I’ve been on Prozac for over a year now. After a series of misfortunate events i resorted to self harm, and substance abuse to “ease” me depression. Now a year later i find that i am very happy with my life and feel it might be time to get off this medication. I’m terrified i will feel like i did prior to the medication and go back to my old ways. I hated who I was and don’t want to go back to that low place, but don’t want to be dependent on medication either. What’s your opinion?

A. Stopping your medication may not be a good idea, at least at this time. As you stated, you’re “very happy with your life.” I understand your concern about not wanting to be dependent on medication, but it doesn’t make sense to make a change when things are going so well. Stopping the medication may be risky.

You are in an envious position; you’re happy and symptom-free. You may not always need the medication and you may not need it now. However, you need to realize that how you are feeling now is at least in part due to the medication. You may be just fine without the medication. There is no way to know for sure. With the help of your prescribing physician, you could try to slowly reduce the amount you take, while being closely monitored. If all goes well, you will eventually be medication-free.

I would recommend consulting your prescribing physician about your dependency concerns. He or she may have an alternative view of the situation and help you to better understand the necessity of medication or help you to come off the medication. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle