As some of you probably are aware, I am no longer taking any prescribed medication for my OCD. I am definitely not opposed to the use of medication to handle OCD. However, I also can say (having gone the route of only medication and medication plus cognitive behavioral therapy) that I think doing behavioral therapy hand in hand with medication is much preferable to doing meds only.
I so value the tools and information I have gained and learned in CBT. While I may not always be the best at implementing those tools and that information all the time, I have them and know that they work. Medication is definitely easy, but I personally think it only really masks the problem. It doesn’t necessarily work to solve it.
But let’s talk for a minute about tapering. It’s funny because I definitely have felt like I’ve taken some steps backwards since coming off my medication, but I’m not sure if it’s more of the “placebo” effect or really because I’m not on meds anymore. For instance, did I subconsciously expect things to get harder once I stopped taking pills and, therefore, started becoming more anxious and prone to obsessions? Or was my regression it a real issue with not having that medication in my system? Does that make sense?
Regardless, it has made things a little more difficult, being off my meds. I am more stressed and on edge, especially regarding my OCD. I also noticed some flu like symptoms, night sweats, and headaches which, again, may have been withdrawal symptoms or could just have been life and my body in the winter time.
I haven’t lost my supposed extra weight (or the weight I hoped was medication induced) either, so that’s kind of sad. I guess I better stop eating gingerbread with whipped cream too. Hmm.
Coming off of Christmas vacation is hard in normal life, let alone when you have OCD and recently stopped your medication!
Do you have experience with tapering off a medication you took for a mental illness? Did your symptoms return? How did you handle it?