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I started a new thread because I didn’t want to impose on anybody else’s. It’s just been so helpful reading other’s experiences that I thought I’d add mine to add to the list- just in case it makes someone feel better in a ‘Me too! Me too!’ kind of way. Reading these threads has also made me recognise a few things that were going on in my body that I hadn’t initially put down to the tablets. (Just for the record, I’m a 21 year old female living in south England.)
So I’ve been on a small dose of Mirtazapine for over one month now, first half a 15 mg dose a day, and after one week I went up to one tablet of 15 mg a day. The initial going to the doctors part was the scariest: like others have said on these message boards, it IS embarrassing, (I personally kept bursting into tears in their offices for no good reason- it just felt like I was being told off, or looked down upon) and you feel like you’re wasting their time since there’s nothing physically wrong with you (or so I thought at the time…). I was just feeling sad, varying between getting stuck in a mood where I simply didn’t want to do anything except sleep forever, and screaming at myself in my head, really stupid, awful things (you know- the usual ‘just die, do it, just die you f***ing idiot, I don't know what to do I don't know what to do’) and I found myself hitting myself in the head area when I was in these moods- I got bruises under my chin and neck and had to lie about where they came from to people, which made me feel even more idiotic. Relations with people were getting strained, especially as whenever I drank alcohol I’d end up going very introverted and wanting to die. It felt like alcohol let me think clearly, and the clear thing to do was to just end it. I also lost dropped in weight to almost under 8 stone (I’m 5 ft 7) and couldn’t sleep.
But I now realise this could have been avoided earlier- as a doctor said to me, ‘you will realise there is no need to feel like this’. However, this took a long time to come about- I’ve been going to the doctors and vaguely suggesting (because of embarrassment) that I feel very down since I was around 14 years old, and the most recent doctor has been the only one to suggest medication. I’ve been to counselling which was not very helpful personally, and even remember one doctor telling me to ‘get a hobby!’ Haha…
I was hesitant to accept mediation at first because I’ve had recreational drugs at times and find (including alcohol) they usually just ‘freak me out’. I also think there’s a stigma around the idea of prescribed antidepressants. It seems like antidepressants could work like reading glasses- you wear a mild pair of glasses at first which make everything clearer, only to find after a few months you can’t read anything at all without them, so your eye prescription goes stronger and stronger until you can’t see anything at all without wearing the glasses. According to my doctor, this is not the case at all- antidepressants can work more like a crutch: they are useful to keep you calm and relaxed during a period of life stress. And when you feel like you’ve sorted your life out, it can be time to go off them.
However, I fear real life doesn’t work out that way. It’s different for everyone I assume, but to sum it up in a condensed form, I personally think I’m ‘depressed’ because; I’m introverted, find social interaction difficult yet am happier when with friends, can think very clearly and unsentimentally about the nasty, doomed planet we live on, and am not sure about what I want to do with my life- I’ve just graduated and had to move back in with my parents, and I basically feel like a stupid failure. I also pretty much dislike everybody! And I don’t see how tablets can change all that, but it definitely has helped: I feel a lot calmer, find it easier to motivate myself to do basic, everyday tasks, and instead of thinking of a million, depressing thoughts every five minutes (it was like my brain was set to destructively analyse everything at once, like a camera panning out over a wide scene) it now feels like I’ve ‘zoomed in’- and can concentrate on basic, boring everyday things. Which may be a dull way to live, but at least I don’t just want to ‘sleep forever’.
Side effects of the tablets have been (for me) heavy, heavy sedation- which is fine if you have no social life, but I find if I went out in the evening I had to skip a dose. This tended to make me feel very sad the next day. I’ve also been having very intensely vivid dreams- the dreams don’t make much sense, but they feel very real, and I find drifting off to sleep I get these weird ‘hallucinations’- like detailed pictures, faces and stuff forming behind my eyelids. That’s not so bad, it’s pretty fun- but during the first few weeks I found it really hard to wake up in the morning. It’s much more settled now, and so far I’ve only had a few nights where I’ve found it hard to get to sleep. I’ve also put on weight, which was personally a good thing but I can imagine it causes problems for other people. Personally, the tablets make me feel really, really hungry all the time and no matter what I eat I can never feel full up. I guess eating loads of fruit and drinking water would help if you wanted to keep an eye on your weight, and also resisting the urge to pile up loads of stodgy carbs on your dinner plate. Also for the first few weeks I got bad headaches in the morning, but they seem to have subsided now. I’ve been a bit irritable sometimes. Libido has decreased a little bit, though it wasn’t great to start with. My mood generally has got better, or levelled out, but how do you know whether it’s because of the tablets or your environment? I’ve just started an internship, which although is unpaid has definitely upped my mood. We’ll see when the internship finishes in a few months, and I’m jobless and bored again.
Sorry about the epic rant, but I hope it relates to others, and gives at least one person a bit of hope- what that doctor said about how ‘there is no need to feel like this’ has been the best, most relieving thing a member of the health profession has ever said to me. Face the scary doctors and let them know you need help. Meds like Mirtazapine obviously can’t fix your life, but they can help you calm down.
Oh and if you’ve been on Mirtazapine for longer than me but recognise the moods, feelings etc as being similar to mine, please let me know how you’ve got on further down the line! I think I've signed up as invisiblefriend but my account shouldn't be active for a day or so.
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