What do you take for depression....

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Marta608, May 7, 2011.

  1. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    ..... when you can't take anti-depressants?

    I know I'm in a funk of depression with the loss of dear friends, a mammo scare and feeling very alone. I recognize it and do my best to count my blessings but can't pull out of it. Over the years I've tried most anti-ds but have had negative reactions to them.

    Has anyone had this problem and, if so, what have you done for it?

  2. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    5-htp is an amino acid which helps your brain produce serotonin without the side effects of prescription anti-depressants.

    Also, omega 3 fatty acids are very important for mental health. Studies have shown that depression is often linked to a deficiency of omega 3 fatty acids. Fish and krill oil and flaxseed are good sources of omega 3s. The average American diet is deficient in omega 3s, with too much omega 6.

    I can't tolerate prescription a-d's either, and think most people could do well with natural alternatives without all the side effects of prescription drugs.

    I would also recommend exercise, but I know that many (most?) of the people on this board, including myself, are unable to do it. I can't because of CFS, end up in bed with post-exertional "malaise" (acute exhaustion) way too easily.

    Good luck -

  3. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Since I do take D3, cod liver oil capsules and thyroid meds (thyroid is low-normal since thyroiditis years ago), I'll try the 5-HTP. I have some in my cupboard but can't remember why I'm not still taking it. I'm very sensitive to all drugs/supplements, so I'll go slow.

    And I'll keep on counting my blessings.

  4. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    If you have good insurance or money to pay for it, EMDR therapy can be very effective for dealing with emotional issues. You have a lot going on to deal with. Counting your blessings is very good, but sometimes it's good to have more help. There are thousands of therapists in the U.S. trained in this technique - it works much quicker than traditional talk therapy alone, and the results last. You can check it out at emdr.com - the website also has a list of emdr-trained practitioners.

    And if you're like most of us and don't have good insurance or lots of money, you might want to look into eft (Emotional Freedom Technique). It's free, you can do it yourself or with someone trained in it, and it can help. I've done both, emdr was more effective for me but I had good insurance at that time which I no longer do. I did get some benefit from eft. You can check eft out at http://www.eftuniverse.com/

    Take care -

  5. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Thanks again, Mary. Just having someone who understands to talk to here helps a lot. Yes! I do have a lot going on, and the my rational self understands that. I've been telling myself to give myself time but so far the cloud remains. The sun peeks through for a second, I smile, then it gets cloudy again. So to speak...

    All the self-talk that usually helps (prayer; "many people have it worse; you don't have bombs dropping in your street; you have food, shelter and a good bed...."; "This too shall pass") isn't working. I've thought of therapy, but with the depression comes more fatigue and the therapist I know is a long drive from here. Another one costs $50 an hour and doesn't take Medicare. My primary r.l. friends both tell me to get out and DO things. That takes me back to the incomprehension of people w/o ME and the frustration of it. I'm feeling angry - at myself, I think.

    I'll check out both of the things you mention.

    Thank you!

  6. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Vit. D level was at 32 last fall and I've resumed my intake. Several years ago I took 1,000 IU every day. It perked me up ---and then I realized that my sleep was worse so I backed off to every other day....approx.

    I take 60 mgs of Armour thyroid daily. Who knows if it's optimal? I haven't had "optimal" in 17 years. One doctor I saw had me take 1 1/2 tablets every other day, but that soon made me jittery. I do find that zinc helps and read that zinc is good for our thyroid.

    As for service, I plan to volunteer at our local animal shelter again a couple of hours a week starting this week. There I don't have to commit to any certain day. We shall see if it helps overcome some of the fatigue. A big part of me just wants to sit in my yard in a Yoga pose and OMMMMMMMM.....

    Thanks, Jam.
  7. kitteejo

    kitteejo Member

    It took me over a month in February to detox off of Effexor(pure hell) and now find myself wondering if I should go back on because of my reoccurring depression. I hate to give in and go back to those meds. I am going to try the 5-htp to see if that helps.

    I have so much to be grateful for but none of that removes the gray cloud that hangs out with me.

    I've been stressed out with myself for going off of my meds but right now I have a ray of hope that I don't have to.

    I thank you Mary and all that post here for helping others.
  8. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I understand, Kitteejo. Years ago I found that I could take small dose of Celexa although it didn't seem to help anything. My doctor told me to stop taking it. HA. Even the small dose was hell to quit. I haven't worked my courage up to try the 5-HTP again.

