Why I Stopped Taking Anxiety and Depression Medications (Prozac and Lexapro)

what is up everybody this is Chris from
the rewired soul where we talk about the problem but focus on the solution and if
you’re new to my channel my channel is all about mental health so if you’re
somebody like me who is regularly trying to improve your mental and emotional
well-being make sure you subscribe and ring that notification bell and we are
about to go on a little journey I’m going to discuss my history with mental
health medication specifically anti-anxiety antidepressant medications
and I know I know that you check that disclaimer at the beginning of this
video but just to reiterate do not do anything with your medications without
talking to a doctor okay it is unsafe and you don’t want to do that alright I
will share a little bit about the one time I made that dumb mistake anyways
before I get to why I am no longer taking my anti-anxiety / antidepressant
medications let me explain why I got on him in the first place so some of you
know I’m a recovering drug addict and alcoholic I got clean on June 23rd 2012
that was my 27th birthday and I didn’t know anything about mental health or
mental illness or anything like that but throughout my life I just knew that my
brain was acting different than everybody else
right specifically when it came to anxiety that is like my primary disorder
I’ve struggled with depression as well but I started self-medicating with drugs
and alcohol that was how I was getting through it but as many of you know
substance abuse only makes things worse so anyways when I got sober in 2012 I
was having a panic attack alright and I was telling my mom about
and my mom is a psychologist and I was telling her like what was going on I was
confused I had no idea what was happening it was in the early stages of
my recovery and she’s like it sounds like you’re having a panic attack she’s
like you should go see your doctor and I was like okay so I went down and I saw
my primary care doctor and yeah after some appointments and everything like
I was diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder as well as depression
so she put me on the medication lexapro lexapro is an antidepressant but it also
helps with anxiety because I am a recovering drug addict I can’t take
potentially addictive medications so I can’t take things like xanax or valium
those medications act a little bit quicker right they go straight to the
amygdala and the brain where the fight flight or freeze response is going off
it helps calm that sucker down but as some of you know those medications can
become addictive so I was put on lexapro and I stayed on that and it managed my
anxiety for a very long time um I got to a point where this is something that I
don’t know if anybody else struggles with this who was a recovering pill
addict but I was about a year or two into my recovery after being on the meds
and I just I didn’t want to be on any medications like my primary drug of
choice was prescription painkillers and I didn’t like how pills were holding
holding me hostage like that’s what my brain told me and I don’t want to be on
any medication so one day I made the very dumb decision that once I run out
of my medication I’m just gonna I’m gonna stop right and I I ran out I
stopped taking them for a day or two it was fine and then I was at work and I
started having a panic attack and I was freaking out and was on a
Friday and my doctor’s office was closed so I couldn’t get a refill and this is
one of the many reasons why you don’t do this and I couldn’t get a refill until
Monday so it’s like my dumb decision led to me having to deal with my anxiety all
weekend long until I was able to get that refill but anyway it’s getting off
your medications without supervision from a doctor it’s dangerous some of
these medications have very very terrible side effects like some of them
make you even more depressed some of them give you
ideation to take your own life and things like never ever ever ever get off
your meds cases without a doctor’s supervision so
I got back all my medications and eventually I realized that my lexapro
wasn’t doing as much as it was before I got tolerant right so I went to my
doctor I got my dosage up I think this was years ago so don’t quote me on this
I think I was at ten milligrams and she upped it to twenty milligrams and about
three months later I got that tolerance again and I told her and she was like
well I can’t really do much like this is the maximum dosage I can give you and
that’s actually when I found meditation those of you who watched my interview
with dr. Judson Brewer the other day talking about you know I explained I got
into meditation because my my medications were only working so much
and mindfulness meditation kind of filled that gap of what the medications
were no longer doing for me but later I I started you know recognizing the the
side effects right like I had doubled the side effects for a while there’s a
wide range of them I won’t go into all the details the most predominant one was
like that that feeling of numbness like just not feeling any emotions so I
talked with my doctor I was like hey I would like to get off these medications
I’ve been doing a lot of like self-care when it comes to meditation when it
comes to 12-step meetings and journals and everything like that so she
gradually helped me taper off and I stayed off for a while I actually did
this a couple times but eventually my anxiety would kick back in primarily
because of life circumstances like one of the times my anxiety came back was
when I started dating this this woman like way before my beautiful girlfriend
Tristan and it was a toxic relationship and my anxiety flared up so I got back
on the meds but anyways the side effects were there again so I talked to her and
she switched me to Prozac and this was about a year year and a half ago so I
started taking Prozac and it was all good I took it for a long time
not as many side effects there were periods when I started feeling that
miss again but it was more rare than it was on the lexapro and around Christmas
time I think it was December I discussed emotional regulation in recent videos
that I’ve done on borderline personality disorder and dialectical behavioral
therapy but emotional regulation is something that I’ve struggled with most
of my life I’m not diagnosed with BPD but some people do struggle with
emotional regulation and for a few years now my mom’s recommended getting on a
mood stabilizer so I went to my doctor and I was like hey what do you think
about me getting off of my antidepressants and me getting on a mood
stabilizer lamictal that’s the one my mom recommends she
she’s been on it for a while now and my doctor was like yeah sure like you know
we could try it you know so yeah in December I tapered off of the Prozac I
started taking lamictal and it’s been it’s been three months that I’ve been
off my anti depression anti-anxiety medications so yeah like my experience
my experience with it it’s been it’s been good like in the last three months
even in the current state of you know what’s going on in the world uh my
anxiety hasn’t been bad hasn’t been terrible I’ve had a couple flare-ups in
the last three months but I’ve been turning to the other tools that I have
