Sadly America has become a culture of prescription drugs in which there is a pill for just about anything that ails you and among the drugs at the top of the list are antidepressants. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control, the number of people taking antidepressants has risen 400 percent since they were first introduced in the 1980s. Nearly 2 in 10 Americans take antidepressants with women more than twice as likely to take them as men. In fact, more than 23 million women take antidepressants in the U.S., most of who have been taking them for many years.
The Struggle to Quit
While drugs such as Zoloft, Effexor, and Cymbalta are not chemically addictive – in the same way that prescription painkillers are – quitting antidepressants is not as easy as one might think. In fact, there is sufficient evidence to show that many individuals struggle with withdrawal symptoms when they quit taking many of the short-acting antidepressants. For this reason, most doctors suggest that patients use a tapering off method for quitting. Tapering means that the amount of the drug taken with each use is reduced overtime. Most doctors suggest that it is not unreasonable for it to take several months of tapering for an individual to completely stop after many years of use.
Suddenly stopping, quitting “cold turkey” or drastically reducing the amount of medication can result in the following physical and psychological symptoms:
- Flu–like symptoms
- Dizziness/balance problems
- Muscle discomfort/spasms
- Mood swings/depression/anxiety
- Suicidal thoughts/attempts
- Manic episodes
Withdrawal symptoms usually depend on a number of factors including the specific medication and severity of use. In most cases withdrawal symptoms present within a few days of the last time the medication was taken and may last up to 10 to 14 days. In cases where the patient suffers extreme withdrawal symptoms, many doctors recommend changing the individual from a short-acting antidepressant to a long-lasting formula. Long-lasting formulas have been known to reduce the number of side effects and withdrawal symptoms while using the tapering down method for quitting. To minimize the discomfort of withdrawal, most individuals discover that getting more exercise, taking a long walk, swimming, yoga, massage therapy and acupuncture are excellent remedies for relaxation, as well as a good mood enhancer!
Be Safe and Talk to Your Doctor
There is no fast way or short cut to quitting antidepressants. Your doctor can help you with the right amount of medication to taper you off while at the same time giving your brain time to adjust to the chemical changes. In the long run, quitting slowly means quitting safely. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse and ready to get your life back, Gallus Detox Centers can help. Our IV therapy medical detox is the safest and most comfortable method for detoxing from alcohol and drugs. We will also help you plan for your continued recovery whether entering a rehab facility, a 12-step program, a non-12 step program or additional counseling. Call Gallus Medical Detox Centers today at We will also help you plan for your continued recovery whether entering a rehab facility, a 12-step program, a non-12 step program or additional counseling. Call 855-338-6929, to see if our specialized treatment is right for you.