Part 2: Now that I am feeling good, I don’t need my antidepressant anymore. Right?
I have been on my antidepressant for about two years now and it has been going great! Recently my doctor has cut my dosage in half with plans to discontinue my antidepressant. At this point, I don’t really see the point in continuing to take my meds; the dosage is so small — is it really worth the hassle? It would be nice not to have to remember to take it in the morning and being depression free without meds would feel so nice. I am stopping my meds for a while and see what happens.
Most people stop taking their antidepressants soon after they start to feel improvement in symptoms. However, stopping antidepressant medication too soon makes it more likely your symptoms of depression will return. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, antidepressant medication needs to be taken for a full six to 12 months for it to work properly. It is important to always talk to your doctor before deciding to stop taking your antidepressant medication.
Having said that, there are times when it makes sense to switch to a new antidepressant medication. Usually, it takes about three weeks to determine if it is necessary to adjust the dose of the antidepressant after evaluating the patient’s condition. It takes about 6 weeks of regular use to obtain a clinical understanding of whether a given antidepressant is addressing symptoms properly.