Desire to Get Off Effexor, and Depression
Answered by: Christine Dennis
Question from: Donna
Posted on: December 07, 2007

Hello, My daughter who is 27 years old has been on Effexor for the past 4 years, being put on it after the birth of her son. She has cysts on her ovaries that I am sure is a large factor and she has a chemical imbalance that causes bad mood swings and also depression. And as you know if you even mention the word depression to the doctor they instantly prescribe nerve medicine. My daughter hates this medicine because of the way it makes her feel, or should I say not feel. She is going to see a doctor to try and ween off of this, if he will. And I was wondering what herbs she could take to help her to do this. I would appreciate any help.

I am wondering if your daughter may be experiencing sub clinical hypothyroidism. This is a lower functioning thyroid gland that is not turning up with "outside the normal range" yet in blood tests. This is very common after the birth of a child. The mood swings, depression, cysts and timing makes this a highly suspicious case of thyroid problems as well as a hormonal imbalance. A very accurate and sensitive test to see if she does in fact have sub clinically low thyroid function is for her to take her temperature first thing in the morning before she gets up. Have her do this for a few weeks, noting where she is in her cycle. A normal temperature reading should be around 36.7 degrees C. If her temperature is consistently below 36.3, especially the week before her period is due, then she has a lower functioning thyroid gland that needs to be addressed. I also really believe that her adrenal health is going to be needing some nourishing as well. For more information on these topics, please see:


As for herbs to help her wean off the Effexor, I think it is important that she supports her nervous system before she tried to wean off. Diet is really important - essentially fatty acids and B vitamins are key nutrients here. Herbs that may be helpful are milky oat seed, basil, st.john’s wort, and scullcap to name a few. However, I would recommend that she finds a holistic practitioner or herbalist to work with as she is going to require a holistic plan as just one herb is not going to be enough to help her. For more information on depression please see:

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