Weaning Off Antidepressants: What You Need to Know
Antidepressants help millions of people around the world. These are invaluable medications that help people cope with their mental illnesses and get back to performing day-to-day activities. Yet, not everyone who uses the medications wants to stay on them for an extended time. Reasons for stopping antidepressants vary between patients. Some people may want to see how they function without the meds, while others may be experiencing detrimental side effects. Whatever your reasoning, this article will tell you everything you need to know about weaning off antidepressants.
Talk to Your Doctor Beforehand
Always speak with your primary physician before you decide to stop taking your antidepressants. Never make any decisions regarding your health without speaking to your doctor first. Your doctor can help you through this difficult journey.
First, they’ll tell you if weaning off your antidepressants is a wise idea. Your physician may recommend staying on the medication if they think it has helped improve your symptoms. If you want to get off the meds because you’re experiencing horrible side effects, they may be able to help you deal with those. If you want to stop taking the antidepressants because you want to see how you feel on your own, they’ll develop a plan with you. They’ll instruct you on how to lower your dosage, so you aren’t figuring things out by yourself. Maintain an open line of communication with your doctor throughout the entirety of the weaning off process. Your physician is your ally, and they need to know what’s going on in order to help you achieve the best results possible.
Create a Weaning Schedule
You should never just stop taking your antidepressants all at once. Quitting cold turkey isn’t a good idea. If you stop taking your medication immediately, you’re more likely to experience significant withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms include irritability, anxiousness, and mood swings. Do your best to avoid these terrible symptoms. Instead, figure out a plan to wean off your antidepressants. This plan should be formulated with your doctor, and it’s important to maintain open communication with your physician the entire time. Ask them how you should lower your dosage and in what increments.
You must realize that you will experience some side effects during this period. You may feel drowsy or unmotivated, but it’s important to remember that these feelings are completely normal. If you’re curious about how much medication is left in your system, purchase a 5 panel mouth swab that can detect trace amounts of substances in a person’s system. Take these tests regularly so you can determine when the meds are completely out of your body. Once you know you’re drug-free, you can really evaluate how you’re feeling and experience life without the medication. The importance of creating a schedule can’t be underestimated. Stopping your medication all at once will send shockwaves through your entire body.
Weaning off your antidepressants is no easy task. You’ll likely experience side effects similar to symptoms of depression. You’ll probably feel drowsy, tired, and you’ll want to isolate yourself from other people. As tough as it is, try to push past these symptoms. Try to stay as active as possible while you’re weaning off your antidepressants. Force yourself to push past the exhaustion, so you get a true feel of how you act off the medications.
Exercise is a great option. Your body will be craving endorphins; it’s best to replenish it and develop an exercise routine. Exercise releases serotonin in your body. Thus, the more active you are, the more likely the naturally produced serotonin will replace the serotonin from your antidepressants. Take care of your entire physical being, too. Make sure that you’re eating right and getting a full eight hours of sleep every night. You need to do everything in your power to help your body get back to normal. So please, take extra good care of yourself while you’re weaning off the antidepressants.
Seek Out Support
Remember that you aren’t alone in this challenging journey. Seek out support when you need it. Tell your friends that it’s important for you to get out and ask them to include you in social events. Also, relay to your loved ones the true difficulty of this process. Let them know why you may be acting strange and tell them it’s nothing personal. The more they know about what you’re experiencing, the better. Ask your physician if there are any mental health professionals they can recommend you see, as well. You should talk to an expert about how you’re feeling. They might be able to give you tips on how to navigate these changes. Finally, research any support groups in the area. There are probably tons of people near you who are dealing with similar challenges. Lean on them to see if you can gain any insight into what life looks like without antidepressants.
Antidepressants are an excellent tool when taken correctly. These medications have helped millions of people bounce back from the brink of depression. However, there are various reasons why people might want to stop taking these pills. For starters, as great as these meds can be, patients can also experience detrimental side effects. If your appetite has increased dramatically or your sex drive has decreased, you might want to stop taking antidepressants. On the other hand, if you haven’t experienced any side effects, but you want to experience life off the medication, you may also consider weaning off of your antidepressants.
Remember—weaning off antidepressants is a challenging feat. Please, communicate openly with your doctor. Don’t stop taking the meds without talking to your primary physician first. They’ll help you formulate a plan that’s best for your overall health. Also, take care of yourself physically. Eat healthy foods and exercise to help alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal. Finally, seek out support when you need it. Let your loved ones know what you’re experiencing, so they understand how to help you best. After all, there’s nothing more meaningful than realizing you have friends to rely on; make sure you aren’t going down this difficult path alone.