Quitting cold turkey

I’ve decided that I’m not going to take anxiety medication anymore. It’s just too tough on my body. And honestly, the withdrawals are even harder for my body to deal with when I don’t have them then the side effects are when I do. If I’m being totally honest with myself, I’ve been using them to hide from the sheer misery that is my life… and instead of hiding from it, I really need to learn to cope. This is my life, after all.

Addition after the fact: After reading some of the comments on this post, I am feeling a need to clarify. My decision to stop with medication is entirely related to my struggles with medication itself. I am a huge advocate for taking medication if it is right for you and if it helps you. I am not now, nor will I ever, judge anyone for taking medication. In my personal case, it’s reached a point where it is doing more harm than anything else and I need to make a change. I hope that you can understand.

I haven’t been sleeping lately. I doze off for twenty or thirty minute periods two-to-three times in the night, but for the most part, I just end up laying there. Perhaps it’s stress. Perhaps I’m just wired different. Either way, the nights give me a long time to think. I have been taking supplements to help me sleep but the supplements aren’t working anymore so there’s no point in continuing to take it.

Self quarantine has also given me a lot of time to think. Frankly, I’m not too happy with myself. I’m also not really happy with the people who’ve been taking advantage of me for far too long now. People take advantage of my kindness and it’s time I stand up for myself. I saw a quote that said “you can be a good person with a kind heart and still say no” and I realized that’s who I need to be.

65 thoughts on “Quitting cold turkey

  1. V, please don’t quit it cold turkey. I know it’s tempting and I know the kind of determined thinking behind it, but you said it yourself— the withdrawals are harder for your body. So just try to come off slowly, at least.

    Do you have a supply problem? There are multiple reasons why right now is a bad time for you to come off them at all (if they are genuinely helping with the amount of anxiety you feel), but at the end of the day it’s still your choice, and you know yourself best. Just do it gradually 😁.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. What about your boyfriend— you must be worried about not seeing him for a long time? Is it possible for him to come stay with you, or something, or is he with family, or still working?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s not safe for him to travel here right now. They haven’t banned domestic travel, but with corona on the rise, they’re strongly warning against it. And really, I don’t want to put him in harms way.

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  2. Good for you V!! Recognizing that others are taking you for granted means you can see your own worth and know you deserve better. You sure do. Sending you supportive, loving and peaceful vibes gf🥰❤👏✌

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Love this, the taking control part not necessarily the cold turkey.
    You do you. I gave up sleep meds and progesterone cold turkey as I wasn’t sure which one made me bat shit crazy (progesterone) it was hard but I stepped up the yoga and went home after work and got into bed each day for two months. You only get one life V so no time to be miserable or feeling trapped. You have support and you’ll be surprised at how amazing life truly is when you change a few things. Love & Light 🌟

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I went along with it for over a year all the while knowing it was making my moods plummet to scary depths. Took a couple of months to get it out of my system without any repercussions. I think I was glad to be rid of it and that overruled.

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  4. As someone who has learned the hard way more than once, be careful with anxiety medications because, depending on the type, they can cause seizures if you stop them without easing off of them. I completely know the need to stop taking them, I just wanted to make sure you’re safe. And I don’t know the type, so that might not even be a problem. Feel better!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you for the warning. I did do some research with respect to this particular medication because I didn’t want to send myself spiraling out of control. Thank being said, it’s very nice to have someone looking out for my best interest. It’s very kind.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Vee, as someone who has done this many times, if possible, please decrease your meds slowly. Also, perhaps keeping on meds for the moment? I know side effects are horrible, but if they help, even a little, it might be better to continue with them. There is no shame in taking anxiety medication and a little help is better than no help. It’s taken me a long time to accept that. I’m sorry for your sleep pattern. I suffer similarly and I know how awful it is. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t think there is any shame in taking anxiety medication , or any medication. I have not ever believed there to be any shame in taking medication. My situation has got a lot of story to go with it, none of which has to do with any form of shame.

      If anyone does read this please know there is no shame in taking medication. My decision is a personal one to my life and my story. Ugh. Now I feel bad for posting this. Like people are going to get the wrong idea.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Taper, taper, taper. Please inform your prescriber of your decision and do a medically supervised quit. You will still have symptoms and be uncomfortable, but not in danger. Good luck! You will then learn all the non-pharmacological ways to manage anxiety. You will still be uncomfortable– even very uncomfortable– sometimes. But based on what you’ve posted, you will feel more in charge of your choices.

