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Michelle,

Is the 5HTP you were mentioning for anxiety? Depression? Or both...?

I'm most concerned about anxiety right now...

I will look it up on the net...what exactly is it and where do you get it?

I wonder...why don't they consider drugs like Effexor habit forming? If it is terribly hard to get off of, wouldn't you always want to take it?

I did get xanax from my dr....an old doctor..I just switched 2 months ago b/c I moved. I can see what you're saying about needing more of it...what I'm hoping is that the low dose I am taking will just continue to combat my physical symptoms..buit we'll see. Right now I'm only taking .25 a day and it has only been 2 days. My goal is not to take it every day...only days that I really feel I need it. Hopefully that WON'T be every day! If I do continue to feel terrible, with anxiety, though, I think xanax would be better than Effexor from what everyone has said to me about Effexor. Plus, I hate to have side effects from drugs. I just can't take them when I do.

I am also going to call my naturopathic doctor tomorrow and see what she says about natural anxiety meds. My friend swears by her natural stuff. She even gave me a few pills but I won't take anything unless I know what it is.

On one hand, anxiety is AWFUL. On the other, I am glad to finally feel that my physical symptoms might not be some terrible disease but rather an issue that I think I can overcome, you know?

In any case, I have to keep exploring my options. The mood swings are the absolute worst part of anxiety. One minute I'm happy, the next angry and grouchy. I saw this listed on a website as a major problem with generalized anxiety disorder. It sucks...

I'll try to make an appt. with my natural dr. tomorrow..

I'm so bummed..since I moved and switched gyms the new yoga instructors aren't very good. I may just have to stick with my videos. At least they are Beth Shaw, who is the best for yoga. She trained my other teacher who was FAB.

I'll let you know what I find out from the naturopath.

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Guest BERNESES

I'm sorry to hear you're experiencing so much anxiety. I have generalized anxiety disorder and depression (last 17 years) and I've been on a host of drugs- some good, some bad. I am also extremely sensitive to medication (and have had some pretty horrible reactions, but some effective ones too). They do use anti-depressants for anxiety and the accompanying mood swings. I haven't been on Effexor, but I do know people that the drug worked miracles for. The problem is -each drug affects everyone very differently.

I would be careful with the Xanax as it is addictive. What addictive means is that over time your body needs more and more to get the same effect from it. That's why anti-depressants aren't considered addictive (although most people have physical withdrawal symptoms from them).

There are other anti-anxiety drugs that are not addictive (BuSpar is one of them). Also, the yoga and 5 HTP advice is good. I also take fish oil. There's a lot of research going on about the positive effects of fish oil on mental illness (even schizophrenia!) in the US. It started because countries that eat lots of cold water fish like salmon and cod have much lower incidences of depression (and it's really good for you heart too). For depression and anxiety, you have to take quite a lot (I take 6 capsules a day) and you build up slowly (otherwise you get salmon burps!). I take Nature Made (I get it at my local drugstore and it's super cheap) and it's gluten-free.

Also, check out this website:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/

I ahve learned so much about depression, anxiety and medication issues from it. It's great! And like here, the people are really supportive and kind. hang in there, I know it's hard. B

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I'm hoping that I will only take the xanax once in a while so I don't become accustomed to it. but, if I find myself needing it every day I will have to use something else!

I have started taking Flax Oil; is this the same as fish oil? It is Omega 3, Omega 6, Omega 9 plus vitamin A. Or does it actually have to be fish oil? If so, I'll go get some today!

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Ok, today I bought some 5-HTP and some Gaba. These are both natural supplements that are supposed to help with anxiety and depression. Does anyone have any experience with these?

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Hey, I don't have much time to comment, but I just wanted to tell you to start the 5-HTP SLOW or it might make you nauseas. Don't take more than 100 mg/day for the first few days, then you can add 100 mg, and so on. You probably wont need more than 300 mg/day. You should take it on an empty stomach to get the best effect, but if it starts to make you feel queasy, eat something. This effect goes away - not lasting more than a couple weeks at most. So, don't worry about it ;) It might not even upset your stomach at all. Just thought I would warn you in case it does. And like I said - if it does, eat something and you will be fine :)

Take care,

- Michelle

p.s. I take GABA when I want quality sleep or need to calm down or when I'm frantic about studying and don't want to take Ritalin. It has a great soothing effect. There is a trick with it though (that I didn't learn until just recently) - when you take it, take 500 mg or else it wont even effect you. It's good stuff :)

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P.S. The 5-HTP wont make you throw up (in case you are wondering) it just might make your stomach uncomfortable. Just wanted to clarify :)

*hug* Good luck!!

- Michelle :wub:

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I'll actually just start with 50 mg so hopefully I won't have that issue! If I do, I will probably not take it anymore!

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I went looking at 5-HTP. It is contra-indicated for people with rheumatoid arthritis, severe allergies, and liver problems. I guess that means I shouldn't take it, huh? Those are just a few of the contras I found for it. I am open for advice on it!

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I bought some 5-HTP. I have not tried it yet-I usually like to ask my dr. first. I have an appointment with my natural dr. next week so we'll see what she says.

I would love to use natural stuff first instead of real meds.

Thanks, Michele, for understanding my phobia!! You're the best...

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Thanks, Michele, for understanding my phobia!! You're the best...

I remembered a little late - sorry! But I just want you to know that you don't need to worry about it :wub:

Here is a link to some FAQ's about 5-HTP (from the book I mentioned):

http://www.doctormurray.com/B5htpFAQ.htm

And Berneses is absolutely right with her comment about essential fatty acids. You should be fine with flax oil (if you are taking enough). But if you ever want to try fish oil - without the fishy burps (ugh, they are gross) you could try Nordic Naturals fish oils. They put lemon flavor with them so there is no nasty afterburp. And I think some other companies are adding citrus to their fish oils to because Nordic Naturals has had such great success because of it.

Plantime -

I am unaware of the contraindications, but I will certainly look into it for you if you would like me to. Why in particular are you interested in taking it? If it does turn out that there are contraindications, I might be able to suggest something else - something natural - that might help you. Also - please let me know where your source of info is (if you want me to try and figure it out). And if you don't want me to bother with it - that's fine too! ;)

I just finished (I hope) a nasty debate on the virtues of L-glutamine and I don't really want to do that again. If anyone wants me to find out stuff about vitamins, I would be honored with your trust. But if you don't want me to waste my time - please tell me! And keep in mind that I am not a doctor or a biochemist and it's highly possible that I could make a mistake. But I would never suggest anything if I thought it could hurt someone, or if I hadn't tried it myself, or if I didn't feel good about my knowledge about it (including the ability to back what I say up with credible sources). So - anyway...

Take care everybody.

- Michelle

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Hi Michelle! The three contras I listed are the ones that I might have a problem with. I can't afford $74 a month for Lexapro, and I prefer natural products, anyway. I always seem to have problems with prescription drugs! If you have more info on 5-HTP, I would love to read it! I am looking for information, not a debate, so I won't hassle you over whatever info you have. I went to the link you posted, and my biggest question, about L-tryptophan, was answered in it. I appreciate any help you can give me, including where to buy it at. I am grocery shopping Friday, and will be at my whole foods store. That is where I get my natural supplements, so I will look for it there.

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Dessa -

I would love to help you :) I have that book on 5-HTP and maybe could answer some of your questions.

But - I was wondering, are you looking for something for anxiety or depression or some other problem?

Thanks for being so nice ;)

- Michelle :wub:

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Hi Michelle! The three contras I listed are the ones that I might have a problem with. I can't afford $74 a month for Lexapro, and I prefer natural products, anyway. I always seem to have problems with prescription drugs! If you have more info on 5-HTP, I would love to read it! I am looking for information, not a debate, so I won't hassle you over whatever info you have. I went to the link you posted, and my biggest question, about L-tryptophan, was answered in it. I appreciate any help you can give me, including where to buy it at. I am grocery shopping Friday, and will be at my whole foods store. That is where I get my natural supplements, so I will look for it there.

Dessa -

Hello there :) I *so* know what you mean about the cost thing! Ugh!! At one point in time (actually, a long drawn out point) I was paying $300/month for my anti-depressants. It's so freakin' expensive!!

As for your question about where to buy vitamins - I usually get my at webvitamins.com or vitacost.com or myvitanet.com or vitaminshoppe.com or smartbomb.com - whoever has the cheapest price ;) And it's really important that you get a quality manufacturer too! Jarrow is a really good brand (cheap and reliable) - especially for amino acids (which is mainly what we're talking about here). I wouldn't buy another brand when I'm buying aminos. For other medications - good brands are Solaray, Nature's Way, Solgar, Doctor's Best, and.. well, it's kind of vitamin specific - certain brands are better at certain things. But if you end up getting herbs (such as Kava or something like that) you would be better off with Solaray or Nature's Way. You can find most of these brands at your local health food store - but you will pay about 30-50% less if you buy them online.

