Probably the most important aspect of researching Lexapro tapering information and seeking help with the task is to learn about methods of withdrawal from Lexapro that do not introduce further harm. Acquiring the information and assistance to rebuild and strengthen natural neurochemistry is a key component to getting one’s health back on track. A Lexapro tapering program could be likened to a journey requiring planning, preparation, knowledgable guides, and access to the resources that are needed in order to successfully and safely reach your desired destination.
The Alternative to Meds Center has assisted many thousands of clients over the last decade and a half to successfully complete their personal journey. Clients have found they have become much more able to regain natural mental health. Using carefully and individually designed prep work, and on-site holistic treatments, the center provides the safest methods available for Lexapro tapering under the oversight and care of fully licensed medical practitioners, therapists, nurses and other trained and compassionate care providers.
Stopping Lexapro safely is not necessarily as simple as cutting the dosage over time. While mathematics do play a role, there is much more that can be done to make the process surprisingly comfortable, as well as efficient time-wise. Our goal at the Alternative to Meds Center is to make it possible to actually improve the client’s health in the process. A gradual Lexapro cessation is important, but is one part only of a multi-faceted process that is best done within an individualized step by step process designed to lead towards regaining more robust health, and the benefits of natural mental health, without drugs.
Prescription drugs were never designed to fix or cure, but only to mask or dampen symptoms. Of prime importance is to discover the underlying reasons that a prescription for Lexapro was first started. Each person will have their own history of symptomology, and it is wise to consider the ramifications of simply gradually trying to quit Lexapro or other medication, where underlying symptoms have not yet been discovered, addressed and eliminated or reduced significantly.
One might regard each individual as a complex but divinely unique expression, who may have accumulated a number of injurious experiences or exposures that negatively affected their health. Exposure to toxic situations or toxic chemicals alike, these can have lasting detrimental effects, and may need to be addressed, rather than simply buried or anesthetized with drugs, to find authentic and lasting relief.
Generally, SSRI medications are prescribed for groupings of symptoms that have had labels affixed to them. These labels, syndromes, disorders, etc., can include what the DSM has collated into such vague terms as “generalized anxiety disorders” or “social anxiety” and similar. Due to their general nature, it could be that the labels themselves are often of lesser (or no) importance in a therapeutic sense, to the degree that they may overlook or even obscure important details of an individual’s history.
To bundle all the details specific to any one individual together in such generic terms may serve to abbreviate the vocabulary of the busy clinician; however, the careful assessment of symptoms which someone has suffered or still struggles with, can provide important sentinels or pointers that can lead to corrective measures. At the Alternative to Meds Center, we feel that taking care to understand the client and their history fully is paramount for comfortable, safe Lexapro tapering.
It may be considered just as careless to do a 15-minute interview and prescribe a numbing agent, such as a DSM-recommended antidepressant, as it would be careless to allow someone to withdraw from Lexapro, etc., without concurrently doing all that is possible to discover and correct the root causes for the symptoms that Lexapro was at best, only able to temporarily mask.
Obviously, such a careless action might put the person on a rough road to travel, and might leave the person is just as much discomfort, and possibly more discomfort than before. In the same way that one would give a person with a broken leg more than an aspirin to fix the situation, helping someone getting off Lexapro is also more complex, and helping the person must include a focus on finding root causes and offering correction or relief for these, if the process to be considered at all complete.
There has been a study showing that over 80% of antidepressants are not even prescribed by mental health practitioners.(1) They are prescribed by GP’s or other non-mental health practitioners. Why have our general medical doctors become mired in treatment for depression, anxiety, bipolar, PTSD, etc., when their training does in no way cover these aspects of human health, or how to assess, address or successfully resolve them?
And more importantly, why are GP’s not given more resources to refer patients to, where patients are manifesting an obvious need for finding the root causes and receiving effective treatments for their mental or spiritual unease? One might observe that this evolution into medical carelessness in not giving adequate treatment options has barricaded the journey to health and wellness in the most irresponsible and harmful way for quite a number of patients.
