Antidepressant Addiction Treatment

While antidepressants can provide significant relief for individuals grappling with mental distress, it’s important to acknowledge that their prolonged use may occasionally result in both physical and psychological dependency. This dependency not only impacts physical health but also relationships, prospects and emotional and mental well-being. The journey to overcome antidepressant addiction is a path filled with challenges but also with profound opportunities for growth and healing. At UKAT, the antidepressant addiction treatment process is multifaceted, with a thorough and holistic approach facilitating effective and lasting breakthroughs.

Stage one: Antidepressants detox

Antidepressants work by altering the brain’s chemical balance, particularly affecting neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine, which are linked to mood regulation. While this can help to soothe depressive feelings, long-term use can lead to the body’s adaptation to these medications, creating a physical dependency. Stopping or reducing the use of antidepressants can then trigger unpleasant or distressing withdrawal symptoms, which cause you to start retaking the drugs.

Antidepressant detox involves gradually reducing the dose of antidepressants, allowing the body and brain to adjust to lower levels of the medication and restore the natural chemical balance. This tapering process is critical to minimise withdrawal symptoms and should be medically supervised to ensure safety and comfort until your systems have recovered.

Antidepressants detox at UKAT

UKAT recognises the myriad challenges of detox, so we provide a safe, expert-led approach. This includes:

24/7 medical supervision

At every detox stage, you will be monitored and supported by our medical team to ensure you are safe and comfortable. They will help to guide you through withdrawal and do everything they can to make the process as smooth as possible.

Tailored detox plans

When you arrive at UKAT, you will receive a thorough medical assessment so our team can develop your detox plan. This will consider factors like the type of antidepressants you were using, for how long you were using them and your overall health and fitness. Crucially, our detox plans are always fluid so that they can be adapted as your needs change during withdrawal.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)

There are instances where medications or supplements may be used to ease antidepressant withdrawal symptoms. This can lessen cravings, allow you to rest and help you get through the process more comfortably.

A seamless transition to antidepressant rehab

Alongside detox, you will also undergo our comprehensive drug rehab programme, focusing on the psychological and emotional aspects of antidepressant recovery.

Therapy session

The antidepressant withdrawal process

Withdrawal from antidepressants can manifest in various forms depending on the type, extent of use and your health and condition. Some common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Mood fluctuations: As the body readjusts to the reduced medication levels, you may experience mood swings, irritability or increased anxiety.


  • Physical symptoms: These can include headaches, dizziness, nausea and flu-like symptoms.


  • Sleep disturbances: Changes in sleep patterns, such as insomnia or vivid dreams, are also common during antidepressant withdrawal.


  • Cognitive and sensory changes: You may experience cognitive symptoms like confusion, difficulty concentrating, and sensory disturbances like ‘brain zaps’ or electric shock sensations. These can be very alarming, but they are not serious.


The timeline for withdrawal from antidepressants withdrawal also varies widely but will generally follow this pattern:

Initial phase (one to two weeks)
Early symptoms, such as mood changes and flu-like symptoms, can appear as the body adjusts to reduced medication levels.
Peak phase (two to four weeks)
This period may see an intensification of withdrawal symptoms. Emotional and physical symptoms can peak during this time.
Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS)
In some cases, you may experience prolonged withdrawal symptoms, including mood disturbances and cognitive changes, that can persist for several months. Professional medical assistance is crucial for the management of PAWS as it can be a very distressing experience.

Group therapy

Stage two: Antidepressant rehab

While antidepressant addiction tends to be primarily physical dependence, there can also be a significant psychological and emotional element to it. This is due to the very nature of the medicine, which means the majority of people who develop a dependency tend to have underlying mental health issues.

Rehab provides a holistic approach to help you identify these underlying issues, work through them systematically and learn new ways of coping during stressful or distressing life situations.

Inpatient vs outpatient antidepressants rehab

You have two choices when it comes to antidepressant rehab: outpatient rehab and inpatient rehab.

Outpatient rehab allows you to live at home and attend treatment sessions while continuing with your daily life. It can provide flexibility and sometimes be suitable for those with milder dependency or strong support systems at home.

