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therapy/natural substitutes
Since I posted for the first time yesterday, I want to thank all of you for your suggestions and for sharing your experiences. Several of you mentioned therapists..what is the difference between them and psychologists and psychiatrists? Also, has anyone tried any natural supplements? I went to the GNC store and picked up Lucinda Bassetts Positve Mood/good days herbal supplement but am hesitant to try it. It has L-theanine, magnolia bark extract, 5-HTP, Panax ginseng, and rhodiola rosea. A med site I looked at said not to use 5-HTP. As a "last ditch effort" my psych doc prescribed Imipram which is an older med. Has anyone had any experience with this? I haven't tried it yet because of my history of side effects/allergic reactions. But, I realize I'm not going to get better doing nothing and my family (except for my best friend) doesn't know that at this point I don't really want to live anymore. I'll never do anything to that extent--it would destroy my daughter and I can't do that to her. But my husband doesn't understand how horrible I feel EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!  Keep those suggestions coming..and thank you for taking the time to reply when you have your own problems and trials to put up with...
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Okay, first, stay out of GNC.  It's not a health food store.  They'll sell anything.  Panax ginseng isn't recommended generally for women or for anxiety.  It tends to be very yang and very stimulating.  More appropriate adaptogens for anxiety are eleuthero and ashwagandha.  Rhodiola can also be very stimulating and cause more anxiety.  5-HTP, on the other hand, can be very helpful, though it also might not.  5-HTP is what the body makes out of tryptophan, and amino acid found in protein, and turns it into serotonin with the help of B-6 and other co-factors.  So it might help.  On the other hand, 5-HTP is best taken apart from meals, as are amino acids generally, while the others are best taken with meals.  Which is to say, Lucinda Bassett isn't an herbalist, she's just someone cashing in on other people's misery.  If you want to pursue this, see a naturopath.  A good book to read for a general overview is Natural Highs by Hyla Cass, a psychiatrist at UCLA.  There are many books on 5-HTP, but it's best used along with other natural remedies than alone.

Therapists can be psychologists or psychiatrists or social workers or other counselors, but most psychiatrists don't do therapy any more and they're more expensive.  Therapist means talk, as opposed to just taking meds.

I took imipramine for several years.  It's a tricyclic antidepressant.  It stopped me from getting new phobias, but didn't do anything about the older ones.  Most common side effects are sexual, dry mouth, digestive problems, headaches.  It might help if you choose the medicinal route.  Google it and research it, it's been around a long time.  Most psychiatrists use ssris these days, but some find tricyclics helpful, and that isn't the only one out there but it is one of the most commonly used for anxiety.
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Thank you for taking the time to answer my question..I think after reading all your information, I'm not even going to try what I picked up...thank you again for your support..Did you have much dizziness or fatigue while on imipramine? Why did you stop taking it?
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Fatigue was huge at first -- like running through a wall to move.  But it passed fairly quickly, though I'm very athletic and that probably helped -- I just kept pushing it.  No dizziness.  Stopped taking it because it stopped working.
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