How I am weaning off antidepressants naturally

How I am weaning off antidepressants naturally

 

Next month will be two years since I started taking Lexapro.

If you’re new around here, I went through an intense bout of post-weaning depression and anxiety at 13 months postpartum.

 

 

In 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic, I realized that I was totally back to me.  No unusual stress or anxiety.  I realized that it was time to come off of my antidepressants.

The first thing I did was visit my OBGYN and talked to her.  She had me first start taking a daily dose of L-Methylfolate.  After doing some research myself, I found nothing but positive reviews  and great stories about people feeling that the supplement greatly helped with their mental health.

I also started taking CBD.  I found that I didn’t love the tinctures, and instead opted for CBD softgels.  Daytime CBD in conjunction with Lexapro made me too tired and foggy.  Instead, I started taking one CBD softgel with dinner and quickly realized that it made a huge difference in my sleep and my mood the following day.

By taking a softgel with dinner, I fell asleep and stayed asslep, waking up in the morning feeling fully rested.

Once I found this amazing combination, I knew it was time to start weaning off.  My friend stopped taking Lexapro cold turkey and it made her horribly sick for about a week.  I didn’t want to put myself through that unnecessarily, so I started to taper verrrrrrrrry slowly.

I first cut down from a full 10mg dose to half a pill and did not like the way I felt.  It made me feel so yucky and tired.  After a couple days I knew this wasn’t working so I went to 3/4 of a 10mg pill.

After a week or so, I cut down to 5mg pill.  I stayed there for a couple weeks then asked my dr to refill my Lexapro prescription for 5mg.

With the new 5mg pills in hand, I cut down to half of those and stayed there for a couple weeks.  We had some stressful things going on in the start of 2021, so I stuck with this dose way longer than I intended to.

About two weeks ago, I cut myself down to 1/4 of a 5mg pill, which means I’m ready to try coming off altogether probably next week.

 

side effects

 

When I made the initial cut down from 10mg to 5mg, my stomach felt gross, I was lethargic and had general brain fog.  Once I dialed back and took it slower, pretty much all of those side effects disappeared.

There are three main side effects that I’ve not been able to shake throughout this weaning off process…

Weight gain.  It’s only been a few lbs. but it’s been annoying.  These couple of lbs. came on while weaning and they’re stubborn, which is unusual for my body, which makes me realize that it’s medicine-related.

Irritability.  This one is a big one for me.  I’m generally an even-mood kinda gal.  I’m not super emotional and pretty patient.  I’m not experiencing many moods throughout this process except one major one: anger.  I’m so short-fused that everything sets me off.  I’m super short with Matt and Kenny, and I don’t even realize that I’m being short with them in the moment.  It’s as if I cannot control my agitation and my responses are like rapid fire, I respond before I even have time to think about the fact that it may be the medicine talking.  CBD really helps to mellow me out and make me a tiny bit slower to respond.  It also helps me to wake up on the right side of the bed.

Metal taste.  This one I haven’t 1000% confirmed to be related to Lexapro, but it’s the only thing that I can pin down.  I’ve have the nastiest metallic taste in my mouth for several weeks and it’s aggravating to say the least.  I’ve tried every hack I can find and nothing helps.

Cystic Acne.  This may or may not be related to the medication.  I’m hoping that it is so I can get my face to finally clear up.  I’ve been getting the super deep, oh so painful cystic pimples on my chin and forehead.

 

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4 Comments

  1. Alice
    March 20, 2021 / 12:21 AM

    Thank You for sharing this!

    • Angela Lanter
      March 23, 2021 / 7:56 AM

      Thanks for visiting, Alice!

  2. Danielle
    March 20, 2021 / 7:14 AM

    I was taking lexapro too from September 2019 for almost a year. But same thing happened to me! In the midst of pandemic, I was feeling more like myself, go figure! So I kept forgetting to take it during the summer, no side effects luckily. So when I went for my yearly dr appointment in September 2020, my dr told me to take it every other day for a week and then stop it. I still have anxiety, unfortunately it did not magically disappear but after journaling, I believe it is related to my period. It is sad to me that our hormones betray us like this! But whatever helps you will get us through it. I have to look into your past posts about the CBD, so happy you are feeling better and thank you so much for sharing. We are not alone!

    • Angela Lanter
      March 23, 2021 / 7:59 AM

      Thank you for sharing your story with us, Danielle! I’m so glad you’ve been able to come off of it!

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