    When do you take it? With food? As I said, I have some sitting in my cupboard but must have stopped for some reason. With me, it's usually because I feel worse or can't sleep.

  9. kitteejo

    kitteejo Member

    WEB MD states in bold letters; DO NOT TAKE THIS! Although, I read all the reviews and all but one is taking it and very happy on it. They claimed complete turn around on their depression.

    Looks like it's a risky supplement.

    I'm going to think on this before I jump in.
  10. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    I had a friend who was on Lexapro and which gave her the unfortunate side effect of diarrhea while on it (she thought it was a normal part of aging! I read the fine print for her of lexapro and there it was).

    Anyways, I urged her to give 5-htp a try. She got off the lexapro and started the 5-htp and loved it. She said she felt better on it, ahd more energy.

    I'm really sensitive to meds. I read all the fine print. I can't tolerate prescription ADs, but I do great with 5-htp.

    When I first started taking it (about 6 years ago), it gave me a moderate headache for several days, but I stuck it out because it was helping me sleep. The headache stopped after 4 or 5 days, and I've been fine ever since.

    I take 100 mg. at night before bed on an empty stomach. I get mine from Swanson Vitamins.

    Many people here have done just fine with 5-htp - do a search to see what they say.

  11. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    I take 100 mg. of 5-htp at night about an hour before bed. I take it on an empty stomach.

    As I posted above, when I first started it, it gave me a moderate headache for 4 or 5 days but I kept taking it as it was helping my sleep. And then the headache stopped, never to return, and I've done fine on it ever since (about 6 years now).

    We are all different. Maybe you took too much before? I'd start with 50 mg. or 100 mg. at the most. Some people take more but you'd have to work up gradually and see if you needed any more. Like I said, I do fine with 100 mg.

    The important thing I should have mentioned before is that you shouldn't take 5-htp at the same time as a prescription AD, as you may develop serotonin syndrome - too much serotonin - which can be dangerous.

    Good luck - I hope it works out for you -

  12. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    I should have added that you should NOT take 5-htp at the same time as a prescription AD, as you may develop serotonin syndrome - too much serotonin - which can be dangerous.

  13. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I see the 5-HTP I have expired in 2010. I'm never quite sure if they mean it, or if it's a trick to get you to buy more. The tablets are 100 mgs and also contain 20 mgs of B-6 and 120 mgs vitamin C. Perhaps it's the B that gave me trouble. Since it's $9/bottle I may try it again and hope that the expiration only means less strength.

    A question: I take Tamazapam 15 mgs during each night for sleep. Can anyone venture a guess or give me a link to check to see if this is a problem? I couldn't quit the Tam. abruptly and it's in capsules.

    Ah well, perhaps I need to go to PH and see if they have only 5-HTP.

    Off to the shelter.
  14. jole

    jole Member

    Marta, I'm another one who can't take AD's. I've been tried on lots too, and they all made me worse except for Lexapro, which I took for probably 4 years. One day I decided (with the okay from my doc) to get off a couple of my meds. Guess what I found out? They hadn't done me a bit of good.....hahaha.

    I've had some very low points......my depression is much worse in the winter, even with taking Vit D. I haven't found anything to help it. Have done meditation, read self-help books, tried other supplements. But it waxes and wanes. And as you mentioned, the biggest help for me is talking to others who understand, because they don't judge us. We tend to judge ourselves enough. Sometimes there simply are no answers but acceptance at the time.

    B vitamins are a big no-no for me. I tried them more than once, because the Bs are good mood stabilizers. Unfortunately, they wire me up to the point that I feel ready to explode, can't sleep, and have severe heart palpitations. Aren't we strange creatures??? Wish I had an answer for you, 'cause I sure would like one for me :) But I'm more than willing to listen, 'cause I know what it's like. Hugs.......Jole
  15. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    One good thing is that, if you find help, it will help me too, and visa versa! We seem to react very similarly to meds - and winter.

    I think sun and D help, but I tend to cocoon in winter and too much isolation isn't good. You're right; we judge ourselves way too much. There's an article by Dr. Sarah Myhill in the PH library about pacing that I like a lot. It made me reexamine my slow denial of my illness. She lists the ten commandments for reducing stress. I was guilty of all of them - still am.

