Tapering

If you are currently taking pharmaceutical medications and wish to discontinue them and switch to a more natural approach to mental health, there are many resources available to assist you.

(If you haven’t started taking medication but are wondering if it is a good decision for you, please read this blog post.)

The most important thing to be aware of is that you should never stop taking your medications cold turkey. It’s critical that you work with your prescribing doctor to gradually and safely reduce the dosage. Coming off medications too abruptly can be dangerous, and cause you unnecessary suffering.

Here are some helpful tips and informational resources for tapering:

  • Facebook has several support groups for patients who are withdrawing from psychiatric medications. Most are specific to the type of medication you are attempting to withdraw from. You can read about what others are going through, get support, and ask questions. A quick search by the name of the medication you are attempting to taper from should yield several support group choices.
  • The blog Beyond Meds has a great posting which provides fantastic information and useful tools.
  • The Icarus Project has a free booklet available as a PDF called “Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs.” They’ve also got a printable handout entitled, “Navigating Crisis.”
  • The Ashton Manual for tapering off benzodiazepines (How they work and how to withdraw)
  • This blog post titled “Helping Patients Taper Off Medication” provides helpful information.
  • Make sure to support your body as it heals from the effects of medications by utilizing some of the healing modalities discussed on this site. An excellent thing to do when experiencing withdraw symptoms is to take an epsom salt bath. This will quickly get magnesium into your body, which is usually depleted in people who use pharmaceuticals. Magnesium is calming, great for sore muscles, and will help you sleep. A great place to learn more about magnesium is www.gotmag.org.
YouTube videos:
  1. Documentary: Coming off psych drugs: A meeting of the minds (on coming off psychiatric medication) by Daniel Mackler
  2. Coming off psychiatric medications: A harm reduction approach by Will Hall
  3. Psychiatric drugs are more dangerous than you ever imagined by Peter Breggin, MD
Books:
  1. Your Drug May Be Your Problem: How and Why To Stop Taking Psychiatric Medications by Peter Breggin and David Cohen
  2. Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America by Robert Whitaker
Podcast:
Let’s Talk Withdrawal
Please use the comments section below to share other resources or information about tapering off psychiatric medications.