Side effects after being off mirtazapine for about a month?

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I no longer need it to sleep anymore and my depression has got considerably  better after quitting but for some reason I am sleeping more heavily than I ever have in my entire life.. I am now using nothing to help me sleep and I can barely open my eyes in the morning and I hallucinate severely at night (I have for a long long tiime, but it's worse now and far more disturbing)..

Is this a side effect of quitting mirtazapine?? I can't tell if I'm ill or it's just because I'm medication free for the first time in a year.. 

I have always been a light sleeper, sleeping about 3/4 hours a night before starting mirtazapine..

I started getting hallucinations about two years ago but since I've quit they are getting stronger and more confusing. I don't know if it all down to mirtazapine???

Has anyone else had this issue??? (The hallucinations are only a night when I settle down btw).

 

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  • Posted

    Are you on any other drugs of any kind? What type of hallucinations to you have? I really don't think it is anything to do with the mirt.
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    • Posted

      The hallucintions that are currently repeatedly occuring are the appearance someone, it's clearly a human but with no face and I can feel them push me down and hold me, like putting a lot of pressure on me and I can feel and smell their breath. They vanish and then I hear screeching in my ears.. It happened three times last night rolleyes

      I don't know if maybe mirtazapine was keeping these issues at bay without me knowing and now I'm no longer on them they've decided to attack me full force. I'm very confused and unnerved..

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    • Posted

      I think what you could be experiencing are night terrors and sleep paralysis. Google sleep paralysis. Basically, when we are dreaming the body goes into a type of paralysis which prevents us from acting out our dreams. Sometimes, often at times of stress or mental conflict/guilt/depression, this mechanism can go wrong so that the person wakes up but is still in paralysis. This makes the brain try to make sense of it by 'inventing' something which is holding them down. Often these things can be terrifying apparitions such as demons, and various other attackers. But it is all generated from the imagination and feels very real. I think you probably need to be referred to a sleep specialist. Of course there are other possibilities such as psychotic depression or even schizophrenia. You need to go back to your GP for a referral.

      My guess is the condition, probably sleep paralysis was kept largely at bay by the very sedating mirtazapine, and now you no longer have the drug, these problems have resurfaced.

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  • Posted

    Sorry, evergreen, but I beg to differ!  Although it is more common for people coming off mirt to have extreme insomnia, everyone is different and withdrawal can be paradoxical.  How did you come off of mirt, lit53944?   Psych drugs are very powerful and the withdrawal from ceasing them can bring on prior symptoms with a vengeance.  I will put a post about your symptoms on the Surviving Antidepressant forum and see if these symptoms sound familiar.  I would encourage you to go there yourself and create an intro with your history so that those folks can chime in on your situation and help you figure what's what.

    Mirt is known for horrendous withdrawal, and I doubt anyone gets off unscathed if they didn't do a proper taper.

    I am including a link for getting off psych meds that includes the link for SA

    https://patient.info/forums/discuss/withdrawing-from-antidepressants-and-benzos-safely-485891?page=0#1809368

    How long were you on the mirt, what dose, and how did you come off?

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    • Posted

      I came off it by lowering the dosage over a period of months, I tried cold turkey but the insomnia and paranoia was unmanagable and then used a sleep aid for a few nights but have been sleeping on my own without help ever since. I experienced no withdrawal that was evident (thankfully).

      I was on 45mg for about six months then asked for 30mg but after a while I began to break those tablets in half and the month before I stopped taking them completely I was literally breaking them into quarters (as well as can be done I guess). My doctor offered no help when I asked to come off them rolleyes they never gave me any benefit apart from allowing me to sleep relatively peacefully rolleyes

      Thank you for you reply and help!

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  • Posted

    Hi Lit

    Lit is saying that the Hallucinations were present 2 years ago ... 1 year before Mirt.  

    ​If you have been off Mirt for a month now and have as yet not suffered any symptoms of withdrawal you are indeed one of the lucky ones Lit.

    If you stopped abruptly or too quickly this may explain the sudden severity of the hallucinations.  It is not uncommon for pre Mirt' symptoms to return, however these may well NOT be original symptoms at all but withdrawal symptoms ~ many folk think they are returning to being depressed/anxious/insomnia and return to Mirt' finding it difficult to give up.

    But Betsy is right, have a look on the Surviving Antidepressants sight to discuss on their forum any similar symptoms.  You may well need to readjust the medication and do a slower taper.

    I'm real curious about the halucinations you had before Mirt' - were you on other medication, or were you ill when at the onset of them?

    Wishing you well smile

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply.

      The first hallucinations (at age 19) began just as shadows and whispering in my ear completely out of the blue and it terrified me, they lessened whilst I took mirtazapine (I would see the odd shadow and sometimes get confused with if I was dreaming or not) and now they are more sinister. I had the same hallucination three times last night.. A person with a blurred face knelt on me and held me and I could feel them and smell their breath and once they evaporated my ears heard screeching vibrations, if that makes sense? It happened three times.. Nothing like I have ever experienced before and I will admit I am very nervous about going to sleep tonight.

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    • Posted

      i am not sure if you believe in spirits etc, but i think it may be what you are experiencing
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    • Posted

      When someone is being terrified by hallucinations, this kind of comment is going to make them feel much worse.
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    • Posted

      how can i make them feel worse? society has taught us not to believe in spirits etc,, sort of brain washing.
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    • Posted

      No, you are scaring her by suggesting that it is something supernatural attacking her when it is a very common sleep disorder. Please go and google sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucinations. Loads of people have them. I have had some of them in the past when I was going through a lot of mental conflict. I dealt with it by realising it was my own mind creating the apparitions and that I could therefore control it myself. I have only had one such experience in the last ten years. And it was in my current home which is over 100 miles away from where I had my previous experiences. Sleep paralysis is a terrifying affliction, and the last thing a sufferer needs is for someone to suggest that the attacker is a real spirit. Whatever you choose to believe, have some compasion for the OP.
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    • Posted

      Also, research has shown the condition is often genetic, and indeed, my mother also suffers from them occasionally.
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    • Posted

      I personally don't believe in them (though my entire family believes that there is something out there) but I am a very cynical person. I can completely understand though that if someone experienced this and believed that yes it would probably seem like an actual real thing happening.

      I'm very stuck in my ways of 'for it to exist I have to know it's there' kind of thing, but I do understand what you mean. 

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    • Posted

      I asked my Mom and apparently I had hallucinations when I was younger too, to the point where I would scream because I was so scared. She told I could hear things shooting across the ceiling and I could see sharp movement of light or someting.. I completely forgot these even happened. She asked the doctor and he said yes - night terrors but it wouldn't be a problem for long and left it at that..

      Will I be dealing with this for the rest of my life? Nothing has triggered this apart from stopping meds.. The way I see it, as long as I'm free of medication my mind can do what it wants rolleyes is this right do you think?

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    • Posted

      Because mirtazapine is so sedating, stopping it can make you hyper-alert and it can take quite some time for you to return to a normal state. So it will probably get a little bit better slowly. However, as you have suffered from these kinds of experiences all of your life, then the actual cause of them cannot be the mirt. I really would urge you to go to your GP about what you are experiencing because it sounds as though you may need some further investigations. Living with these scary things happening to you is no way to live. It really does need investigating so please go to your doctor.
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    • Posted

      Yes, it seems to be the best option now. Better safe than sorry. ha smile thank you for your replies.
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    • Posted

      It may surprise you to learn that I actually do believe in ghosts. I even write novels about them which sell quite well. But in this case I do not believe the spirit world has anything to do with what the op is experiencing.
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