I have read a lot lately about amino acid therapy for depression as an alternative to antidepressants. Has anyone tried this and what were the results. Also, which AA's were taken and what dosage? Are the results immediate? I've started taking 300 mg of 5-htp and gaba.
I don't have the answer but all you have to do is a search on some of the antidepressants and the horrible withdrawals from those drugs to see that there must be a better way. This is from someone that's been on antidressant drugs for 10 years and looking forward to a life without them!
Look for books by Dr. Peter Breggin, the best one (with a silly title) is Your Drugs May Be Your Problem, which talks about side effects and withdrawal, as well as how to come off safely. I also went to both the library and Barnes and Noble and just went through all the books I could find about depression and alternatives to meds. Most of the books I found were not helpful. I must have looked at a couple dozen books. I found a few that had helpful information.
Also, my psychiatrist has said that if I want to come off the meds and stay off the meds I am going to have to have a solid and regular exercies program.
For the last year I have been talking to people who were not on meds, but who could easily have been put on them. I've been wanting to know how they do it. The one thing ALL of them did was regular solid/heavy exercise, no matter what. All of them talked about different kinds of meditation type practices. I say meditation type because one of them does not meditate, but is very active in martial arts (and she's in her late 50's!) What also became clear to me was that life without meds requires a willingness to work for health. Meds are "easy", you take a pill. It's taken me a while to become willing to do whatever it takes to come off of the meds.
Good luck; I believe it is possible to get body, mind, and soul back. It's just not always easy.
Usually causes of depression is suppressed anger. Are u angry inside that u cant let go? Alcohol is also a cause of depression. Forget what u see in Hollywood films how they make it look like drinking is a natural thing u can do anytime. If at all possible dont drink at all. Maybe at parties but it has to be not often. Never drink alone.
I used ammino acid to quit cold turkey off of zoloft, with great results, I bought the soyprotein made by spring valley @ walmart, I had one serving aday, and it worked great, the first time I tried to go off zolft, I wasn't suicidal when I started, but going off, was terrible, I went to the local pharamasist, complaining of the 35 pound weight gain, and the withdrawls. Im consistent with the daily servings of protein, and Im back to normal, no weight loss though!!! good luck sww
I'm not sure what amino acids people mean. I am on glycine which is an amino acid but that's under official FDA study for schizophrenia. It is among a class of medications called glutamate antagonists that in study as antipsychotics. They are developing new antidepressents as well. I understand that some current medications have severe side effects. Given that I have severe tardive dyskinesia, I am living proof of that. However, rather than abandon treatment I obtained treatment (no treatment should be given without the care of a psychiatrist) that is in study that is actually far more effective. They are developing new medications all the time that are more targeted and effective and have a better safety profile overall. You could learn more at this workshop:
Yes but be aware that studies are showing that SSRI's can potentially create tardive dyskinesia. Depression is not in the same category as cancer. It will not end a person's life. I think of myself as having a psychiatric disability not an illness or sickness. But you are right to stay on medication if going off it gave you suicidal ideations or it helps you in general. But keep up with new treatments as they come out. For example trans cranial magnetic stimulation is being studied as replacement for ECT and is far safer and effective. I almost considered it. Often posts here talk about either "suffering" or "the power of positive thinking". Perhaps people should step outside of themselves and realize that they have a psychiatric disability and join the community of people with disabilities as a whole in advocating for better treatment and civil rights.
You know melindakm, I had tried adding Amino acid therapy to my medication, just to see if it mught help give my meds a bit of a boots and work better.
My depression seems to be mostly related to Neurephinepherine. So I found a particular amino "L-Tyrosine" and took it with 2000Mgs of vitamin C and 200Mgs of B-6 twice dailey for two months. (L-Tyrosine needs lots Vitamin C and B6 to work) I spared no expence and got the most soluable ones on the market.
For a while I thought it might have been helping a bit, but after a while I discovered that it really did help much if any. Maybe it was just wishful thinking.
For about the last 15 years I have tried (and for long periods of time) every natural suppliment for depression known to modern science. You name it and I have tried it for long periods. Everything from eastern medicine, herbs, aminos, Omega 3, vitamins, Sam-e, HTP, acupuncture, hypnosis, cardio exersise, accupressure, theraputic massage, yoga, and more. I can honestly say that none had any real effect negitive or positive on my symptoms of anxiety and depression.
The only thing that seems to work are specific antidepressant medications, and even some of them didn't work very well.
I have read story after story of "I was cured by taking aminos and SAMe or St Johns Wort!"
All poppycock if you ask me. I think maybe some people have found some of that Witch oil to actually work, but for those few people, I must question the actual severity of their Depression. Can some of this natural stuff work for a few very mildly depressed people, sure I think maybe it can.
As for these "naturals" being effective solutions for the most severe cases of Uni-polar and Bi-polar dissorder........ I have to call shananagins. First of all if they really were effective then this forum wouldn't even exist because none of us would be sick anymore.
