First and foremost, if anyone intends to stop taking anti-depressant medication, be these standard anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, sedatives or minor tranquilisers please first read the following;
Immediately inform your doctor of your intentions and outcome so they can safely assist you in planning a safe and gradual reduction.
It’s exceptionally important to NEVER JUST STOP TAKING ALL YOUR MEDICATION AT ONCE, and without the relevant professional support.
This could cause serious shock to your system, just as taking too much medication can have severe side-effects when you no longer need it when you have reached full psychological well-being by yourself. The key here is therefore balance and gradual, appropriate, safe reduction. A helpful and pro-active GP will be more than happy to assist and support you in planning this.
Now that’s made clear, here are some important tips to help you in taking the steps to get yourself off anti-depressants;
Know your outcome, do you want to just reduce your medication or do you intend to come off them once and for all.
In what (realistic) time frame would you like to achieve this and for what purpose – why do you want to come off them?… make sure your motivation is a strong enough reason to keep you focussed in the right direction and being pro-active!
Do this for positive reasons like wanting a good, healthy and fulfilled life rather than because you don’t want (x, y and z negative reasons – such as the side-effects/trips to the doctors etc.).
Having a positive reason and motivation will make it so much easier and quicker for you to achieve your goal, simply because ‘what you focus on… you attract!’ … So the more positive reasons you have to focus on, the better the results!
Be prepared to push through your comfort zone and tackle the root cause once and for all.
Confronting the root cause of depression and releasing it may seem really challenging, but once you’ve made this decision, it will be one of the best things you’ve ever done, giving you an amazing sense of empowerment. You’ve probably already guessed it will take honesty with yourself, commitment and courage, however the sense of achievement and freedom you will feel will more than exceed this and you’ll begin to get the life you want.
Be surrounded by the right people!
This is so important because all too often the people we are around, we become. You’ll need a strong, supportive net-work around you; people who will encourage you and help motivate you in the right way.
Positive and energetic people will help to create a sense of well-being and positivity around you that will help to inspire you rather than create a negative pull. So many people we have seen have fallen into the ‘negative social circle’ trap and unfortunately, such negativity breeds – this is no good if you are working hard to change things!
It’s also important to work with the right professionals too. These need to be practitioners you can get on well with, relate to and above all, trust; they need a positive, supportive and encouraging mind-set in order to project this onto you.
Always remember, Just because someone is a qualified professional, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are the right one for you. Or automatically good at what they do, and if that’s the case, they won’t assist you in getting the best outcome possible.
Make sure you talk to various professionals first, see them, visit them or read about their credentials, profile, and what they offer, look carefully at what others have to say about them and work out what feels best for you so you are most comfortable to get the best support you need.
There are plenty of good people out there who can really help you to let go of depression so that you never need suffer again. You can be free of all limitations and the things that hold you back in life, so let go of any excuses and work out how you can make this happen.
It can often be easy to look for reasons as to why certain things have happened in our lives, and blame others; however, the minute we STOP thinking in such a way and ask ourselves ‘what can we do about it?, what action can we take as individuals in order to cause a reaction? Things will start to rapidly and positively change.
Begin looking at what you want and look at what you could have done differently, or can learn from in going forward?
Decide now… choose to take control of your own life and make the most of it, refuse to be affected or dictated to by others because of their own limitations! Once you acknowledge personal responsibility for your life, you will instantly become empowered because it means you have recognised that you can take action and do something about it.
Create and plan lots of positive distractions and focus in your life.
The more you have plenty of other positive things to focus on, the time in reducing your medication will seem to pass very quickly and it will be a far easier process. We all need positive head space and distractions enabling us to best focus on getting exactly what we want, so here are a few ideas that may also help;
- Exercise – but make it fun and something you like
It could be anything from sex to zumba or outdoor pursuits to doing the house work to music – anything that’s active will do because it will create natural endorphins (happy chemicals) that will make you feel good (without any added side-effects!).
- Find more ways to socialise
Make sure this is with good family or friends that will act as a positive influence. Make positive changes to hang around with funny, light hearted people that will help to make you laugh as this again will help to create a great feel good factor and laughing will again generate lots of endorphins too. A positive circle will always eventually rub off on you and act as a good support.
- Watch comedy
Watch comedy programs, DVD’s, live shows, listen to funny people and avoid unnecessary serious programmes, negative media or groups/forums, or constant current affairs (the news).
- Get or look after a pet
If you don’t already have one, particularly cats and dogs can act as great companions, and are pretty amusing most of the time too. They provide a lot of love, distraction (good and otherwise) and stroking them has long been reported to help reduce stress. They can also help to ease loneliness.
- Do something you really enjoy every day
Again this could be anything from having a sweet treat to watching a film, going to your local coffee or tea shop or playing a particular game etc. Either way, think about the things you enjoy and give yourself a little something to look forward to every day, no matter how small it is.
- Reward Yourself for Positive Results and Mile Stones
Find a great way to reward yourself each time you reach another marker toward your final goal of coming off your medication.
Make sure this is something you really like, something that is quite a big deal within your means. For example, if you can, arrange to go away somewhere for a nice weekend or a fun day trip, a day at a spa, the coast, a season football ticket or match day, a day at the races etc. Either way, make it worth working for and save accordingly (a little a day can go a long way). This way it will help to keep that positive focus and motivation going.
Learn some effective Stress management/ release techniques
Do this preferably before beginning this process of reduction. This way it will assist you so you’re prepared to cope with what general life has to offer, without the need for relaying on medication.
Avoiding or confronting the root cause of what stresses you out is even better but in any case you’d be best to avoid any unnecessary panic over the withdrawal of anti-depressants, so being prepared will hold you in great stead.
There are many good stress reduction and release techniques that a good hypnotherapist, NLP coach, therapist or such like practitioner will be able to share with you so you can be extra prepared and get off to an easy and successful start!
Overall, remember to focus on the things YOU CAN DO and the things YOU DO HAVE in your life.
Give yourself positive internal dialogue – give yourself a break and tell yourself that you can do this.
Remember to keep in mind your personal reason for doing something and let that be your motivation – have a strong, detailed and clear picture of this in your mind! Keep visualising the end result, what has to happen in order for you to know you have achieved your goal successfully? – will you have enjoyed a day at work completely medication free? or will you be travelling on holiday without any pills? What is your personal indicator to convince you that you’ve finally done it and have completely stopped the need for any medication?
Keep this in mind and it will always keep you focussed in the right direction!
There is so much you can do to have a great, happy, healthy and fulfilled life so please never suffer and know that help is there if you want to do something about it.
Whichever way you choose to go forward, all the best and well wishes ahead.