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rutland

5htp And Other Natural Antidepressants

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Ive been struggling with anxiety and depression for a few months now. I was determined to find an alternative to the prescription meds. I researched some things in the way of alternative and decided to try 5HTP and SAMe. At first it seemed to be working, I had a couple good days. But as some time went on, about a month and a half, I developed some symptoms that I didnt relate to the supplements. At first I noticed that I was jittery and when I would lay down there was literally noise in my head and a buzzing sensation throughout my body. Then I noticed that my depressive symptoms were coming back full force, and my mind was racing with sad and morbid thoughts. I started waking in the middle of the night, unable to go back to sleep due to a pounding heart and horrible thoughts that I felt I couldnt control. Then I noticed myself becoming paranoid about stuff that would have never bothered me before. Also major brainfog. At first I couldnt figure out why all this was happening because I thought the sups were working at first, but then I had read somewhere that SAMe should not be taken by those with bipolar disorder. I dont have bipolar, but I would think that if it would cause a reaction with someone with bipolar then it may have a reaction with anyone with any kind of chemical imbalance.

I stopped taking these sups and most of the nasty jitteriness and insomnia has gone away, but now Im left with depression and anxiety worse than before. I feel disconnected from myself. I hope I didnt do any damage to my neurological system.

Has anyone ever reacted this way before to supplements? I really didnt want to go the presciption med route but I fear how I can go on with my mind in this state. Is it possible to reverse this kind of thing without meds. Do meds help to balance the chemicals in the brain, and stay that way even if you go off them?

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It is not likely that 5HTP caused those problems. What is in this SAMe? With what you found out about it, it is the likely culprit.

Have you tried St. John's Wort? That combined with 5HTP works for a lot of people. I took 5HTP for a long time (will again, once my naturopathic doctor will let me, he doesn't want me to take too many things right now), and never had any side effects from it. It made me sleep better, and is supposed to be calming.


I am a German citizen, married to a Canadian 29 years, four daughters, one son, seven granddaughters and four grandsons, with one more grandchild on the way in July 2009.

Intolerant to all lectins (including gluten), nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) and salicylates.

Asperger Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency), hypothyroidism, fatigue syndrome, asthma

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I'm sorry you're having such a tough time!

I bet that the last thing you feel like doing is getting up and going outside for some exercise--but it's probably the very best thing for you. If you aren't already doing this, please try to get outside for a good hour of walking (or jogging, if you are up to it), preferably when the sun is out. It really has been proven to make a HUGE difference in people with depression.

Caffeine is another practically universal cause of some of the problems you describe. In spite of the fact that we all drink coffee, tea, or soda, caffeineis a drug, and has a major effect on the mind and the nervous system. So that is something else you might consider changing, if you can (it is very difficult, which shows just how dangerous caffeine can be). I hate to sound preachy about caffeine, as it's an established part of our culture, but it is just as much a drug as nicotine--only socially acceptable. If you are a coffee/cola drinker, perhaps you can try green tea instead, which does have caffeine, but less, and does not have the caustic chemicals found in cola or the acidity of coffee.

Good luck, and I hope things get better by 2007!!! Keep us posted, okay?

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Sunshine and exercise are good for depression, but if yours is anything like mine, you just don't care enough to get out of bed. You could try St John's Wort, but I recommend going to the doc first to make sure your depression doesn't have a physical cause. Mine is caused by chemical and hormonal imbalances. I refuse to use HRT, so I take Lexapro every day. I don't mind that I need the Lexapro, it is no different than someone needing insulin or thyroid meds. Depression as a disease has a great deal of social stigma attached to it, but it really is a treatable disease. Talk to your doc before you try anything else, at the very least, get a physical w/labwork.


Dessa

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you." Numbers 6:24-25

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Caffeine can be a good anti-depressant but if you have too much it can create anxiety.

But yeah it sounds like you did a good thing getting off the 5htp and SAMe. On the pharma meds they'd wean you off, not stop abruptly though. I know that there are at least 2 types of chemical issues that cause depression so it might just be possible you're on the wrong supplement for them. The pharma solution has a few different choices, but I don't know about supplements. This might be something you should see a doctor about, especially if you're very concerned.

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Depression is definitely a chemical situation! But the sunshine and exercise help you make those chemicals so that you either need less of the pharma verisons or (hopefully) none at all. If you can get out of bed to get to the doctor, you can get out of bed to walk around the block. It's the getting out of thehouse that is the hardest part.

When I had post-partum depression (yes, that one is chemical, too), it took the combined threats from the OBGYN (to put me on antidepression meds which would force me to terminate breastfeeding) and a friend with a slightly older baby (so she'd been through it) to come DRAG me outside before I finally got out of the house.

Good luck. Christmas is a very stressful time when you are depressed. You know we all care here, if that helps, any. Sometimes we just need someone to take care of us a little, too. I don't know how that is chemical, but someday, some scientist will probably come up with a reason that it is, too, like tucking you in raises seratonin levels or something! :lol:

Would chocolate help?

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That's the problem with some forms of depression: not everyone has someone that will drag them out for exercise outdoors. The weather is not always cooperative, either: it's hard to walk in sunshine when you have a week straight of rain and clouds. Sunshine and exercise also does not cure all forms of depression (they do nothing for my hormone imbalance), that is why it is important to see your doctor for an exam.


Dessa

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you." Numbers 6:24-25

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Wish I could remember where I read this, but I did read that it doesn't matter if it's sunny or rainy as long as you are outdoors during daylight hours. It makes sense, because you CAN be sunburned on a totally grey, cloudy day. The same holds true for adjusting to a new time zone, by the way--spend as much time as possible outdoors during daylight hours.

There ARE good doctors out there; as long as you can find one that doesn't just write a scrip for drugs without trying non-drug alternatives first, the best plan is to see one. But there are so many lousy doctors out there who try to put people on antidepressants when they really don't need them.

I know people who have been helped through major depressions by antidepressants. I also know people who have had years of their lives ruined by antidepressants. I shudder to think what it would have done to me and my baby to have taken antidepressants back then when I didn't need them. On the other hand, if they help you, go for it! Just make sure you can stop taking them if they make you worse.

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Thanks for your advice and support.

Fiddle faddle, I do get outdoors, I try to everyday. I dont drink a lick of caffine, so I know thats not it. I believe I have a temporary chemical imbalance due to poor digestion. The good news is I think that since Ive been using digestive enzymes my mood and mind seems to be lifting a little. Even today I notice a great improvement from just a few days ago, so I may not be needing those antidepressants after all :rolleyes:

Im going to keep investigating ways to bolster my nutrition, because I believe that nutrition is the key to all my woes right now. I say this because there are days when Im digesting my food better and eating better and those are the days when my anxiety and depression are most lifted. I swear, we all are our best physicians. Although I will be seeing a doctor.

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I'm glad that you are having good days! Perhaps you have become anemic with the poor digestion. Hopefully the digestive aids will continue to help you, and you will start to feel even better!


Dessa

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you." Numbers 6:24-25

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