Mirtazapine Withdrawal- Hang In There

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Hi Guys,

Just wanted to give some hope to those struggling with Mirtazapine withdrawal.  Long story short I was given WAY too high a dose of mirt. to help with occasional insomnia a few years ago and my body had a terrible reaction (Constant Anxiety, Depression when I had never been depressed before, etc.) I told my psychiatrist that I wanted to come off and they said I could come off of 45mg cold turkey (which is a laughable statement in hindsight) and thats what I did.  I dropped to 7.5mg immediately and stayed there until coming off completely.  Que the most difficult few months of my life.  The main effects of WD were really intense depersonalization/derealization, suicidal thoughts, occasional panic/anxiety, and just general confusion.  I've been off mirt. for about a year and a half now and I'm just starting to feel back to my normal self.  I want people to know that it can take a really long time for the WD effects to go away, but if you listen to your body and mind you WILL see it through.  Just take it as slow as you need to.  This whole experience actually has led to some of the best times of my life, and i wouldn't have made the lifestyle changes I did unless that happened.  Here are some of the things I did to help me through the WD:

-Meditation(LIFE SAVER)

-Asked my Doctor for small amount of Ativan to help with the anxiety in the first few months

-Explained my situation to my family/friends

At the end of the day know that there's nothing wrong with you and you will get through this smile. Much love to you all!

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  • Posted

    Yes it does take a long time to get rid of the withdrawal side effects.  Even on 15mg for only 5 months it has taken me 10 months to be my normal self.

    I used Zopiclone to get me through the worst insomnia I'd ever experienced in my life.

    And desperate to rid myself of the anxiety, I joined a 10 week group mindfulness course. 

    Both those of those things helped me put my life back together.

     

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    • Posted

      I think the anxiety is the worst I’ve ever had I used to get anxiety before going on mirtazapine but this is off the clock now it’s like it has consumed every part of my body I do so much to try to ease it like meditation, Counselling, acupuncture, I tried mindfulness but just could apply ‘being in the moment ‘ as this anxiety is so powerful 
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    • Posted

      I agree, as the anxiety I suffered after stopping mirtazapine was much worse than before I started the drug.

      Keep hanging on in there.  It does get much better.  And tell yourself you can and will revert to your pre-mirtazapine life.  It just takes time and we all know that for a lot of us this drug has very protracted withdrawals.  

      I was seriously battling after being off it for well over 5 months and when I went back to the doctor for the 4th time they refused to believe it was mirtazapine withdrawal.  I knew it was.  I wasn't on any other drug at all and I had never had such side effects before.  You begin to question whether it's you who has got it wrong and whether it's you that is going mad but IT'S NOT YOU, it's the drug

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    • Posted

      Christine I’m struggling today been off mirtazapine a week now but today my head feels like it’s going to explode and my anxiety is unbearable did you have this and how long does this feeling last 

      I don’t feel well at all 

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    • Posted

      This drug is known for its windows and waves.  Some days can be worse than others.  Can you get outside and go for a short walk in the sunshine?  Getting some sunlight and doing light exercise helps with the panic and anxiety.  I used to feel very sick and anxious.  Some days I would put a pair of sunglasses on and take a brief short walk up the hill at the back of my house.  I would be crying with feeling so unwell but just walking made me feel better and I would return home much calmer.  I wish I could tell you that  it goes away quickly but everyone is different. 

      Could you make a doctors appt and ask for something for the anxiety?

      Don't project your fears and think that you will feel this bad tomorrow though.  My counsellor reminded me that thoughts re:anxiety are not facts.  And to just let the strong waves of anxiety wash over me, if that makes sense.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for answering me I have been given propranolol for the anxiety but I don’t want more medication as I don’t want to get addicted to anything else but your right about the waves and wow they can be brutal it’s quite scary 
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    • Posted

      Yes Caroline 

      I felt the same.  I did not want to get addicted to anything after mirtazapine, so just had to ride it out.  It's easier said than done, I know but remember it won't always be this bad.  Just keep reminding yourself of that.  I'm not on any meds other than HRT and that's the way I will try to keep it. 

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    • Posted

      I've felt rough today, don't know if it's because I've lowered the dose. Back at doctors tomorrow hoping I can have HRT and I can be rid of these tablets!

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    • Posted

      I did have feelings of lack of balance and nausea but they did pass. Rest assured all these horrible symptoms are mirtazapine withdrawal.  Don't feel bad about asking

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    • Posted

      I’m so scared I feel like I’m going to be like this forever and my head and heart hurt so much I feel so vulnerable  it’s now my 9th day off mirtazapine were you like this in the beginning 
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    • Posted

      Yes, you think you will be stuck in this nightmarish world forever, that you will never feel sane or calm but you are riding the worst of it.  I would advise  trying to get outdoors if you can.  Get the sun on your face.  I did my withdrawal over last summer and just getting outside in the sunshine helped a little when I'd had a bad night.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Christine I can’t believe what that bloody little pill has done to me I so want to wake up once without having a panic attack and to be able to have one day without my head wanting to explode 
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    • Posted

      Your system is struggling to cope with the nasty side effects of this drug.  Your body and mind are fighting to gain some equilibrium and balance.  I felt constantly fatigued and agitated and close to tears.  I did not want to go anywhere or do anything and felt this keenly as I doubted that anyone understood what I was going through.  What you are experiencing Caroline is undoubtedly withdrawals and these feelings of nerves and agitation will pass.  You have to be as kind to yourself as you can be.  I told people I was struggling with withdrawal from a nasty antidepressant and that I simply wasn't well enough some days to do what people expected of me.  

