Switching From Celexa To A Natural Alternative ... Need Advice!

Hello everyone!  I'm new here and I'm looking to see if anybody would be willing to offer me some advice. Thanks in advance!


I'm a 37 year old wife and mother of two boys. I have been on prescription anti-anxiety / anti-depressants since I was 17 years old. I have been on everything on the market because after being on them for so many years I've experienced the poop-out effect and nothing worked anymore other than one. I'm currently on 20 mg of Celexa 2x/day. It has worked perfectly, but unfortunately, I went from 140lb to 170lbs in 6 months. I workout constantly and eat healthy. I need to get off of it but I'm scared of the withdrawal and that there aren't anymore medications to try . That being said, I'm looking to go the homeopathic route. My main symptoms when I'm not on the meds is extremely anxiety, irritability, depression, insomnia, alcohol dependency, lethargy. Without medications, I feel like I'm on a downward spiral. Are there any supplements or group of supplements that will help me cope with these issues once I stop the Celexa?




  • Hi Tara,


    I can't offer medical advice, obviously, but I can offer some experience and suggestions, and avenues for your research. I can relate! (I have bipolar disorder and some attendant issues too).


    You don't say what you're doing diet-wise. There's a lot that can be done with diet to help mood disorders, and there's a huge body of research linking all kinds of mood disorders to many nutritional issues (deficiencies and excesses, methylation problems, storage problems...)

    For myself, I've definitely noticed a big difference since cutting my carbs down low. I haven't tracked ketosis, but there is some evidence that ketogenic diets can help with bipolar (which some consider a seizure disorder) and I may track it some more. 

    I'm much less irritable when I have more fat, too; you mentioned irritability.

    The first thing you should look into, because yes, there are groups of supplements and supplements, is neurotransmitters. If you look up Trudy Scott and Dr Amy Yasko, they've done a lot of research and clinical work. 

    If you've responded well to Celexa, then you might want to look into serotonin supporters, but there may be other neurotransmitters for which you also need support.

    The most famous supplement for supporting serotonin is 5htp. The bottles you get at the store are usually 50-100mg but at one point (when I was trying to avoid going on meds) my naturopath had me taking 600mg twice a day. In other words, you might need a lot more of it than the bottles you get at the store suggest.

    I also had a sublingual 5htp spray which stopped panic attacks. It was amazing.

    The preeminent herbal supporter of serotonin is St John's Wort. In Germany I believe it's actually prescribed like an SSRI.

    Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid (fatty compound) that's used directly by the brain, and it's another one I've found tremendously helpful for anxiety.

    Rhodiola is great, too, for calming.


    There are many herbs that can help support you in this transition too. All these as teas/strong infusions: skullcap is wonderfully calming, as are oatstraw and chamomile and lavender. Nettles are nourishing and give your body supportive minerals. Holy basil (tulsi) is calming too.


    Drinking lots of nettle tea and taking some sort of cleansing support, whether it's herbal (triphala would be best) or functional (diatomaceous earth, charcoal, clay, psyllium) would seem like a good idea to avoid withdrawal.


    Are you working with a good naturopath/doctor? If you've been on meds for 20 years, you'll want some serious support to come off of them--that's asking your body to change a very longstanding habit, and especially if you're actually feeling anxiety about the prospect it's a really good idea to have knowledgeable external support.


    Good luck to you, and keep us posted!

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