Mirtazapine - Uncomfortable brain feeling and desperate

Posted , 6 users are following.

I've been on Mirtazapine for 5 years on different doses but mainly on 15mg. I am currently trying to taper off slowly but have this prolonged symptom that i had before even trying to taper but it's got worse recently.

It's really hard to describe but it's an awful uncomfortable feeling in my brain. It's not painful like a headache. It's more like a pressure, but it is absolutely unbearable as it's so uncomfortable. I've tried meditation, mindfulness, exercise, diet changes, and i'm seeing a Mindfulness based therapist but nothing helps. I don't feel specifically low or have any other anxiety symptoms at the moment only the desperate futility of not being able to get rid of this feeling in my brain.

My GP seems clueless but won't explore any options until i have come off all antidepressants. I recently tapered off Sertraline but i had this from time to time when on Sertraline too, but more so recently.

I just don't know what to do as i'm really struggling to hold down my job, and be there for my family. I am absolutely desperate and just don't know what to do. Hoping that this resonates with someone somehow with a similar problem and they may have suggestions based on what helped them.

I keep feeling that this is what must drive people to suicide when they have an insurmountable problem with no where to turn. My family are loving and supportive but they just can't understand or help me. I'm seeing a psych every 3 months but they just seem to agree with any dose change i recommend. Hoping someone out there can help!

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6 Replies

  • Edited

    sorry i cant help much as I've only taken mirtazapine for 2 weeks and looking for information myself but i want to acknowledge that what you're feeling as I'm experiencing some super weird side effects including a brain thing as well. i don't know if its what you are trying to describe but to me its like I've got brain freeze from eating a lolly too quick but without the pain. its just tension all around my brain and as you say its really unpleasant. so i can totally get what you're describing. I'm also super numb physically everywhere which i hate - when i touch things its as though its not quite real, like my hands and face are icy cold when they're not. I've been on 2 different SSRIs before without these problems so can totally see that they may be side effects of mirtazapine. anyway i hope you manage to figure it out and get some help as what you described does sound nasty xx

    • Posted

      Thanks for your kind words. I really hope you find relief soon. It's only been 2 weeks so give it time. I just wish i had not left it 5 years to try and come off. Best of luck

  • Edited


    I have been on and off mirtazapine for the last year (prescribed for anxiety and sleeplessness) and over time realised that it was far more damaging for me than my baseline problems. I'm now five weeks out of my, hopefully final time taking it and I am also feeling the head pressure, almost headache thing that you are.

    It is extremely uncomfortable and you feel like yes you can do things but you don't feel well doing them. For me in an Australian summer there's the added component of feeling more and more sick/nauseous from the head pressure the longer I spend outdoors trying to get work done.

    Exercise is also extremely difficult in both finding motivation under the influence of the head pressure and also in applying enough effort to get results out of it.

    I know from previous experience stopping mirtazapine earlier in the year that the head pressure seemed to subside drastically within the sixth to eighth weeks of withdrawal but would sporadically come back. I also found that improving my diet and getting regular exercise (despite how difficult that is/was) and keeping stimulants like caffeine to a tiny or non-existent amount, helped dramatically. Also regular chewing gum of whatever your choice is, seemed to help a lot. While I was chewing I felt the pressure less and could get things done. Not in the sense that it fixed it, I just was able to use it as a little trick/gimmick to lessen the effect by not thinking about it

    I think, based on what I've read on other posts, that you might want to prepare for a potentially longer withdrawal/tapering phase because of the time you've been on mirtazapine. I've also read that many people got a hold of mirtazapine in suspended liquid form so that they could taper by miniscule amounts of 1mg at a time to prevent withdrawal side effects. You should talk to your doctor/pharmacist about this.

    I wish I could help more but that's as much as I know right now about timelines as I stupidly listened to my psych when they convinced me it wasn't the mirtazapine that was the problem. It was and now I am re-doing withdrawal.

    But definitely you are not alone in experiencing this bizarre side effect of withdrawal/tapering. It genuinely sucks.

    • Edited

      John, thanks so much for your response. Sorry to hear that you've been battling withdrawal from Mirt as well. Hoping that you make as swift a recovery as possible. Your Australian weather although troublesome for head pressure sounds a lot more positive than the wet and grey weather in the UK right now.

      It feels more like Brain inflammation than pressure. I'm just hoping i can stabalise a bit on 15mg before attempting a much slower liquid based taper. Sending positive vibes your way. I'm off to see DMA's next Saturday. Your fellow countrymen. Cheers

    • Posted

      Hi Serotonin Surfer

      Thank you, and I hope your tapering and withdrawal journey is straightforward and swift also. Just to let you know, my brain pressure has begun fading in my sixth week of withdrawal. I know it's unlikely to work the same way for you as you have been on it for longer and are still tapering, but I figure that what matters is the knowledge that once the receptors in the brain stop being adapted by the mirtazapine, it does fade.

      And I know that it's a long shot but give chewing gum a try. If it doesn't work you're down a few pounds and if it does then you have a way to hold it at bay while you get work done.

      p.s. I hope you have a good time seeing DMA's this weekend.

  • Edited

    Hi my name is Chauncy I've suffered from anxiety disorder + panic attacks most of Adult life on different medications lots of different medications. About 5 years I was taken off my previous medication and put on Mirtazapine 7.5 ,15 ,30mg over 9 months .Mirtazapine works for some people and not for others I was in the last group. I jointed a support group .I'm in Australia and liquid Mirt wasn't available. Some people were using the tablets to make there own liquid to taper down after reading other people's posts and every time they tapered they go through the same experiences and problems. Mirt has a terrible Discontinuation Syndrome for some people.I decided to go cold Turkey it's not ease recovery goes in Windows and Waves,Waves of feeling crap and Windows of feeling pretty good the more you progress the windows get more frequent. It's not easy but everyone is Different All the receptors in your body have to reset.Do it under your Doctors supervision and through the process the Doctor might prescribe or suggest things that may help and let the people around you know what your going through. Symptoms didn't kick in until day 8 or 9 after stopping. All the Best which ever way Taper or Cold Turkey you'll get there.

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