10 Things you need to do when going off Antidepressants
Depression isn’t just sadness, and depending on the severity of it, it can be incredibly difficult to face each day.
While there are ways to help your depression naturally, antidepressants are sometimes necessary.
However, getting off antidepressants isn’t always an emotionally easy thing to do.
But if you feel like you’re ready to start tapering off your antidepressants, it’s very important you follow these 10 steps.
1) Take your time
Don’t push yourself to get off your antidepressants quickly.
Depression affects everyone around you, so making sure you’re ready to get off them is important so you don’t fall back into the same place you were when you began them.
2) Don’t be pressured
No one can tell you when you’re ready to get off your antidepressants except you. You’re the only one who knows your thoughts and feelings.
You’re the one who needs to be okay with not taking them anymore.
3) Talk with a health professional
Before making the decision to get off the antidepressants, you need to talk with the healthcare professional who prescribes them.
You need to talk about whether you feel ready to starting lowering the dose or not and what concerns you have.
4) Continue counseling
Hopefully, you’ve been going to counseling to help you with what has made you depressed.
Talking with a licensed professional is important especially while tapering off the medication and for some time after you aren’t taking them.
The counselor can greatly help you understand your emotions and may notice that you aren’t ready to get off them.
5) Taper off the antidepressants
Antidepressants usually need to be tapered off of; meaning you don’t just quit taking them. The dose must be lowered for a while first so your body gets used to not having the regular dose.
This will be managed by the healthcare professional who prescribes them to you.
6) Continue doing things you enjoy
This is an important step.
Doing things you enjoy will help you feel less depressed and will also ease your mind about stress or worry.
7) Take natural supplements
There are some natural supplements you can take that not only help with depression but will also help when getting off antidepressants.
You can read all about these supplements, and find where to buy them, by clicking here.
8) Get outside
When your body is in contact with sunlight, it produces vitamin D. And as mentioned above, vitamin D is a great help to people who have, or have had, depression.
Vitamin D also helps support your immune system which keeps you from getting sick as often.
9) Use essential oils
Some of the best essential oils that aid with depression are: lemon, lavender, frankincense, and ylang ylang. You can also get essential oil blends like: serenity®, motivate®, cheer®, console®, and elevation®.
How to use:
Diffuse any of these oils into the air, inhale from the bottle, or apply to hands and inhale.
Dilute if the oil needs to be and apply to forehead. Remember, not all oils need to be diluted in order to be applied to skin – see table below for more information.
Add 5-10 drops of any of these oils to 1 tablespoon of fractionated coconut oil and use as massage oil.
Add 2-4 drops of the oil of your choice to warm bath water.
Oils that don’t need dilution
|Oils that may need moderate dilution|
Ylang Ylang *only needs diluted if you have sensitive skin*
Console *only needs diluted if pregnant*
Cheer *only needs diluted if pregnant*
Motivate *only needs diluted if you have sensitive skin or are pregnant*
10) Find 10-20 minutes each day to do something for yourself
It really is important to do something for yourself each day. And it’s not selfish, it’s necessary.
So spend 10-20 minutes every day doing something you enjoy: coloring, drawing, journaling, watching your favorite television show, reading, baking, exercising, etc.
While getting off antidepressants may not be emotionally easy, it’s a good thing to do if you feel like you’re ready, and you’ve followed these 10 steps.
Also, continue to communicate with your counselor and healthcare professional while tapering off the medication, as well as after you’re not taking them anymore.
Antidepressants affect your brain chemistry and some people experience withdrawal symptoms when tapering off them. I’m currently tapering off mine (Wellbutrin XL), and the only thing I’ve experienced is less energy, more headaches, and slightly more anxiety. No chills, or vomiting, or anything else.
But everyone is different which is why you MUST work closely with your prescribing physician when coming off antidepressants.
Be sure to read and share these similar articles if you are currently struggling with depression.