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Hey everyone. I wanted to come on here and post periodically as I discontinue Mirtazapine. I've read a lot of horror stories on a lot of forums and I put off discontinuation for a long time because of that. This thread will provide you guys with some helpful info hopefully without scaring y'all from quitting.
A little bit of background first to let you know where I'm coming from. 6 years ago I had a health scare and it set off this chain reaction of events within me that I guess had just been waiting to surface. I've been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Panic Disorder. Mental affliction runs in my family. I thought I was one of the lucky ones that was spared from the mental illness, but nope... my symptoms decided to wait to rear their ugly head until I was in my 30s. Anyway, I tried just about every SSRI under the sun, and the Mirtazapine was the only thing my body would really tolerate. Though I never really felt like it did much for my mood, it helped with some of the severe anxiety symptoms I had. The major downside is it killed my creativity. I was a graphic artist in the music industry at the time all of this started, and unfortunately it seems my anxiety and creativity come from the same place in my brain. The Mirtazapine ruined my career because my creative spark absolutely tanked after I'd been on this stuff for a while. I've always been on the 15mg btw. Anything more and it made my back hurt so bad I couldn't get out of bed.
So flash forward and I've been on this medication for 6 years. I've never felt like it's been all that terribly beneficial, and really I wanted to ditch this stuff a long time ago to prevent potential long-term issues from taking it for so long. Diabetes, liver and kidney issues. I really don't want to have to deal with any of that. I tried to drop this several times cold turkey. I always would get hit with shakes, hot flashes, sweats, and dizziness after about 5 days, then I'd promptly start taking it again. Then I adopted a new strategy. It's not quite a traditional taper. Rather than taking smaller doses over time I started spacing my doses out further and further until I just didn't take anymore. I did this over several weeks. Now I've been medication free for going on 5 weeks. For the most part, my symptoms have been mild. A little dizziness here and there. Occasional mild hot flash or sweating.
Starting in week 4 I started having some issues with my sinuses and dealing with histamines. I read that this drug has an antihistamine effect, and so after a little while being off of it your body begins to have trouble with histamines. I think this could account for a lot of the symptoms people continue to have after long periods of time being med free. Nausea, which I've started to get more frequently, because so many foods contain histamines. Then there's the cold or flu like symptoms. I just got over a sore throat and runny nose that I've had for a week. I've also had a few headaches which is unusual for me. I can count on one hand the number of headaches I've had in the past several years.
So that's the bad news. The good news is none of the symptoms I've experienced since doing my taper have been overwhelming. I've had no resurgence of panic or anxiety. I don't feel any different at all in regards to mood and anxiety level. My creativity hasn't really come roaring back, but I'm still hopeful. All in all, this hasn't been nearly as bad as I'd anticipated. Some mild cold like symptoms, a few digestive issues, and the occasional spacey feeling or hot flash. A friend gave me some CBD oil that I'm going to try to ease some of the symptoms and I'll let you all know if that helps at all. Bottom line, don't fear coming off this drug. If you and your doc feel like it's time, devise a taper strategy and tackle it head on. Know there'll be some discomfort involved, but at least in my experience it hasn't been anything earth shattering. I can get through my days well enough. I've been going through all of this with a new job and new baby, btw. So my anxiety should be off the chain, but it hasn't been. Y'all have faith, be strong... take solace in knowing that folks have made it to the other side of this thing after long term use. It can be done, and you can do it 😃
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