Antidepressant medication is used primarily to treat depression but can also treat a number of other disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorders, eating disorders, etc.
If you are taking antidepressants then you know how long it took for the medication to start doing its job – up to about six weeks or so. Just as it takes a long to get in your system and start working its magic, it can take a little while for it to get out of your system as well.
If you have been advised by your doctor to get off of the antidepressant medication then that’s great and you can do so under the supervision of your physician, with his instructions and help. It is never recommended to do it on your own or to go cold turkey when stopping antidepressants.
To help you with the process to safely reduce your antidepressant medication, here are four tips to take with you along the hard (yes, it’s hard and it is important for you to understand that) journey:
Tip #1 – Slowly Reduce the Antidepressant Dosage
Your doctor will know how to do this effectively but for educational purposes, we’ll go on. More than likely, your physician will reduce your dosage to half the amount that you are currently taking. The doctor may have his or her reasons to not go this much but generally it is half. You’ll stay on this dosage for four to six weeks, just as you did when you first started taking the medication. Then, you’ll go from there with the help and supervision of your physician. Please know that this process could take up to a year depending on how well you react to the tapering from the medication.
Tip #2 – Try to Avoid Stress
I understand how hard it may be to do so, but avoiding stress can help more than you may realize when you trying to safely reduce antidepressant medication. Stress is often a huge cause of depression and should be avoided if you are trying to get off medication especially since stress could have been the root cause of your depression in the first place.
Tip#3 – Change Your Eating Habits
Eat healthier meals and snacks. Consuming healthy food cannot only improve your immune system function but your stress level will be reduced and your body will be getting all the nutrients and minerals that it needs to stay in shape and healthy. You’ll be more energized than ever, which will help you feel a lot better about yourself. Avoid all those starches and fats and eat healthy, vigorating foods that will lift your spirits such as fruits and veggies. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water as well.
Tip#4 – Exercise
Exercising plays a major role in reducing stress, reducing depression and making you feel better as a whole person. Exercising is going to significantly lift your mood, probably more than anything else, and will also help improve the function of your immune system.
These are only four tips that will help you to safely reduce your antidepressant medication and that will help you along this difficult journey that you should not do alone.
If you can safely get off of antidepressants and figure out a way to keep yourself busy and happy then you are going to be happier than ever.
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