I never found out about what you wanted the natural medicine for. Was it depression or anxiety? Is it something constant or acute? If you want something for acute anxiety, I would suggest that you try getting some GABA - it's an amino acid that has a valium-like effect - without the drooling ;) If you are looking for something for depression - well... let me know a little more about the depression ;) If it's a sleepy/lethargic type of thing, I would suggest trying some Acetyl-L-Carnitine - that will give you energy, clear your thoughts, and actually have some really *sweet* side effects like helping you to lose fat and also providing neuroprotective effects. I take it (a lot!!) when I am in school because I have had a serious brain injury and it really helps me with clearing my thoughts & giving me the energy to do all of the studying ;) The GABA also is beneficial for your thoughts. I was taking Ritalin to help me focus, but then noticed (by accident) one day that GABA had the exact same effect (providing the ability to concentrate) without any of the nasty side effects. If you are looking for something to help control mood swings (ending up in depression) try Brevail. It's really amazing. I honestly don't know exactly how it works - it was given to me by a friend and I started taking it because it was free ;) Ha! I was really surprised when I noticed that my moods had become smooth & friendly!

Let me know if there's another reason you are looking for something - feel free to email me or private message me :)

Please know that I'm not against pharmaceutical drugs. I think they really do provide a lot of help for a lot of people. If you have paid attention to any of my other posts, you will note that I've been on prescription anti-depressants for much of my life. So, that should tell you that I've certainly not been against them, and felt that they really have helped me in certain circumstances.

- Michelle :wub:

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Guest BERNESES

Hi Everyone- Michelle is absolutely right about buying a quality brand and the ones she recommended are excellent (Solgar, Nature's Way, Nordic). Sorry it took me so long to post about the fish oil. apparently flax has the same benefits but here's the deal. From what I know, if you read a regular bottle of fish oil capsules it will tell you to take 2 a day (roughly). This is for heart, cholesterol, etc. but for depression/anxiety you need higher doses. Look for the DHA and EPA amounts. From what I remember, you are supposed to take 1800 DHA and 1200 EPA (if I am wrong anyone, please pipe in). So for example, my serving size of 2 caplets doesn't give me nearly enough so in order to get the amount required for depression/anxiety, I need to take 2-3 capsules with each meal (3x per day total).

It's great for other things too- heart and circulatory, skin problems like psoriasis and eczema, makes your hair really shiny, etc. BUT it does thin your blood so be sure to tell your doctor if you are taking it and you would need to stop it before surgery.

I am not an expert (nor do I play one on TV) and you should research it yourself and talk to your doctor but it's worked really well for me. One of the reasons they think it works is because it helps your body absorb vitamins, minerals, medications etc. which is perfect for those of us with Celiac since we have malabsorption issues.

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hey ladies,

I need some help with what to take. I bought Gaba and 5-HTP but it wasn't one of the brands you mentioned-the Gaba was TwinLab and the 5-HTP was Natrol brand.

I thought TwinLab was pretty good but I'm not familiar with the Natrol.

Anyway, I am suffering from anxiety and depression so I need to take something for both, most likely. The 5-HTP sounds good for depression but I wonder about the Gaba for anxiety b/c of the sleepiness. I pretty much have anxiety all the time so I need something I can take for during the day as well. I also have terrible mood swings so I would like to try this Brevail stuff. Where do you get it? At the vitamin store? I'll look today.

Can I take all 3 of these things safely? If not, what should I try for these symptoms?

Any thoughts would be appreciated. I' m a bit of a wreck lately but so determined to get through it without the pharmaceutical drugs if I can. I mean, if the natural stuff works why not use it? If not I will try the Effexor. I need to get some quality of life back.

Thanks..you guys are the best,

Jenn

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Jenn -

Try what you have. The cool thing about buying supplements is that you can almost always take them back for a refund if they don't work - even if you've taken half the bottle. Of course, this may not be true at the store you bought them at - so check if you haven't opened the bottle yet! ;) Twinlab is not a bad company, and neither is Natrol - but they wouldn't be my first choice. Try them though! That's the only way you will know if they work for you. If you decide that you like them - buy them online - it will save you sooooooooo much money!

First, I think you should take the GABA when anxiety hits you and see what happens. Sometimes it makes people tired - sometimes it doesn't. Everyone responds differently to meds. When I am really anxious and I take GABA it doesn't make me sleepy at all. It often doesn't make me sleepy - I just take it before bed when I want to ensure deep sleep. When you take the GABA - take 500 mg.

You *can* take 5-HTP and GABA and Brevail simultaneously and not be putting yourself in danger - but I doubt you will need all three. If you are going to buy the Brevail anyway, try that one before opening up the 5-HTP (if you haven't already) and see if that is enough on it's own to help you. Then, if you get anxiety - take the GABA. But wait at least a few days for the Brevail to kick in before you start with the 5-HTP. For me the Brevail started working the first time I took it (which is actually not how vitamins usually work, so it was wild!) and I think Stephanie (skbird) had the same experience. Then if you should decide that you need the 5-HTP along with it - start out taking 100mg at night for a few days. If you are trying to control your appetite or want to increase the efficacy of 5-HTP, take it 30 minutes before meals. After a few days, if you feel you need it, you can increase another 100 mg - doing so up to 300mg. But I really don't think you are going to need that much if you are doing the Brevail and the GABA too!

