Withdrawal-induced hormonal problems: quick tips

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  • Though these experiences can be extremely uncomfortable, painful, or scary, reassure yourself that they are common during the psychiatric drug withdrawal journey.
  • While some people do seem to have unrelated hormonal issues that predated their relationship to psychiatric drugs, many people with imbalances arising from psychiatric drugs find that when they give their brains and bodies enough of a chance to heal, they do resolve on their own in time.
  • To help manage the emotional and mental difficulties that arise from hormonal problems, people have reported it’s been helpful to:
    • Develop a regular practice of breathing, meditation, or other forms of mindfulness so that they gain a stronger foundation for navigating intense emotions
    • Keep a journal to help track particularly difficult “triggers” in order to take action to avoid them moving ahead when possible
    • Find a secluded space in which they can be alone for a while—a closet, guest room, or bathroom, for example
    • Avoid caffeine and other psychoactive substances, including teas or supplements marketed to help with anxiety, sleep problems, distractibility, fatigue, etc.
    • Avoid inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy, and sugar
    • Remove toxic chemicals and products from the house and bathroom
    • Eat a lot of healthy fats, including those with a good balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6, such as coconut oil and avocados
  • Some people seek hormonal testing to better understand what’s happening to them. They may sometimes come back with test results indicating that particular hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, or TSH are either high or low. However, given the general lack of recognition or understanding of psychiatric drug withdrawal, many doctors offer up new diagnoses and often recommend starting new synthetic hormone treatments, whether a cream, patch, or pill. Please keep in mind that the lay withdrawal community views the introduction of new hormonal treatments for withdrawal-related symptoms to be incredibly risky. Some of these treatments impact the same neurotransmitter systems that have been impaired by psychiatric drugs. It’s commonly thought in the lay withdrawal community that adding additional hormones to the mix can risk further central nervous system destabilization and intensified or prolonged withdrawal.
  • Additionally, because hormonal treatments have psychoactive properties, some people have been surprised to find they had to slowly taper off them in order to avoid compounded withdrawal symptoms.
  • At the end of the day, only you can decide how you take care of your body, but it’s important to be aware of the risks, and to know that many people report their hormonal levels eventually restabilize on their own with enough time. We encourage you to do your own research and connect with others in the lay withdrawal community who’ve had personal experiences with hormonal treatments to help you get thoroughly informed.
  • If you’re a woman taking oral contraception, you may want to do some investigating into the possible impacts it could be having on your mood, emotions, and physical health—especially if you’re in the midst of withdrawal.
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