Originally Posted by reef88
It's physical addiction, cravings don't matter, if you don't get cravings all it means is you're not psychologically addicted. Since your body has gotten used to the Antidepressant, it releases less Serotonin by itself to compensate for the over-activity of Serotonin thanks to the SSRI. This is why you taper off and come off feeling normal.
It took me 2 weeks to taper off 100mg of Zoloft. And I didn't feel any type of withdrawal.
There's no such thing as physical addiction. The term you're looking for is called physiological dependence. Seems like I'm playing game of semantics, but it's an important game. Here's why:
Discontinuation effects are not classified as withdrawal as you noted. At a medical symposium, it was decided that what seemed to be withdrawal effects would be referred to by the medical community as discontinuation syndrome. Why?
-Eli and Company, which funded the symposium, knows that withdrawal is colloquially paired with drug addiction. Not something you want your product associated with.
-Doctors know that if people come to associate SSRIs with withdrawal symptoms, they might also believe they are addicting. The latter false conclusion might deter people suffering from mental illness from seeking what might otherwise turn out to be a highly successful treatment.
Also, the way dependence works in SSRIs and most illegal addictive drugs is quite different. SSRIs essentially solve a serotonin deficit in someone's brain, but inadvertently create a surplus elsewhere. The body naturally reacts to this surplus by sending less of its own serotonin 'elsewhere' until those levels return to normal. Now you have a normal level in the brain and everywhere else. Drugs like heroin and cocaine, unlike SSRIs are used specifically to achieve a surplus similar to the one I described earlier, and are not used to rectify a preexisting deficit. This means that once the body adjusts to the new levels of neurotransmitters produced by heroin and cocaine, the user must raise his/her dose until tolerance sets in again, etc. Heroin and cocaine aren't used to fix a deficit, but to create an unnatural surplus that the body will try to correct.