Antidepressant help.

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Tawra, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. Tawra

    Tawra New Member

    I am having problems with being depressed. Very depressed. I've been sick 18 years and so I know the difference between just CFS and CFS with depression.

    Before even when I was sick I would at least have hopes and dreams and try to do something no matter how small.

    Now, I just don't care. I have no hope at all for anything and really could care less about anything.

    My question is what anti-depressants are there left for me to try.

    I've tried Prozac, doxapin, elivil, celexa, cymbalta, lamictal, paxil, st. john's wort, zoloft.

    All of these either made my mood REALLY bad (so bad dh doesn't want me to try any more) or they gave me horrible headaches and weight gain.

    I am trying Sam-e now without much luck but it's only been a week.

    The doctor said he doesn't know what to try next. We don't have insurance so I don't want to just be going to the doctor over and over trying to get this figured out. Besides every time I go in I'm the one who gives the suggestions as to what to try next.

    Any suggestions as to something that won't be so bad with the side effects.

    I am trying to cut down on the sugar but it's really hard and I'm just gritting my teeth trying to do it. It helped some last time but not enough to make it worth it.

    Anway, thanks for any input.


  2. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    Assuming the depression is an imbalance or lack of some neurotransmitters, you may want to try the simple nutrients that your body uses to make them. I haven't been depressed for awhile (since I've been feeling better) but now, when I read alot, my neuros get low and my brain fog increases. So I take these and it takes care of it. Below is a copy of my post to someone else with anxiety and depression. These things may sound "funky" but they are all chemicals either found in food or your body makes to use from other ones in food. So they are natural and since they aren't drugs, your doctor won't know about them. Have you tried 5htp? That's the only one not listed here:

    There are many other neurotransmitters that are important besides serotonin.
    Some other neurotransmitter "nutrients" like 5htp you can try are:

    phosphatidyl choline
    phosphatidyl serine - amino acid
    TMG (trimethylglycine) - amino acid
    phenylalanine - amino acid
    tyrosine - amino acid
    DMAE (is molecularly similar to choline) - amino acid
    B vitamins - I like Country Life brand bioactive B vitamin complex, they are already "liver ready" and easy for the body to use, I feel results immediately

    Here's some interesting stuff about "neuros":

    5-HTP---converts to--->Serotonin---converts to--->Melatonin

    Phenylalanine---converts to--->Tyrosine---converts to--->DOPA---converts to--->Dopamine
    ---converts to--->Norepinephrine---converts to--->Epinephrine (aka adrenaline)

    Note that norepinephrine is a key neurotransmitter AND an adrenal hormone.

    Here's some neuros, what they're for, sign of deficiencies, and the nutrients your body needs to make it:

    Serotonin: for Emotional Stability
    deficiency causes: Lack of rational emotion, feelings of irritability, sudden unexplained tears, sleep problems
    body needs: 5HTP or L-tryptophan, Calcium and Magnesium

    Dopamine: for Pleasure, reward, good feelings toward others, maternal/
    paternal love
    deficiency causes: Anhedonia - No pleasure, world looks colorless, inability to "love", no remorse about personal behavior
    body needs: L-phenylalanine, Vitamin B6

    Norepinephrine: for Arousal, energy, drive
    deficiency causes: Lack of ambition, lack of drive, depression
    body needs: L-phenylalanine
    Vitamin B6

    GABA: for Staying calm
    deficiency causes: Free floating anxiety, feelings that things are closing in around you, unexplained panic
    body needs: L-glutamine, Vitamin B6

    Enkephalins: for Psychological pain relief
    deficiency causes: Feelings of incompleteness, lack of fulfillment, feelings of inferiority, feelings of inadequacy, never feels "equal," fearful, insecure feelings
    body needs: D-phenylalanine, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid (a B vitamin)

    Tryptophan is the least common amino acid in food. It is also the most difficult to absorb into the brain. These make serotonin synthesis more difficult. Although tryptophan is mainly found in fish, meat, dairy products, eggs, nuts and wheat germ, eating these does not substantially increase serotonin. This is because these foods contain other amino acids that compete with tryptophan for absorption. Tryptophan “loses out” to the other amino acids.

