Depression (And Some Anxiety)+ Health Symptoms=Nutritional Problem?

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Thomas
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Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 9/17/2007 11:29 AM (GMT -7)   
I'd much rather find a nutritional answer to my problem rather than taking drugs, so I'm hoping somebody with the knowledge can take a shot at diagnosing these symptoms and history...
 
Depression/anxiety runs on my dad's side of the family. I'm 40 and have had low grade depression most of my life, but with severe depressive lows a few times a year. While I never feel a "manic high", I'm guessing I'm low level bi-polar due to ignoring and putting off life issues when I'm "normal" (low grade depression). When I get the severe modes of it I sleep all the time and have no motivation, not hungry, etc.
 
I've always been a "nervous" person but this seems to get worse with the depression (bouncing a leg while sitting still, jitters, etc. While I've experienced "crawling out of my skin" symptoms in the past or heart pain, this severity level is rare. I more or less feel like I've drank way too much coffee (which I don't drink).
 
The usual guilt, worry, hopelessness, fear of the future, feeling of worthlessness, and other type stuff floats around in my head. Complicating all this is a little OCD and ADD, which I've always had. Fear of touching faucets in bathrooms, trouble with memory and concentrating, etc.
 
Now that the long winded stuff is out of the way, I'm a big believer in nutritional answers to health problems. Even though this appears to be "genetic", I think the genetic problem might be a nutritional problem, if you know what I mean.
 
I'm hoping somebody with experience or a nutritional background can link all this together for me. Physical symptoms include: Always had slow blood clotting (according to my doctor). A blood test several years ago revealed high folic acid (I take a multivitamin). Although underactive thyroid runs in my family, mine was "in the low normal range" when it was tested. I hardly ever eat breakfast or fruits or vegatibles, or even eat on a regular schedule. If I don't eat for a long time my mind gets fuzzy and I sometimes get muscle "twitching".
 
I went on 10mg of Lexapro a couple weeks ago. While the depression feels like it might be lifting just a little, the anxiety seems a little worse. I'm also worried that if I'm bi-polar the lexapro will take care of my depression but won't address my "ignoring life" issues. I need HELP and am hoping somebody can look at the physical and mental symptoms and tie them into some form of possible defficiencies in diet/supplements. THANKS!
 
 

Post Edited (Thomas) : 10/13/2007 9:01:37 AM (GMT-6)


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 9/17/2007 1:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there Thomas .....

It sounds like you are having some panic attacks as well as the depression you mentioned ......

Lexapro can take up to 4 to 6 weeks to fully kick in and work ......we cannot DX you but we sure can support you and this is the best place for that

The ppl on this forum are fantastic .....

Nutrition can help for sure but sometimes meds are needed ...........Just my opinion

Take care and keep us posted plz..Check out a/p forum as well .......it may help


LYN
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erasmus42
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Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 9/18/2007 3:04 AM (GMT -7)   
The first thing is to never self-diagnose; get help from a professional.

Next, be patient and wait 4-6 weeks for your meds to kick in, and if they don't seem to be working, talk to your doctor.

In the mean time, your doctor or clinic can probably point you in the direction of a counselling center where you can discuss your problems. Then you can get more information and perhaps find a dietician/nutritionist to ask more about your diet.

I read a book that may have information you are interested in: "Optimum Nutrition for the Mind" by Patrick Holford. However, I showed it to a psychiatrist and he said that the author tried to cure schizophrenia in patients through diet (and got them to stop their medication). They became very, very ill, so I take any talk about curing depression through diet with a grain of salt (so to speak).

Note that I AM NOT A DOCTOR, but I have looked into supplements that may help. DISCUSS THEM WITH YOUR DOCTOR before you try anything:

Lexapro is an SSRI, sort of like the Effexor XR that I am currently taking (SNRIs are slightly different). So SSRI stands for Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor. Basically, it gives your body more serotonin by making your body absorb less of it. You can get more serotonin in your diet, and it may enhance the effect of the drug. However, if you get too much serotonin, you can get serotonin poisoning, which is why you must talk to your doctor about it.

Tryptophan is an amino acid that is essential to humans. The body metabolizes it into 5-HTP, and from 5-HTP the body turns it into serotonin. You can get 5-HTP supplements that would introduce more serotonin to your body. Also, you can get serotonin supplements, but they are more of a sleep aid; you take them before bed. Getting sunlight will improve your serotonin level as well, so it's probably best to get an hour of sunlight per day; it would be the safest and you can get some exercise to boot.

This is what I have gathered from reading articles on Wikipedia, it's no substitue for a doctor or clinical nutritionist. These professionals know what they are doing, don't expect professional advice on an internet forum.

Your illness is complicated, and there are likely many factors that contribute to it, so don't go looking for a quick fix; take it one step at a time. Good luck!

djdaz_1985
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2408
   Posted 9/18/2007 5:16 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Thomas,

I know this isnt strictly nutritional, but it tags onto the end of what Erasmus was saying about sunlight. Sunlight is essential and helps process Vitamin D. The best way that I have found to get sunlight is jogging. Jog for an hour a day and you get the sunlight and you also exercise as well. (And exercise is great for lifting moods). You see, everything is kind of inter-linked and once you start one, you get the domino effect where everything starts falling into place.

