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Discontinuing Antidepressant Medication: What You Need To Know

Antidepressant pills named Fluoxetine are shown in this photo
Antidepressant pills named Fluoxetine are shown in this photo
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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In a recent Los Angeles Times column, business writer David Lazarus chronicled his struggle with quitting antidepressants. Lazarus says he started taking the medication to deal with insomnia as a side effect of Type 1 diabetes. He felt great—at first.

But after reading a New York Times article on depression medication dependence, Lazarus started worrying about his own usage and tried to stop taking medication. Now he’s off the prescription all-together, and says he still feels sluggish, moody and short tempered.

Have you ever tried tapering off antidepressants? What was your experience? Today on Airtalk we talk with a psychiatrist to understand the risks of antidepressant use and the best method for quitting.

If you are in need of support, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255, for free and confidential help 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Steven Siegel, MD, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at USC Keck School of Medicine