right I’ve been trying to meditate every single morning for at least five to ten
minutes I have an awesome therapist who I try to talk to at least once a week I
use the better help online therapy app there’s an affiliate link down in the
description if you want to check it out but I try to do like an appointment with
her every week but if not we do like little check-ins because you can like
message on the app and everything but she gives me exercises and things like
that too I’m a huge fan of rational emotive behavioral therapy for me that
is one of the the best therapies for my type of anxiety my anxiety is very
rational all right I get into these these thought loops and ruminations and
everything that are completely irrational so rational emotive
behavioral therapy they have like that ABCs right like the activating event
event the belief the consequences and you kind of look at it and you start to
retrain how your mind is thinking about these things right I also do a little
bit of cognitive behavioral therapy that is similar it’s catching these certain
thoughts or the behaviors that we have associated with those thoughts that
aren’t really helping us and oftentimes they’re hurting us you know so there’s a
lot of different therapies that I use to manage my anxiety when it comes to my
depression I have a video coming out with dr. Alex Corp it’s actually a
podcast episode too but anyways I recently reread his book upward spiral
it’s about the neuroscience behind depression and there’s so many little
things that you can do to start boosting your serotonin and endorphins and
dopamine and oxytocin and all these other things so I try to do those things
if I start to feel down and depress one of the best things – one of the best
things is a gratitude list alright just five things five things that you’re
grateful for it helps your brain get out of this tunnel vision on the negative
and it forces you to look at the positive there’s a lot of studies a lot
of research around this I don’t always write it down sometimes I
just go through a list of my head aside from just like typical mindfulness
meditation I practice loving-kindness meditation like for me when I look at my
mental health issues a lot of it is very self centered right I’m thinking about
me me me me me me me loving kindness medication not medication
loving-kindness meditation is sending sending kind thoughts and well wishes to
other people right I think I did a video bringing people through that meditation
a while back but that’s very helpful for me like I started out sending these
thoughts and well-wishes to the people closest to me and then I kind of brought
in that that feeling of love and compassion
to others right you know it expands kind of like everybody you know I hope that
you’re happy and healthy and loved you know and all that kind of stuff but yeah
it’s been it’s been good and like for me it’s just I want I want people to know
that they are there are options people don’t like when I talk about it but but
yeah we are we are kind of trained to believe that medications are the the
end-all be-all like you take this pill it will fix you and from my experience
as well as the experience of many others who have spoken to over the years like
that’s not the case medications are not a silver bullet and
that’s why I feel is so important for all of us to not only take our
medications but we have to do other things as well
like something some of you might know of if you’ve been in a psychology class is
the biopsychosocial model right they use this for mental illness that uses for
addiction but not only is that the biological factors right like the
chemical imbalances the the genetics right but also your thought patterns the
psyche the psychological part the social part like what are things happening in
your life right by constantly being stressed about money
or family or whatever it is like the situation we’re all in right now where
we have to quarantine these things can affect your mental health as well so if
we just focus on the biological aspect we’re neglecting all these other things
and a lot of us start to wonder why am I not doing better yet why right so
regardless of what you took away from this video if you are on medications and
you’re still not feeling as good as you would like to start thinking about that
a little bit so thinking about what else you can do in your life to improve your
mental health like it’s more than just taking a pill every single morning or at
night or whatever it is start looking at your thought patterns and you know
different forms of therapy if you can’t afford therapy like I’m telling you
there are so many worksheets online there are so many books on different
forms of thier and everything like that there are so
many things that you can do even if you cannot afford therapy some of the
smartest people in the world who created these therapies have put that knowledge
and that wisdom into books and you can educate yourself about them and start
doing those practices I love therapy because it’s like a check-in where they
let you know like hey are you still on the right path but sometimes we have to
work with what we have and if we don’t have the money to afford therapy we got
to do other things and meditation is totally free my entire meditation
practice started off with free smartphone apps you know what I mean but
anyways I would love to hear from all of you about your experience with
anti-anxiety medications antidepressants how if they affected you have you ever
come off of them just share your experience down in the comments below
because I’m just one guy I’m just one guy and I like to hear about the
experiences from others alright anyway so that’s all I got for this video if
you liked this video please give it a thumbs up if you’re new make sure you
subscribe and ring that notification bell and a huge huge thank you to
everybody supporting the channel over on patreon Souls everybody who supports the
channel by buying my mental health books of the rewired soul comm as well as the
merch from the merch store alright thanks again for watching I’ll see you
next time

5 thoughts on “Why I Stopped Taking Anxiety and Depression Medications (Prozac and Lexapro)

  1. Try the online therapy app I personally use for my mental health: https://tryonlinetherapy.com/rewiredsoul

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  2. I would absolutely love to not be on any medication at all but unfortunately for me, I cant. My anxiety, due to GAD, OCD and PTSD (mixed in with being in early recovery) can be so out of control I need my antidepressants to function. It keeps my anxiety down to where I'm not obsessing, thinking my lungs are collapsing and I'm having a heart attack (that's what it feels like constantly). And I need my sleeping meds or I have horrid nightmares and crippling insomnia. Maybe I'll get there one day. I'm only 22 so there is hope but I'm proud where I am now.

  3. I tried to taper 1 time off of my Celexa and Wellbutrin and no thank you I'm staying on them and need them 😁

  4. I tried both those meds for 2 months an they did nothing for me. I have a lot of stuff. But yea they didn’t help.

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