The Scary Truth About Toby Stopping His Antidepressants Cold Turkey on This Is Us
Toby Damon knows all about grand romantic gestures on This Is Us. He knows how to surprise Kate when she's feeling down and even how to sweep her off her feet in the back of a Lyft car, but his latest move might be causing more harm than it is good. During the season three premiere of our favorite tear-jerking show, Toby and Kate decide to move forward with IVF despite the serious risks regarding Kate's weight. During the conversation with the doctor, Toby reveals that he's been on antidepressants for six years, and although they might be responsible for his low sperm count, they "keep him from crying every day" while combating his depression.
In a shocking final moment of the premiere, Toby flushes his bottle of Zoloft down the toilet — an impulsive and dangerous move on his behalf — and it's not until the second episode, "A Philadelphia Story," where we start to see the repercussions of his risky decision. After Rebecca freaks out over Kate's decision to start IVF, Toby absolutely loses it, snapping at his mother-in-law and eventually disappearing for a few hours. We see Toby researching the side effects of antidepressant withdrawal and viewers witness him unraveling.
For someone who's been on medication that regulates the brain's levels of serotonin for six years, suddenly stopping can lead to immediate physical and emotional symptoms. According to WebMD, those symptoms may include anxiety, depression and mood swings, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, insomnia, and more, and "in rare cases, antidepressant withdrawal may cause mania." It is never a good idea to stop this medication immediately, and it's recommended to work with your prescribing doctor to wane off of it. "Tapering helps your brain adjust to the chemical changes and can help prevent discontinuation symptoms."
Toby's intention of stopping his medication was so pure, but he's sacrificing his own health and mental stability for the sake of his wife and their chances of conceiving naturally. Reddit user kpossible0889 weighed in on their own experience with stopping Zoloft. "Having gone through withdrawal from those very pills when I tried to stop them on my own . . . it. is. HELL," they explained. "You feel like death: headaches constantly, sh*tting your guts out, nausea, can't focus, and all that makes you pretty moody and reclusive. So, anyone debating throwing out your Zoloft, do not do it."
Read on to see how fans are reacting to the sad truth about Toby stopping his medication.