Like I said, I spent hundreds, even thousands of dollars experimenting with every natural remidy known to god and man. If any of it worked I would be posting about it's miracle properties every day.
People can say what they wish about "those damn synthetic AD medications" but, hey find me something that works better and I'm game.
You may want to do a further research on Trans Cranial Magnetic Stimulation.
TCMS has been under study for a long time and the results are in.......Studies show that It is almost completly non-effective as a treatment for severe depression no matter if the condition is Uni-polar or Bi-polar in nature.
Google around a bit and you will find many stidies that indicate it offeres absolutly no improvement for patients in controled studies.
Again, if putting electro magnets on our heads would cure us all, then this forum wouldn't even exist.
As for SSRI's or any AD medications causing Tardive Dyskinesia....... I also spent about an hour searching for ANY study or clinical research that would indicate AD medication causing TD and I couldn't find a thing. Again must I call shananagins.
Now, there is some evidence that some Anti-psychotic medications "May" cause TD in some patients, but even this is VERY rare.
Severe depression is very much like a cancer. Both are diseases and both can kill you.
I would say that pretty much puts cronic depression in the same catagory.
Would I trade my Severe Refractory Depression for Cancer? Yes, I would probably rather take my chances with Cancer. At least then I would have a shot at beating it.
As for tardive dyskinesia I will quote statistics. Typical antipsychotics "5% per person per year". Atypical antipsychotics "2.5% per person per year". "It can develop at any time and be masked" and "everyone gets it eventually. It depends how bad it is". Those statements are from my psychopharmocologist and can be confirmed by internet research such as:
Of course everyone should stay in treatment. And many medications have severe long term side effects. I knew that when I started Clozaril that 1 in 100 people got fatal blood dyscreias. I accepted that. And as for Lamictal 1 in a 1,000 people get Stephen's Johnson Syndrome, a fatal rash. I accepted taking that as well. Its just important to be informed and also to know that antipsychotics will come out (such as the glutamate antagonists) which can't cause it. As for SSRI's creating tardive dyskinesia the results are tentative although they can create temporary movement disorders such as akathesia. That doesn't mean it can't happen. Such as tardive psychosis which I'm under study for. If you look it up you'll find a lot of anti psychiatry links which I am strongly against but they are researching it as a potential criteria in myself. Any information I've posted that people may not be aware of may be hypothetical and in study but would be within standard medical research but may not be available to the public. I merely want people to keep aware and updated and certainly not to have fear of continuing any treatment. As they say an educated consumer is the one who is best able to help himself/herself.
I accept how you feel. Its just a matter of looking at life differently. I didn't say that depression creating suicidal ideations isn't something that is horrible and painful to cope with. I just don't like the concepts of "stigma" and "suffering" because they devalue who we are as people. I accept my physical disability and my psychiatric disability as part of me. The tardive conditions before treatment up until recently were horrible but I converted any negative energy into working to help other people and make a difference in society. The most important thing to me now that I'm mainly homebound due to the severity of the tardive conditions (you can read my journal entries if you want my take, everyone has there's) is to reach out to other people. I would never tell someone how to live their life but each time I said in the past (during extreme physical pain and spasms) when I had suicidal ideations I would say "think of what would happen to the other people around me and how they'd do in life and feel" and "go do something to help people or value others". On Christmas I watched "Its a Wonderful Life" and had a good cry but then I realized it was true for my life and for many people's. So the first thing I did after being homebound and volunteering through my non profit in that regard was represent someone at a hearing and get them approved for SSI. I kept saying to myself "I have no happiness if all I can do is find happiness through others". It was scary. I felt alone. But then I realized if I had helped other people in a substantial way and had acheived happiness through that then that was happiness. Why should I analyze it? There is a whole community of people with disabilities. Don't feel isolated. Don't feel alone. And sometimes when we all advocate together on something and make a difference and feel united and step outside of ourselves we better oursleves too.
Yes that analogy makes sense to me. I've used it myself. I had nystagmus and when I was a child at the age of 10 I finally got corrective lenses in my glasses and I realized "the trees are not a green blur". It was the same when I started taking glycine. I realized what the real world was like. That's how full a recovery I made. I would never want to go back to feeling psychotic again. It was terrifying. But I won't have to. And as for the tardive conditions, including the tardive psychosis (once again this criteria is in study by a researcher) when I finally got up to the full dosage of Zofran today and stopped having respiratory spasms, myoclonic spasms and dissociation that were all clinically similar to Parkinson's and the recovery out of it clinically similar to the book "Awakenings" I realized I would be taking this for life. I know I need it and I know why.
ctually my psychiatrist showed me data that Omega 3's are shown to help people with depression but need to be taken in high doses. He has me on 1200mg a day. I'm still on a mood stabelizer though, it's helped more than Omega 3 but I think you need to be on them at least 6 months to notice a difference.
What kind of scares me sometimes, is thinking about the fact that 85% of antidepressant drugs used today have really only been around 5 to 15 years.
I worry sometimes about the potential cosiquences of taking this stuff for so many years.
