detoxing from antidepressants



Antidepressants may be avoided by exercising: STUDY CONDUCTED IN 1999

With antidepressant prescriptions at an all-time high in this country, one wonders if physicians were listening nearly a decade ago when researchers at Duke University showed that exercise is just as effective in alleviating depression as the most popular antidepressant medication. If the doctors know, they apparently aren’t telling their patients – because Internet message boards and forums are filled with pleas for help from folks all trying to get off antidepressants. Someone should tell them there’s little they can do to avoid antidepressant withdrawal unless they enter a medical drug detox center.

Pathologies of the Diagnostic Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)

Americans have an obsession with classifying and labeling every behavior as abnormal. However “many psychiatric “conditions” exist only as labels in the minds of psychologists” (Null, 2002). If everyone has a mental disorder they could be institutionalized and controlled like good little soldiers marching in a perfect line with uniforms on all moving at the same time, with the same haircut, the same polished shoes, the same goals, and the same objectives like a line of identical controlled robots. “You’ll find that any normal behavior can be diagnosed as mental illness, and any adverse reactions to environmental influence, peer pressure and social unrest has earned a psychiatric label. If you don’t wake up on time, if you sleep poorly, if you drink coffee or smoke cigarettes, or if you give up these things, if you stutter, if a child fidgets or loses things or can’t wait their turn in a game, if you’ve ever been intoxicated, if you’ve had trouble with arithmetic or with grammar or with punctuation or writing expressively – all of these are now considered mental illnesses according to psychiatrists. Even teenagers who argue with their parents are, according to the DSM IV, suffering a mental disorder called oppositional defiance disorder” (Null, 2002). The DSM is premeditated to maximize conformity, promote pharmaceutical sales, and minimize individuality. (Link)

Antidepressant fraud
Dr Joanna Moncrieff, Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry at University College London, said: “It is high time that it was stated clearly that the serotonin imbalance theory of depression is not supported by the scientific evidence or by expert opinion. Through misleading publicity the pharmaceutical industry has helped to ensure that most of the general public is unaware of this.”

Q&A on Antidepressants with Dr. Joseph Glenmullen….. Our New Hero?

Prozac Backlash

Getting off Antidepressants

As bad as her panic attacks were, 27-year-old Melissa Hall says that going off the antidepressant medication she originally took as treatment was also a nightmare.

Although she followed a doctor’s advice and tapered off the Paxil, she says she experienced severe dizziness, nausea and electric shock sensations, which left her virtually incapacitated.

“I didn’t work for two months,” she says. “I just laid on my couch waiting for the dizziness and nausea and everything to go away.”


Despite anecdotal reports, there have been very few studies on the subject, and experts can’t say how many people may experience some form of withdrawal.

“We see withdrawal symptoms that can be so severe,” says Dr. Joseph Glenmullen, a clinical instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and author of Prozac Backlash, “that patients feel held hostage to the antidepressant.”


Compounding the problem, some experts say, is that many patients who go off the drug mistake withdrawal symptoms for a return of the original symptoms they were using the drug to treat. It is then very common for patients to restart the medication.

“This is chasing one’s tail by medicating withdrawal side effects,” says Dr. Glenmullen, which often results in needlessly prolonging exposure to the drug.


~ by boatsie on December 11, 2008.

21 Responses to “detoxing from antidepressants”

  1. The right way to get off Paxil is to start taking prozac or a less evil SSRI when you’re coming off it and then stop that drug a few months later. Zero discontinuation effect. It works for effexor and Cymbalta too. I got off Cymbalta with two weeks worth of Lexapro samples, no problem.

  2. i’ve heard this … what about getting off ativan and trazadone as well? I think I’m ready to start weaning down from 150 mg of Effexor XR again. At one pt I was down to 37…. can you cut up a 150 pill?

  3. ativan can be evil, depends on how long you’ve been on it. You can’t cut Effexor XR. You can take it every other day but that still sucks. Your best bet is to cross-taper to prozac or nortryptiline and then quit that. Any psychiatrist who isn’t an asshole should be willing to help you with this. There are mail order pharmacies in India but I’ll leave it up to you to decide what you think about those.

  4. Ahhhh … just remembered i had created a jetpak on withdrawal

  5. ativan — try 16 years, 2-3 mg a day…. that is what my doc calls the ‘thread that holds everything together.’ i have been down to .5 mg but oh those adrenals start going crazy at that point…

  6. You’re going to hate this, but try .25 seroquel for a couple months.

    When you go into rehab for heroin detox they give you clonidine. It’s not that different.