    Today the shelter made me anxious at first. It's very chaotic there, but I finally got in the swing of it. I only stayed an hour and a half, came home, ate, fell into bed for a 2 hour nap. If I go in next week it will not be on the first day they're open. Do you get out much for anything except the Essentials? It's hard but maybe necessary.

    Hugs back!
  16. earthdog2000

    earthdog2000 Member

    Dar Marta!

    Dear Marta!

    Hi! I am taking Clonazepam ( Klonopin ) brand name for my insomnia and Panic Disorder. It helps me sleep pretty well and I have not had any adverse side effects except dry mouth when I first stated taking it! It also helps panic attacks and anxiety for me and I take a half of one when I feel those coming on. I know that everyone who has replied is big on natural supplements. I am just giving you my personal experiences and opinion.

    I read also that you can not take an AD with 5-HTP so unforunetly I can not take it. Maybe when I am doing better I can switch! I have fibro, CFS, Panic Disorder, IBS, migraines and was recently dx'd with Biplolar II Disorder. Hence taking the clonazapam for mostly everything!! I have had to bump up one of my meds and add another one for the bipolar and so far so good. I am finally feeling much less manic and depressed, Thank God!

    Anyhow, good luck to you and I hope you find the right meds or supplement that work well for you. I also take many supplements and MSM and CoQ-10 which really helps me!

    Faith, Peace and Comfort, Julie

  17. jole

    jole Member

    No, I don't, which adds to the problem. Sometimes in the winter I get such terrible 'cabin fever' and get desperate to see people. Unfortunately, I can't drive due to mini seizures, and and have panic attacks in crowds. I'd just love to sit in a corner unseen and be able to watch others....lol. I do take Xanax for the panic attacks, and it helps. I also take it at bedtime for the racing brain or I'd never sleep.

    Marta, at first they diagnosed me with bipolar, depressive only, and put me on Lamictal. I was on it for 3 years. Strangely, at the time I was put on it, my thought processes were horrible. It did not help the depression at all, but did help my cognition. The psych was impressed...and stymied at how it worked for me. I've since weaned off it due to my labs being abnormal, and see no difference once again.

    I need to read the article you mentioned. It's been 8 years since my FM/CFS, etc. diagnosis, and there are days I'm still in denial. It would be easy enough to accept if it were just merely "occasional" body aches, but when we can't even recognize ourselves as the person we once were, it's much harder to surrender to this new life.

    Pacing....I do really well with that until family calls and says they're coming for an overnight visit....lol. Then all the little things I overlook become glaringly bright! Company puts me in bed for a week. Going to a doc appt. is nearly as bad. Still do enjoy nature, reading, scrapbooking, and sitting on the front porch though :) ....Jole
  18. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Julie, I've tried Klonopin as well as most of the rest. It was very constipating for me and didn't seem to make a big difference in sleep. I'm very glad it helps you. It's just one more example of how each and every body is different. As a friend says, that's Rule #1. When you think of the miracle of that, it doesn't seem so bad.

    Jole, I'm glad you've found simple ways to enjoy your life. Like you, I enjoy nature, work on pacing my activities - try to step up to things I need to do to live. I think you're married, as well, right? It must help some to have a bit of help and companionship. I've also heard from people who wish they didn't have the responsibilities of a family - as much as they love them. I guess the grass is always greener, right?

    BDTNY516, no, I don't have a psych doc and/or counselor right now. I went that route but all he wanted to do is get me off Tamazapam (generic Restoril). Problem is, he had no alternative to suggest that I can take. As long as my GP will prescribe Tamaz., I'll take it since it's the only med I've found that helps at all without side effects.

  19. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    BD, that's one symptom I hadn't heard of. Is that why I'm always running to the john?? I thought it was associated with aging. No matter. I'd rather pee than not sleep. You might give it a try but it's easy to become dependent on it. I'd check with my doc and see if 5-HTP wouldn't work for you. Have you tried Melatonin? That did nothing for me but - again - every body is different!

    Jam, no, I haven't had those levels checked as far as I know. My doctor said, when I told her that I'd been dxed with CFS: "And what do you want me to do about that??" She's a love. Not. But I've been thinking about going back to the doctor anyway since I can't seem to get myself centered. Today I finally took 1/2 tab. of .25 Xanax, but don't like to do it. I admit it helped. : /

    We'll keep on plugging.
  20. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I'll check them out - and maybe add two more bottles of supplements to my shelf.... One of these days one of them will HELP.