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tapering off celexa

Celexa Tapering

According to the British Medical Journal, over the ten year period from 2010 and 2018, prescriptions for antidepressants such as Celexa more than doubled, which has left a significant number of users scrambling for help with Celexa tapering. (1) As of 2017, the American Psychological Association and the National Center for Health Statistics estimated that nearly 13% of the entire population were taking antidepressant medications. Nearly 20% of people over 60 years of age were taking antidepressants in 2017. (2) Likely these numbers have continued to rise as they have done for each of the last 10 years.

What could be responsible for these astounding statistics? Do we have an epidemic of mental illness in the world? Or could it be something else at play?

Part of the “successful” marketing strategy of drugmakers has been side-stepping the addictive properties of Celexa and other antidepressants. There is no medical practitioner who can truthfully say that stopping Celexa, etc., after six months or a year will not produce Celexa withdrawal side effects. But rarely will that language be heard in the every-day doctor’s office. Instead of explaining the addictive mechanism of antidepressant drugs, or enlightening their patient on what might be expected when stopping Celexa, the doctor who received zero training on treating addiction or dependence to drugs is equipped to say very little at all. And what the doctor does say will most likely be some version of what it says on the back of a pamphlet that some drug sales agent left with them. The pamphlets say nothing at all about how to get off Celexa, etc. or what to expect during Celexa cessation.

What these colorful sales pamphlets are full of is jargon intended to sound convincing and scientific, (but unscientific) and it seems semantics have been cleverly used to blur the facts. Patients are typically advised that Celexa will raise the patient’s serotonin levels, and that will fix their depressed state. They might also be told that getting off Celexa may result in a “relapse” of their depression or other “mental illness”. These are the standard conversation snippets that occur between doctor and patient on any given day in America, and indeed, around the world.

This might even be a reasonable approach were it not for one other set of particularly troubling facts:

  1. The majority of drug trials that show there are benefits of taking antidepressant drugs were funded by the drugmakers. (3) (4)
  2. The majority of these studies were never publicly released. This is sometimes called “cherry-picking” in drug trials.
  3. The drug trials used to back up claims of how effective these drugs are were all done over an astonishingly short 8 week period.
  4. The FDA issued suicide watch warnings after antidepressant drug trials showed doubling of suicide risk over that of placebo, particularly among young people.
  5. When a person decides on a Celexa taper, withdrawal results in symptoms and intensity in symptoms never before experienced by the patient.
  6. The cause of depression as a “chemical imbalance” long held by big pharma, and still the basis of its feverish sale pitch, has never been proven. The source of this theory remains obscure, and despite decades of touting it as trustworthy, and bonafide as a basis for drug treatment, currently there is a strong trend in psychiatry in general to discard it, and let the theory of mental illness=chemical imbalance just die as quick and silent a death as possible. (3)
  7. Similarly, antidepressants sold as a method of correcting such a chemical imbalance never did and never could correct a deficit in natural hormones or natural neurotransmitters. What these drugs actually do is to cause extant natural stores of neurochemicals to be burned up at an accelerated rate, for a short time causing a temporary rise in mood. This is how cocaine produces a lift in mood. Ultimately though, this drug-induced acceleration definitely does result in a deficit. No drug can create more neurochemicals, especially in the exact measure required, unique to each person. Over the long-term, drugs can only drain stored neurochemicals, and thereby disrupt and alter the CNS and brain chemistry drastically.
  8. The British Journal of Medicine notes that the psychiatric manual for diagnosis and treatment, currently DSM-V was put together by a panel of members, the vast majority of whom are financially tied to the pharmaceutical industry. (4)

Reasons to Opt for Celexa Cessation

The most typical experience of antidepressant users is that either the drugs didn’t work at all, or that they caused unsustainable discomfort and intolerable symptoms, also called side effects. Some of the more common side effects of antidepressants such as Celexa are related to the degradation of serotonin and other natural neurochemicals the CNS needs for normal function. Some of these effects reportedly are:

  • worsened depression
  • suicidal ideation
  • increased anxiety, nervousness, agitation, etc.
  • emotional outbursts, crying spells, rage, etc.

These adverse reactions and the lack of results from the drugs may lead to wanting to withdraw from Celexa. There are also other concerns which may lead one to consider Celexa tapering. Treatment for Celexa withdrawal is available at the Alternative to Meds Center.

Planned Pregnancy and Stopping Celexa

celexa tapering

If a woman is taking an antidepressant such as Celexa, and is planning on becoming pregnant, she may want to complete the Celexa taper well before the time of conception. While many “authorities” in proximity to (and likely financially supported by) the drug industry may say that taking drugs during pregnancy is considered relatively safe, there are statistics that show a connection between antidepressants and a doubling or trebling of frequency in birth defects in the baby, as well as postpartum hemorrhage or other complications in the mother. (5) In general, studies document that Celexa is linked to adverse effects relating to the coagulation of the blood, which would remain a concern if planning a pregnancy or for many other health reasons. (6)

A cursory search on the topic of SSRI’s and birth defects will produce much information, some of which may be confusing and contradictory. One would be well advised to search carefully through all possible unbiased literature for oneself, to make a decision regarding getting off Celexa, or other prescription medications prior to pregnancy. A properly done Celexa taper may be considerably less risky than attempting withdrawal from Celexa during pregnancy. Before trying to quit Celexa, seek competent medical advice from a trusted and knowledgable caregiver.

SPECIAL WARNING RE: Trying to Quit Celexa

Please be aware that the FDA advises against abrupt or sudden Celexa tapering methods. If you are considering trying to quit Celexa or any SSRI drug, this should only be attempted with proper preparation, education, guidance and medical oversight in place.

Help with Celexa Withdrawal Treatment

Please contact us at the Alternative to Meds Center for information that you may be searching for regarding how to get off Celexa safely and gradually. Clearly, the more information one can acquire regarding how to get off Celexa or other drugs in a gentle and safe manner, the better one will be equipped for a successful outcome.

The Alternative to Meds Center makes its prime focus tapering medications safely and under medical oversight, with a full roster of fully licensed practitioners and clinicians who are well versed in helping our clients overcome barriers such as physical or mental discomfort during medication tapering programs We are the leading authority on safe Celexa tapering help, delivered in an exceptionally comfortable and luxurious in-patient setting.

  1. NHS Prescribed Record Number of Antidepressants Last Year,, by Gareth Iacobucci, published 29 March, 2019, accessed Sept. 9, 2019.
  2. NCH (National Health Data Statistics) data brief #283, published in 2017, accessed Sept. 9, 2019.
  3. Don’t Say that Depression is Caused by a Chemical Imbalance,, published Aug 2018 by Psychology Today, accessed Sept. 9, 2019.
  4. Comparison of DSM IV and DSM 5 Panel Members’ Financial Association with Industry: A Pernicious Problem Persist, published by the BJM March 2012, accessed September 9, 2019,
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention article, Key Findings: A Closer Look at the Link Between SSRI’s and Birth Defects, reviewed March 2018, accessed September 9, 2019.
  6., accessed September 9, 2019

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

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.

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