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Thread: Girlfriend is starting mirtazapine. Is there a way to combat the drowsiness?

  1. Default Girlfriend is starting mirtazapine. Is there a way to combat the drowsiness?

    I have severe panic disorder and I am terrified of her starting the medication (she is going to and I support it, I am just scared) because I may need to wake her in the middle of the night if I am panicking. She assures me she will wake up but I've heard mirtazapine knocks you out and it's extremely hard to wake up. I don't really know how to calm down. I won't be selfish and tell her not to take it because she needs help for depression but I am so scared I'll have a bad panic attack and won't be able to wake her.

    Does anyone have experience with mirtazapine and if I'd be able to wake her for her to help me or if something like caffeine can combat the drowsiness?

    Thanks for any help.
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  3. #2
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    I think there are several things going on here.

    1. Firstly, as long as your gf is only on mirtazipine, you will be able to wake her if you must. Touch her, shake her, talk loudly, bang things, turn on lights if you must. You probably won't need to do much though. I take a heap of stuff to sleep and sleep through things that used to wake me up and keep me awake, but I can easily be woken up.

    2. I think it will help you in the long run to be as independent as you can be before, during and after a panic event. Before...identify what you're feeling and recognise it for what it is. You will not die. It will be gone. And the quicker it's gone, the better. It does not control you. YOU are in control. During it, acknowledge that yes, this is a panic response. Ok. Ride it out. It'll be gone soon. It's just really annoying and unpleasant. After...feel pleased that you got through it. It's over. And you did it by yourself. Again, YOU are in control. (this is of course all based on not knowing what causes your panic attacks and how severe they really are).

    3. How often do you wake your gf in the night for support with your panic? How long has she been on ADs and does she ever feel pressured to always be there for you when you have an attack?

    4. Only you can control this panic response. Your gf being there and awake can only do so much, and I know from first hand knowledge that often if you DON'T have to seek help from a partner during an attack, you actually feel stronger, more in control and much less fearful of having another panic event.

    The support from your gf is a comfort but you already know anything she would say to try and help.You know she's there. She cannot stop the panic, only you can. And if you can, it REALLY helps to have less of them in the future because you feel proud, stronger and more in control. You did not NEED someone else to try to stop the experience. You could take comfort from merely her presence asleep beside you.

    Your panic is not caused by your gf so it cannot be fixed by your gf.

    I'd be inclined to sleep with xanax by your bed and take that as a first step. Play down the panic. Stupid annoying panic attack, waking me up in the night! I'm tired. Go away and let me get back to sleep. The xanax can be a comfort knowing it's there. Your gf is also a comfort but she doesn't have to be an ACTIVE comfort, or at least not every time. I cannot emphasis enough...she cannot fix it. She did not cause it. The type of comfort you would get from her would equate to a security blanket, though most likely with some loving and calming, logical words.

    But yeah, blabfest aside, if you must, she can be woken up.
    Last edited by dearie23; 03-29-2018 at 11:15 AM.
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  4. Quote Originally Posted by dearie23 View Post
    I think there are several things going on here.

    1. Firstly, as long as your gf is only on mirtazipine, you will be able to wake her if you must. Touch her, shake her, talk loudly, bang things, turn on lights if you must. You probably won't need to do much though. I take a heap of stuff to sleep and sleep through things that used to wake me up and keep me awake, but I can easily be woken up.

    2. I think it will help you in the long run to be as independent as you can be before, during and after a panic event. Before...identify what you're feeling and recognise it for what it is. You will not die. It will be gone. And the quicker it's gone, the better. It does not control you. YOU are in control. During it, acknowledge that yes, this is a panic response. Ok. Ride it out. It'll be gone soon. It's just really annoying and unpleasant. After...feel pleased that you got through it. It's over. And you did it by yourself. Again, YOU are in control. (this is of course all based on not knowing what causes your panic attacks and how severe they really are).

    3. How often do you wake your gf in the night for support with your panic? How long has she been on ADs and does she ever feel pressured to always be there for you when you have an attack?

