Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: Checklist

Psychiatric Med Withdrawal Checklist of things to keep in mind:

1. It Gets Better. Most people find that after psychiatric med withdrawal symptoms subside, they feel much better. This is because a toxin is no longer hampering the bodily systems, so everything is easier from breathing, to exercise, to digestion, to thinking clearly, communication and memory.

2. Acute psychiatric med withdrawal is a time to lower your standards. Treat yourself as if you’re recovering from surgery or someone close to you just died. Focus on the essentials, eating and sleeping; let anything unnecessary wait.

3. Rest and sleep as much as possible. This will help your body recover.

4. Go as slow as you need to. If things get too intense, going back up a dose and tapering more gradually is kindness to yourself.

5. Keep it simple. Your mind may race, you may get really angry, you may have sudden bursts of energy, and crashes of fatigue. Listen to your body, keep commitments to others minimal and give yourself what you need whether it’s a long walk, weight lifting, running, or staying in bed all day (or all week).

6. Eat regularly. If there’s one thing you plan, it should be eating nutritious meals. Keep convenient, easy to prepare and nutritious foods on hand and avoid going more than 4 hours during the day without eating, unless you really aren’t hungry. Include fat, protein and fiber of some kind with each meal. Now isn’t the time to make drastic changes in your diet, but adding some extra nutrient rich herbs, vegetables, fruit and high quality fats like olive oil and coconut oil will calm your nerves.

7. Psychiatric med withdrawal is a process. Give it time. The process itself can be a coming back to yourself. It can be excruciating but also elating, liberating and thrilling. Practice not judging or labeling yourself but rather marveling at and loving the you who is emerging.

Often right after and even during withdrawal can be a romantic period of falling in love with yourself as you become reacquainted with parts that have been buried a long time.

As the sensitive, alive, awake to it all parts of you come back, you may feel celebratory or even ecstatic. Let yourself be thrilled too. Allow yourself the freedom to live beyond the labels, such as “manic” which existed to drug you.

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