Anyone gone off ad's (SSRI's)

I’m on an ap of abilify, mood stabilizer, anti-anxiety meds, and finally the anti-depressant.

I’ve been on some brand of SSRI’s since I was 19, so like 13, 14 years now on SSRI’s. I am afraid that I’ve grown tolerant to doses of ssri’s, and that I’m just taking them to avoid withdrawal at this point, and I want off.

I don’t see my pdoc until July, but I wanted to have my argument all ready. I wanted to go in knowing about alternatives to ssri’s

I’m not against a different type of anti-depressant, being sza, I need something for depression, but i think being on ssri’s for a decade is too long, I think I’ve grown too tolerant and feel no benefit anymore.

Any suggestions as to an anti-depressant that isn’t Prozac, Zoloft, etc? My pdoc had switched me from Zoloft to Prozac about 5, 6 years ago because I was too tolerant to Zoloft after about 6 years on that…thanks!


SSRI withdrawal was pretty bad for me. I was on Escitalopram for only 9 months but the withdrawal lasted 3,5 years, I can’t even imagine what it’d be like if I’d been on it for over a decade. Luckily no brain zaps, but anhedonia, anxiety and messed up sexual function, yes, those were the main things but there were other more minor things.

For me it was in what they call “windows”(it’s common for SSRI withdrawal afaik), where when I first quit after maybe a couple of months I’d get a window of feeling better, which at first I think it was maybe a couple of hours or a day. Gradually the windows got longer and the down periods shorter, until 3,5 years in the fluctuations were so small I didn’t notice them. Right now I think I don’t really have them at all anymore.

I read of many people who experienced a prolonged withdrawal that lasted 3+ years. The drug is long out of your system by then obviously but it takes time for the brain to adjust back, I think. Some, lucky, people say their withdrawal wasn’t bad or was much shorter.

I don’t know if I’d recommend reading other people’s experiences of withdrawing, it might scare you. I’m very glad I went trough the process myself though. For me all it did was numb me, it didn’t “lift” me up, I just felt nothing.

Only thing that really helped to speed up the withdrawal process was Licorice Root, you could research it. I had to quit it soon after I tried because bad heart burn. I tried the deglycyrrhizinated version but that had no effect.

What you should do is to titrate really slowly, I’m talking about very slow, like 10 percent at a time, maybe you can tolerate bigger reductions but when I went(almost) cold turkey it really messed me up for at least a year. I think you can buy liquid versions of SSRIs but I’m not sure. Otherwise maybe you can dissolve the pill in water and measure the same amount each time(or rather remove the percentage you want to reduce by, I guess it’d be easier to do with a round number like a liter).

I’d say my pdoc is great but even she wasn’t well versed in withdrawing, she told me to take half a pill for a week and then quit the next week. The speed of reducing is a matter of how much you can tolerate.

Good Luck!


When I forget to take my escitalopram for some days I feel very bad, weak and very dizzy. I think that it would take many months to stop it…

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Don’t quit cold turkey, brain zaps are the worst! I don’t know how long the titrating will be to safely go off an SSRI. I’m thinking it may be months to get off but just weeks to switch onto another AD.

I’ve always just stupidly stopped. I had withdrawal for almost a year one time, I think that was Paxil.

But the depression always returned if I wasn’t on something or other.

Prozac gave me side effects like flat affect, zombie mode and sexual dysfunction, while Zoloft just stopped working for me after about 2 years. I switched to Wellbutrin/buproprion to try a different class of AD.

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thanks guys! I know about withdrawal–I won’t go cold turkey, don’t worry.
I accidentally missed a pdoc appt and the pharmacy wouldn’t renew my rx for many months…that’s how I learned about withdrawal, by accidentally going through it!

I was just thinking of asking for a different (non-ssri) anti-depressant.
@anon32099838 I will definitely look into licorice root! Thanks for the advice!
@Skims how do you like wellbutrin?

Withdrawal from Zoloft made me horrible to be around and I had gone thru about 3 times. Lithium seems to work really good for me, but I guess getting depends on your diagnosis.

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I’ve only reduced my dose of Lexapro from 30mg to 20mg, I’ve never come off it.

I’d like to reduce again to 10mg and reduce my AP because I’ve been traveling so well (I’m on the max dose of my AP).

Good luck!


Honestly, idk. I’m on so much other junk idk what works and doesn’t. But all together seems to be working fine. I didn’t notice a difference really until lithium was added to wellbutrin, lamictal, abilify combo.

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You could try a different class of ADs! An SNRI like Effexor or one that targets dopamine like Wellbutrin.

Somehow even though I’d been on Zoloft for a year at a fairly high dose I quit it cold turkey with no bad effects. Obviously I wouldn’t recommend that, especially since you were on it so much longer. Just make sure you start something else asap because otherwise all the symptoms slowly creep back and before ya know it you’re in hell again.


I quit citalopram cold turkey and had horrible withdrawals and brain zaps like lightning shooting through my head for months… definitely tapering is the way to go. In terms of antidepressants, mirtazapine works really well along with a mood stabiliser if the mood st isn’t enough alone.

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If you are underweight like me, otherwise you may become a sumo wrestler.


I quit escilatopram cold turkey and had the brain zaps for a few weeks.

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Tis an unfortunate side effect!

I couldn’t handle SSRIs. Tried Paxil. It made me symptomatic.

I take Wellbutrin.

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