Inpatient rehab involves staying at a treatment facility like UKAT as a resident during treatment. From when you wake up to when you get to bed, your day will be planned for you, and everything you do will be geared towards recovery. There are several key advantages to inpatient antidepressant rehab:

  • An environment 100% designed for recovery and healing: Staying in a dedicated space focused on recovery helps minimise distractions and increase your chances of overcoming addiction.
  • Constant medical and psychological support: Continuous access to medical care and psychological support ensures your safety and provides immediate assistance during difficult times.
  • Comprehensive treatment: Inpatient rehab tends to offer a wider range of therapies because there is more time to explore different healing paths. This includes both individual and group sessions tailored to address various aspects of antidepressant dependency and mental health.
  • Community and peer support: Connecting with others facing similar challenges can provide a sense of community and mutual support. This can be critical during difficult moments both in rehab and afterwards.

    Therapy session 2

    Antidepressant rehab at UKAT

    UKAT’s antidepressant rehab programme is designed to offer a holistic and evidence-based treatment experience. Our approach combines scientifically proven therapies with alternative treatments to address all aspects of the condition. Some of the treatment modalities offered include:

    Group therapy

    Group therapy sessions provide a nurturing space for you to connect with the other clients in rehab, share your experiences and extend and receive peer support. It creates a close-knit community of understanding and mutual encouragement that can provide strength and encouragement in moments of doubt.

    Individual therapy

    One-on-one sessions provide a tailored exploration of your unique challenges, delving deep into your antidepressant use and the underlying complexities of your mental health.

    Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

    CBT forms the cornerstone of our approach, guiding you in recognising and reshaping negative thought patterns and behaviours linked to antidepressant dependency.

    Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT)

    Our DBT sessions focus on bolstering your emotional resilience and equipping you with effective coping strategies to navigate life’s stressors without antidepressants.

    Holistic healing

    Our antidepressant rehab programmes also integrate several holistic therapies, including art therapy, meditation and mindfulness. These techniques offer a well-rounded path to recovery and self-discovery.


    Stage three: Aftercare and relapse prevention

    Recovery is a lifelong journey, and so the third stage takes place after you leave antidepressant rehab. Relapse is when you revert to substance use after a successful period of sobriety, and it is one of the biggest fears for many when they leave the sanctuary of rehab. To help prevent relapse and cement your lifelong sobriety, here are some effective strategies:

    Participate in aftercare

    Your journey with UKAT continues long after you leave antidepressant rehab through our aftercare programme. This provides free weekly group therapy sessions for the first year after you complete treatment. These sessions provide ongoing support, reinforce your coping strategies, and strengthen your support network.

    Create new healthy lifestyle habits

    During antidepressant rehab, you will learn to embrace routines that prioritise your well-being after you have left. These can include regular exercise, practising meditation, eating a balanced diet and getting enough quality sleep.

    Cultivate and rely on your support networks

    Make sure you stay connected with supportive friends, family and recovery groups. They can provide emotional support, hold you accountable and ensure you stay committed to sobriety.

    Manage your triggers effectively

    Learn to recognise and conquer triggers that could lead to antidepressant use. Developing effective strategies to manage these triggers is vital in preventing relapse.

    Set recovery goals

    Having specific objectives and achievable goals to work towards can provide huge motivation and a sense of pride and purpose in your journey to antidepressant recovery.

    Get started with antidepressant rehab at UKAT

    If you or a loved one needs antidepressant addiction treatment, there is no better time than the present to get started. UKAT’s team of experienced professionals has helped countless people recover, and we can help you, too. Contact us today to find out more or to begin the admissions process. Today could be the first day of the rest of your life.

    Call us now for help


    How long does antidepressants rehab take?
    The duration of antidepressant rehab depends on your unique needs, how long you can commit and your treatment progress. UKAT offers various options, allowing flexibility in the length of your stay to ensure you receive the care that suits you best. These options range from two to twelve weeks to cater for as many people as possible, but we recommend spending as long as possible in rehab.
    How much does antidepressants rehab cost?
    The cost of antidepressant rehab at UKAT depends on the length of your stay, but everyone who completes rehab is entitled to free aftercare for a year. Contact UKAT today to find out more about rehab prices and payment options.