Antidepressant withdrawal can be problematic. People are often put on an antidepressant before any substantial investigative effort is made as to why they are depressed or unable to sleep. Are they really low on serotonin, and even if so, is that the only reason why? What about low thyroid? What about the accumulation of environmental neurotoxins such as heavy metals that destroy energy metabolism?
Allergies to food, whereby internal swelling slows metabolism can also be a factor. An individual may have a diet that is so poor in nutrients that they cannot create what is needed for brain health. Most people start taking medications after an emotionally traumatic experience and then several years later they are still taking the medication and struggling with withdrawal symptoms if they attempt to stop taking their medication. Many antidepressant users are bothered by side effects and may attempt to discontinue their medication without professional help.1
However, getting off antidepressants at home is rarely ever a pleasant experience. We often forget that our brain is subject to the same repercussions from a poor diet that the rest of our body would suffer from. Then again, perhaps a person may just be immersed in an unfulfilling life and needs a supportive environment to make healthy changes.
Even if the person was not serotonin deficient in the first place, medication can potentially create a serotonin deficiency. The SSRIs and SNRI’s do not create serotonin, they block the reuptake. This is so the nerve cell can use it again. It is a conservative process. When serotonin is forced to stay out in the nerve space (synapse), it degrades into its metabolites and then there is no serotonin left to reuptake. It is similar to how cocaine only combats depression for a short time. Cocaine spends all the dopamine, it does not create it. Dopamine is the reward neurochemical and when a person first takes cocaine, everything is rewarding. At some point, however, all of the dopamine is exhausted and nothing holds value or reward for the person. Serotonin is an inhibitory agent as it inhibits stimulus from our environment. It also reduces compulsive behavior and thinking and creates sleep neurohormones. When a person is in withdrawal they are likely to suffer over-stimulation, anxiety, sleeplessness, brain zaps and even OCD and even Tourette’s like symptoms. This is because of the now very real serotonin deficiency. The lab testing we do helps us understand the underlying causes of depression or other symptoms.
With these tools, we can provide a customized diet and nutrition as well as offer individual and group counseling. Medical professionals design and oversee personalized treatment protocols for each resident based on their unique biochemistry, medical assessment, and lab test results.
To combat symptoms during antidepressant discontinuation, targeted nutrients and other oral supplements designed to actually create serotonin are employed. We also seek to help remove those poisons that would debilitate the neurochemistry from achieving balance, like pesticides, and chelation of heavy metals. We call this poison removal process neurotoxin removal.
This, combined with figuring out why the person was originally depressed can create lasting success and allows a person to be happy and medication free. We also offer many complimentary and holistic healing services that help to make this process as comfortable as possible. Our medical professionals oversee the personalized treatment plan of each client in a luxury residence facility.
Alternative to Meds Center determines the medical reasons why a person might be depressed, anxious or unable to sleep. Our program uses lab testing, stabilizes the neurochemistry through use of natural substances like orthomolecular medicine, employs detoxification for accumulated environmental neurotoxins, provides personalized antidepressant withdrawal help, amino acid and other targeted nutritional therapies, peer support, yoga, massage therapies, personal exercise training, counseling, life coaching, and holistic therapies to combat depression, anxiety, and insomnia.2
Alternative to Meds Center does much more than alleviate withdrawal. We search for and correct the underlying causes of depression.
Antidepressant withdrawal responds extremely well to our methods, and can usually be accomplished within our 8-week program. If the medication is still somewhat effective for the individual and it is the withdrawal process which is problematic, targeted nutritional treatment will have a significantly positive effect in most situations. If the individual is no longer responding well to the medication, it is probable that neurochemical bankruptcy and toxic impairment is occurring, which is repairable in most cases.
The methods we employ allow individuals to get off antidepressants, expedite the process of medication withdrawal, and alleviate the majority of withdrawal effects. With corrective techniques targeted at the cause of depression, antidepressant discontinuation and sustained stability are not just a possibility, this outcome is a reality. Many staff members at Alternative to Meds Center have had similar experiences, where, with proper treatments, they have been able to overcome and reach a place of genuine understanding. If you or someone you care about is not receiving adequate relief from antidepressants, call Alternative to Meds Center and get the guidance you have been waiting to hear regarding antidepressant withdrawal.
1. Rankin L MD “11 Natural Treatments for Depression: An MD’s Tips for Skipping the Prozac,” published in Psychology Today [March 2010] [cited April 5, 2020]
2. Weir, K, “The Exercise Effect.” American Psychological Association Vol 42, No. 11 [cited April 5, 2020]
Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente. He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.