    Stevie Nicks was in rehab for months getting off benzos. That’s some nasty shit. Hell yeah they help but they are a drug most people are on for life.

  7. that’s what i was thinking… so you can go off the ativan and on the seroquel?

  8. Seroquel will knock your @ss out, especially at low does, such as 25 mg. Don’t use it in the longterm though; it causes weight gain and the dreaded diabetes. Mainly because of the insatiable hunger. Anyway, give it a whirl, but be aware, it IS technically an AAP.

  9. I’ve been on antidepressents and benzo’s since I was 20 yrs old.(Just turned 50 12/30).I’m also a chronic pain pt. w/numerous physical issues as well, but am proud to say that I’m now on the final step to beating the fentinyl patch–down from 100mcg 1 yr ago!! I’m strong as hell,and have been thru it and back many times…but here’s what I’m facing now: Cymbalta 50mg,xanax 1 mg up to 3 (rarely 4)x day,Welbutrin 50 mg(?) Lyrica (nerve pain)25 mg @ bed.Ultram as needed–from 1 to 3/day. Provigil, 200 mg/day–are you ready??–orig. presecribed to help “keep me alert/awake due to the heavy req’d pain meds”. The worst so far?–yep, the benzo’s. I was disabled by panic attacks for 3 yrs and have suffered intermittent attacks & severe anxiety for 30 yrs. Last hospitalization for recur. Maj. depression I got cut down 1/2 from 6mg/DAY xanax to what i’m on now. Migraines,anger, sev. muscle spasms…I’ve been changed antidepressents dozens of times over the years, esp when the SSRI’s came out. I had come to a point, from about 23-33, when a dose of 300 mg sinequan + 1 1/2mg xanax had me doing well. I even stopped the xanax for a time. When tricyclics fell from grace, that was suddenly replaced by the SSRI’s (all of them at 1 pt or other),because of the “bad side effects of the tri’s.” I will NEVER forget when I was prescribed my 1st antidepressent: “There are very few side-effects and they are completely NON-ADDICTIVE. You can’t get hooked.” What a colossal lie! Spiritually I’m in a v. strong place in my life, & if I don’t get off this toxic merry-go-round soon, what remains of my (surprisingly resilient) physical body will fall to ruin f. good. I’m doing great managing the pain. But I’ve wasted so much of my life being veg’d out it was no better than being suicidal! I’m an extremely talented artist, writer, designer, etc. and have much more to live for than a grocery list of drugs I am mortified to have to repeat ea. time I visit a med. clinic for routine illness. I’ve been v. enthuiastic about alternative therapies, herbal remedies, Reiki, etc. Should I try a Naturopathic Dr (who all say the toxic effects of all these meds are what my REAL problem IS, & agree!!) check into a total detox, or spend the next 5 years weaning myself from a half dozen rx’s for “psychiatric treatment?” My psychiatrist is a v. reasonable person, & I have a phenomenal analyst as well as tons of support. All of them agree I am incalcuably stronger than ever; but all (incl. me) worry ALL of the physiological changes I must deal with in the battle may be too much physically as well. But I kicked the fentelyl to the fence and back w/out much fallout so I know I’m plenty strong.
    Words of wisdom, please???

    My heart goes out to all of you…we are all in the same war.

    Love to each of you,

  10. ummmm. WOW. Have you got a story. And welcome, welcome, welcome. I don’t know if there is any other group with the intention of Brainzaps, but let me state it clear and simple for you. My goal, my dream, is to find a group of us with the will to free ourselves from living a life which has been severely impacted by prescription meds AND then to find a research organization willing to take us on in a clinical trial which utilized new findings in neurogenesis to asssist us in not only getting off these meds but also in creating new neural networks which can normalize us without the need of psychopharmaceutical interventions.
    Brainzaps began in late July; currently there are two moderators, myself (MDD) and Adinah (bipolar). Traffic to the site is expanding over the past month or so, thanks in great part to my creating a Brainzaps group on Kossacks Networking. We are also in the process of coordinating with Crazyboards to create community there as well.
    But the other news is that I have started to have some success in my outreach to professionals offering alternatives based on the latest findings in neurology, findings which are based primarily on cognitive learning theories …. So I will keep you in the loop as I move forward with this.
    Yes, we are all in the same war. I share your concerns, as I myself am over 50 and for a long time now have felt as if my life has narrowed too much, that too much damage has been done, that my brain has been irreperably damaged … but lately I am coming out fighting mad again… You’re in the right place, girl. We are committed to finding a way out of this morass.

