If you are taking antidepressants and you feel like you are able to handle the side effects fine, your doctor will continue to renew your prescription. On the other hand, side effects like headaches, insomnia, drowsiness, weird dreams, or not feeling like yourself can be tiring when taking this medication long-term. It is important to speak to your doctor or therapist before going off your antidepressants so you can learn how to manage withdrawal symptoms as well as the risk of a recurrence of depression.
Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms normally last ten days to two weeks. You could be developing flu-like symptoms as well as electric shock sensations and the return of depression symptoms. It is possible you could be developing withdrawal symptoms because your brain is not used to adjust to these rapid changes when it is so used to antidepressants making a presence in the brain.
Take Your Time
If you quit your antidepressants too soon, your depression has a chance of returning. It is best to stay on the medication for six to nine months before going off of them. If you have had three or more recurrences of depression, wait at least two years to get off them. Feel confident that you are functioning well without them and that you are able to cope with any negative thoughts you are experiencing. Any decisions you make you should speak to your doctor or therapist about it.
Make a Plan
It is important to reduce your dose in increments between two to six weeks. Your doctor can teach you how to taper off your dose. Tapering off will depend on which antidepressant you are on, how long you have taken it, your current dose, and any symptoms during previous medication changes. You should also make sure to record your mood in a journal on a daily basis.
Complete the Taper
Once you stop taking the medication, speak to your doctor. Make an appointment one month after you have stopped the medication. At your follow-up appointment, your doctor will make sure you are no longer experiencing withdrawal symptoms and that there are no signs of returning depression. Think carefully before quitting your antidepressants completely to avoid the negative side effects.
At Alta Loma Transformational Living, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms. Alta Loma uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, where you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan. We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 866-457-3843.