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Cutting Back On Medication

I did it! Finally! It took me two years but, somehow I managed to go from taking 400 mg of Wellbutrin down to 100 mg.  It feels like a victory, a relief, and an achievement. The journey of being put on a medication, then tapering off to the point you are totally off, can be an emotional rollercoaster. I know cause I lived it, and here is my story.

Two years ago my father passed away and I didn’t totally enter a depression but, I wasn’t in the best place so decided, (with the agreement of my psychiatrist,) that I should go on an anti-depressant. I have been on it before so it was somewhat disappointing cause the last time I was on it was a decade ago, and needing it now meant that I wasn’t doing well but I was fine for ten whole years! I know with depression there is no steady timeline and you never know if or when it is going to strike but, it bothered me that I was good for so long then a tragedy caused me to require medication.

So I started with 400 mg and in my mind I thought ok, I’ll do this for a few months and be fine. But time can fly and you find yourself preparing your med box once a week and it just becomes a routine. Almost two years later I was still on it and thought ok, this can’t be a thing forever. So, I made a conscious decision to start tapering off.  I would take 200 mg in the morning and 100 mg at lunch for a few months.  Then I would only take 200 mg in the morning for a few weeks then finally down to 100 mg in the morning. So currently I am on 100 mg and wondering how much longer I’ll have to be on anything. And no I did not make these decisions without consulting my psychiatrist. I have a great relationship with my psychiatrist and have been in her care for about thirteen years.

Anyway, for me two years is a long time to take an antidepressant, and I’m not depressed but, I forget what life is like without it which is scary, annoying, disappointing and cautionary. I’m afraid to remove the 100 mg completely but wonder how much longer I am going to continue to take it. It’s not like if I completely stop, and things go south, that I can’t go back on but I know that will slightly traumatize me cause I’ll feel like a failure or inadequate or weak. I know these emotions are bad but it’s just the truth. What I’ve learned is that it’s important to keep in mind that figuring out medication, and your emotions behind popping a pill or not, is not easy, and not to be ignored.

I share this with you cause I know I am not the only one that plays the tapering off your meds game. And I know it is a psychological war that you can put yourself through but, if you are honest with yourself and your feelings surrounding whatever medication you might be on, it’s a place to start.

Cutting Back On Medication

Erica Loberg

Erica Loberg was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She attended Columbia University in New York and graduated with a BA in English. She is a published poet and author of Inside the Insane, Screaming at the Void, What Men Should Know About Women, What Women Should Know About Men, and Diamonds From The Rough.


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APA Reference
Loberg, E. (2018). Cutting Back On Medication. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 21, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/manic-depression/2018/08/22/cutting-back-on-medication/

 

Last updated: 27 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Aug 2018
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.