Weaning off antidepressants

“I have been on antidepressants for a number of years now, and when I try to get off, I get sick.”

With that, an HSI member who goes by “clueme” begins a Healthier Talk community forum thread that offers a number of helpful and insightful suggestions from other members. Clueme continues: “What can I do to wean myself and still be able to take part in life? I have gained weight with them that I seem unable to take off and would love to just go natural again! Can anyone help?”

Snowbird: “Very slowly I’ve tried several times and have relapses. The Dr I used to see would say ‘cut it in half for a week and then stop’. Well I’ve since been to a new Dr and he said that was way too fast.”

Kathy: “I was able to get off my antidepressants slowly after about 10 years about a year and a half ago. I did (and do) watch my diet (carbs are NOT good, veggies are) but also added glyconutritionals to my diet so my body would get healthier. It didn’t happen overnight but I feel so much better.”

Vitaminlover33: “It can be done. You can get off anti-depressants. The Pain and Stress Center has a lot of resources on getting off anti-depressants. Some people it takes longer than others. I would recommend fish oil, selenium, magnesium, B complex with a lot of B6 as possible supplements. Also lots of exercise! Getting the proper amount of sleep and not loading up on carbs–eat more protein if you can–so your blood sugar will not go up and down.”

Harry: “First and foremost, I’d suggest that you seek out the guidance of a good integrative health professional – someone who integrates the best of naturopathic medicine and who is also familiar with allopathic treatment. Usually an approach that’s recommended contains, but is not necessarily limited to, these steps:

  • “Slowly lowering the dosage of the medication while doing some or all of these things:
    • engaging in daily exerciseusually walking (or ‘power walking’)
    • increase your exposure to nature and sunlight utilize local parks or sanctuaries and spend time outdoors in the early morning or late afternoon (for the sunshine)
    • improving your diet decreasing refined carbs and increasing good-quality protein and healthy fats (especially the omega-3’s)
    • seek out additional emotional/psychological helpsupport groups, psychotherapy, mind/body approaches, etc.
    • certain supplements may help make the transition easier (but it’s important to have someone knowledgeable in dosages and interactions to help with this)5-HTP, SAMe, L-Trytophan, L-Tyrosine, L-Phenylalanine, etc.
  • Lots of people can make the switch off of prescribed medications but it’s much easier (and probably safer) to have the help of an expert.”