    Eating carbohydrates raises serotonin levels but eating protein decreases serotonin levels. Carbohydrates cause an insulin response that favors tryptophan absorption over other amino acids. This explains why many people who need more serotonin (like being overly-stressed or depressed) start to “self-medicate” by eating more sweets or starchy carbohydrates. As tryptophan absorption rises, so will serotonin production.

    EFAs (essentail fatty acids) are also critical for brain function.

    The levels and function of several neurotransmitters can be increased by the supply of their dietary precursors. The neurotransmitters include serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline, histamine, acetylcholine and glycine, which are formed from tryptophan, tyrosine, histidine, choline and threonine (amino acids).

    This is why alot of us are loading up on free form amino acids. Our broken bodies cannot product them in sufficient quantities.

    hope this helps,

    [This Message was Edited on 01/18/2007]
    [This Message was Edited on 04/14/2007]
    [This Message was Edited on 10/09/2007]
  3. Tawra

    Tawra New Member

    So are these all pills and do I take all of them?

    I have had B vitamins (sp) for a while and I haven't noticed any difference.

    Thanks, Tawra
  4. TKE

    TKE New Member

    Man I feel for ya.

    I suffered the horrible side effects from Zoloft too. Everything from dizzy spells, to major nausea to anxiety attacks. Last thing we need is to add more stuff to deal with.

    You might ask to try "Lexapro". It's farily new. The only side effect I've had is sweating/hot flashes & I can live with those. I take it before bed.

    Ask your doc for samples & see how it goes for a month or two.

    Another thing you might try is light therapy. I don't have any webites to offer info, so you'll have to do a search for it.

    Winter is my worse time & my Huz has to drag me out of the house. Once out I do feel better just getting out & doing something. I know it's hard to force yourself when your brain is telling you not to.

    Hope you can find some help soon.
  5. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    I take all those in pretty large amounts because my liver's bad.

    First off, tyrosine, an amino acid, should be avoided if you have melanoma, are taking amphetamines, or if you have high dopamine levels, like mania and schizophrenia or if you're taking antidpressants or have high blood pressure.

    I'm putting dosage ranges because you can get all different dosage pills and, of course, it's always better to start low to make sure it won't make you feel bad for whatever reason. These are all chemicals that you can get from food, anyway, there's nothing here that's going to poison you. If you get capsules, it will be easy to open them and spill some out into a glass. That's what I do with alot of my supplements. It's also good to take an amino acid complex blend when you take individual ones, since alot of them work together. It'll probably make you feel alot better, too.

    If I were you I'd start of with the phenylalanine 250-500 mg, tyrosine 250- 500 mg and threonine 250 mg 2-3 times per day. If you don't notice a difference in a day or 2, then add phosphatidyl choline about 100-300 mg 2-3 times per day. If nothing in another day or 2, then add TMG, about 100-300 mg twice a day. If you still are feeling not-so-good, then phosphatidly serine 100 mg 2-3 times per day.

    You better be feeling good by now, but if you're not, you can still try DMAE 100 mg twice a day. And make sure you are taking a good vitamin and mineral supplement, you have to have magnesium, calcium and B vitamins.

    You can pretty much try any combo you want, but I'd start with the basic aminos, tyrosine, threonine and phenylalanine because they are known to help depression.

    good luck!

  6. Tawra

    Tawra New Member

  7. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    I obviously still have a brain fog problem because I forgot to include that! Yes, I take it everyday, in the morning first thing. I take it mostly for my liver, though.

    These things aren't like antidepressants, you aren't going to make yourself crazy if you take them all. Most people get all this stuff from food, anyway, because their bodies aren't broken and can properly digest and assimilate all the nutrients. These are all just brain foods.

    best wishes,

  8. Tawra

    Tawra New Member

    I did try DLPA. I took 750 mg a day. How long is it supposed to take to work? Will it only work in combo with the other stuff?

    Thanks for helping with all the questions.
  9. greeneyeslk

    greeneyeslk New Member

  10. fairydust39

    fairydust39 New Member

    I use Klonopin and it works for me. I use it at night and it helps me sleep.
  11. bigmama2

    bigmama2 New Member


    I would try a natural route such as Karen/BarrowI. suggested. There are books on this subject you may want to read. Depression Free Naturally by Lawson, The Mood Cure by Ross. They advise you to take supps, like amino acids, all the vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids, and some herbs possibly.

