I am 29 years old. I have been on different antidepressants for 14 years now. I did a 4 week taper off of Lexapro and have been off completely for one and a half weeks now. The physical symptoms of withdrawal are gone. But, I just feel depressed. I am in a constant depressive state. Will my body take a while to start making serotonin again? If so, then how long will it take? When do I know that my body is not going to make enough serotonin? Do I need to go back on antidepressants? I do not like who I am anymore.
Early onset depression (less than 35 years of age) and that too of 14 years duration is not the ideal condition to taper off antidepressants. Only in typical depression that starts after a known stressor is episodic or lasts only 6 to 9 months when left untreated, is a trial of antidepressant taper taken. You can follow yoga, meditation, exercise, pursuing a hobby or a serotonin-rich diet to encourage serotonin production in your brain and so that you may be taken off medicines. My advice would be not to stop antidepressants completely, rather come to a lower dose and maintain it for life. Every time when depression recurs, it will damage your brain and cognitive functions. Thank you.
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