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going off anxiety medication

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For some reason I really need to share this with someone, and I don't want to talk with anyone in real life...


I had a realy severe case of anxiety before and after my last child was born 4 1/2 yrs ago. It took awhile, but eventually I started taking medication. I believe that the medication saved my life, and I felt healthy. For various reasons, I, with the approval of my doctor, decided to reduce the dosage and gradually go off the medication altogether.


It's been a week now with no medication. I have not had anxiety at all(and I know when I have it because I start having crazy thoughts about being sick, etc) but I am irritable and weepy. I don't like being this way, especially because it affects my relationship with dh and children.


I don't want to try another medication, and I don't want to go back to the old one. I just want to be normal!

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It may take a little while for your brain to re-adjust. It takes weeks for the meds to start working, and weeks for your body to get back to normal if you go off of them.

Hang in there - if it doesn't get better soon, you need to go back to the doc and just ask if it's still normal.

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Is it possible you reduced the dosage a little too fast? Some of the anxiety drugs really need you to go slowly when weaning off the drug. I would talk to the doctor about going back on a very low dose and weaning off even more slowly - give your body LOTS of time to adjust.


It's not a sign of failure, BTW - some drugs have bad withdrawl symptoms and take longer to "unhook" than others.

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I was on Prozac for anxiety for a few years. I went off of it and never looked back. I just wanted to be normal and off meds. But give yourself time to readjust. Exercise and good vitamins, along with a healthy diet and less stress (declutter, cut down on outside things, etc) helped tremendously!!


It took me about 6 weeks for the meds to kick and about that long for me to feel good after I went off of them.



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Is it possible you reduced the dosage a little too fast? Some of the anxiety drugs really need you to go slowly when weaning off the drug. I would talk to the doctor about going back on a very low dose and weaning off even more slowly - give your body LOTS of time to adjust.


It's not a sign of failure, BTW - some drugs have bad withdrawl symptoms and take longer to "unhook" than others.



I followed my dr's orders for reducing the medication. It was done over several months...

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Positive Thinking Every Day by Norman Vincent Peale


Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl – if I could, I would give a copy of this to almost every friend and acquaintance


Some books that may be of help. Never read them, but have heard very good things about them.

The Anxiety Book: Developing Strength in the Face of Fear by Jonathan R. T. Davidson, Henry Dreher

The Worry Cure: Seven Steps to Stop Worry from Stopping You

Natural Prozac by Joe C. Robertson



400 mg Magnesium daily – depression and anxiety are symptoms of a magnesium deficiency

Magnesium is crucial for the synthesis of serotonin and other neurotransmitters. Magnesium is usually lacking in those with depression. In fact, one study reported “rapid recovery from major depression” after treatment with magnesium, and found that magnesium helped relieve the anxiety and insomnia often associated with depression.

Many women have an undiagnosed magnesium deficiency ,which can contribute to anxiety.

If you have symptoms of magnesium deficiency – if you’re feeling edgy, have muscle cramps, suffer insomnia, crave chocolate, or notice increased urination, adjust your calcium-magnesium ratio, so that you’re taking at least as much magnesium or—ideally—twice as much magnesium as calcium.

400-1200 mg daily of Magnesium is helpful but use according to bowel tolerance. Your body knows how much magnesium you can tolerate from bowel tolerance – take as much magnesium as your bowels can tolerate

If you can, add 100 mg of magnesium to your nutritional supplements, and increase it by 100 mg every few days until your stools are soft, but not uncomfortably loose.

Take in divided doses and with meals to ensure optimal absorption – preferably more at night

Some say to not take magnesium with calcium - I think that that is preferable.

Calcium, magnesium, and many other minerals are best absorbed when they are bound to an acidic carrier such as citrate, aspartate, picolinate, or amino acid chelate. Minerals need an acidic base to break down and get used.

The most absorbable forms are magnesium citrate, glycinate taurate, or aspartate, although magnesium bound to Kreb cycle chelates (malate, succinate, fumarate) are also good.

Avoid magnesium carbonate, oxide, sulfate, and gluconate. They are poorly absorbed (and the cheapest and most common forms found in supplements).

Side effects from too much magnesium include diarrhea, which can be avoided if you switch to magnesium glycinate.

People with kidney disease or severe heart disease should take magnesium only under a doctor's supervision.

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GABA CALM – take sublingually before bedtime or a few hours before sleeping

100-500 mg daily

Try to avoid eating or drinking anything for 20 minutes before and after taking this


• Frequently experience back pain or muscle tension

• Worry excessively

• Often feel nervous, jumpy, or anxious

• Sleep problems

• Stress-related physical symptoms: headaches, IBS, and muscle aches

• Elevated cortisol levels which can lead to belly fat

• Are an emotional eater

GABA is the brain’s natural calming agent.

• Helps de-stress

• Relaxes muscles

• Suppresses cravings and helps curb emotional eating.

