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How did you manage your depression after you had successfully withdrawn?


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Hi All,


I have question for those who have successfully withdrawn from antidepressants after years on these drugs.


We have been on these drugs and it did made our anxiety and depression manageable despite the side effects. And for me it feels like these drugs masked the anxiety and depression symptoms. 


My question is how did you manage your depression and anxiety once you have withdrawn? Did your depression got cured and the returning of the symptoms were just withdrawals? Did your depression returned and you tried a non drug approach?



Paxil20mg: Started 2008

First Taper: July 2015 Taper 5 mg/ 2weeks. Taper End: December

Effexor75 mg Started January 2017 Quit: Cold Turkey: April 19th 2017

Reinstated 20mg Efexor 24th August

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to How did you manage your depression after you had successfully withdrawn?

This is such a good question.  The drugs certainly didn't cure the depression and I doubt it went away on its own.  Last year I almost added a drug due to my depressive state.  That would have made 3 drugs which would have been a terrible mistake.  I was severely depressed before I started the drugs and have experienced depressed periods while on the drugs.  I feel like all I have left is working on my brain with meditation and hopes that neuro-plasticity is a real thing.  I am in therapy and go about twice a month.  I have been in therapy more on than off for the last 22 years so that has helped but it hasn't cured my depression either.


I feel so hopeless sometimes.  Of course feeling hopeless is part of my depressive thinking.  I look forward to hearing what people have to say.  

June 1995 Zoloft

August 1997 - to June 2017 various SSRIs

August 2000  -November 2000 - Stopped abruptly for pregnancy (returned to depressed state, serious withdrawal symptoms including raging anger, crying, loss of interest in life)

November 2000 returned to SSRI

2008 Added Cymbalta to SSRIs

June - September 2009 - stopped Cymbalta after discussing with p-doc.  Not told about tapering.  Nausea, dizziness, brain zaps, raging anger and depression for about 3 months

2011 switched to Lexapro, added Wellbutrin 

June 2017 began to taper off Lexapro doses of 10 mg,  reduced to 5 mg for 2 weeks and then 5 mg every other day - off by July 10 

July 2017 300 mg Wellbutrin, dealing with withdrawal from Lexapro

2013- September  2017 - Omeprazole - Learned my GERD was caused by Lexapro  - now happily off without rebound or any pain!

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I try to take my focus off what I am doing or feeling. Like doing some gardening. I know I might be in some 'unbearable pain', and my mind will come out an excuse to do it later. But I always feel good after doing it, so I tell myself Ill just do it for 5-minutes and away I go forgetting about it. 

2008-2012: Cymbalta, Zyprexa, Valium (5 days supply),

2012 - Seroquel x 4 weeks C/T. 

2014 - Seroquel x 2 Weeks C/T. Crossed to Risperidone 3mg for 6months until December.

2014 - Stopped Risperidone. Xfer > Anti-Depressant 200mg Zoloft and 6mg Clonazepam. 

2018 - 150mg Clomipromine changed Anti-depressant. Tapered Benzo to 1mg Clonazepam. 2019 - xfer to 20mg Diazepam. 



Anafranil: 75mg. 17th Dec 2022 70mg. 27th Dec 22: 75mg, 14 January 23': 70mg. 16-26th January: 50mg (too fast drop no sleep). Jan 28th 2023: 70mg. 20 Feb 2023: 65mg. 11/06: 60mg 9/08: 55mg 15/08/23 : 50mg
3/03/2024: 60mg (Updose) 25/04: 57.5mg 06/05: 53mg


        Diazepam (V): 25th Oct 2019' 20mg. 22 Dec 19' 19mg. 04 Apr 2020' 18mg,  30 September 20' 17.5mg , 13 Nov 2020' 17mg. 01 January 2021: 16mg, 13th Aug 21' 15mg. 1st Nov' 2021 14.5mg. 1st Dec' 2021 14mg. 13 January 2022: 13.5mg, 11 Feb: 13mg.  11 April 22' 12.5mg, 12 May 22': 12mg, 6th September 2022: 11mg Valium. 9th October: 10.5mg, 25th Oct 10mg. 12 March 23: 9.5mg 2 April: 9.25mg 23 April: 9mg 12/05: 8.75 26/05: 8.5 12/09: 8.25 21/09: 8.5. 3/10: 8.25 17/10: 8mg 20th Nov Brassmonkey: (7.9.,7.8, 7.75) 5 Feb: 7.25mg. 23 Feb: 7mg. 8th April 6.9mg 16 April: 6.8mg 29/04 6.7mg 6/05: 6.6mg

*.      Have tried to go at faster rate than 0.5mg but is currently too fast. 

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For me I never really felt like the drugs helped my depression much. They just made me indifferent to it. It also seemed like my depression got much worse over the years that I was medicated. While I am still on my AD and going through withdrawal, I am experiencing some deep deep depression some days. I find that going on a long walk helps me quite a bit (I know this is cliche advice but its true). I am also using this opportunity to start CBT to change some of my thinking patterns and to be more mindful of my thoughts. Im using the withdrawal experience to strengthen my tools and learn new coping mechanisms so that when I eventually am off my medication I have some valuable skills to handle my depression. 



Drug History:  Zoloft(sertraline) since 2008. Was up to 100mg/daily before CT in May 2017. Reinstated 3 weeks later at 50mg.

                          September 10, 2017 Updose Zoloft to 62.5mg

                          Current dose as of 5/11/2018  50mg Zoloft and 0mg Remeron

                        Remeron(mirtazapine) started June 2017. Accidental CT after 1 month. Reinstated 7.5mg on 9/26/17 after hospital stay.

                        Current Symptoms: Depression, Anxiety, DP/DR, Anhedonia, SI, Tinnitus, Fatigue

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