Starting New Med/Natural Route

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chirpchirp
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 8/25/2010 12:45 AM (GMT -7)   
So many of you know that I've been on several SSRI's, which didn't work. Long story short, I've had several bad experiences and I'm at my last choice for an SSRI - - Zoloft. I'm nervous to start it and then have it stop working in the future. I hear EVERYONE say that their meds stop working at some point. My doctor said this is my last option before I get moved over to Buspar.

I asked my doctor about taking vitamins instead: B's, Magnesium and some Calcium. He said that since they were not FDA approved, he could not recommend them. I think that is crap! I want to try a safe vitamin regimen that I would feel comfortable with and he pushed the Zoloft.

I am terrified to take any more SSRI's. Should I try one more and see if this is the magic one (and risk being weaned off them later when it stops working)? Or does anyone recommend the natural route?

I hear that panic never goes away without treatment. But I kind of believe in mind power. I mean, look at what's it's done in a negative way. I kind of believe (if I believe) in what I'm taking, it will work. If I'm nervous about it, I may make it worse. This panic has GOT to get lost! :)

Thanks!

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/25/2010 6:56 AM (GMT -7)   

On HealingWell we strive to seek a balance between alternative and traditional approaches. I feel strongly, both approaches have value for anyone seeking healing. If you feel you want to try an alternative method then you certainly have the free choice to do so.

I wish you luck.


~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

melodee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 800
   Posted 8/25/2010 7:09 AM (GMT -7)   
I am sure you are aware that it will require a few weeks for the SSRI to start working. Some people say that their condition worsened when they started taking them. That's how they work. You have to give them time to kick in and if you quit when you're feeling bad, none of the meds are gonna help you. I know you feel frustrated not being able to find the right med, but there is really no miracle cure for this. You can buy vitamins anywhere. Why ask your doctor about it? Everyone takes vitamins these days. Also, what you eat and drink affects your condition, too. Are you avoiding caffeine and sugar? Are you eating a balanced meal? Maybe you can make a list and see what you can do to change your lifestyle & diet.

The thing always happens that you really believe in, and the belief in a thing makes it happen.
~ Frank Lloyd Wright ~


Fugs
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 8/25/2010 11:56 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm also a big supporter of alternative medicine. But in the end I believe you have to find what works for you. It might be a different SSRI like the Zoloft. It might be something non-western based. But there are several types of alternative therapies and you still may have to spend some time trying to find what works best for YOU as an individual. In the end it may be some combination of things (like herbs, reflexology, and acupuncture as an example). I tried Magnesium early on which is highly promoted as a natural relaxation aid, but in my case it made my heart race and I had to stop.

As far as the vitamin thing, I have heard that Vitamin B can help with relaxation. But it won't be nearly as strong as a psychotropic. Even if you find a holistic doctor as opposed to a traditional psychiatrist, I still think you should let him or her know what you're taking as far as supplements. St. John's Wort for example affects serotonin levels and so if you're on an SSRI then you're getting more serotonin than is being prescribed. Kava kava, gingko biloba, resveratrol, and yerba mate are some other commonly used supplements that are often contraindicated with traditional psychotropic meds.

So by all means do some exploring - but be careful and be patient. Oh and if you're interested I also tried an herbal mix called Serenagen. It did help make me feel less anxious and calmer overall, but it wasn't strong enough for the intensity of my symptoms.

melodee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 800
   Posted 8/25/2010 12:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I think chirpchirp was referring to Vitamins (calcium, magnesium etc) not herbal supplements. Vitamins should not be a problem if you purchase it at a store.

Herbal supplements (used as anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds) are different....St. John's Wort does have side effects like Fugs mentioned so definitely check it with your doctor beforehand.

The thing always happens that you really believe in, and the belief in a thing makes it happen.
~ Frank Lloyd Wright ~


chirpchirp
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 8/25/2010 4:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all,

Thanks for the replies! To clarify, I used to take Prozac years ago, as a teen, and it did wonders for me. It helped get rid of my severe agoraphobia. Then I took it off and on for years and it helped. Last year I took it and I ended up in the ER. Then I took Celexa and it made me really lethargic. I was going to stay on it, but my doctor put me on Lexapro instead, which made my heart race and race to where she didn't want my to take it. Now I'm at Zoloft and don't want to take it because of all of the horrible side effects that have happened the last year. I didn't have a fear of meds until I ended up in the ER with severe side effects.

I used to take St. John's Wort - years ago. I think maybe psychologically it helped.

And yes, I was referring to vitamins. I take Klonopin, which was why I was asking my doctor about a vitamin regime. "They" always warn you to talk to your doctor before starting several vitamins at once, which was why I was asking him. But he shot that idea down - a vitamin regime. The guy is new and didn't even look at my chart (he was new to me, too). The appointment was $150, so I was hoping he'd be a bit more understanding.

