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Meds...
January 9, 2001
3:26 pm
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lazydazy
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what do you guys think of medication for anxiety and depression? Any horror stories, success stories? What is your view on St. Johns Wort?

January 9, 2001
4:01 pm
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Ima
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I have decided to be the med proponent, as I don't see anyone else taking that position.

There are conditions that make it almost impossible to function without meds (Schizophrenia, Borderline PD, and BiPolar, etc.) Getting a good diagnosis of your situation is imperative. There are other cases when you can survive without meds, but may not be able to LIVE. This is me. I am taking Zoloft(antidepressant), Risperdal(anti-psychotic), Buspar(anti anxiety) and Neurontin (I dont' remember why...) I think I may be overmedicated, but I know that when I try to toy with my meds, I slip into some seriously self-destructive behavior. I feel guilty for taking so many meds, but grateful to have access to them... The guilt doesn't do me any good, and the meds make life livable.

Make sure you have a good, qualified, PDr. whose first response is not to drug you, but to understand you. Take them as they are prescribed, and keep good communication with your PDr. about results, concerns, etc.

I have also tried St. Johns Wort and SAMe, both of which were at least moderately effective, but more expensive than prescriptions(because of insurance). They seemed to take the edge off, but when I got into depression and desperation that went beyond that, I took the med route.

I shall now step off my soap box...

January 9, 2001
5:37 pm
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janes
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I think meds for depression , anxiety and other conditions can be extremely helpful. They may not be "cures" but they can certainly help...and help a lot.

Remember each person is an individual and medications affect eachof us differently. I still stick with aspirin for pain cuz it works better for me than the "fakes"..which seems to help other immensely.

I have been taking St johns wort for several years and feel like it keeps me "evened out. I have noticed much less anxiety and depression associated with PMS since I started.

work with your m.d. or counselor for the right stuff for you.

Brainchemistry is an amazing field.

good luck

j-

January 9, 2001
5:49 pm
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Molly
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Drugs work, better life through chemistry, that is why it is such a problem today, with the illegal ones, and why there is such a profit in the legal ones. The trick is to have an MD work with you, and get the right ones, there are several out there, and I have seen some miracles and some hell with my husband trying to get the right combo, it takes time, and awareness.

January 9, 2001
11:17 pm
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counslr336
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I believe that you should also try a good counselor that will work with your doctor on this.Agood counselor will work with you on your problems with anxiety and depression and get to the underlying problems that are causing the depression and anxiety. Try it ,and maybe you can get off the meds all together.

January 9, 2001
11:31 pm
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lost soul
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Drugs ( sleeping pills ) definitely help me throught those difficults days and still are.

January 10, 2001
11:02 am
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Cici
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I've been on Wellbutrin, Amytriptaline, Buspar, and have taken sleeping pills: ambien and sonata.

Wellbutrin caused me to have a severe nervous breakdown - a complete break from reality, a manic episode which lasted about 2 weeks wherein I never slept. It was a frightening experience.

Amytriptaline caused me to have dangerous heart arrhythmias that almost sent me to the hospital. I took only one pill - NEVER again.

Buspar caused me to feel blizted out. I would have waves of shivering, almost like something was crawling all over my skin.

Sonata caused me to hallucinate. I won't even go into it - it was worse than any acid I've ever taken.

From my own knowledge of medication, there are upsides and downsides. As Ima mentioned, some people can't function normally without medication, BUT there is also a high failure rate with treating schizophrenics with anti-psychotics.

The issue for me (and many practitioners) is compliance with taking meds. Often it isn't the patient who is refusing to take meds -they are often reacting to teh side-effects. That's why there's a HUGE noncompliance problem with antipsychotic drugs - the side effects, which include marked sedation, slurred speech, slowed cognitive abilities and Parkinson's like demetia (in worst cases) make it impossible for many to tolerate meds. Then you get into the whole, meds to counteract side-effects of other meds, which leads to someone who is overmedicated, plain and simple.

I've taken St.John'swort but without much help. 5-HTP is workign well for me. It's a metabolite of L-Tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin and dompaine. It's a "natural" supplement, as in naturally occuring compound. With anti-depressants that are liscenced, tehy are uniformly compounds that do not occur in nature becaus eyou can't liscence naturally occurring compounds. So pharmaceutical researchers tack on an HCl here or an alkyl group there, which is what causes unwanted side-effects like nausea.

For anxiety, there are natural herbal remedies, valerian root, skullcap, lemon balm (aka blam), passionflower, hops, kava.

To put myself to sleep nautrally, I use a recipie for dreamtea that I found in an herbalist book.

2 mL valerian extract
1 mL lemon balm extract
1 mL skullcap extract
2 mL elderflower extract

mix in 4 oz. warm water.

January 10, 2001
3:57 pm
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Molly
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Cici, have you tried essential oils? Not to take internally, but a real aroma therapy. Either inhaled, or used externally in a natural oil, sesame, or cold pressed oils? Massage works.

January 11, 2001
12:34 am
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so confused
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I refused to take meds for years. Fearful of ending up like my mom. My mom is a manic depressive and has taken everything out there. Some work some don't.
Anyway, I finally decided to try meds. My therapist reccomended it but, did not push it. I started on Prozac....it worked great!!!!!!! My moods were like night and day. I felt better and was even happy. Well, I am now 30 pounds heavier whick is DEPRESSING me. I needed another medication that worked on the seratonin without the weight gain. I am now taking CELEXA. It works (not as good as the Prozac), and is weight neutral. I stopped gaining, but have not lost any weight. If I have a hard time sleeping I take zanax. Good Luck!!

Remember, it takes time and every medicine effects each individual differently!!!! Be patient!

