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I’ve been on here a few weeks now and contributed to many a post about the drug Mirtazapine and thought it was about time I told my whole story to try and help others. First thank you to everyone on here who has replied to me or posted their own bits. It all helps.
I’m not sure where to begin or where the beginning actually is to be honest. Maybe it was back in 1999 when I was having problems and first went on anti depressant’s had counseling and was a mess after being blamed for someone else’s suicide. I turned to alcohol had two attempts at suicide myself. They tried me on all sorts of anti depressants and the only one that worked was valium. I say I got through it then by meeting my now wife. She gave me more meaning and a reason so live than any drug or therapy session ever did. However 16 years later I’m back on anti depressants. Or I was and this is where the story actually begins.
Back in March one morning I couldn’t get up I was so tired. I had no energy and chest pains. I had been walking to work 3.5 miles everyday but now I was struggling to do 100 yards. I changed my diet, cut down on crap and booze and still nothing. Bad chest pains all day long and although I was breathing fine I didn’t feel like I was getting the benefits of oxygen. So I went to see my local GP. They first put me in with the head nurse at the practice. She sent me for blood tests, lung and respiratory tests and what ever else she could think of. Everything checked out fine. I had the best lungs they had ever seen! But still I was tired and struggling with breathing. So she referred me to the Dr who said I was stressed and carrying the stress in my chest. He told me to crack on and get over it basically. Well at least I wasn’t dead so after making more life style changes, this time to my business which I know had been stressing me out I tried to move on. I even had a hypnotherapy session and stress relieving massages to try and help. But nothing.
Come September I went back to my Dr and explained I was no better and going on holiday in a weeks time and could he give me something to pep me up for the trip. He put me on Sertraline a common anti depressant and one the wifes on for her panic attacks. Four days after taking it I woke in the middle of the night in a right state of panic. My mind was racing uncontrollably, I was shaking with fear and had no idea what was going off. It was the worst thing ever and those of you reading this that have experienced it will know what I mean. I wanted to come off the drugs as I was convinced it was the Sertraline that had caused it as I had not ever had this sort of problem before going on them. But my wife told me to stay on them as the Sertraline was to stop her having panic attacks. So I did but they continued every night and on into the morning sometimes lasting hours. I couldn’t get into see the Dr as it was the weekend and we was going on holiday Sunday night. I told the wife I couldn’t go. I was in a right negative place, all I could think about was not being able to get in the taxi, clinging onto the door or freaking out on the plane as soon as they closed the door. I’m an ex Para so I’ve flown all over the world, jumped out of planes, been shot at, blown up and all sorts of scary sh*it that didn’t bother me till now. The wife was in a right state. She was crying and saying we had to go, we wasn’t wasting our money etc. So I had to man up and begged so valium off a mate to get me on the plane. I stayed awake all night before we set off and again all night in the hotel at the airport. The panic attacks only happened at night so I was scarred to sleep. In the airport I took the valium and calmed down, got on the plane and flew to Las Vegas. We checked into the hotel and I thought that’s it we are here now, together, safe and the business is shut down for two weeks so no worries. We went straight to bed and fell asleep. I woke in the early ours again in a state with the same old song going over and over in my head. The song was from 1989 called ‘Nothing ever Happens” nothing changes at all, the needle returns to the start of the song and we all sing along as before and we’ll all be lonely tonight and lonely tomorrow.
This and other thoughts where driving me mad. I went downstairs to the hotel lobby and asked if they had a doctor. They didn’t and all they could offer was a first aider. I needed help and said who I was and where I was from and that I was going to walk out into the road if I didn’t get help. At that point security grabbed me and to cut a long story short I ended up in a local mental hospital in Las Vegas on a green 72. Three days on strong drugs that made me just want to sleep. It was great apart from the food. I was eventually released into the wifes care and given valium to get me through. Not enough though as I had to go cold turkey and couldn’t get no more unless I paid $1000 for a doctor to come out an see me and he would have to put me on the next flight home. So I had to struggle on. I had already ruined the holiday and didn’t want to make things worse. It was very hard. The panic attacks in the night had stopped but I was on edge all the time with anxiety.
Back home I managed to see my GP straight away and told him the story. I had stopped taking the Sertraline whilst I was over there so he put me on Amitriptyline. The next day I went into a violent shaking fit. I was on my own and couldn’t even open the door to get help for some time. Eventually I got help and the Dr said I was one of the unlucky people who have bad reactions to the SSRI family of drugs. So they put me on Mirtrazapine. This was supposed to help me sleep and calm me down and stop the anxiety. I couldn’t sleep, was having suicidal thoughts and was feeling no better but was told by a friend who was on it to stick with it as it could take four weeks to kick in. So I stuck it out till week five when I was to see a NHS shrink. By now I was feeling worse than ever with anxiety. I was anxious all day and after a crap nights sleep as soon as I woke up I had to get straight up and occupy my mind or I would lay in bed and destroy myself mentally. In the whole five weeks I only had one good day when I went out and had a laugh and a joke with the lads, but later that night sitting watching TV within seconds I was a total wreck. Nothing was working and the Mirt seemed to just make things worse. I saw the NHS shrink and he put me on Venlafaxine but I had to have tests before I could go on that as theres a strong history of heart problems in my family. I came off the Mirt and tried the Venlafaxine. Only took the one tablet and that led to worse than ever side effects with me struggling to breath as my throat was swollen shut. So the Drs told me to stick with the Mirt and double my dose to one 15mg tablet in the morning and one at night. I was also told I had GAD general anxiety disorder and that’s what I was being treated for. This was by the HNS shrink that spent twenty minute with me and didn’t even want to talk about medication. So I tried the double dose and next day felt so crap all day I missed my mornings dose. (Footnote, I’m feeling ill as I type this now just thinking about it all). So that night instead of taking a 15mg Mirt I halved my dose to see what that would do. For the next few days I felt wonderfull. Really great and back to my old self. Then I started to feel anxious through the day again so I decided to quit the Mirt all together. Again for a few days I felt great. Then I started to feel sick in the morning and anxious as the day went on. This always eased by about mid afternoon. I had by now a good supply of valium and fell back onto it a couple of times. One day I took two 5mg tablets just to get me through. I was having up and down days with the morning being bad and afternoons tolerable. By day eight I was still feeling sh*t and tried another drug they prescribed me Trazodone 50mg. I think they put horses down with this stuff. I hated it and the next day I was having the worse suicidal thoughts ever. Planning to the last detail how to do it but finding fault with every method. I’ve tried every option on the NHS to get therapy or some sort of counseling but the earliest date I have is the 13th April. By which time I could be dead. So I went to see a private shrink a few days ago. She sat and talked for 2 hours as a free assessment and has diagnosed me as having had a mental break down. Shes going to work with me without drugs to get better. Fingers crossed. Today is day 14 off the Mirt. This morning I woke up feeling fine and went down hill, then ok and then down hill again. The last three days have really been mixed and a struggle. I’m at my whits end now and trying so hard to stay off any medication and just telling myself its “JUST IN MY MIND” (JIMM). This does help but only when I’m busy. That’s one of the reasons for typing all this up, to stay busy. I’m not sure how much is the withdrawal symptoms of coming off Mirt or even one of the other many drugs I’ve been on. My last valium was 28 hours ago so maybe its that and not the Mirt. I’m told by my pharmacist that Mirt only stays in your system for a couple of days and as I was only on it for five weeks it cant be withdrawal symptoms still. I’m haning in there but only just.
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