    I got serious depression 20 years ago in high school, and have had it on and off since then! At the time the only treatment option offered to me was Prozac. I have been on and off of SSRIs (and similar ADSs) since then. And yes they have some negative side effects.

    wish I had known about natural options and tried them first. But I didn't, so I take effexor and it works great. I would prefer to get off of it and do natural stuff, but with all my other health problems- CFS mainly, I'm too chicken right now.

    Good luck and take care! You are smart to know that there is a difference between just CFS and CFS with a bonus round of depression. I hope you feel better soon!

  12. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    It's really hard to figure out what neurotransmitters you're lacking in and why. If you tried DLPA and it didn't work by itself, you may have been lacking in some of the other needed nutrients.

    I get my brain functioning better when take all this stuff together. Once you have the right "mix" of nutrients, you should notice the effects within a day or so. If I start taking this stuff early in the day, I'll notice profound effects by that afternoon. It depends on how deficient you are.

    Make sure you're avoiding those nasty brain killing chemicals like msg and aspartame, too.

    best wishes,

  13. Kryssie

    Kryssie New Member

    You sound like me, lol.

    Wellbutrin is pretty good for depression and/or anxiety!

    And side effect- most people reported weight loss, not gain.

    Im currently taking it, again.
  14. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member


    Have you tried Remeron? It works differently than the regular meds. It does help gain weight, though.

    Also: the traditional Elavil is OK for me. I take 50mg. at bedtime and have no side-effects. It is also good for pain.

    I hope you find something that helps. I know what that is like.


  15. Tawra

    Tawra New Member

    I've tried Wellbutrin too but not remron yet. Although from the side effects on the label I'm not sure I want to.

    I had the strangest thing happen today.

    I was feeling great, almost happy. Then all the sudden my CFS started getting really bad, I got a bad headache and then I was really depressed.

    I am guessing it just has to do with me being sick all the time but it was really strange to go from feeling good to very depressed in the matter of seconds.


    Thanks for the ideas!
  16. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    Isn't it uncanny how you can go from feeling good to bad in no time? Make sure you don't do too much reading while you're trying to rebuild you neuros. You need them to read. I would only read stuff that's important, like posts on this board or other health stuff. Don't waste time reading the paper or magazines or anything not useful until you replenish your neuros. They will deplete quickly and they also create waste that needs to be cleaned out, that's also a reason for a headache.

    best wishes,

  17. Tawra

    Tawra New Member

    I wonder if that's what happened. I'm an author and I was proofreading a book I'm working on and it happened about 15 minutes after I had been reading for about 45 minutes.

    I have been reading a ton because I don't feel well and I have nothing else to do.
    We don't have cable but even if we did I have a 3 year old at home and wouldn't be able to really watch much with all the interuptions.

    Man, if I can't read that would put me out of business since most of my work is on the net.

    Augh!! Today I'm having I had this DD moment! :)

    [This Message was Edited on 01/19/2007]
  18. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    As long as you load up on all the aminos, you should be able to read. But at least give your brain a good head start, too, by not reading too, too much for a couple of days. And proofreading is like "thinking" reading, too, doubly bad. The more you're using your brain, the more neuros you're eating up.

    Having depleted neuros can also give you a really depleted "physical" feeling. If I try to read when I'm depleted up there, I get a very bad feeling all over. Neuros aren't just responsible for thinking, they have a hand in alot of bodily functions, too.

    best wishes,

  19. 4isfamily

    4isfamily New Member

    I have been taking SAM-e for 3 weeks ago and am amazed by the results (I think it must be it, although I also do accupuncture, mediation and other things that might slightly contribute). It took one week before I saw results, suddenly I had this warm feeling in my body (I suspect the effect on liver and production of glutathione). My sleep has dramatically improved, I have a deep uninterupted sleep and do not wake up in pain. Perhaps it's the effect on joints/muscles, but I suspect it may be due to effect on serotonin/dopamine... I feel fine, not HAPPY, but not depressed and I try to avoid depresing thoughts.

    This is just my 2 cents on SAM-e. I take 400 mg early in the morning on empty stomach with vitamin B (Nature Made brand - SAM-e has to be in individual foil wrapping, otherwise it may not help I heard).

  20. Catseye

    Catseye Member