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Rae123: Is it the right time to stop!


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Hi, I have been on and off antidepressants for 17 years . I have had times where I have been ok without them; however I have reverted to them when life has got tough . Tbh I don’t really suffer massively with depression, more with coping with life struggles and getting low , they have helped me hugely over the years , but I don’t want to live my life depending on medication. My children are older and life is becoming less stressful. I have weaned myself off very very slowly, which hasn’t been as bad as I thought . I now wake up most days with a bad headache and  I am now feeling very emotional, crying a lot and feeling short tempered, and often feeling like maybe I should go back to the tablets. I’ve been single for 8 years and I’ve not met someone , he is noticing changes in me, which I have not disclosed . This relationship is important to me and I’m scared that I have chosen the wrong time to come off them ? Any advice would be greatly appreciated, 

Edited by Gridley
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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA.Rae123.


To start:


To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.


Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.


We are a site for going off psychiatric drugs and helping members deal with withdrawal from these drugs.  Congratulation on being drug-free.    That is a very big accomplishment and it sounds like you're doing well.   Regarding going back on the drugs, we have a saying we use here: you can't step into the same river twice.  That means that the nervous system you have now is not the same nervous system you had before you tapered off.  It has been sensitized by the taper and is getting used to functioning without the drug, and there is no way to predict how your brain and nervous system will react to reintroducing the drug.   These drugs are very powerful and change the brain--physically change the way it works--and you are now in the process of letting your brain recover its natural functions.  This link gives a good explanation of what is happening.


The symptoms you're experiencing are very normal and typical withdrawal symptoms.  They will pass in time.



When we take psychiatric medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  
When antidepressants were introduced , theywere never intended to be taken long-term nor were they tested for long-term effects.  The book Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker come highly recommended on this site.  His research found that across the board with all types of psychiatric drugs, including antidepressants, people did better off the drugs than on.


Here's a video book trailer by the author, Robert Whitaker:


We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 



Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems. Get supplements that are single ingredient (not mixed with other types of supplements).
For coping with life and with withdrawal, we recommend non-drug methods rather than drugs.  Take a look at the links in the following link and see which you think might be helpful to you.
This is your Introduction topic, where you can complete your drug signature, ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.





Edited by Gridley

Gridley Introduction


Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.


Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium  

End 2021  year 1 of taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of taper at 2.75mg 

Current dose as of Feb. 25, 2023 2mg

Taper is 89% complete.


Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  


Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • Gridley changed the title to Rae123: Is it the right time to stop!

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