There may be both physical and mental health benefits of stopping antidepressants. However, this should never be done without consulting a healthcare professional first.

Taking antidepressants can help with symptoms of depression. Doctors may recommend stopping antidepressants after recovering from depression. Stopping antidepressants may also be necessary for individuals experiencing negative side effects.

Antidepressants can improve sleep, appetite, and mood. They typically begin working within 4–8 weeks. In most cases, doctors recommend taking an antidepressant for at least 6-12 months. In most cases, antidepressant therapy is recommended for longer.

Longer use of antidepressants may increase the risk of certain side effects. They can also lose their effectiveness over time. Stopping antidepressants due to side effects can be beneficial. However, this should be evaluated by a mental health or healthcare professional on a case-by-case basis.

This article will explore the benefits of stopping antidepressants. Read on to learn about when to stop antidepressants, what to expect, and more.

Suddenly stopping antidepressants can cause withdrawal symptoms and other negative effects. Individuals should always consult with a healthcare professional before stopping medications like antidepressants.

Learn more about these effects here.

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In some cases, antidepressants can increase feelings of tiredness or lightheadedness. They can also make it more difficult to think clearly.

These side effects can have a negative effect on mental health. For individuals experiencing this, stopping antidepressants can help restore energy levels and clearer thinking. This may help improve mental health for certain individuals.

Learn more about antidepressants.

Antidepressants can cause a variety of physical side effects. These may include:

Stopping antidepressants can help end these side effects. This can increase physical well-being and comfort for some.

Weight gain is a common side effect of antidepressants. These medications can also increase feelings of fatigue. This can make it more difficult to take part in a regular exercise routine. A lack of physical activity can lead to additional weight gain.

Long-term use of antidepressants may increase the chance of gaining weight. Stopping antidepressants may help reduce the risk of weight gain. It can also make it easier to maintain a healthy weight for some people.

However, it is important to remember that weight loss is not always healthy. It can also be a sign that depression has returned.

Learn more about antidepressants and weight gain.

Antidepressants can negatively affect sexual function. Almost 100% of people who take a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) will experience changes in sexual function. These changes can begin within 30 minutes of first taking this medication.

Taking an antidepressant can make it harder to have an orgasm. It can also reduce libido for people of all genders. Stopping antidepressants may help restore sexual function.

Learn more about antidepressants and sexual function.

Longer use of antidepressants can increase the risk of side effects. Long-term use may also decrease the effectiveness of these medications. Taking antidepressants for a long period of time can make it harder to taper off.

Stopping antidepressants can decrease the negative effects of long-term use. It can also make the process of tapering off these medications easier.

Individuals who stop antidepressants can also explore other treatments, like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of therapy helps people challenge negative thought patterns. This can help identify the root cause of depression and reduce the risk of a relapse. Individuals can discuss other treatment options with a healthcare or mental health professional.

Learn more about therapy for depression.

Stopping antidepressants can lead to a range of side effects. These may include:

In most cases, these side effects resolve within a couple of weeks. Gradually tapering off an antidepressant can reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms.

Anyone planning to discontinue an antidepressant should speak with a doctor. Certain antidepressants can cause more severe withdrawal symptoms than others. It is important to have medical supervision when stopping these medications.

Learn more about the timeline of stopping antidepressants.

Stopping antidepressants may not be the right choice for everyone. Individuals who have a history of depression relapsing might need to take them longer.

Also, it may be necessary to keep taking antidepressants after depression symptoms improve. Continuing on these medications for 6 months after symptoms improve can help reduce the chance of relapsing.

There is no single timeline to stop taking antidepressants. Stopping these medications depends on the individual and the type of medication. To learn more about when not to stop taking antidepressants, consult with a healthcare or mental health professional.

Read about the long-term use of antidepressants.

Side effects typically appear within 5 days of stopping an antidepressant. These side effects typically resolve on their own over time.

Stopping an antidepressant suddenly can lead to serious side effects. Gradually reducing the dose over a period of time, or tapering, can help manage these side effects. If an individual experiences severe side effects, they may need to taper off their medication more slowly.

Anyone experiencing side effects after stopping antidepressants should share their concerns with a healthcare professional. They can recommend techniques to manage these side effects specific to each individual.

Read more about the symptoms of antidepressant withdrawal.

Individuals interested in stopping antidepressants should speak with a healthcare professional to learn more. A healthcare professional can recommend a safe timeline for tapering off these medications.

After beginning to taper off an antidepressant, anyone who notices new or worsening side effects should also speak with a doctor. In most cases, these side effects are not serious and resolve over time. However, only a healthcare professional can determine the severity of side effects and recommend treatment options.

The following are some questions people frequently ask about stopping antidepressants.

How long does it take for your brain to go back to normal after antidepressants?

The amount of time it takes to feel “normal” after antidepressants varies widely. Most people recover from withdrawal symptoms after a few weeks. However, in rare cases, it can take months or years to feel completely back to usual.

How does it feel to come off antidepressants?

Some people do not experience any side effects when coming off antidepressants. Others may experience nausea, sleeplessness, anxiety, or even flu-like symptoms. Tapering off an antidepressant slowly can help reduce these and other symptoms.

Antidepressants can help individuals with depression manage their symptoms. In most cases, healthcare professionals recommend taking these medications for at least a year. Taking antidepressants for longer can increase the risk of side effects. It may also reduce the effectiveness of these medications.

Stopping antidepressants may lead to improved mental clarity, weight loss, and restored sexual function. It may also cause side effects, but these are typically mild and go away on their own.

Anyone interested in learning more about stopping antidepressants should speak with a healthcare or mental health professional. Individuals should never stop taking a medication like antidepressants without the supervision of a healthcare professional.