A properly and responsibly administered Lexapro tapering treatment program can be seen to include attempting to discover and then correct underlying root causes for symptoms.
Holistic, or non-drug-based psychiatry has made great inroads in treatment for mental distress. As an example, a number of studies have shown that inflammation has much to do with chronic mental symptoms such as social withdrawal, depression and anxiety.(2) A more holistic approach to treating mental or mood disturbance might include a wide range of disciplines, such as testing for food allergies, testing for exposure and accumulated neurotoxins, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and a whole host of valuable therapeutic actions.
If a patient told their doctor they were depressed, but the doctor did not inquire further, neither the doctor or the patient might ever come to realize what could be the cause of their depression. Perhaps the patient is not eating properly. They could, in fact, be manifesting a malnutrition-based lethargy and lack of energy. Or the patient’s diet includes foods the person is allergic to. But without further inquiry, a time-pressured diagnostician may decide that the person fits under the “depressed” category of diagnosis, because all the checkboxes are filled: yes they are lethargic, they are sad, they have no energy, they feel hopeless, and yes it’s gone on for more than X number of weeks.
But a longer, more directed conversation might reveal they started feeling depressed when they lost a job 6 months ago. Consequently, their reduced income doesn’t allow for purchasing enough food to eat, and their energy level has tanked so low that they cannot get out and shop, or get out of bed and actually cook a nutritious meal. Or, perhaps they still have their high-stress job with a belligerent boss, and their sleep has also suffered. Perhaps someone died that they were close to. Perhaps the person’s family is also suffering emotional fallout, and so additionally, the person also feels tremendous guilt, pressure, stress, and anxiety.
Perhaps the person moved into a new house last year, and it is older and has asbestos in the insulation. Or molds and spores are leaching through the plaster and the water pipes. A single one of these factors might precipitate unwanted symptoms. Imagine the snowball effects of multiple such factors?
So, would it be more prudent to “treat” the resulting “depression” with drugs designed to numb the symptom (and likely their appetite, their mental clarity and perhaps reduce their ability to perceive their environment), or would it be more prudent to address the problems that a longer conversation would have detailed? Would that possibly open the door to discovering other factors contributing to their depressed mood, insomnia, anxiety, sadness, etc.? Would that allow for a more complete recovery? At the Alternative to Meds Center, this has been most positively shown to be the case.
Nutritional counseling, including blood testing and correction of diet, job counseling, allergen testing, testing for the presence of neurotoxins, vocational training, family and relationship counseling, life coaching, goal setting, these are incredibly potent tools that can shed light on how to begin changing conditions for the better. These are just some examples of the comprehensive set of protocols that are used in the Alternative to Meds Center programs.
However, these are not discussions that are commonly held in the doctor’s office. It’s more often all about the checkboxes to fill, and the type of insurance the person has or doesn’t have, and above all, the whole game called “Name that mental illness” with which big pharma has saturated the medical profession, and with its sales-driven attempt to turn every challenge or difficulty into a potential new customer for drugs.
The above examples are perhaps oversimplified, but are given to illustrate the possible consequences of carelessness that has descended upon what is loosely defined as “treatment”, when treatment has become reduced to picking a label and a drug for it and that’s all.
Getting off Lexapro can be done in a healthy, safe way. The Alternative to Meds Center programs utilize a wide range of diagnostic testing, therapies and treatments to assist in two very important goals of a Lexapro tapering treatment program:
Trying to quit Lexapro on your own, without competent and experienced help can be difficult, and in some cases even disastrous. Contact the Alternative to Meds Center and find out how restorative a properly prepared and executed Lexapro tapering program can be when done thoroughly, holistically, and how such a Lexapro withdrawal program can help a person to be able to regain natural mental health.
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.