How to Come Off Antidepressants Safely and Without Fear

January 22, 2016 Kristen Virag

Antidepressants can help people going through a variety of mental health challenges and illnesses and you can come off antidepressants safely and without fear. Some people can remain on them for months and sometimes years. In some cases, the antidepressant medication can be temporary. Once feeling well and strong again, it's up to the individual to decide when, and if, they want to stop taking the medication. However, although the individual can be well enough, it can become too daunting to stop the medication just in case he or she slips back into the headspace they were in when starting it (My Depression Feels Unreal). This is certainly the case with me. In this video I express my thoughts and fears about antidepressants and how I want to come off antidepressants safely and without fear, eventually.

The Fear of Coming Off Antidepressants

You can come off antidepressants if you feel well again. But it can be scary to stop them if you fear that the mental illness will return. Here are my thoughts.

It's been almost a year now since I've been taking antidepressants after experiencing severe depression and anxiety in early 2015. For me, personally, I started to notice a significant improvement in my mood when taking them. I was, however, engaging in exercising, eating well, meditating and a variety of other things to help my mental state -- so I'm not entirely sure if it was the medication that helped me get through it; I'm just grateful to be well again (Depression Treatment Options). However, now that I'm feeling much better with the help of the antidepressants, I'm terrified to get off them. I can't foresee a day in the near future where I will feel confident that I can live happily and successfully without taking medication to be depression and anxiety free.

Coming Off Antidepressants and Feeling Fearful

In this video I explain coming off antidepressants further and offer support for those who can relate.

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APA Reference
Virag, K. (2016, January 22). How to Come Off Antidepressants Safely and Without Fear, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Kristen Virag

January, 25 2016 at 4:14 am

Have been taking venlefaxine and ammytriptaline for 18 yrs and am so scared to stop them after docs were giving me too much and I went cold turkey over one Xmas and New Year

Judy H.
January, 23 2016 at 10:33 am

My 35 year old son has been taking a fairly large dose of Effexor for about 15 years. At one point in time, he was seeing a psychiatrist who was trying to wean him off of the Effexor. I don't know how good her method was, it was an every other day. He started having the "head buzz" attacks growing more frequent each day and eventually became worn out and ill from the process. He was so desperate, he went back on the same dose of Effexor he had been on before and stopped seeing that doctor. Since the Effexor comes in capsules, it is impossible to break pills in order to get the dose just a little lower each day. He is now terrfied of coming off of the Effexor and is depressed at the idea that he will have to take it for the rest of his life. He is a very busy attorney dealing with billion dollar mergers and acquisitions daily. Someone told him just to bear through the withdrawl effects, but with his job, he has to be on the top of his game at all times. Does anyone have any similar experience and how did you work through it? Thank you

January, 22 2016 at 6:23 am

I can relate. Hit rock bottom of beer drinking, depression, and anxiety, in 2014. Got help and went on the meds for 6 months. Then went off on my own to soon. Regressed. Then got back onto Klonopin and Seraquel since August 2015. I couldn't sleep, so I needed the help. Now am getting a strong 7 hours each day.
Today, I do feel better. Started jogging again, eating better, reading, talking, etc. I too want to get off the meds, but when? My plan began about 3 months ago when I took the meds and broke them in half. So I am taking half doses, still sleeping fine and haven't noticed any negative effect on depression, anxiety, and well-being as of yet. I will keep doing this through May of 2016. My summer plan is to take half doses but to skip a few as my jogging and attitude continues to increase.
Hopefully, by October 2016 I will be off them completely. But my approach is a slow but methodical reduction before I go to complete zero. That is my plan anyway. Good luck on yours.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

February, 3 2016 at 1:03 pm

Thank you for sharing. I think the way you're doing it is the right way to go and I wish you lots of good luck
Kristen :)

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