In my experience, anxiety hits me first and then turns into depression. First I get all upset about something - then I start getting upset about getting so upset - then I get sad because I can't control my emotions and feel worthless - then I realize how hard/sucky other things in my life are and I start thinking sad and self-defeating thoughts... then - well, it's a downward spiral for me! But it usually starts with anxiety. That's why I think you should try the Brevail & GABA before you worry about depression supplements. :)

Good luck!!! We love you :)

- Michelle :wub:

P.S. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. :P

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I broke down and took an Effexor an hour ago.

I have been SO down this week and funky mood swings I wasn't looking forward to the fourth of July at all. My hubby and I discussed it over dinner and he feels scared watching me be so depressed.

I am terrified it will make me nauseated! So far so good but it's only been an hour. If I do get sick I will probably stop taking it but I hope I don't b/c I really feel I need it.

My dr gave me the 37.5 start up pills for one week, then the 75 mg for the rest of the time. Hopefully it will help me.

What do you guys think? Did you have terrible nausea?

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I've taken many anti-depressants, never got nausea. My biggest problem was staying awake during the day. I am on Zoloft and feeling better, I had to change the times, I now take it at night. I'm glad you are taking it, I hope you soon feel better. Sometimes the symptoms, if you have any, will go away after a few days, got to give it a chance ;)

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Yes, I know I have to give it awhile.

Today I slept all day and last night I was very nauseated. But I have Phenegran for nausea so that is helping. I feel weird and drugged. I hope this goes away!

Next week the dosage goes up...I hope the side effects have diminished a little by then or I don't know how I'd take it.

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Yes, I know I have to give it awhile.

Today I slept all day and last night I was very nauseated. But I have Phenegran for nausea so that is helping. I feel weird and drugged. I hope this goes away!

Next week the dosage goes up...I hope the side effects have diminished a little by then or I don't know how I'd take it.

I too suffer from anxiety/worry/ocd symptoms as well. And what worked for me was Celexa. (Now they have a generic as well) The benefits of Celexa is its NOT as habit forming as some of the other drugs already mentioned. (I weaned off it quite easily) For instance my Dr said Zoloft was really habit forming and caused diarrhea for some people. :(

take care

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Guest BERNESES

I take Celexa too for the same reasons as Docklearfan and it works really well for me. Just go slow, be patient (with the Effexor) because a lot of the side effects go away after awhile. If you are still having side effects next week ask your doctor if you can hold off on upping the dosage. It's best to go up slowly as most of these medications take awhile to kick in. Hang in there- you'll get through this. And don't think of it as "breaking down"- it's like anything else. It's a disease and if you need medication for it, you need medication. Think of it like any other disease- you wouldn't feel bad about atking medicine for your heart or your tummy.

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Ugh...Michelle did you get side effects other than sleepiness and loss of appetite from Effexor? I feel really weird, like I can't concentrate, my pupils are totally dialated...I wake up suddenly in the night frightened. Perhaps this medicine isn't the right one for me? I'm going to call my dr. and find out what he thinks...

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Hey Jenn,

How ya doin'? I did have a hard time concentrating for a little while after I first started taking Effexor. That cleared up after a little while (I took the Effexor / Wellbutrin combo for 3 1/2 years) - but I don't remember how long it took - or if it was the addition of the Wellbutrin that helped clear my thoughts. I suggest that you try and wait it out another week and see if your body adjusts.

As for the dilated pupils - mine were huge the whole time I was on it. If it doesn't bother you though, I don't know that there's a reason to be concerned about it. If it makes you feel better, that's also a sign of arousal and you are sure to lure men who don't know why they are attracted to you (evolution is fun!)) ;)

Waking up suddenly in the night... I'm not sure what's going on there. But I would give it some more time for that also - unless it is really upsetting you.

Try and remember that these are psychotropic drugs and they are *meant* to cause changes in your brain chemistry, so some strange things are going to happen in the beginning. But also remember that your body has an amazing ability to adjust to things - and that it's likely that after just a little while, the difficult side effects will subside.

Hang in there! *hug*

- Michelle :wub:

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Thanks, Michelle. I called the dr. and he said those things are normal and to wait it out. I up my dosage in a couple of days which might makes things temporarily worse, but at least that will be it for awhile.

I just can't wait to feel better! I just hope these things don't stay this way the entire time I'm on it! The pupils are funny, though.

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Guest BERNESES

Glad to hear that the doctor said those things were normal. hang in there- adjusting to these medications can really do a number on you. Best, Beverly

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