How long until you were off medications all together?

I'm feeling much better, no psychosis, no depression, I'm no longer on anti psychotics, my anxiety is under control via self help techniques and sertraline, and I feel myself again. I feel so much better in myself and my care team has agreed that finally my partner can go back to work in about a month, I've been spending time alone with my children, it no longer scares or worries me. I finally can see that this was only a part time thing and I've come out on the other side like everyone said would happen. I'm lucky that my episode lasted less than 3 months.

What I'd like to know is anyone on long term anti depressants, or how long were you on them? Thank you.

11 Replies

  • Hello raspberries

    It's great to hear how much better you are feeling. It must be such a relief for you and your family that your episode lasted less than 3 months. You may know from my other posts here that my two episodes were many years ago. The only anti-depressant medication I remember taking is Imipramine; not sure how long for though.

    There will be other mums here able to share much more up to date info with you.

    Take good care.

  • Hi raspberries

    How wonderful to hear you're feeling so much better! You've made my Monday :-)

    It's kind of a 'how long is a piece of string' answer with medication. Many psychiatrists like to see people well for a year after first symptoms of psychosis and/or depression, and will usually advise tapering off quite slowly. However there are no firm and fast rules - the best advice I can give is that as and when you feel ready to start to withdraw from medication, talk it through with your psychiatrist or mental health team and make sure you all know the plan of action if any symptoms do return.

    For me personally, after baby #1 I took olanzapine (an antipsychotic) for a year and paroxetine (an antidepressant) for 18 months. After baby #2 and a brief relapse of depression last year, I made the decision to look at long term maintenance medication so now take a low dose of olanzapine and a different antidepressant (venlafaxine) to prevent relapses.

    Making the decisions about meds/long term maintenance is a very personal choice but definitely give yourself space to enjoy your wellness now and talk through your thoughts about when/whether/how to withdraw with your partner and mental health team.

    Great to hear you feeling so well.


  • Hi raspberries

    It's so wonderful to hear that you are feeling well, that's brilliant.

    I have just one child and with meds I was the same as naomi, a year on anti psychotic and about 18 months on anti depressant, both having them slowly reduced with my psychiatrist approval. each person is different but I found staying on meds for a while helpful as my recovery was slow and up and down but others I know are fully recovered in a few months.

    Take care

  • Hi Raspberries, great to hear you are feeling so much better! I was on olanzapine (anti-psych) for about 10 months, I think. I was discharged from the MBU while still taking a 10mg dose, but this was quickly reduced to 5mg, and then 2.5mg. My psychiatrist was happy for my GP to take the lead on this. Similarly, with the low-dose of fluoxetine (Prozac) I was on, my GP and I decided I could come off it around the same sort of time. I guess that's a bit quicker than some others, but everyone (and their doctors!) are different... Good luck! Kx

  • Hi there, I had PPP with my first child. I was on the medication for a year and then when I got pregnant again I went back on risperidone at the last month to prevent it again and I did not have another I have been medication free for over a year now :)

  • It is such an amazing feeling to finally feel better, congrats! I had my PPP for 3 straight weeks. Once I was psychosis free, I stopped my anti-psychotic rather quickly compared to most. I believe I was on it for about 5 weeks? I had horrible reactions so we decided to slowly taper and it worked great. I was on my anti depressant (prozac) for 9 months and have been off of it for about 5 weeks now. I had what I thought was the beginning of a relapse over the weekend but pushed through without reinstating. We believe it was withdrawal effects as prozac has a longer half life and with me being so sensitive to the meds. CBT has been helping through the anxiety. Every woman is so different, best of luck!!

  • Hi raspberries

    Hope you are continuing to feel well this week. I remember my recovery came with some hills and valleys so just to reassure you that even if you have occasional low or anxious days you are moving in the right direction! Have you had a chance to talk to your doctor about the medium to long-term plan with meds, and when you might be looking to withdraw?

    As you can see from all the responses there's definitely no "one size fits all" approach!


  • Hey ladies, I came off my anti psychotic fine after all, no withdrawal effects or anything and have felt so much better since stopping.

    My psychiatrist and I have very different views unfortunately, however she recommends I take my meds however she has said its my choice to stop. I have now stopped my sertraline, and I'm feeling so much better, less tired etc, I get the occasional anxious moment now and then, but I have my own ways of coping with it and it passes rather quickly. I've never been one to like taking meds but I realised the anxiety medication helped me realise how it felt to live without the anxiety, I've taken them for nearly 8 weeks and felt ready to try it alone, and its been great. I know its not the recommended treatment but as everyone says, its different for everyone.

    Everything is going well, more friends and visits planned, having a meeting Wednesday to give my partner a date he can go back to work and I'm now doing 90% of the child care compared to just 2 months ago when I did only 10%.

    I feel like I love my children to bits again and its such a wonderful feeling, my daughter (4 months) is my little ray of sunshine and never fails to perk me up if I feel a but down. I no longer feel like I blame my daughter for the pp, I realise it was all worth it because now we have her in our lives, and I'm so happy she's here.

    Its hard knowing I missed so much of her being younger, I was there physically but not mentally, but I have photographs to look back on and she's very much a Mummy's girl which really helps, I worried she would favour my partner and I'd feel left out because she spent most of her newborn phase with him.

    All in all, we're in a good place! :)


  • Hi Raspberries,

    It's so wonderful to hear how well you are doing, especially that you are feeling so bonded with your daughter. You should be really proud of how well you're doing, only 4 months later.

    Its amazing you've come off meds, but I guess just take it easy and look after yourself. And talk to your psychiatrist etc if you have any changes or concerns. I was completely different from you in that I suffered quite badly from depression for a lot of months after (probably about a year), so it's so good that you feel better already.

    I know the feeling of regret of not making the most of my son's first few months, it is a sadness that I think I will always have, but perhaps the whole situation has made me rejoice even more than I would have in our relationship and his wonderfulness now! :)

    Take care

  • Hello raspberries

    Lovely to hear how well everything is going for you now. How happy you must feel to realise that the bond with your children, especially your baby girl, has resurfaced better than ever from all those anxious days in the past.

    I know you have a difference of opinion with your Psychiatrist about your meds but keep in touch with her in case you need advice in the future.

    I think it's a regret we all have that due to circumstances beyond our control we were there in body but not in mind for baby's first days. However, if you think of what you and other mums have endured and battled through to be as well as you feel for your family, you should be very proud of yourself. Make sure you take a minute or two to relax in your busy daily routine.

    Take very good care.

  • Hi raspberries

    Lovely to hear you feeling so well. It's a very precious time when the worst of the storm is over and love floods back in! I'm so glad your little girl is a real 'mummy's girl' as you are so right, those cuddles and feeling needed are even more special when your first few months have been so hard. I hope you get lots of time now just to treasure being a mum!

    I think a difference of opinion with psychiatrists is quite common (!) and some do tend to err much more on the side of caution. It's really good that you are finding alternative strategies to manage your anxiety. As others have said just keep monitoring your own mood and don't feel you can't seek support if you need it in future from your GP or psychiatrist because you preferred to come off meds at this stage.

    Well done for making it through - it really is great to see you safely through to the other side.

    Hugs, Naomi

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