Has Anyone Successfully Weaned Themselves Off Anti-Depressants?

Vetrarnott

Vetrarnott

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I've been reading some scary things about the long term use of anti-depressants and how they can damage the brain. Ideally, I would do without them, but my depression returned with a vengeance when I stopped taking them in the past. I don't know if this was a withdrawal symptom that would have faded with time or was the underlying depression.
 
Chupacabra 44

Chupacabra 44

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I have tried several antidepressants for myself before I "presented" more accurately to my psychiatrist how I'm really bipolar and not depressive. He figured it out in a session, because I was manic.

I tried and quit several antidepressants cold turkey, on my own, without advising my psychiatrist that I was quitting my meds. Thought why pay him $300 just to agree with my decision that I decided to quit? (Learned this was a mistake for myself).

I quit cold turkey with Lexapro and Celexa. For these two, I quit no problem. Then, I tried the same approach with Paxil. It was a bad mistake for me. Had weird side effects called "brain zaps", per my psychiatrist. Apparently, this can be a common side effect if one does not tapper off these medications properly.

I've read the longer one is on antidepressants, the more likely one is to have side effects when quitting.

Fyi, I was on none of these three medications for longer than six months before trying to quit.

Be careful how you decide to proceed. Recommend you work closely with your doctor/psychiatrist to minimize any chance of getting brain zaps or having any other side effects.

As an aside, I agree about potential long term side effects that you mentioned. All these meds are nasty!

For my bipolar, I take the atypical antipsychotic Zyprexa. Luckily, I don't have to use it daily - only as needed for manic episodes. Zyprexa has one of the most nasty side effect profiles of any of these medications. I wouldn't take it otherwise, but I tried about 15 medications for my bipolar and Zyprexa is the only that works for me; and, for me it works great.

Good luck.
 
Vetrarnott

Vetrarnott

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I too took zyprexa but stopped after learning that it can reduce brain volume by as much as 10%. You might want to discuss it with your psychiatrist.

Thanks for the well wishes. Love you avatar, by the way.
 
Chupacabra 44

Chupacabra 44

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I take Zyprexa prn (as needed). I've read it has the absolute worst side effect profile of any medication on the market, according to some experts, but it is the only med I've tried that helps with my mania. For me, it works great and fast most times. But, causes me a huge appetite increase.
 
nerve

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I'm the exact opposite of a doctor, just heavily medicated for years, so please take everything I'm about to say with a grain of salt.

It's not nearly as complicated as doctors like to make it seem. I'm usually kind of surprised when they wean me off a med over the course of like three days. Like "oh that's it?"

I don't have like a regimen or anything, but when I was weaning myself off of trintellix because it sucked and I didnt have access to a psych doctor, I started taking a half dose every other day for a week, then every two days for a week, etc. etc. I was probably a little over-cautious, to be honest. I got a pill box and that helped a lot with keeping track of what I was supposed to take that day. I did fine, but these drugs seem like they do different stuff to different people on different days, so who really knows?

That line between withdrawal and "oh the meds were actually helping" gets so fuzzy. It sucks and I'm sorry you're dealing with it too. I can't blame anyone for being suspicious of anti-depressants :hug: :hug: if you go do through weaning off, please be gentle with yourself through the process, if you can. Your brain chemistry is being shaken around and that legitimately has nothing to do with you.
 
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Mr2005

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Been cold turkey for about a month
 
RC90

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I did for 2 years, but for the last month reluctantly started these new ones that aren’t so aggressive and don’t affect weight and Sex life. Can’t say it’s doing miracles. But Im a bit more social.
 
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Sk1n1M1n

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I just came off mine without any problems they were numbing me and making me feel like an emotionless robot which lead to me overeating regularly. So I dumped their ass and never filled in the prescription.
 
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Xali1970

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Went cold turkey on paroxetine. I went nuts, quite literally.
Took 2 years to shake that devil's excrement off
 
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Sk1n1M1n

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I felt like a new woman I ditched the mind numbing pills and sodding social group for mh and chose the quiet lifestyle and went to uni
 

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