Thriving on Little to No Medication

Daniella Cressman
Jay Castor

First of all, I am not a doctor in any way, shape or form. I am just a person who has done a lot of research and talked to folks who have managed to live a wholesome, healthy, and happy life without medication.

Note: It’s essential to speak with a healthcare provider before you make the choice to reduce your dosage or get off of your medication completely, because some pharmaceuticals can cause a myriad of side effects if you stop taking them too quickly.


Some people strongly prefer eliminating medication all together. Others would rather decrease their dosage or switch to a different kind of pharmaceutical that agrees with them.

It’s really important to figure out what works best for you personally. This will be different for everyone.

If you are busy and would rather not implement a great deal of lifestyle changes, it could be best to keep taking at least some medication. On the other hand, if you are ready to change your life and commit to adjusting many minute habits, you can almost always thrive without pharmaceuticals, depending on your condition and the environment you are in.


Diet can have an enormous impact on your health. Certain foods can cause a person an inordinate amount of anxiety.

If you’re thinking of getting off of your medication, you may want to eliminate sugar and fried foods, as well as caffeine.

Caffeine literally spikes your cortisol levels, so it’s not great for folks who already suffer from anxiety.

Sugar can also be the source of anxiety and depression for many, and foods like potato chips can actually be extremely hard on your adrenal glands.


Meditation is extremely impactful, particularly for neurodivergent people. This is often quite helpful for folks who struggle with impulse control, anxiety, and depression, because it can help you distance yourself from your thoughts and feelings and be able to control your urges a bit more easily.


Aerobic activity three times per week can significantly boost your mood. Strength training never hurts either!

Making time for exercise can definitely make a huge difference when it comes to staying healthy in every area of your life.


The amount of people who are extremely grumpy when they don’t get enough sleep is enormous. Lack of sleep can also lead to unwanted weight gain and increased levels of stress.

You’ll want to aim for at least 7–9 hours each night. You’ll likely be surprised by just how much of a difference it makes.

6. ART

People who are mentally ill are often gifted when it comes to creativity. Furthermore, there are various studies proving that painting, playing an instrument, and writing actually improve a person’s mental health.

Don’t worry if you don’t consider yourself gifted in any of these areas: It is simply the act of being creative that matters.


It’s so important to practice self-care in all of its forms, and this can be different for everyone: Maybe you are someone who loves long Epsom salts baths, or perhaps you need one day each week where you can be away from people and just stare up at the ceiling or read. On the other hand, you might crave a weekly trip, even if it’s just an overnight, or perhaps it’s going to church or temple (or any other religious institution) that rejuvenates you!

Whatever it is that helps you feel your best is important, you’ll want to make sure you make time for that.


I know this is easier said than done, but screens have a negative impact on our mental and emotional health, so limiting yourself to two to four hours daily (if at all possible) is really ideal. If this is not realistic — which it often isn’t these days if you’re working at a desk job —you can purchase blue glasses, which can be quite helpful.

At the very least, it’s best to turn off your devices at least two hours before bedtime.

I hope these tips are helpful for anyone who is struggling. They can truly make a world of difference. If you want to commit to certain lifestyle changes and implement them daily, you can actually take the reigns and change your life!

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Canadian-American author writing about local politics, personal finance, & dining in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque, NM

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