Long term antidepressant use can disrupt many areas of the body, for example, the health of the liver, hormonal balance, kidney health, the emotions and the nervous system. When an artificial substance is removed or weaned from the body, such as in your case the anti-depressant this can have a strong effect on the bodies ability to cope and the body begins to crave the substance. This creates a dependancy situation and therefore when it is removed from the body many people will experience very strong detoxification and addictive symptoms. These feelings should not be long term and the body should re-balance over time if allowed. However these weaning reactions can be very overwhelming for many individuals and very difficult to move through.
Reducing nervous system medication can be very difficult, for this reason Naturopaths and Doctors will recommend a very slow weaning period. If it takes your body 6-12 months to reduce and cease taking the medication and you have positive results then this is fantastic news. Don’t be hard on yourself and expect miracles in a short time. An anti-depressant is masking many emotions and these feelings can rise very strongly in people as it is removed from the body and homeostasis is regained. Take it slow and realise that it is your bodies natural reaction to rebalance itself and rebalance the hormones and emotions also. If you reduce your dosage by half and feel that your wellbeing has improved, stay on that dosage for a short time before reducing further. You will get there eventually and remember that one year of reducing the medication and experiencing the associated feelings of withdrawals is better than continuing on the medication for life. Also remember that lose dose antidepressant therapy is more beneficial for some individuals than none if they require some medication in severe cases.
LIVER AND ANTI-DEPRESSANT MEDICATION
It is also beneficial to support the health of the liver whilst reducing nervous system medication as it is the role of the liver to detoxify and remove the medication from the body. Often cleansing the liver and supporting kidney health can have a positive effect on the nervous system as the body feels lighter and brighter and therefore the emotional aspect of this. It is a Naturopathic philosophy to address liver function in cases of anti-depressants. The emotion of anger is stored in the liver so often this is a common symptom that may arise when the liver is congested and requiring a cleanse.
There are many herbal and nutritional formulas you can consider taking even whilst still taking anti-depressants as many of them, except St Johns Wort are contraindicated. However please speak with your Healthcare practitioner when introducing any new therapies into your regime.
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
- The nutrients that are specific when treating depression are EPA and DHA from omega 3 fish oils/ essential fatty acids.
- One common nutrient deficiency seen when the nerves are strung out is the family of B Vitamins, specifically B5 (to minimise the exhaustion of cortisol as it is a precursor to its production) and B6
- Magnesium is also a vital nutrient for feeding the nerves and muscles and is depleted easily during times of stress
- Australian Bush flower remedies may help to take the edge off anxiety and promote a sense of wellbeing. Black Eyed Susan, Bauhinia, Crowea, Dog Rose, Gymea Lily, Jacaranda, Paw Paw and Southern Cross. Bach Flower Rescue Remedy may help to ease the burden of stress and tension caused by emotional trauma
- The following herbs are beneficial for nervous system stress, anxiety and depression: Withania, Licorice, Siberian Ginseng, Magnolia, Zizyphus, Passionflower, Oats, Chamomile give strength, grit and integrity to the nerves while calming the stress responses