• Anti-depressant

• Helpful for day-to-day anxiety



Helps with:

• Sleep problems – quality and duration

• Emotional eating and evening cravings – helps suppress appetite

• Anxiety and depression as it increases serotonin levels

• Melatonin production

• Serotonin production

Best if taken sublingually - opening the capsule and pouring the contents on your tongue.

Try to avoid eating or drinking anything for 20 minutes before and after taking it.

No more than about 3 capsules a day – can safely take up to 400 mg per day – although most need less.

Loses its efficacy if taken every single day – best if you take breaks – sometimes alternating days – and sometimes take a break for an entire month or so

It may take 1-2 weeks to notice any effects and up to 6 weeks to notice the full benefits.

Be cautious about taking this if you’re on anti-depressants

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L-TRYPTOPHAN may help mitigate insomnia and depression by boosting serotonin and melatonin levels in the brain

May help cure night-time waking

500-1000 mg before bed


Vitamin B12 converts amino acids to those all-important brain transmitters, serotonin and norephinephrine. Vitamin B12 helps the body make SAM-e as well, a compound that’s involved in optimal neurotransmitter production and function. Low levels of SAM-e can lead to depression.

The sublingual or time-release form is the best absorbed

Doses of 500-1000 mcg are the usual recommendation

Oral vitamin B12 isn't well absorbed; you may need up to 1 or 2 mg daily.

Ask your doctor about B12 shots or doses you can take under the tongue.


Zinc is required by the brain in order to produce GABA, a compound that eases anxiety and irritability.

25-50 mg per day


Use zinc gluconate lozenges or OptiZinc for best absorption

According to a study, women who took a daily zinc supplement in addition to a multivitamin for 10 weeks experienced significantly less anger and depression than those who took only a multivitamin.


If you’re depressed AND suffer from chronic pain from conditions like arthritis, take SAM-E. This eases depression and acts as an anti-inflammatory to relieve aches. Avoid SAM-E if you have bipolar disease. Start with 1600 mg a day, then cut back.


Valerian is used in Chinese medicine for insomnia. This herb promotes relaxation and curbs anxiety.

Take 400 to 800 mg in divided doses throughout the day.


The Bach Flower Remedies represent a form of psychotherapy in a bottle, a noninvasive modality to address negative emotional states like:

• Anxiety

• Depression

• Impatience

A Welsh homeopath, Dr. Edward Bach recognized in the 1920s that, if herbs have healing powers, so must flowers. Over many years, he experimented with numerous flowers and trees to create a total of 38 plant-based Bach Flower Remedies.

Bach Rescue Remedy is used in many emergency rooms to help alleviate trauma.

Centuary is useful for boundary issues, especially for people who give too much of themselves

Impatiens is good for irritability and short tempers.

Oak is for those determined types who struggle on (despite setbacks) through adversity or illness.

Rock water can ease tension for those who tend to be hard on themselves.

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Melatonin is a natural hormone that promotes sound sleep.

Acts as an antioxidant - early in life, the body produces an abundant supply, but as we age, production steadily declines

Helpful for more difficult insomnia

Cleans the toxins and free radicals from cells

Helps protect cells from DNA damage

Designed to prevent toxins from entering your brain

Has been shown especially effective at preventing free radical damage to cell membranes (one of the prime targets of EMFs from cell phones etc)

If melatonin is taken in the evenings, tumor growth may be slowed

Decreases anxiety by stimulating GABA (a brain chemical that calms you down)

Supports your immune system by regenerating your thymus gland – the center of immune function

In one study, breast cancer cells were dosed with the same amount of melatonin you’d find in a young, human body. Growth of these cancer cells was blocked by 75%. At the very least, this suggests that melatonin could be an important hormone in protecting against breast cancer. Melatonin has been used in high amounts – 20-40 mg – to protect against cancer.

Helps thyroid gland produce T3

Protects your bones

Helps body use zinc: a mineral needed to lower stress and increase appetite

Slows down graying hair


When we stay up late at night or work night shifts, we keep our body from producing melatonin. This increases the risk of hypertension, heart disease, migraines, diabetes, obesity, and cancer. Studies show women night-shift workers have a 500% higher risk of breast cancer and male night shift workers have a 50% increased risk of colorectal and bone cancer. While not realizing it, many people increase this risk with inconsistent sleep/wake schedules - late night studying or partying or shift work schedules.

After the age of 45, melatonin levels decrease.

Melatonin is the only hormone supplement that’s safe to self-medicate.


• Start with 1 mg just before bedtime. Take 2 hours or less before bedtime. If this is not effective, gradually increase dosage. Melatonin dosages vary from individual to individual ~ and most do not need the highest dose. Ease into melatonin in increments. Some take up to 20 and even 40 mg.

• Do not take melatonin every single night – a few nights a week

• Do not take melatonin during the day.

• When you awaken after melatonin-assisted sleep, you should feel refreshed – not tired or groggy. If you do experience grogginess, reduce the dosage.

• Do not give to children

• If you wake up in the middle of the night, you can take another 1-5 mg.



Fiber-rich foods such as brown rice, oats, and quinoa

Cherries—when tart—and their juice

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