As a preface to this post, do not begin or stop taking medication without the advice of your doctor.
For those of you who have been following me for a while, you know I take a daily antidepressant for my anxiety disorder. I also see a counselor once a month. It’s finally time; my counselor and my GP agree that I’m well enough to stop taking my medication.
So here’s the deal, you can’t just stop taking antidepressants. The withdrawal for various antidepressants can range from mild discomfort to symptoms as serious as heroin withdrawal. As I said above, always consul your doctor before changing your medication.
So my doctor, my counselor and I came up with a plan to support me weaning myself off my antidepressants. First, I had to go one year without a major incident of anxiety and depression. Next, the best time of year to go off medication is the Spring or Summer. Winter and Fall pose too much of a risk of relapse due to cold temperatures and less sunlight. While I’m reducing my dose, I also agreed to see my counselor once a week instead of once a month, just to make sure I stay stable. My schedule for weaning is to begin today by taking my pills every other day for one to two weeks. Then I switch to one pill every three days for another one to two weeks. Then I stop taking them.
This is a big step for me. I have been on antidepressants for two years but I can’t wait to not take them. I’m so happy I don’t need them anymore. Wish me luck. I’ll keep you updated on my progress.