been off work a long time ago had i not been through similar before. When i came off alcohol i went to a n e thinking i was having a heart attack.
Positives - despite being tired i mentally feel more awake. even though that contradicts itself. i do feel more social i just have a little melt down when i talk to most people haha i also have had no craving for junk food and have lost about half a stone.
I'm posting this now as of today i'm stopping taking it altogether. a situation with a colleague at work over the past week (which i've been cleared of any wrong doing by the way, and have been asked if i want to make an official grievance against him) has led to me being able to use my holiday in one go so i have to take advantage of that. Other people causing me stress isn't worth it, but up until now i've have held my job down despite how i feel. The symptoms of tapering so far have been unpleasant but nothing i've not been through before and are manageable. Its the duration of it thats getting me more than anything and obviously i've not stopped taking it altogether until tonight. A little bit concerned if i'm a bigger mess than i am now when my holiday runs out, then my doctor might not sign me off because "there isn't withdrawal". But both managers i spoke to today were really nice to me after i explained my situation and have said they'll do anything they can to help me so i'm in a good mood. Got no other pressures to deal with so i'm looking forward to it in a twisted way. It will be nice to be able to post here when i'm through it all, so i'm sticking it out whatever happens/ however long it takes.
If you want to take advice from me i'd say to sort your diet out. I.e no processed foods or ready meals, drink water or de caf tea, get your fruit and veg. Remove anyone that causes you grief from your life. Walk away from any situations with tension. If you are physically capable then be outside as much you can. Exercise as vigorously as you can. Listen to music with a positive message behind it. Don't watch the news or read the newspapers. I don't think it's healthy to be bombarded with stories of paedophiles, people getting blown up or murdered on a daily basis anyway. Let alone when you have this to deal with as well. Focus on the positive things in your life. Even if it's one good thing for every 100 bad, the bad are irrelevant when your mind is elsewhere. Think of what you take for granted at the moment and concentrate on appreciating it.
This drug worked initially but i was on it way to long. I also feel if i'd have taken a month off smoking weed and would have had someone in my life who could teach me how to think with a positive mind, then i wouldn't have needed any medication for depression or insomnia. I'm not saying that's true for everyone but i feel for the sake of a quick fix i've been in a fog for my best years and i can't get that time back.
if you read all this then thankyou, and i assume you're going through the same so good luck to you. Be patient and stay positive.
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