For some, antidepressants are longterm and necessary to maintaining your health and wellbeing. Others, though, might expect for their use of antidepressants to be short-term. But when you go on a medication knowing (or at least assuming) there will be an end, you never really consider what that end will look like. Will it look like happiness, whatever that looks like? Will it look like structure? Will it look like peace? You tell yourself that your body will tell you when it's ready to go off medication. You tell yourself you'll just know.
But when years have gone by and you only ever planned for months, you start to worry about what life off antidepressants looks like. You forget about what it was like to wake up in the morning without a pill to take. You forget what it was like to have severe ups and downs. You remember that moment you filled the prescription and wonder if maybe you didn't need it. You remember that moment you took your first pill and crossed every finger and toe that good feelings were on their way, and that the black cloud would now linger at bay.
So if now's not the time to go off of your antidepressants, will it ever be? You were probably expecting to feel sure. You were probably expecting to wake up one morning and say "now it's time". You want to taper-down, but you're scared of what will rise to the surface if you do. These are 11 thoughts you have when considering going off your antidepressants:
"I Need To Take Time Off."
"I Should Go Away."
"What If I Get Fired?"
"I Should Wait Until After This."
"What If I Have A Mental Breakdown?"
Some people have more severe reactions than others after going off of their medication. But if you follow your doctor's directions, the transition shouldn't lead to a breakdown. The important thing to note is that if you if you are concerned about that, you might not be ready — and that's OK. There is no reason to discontinue your medication unless it's a personal choice that you want to make for yourself.
"What If I Lose Someone?"
"Will It Hurt?"
"Is It Too Soon?"
"What If It's Changed Me?"
"What If I Need To Go Back On?"
"Should I Let Anyone Know?"
You should definitely let your doctor know, as it's very dangerous to go off antidepressants without a doctor overseeing the process. As for the rest of the people in your life, it's up to you. It's probably in your best interest to let the people who you spend the most time with know about what you're going through. It might help them help you, if you need the support. But ultimately, outside of your doctor's advice, it's no one's business but your own — so only you can be the judge.