The Royal College of Psychiatrists now accepts that it did not sufficiently recognize such withdrawal problems.
The College’s previous advice of slow withdrawal over two to four weeks has been changed to a period of months during which drug doses are reduced more slowly.
Herbal medicines can ease the process of withdrawal and reduce symptoms. They also offer the further possibility of long-term support to boost general health and wellbeing. Crucially, herbal medicines are not addictive so can easily be stopped when good health is achieved.
The approach taken by a Medical Herbalist is to select herbs that address these issues, but the treatment is tailored to each person’s experience.
Herbs include St John’s wort whose antidepressant action is gentle with few side effects. If interaction with the antidepressant drug could be an issue, other herbs with similar antidepressant action such as skullcap and vervain are available.
To reduce the symptoms of withdrawal such as anxiety and exhaustion, herbs are given to relax and to normalise adrenal function. Treatment may include support for liver function and herbs to improve sleep, address problems with digestion, and increase cerebral blood flow. The choice will depend on the symptoms experienced.
Herbal medicines are an effective way to successfully wean yourself off antidepressant drugs. Please consider visiting a Medical Herbalist to get the full benefits of herbal treatment.