      Are you off mirtazapine completely or are you still tapering?

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    • Posted

      Today is day 9 off mirtazapine my anxiety is unbearable and I’m feeling so disoriented and dizzy I took a propranolol but it hasn’t really helped 

      I just want to sit quietly on my own and not be or talk to anyone 

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    • Posted

      I understand how you feel.  You want to make your daily life as easy as possible.  Just remind yourself everyday that THIS WILL GET BETTER.  And it will.  

      I learnt a hard lesson.  These mind drugs in many cases have only been tested for as little as 6-8 weeks.  I knew that every dreadful physical and mental side effect was caused by the drug and its withdrawal.  I had never felt so ill after stopping.  This spurred me on to believe I could become myself again.  It will take everyone different time spans but I'm proof that you can revert to life as you knew it to be before this horrible drug.

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    • Posted

      The anxiety, panic, migraines and nauseous feelings disappeared relatively speaking within 12 weeks.  Bear in mind that I stopped cold turkey and that is not the way to do it.  Also remember that all these withdrawals fluctuated in intensity, so that some days were more bearable than others.  My biggest problem was insomnia which brought back the anxiety.  I really struggled with lack of sleep for months on end.  Even when all other side effects had gone the insomnia was horrific.  That was the issue that took 10 months to resolve.  My sleep was the worst affected bit remember that everyone will experience different side effects which may upset them more, depending on the length of time they took the drug and at what dosage.

      How is your sleep at the moment?

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    • Posted

      Not to bad yet it’s the shaking, heart palpitations, head feelings and nervousness that’s the hard part now but I’ve only been off it 10 days the thought of being like this for weeks is hard I’ve got people coming over next weekend and I don’t want to cancel as I don’t want them to know then I’m going on holiday for a week to visit family but they haven’t seen me like this either
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    • Posted

      Try not to project these symptoms now into what you will feel like in a week from now.  Difficult I know but you are going through a difficult time.  Heroin withdrawal is easier to get through.  Don't be too hard on yourself.  I did not attend a family wedding after accepting the invitation.  I also had to cancel looking after my elderly mother at one stage because of my withdrawal battles. I did not feel well nor did I care what people thought.  I have since learnt that more than half  the adult population are on antidepressants and the reason they are on them is that they are too difficult to stop.

      One day all this will seem like a distant nightmare and you will be proud of your achievement 

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    • Posted

      Hi Christine I’m driving you mad again the past two days have been really hard in fact I think I’m cracking up again I’m so emotional and scared but it’s the sensations in my head and body (the tremors are awful) that make me feel so ill when I move I’m so dizzy my head feels out of control and the top of my chest is pounding along with crawling sensations all over my body please assure me this is withdrawals your over this now and I’m clinging to your story in the hope I come out the other side 
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    • Posted

      Hi Caroline

      These symptoms are all connected to withdrawal from mirtazapine.  I will be honest and say that some of your side effects I did not experience.  But the dizziness and skin crawling I experienced.  In fact I have read many posts in which patients experienced skin crawling, or itching

      Are you a member of the mirtazapine support group? Jo.r has info on it.  I joined one last year when I was really struggling.  You can also private message me if you'd prefer

       

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    • Posted

       Hi Christine,  hope you are keeping well. I’ve read a few of your posts and I was wondering what dose of Matazapine  you on when you decided to go cold turkey ?
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    • Posted

      Hi Steven

      I was taking 15mg and took it for just over 5 months.  I just stopped it.  It was doing nothing for the anxiety and I put on 10 kilos.  I didn't intentionally go cold turkey.  I stopped because I was seeing my GP to ask for something weight neutral.  What they gave me was just as bad so I just took nothing and decided to ride out the cold turkey withdrawals.  Not the best idea but I didn't know then just how much they get such a hold on your system and the doctors deny that they are addictive  

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    • Posted

       hi Christine

      Thanks for getting back to me, It means a lot

       I’ve been on 15 mg for 7 1/2 months. About two weeks ago I came off them for four days and couldn’t sleep. I have now been back on them for eight days and haven’t managed  to stabilise. I’m getting terrible anxiety which I never had before and still very little sleep. I’m wondering if it’s worth coming off them all together or going to 7.5mg. 

