Antidepressant ‘Withdrawal’: Is There Such A Thing?

mental-ill-i-like-it.jpg           What are the symptoms of antidepressant withdrawal? Do withdrawal symptoms mean you were addicted to the drug?

Mayo Clinic psychiatrist Daniel Hall-Flavin, M.D., answers

Antidepressant withdrawal refers to signs and symptoms caused by the abrupt discontinuation of an antidepressant medication after taking it for an extended period — usually longer than six weeks. Doctors may also refer to it as antidepressant discontinuation syndrome. However, this is not a formal psychiatric diagnosis.

Signs and symptoms of antidepressant withdrawal may include irritability, anxiety and sadness, as well as physical symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

To minimize the risk of withdrawal, do not stop taking an antidepressant without first discussing it with your doctor. Psychiatrists usually recommend gradually tapering off of antidepressants. By slowly reducing the dosage over an extended period, your brain gradually adjusts to the change and adapts to the absence of the drug.

However, adjustment does not mean addiction. Antidepressants are not considered addictive substances. Addiction represents harmful, long-term chemical changes in the brain that can lead to tolerance, physical dependence and uncontrollable craving. Withdrawal caused by abrupt discontinuation of an addictive substance is a very different phenomenon than withdrawal resulting from sudden discontinuation of a drug designed to restore normal chemical balance in the brain.

In addition, it’s sometimes difficult to differentiate between withdrawal symptoms and re-emergence of depression after you stop taking an antidepressant. It is important to review this with your doctor.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/antidepressant-withdrawal/AN01425

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5 thoughts on “Antidepressant ‘Withdrawal’: Is There Such A Thing?

  1. Thanks for your comment, and sorry for the late reply but my reply function wasn’t working until now.

    Thanks for the information.

  2. Did I say problems thinking and brain zaps no I guess I missed those I have those too and I am almost 2 years off these problems I mentioned happen to those who taper too just so you know they are less if the taper is less than 10% far slower than doctors recommend. The above link is not right it should read
    effexoractivist.org
    good luck to you

  3. This makes me want to laugh out loud at the sheer dismissive ignorance of it lol I have to gather my thoughts. I am not going to engage this man on a play of words which I am sure he could out talk me any day of the wk as likely that is part of what he gets paid to do.
    What I am going to say is this there is tolerance with antidepressants there is horrid long term withdrawal including symptoms including all those listed above PLUS deeper degree of depression/motilitly disorders/thyroid dysfuntion/sweating/insomnia/body pain muscle spasms/joint pain/spine pain/headach/eye pain/vision disturbance/ringing in the ears/burning skin/hair loss/inabilitly to digest food/adrenal fatigue/ the list is so long I will never get them all just giving you a taste of what can happen when you let pharma fool with your brain chemistry.
    If you are reading this there is no way I can tell you all you need to know please go to effexoractives.org
    or paxilprogress.org
    there are plenty of people out there that know the truth abou these drugs and withdrawal you do not have to guess there are enough person to person stories that are the same to convince anyone that is not making his living off the back of pharma.

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