How do you know when your ready to start weening off your medication?

Im worried that I wont be coming off my medication any time soon, I've been on it for over a year and I stil feel as if I do sort of rely on it a bit. Im starting to get a bit apprehensive though as I don't know how much longer I will be on it and I don't want to have to keep taking it for another year or more?

3 Replies

  • Many doctors say that with a first episode of depression, weaning can start six months after symptoms cease. For those with frequent recurrences, we may need to continue.

    Ann xx

  • I have the same worries, Natalie. I had to see a different GP to my normal one the other week for a repeat prescription and he was very offensive at suggesting I am abusing prescription medications and need to come off them. I know I can't stay on them forever and I have medical knowledge of pharmaceuticals as I am a health professional so I am aware of the risks of addiction and dependency. However, currently I am awaiting to start counselling, am off work, have daily panic attacks, suicidal thoughts and paranoia, so the meds really are the only support I have.

  • I've had severe depression now for 14 years now and have had times when I came off my meds for a bit.

    I was first diagnosed when I was 17, it was though to be post-viral. I was on meds for 5 months then with help from my doc, was weaned off them over a month.

    Then I stayed meds free for about a year, then back on them with counselling for 7 months. Again with doc's help, got weaned off them again.

    This last time I got put back on meds and have never been off them again. I now know it is a chemical imbalance, so I need the meds to help this.

    The first few times I was on meds, I couldn't wait to get off them. Now, I know I can't function without them.

    It suppose it depends on what causes your depression - chemical imbalance like mine or due to outside influences like deaths in family, stresses etc, as to whether you will be dependent on meds or not. Whether you may only need meds for a short while or probably for life, like me.

    I would not be happy with a doc who told me to come off my meds without really knowing

    me or my situation :( - you are not abusing prescriptive meds Littlemissbennet - if you need them you have a right to them! Times and attitudes towards depression are changing, but in some cases not quickly enough it seems. i mean, would that same doc have said the same to a diabetic? Both chemical problems, but because depression has so much stigma attached some people are really rude. Big hug for you honey, you should never be left feeling like some kind of 'cheat' for getting meds that help you!

    I used to see my meds as like having stabilizers on a bike, they help keep you moving forwards, but you are still in control. If you think you don't need them anymore, then go and see your doc and see what s/he thinks. If you have nothing left causing the depression or have dealt with underlying issues etc, then there's all hope that you can start to come off them.

    I'll keep my fingers for you both!


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