anti depressants for anxiety?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by crickett, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. crickett

    crickett New Member

    I have been having more panic attack issues lately . I do take valium for them but sometimes i wonder if i should try a old anti depressant to help me with them more? I was looking at the old messages I was looking at pamelor. I have tried almost all of them . I am very chemical sensitive. i do still take a very low does of elevail. but do not want to up it cause i cannot function. Plus i do not want to gain alot of weight,or deal with more constipation issues. It flares my ibs symptoms. i did up my thyroid med today. but i know it will take awhile. it just a scary road i just hate taking more drugs. Any input would be great to hear. thanks crickett
  2. hagardreams

    hagardreams New Member

    You sound like you are in my shoes right now. I feel the same way about the constipation issue, and I am also chemical sensitive with meds. Everytime I get on a new med it make my IBS act up again. Its very frustrating to say the least.

    I had just posted about asking for help, and they put me on a waiting list. In the meantime, here I am suffering!

    I dont have much luck with antidepressants, and the doctors keeps telling me that there are hundereds out there, I just need to keep trying. Its so easy for them to say that. I am on buspar right now, and all it helps with is the screaming, its not helping much with the actual panic attacks.

    I wish the best for you, because I am in the same boat.
  3. spacee

    spacee Member

    I was given that for depression/anxiety. It didn't work for me cause anything that
    raises my serotonin level, brings out my skin pain which I have had for years and
    is a different story.

  4. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    Tried them , many old and new ones. Couldn't tolerate the side effects. Xanax has been
    great for anxiety and panic.. Been on xanax for years, have never had to increase my dosage,
    I take 1/4 mg three times a day and one at night, was afraid to try them at first but no regrets and will probably take them always.

    Panic and anxeity is misery, hope you find something that helps.

    God Bless,
  5. Sceptical

    Sceptical New Member

    Take Valdoxan. Excellent. Do NOT take SSRIs if you wanna have a clear mind. CFS is a hyper-serotonerg state.

    Rivortil (clonazepam) is good but might be additive.
  6. victoria

    victoria New Member

    My son tried many things to no avail. Nothing worked, except paradoxically. Klonopin helped him sleep only since he has insomnia, but had undesirable side effects.

    Maybe it was a blessing because what he's found to be of help both physically and mentally is L-Theanine, an amino acid. I can't remember what was recommended specifically for anxiety in the articles I originally read, but he (as he grew and put on body weight/mass) had to up it over time. The "recommended dose" on the bottle was not and definitely would not be enough for him now.

    But with it, he is stabilized. Without it, he goes downhill quickly.

    Look online for further info about it, it's pretty well documented. Also you can get much better prices online than at a local HF/nutrition store.

    good luck...
    all the best,
  7. victoria

    victoria New Member

    The 'Suntheanine' type is the one that's been used in most or all the studies. I know one time my son tried one that did not have the Suntheanine name, unknowlingly, and he didn't know why he was not doing as well. Suntheanine is sold under many different brand-names like bluebonnet etc, not by Suntheanine itself.

    Also, Life Extension has a good article about different way to treat anxiety here:

  8. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a bit of experimenting with different ADs. Frustrating but that is what it takes.

    I can't take SNRIs as the norepinephrine makes me too hyper. The SSRI Zoloft has literally saved my life.

    My doctor added Lamictal which boosts the effectiveness of the AD and also reduces anxiety.

    Clonazepam generic for Klonopin has really helped my RLS. I have been on it over 15 years and have not upped my dose. It has a long half life and therefore not as addicting.

    That being said, there are people who can't tolerate the ADs. I found that after a couple of weeks the side effects disappeared.

    Has the anxiety just started? Did it coincide with increasing your thyroid medication? That could be a factor contributing to your anxiety.

    I had anxiety attacks during my twenties and they are horrific. Mine suddenly disappeared but I have just realized in the last year that at the same time my hyperthyroidism was resolved.

    Let us know how you continue to do. Good luck.

    [This Message was Edited on 06/05/2010]
  9. crickett

    crickett New Member

    OH MY GOSH. I have been taking valium since 2004 I take .05mg at least 1 a day i usually split it in half and try not to take it unless it is needed. I do have days where i struggle with depression . I just want to cry but i could not tell u why ??? sometimes it just makes me feel better. but the anxiety oh my gosh i do not want to have to go back on zanax. I thought the
    were more stronger.?? I did go out and buy me some sam-e i have only taken it for 3 days but it makes me nauseated. i am only taking 200 mg so now i feel like i am at a cross road . I hate dealing with the ibs issues and to add more constipation issues???? should i keep taking the sam-e and praying the nausea will go away. i like to stay natural??? thanks everyone i feel at least everyone on this board knows we are all trying to help 1 another and it does help me to know i am not alone. thanks crickett
  10. victoria

    victoria New Member

    take a look at what I wrote above about L-theanine....

    all the best,
  11. Sceptical

    Sceptical New Member

    CFS very often causes over-stimulation which cannot be tempered by anything else but benzos. Pure ans simple.