Melodee, I cut out all caffeine last year. I never drink it. And I also stopped drinking to self medicate. I wasn't a lush, but before I started meds, I'd self medicate for the anxiety. And that makes it worse!!!! I also get low blood sugar and eat a well balanced diet. I'm 110 pounds and 5'4" and don't even eat aspartame, if I can help it. That seems to make my heart race. I'm also walking on the treadmill to strengthen my heart (since I have a fast heart beat).

I feel like I am doing all of the right things, except my anxiety will not go away.

My previous doctor thinks that I psychologically create anxiety when I take SSRI's, since I have had so many bad experiences, which is why she gave me Klonopin. But the Klonopin does NOT curve the side effects of the SSRI's, which is why she removed me from the Lexapro.

I'm just at the end of my rope and I have to start a new job next week (and I can NOT afford to quit this job due to anxiety), so I feel like I'm under a lot of pressure, as we all are. I really don't want to take any SSRI's and I told my doctor that, but he told me that I will not get better. That's encouraging.
=======================================
Agoraphobia, OCD, Panic Disorder, GAD, Hypoglycemia,
Migraines, Kitty Lover, Bird Lover!
 

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/26/2010 6:30 AM (GMT -7)   
 
Good Morning.  My personal experience - when I stopped my medication and tried to go medication free I lasted about 6 months and then I had a major meltdown of my anxiety and depression.  I have done this several times as I hated the idea of taking medication all of my life.
 
However after my last fiasco my Pdoc discussed kindly with me my need to stay on a medication if I wanted to live a normal life for me.  I bit the bullet and went with Effexor which is working.  It took me a good 8 weeks to get used to the medication but I had to accept that like any other disorder that requires medication I need to be on an AD. 
 
I was dx 28 years ago and I had a very long time where I did really well on Nortriptyline.  I took this medication for 15 years and worked fulltime but it eventually stopped working for me.  After that I tried many of the new meds and like you I hated the side effects and actually had some bad reactions to several.
 
I hope you find what works for you and I understand exactly how you are feeling.

~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

chirpchirp
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 8/26/2010 9:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Kitt,

Did you ever have a racing heart beat with your new meds? I can deal with all of the other side effects, but I feel like I'm having a heart attack. I feel like the meds are going to kill me! Normally I can take a Klonopin and get rid of the racing heart beat, but when I take SSRI's, the Klonopin doesn't help, which is why they took me off!

Thanks so much,
:)
=======================================
Agoraphobia, OCD, Panic Disorder, GAD, Hypoglycemia,
Migraines, Kitty Lover, Bird Lover!
 

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/27/2010 6:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Good Morning,
 
I did not have the racing heart on SSRI or SNRI but did when I was on one of the tricyclic antidepressants.  The physician switched me to another medication and the problem went away.
 
I understand your concerns completely.  ((((((((((Hugs)))))))))))
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

spinal soldier
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 687
   Posted 8/27/2010 12:56 PM (GMT -7)   
you could try the amino acid GABA [gama-aminobutyric-acid]. the gabanergic system is where klonopin and meds like gabitri-baclofen work.
L4,L5,S1 bilateral Laminectomies, Foraminotomies 2002
L4-S1 PLIF with instumentation 2008

current Rx: MScontin 100mgs 2x, dilaudid 8mgs 4x p.r.n.phenergan 25mg 3x prn, cymbalta 60mg 1x,Adderall 20mgs 2x zanaflex 4mg 3x, relafen 1000mg 1x, xanax 0.5mg 2x prn

chirpchirp
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 8/29/2010 1:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Kitt <3!

And spinal soldier, where do I find that at?

Thanks all!!

xoxo
=======================================
Agoraphobia, OCD, Panic Disorder, GAD, Hypoglycemia,
Migraines, Kitty Lover, Bird Lover!
 

spinal soldier
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 687
   Posted 8/29/2010 11:47 AM (GMT -7)   
hey chirpchirp, you can get GABA at any heath food store or the vitamin shoppe. L-tryptophan or 5-HTP can be calming for some people.
L4,L5,S1 bilateral Laminectomies, Foraminotomies 2002
L4-S1 PLIF with instumentation 2008

current Rx: MScontin 100mgs 2x, dilaudid 8mgs 4x p.r.n.phenergan 25mg 3x prn, cymbalta 60mg 1x,Adderall 20mgs 2x zanaflex 4mg 3x, relafen 1000mg 1x, xanax 0.5mg 2x prn

chirpchirp
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 8/29/2010 4:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Spinal!
=======================================
Agoraphobia, OCD, Panic Disorder, GAD, Hypoglycemia,
Migraines, Kitty Lover, Bird Lover!
 