    4. Only you can control this panic response. Your gf being there and awake can only do so much, and I know from first hand knowledge that often if you DON'T have to seek help from a partner during an attack, you actually feel stronger, more in control and much less fearful of having another panic event.

    The support from your gf is a comfort but you already know anything she would say to try and help.You know she's there. She cannot stop the panic, only you can. And if you can, it REALLY helps to have less of them in the future because you feel proud, stronger and more in control. You did not NEED someone else to try to stop the experience. You could take comfort from merely her presence asleep beside you.

    Your panic is not caused by your gf so it cannot be fixed by your gf.

    I'd be inclined to sleep with xanax by your bed and take that as a first step. Play down the panic. Stupid annoying panic attack, waking me up in the night! I'm tired. Go away and let me get back to sleep. The xanax can be a comfort knowing it's there. Your gf is also a comfort but she doesn't have to be an ACTIVE comfort, or at least not every time. I cannot emphasis enough...she cannot fix it. She did not cause it. The type of comfort you would get from her would equate to a security blanket, though most likely with some loving and calming, logical words.

    But yeah, blabfest aside, if you must, she can be woken up.

    1. That's good to know, I did googling about Mirtazapine and people acted like it made them comatose and it put the thought into my head I wouldn't be able to wake her.

    2. I know I'm in control, even when panicking, but I literally can't stop, its ruining my life.

    3. I don't recall the last time I woke her, if ever, but knowing that I could helped and the possibility that she may not be able to wake up is terrifying me. She has never been on AD she is starting 30mg Mirtazapine tonight for her first time ever starting any AD.

    4. I know only I can control it, but it's nice to have someone there, I have a bottle of valium I can take if I need to. My panic is extremely severe, enough that I've been forcibly hospitalised in the past.

    Anyway, thanks for helping out with advice and telling me that I will be able to wake her, all I read were horror stories on google.
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    Ahhh, I see. I hope I didn't come across like I was not respecting the severity of your panic. I did wonder on what level it was. Obviously quite high. Valium is ok, but I find xanax and klonopin better for more acute panic.

    So now what I think is, maybe your gf should start on a half dose of mirtazipine for a few days and see how she goes. Do a trial run and try to wake her on that on say, day 4, and see how easy it is to do. She SHOULD be able to be woken if needed even on the full dose, but everyone is different. I mean, logically, they give this med to adults, many of whom are parents, and some to young children. They HAVE to be able to be woken up, you know?

    I'm also sorry if I came across as implying you wake your gf all the time and use her as an emotional crutch. You definitely don't do that, which is good to know. I do understand how just knowing she's there and could be woken would help.

    Good luck, and see about doing a gradual increase to the full dose!
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    Hello @cameronhook . I'm really sorry for your panic attacks. What helped me was having xanax nearby at night as @dearie23 suggested. Along with the other things she suggested which are good ideas.

    I was on Mirtazapine 30mgs. for a year. I found that it did not make me drowsy at all. I then started taking it in the morning for convenience sake with my other meds. i went off it after a year because of weight gain which became a problem. My psych started me on another AD not known for weight gain.

    I just wanted to chime in to say that you can't always listen to all the horror stories. Best wishes to you & your girlfriend. I hope the Mirtazapine works for her.
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    Mirtazapine is one of the strongest and most effective of the modern anti-depressants. In addition to all the good advice given here, I would add that I think it is definitely worth while encouraging her to stick to taking them for a few weeks and see if they work. As others have discussed, it might be hard for the first few days/nights, so coping strategies, additional meds (for you and her) may be very useful. I hope the meds works for her :-)
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    Any updates here? I'm still searching for a more effective antidepressant so would be curious to hear how it worked out for your girlfriend.
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  9. I have been taking mirtazipine 45mg at night for about 9 months. It made me very drowsy (and hungry for carbs -- watch out!) for the first 3 months while my body was adjusting. Now it doesn't make me drowsy anymore. I don't remember ever being "knocked out" to the point where I would totally ignore someone if they were trying to wake me up. I don't think it knocks you out that hard. Regardless, she may be really drowsy while her body is adjusting but over time it will get better. Best of luck!

  10. Girlfriend is starting mirtazapine. Is there a way to combat the drowsiness?

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