      Pointless talking to the doctor as they are clueless, They don’t recognise withdrawal symptoms. Any suggestions would be welcome

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    • Posted

      Your dosage and time frame were very similar to mine.  So, at the moment, you are back on 15mg?  And feel worse now than even though you have reinstated the dosage?  Firstly try holding on 15mg for a little longer if you can. If you just reduce your dosage by another half now to 7.5mg, it is only going to get worse.  You could try for one night an updose by taking the 15mg and another one half of 15mg.  If this stabilises your condition, you have tapered far too quickly. And then would start a tapering process of no more than 10 percent a month.  Don't underestimate how tenacious this drug can be.  It takes many months to leave your system.  If you think you can ride the storm of cold turkey,  it will still take many months and is most unpleasant.  I don't recommend that but I did it because I never had to get up to go to work.  The lack of sleep was the most unpleasant experience I have ever encountered but the other withdrawals disappeared much quicker.

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    • Posted

       Hi Christine

      Thanks for your reply and advice.  It really is appreciated

      I think I will do what you said, and stay on 15 mg for a couple more days to see if it gets any better. 

       I didn’t think it would be so hard to stabilise after being off it for just four days . (Now 8 days back on 15mg)

      The thing is as well, I have the next three months off work and was hoping to get this evil drug out of my system before I went back. 

       May I ask, did you have anything to help you with withdrawals like diazepam  ?

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    • Posted

      I really tried not to take anything I did have some diazepam but I was worried about getting hooked on another drug so I’ve persevered  and I’m now 25 days off Mirtazapine it’s hard very hard but we have no choice if we want to get off it 
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    • Posted

      No.  I saw the docs four times once I was battling this vicious drug and the most I ever got from one of them was 2 weeks supply of Zopiclone.  They were completely unsympathetic and refused to believe my insomnia was from mirtazapine withdrawal.  In fact two of them were really not interested. One said quote : you've not been on it long enough for it to have any side effects unquote. And another was so unsympathetic and told me the only thing she could offer me was amitriptyline which is exactly the same as Mirtazapine.  I am so angry with the GPs attitude to this that I reported mirtazapine to an independent Medical Health agency.  In my experience a sleeping pill like Zopiclone is less dangerous and/or addictive than the ADs they are handing out like sweets.  And there are already strong voices in the Psychiatry field that are challenging this unsafe attitude over ADs not being addictive.  

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    • Posted

       25 days. . You’re doing really well.   I’m actually quite jealous. You must be made of stern stuff not to take the diazepam. I’ve got a load of diazepam myself but refused to take them as it’s just another thing you get  addicted to.

       Stay strong and keep in touch as  it’s inspiration for the rest of us. Have you had much trouble with your sleep

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    • Posted

       I agree with everything you said 100% Christine. The medical authorities are completely clueless  about these evil drugs.  I had a psychiatrist say to me that he can understand people having withdrawals coming off seroxat or Venlafaxine, but certainly not Mirtazapine.

      Right now I feel like I’ve been poisoned with some radioactive substance. I don’t know whether to vomit, start crying or just run down the street screaming. It feels like my body is totally rejecting the drug now.

      Did you get a real nervous weak feeling whilst you were coming off the drug.

      Once again thanks for getting back to me. No one, barring someone who is been through this understands

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    • Posted

      Well some of these arrogant medics better be prepared because mirtazapine was one such drug mentioned as difficult and prolonged to withdraw from.  Most of these ADs are only trialled for 6 weeks and drug companies will hide the stats and results that compromise their trials. 

      I suffered more with stomach problems, balance issues and anxiety together with endless migraines.  They were so relentless, I was beginning to think I had a brain tumour 

       

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    • Posted

       You’ve done really well to get off the drug Christine. How I wish I was in your shoes right now with the cessation off the Mirtazapine many months behind me.

      There is no way out of this mess barring going through it.  Hopefully you don’t mind me making contact with you over the next couple weeks (now and then), as I’m not fully decided  on what I’m going to do. As I feel worse on the Mirtazapine now than I did the four days I was off it.

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    • Posted

      Sleeping ok I drink a cup of tila/linden tea with two teabags to make it really strong it is a bit sedative 

      As for being strong well I’ve been going to a hypnotherapist who has helped me cope but it’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever done still got a way to go but at least you know there is a light at the end of the tunnel 

      I’ll most probably crash tomorrow lol

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    • Posted

       Yes you may crash tomorrow Caroline. But you have had the all important first window now. So you can be sure the healing process is taking place.  I can tell by your posts that you are in a better place now than you were seven days after completely coming off.

       I think a half the battle Is realising that, though the process is drawn out, it’s not permanent.

      It can be very hard to control our thoughts coming of this crap, especially in the mornings...

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    • Posted

      You can contact me anytime on here.  If you want to message privately that's okay too.  That is a common experience for many; you stop,taking the drug, then have to reinstate because withdrawals are unbearable.  Then the dose you reinstated makes you feel worse.  And now you're in a mess and beside yourself with no advice and support.  If you said you have three months without work, then now is the time to think about the best way forward.  I don't think I'd have managed to keep cold turkey if I had to get up for work in the morning.

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    • Posted

      Yes the mornings are the worst it seems to effect everyone like that I’m not sure why but I still find mornings hard but your right having a window is truly amazing I still have anxiety but today I seem to be coping with it better 
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