January 11, 2001
1:45 pm
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Molly
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Hey so confused, what's up? I haven't heard of people gaining on Prozac before, most people I have heard of loose weight, oh well.

January 12, 2001
1:00 am
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so confused
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Molly, my therapist said everyone is different. I definately gained a lot of weight!!!!!!!!!!!! How are you??? I have tried to keep a low profile on here. Just reading a lot. My thread caused a lot of pouring of emotions. So, I decided to chill out for a while.

Life is moving on...hopefully things will be okay.

January 13, 2001
5:43 pm
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lewis
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I took prozac & nothing changed, my mood stayed the same. I finished the treatment & decided to go for the big one, councelling. After a long time I got into the swing of things, & recently realised that it as REALLY helped me. I'd rather do the latter, personally I feel like I've faced some issues.

Good Luck

January 14, 2001
6:24 pm
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chris-tina
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Talk to your doctor, but for me a combo of meds and therapy is what it took. I suffer from anxiety and severe depression. I tried therapy alone but my emotions were so out of controll that I wasn't able to make any progress. Then I was put on meds (Celexa and Buspar.) Right after that I moved and for a short while I was taking the meds without counseling. Then, my emotions were more under control and I was able to function in most of my daily life. However, none of my problems were getting any better. Finally I found a new therapist. As she explained to me, the medication was there to help me keep things under control while I straightened my life out with therapy. I've been on the medication for 13 months now, and am doing millions of times better than I was a year ago. Be careful not to look at either medication or therapy as a cure all solution. However, with counseling, a bit of hard work on your part, and posssibly some medication you can get your life back under control.

As for St. John's Wort... I've never personally tried it, but I know people who swear by it. I have heard that chemically it works similar to anti-depressants (speciffically SSRIs) but don't quote me on that. Does anybody else know any more on how it works? The one thing that I do know is that you should not take it while on any anti-depressents or many other medications for mental illnesses. I have been warned about this by several doctors. So, if you are on any other meds, check with your dr. first before trying St. Johns Wart.

Good Luck LazyDazy and everyone else out there!

January 14, 2001
9:51 pm
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gingerleigh
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I know one good friend who had great luck with St. John's Wort, but stopped because he was worried that he was getting dependent on it. he said that it made things so much better and more bearable. I haven't tried it myself.

My friend is now doing the straight therapy route, as am I. I am feeling better with therapy, although I still get really sad sometimes. I think that is Ok though. I have not tried any meds for depression.

The limited reading I've done on St. John's Wort makes me think that it is beneficial, and works for some people. Give it a shot if regular therapy isn't helping any... but check with your doc first.

January 16, 2001
12:31 pm
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Cici
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OK - I'm jumping on the soapbox now. A good therapist will refer you to a nutritioinist FIRST.

It's ridiculous to see how few people attend to their diet when it comes to psychiatric concerns. As if what you eat does nothign to your emotional state. How the heck do you rationalize that? Then again, we live in a society that has an epidemic of obesity. People don't want to give up the foods that they like so much.

I HAVE to examine my diet to maintain my healthy becuase of my digestive diseases. But it's a wonder to me how much my outlook and emotional stability have improved with a better diet of low fat, high fiber foods. Drinking 6-10 8 oz. glasses of water in very important.

If you have problems with anxiety you should first stop all caffiene intake. Stop OTC (over the counter) meds that contain stimulants, including exedrine, which has caffiene. Stop eating chocolate. Stop eating fast foods. Stop eating prepared foods like frozen pizza.

Also, if you have been on an extended course of anitbiotics, consider taking probiotic supplements, acidophilus and bifidium (live and active cultures in yogurt aren't enough if you are too depleted). These bacteria are beneficial to your intestines and produce essential vitamins that aren't present in the normal diet. A depletion can cause depression and memory problems.

Get exercise. Fresh air and sunlight.

January 16, 2001
8:32 pm
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Ima
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Too often food IS therapy! Chocolate is as good as prozac in my book. And a good vanilla latte, mmmmmm. Drinking 6-8 diet sodas is the same as water, right?

Just kidding. Mostly.

I wonder if you would have changed your eating habits if it hadn't been life threatening. Even if you knew it would make you feel better. I know very well that I do SO much better when I avoid sugar and get even a minimum of exercise, and yet I don't choose to do either usually. What's with that? Maybe theray will help me figure out why I would rather not take care of myself like I know I should, like I know would make me feel better, and why I continue to eat chocolate and drink my lattes and sit here instead of going for a walk. As always, "If I would just make the effort..."

January 16, 2001
9:57 pm
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Molly
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Right on Cici!!

January 16, 2001
10:36 pm
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janes
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I agree...Nurtrition is a big KEY.

Rember the saying...fish is brain food? They've found that 480 mg's of fish oil per day helps with Dyslexia, ADHD and dyspraxia.....

I still take my St John's....lots of vitamins....green tea..

Cici...water is for DRINKING?!?!?!?

I'm terrible in that area!!!

I will try to improve.

I do love my Total Gym.

Good health everyone!!

January 16, 2001
10:36 pm
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janes
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I agree...Nurtrition is a big KEY.

Rember the saying...fish is brain food? They've found that 480 mg's of fish oil per day helps with Dyslexia, ADHD and dyspraxia.....

I still take my St John's....lots of vitamins....green tea..

Cici...water is for DRINKING?!?!?!?

I'm terrible in that area!!!

I will try to improve.

I do love my Total Gym.

Good health everyone!!

January 17, 2001
10:42 am
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Cici
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I don't know, Ima. Would I have changed? Probably not. It's a hard thing to do. Hell, I suffered excessively the first year after my diagnosis because I refused to change my diet.

But once you start down the road, you tend to want to keep going. It's a weird conundrum.

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