“Sylvie wishes the anti-depressants had been around when she was in her early twenties, not only to rescue her from the dark tunnels that came when her brother first got sick, but also to keep her from fucking all those assholes.” ~ Francesca Lia Block
So, as I mentioned last week Mirtazapine was the second medication that I tried. After I’d had no luck with paroxetine.
The first time I took it was great. I felt very, very heavily stoned for the first week, I slept a lot the whole time I was on it, but in terms of medicating me for my illness it was fantastic.
That experience is pretty well summarised in the post I wrote about it at the time, which if WordPress is to be believed most of you read right after the one on paroxetine anyway.
So rather than going over that again, I will tell you about coming off it.
I do not recommend doing what I did. Don’t go messing with your medications without at least chatting with your doctor about it first, it could make you really ill.
Well, towards the end of my taking the mirtazapine I got a new job. The job was a forty minute train ride away, and as I’ve mentioned before the mirtazapine made me very, very sleepy.
Like an alarm clock had maybe a 30% chance of waking me up sleepy.
On top of which while I’d been out sick I’d become nocturnal.
So I was really worried about being able to make it to work on time and stay awake once I got there, and for that first week I decided to skip my pills most days to be on the safe side.
And I didn’t notice any ill effects.
Then as the weeks went on my mood started lifting.
I really enjoyed my new job. I liked that I was getting to learn a bunch of new stuff in training, I really liked the company I was working for, and the people, especially those who’d started with me, we fantastic.
I started taking the rest of my life back as well.
Going out, doing things, seeing people.
And the more stuff I did the happier I got.
And because I was so happy my medication sort of slipped to the back of my mind, and I began forgetting it more and more frequently. Turns out it’s a lot easier to remember your meds when the thing you’re taking them for is making you feel rotten than once they’ve helped you to the point where it isn’t. The next thing I knew it’d been a month and I hadn’t taken it once.
And I was fine.
Or at least I thought I was fine.
Actually I was probably manic.
Until I crashed again. Quite epically about seven or eight months later.
At that point I was put first on duloxetine, which I’ll come back to in my next post, and then eventually back on to mirtazapine.
We tried a different drug first because mirtazapine does make you sleep a lot and it’s just better for work, and nicer in general, to not have to do that if you can avoid it.
Unfortunately my second adventure with mirtazapine wasn’t quite as successful as the first.
It made me a bit better but nowhere near as better as it had before. It didn’t take me as far as being fully functional and able to work and manage my life again.
I did eventually go back to work while I was on it, and tried to sort my life out. But I really struggled and needed a lot of support.
The problem seemed to be that while the mirtazapine did pretty well at lifting my depression, it was far less helpful at helping me to keep a lid on my anxiety or manage my mood swings.
At least it didn’t make me quite as sleepy, or as hungry, as it had the last time.
I think I ended up being on it for about another eight months, until I got a new psychiatrist who thought I should come of it and find something more effective.
Which thankfully we did – I’m still on it, sertraline.
Even so, that’s one pretty great experience of mirtazapine and one so-so one. Nothing too terrifying to tell you about.
Have you ever taken mirtazapine? How did you find it? I’d be interested to hear whether anyone has ever managed to avoid the mirtazapine coma.