In this blog post, we are going to answer the question, “Can Mirtazapine cause emotional blunting?”. Mirtazapine is an antidepressant which is used to treat a variety of mental health conditions.
However, this antidepressant causes a number of side effects, including emotional blunting. This blog will cover all there is to know about Mirtazapine induced emotional blunting.
Can Mirtazapine cause emotional blunting?
Yes, Mirtazapine can cause emotional blunting. In fact, it is one of the most commonly experienced side effects of Mirtazapine. Many people have revealed that they cannot feel emotions, either happiness or sadness.
They just feel like they don’t belong. This effect is most commonly seen in people who have been using Mirtazapine for a long time.
What does research suggest?
Many researchers have investigated the effects of Mirtazapine on your emotional health. A 2009 study studied the earlier effects of Mirtazapine on emotions. The test participants were divided into two groups, control group and test group.
One group received placebo, while the other one received Mirtazapine. After a few days, it was observed that the Mirtazapine group showed less signs of fear when they were exposed to different unknown conditions.
This concluded that Mirtazapine can dull your fear, anger, happiness, and sadness. Several surveys have revealed that people sometimes feel detached from their own bodies and they don’t feel like being a part of themselves.
They see themselves as a third person and this is exactly why anything that happens to them, either good or bad, they simply don’t feel anything.
It’s a common fact that when someone else is in pain or when someone feels happy about something, we can’t exactly feel the way they feel. Similarly, Mirtazapine causes depersonalisation in some people and they feel like whatever is happening, they don’t relate to it. Hence, no feelings at all.
What actual people have experienced so far?
Many people have come forward and revealed how Mirtazapine has made them emotionally blunted. One user stated:
“I have been on Mirtazapine for 10+ years now and there have been a lot of changes in my personality. Everything seemed okay at first, but then I started losing touch with things, especially with my emotions.”
The user continued:
“I had been searching for a job at that time and when I finally got a good one, I was like, meh! Who cares? This started to get even worse when I started losing friends and I felt nothing. No loneliness, no pain. Just nothing!”
This indicates how Mirtazapine can mess with your ability to feel emotions. This can become an alarming situation if it becomes worse. Our emotions define us, they define who we are. We are nothing without our emotions, even pain and sadness.
The way we feel makes us unique and that’s how we stand out from everyone and everything else. Antidepressants work on increasing the amounts of excitatory neurotransmitters in our system.
This surge in excitatory chemicals can have variable effects on different individuals. Some people start to get better, while others do get better, but with some consequences. Another user, a 35-year old Allison stated:
“I have been on Mirtazapine for quite a while now. I do feel better and my symptoms are pretty much gone, but so are my emotions. I did not realise it much as my life was going just the same. Nothing was really happening, neither happy nor sad.”
“When my brother-in-law died, that’s when I realised how bad my emotional blunting had gotten. I felt nothing. I felt no pain for him, and nothing when I saw my crying sister. This was a bit alarming for me as I have always been an emotional person.”
This review is a bit disturbing too as losing a loved one breaks you apart in a million pieces. We all can imagine ourselves in this situation and the kind of pain that a normal person would feel, but Allison did not.
This should definitely be a concern and if you suffer from this problem, you should definitely consult your healthcare provider. It is impossible to predict how your body will react once it is exposed to Mirtazapine.
We can’t be certain how our bodies will receive any such medication. You only know once you take it and there’s no other way around.
Is there any other cause of emotional blunting?
Emotional blunting can be a symptom of your mental health condition as well. Many doctors in the past have misjudged the emotional blunting as a side effect of antidepressant, but it was not the case. Antidepressants don’t work well for everyone.
There are some people who can not tolerate antidepressants and they immediately begin to exhibit signs of an allergic reaction. For such patients, the treatment is not continued. In some patients, negative effects don’t come that early.
The med may make you feel good for a little while, but then the effects start to wear off pretty quickly. Some people experience unusual side effects after 2 to 4 weeks, whereas in some people, the med just doesn’t work.
If Mirtazapine fails to work, the mental health condition for which you are taking Mirtazapine starts to get worse. So if you’re feeling emotional blunting, it could be a symptom of your worsened mental health condition and not the side effect of your antidepressant.
