Explains issues faced when coming off medication, how to approach it, techniques for gradual reduction, possible withdrawal symptoms and how to tell the difference between withdrawal and relapse.
As a concerned friend or family member, you may be quite anxious about your friend or relative becoming ill again if they tell you they want to come off their medication.
Your caution may be understandable if, for example, you have been involved in difficult decisions to have them assessed and sectioned under the Mental Health Act 1983. You may have been very relieved to see them coming out of hospital more stable on medication, and do not want to see them distressed again.
You may need them to be very clear about how things have changed for them since then, why they want to stop the medication, and what other forms of support or treatment they are intending to use if they come off the drugs.
The following are some ways you can help them, and also gain a better understanding of how they are feeling and what they are trying to achieve:
This information was published in July 2016. We will revise it in 2019.
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