What to Know If You Want to Stop Taking Your Mental Health Medication

What to Know If You Want to Stop Taking Your Mental Health Medication

What to Know If You Want to Stop Taking Your Mental Health Medication 150 150 Aware Behavioral Health

There are many reasons you might want to discontinue mental health medication. You may not like the side effects, the cost of a prescription can be hard to manage, or you may feel like your condition no longer requires a prescription to manage the symptoms. You may also have a personal preference for discontinuing the medication.

But most prescription medicine medications should not be stopped without significant consideration. There can be a number of risks to quitting psychiatric medication that you will want to be aware of, and the safest way to manage this process is with the help of a psychiatrist in Dallas who can confirm that stopping the medication is right for you, and give you guidance to reduce the risks and address any challenges.

How to Plan to Quit a Prescription Medication 

Whenever you are considering stopping a medication for a mood disorder, anxiety, or any other mental health condition, your first step should almost always be to talk with your doctor. Most mental health conditions that require medication are not cured by the medication. Rather the symptoms are effectively managed.

Your doctor can help you determine if you are feeling better as a result of medication and should continue taking that medication to avoid relapsing. They can also make recommendations for any changes that can help you reduce unpleasant side effect 

If you still want to stop taking a medication, your doctor can provide information about what you might expect to see during withdrawal and how to safely discontinue the use of individual medications with steps such as:

  • Avoiding Cold Turkey Stops – Stopping cold turkey is when you completely stop taking your medication. This can lead to intensive withdrawal symptoms and, depending on the prescription, can be dangerous for your health. Instead, work with your psychiatrist to gradually reduce your dose over a period of time. This can still cause withdrawal symptoms, but they will be far more manageable.
  • Plan your Withdrawal for a Non-Stressful Time – Whether your mental health medication is helping you manage anxiety or an entirely different condition, withdrawal symptoms can cause you to experience heightened anxiety even when tapering down slowly. Scheduling your withdrawal at a time in your life where you do not have many external stressors, such as big life changes, can help keep those feelings more manageable.
  • Quit One Medication at a Time – If you are planning to withdraw from multiple medications that you are using to manage your condition, stop them one at a time. Your psychiatrist will advise you on which order you should use based on the way that prescriptions interact and if you need to change any doses of other prescriptions to compensate during this process.
  • Consider Talk Therapy – Although you are coming off medication, CBT therapy and other forms of psychotherapy can be very helpful in managing your mental health symptoms and any difficulties with withdrawal, which can help make the process easier. 

Whenever you have concerns about your mental health medication, or want to make changes to the drugs you are taking, a medication review from your psychiatrist is a valuable way to make sure that your medications are working for you and make any changes. 

Aware Behavioral Health offers psychiatric medication review in Dallas to help you be sure that you are taking the right medications for your needs. Whether you are looking to better manage a mental health condition, reduce side effects of current medications, or you are considering stopping medications, we can give you the support you need throughout the process. Contact us today to get the help you need with your medication.

Dallas Psychiatrist Dr. Surin Sehdev

Dr. Surin Sehdev is the lead psychiatrist at Aware Behavioral Health in Dallas (formerly Bedford, TX). He has been working in the psychiatric field for 7+ years. He specializes in opioid withdrawal, ADHD, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and sexual dysfunction. Content on this blog and this website should be considered informal and should not be considered medical advice, as may be written and/or edited by non-medical staff. Please contact Dr. Sehdev for specific and accurate diagnoses and treatment information.

All stories by : Dallas Psychiatrist Dr. Surin Sehdev