Emotional blunting is just not related to emotional detachment, but it is also associated with some other symptoms. These include:
- Loss of libido
- Depersonalisation and derealisation
- Difficulty in speaking or interacting with people
- Inability to feel guilt
- Loss of motivation
- Lack of energy or fatigue
- No feeling of self love or love for anyone else
- Inability to concentrate
- Difficulty in remembering things
- Erratic behaviour
- Self harm
Other causes of emotional blunting include:
Schizophrenia is a mental health illness that affects how you see reality. It affects your mood and personality. People suffering from schizophrenia start to see things negatively. There comes a time in disease progression when people stop feeling much.
Nothing makes them happy or sad. They just can not comprehend what’s happening in their surroundings and they feel completely detached from the outside world. They kind of become prisoners of their own minds.
Alcoholism is another cause of emotional blunting. Drinking occasionally does not do much harm, but once you become an addict, the excessive alcohol intake starts to damage your mind gradually.
With time, your mind becomes extremely dull and you not only face difficulty in focusing on things, but at some point you also become unable to feel emotions.
Some people show sudden outbursts and then nothing. This abnormal emotional behaviour can significantly reduce the quality of your life. Alcoholism is associated with a lot more disturbing symptoms.
Major depressive disorder (MDD)
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is the severe kind of depression that is resistant to normal depression treatment regimens. For such patients, most healthcare providers prescribe a combination of antidepressants.
When MDD is mistaken for a less severe version of depression, it starts to get even more worse because the usual treatment does not work that well for stubborn MDD.
Make sure you closely monitor how your antidepressant makes you feel. It is also very important to inform your doctor what you’re actually feeling in order to achieve a proper diagnosis.
Use of controlled substances
Use of controlled substances is another cause of emotional blunting. Such people become addicted and continue to consume harmful chemicals that completely mess their personality up.
They feel unable to feel any emotion and they can’t even realise if they do something wrong or hurt someone. They feel no guilt. Long term addiction can scar you for life.
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is another cause of emotional blunting, but happens later as the disease progresses. At first, people start to suffer from hyperventilation and panic attacks. They get scared of things and they can’t sleep at night.
During late stages of the disease, people start to become emotionless. They feel like nothing can ever make them happy or sad anymore. They become emotionally numb.
In this blog post, we have discussed Mirtazapine induced emotional blunting. In fact, it is one of the most commonly experienced side effects of Mirtazapine. Many people have revealed that they cannot feel emotions, either happiness or sadness.
They just feel like they don’t belong. Make sure you report to your healthcare provider if you feel anything unusual while taking Mirtazapine. You can’t be sure how this medication will make you feel unless you actually take it.
It is also important to make sure that you’re not using any other medication along with your Mirtazapine that may affect your health negatively.
FAQs: mirtazapine emotional blunting
What medication helps with emotional blunting?
Several research studies have indicated that Vortioxetine can be used effectively for the treatment of emotional blunting. This medication can help patients who show partial response to the therapy of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
Does emotional blunting go away?
It completely depends on the cause of your emotional blunting. It can either last up to a few minutes or a few years, completely depending on the cause of this condition. Many people have revealed that they cannot feel emotions, either happiness or sadness. They just feel like they don’t belong.
Can antidepressants cause permanent emotional blunting?
Antidepressants may cause permanent emotional blunting. In fact, it is one of the most commonly experienced side effects of antidepressants. Many people have revealed that they cannot feel emotions, either happiness or sadness. They just feel like they don’t belong. This effect is most commonly seen in people who have been using antidepressants for a long time.
Does your brain go back to normal after antidepressants?
Your brain does go back to normal after you stop using antidepressants, but it takes time and this time taken depends on the duration of your antidepressant therapy. It could take up to 10 months to go back to your normal serotonin levels, after long-term antidepressant therapy.
How long does it take for Mirtazapine to leave your system?
Mirtazapine is a long acting antidepressant with a half life of about 20-40 hours. It means that the concentration of the drug is reduced to half after this time period. The remaining amount is further reduced to half in the next 20-40 hours. This process keeps on ongoing until the drug is completely washed out from your body.
- D Arnone et al. Psychopharmacology (Berl). (2009) – Early effects of mirtazapine on emotional processing https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19031070/#:~:text=Results%3A%20Compared%20to%20placebo%2C%20mirtazapine,the%20emotion%20potentiated%20startle%20task.
- Emotional Blunting: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment https://www.verywellmind.com/can-antidepressants-make-you-feel-emotionally-numb-1067348
- Understanding Emotional Blunting from Antidepressants https://www.midcitytms.com/understanding-emotional-blunting-from-antidepressants/