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  6. I’ve always gone off meds cold turkey, good luck riding out the storm, eventually the clouds part. Breathe V and try not to be so hard on yourself. Have compassion for who you are right now even if there are things you’d like to change. You are a good person with a kind heart and you can say no to negative self talk.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Be strong but sensible about this. Quitting cold turkey is dangerous sometimes. Step down gradually so as not to shock your body any more than necessary. It’s the only one you have. Tell me one good thing about not being anxious.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Hi. I can’t speak to the cold turkey issue re medication. Generally though, it’s not the best way. But I made this exact journey years ago, to emotional health, because I couldn’t stand my life anymore. I wrote an in-depth piece on just this topic for the Bipolar Mental Health Blog called My No-Medication Journey to Health and Well-Being. For some reason I can’t post a link to it from my phone. You can go and look for it or I’ll try to post the link here for you later. It sounds like you’re ready to make a change. It’s difficult but it’s worth doing. 🤗

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Well, I wish you luck! But uh… it doesn’t work for me. I’ve done this a few times (okay, maybe more than a few) and I always manage to get myself down in some deeper hole without noticing how bad it’s getting. Sometimes I need to screw with the dosage. Sometimes I need to switch to a new med with different side effects (all drugs have some side effects, after all). But you’re not me. And I wish you the best of luck!

    As a side note, I also often suffer from insomnia. This isolation isn’t helping. It’s always taken me a while to go to sleep. I mean, every night or every time I want a nap, I have to settle in for a half hour or so. I can’t just lie down and fall asleep. That’s just how I’m wired. Some things that’ve helped me are vitamin D (a supplement), fresh air (might be harder in the city), and exercise. Also, not watching the news (it’s depressing). Again, that’s just me. And this is your life. And if this is the path you’ve chosen, I support it. Just, beware, and good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve writte, deleted, rewritten, deleted, rewritten and deleted a response to this several times over now.

      I’m a huge advocate for taking drugs if you need them, and if they can help you. I’m at a stage in my life right now where I feel as though they’re doing me more harm then good. I’m on day three without. It’s been tough, but manageable. There’s also only one doctor in this town and he thinks I’m a punk kid jonesing for pills.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh? Ditto. With both of mine. They’ve each been a bit of a ramble but hopefully there’s some wisdom hidden within.

        I’ve been there. As recently as last year. I inherently mistrust drugs. Too much of anything is bad for you, and whatnot. I felt fine for a few weeks, then great for six months. At some point though, I started just repressing the stress, trying to tell myself that everything was fine and that I was better off without them. I didn’t want to go back on drugs. I didn’t need them, they were unnatural. I was normal, damnit, and I could cope. I didn’t want people to look at me and see someone who needed help, who couldn’t make it work by themselves. I needed people to know I could cope. And I don’t even like people! Have you met them? They’re terrible, on the whole. But I’ve crashed before. I lost my dream job due to panic attacks and a medication I wasn’t taking because I didn’t need it. Most recently I suffered some medical consequences, brought on by stress I didn’t have because I wouldn’t admit it. Other times I’ve even taken it to… other extremes. I’ve been through a whole catalogue of meds , each with annoying side-effects. Insomnia, weight gain, weight loss, fatigue, depression, other… less fun ones. What I’ve now isn’t perfect. Heck, I’ll probably quit it at some point again because I feel it’s doing more harm than good.

        I’m not trying to tell you off. I’m not saying you shouldn’t quit. I’ve known people who quit and are perfectly fine (or say that, at least). I’m not warning you off it. I’m not telling you how to live your life. I’m just telling you what happened to me. And maybe cautioning you that if you ever have to tell yourself that you’re perfectly happy… well, maybe you’re not. And again, I wish you all of the best things.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I listened to a podcast a while back that talked about anxiety meds. Apparently the science suggests that the meds effect our responses to anxiety, but not so much the anxiety itself. I think that’s really interesting. Never having taken them myself I can’t speak from personal experience on any of it. As Waylon says, “I’ve always been crazy, but it’s kept me from going insane”. Hope all goes well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What you’ve said here is a really, really good explanation of it. It’s exactly what I’ve been feeling. The medication does not erase the anxiety, it just kind of… makes me numb. I think that’s where I’m having issues. Being numb makes it easier to get through the day, but it doesn’t take away the things I should be and need to be facing.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Professionally, I’d saver never quit meds without chatting with your Doctor V. But whatever you decide, look after yourself. And don’t be afraid to go back on them if you need to. Perhaps some counselling might help deal with the anxiety itself?