Please keep us posted

Darren


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Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 9/18/2007 2:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Totally agree Darren I am now riding a bike at 53 lol ........never forget how I guess EH.......
I am a Nature fanatic and that helps my depression and anxiety as well to go out and walk jog or ride .....

Luvs
LYN
    Contribute today to support Healing Well Forums...Donate @
 
Moderator for Anxiety /Panic
Moderator for Alzheimer's
Co Moderator for Crohns Disease 
 
 DX with Crohns, Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety /Panic
 
  
          Be Thankful for the Difficult times..During those times we GROW
 
                 EMPATHY is Always Better than APATHY
 
                 " Friends Are Cheaper Than Therapists "
 
  
                                  


djdaz_1985
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2408
   Posted 9/19/2007 1:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Lyn has just given me another idea. (Thanks btw tongue ) How about starting a new outdoor hobby? The possibilities are huge... it could be a sport (Such as Tennis, Hockey or Rugby) it could be a more intelligent hobby (Such as Birdwatching, identifying plants) or it could just be the start of you training for the marathon. (Do you guys have big televised marathons in the US?) If you were to train for a marathon just think... you get exercise, you get sunlight, you (hopefully) enjoy it and you get the sense of achievement at the end!

Everyone has a guardian angel. They help pick you up when you fall, comfort you through your times of need and help you appreciate the times when things are going well.
 
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Thomas
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 9/26/2007 10:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the replies. I just printed them out to read over so will reply more specificly later.
 
The good news is that it's been about 3 and 1/2 weeks on the Lexapro and my mood/apetite appears to be getting better over the last three or four days. I start out low in the morning and my mood increases over the day, peaking near bed time. I've been taking 10MG of Lexapro every morning. The doc wants me to start taking 20mg now. I've also been going to some "thinking tools" type classes they put me in.
 
My main concern is that maybe I've been diagnosed wrong. They say I'm simply depressed (uni-polar?) but I worry that I'm bi-polar with a "mild" or "blunted" "high" side. Meaning, I never get all excited but I do tend to ignore important life issues (work, etc) and put them off, even when I'm not real depressed. I've also self diagnosed myself with A.D.D. because my attention span is short and I have trouble with remembering names, directions, or even how to spell a certain word I just looked at. My memory has also been pretty poor as well. Again, even when not in a deep depression. OCD I've self-diagnosed as well to a mild extent. Sometimes I'll check where my wallet it before going to bed several times. Things like that, though it's never been extreme or an every day thing. Anxiety....sure, but never to the point of feeling like my heart will explode...at least that severity of it is very rare. Shakey hands/muscle twitches/etc I get, but not very often or extreme all the time.
 
So, again, my main concern is this: The way I understand it Lexapro "will fix" depression and anxiety. Will it help with A.D.D. and mild OCD as well? And, what if I'm mild bi-polar. Is this going to require another drug or with a little self-control can I manage any "highs" I might have. Which, again, I never seem to really have. Just worried about the "ignore life" aspect of it. I'm just trying to figure out if I should be on something other than just Lexapro to treat the above symptoms so that I can function to my fullest.
 
By the way, they did give me a non-addictive anxiety drug to take as needed up to 3 times a day. Mainly he said it's just for trying to sleep or if anxiety is getting the best of me in a situation. It's called (something)gama and helps your brain with it's gama neutransmitter. First time I took it the stuff knocked me for a loop....sleepy and wobbly balance. After that it seems the stuff just gives me a mild calm. Maybe the first dose was doing some major gama correcting? tongue
 
Short summary: What should I be watching for if I had more than just depression and am just on the Lexapro? Mild symptoms of bi-polar is what I'm talking about. I think OCD and anxiety should be taken care of by the Lexapro? And where does the A.D.D. fit in drug wise as well?

djdaz_1985
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2408
   Posted 9/26/2007 11:23 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi thomas,

My immediate thought as I read through your post is the amount of worry that you seem to write with. Self-Diagnosis is OK to a point but it is known to be much les reliable that seeing your doctor since there are many different disorders that can have the same signs and symptoms. My advice would be to go and see a doctor, since I think you are likely to worry yourself to pieces. He should be able to tell you if you have OCD and ADD. Also, he will be able to give you some advice regarding meds. As far as I am aware, Lexapro does  not do anything for OCD or ADD but I could be wrong on that score.

Darren


Everyone has a guardian angel. They help pick you up when you fall, comfort you through your times of need and help you appreciate the times when things are going well.
 
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Thomas
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 10/2/2007 8:46 AM (GMT -7)   
From what I've read Lexapro does help OCD but I'm not sure about ADD. I would also figure that ADD symptoms can be caused by depression/anxiety or even OCD, so treating those could help the ADD. It's kind'a the chicken and the egg thing...which comes first, you know?
 
 

djdaz_1985
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2408
   Posted 10/2/2007 2:03 PM (GMT -7)   
I completely understand what you mean. It is difficult to unravel what is causing what, which is the best form of treatment and what will go away on its own as a result of treating something else. This is why doctors spend 5 long years in med school as basic training. There are many more years of training and experience to be got after that and thats why they are usually the best form of help when you are not sure about something like that.

Everyone has a guardian angel. They help pick you up when you fall, comfort you through your times of need and help you appreciate the times when things are going well.
 
Moderator - Epilepsy Forum
Co-Moderator - Depression Forum
 
Help support the forums so we can support you:  http://www.healingwell.com/donate
 

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