Lower the Dose

So, having decided to reduce the dose of my antidepressants, I had one month on 100mg alternating with 50mg per day, and now I’m down on 50mg per day for one month. Next step is 50mg every other day for a month, and then off them completely.

It’s not been plain sailing by any means, but so far I’m coping. More to the point, I don’t think my loved ones are suffering too much.

I’ve noticed that I get unstable for a few days after the change in dose and then I stabilise out. This manifests in irritability, slight paranoia and lower self-esteem, and anxiety. My sleeping patterns are also fairly disturbed – I’ve had a few nights of insomnia again, and vary between having plenty of energy and having severe lack of energy.

I’m also far more sensitive emotionally, so I’m looking for a balance. I think that the higher levels of the happy pills, whilst very useful for enabling me to function when I’m in a bad place and can’t get out of it, spread a layer of numbness over me, which is inevitable, but also a double edged sword. There are bits of me I lose because of this layer, sharp edges that get smoothed out. Some of them need to be smoothed out, but some of them are a valid reaction to what’s going on in my life. So my next goal is to learn to be proportionate in my responses, without losing my ability to push back when necessary.

Of course none of my observations are helped by the fact that I am having a flare-up of my colitis at the moment, and also starting alopathic meds for it. It may be that sleep problems and lack of energy are colitis based rather than SSRI withdrawal based. So I’m quite determined to come off the antidepressants if I possibly can, just so that I know exactly what’s going on with me and why…


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2 Responses to Lower the Dose

  1. It’s not easy. You are re-learning coping mechanisms for daily life whilst being weaned off a safety net. I know it’s a cliche but be kind to yourself. What you’re doing is tricky, so don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day. xx

  2. D.J. Haswell says:

    Stay strong Eleanor and don’t push yourself to hard. Having battled with depression for 10 years, and made many mistakes, I know from experience just how hard we can be on ourselves.

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