  11. I have been on anti-depressants since I was 12 yrs. old. The last 3 years I have been on Zoloft, with Wellbutrin for a couple months then just recently with Prozac. 2 montsh ago I went to my doc to see if I could be done with pills. My doctor told me, “You do realize you will be on anti-depressants for the rest of your life, right?” I left her office feeling more anxious. I decided that night I was going to stop taking the pills – and it just happened to be my last of Zoloft. I still had more Prozac. I finished those and it’s been 2 weeks without pills. Funny this site is called brainzaps because that is exactly what I have! I couldn’t find a better way to describe it. It will not go away. Nausea, dizziness, sleepiness, etc. I am soooo OVER IT.

    • oh so sorry i missed your comment …. how are you doing? I can so relate to the detoxing and good for you for sticking it out. please let me know how things are going right now.

    • I’m right there with you. 200 mg of Zoloft 50 mg of Wellbutrin xl and 40 mg of aderall. Then I started having problems getting the aderall refilled, I hated seeing my therapist, and felt degraded by my psychiatrist
      So I decided to just quit my meds and rely on God. Well, I can’t get rid of the dizziness, the tired and drained feeling, and oh the nausea. Has anyone tried a natural detox such as Edaip whole body cleanse by enzymatic therapy? I’m also interested in how to be off meds and handle bipolorisim? My husband is bipolar, but hates meds. The problem is you can tell if he doesn’t take them?????

      • haven’t heard of edaip. right now i am taking lithate, samE, huge doses of folic acid, pregnenalone, 5000 mg of Omega3, DHEA … hmmm have I forgotten anything???? And Im still on 75 mg of Effexor XR. My mind feels like it is the consistency of rice pudding …. memory worse than before at this point. also seeing as osteopath and looking into LENS therapy but way too expensive and insurance apparently does not cover.

        handling bipolor off meds. i think the meds made me symptomatic … diagnosis of MDD i feel as if i am more bipolar 1 at this point.

  12. took self off trazadoneand citalopramafter sever leg nerve pain began from toxic build up have more clarity however much nausea and spell during day must sleep america is suced in I was Trish

    • so the toxic build up is in the legs … very interesting i have been hearing about this. surprized that the traz wd was hard… though… think mb it was the citalopram …????

      god luck how u doing. under care? sleep major plus sound therapy and mindful meditation. amazing what these 2 can do for your brain chemistry. also peut-etre Omegas and B vitamin lecithin, Vitamin K

  13. I’ve been wanting to get off of my meds for years and learn to cope with my ‘problems’ on my own. It seems that every time I start to taper off I end up going on more medication then I started with. They are drugs, and I wish I could go to a drug detox center to get off of them. I don’t know how much damage they are doing to my body and I want them out of my system ASAP. I’m on seroquel, effexor, gabapentin, klonopin, and ambien. Is it possible for me to go to a drug detox center??

    • This is quite a cocktail. I don’t think you are going to be able to get off this ASAP, and you have to find a doctor who will work with you and design a program determining which drugs to cut back on first. I think I would call a detox center near your house that deals with addictions for advice. Addiction to prescription drugs, which is traditionally associated with pain meds and benzos (klonopin) are now associated with all of the drugs you are on — they call it discontinuation syndrome as opposed to withdrawal.

  14. Wow, fantastic blog format! How long have you been blogging for?
    you made running a blog look easy. The full glance of
    your site is great, let alone the content material!

  15. I’ve been off Cymbalta and depakote for 25 days now. When will the physical side effects go away? Emotionally I feel great, but the PHYSICAL side effects are kicking my ass.

  16. On antidepressants for twenty seven years. Doctor told new last month that my problem was the pills. He told me how to come off them quickly and I would have no problem. I was so sick,weak, suicidal, depressed . My story with anti depressants benzos mood stabilizers have been a nightmare for 27 years. I feel I will never feel normal again .I am nothing but a shadow of the vibrant sociable person. My family have all left me because of my crazy making. I feel I need to go for a rapid detox in hospital . I have been to rehab fir Xanax .It was really hard coming off. When I got home I started to get sicker . Back to doctor more pills. The medications have taken so much away from me.I was on klonopin quit cold turkey and had a seizure and the brain zaps and I could see dust mites crawling in my nose making it hard fir me to breath..I am on klonopin now too along with Wellbutrin and sinequan and sleeping pills which I take once a week when I feel I can’t take much more. The doctors just don’t know what it feels like . If they did they wouldn’t be writing so many scripts. I’m at the end of my rope.

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