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What is it like to get off anti-depressants?

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FeelingSoMuch posted 10/23/2013 22:21 PM

I have been on anti-depressants for about six months now. On Nov. 4 I'm going to my doctor and the plan is to start lowering the dosage until I'm ready to stop taking them.

I'm terrified that the deep, paralyzing sadness I felt before I started taking them will return. Or that there will be other side-effects.

I'd love to hear from people who were on anti-depressants and can share what it was like to go off them.

Thank you.

Reconciliation is so-so. WW says she's trying to get a new job, but hasn't actually done anything on that front. Having said that, she did send a NC letter to the 'friend' she used as a cover for the A and has been saying all of the right things to me. (some of the time)

Hearthache again posted 10/23/2013 22:55 PM

I have been on and off of anti-depressants for each one of my pregnancies. I came off of them easy.

My H also weaned himself off of his a couple months ago. It went great. Best advice is to let the people you are closes too know what is going on. They can keep a close eye on you also and look for a relapse sooner than you can.

Are you sure you are ready when your life is still very stressful? I was almost 3 years out when I stopped taking mine and everything was going great.

Good Luck!

[This message edited by Hearthache again at 10:56 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday)]

I think I can posted 10/24/2013 06:07 AM

I had to wean very very slowly. But other than that, it went OK

SurprisinglyOkay posted 10/24/2013 06:20 AM

I took Paxil for a few years for anxiety. I tried to wean off them myself (BAD IDEA).
When I got pregnant I weaned off with the doctor's help. It went much smoother. Felt uncomfortable for a few days, maybe.

I never went back on, but paid close attention to how I felt.

Silentthoughts posted 10/24/2013 10:31 AM

I have been off and on ads for many years. Everyone is different and different meds may give different effects. In general I have always had a HORRIBLE time weaning myself off. I am actually back on cymbalta now and considering getting off again, but if i do i plan to wait till jan after the stress of the holidays and social gatherings are over, so I'm not so crazy and irritable around so many ppl. Definatly do it under a drs supervision! And don't go cold turkey!!!

Gottagetthrough posted 10/24/2013 18:29 PM

I'm going off mine now. been on them 3 years. I tried to go cold turkey last year and was nasty, lower patience, and dizzy.

Now, I asked my Dr and they said to go down easy, and take a pill every other day till I run out...

I had more than I thought, and have been doing that for over a month. :-) its been going OK :-)

Lionne posted 10/24/2013 18:39 PM

Medically, go very slow, have a doctor supervise you. I had significant side effects even though I was weaning slowly. I had what I described as a "cotton-head" feeling. My doctor said it was common, but it was extremely unpleasant.

I later took St. John's Wort and stopped that without any side effects.

silverhopes posted 10/24/2013 18:46 PM

I'm terrified that the deep, paralyzing sadness I felt before I started taking them will return.

That's a very real fear, and it's good that you're acknowledging it. If that were to happen, would you consider going back on, if you need to?

I am off anti-depressants right now; I had to go off them when I was expecting my son, and I'm still nursing, so not back on them yet. It was and still is at times very rough. In the beginning was the worst because I was on Effexor - Effexor is fast-acting, so the withdrawal symptoms, combined with morning sickness, were brutal.

What helped was this: I was taking DBT at the same time, for another disorder. DBT had some really good skills about mood regulation, among other things. It helped, when my depression got bad, to remember and practice the skills.

Right now I am trying to relearn those skills. It's very hard. I'm still in IC, even though I can no longer take DBT.

Would you be remaining in IC after you go off the antidepressants? I ask because it can help to keep having extra support.

Take care. This stuff can be rough, and it sounds like you're being cautious.

[This message edited by silverhopes at 6:46 PM, October 24th (Thursday)]

FeelingSoMuch posted 10/27/2013 12:10 PM

Thank you for sharing your experiences.

Yes, when it's time to wean off the Cypralex it'll be under a doctor's supervision and I plan to continue IC.

Over the last month or so I have been doing — and this is scary for me to say — pretty good.

It's scary because rationally I still think my WW got away with cheating, I still wonder how could she do this to us, etc. But my heart is calmer and to steal a quote from another SI member, "I'm feeling human again."

The pain has decreased in frequency and intensity. My WW is doing a lot of the right things.

She wrote a NC letter to the "friend" who was her cover and has been looking for ways to deal with her work situation — the OM works on the same building.

I have been doing a better job of caring for myself and moving on with my life.

That's not to say we're going to make it or not make it. That I don't know yet, but feeling better and finding myself laughing at life again has been good.

I sometimes wonder how much of this progress is owed to the medication. I guess I'll find out when I start the weaning off process.

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