    That benzos may or in fact cause dependence does not have any relevance if you need them. Many famous CFS doctors advocate the use of clonazepam ranging from 0.5 to 6 mg ! for this reason (although it is not reasonable to go beyond 2 mg). Natural substances do not provide any alternative. The basic fact is that you must decrease stress as much as you can. At the same time, this stress derives from autonomic dysfunction and cannot be corrected by yoga, etc. The HPA axis is derailed by continuing immune activation. I am happy if I can sleep with Valdoxan and Rivotril and low dose remeron. As long as you are sick, you are in need of tranquillizers which push back your nervous system.

    My experience is as follows: the only thing which really helps is a long sleep (at least 9-10 hours). I therefor take anything to be able to fall asleep and maintain sleep for 10 hours. I have energy, go to the gym, and have much less foggy brain, etc. Sleep ! I am aware that the only time when I can stop taking meds is when I`ll get the right antiviral med. This time has not come yet. This is the time of tranquillizers only. I would rather take Clonazepam than an antiviral when we do not even know which virus is the target. Time will tell.

  12. victoria

    victoria New Member

    We are all different as to what helps us.
    We don't really all know what all we may have.
    It's nice to know there are possible alternatives, both rx'd or otherwise.

    I think everyone's input here is good as everyone's reporting from different angles.

  13. Sceptical

    Sceptical New Member

    You missed the point. I said that sometimes you did not have a choice. This scenario is not even rare in CFS. The best docs themselves refer to benzos as necessary instruments in treating CFS. Obviously just bc they do not know any better solution.

    I was not referring to alternative ways derisively. However, I think that they work only in those cases where medication would not have been necessary. This is an illness where fundamental biological processes simply do not work or do not work properly. Without reversing those processes it is very difficult to "supplement" your needs. Take for example the case of glutathione deficiency. DeMeirleir and others proved that sulfur containing substances are converted into H2S instead of useful substances. H2S in urin is elevated in cfs. H2S is neurotoxic. How do you prevent it???

    This is why I would be interested in such alternatives as far infrared sauna (as a possible detox) to avoid using crippled detox pathways or medical mushrooms with possible antiviral activity (immpower) or sg like that.

    Finally, alternative supplements may interfere with medications. Always watch carefully which enzyme breaks them down to avoid any interference (like CYT A26 vs A29).

  14. SnooZQ

    SnooZQ New Member

    Crickett, if you are chem sensitive, you might want to research Alpha Stim.

    My son who is chem sensitive used AS with extremely good results: decreased overall anxiety & elimination of panic attacks.

    AS uses microcurrent on an ear-to-ear circuit. Small earclips are wired to a palm-sized device & worn for about 1/2 hr. per day. The sensation one feels is a small not unpleasant tingle on the earlobes. After daily sessions for 3 weeks, my son now uses AS only a couple times per yr, 5 yrs. later.

    Usually AS must be RXd by an MD or licensed psychologist. In our town, one psychologist rents AS units to patients with diagnosed anxiety disorders, if they wish to try it. We ended up buying an AS, as it was more convenient to have one at home for "touch ups" a few times a yr.

    The major side-effect we noticed was that our son, a teen at the time, became so much mellower & relaxed. My DH said, "they should RX one of these to every kid the moment they hit puberty." ! Not a bad side effect.

    When first starting with AS, one is advised to take care with driving/power equipment, as responses vary & some people are initially become somewhat drowsy following treatment sessions, but usually that side-effect fades.

    Alpha-Stim is just one more option you might consider, but I think it's a really good one for chem-sensitive folk.

    Best wishes.
    [This Message was Edited on 06/06/2010]
  15. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I think we're not really disagreeing, because I totally agree sometimes one has no choice.

    The only reason I suggested L-theanine is that it can work, but becomes as necessary as if one were taking benzos in terms of at least maintaining one's equilibrium, even tho it may not have any physical withdrawal effects like benzos. Whether or not it's proven that if benzos help that that means L-theanine (or something else) will not, or vice-versa, I have never read that research... is there any?

    My son was mostly not able to go to HS due to his anxiety attacks/depression, hadn't even completed his 1st year after 2 years of trying. The last semester he was able to get thru at all (and that was 1/2 time) was due to L-theanine or he'd have had to drop it too.

    This was after trying multiple RXs 2 different psychiatrists had given him, including benzos. Klonopin worked well for him but had undesirable side effects. So while it 'worked' for him, it wasn't possible for him to continue it.

