Monday, March 2, 2009

How to Safely Reduce Antidepressant Medication |

Most antidepressants stay in your system for a long time. Therefore it takes time for them to become fully effective and it takes time for them to work their way out of your system. The most important aspect of taking yourself off antidepressants is to do so under the supervision of a doctor. He/she put you on them for a reason and even though you are feeling better it may take a while for your system to work its way back to normal. There is often a rebounding effect. Also remember that depression can creep up on you very slowly and you may not be fully aware of your downward slide.

This being said there are several things to help you in this process. First, reduce your medicine very slowly and over a period of four to six weeks, the same amount of time you took to increase your dosage when you first started taking it. Of course this will also depend on the dosage you are currently taking. Ask your doctor to prescribe a smaller dosage, particularly if you are on an extended release tablet as you should never be split these.

Secondly, combat your rebound depression with exercise. Take a daily walk and move often and frequently throughout the day. Exercise increases your endorphins which elevates your positive mood and will counteract your depression.

Avoid stress. Take frequent breaks from any stressful situation to sit quietly and practice deep breathing. You may enjoy taking up Yoga, guided meditation or some other from of activity that will help you learn to relax.

Laughter is in fact the best medicine, especially when it comes to elevating your mood. Watch a humorous movies, go to a comedy club or engage in any type of activity that makes you laugh and that you enjoy. Scientific evidence has shown that laughter improves health and well being. It will help you counteract depression as well.

Not everyone needs to be on anti-depressants so if you can work your way off successfully and feel fine that's great. Just remember though that some people require antidepressants like diabetics require insulin. This decision is best handled in consultation with your doctor and/or your therapist as mood disorders are not as straight forward as some others.

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