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Tuesday, September 11, 2012 linda, Community Member, asks

Q: what happens if you stop taking antidepressants?

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Answers (3)
Jerry Kennard, Health Pro
9/18/12 12:09pm

Hi Linda,

 

Judy is absolutely correct. In my experience people consider stopping antidepressant meds for two main reasons. 1. They don't think they are working. 2. They don't like the side effects.

 

Not sure whether you fit either of these categories or whether you are just curious. I would mention however that it can take several weeks for antidepressants to take effect, so if you haven't been taking them for very long it doesn't mean they won't work for you. Secondly, as Judy says, the side effects from coming off antidepressants instantly can be rather dramatic and you could, potentially, find that your mood crashes.

 

If you've been on them for some time and you feel no benefit, discuss this with your doctor. It may suggest you are not at a therapeutic dose, or that you might benefit from an alternative medicine. If your depression is mild/moderate it's just possible you may not feel any particular benefit. Current research suggests that those with most severe forms of depression seem to gain most from antidepressants.

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Judy, Community Member
9/12/12 9:10pm

This all depends on how long you've been taking them and whether or not they were helping you.  Some of them have some bad withdrawal symptoms, such as shaking, sleeplessness, etc.  You really should stop any antidepressant under your doctor's guidance, as some require a gradual withdrawal.  Please don't try to do this on your own.  Thanks for your question, hope this was of some help.

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Donna-1, Community Member
9/19/12 4:31am

In my own case, when I stopped taking antidepressants I either had rebound depression or withdrawal symptoms that mimicked it.  Not pleasant.  In fact, it was downright scary.  If you are feeling well now and that's why you want to stop the meds, consult your doctor first.  If the meds are not giving the result you had hoped for, you might consider adjunct psychotherapy or counseling.  And if the side effects are what you wish to stop, then again consult your doctor about the possibility of trying a different antidepressant.  I tried several before I found that Wellbultrin + Zoloft was what worked best for me.

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By linda, Community Member— Last Modified: 09/19/12, First Published: 09/11/12