Susan42
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 7/13/2011 8:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I found this post searching through the archives for natural anxiety supplements. I'm very hesitant to take benzos and SSRIs from all the horror stories i've heard. I did a search for GABA, Theanine and Tryptophan and found something called Tranquilene. Has anybody tried it? It's got those ingredients as well as B-Complex, Tryptophan and others. So far I've had some success with it but I'm not sure if its just a placebo or if it's really working. Anybody?

Post Edited By Moderator (stkitt) : 7/14/2011 7:59:19 AM (GMT-6)


Serenitee
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 463
   Posted 7/13/2011 11:16 PM (GMT -7)   
ChirpChirp,

Hello, I am Serenitee, I thought I would introduce myself. I can really relate to everything you were saying. I have extreme anxiety and panic disorder. My Psych Dr. said last week my anxiety is one of the worse she has seen. I was on effexor for a long time but weaned off of it several months ago. Then tried prozac which I thought was working but my psychiatrist thinks that anti-depressants make me have manic episodes (i disagree...lol). So I am currently not on any anti-depressants right now. I am on Vistaril, Buspar, Gabapentin (which I stopped taking July 1, to see if that is what was causing me extreme weight gain). My Doctor won't put me on any Benzo's (xanax, etc) since they are addicting, and I am a recovering addict/alcoholic.

I have attacks at least 5-days out of a week...they are running my life. I am constantly in fear of having an episode and not being able to stop it. They even wake me out of a dead sleep in the middle of one. They terrify me actually. I don't know what triggers them, if I did maybe I could reduce having them.

I agree with what the others posted and know that it can take like 6 weeks before you get the full affects of anti-depressants. I pray that you can find something that works for you. Try to give the meds a chance to work since its more than a couple days. I know how frustrating it can be. I am sorry you are struggling with this, I know I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

I am currently journaling daily so my Psych Dr. can see how many and how bad they really are. She tells me when I am in one to do something that distracts me, however, I am so frozen and panicked with them I can't do anything to sidetrack my mind. In a week I am starting DBT Program which is 6-12 months long. I complete a 5-month program in January that was more on the Ccognitive Behavioral side.

If you want to email me my address is on my profile, so just click on my name. Good luck, and hang in there.
Your Healingwell Friend,
Serenitee


Diagnosed this year: Bipolar 2 (manic-depressive), Borderline, Anxiety/panic disorder, Ptsd...
Loop ileostomy, Pelvic & bladder trauma and dysfunction, 2-bladder lifts, vaginal vault lift, abdominal hysterectomy,
C-section, ruptured appendix, tumor removed from head...these are just a few of my surgeries

Precious Gem
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1139
   Posted 7/14/2011 6:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Chirp,
 
Yeah to you for cutting out caffeine, alcohol, etc.  Diet goes a long way.  I believe that you should get your vitamins/minerals from food but I also think, as they have helped me, that supplementing can be benefical.  You must educate yourself before you go to the drug store and start pulling bottles from the shelf.  Here is what has helped me and I have been off meds over a year now and I feel great 95% of the time:
 
Vitamin E will help with heart palps, my completely stopped after 24 hours on vitamin E.  You need to get the natural form, not synthetic.  You can tell this by reading the label.  The form should be d-alpha (natural), the synthetic form will read dl-alpha.  Not much difference there, but a big difference in the way your body uses it.  I would start low like 200iu twice a day and increase if you feel necessary to400iu twice a day.  That is the level I am at now.  One more benefit, in less than 2 weeks your skin and hair will look awesome!
 
B-complex plus extra Niacin(b3) and Thiamine(B1).  I take this after dinner and I do not have issues with insomnia at all anymore.  B vitamins must be taken together, not jut indiviually.
 
One good multi-vitamin a day.  try different brands and see which one works with your body chemistry the best.
 
Vitamin C.  I was taking 3,000 mil a day until I felt like I was saturated with it.  Now I take 1,000 mil three times a week.
 
This has worked very well for me.  Personally, I would stay away from amino acid supplements - that is just me.
 
A good website to get info from is DoctorYourself.com, they are not selling anything but provide some good research.  I think they go a little overboard but you can decide what is right for you.
 
Good luck, I hope you get the good results I have.
 
Gem

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/14/2011 7:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Good Morning,
 
I have not heard of the product Tranquilene but most of what I found online were sites that are selling this product or promoting it. The cost is $34.95 for 30 day supply.
 
Checking at a GNC store or another store that specializes in natural products may be the way to go to learn more about this product.
 
Kindly,
Kitt
 
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"
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