Navigating the Resurgence of Emotions During Tapering: Embracing the Emotional Spectrum

Mental Health

Navigating the Resurgence of Emotions During Tapering: Embracing the Emotional Spectrum

Written by

Isha Team


September 21, 2023


October 6, 2023

Re-Experiencing Emotions During Tapering

A frequent concern shared among individuals prescribed antidepressants is the sensation of emotional numbness or indifference. Yet, as these medications are tapered or halted, a fascinating phenomenon occurs – rekindling the experience of emotions that may have been dormant for an extended period. This transformation can be particularly profound when considering the length of time during which emotional dullness prevailed. Transitioning from a state of limited emotional range to a realm of heightened sensitivity can evoke a mixture of curiosity, trepidation, and sometimes fear.

Picture yourself encased within a block of ice. While under the influence of antidepressants, you may have been encapsulated in this icy exterior, detached from a significant portion of your emotional landscape. Gradually tapering the medication can be likened to the ice beginning to melt, leading to the emergence of a broader spectrum of feelings and emotions.

The Startling Resurgence

Reconnecting with emotions, especially those labeled as "negative," can be an unsettling experience for many. Imagine not shedding a tear for years, even in the face of sorrowful events. Tapering might unveil a newfound ability to cry during situations that once evoked no response. This process can prompt self-doubt, questioning whether the resurgence of emotions indicates a regression to the original mental health condition. In reality, it signifies the natural progression of re-establishing your emotional baseline. Similar revelations hold for "positive" emotions, catching individuals off guard with the return of sensations such as happiness.

Adapting to Rediscovered Emotions

Mastering the art of tolerating and comprehending emotions forms a pivotal aspect of the journey towards embracing the multifaceted emotional "rainbow."

A noteworthy consideration when understanding emotions during tapering is that their return may not manifest all at once. Just as the melting ice occurs gradually, "un-numbing" unfolds over time. This process may encompass emotional bumps along the way, where periods of numbness intermingle with waves of intense emotions. An apt analogy would be likening emotions to ocean waves – they rise, fall, and come and go. Instead of resisting these emotional surges, learning to ride these waves becomes crucial. Developing emotional resilience and expanding your emotional capacity is achievable through introspection, utilizing coping tools, and leaning on the support of others.


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