    My son later turned up CDC+ for Lyme and had other co-infections. If I hadn't just become aware of Lyme, he'd have been dx'd with CFIDS & Fibro, as that's what the internist was thinking at the time.

    So, as I stated, IMHO many here have a variety of 'things' going on with them. I'm not against benzos where they're needed, I take them myself for other reasons albeit sporadically, but would take it regularly if necessary. But, as in my son's case, sometimes other alternatives can be life-savers. 6 years later he still needs to take them even tho he's stabilized otherwise, tho not 'cured'.

    And of course I agree one needs to be careful with whatever one adds to the 'mix" of meds they're taking. Benzos definitely can interfere with other meds, like abx. Haven't read anything yet about L-theanine's interference.... tho I'm sure something will eventually show up.

    all the best,

  16. Sceptical

    Sceptical New Member

    Easy job:
    Dr Bell, DeMeirleir, Klimas, Lapp, Teilbaum Wallace, Levin, etc

    If you read the Compendium (list of registered medications), you can see that the daily dosage ranges from 0.5 mg to 20 ! mg and can be taken on a daily basis.

    Overprescribing. You are funny. Valganciclovir is also overprescribed for those having reactivated HHV6 bc it was tested in clinical trials only for CMV and for a short duration (basically in AIDS patients). CFS requires it by definition.

    l-theanine was stimulating in my case.

  17. Sceptical

    Sceptical New Member

    First, it is not the elementary school anymore. You are not right just because you are louder.

    Second, thank you for reminding me where I am from, I know that exactly. It qualifies only you. By the way, I referred only to famous, American docs who advocate the use of benzos bc there is simply no reasonable alternative in many cases.

    Third, you might ramble on pages regarding how dangerous benzos are but you are not a licensed physician. We who use benzos whith pretty good result - do it because other alternatives have failed. I do not care about what I take as long as it has the effect I expect.

    I feel deeply sorry for your family history but it does not exempt you from using the proper tone. I suggest you try to use arguments if you would like to support you theory. This is an art which you can acquire.

    Best wishes,
  18. Chelz

    Chelz New Member

    I know, I have anxiety along with my FM and I really do not think that the traditional antidepressants are a good thing for this. Have you tried a very low dose of Xanax? I know that Xanax (I'm not sure I'm spelling that right), can be addictive, but at a low dose it may not be.

    So many antidepressants have a lot of side effects. I was on Elavil for pain and had to get off because of the low functioning, weight gain, dry mouth, unreal feelings, constipation and so on.

    Pamelor is an old antidepressant which basically functions like Elavil. It can cause unwanted weight gain, and also makes you sleepy when you don't want to be.

    Newer SSRI's have their own issues too. Have you tried anything natural? Powdered magnesium, such as Natural Calm works wonders for me. So does taking high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids. Low impact exercise has helped me too. I ride a stationary bike everyday, and just sweating out my worries and anxieties has helped me. The plus side to natural anxiety remedies is basically, no side effects with these, just natural ways to help your body function better, so the anxiety is lowered, at least a little bit. If exercise is not tolerated for you, then skip it, it's just another option.

    For your IBS problems, (I have them too, not fun), I eat plain yogurt with blueberries and trust me, it does help your IBS, the only bad part is if you hate plain yogurt, try it with some natural honey, just a little bit. Unsweetened plain yogurt can be kinda nasty, so it takes some getting used to.

    The reason I emphasize natural so much because, like you, I am chemical sensitive. I have tried Zoloft, Paxil, Elavil, Wellbutrin, and all of them caused me more harm than good. Unfortunately, with a chronic condition, anxiety is almost a given and it is soooooooooo tough to handle.

    If you don't want to go the natural route, or feel it won't help you, then ask your doctor to try some Xanax like I said before. That med is studied and prescribed for anxiety, but because of your sensitivities, I would go with a very low dose to start. Good luck to you, Hugs, Chelz.
  19. siestasuze

    siestasuze New Member

    This is Way off subject.... but You mentioned magnesium. I researched this today, found on a website, a "spray on mag. supplement? called DermaMag. Claims that your body absorbs more by applying to skin, legs and arms, also footbaths, than by taking it orally by mouth.

    Know anything about this?

    Thanks for reply if you have time.

  20. Chelz

    Chelz New Member

    Yes, you are right. Trying the Xanax would not be a good thing for her. This is the reason why I tried to suggest natural ways to help with her anxiety first, but if all of that fails, I thought perhaps a very low dose of Xanax might help her.

    Now that I think about it, a benzo just might add fuel to the fire and would be bad for her. Anxiety is so awful, I know I have it, this is a tough one for her and others who are in her situation. Hugs, Chelz.