Why it’s important to go off of mental health medications the right way:

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There is a common theme I see among people who are on mental health medications, they’re all willing to go off of them when they are feeling better.

Mental health medications can be vital for people with mental health problems. They can make or break people’s lives. I, for one, would not be a functioning person without my bipolar medication. I learned young that I needed to be on them and luckily never questioned it afterwards, but because of the shame that can be associated with mental health prescriptions, a lot of people are eager to go off of them if they think they no longer need their help.

There are multiple problems with this, but the main one is that a lot of people think they no longer need the mental health help because their medication is still actively working. If you’ve been on an anti-anxiety medicine for years and haven’t had anxiety since that first year you were on it, it’s easy to say that maybe you’ve grown out of it, but it’s also a big possibility that you haven’t and that the medication is the reason you’ve been feeling so calm. Going off the medication often brings back all the anxiety that you had been treating.

There’s another problem I see a lot, and that that people don’t consult with their doctor. Maybe your doctor doesn’t have the insight to know whether or not you still need your medication, but they all know that you just can’t stop a prescription cold-turkey. A lot of people who decide to stop taking things without a doctors help, simply stop. They don’t wean themselves off the medications. Even if you didn’t need it anymore, cutting it cold-turkey can cause nasty withdraw symptoms.

Is it possible to no longer need your mental health medication? Of course it is, people do grow out of things, life situations can change for the better and your brain can heal itself from the trauma. Maybe you learned some good coping mechanisms and you  no longer need one in pill form. There is a lot of reasons you can no longer need your prescription, but that doesn’t mean that you should be the only one involved in the decision.

Talk to your doctors, if they agree with you, you can find a safe way to come off your medications. A way that will let your monitor your moods and keep you from getting sick from withdraws. Your health and safety is important, and knowing when and how to come off medicine is an important part of that.

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