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I went off Effexor last fall after 12 years on it. I didn't realize that what happened next was fallout from withdrawal up through April. I was having such terrible emotional trouble, depression and anxiety like I had never experienced in my life, as well as physical symptoms which I chalked up to menopause. I wanted to be off psych drugs for lots of reasons, but thought I was relapsing and I was desperate, unable to live like that. Not wanting to die, but not wanting to live, either. So, a new p-doc started me on Remeron, at 7.5 mg, but he said it was "gentle" and I could play with it, increase it as needed.
At first it really helped, and I slept so wonderfully! But soon, it wasn't and I started adding more, until in short order I was six weeks out and at 37.5 mg and miserable, totally apathetic, depressed, no motivation, on the couch. Saw him in desperation again and he reinstated the Effexor, dropping the mirtazapine to 30 mg.
I noticed tingling/burning/numbing of my lips and tongue, asked the doc about it and he wasn't concered, but didn't recognize it to be what I know is mirt WD. After all, he had tapered me by 20%! Not long after this, I learned about WD and realized all my horrid symptoms since the fall were Effexor WD, and now I was on TWO meds! Since the mirt didn't help me other than sleep, I decided to get rid of it. I had learned that it is a tough one to get off of and that the best approach is a 10% taper per month. Not considering the first drop in dose from the doc, I dropped by 10% again just two weeks later, duh! That's a 30% cut in just a couple of weeks! I went along at that dose without much trouble other than the burning, and cut 10% again one month later. Again, not too much difficulty, just some burning and diarrhea periodically. Another four weeks later, I did another 10% to 22 mg. Last week, not two weeks later, I am having cortisol surges of anxiety, agoraphobia, depression, no motivation, burning, just feeling uncomfortable in my skin, not a happy camper. I am now at 57% of the highest dose, and I want off of it bad because it finally did cause me to gain weight even though I wasn't eating much more.
I can handle the physical WD no problem, forgot to mention occasional headaches, but the emotional fall-out is horrid and I am having another day of it today, can't stand it! I can't believe what being on this drug for such a short time has done to me!
It is hard to accept that this is WD, and that I'm not relapsing, but that's what happens in WD - your mind tricks you and you start to think "it's me." They call it windows and waves of WD, and last week before this wave, I had a window where I felt good and actually started a project I'd had trouble getting going on. Now I can't fathom going outside to do anything. All I want to do is stay inside on the couch.
Has anyone else had this kind of emotional fallout coming off of mirtazapine? I foolishly thought that doing a slow, 10% taper per month would be relatively painless but boy was I wrong!
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