    Caz x

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I have spoken with a Doctor. Thank you for the important advice though. It’s definitely something everyone should do when making a decision like this.

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  12. Dear V, please don’t be so hard on yourself. You are such a lovely young lady with an amazing kind spirit. Many of your articles impact my life in a positive way. You are so much greater than you give yourself credit for. Stand tall, I’m rooting for you. 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Like Robin said, it might not hurt to consider all options. I’ve studied anxiety medications in school and they have an addictive nature plus side effects when abruptly stopping (it’s not recommended unless you talk to a doctor first). The withdrawals are not pleasant BUT now is actually a good time to quit if you are going to take that route. There is time now to deal with the withdrawals and side effects. I still recommend talking to a doctor for safe measure before quitting but at the end of the day, you know your body better than anyone else does. Tbh I only took an antidepressant/anti-anxiety medication (combined type) for a few months, told my doctor I was quitting, and quit. Coming off of caffeine from my caffeine habit was harder than quitting the medication I was taking. Coming off of my sugar habit was 10x harder than quitting caffeine when I tried to quit and the withdrawals were terrible. Everyone is different when it comes to withdrawals.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. We could take the challenge together if you’d like. These days I’m drinking caffeine and consuming sugar, and I would like to quit as well. The withdrawals may be awful, but the benefits outweigh the discomfort. Sugar really should be considered a drug due to its addictive properties and harmful long-term effects. *sigh*

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  14. V, I cannot speak to going cold turkey.
    When I wanted to come off oxy and such my Psychiatrist said I could do it at home.
    Instead I asked to be admitted, there I worked with the Psychiatrist and my Family doctor.
    I was in for a good two weeks. The first 3-4 days was really hell. It was because I was addicted to something that started with me for pain killers.
    I wish you all the best whatever, however, you decide to do it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oxy is a tough one. When I was in a car accident in 2016, they gave me Oxy to help with the injuries that I had suffered and I remember not being on them for very long but wanting more of them. Thankfully they didn’t give me any. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to be on them for a prolonged period.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I went through a very scary time. Best friend would find me sleeping in the strangest places.
        I couldn’t remember what I ate the day before.
        Conversations were limited, within the hour afterwards I wouldn’t remember talking with you.
        I am thankful that I was able to detox safely from Oxy.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. A friend of mine took herself off of anxiety/depression meds but slowly, she would slowly lower the dosage until she was completely off of them, (it took weeks I think). I heard it was dangerous to suddenly stop.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It definitely can be, depending on who you are, what you’re taking and how you react. In my case, I’ve done my research and talked with my doctor. It’s not something I’m doing haphazardly. You should always talk to your doctor first.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. If you are taking any kind of medications like adivan, clonopin, etc on a regular basis it’s DANGEROUS to stop cold turkey. They MUST be tapered off slowly. Be careful tinkering with meds.

    As to the other part… go be you!!! ♥ Stand up for yourself and make the life YOU want with those you want. Anxiety was a kick in the pants for me to change my life. I was anxious because my life hurt. Meds weren’t going to change it. Only changing my life was going to do that. Best of luck in getting what you want, V. It’s never easy. ♥

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I recently lowered the dosage of my anxiety medicine. What I’m taking can keep me awake so I did away with my evening pill. At the time, I wondered if this was a wise move because of the calamity that is going on about the respiratory disease but I’m still on an even keel. My anxiety issue is an actual physical one brought on by the stroke I had. Although cognitive techniques help and talks with others I trust without reservation bring out the anxieties so I can deal with them, the bulk of the GAD is a chemical imbalance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gosh, I can’t imagine, but I can also imagine. I can’t speak from the stroke perspective. I’m sorry that you had to go through that, I can hear they’re pretty debilitating. That being said, I’ve always wondered if I’ve just had some sort of a chemical imbalance in my body that caused me to be the way that I am.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Please talk to your doc before doing this. I know all about the withdrawal from these meds and it sucks. Not saying you should not stop if it’s not working for you, but you may need to wean off slowly. Also talk to your doc about your insomnia. Maybe they can suggest something. Hugs to you. Sorry you are having such a rough time.

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  19. Viktor Frankl, Eckhart Tolle, Byron Katie, Sez Kristiansen (healing her). They’re my friends during the night’s darkest hours and now constant life companions.
    Cling to life now so you can slowly build it from the bottom up, taking one step at a time until you thrive.
    X

    Like

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