Often times a drug will be in use for 20 years or longer before long term health issues pop up. I undeerstand your concern.
That's why I always tell people on this forum, "DON'T TAKE AD MEDICATION UNLESS IT IS 100% NESSASARY FOR YOU TO FUNCTION."
Not sure how many people take my advice, but I can say with fact that I wouldn't touch this stuff if I could even halfway function without it.
It upsets me how some doctors just pump out SSRI prescriptions like their passing out Pez. Often times to patients that are only suffering a bad month of situational depression.
This trend of over prescribing of these meds is really growing to epidemic proportions.
The children of tomorrow may all be chemically enhanced at this rate.
Well it works the other way too. If a person assumes they have something they are likely to get the wrong kind of medication. For example, I've known many people with bipolar disorder who went into the hospital in a suicidal state. They needed medication but because they only talked about their symptoms of depression they recieved an anti-depressent. It made them wildly manic when what they needed was a mood stabilizer. The same thing happenned to me. In 1990, I had obsessive thoughts but they were really masking psychotic thoughts. I said I had obsessive compulsive disorder and as it turns out I had schizoaffective and the Anafranil they gave me made me wildly manic and psychotic and I ended up in the hospital. But if I hadn't tried to sell them a diagnosis I would have beeen helped better. And as for the tardive issues I had medication enduced phobia from Zyprexa and even though I felt better and said "I'm not hearing voices anymore" because I was phobic it was misdiagnosed as paranoia and I was given a typcial antipsychotic in addition to an atypical. With the two together that's probably how I acquired tardive dykinesia. Of course I needed an antipsychotic. But I didn't need two. And it wasn't paranoia. It was medication enduced phobia. I needed to change to another antipsychotic. And I remember when I first started having eyebrow raising and facial grimacing at the time in 1997, a sure sign of tardive dyskinesia. I told my psychiatrist at the time and the idea of me bringing it up got him irate and he shouted "you do not have tardive dyskinesia!" but I did. Then it was masked until it emerged after I took Clozaril which is the only clinically available antipsychotic that can't cause it. But with how advanced it is now I can't reverse it. And people do need antipsychotics. That's why I want to advocate to have new medications that come out that can't cause it. And to work with providers so they respect and understand consumers. As for overprescription I can't comment. The choice to take treatment is between a consumer and a provider. Both should be knowledgable. And that's why I believe in partnering on recovery. When a consumer and a psychiatrist work together as happens now the right decision is made. I just researched the Zofran and asked a neurologist here and brought it to the attention of my neurologist and he prescribed it and it made a world of difference. He hadn't heard of it except in a few studies but with the information I gave him he was willing to start me on it. And anyone who will work with me is someone who I respect and I give them the respect I deserve in turn.
You can read my latest journal entry if you like for a real world example of this. Please don't feel discouraged. We can advocate to change things for the better for all of us. I know coping can be hard but that's why we have to unite as a community.
I have to appoligize about my earlier comment, "Amino acid therapy doesn't work."
I dont' know, maybe amino therapy does work for some people. Perhaps part of my pesimisim come from the fact that none of these "natural" type therapies work for me and I get frustrated that they don't so I post negitivly about them.
Maybe my depressive condition is just too far advanced for these things to work for me.
If these things work for alot of people then thats a good thing, and it's important for you to post of it's benifits. I think my cronic condition has jaded me so much that I automatically denounce alternative treatments.
Thanks and honestly I'm not as familiar with the natural remedies people mentioned though I do take some (rhodiola for the tardive conditions, saw palmetto for prostatitis) but its important to remember that the one I mentioned glycine is not amino acid therapy. Its an antipsychotic in official FDA Phase 2 study. And there are new anti-depressents in study as well. This link which updates itself has all new psychiatric medications in development. Its important to remember that as the science of understanding how the brain functions progresses they are coming out with medications (including anti-depressents) that are more targeted to receptors and are more effective and have less side effects:
And as for how you feel I was there too. I was on Clozaril in 2004 after having tried every antipsychotic. I had severe tardive conditions from the antipsychotics before but the Clozaril gave me suicidal ideations and I convinced my psychiatrist to start me on Invega even though I knew it would worsen the tardive conditions. I kept asking about study medications and there was a lot of red tape. Then I asked him about glycine because it was available outside of study. He said I could start it but he didn't think it would do much but as I increased he noticed my level of reality testing and self awareness were up and the psychosis and delusions were down and then I wrote exactly what was going on and he began to understand too. And that's when everything changed. When I took back my own recovery. Just keeping looking up new anti-depressents or medications approved for something else used as anti depressents. Such as here:
And then find out about ones you haven't tried and inform your psychiatrist about them. Eventually you'll find one that will work for you.
Good point. I for one am very excited about this new Valdoxan.
It's not just another "family of antidepressants" but rather a completly new approach at targeting depression and anxiety.
The fact that Valdoxan is so much different is a good thing for us med resistant folks that have already built up resistance to all other AD medications.
There is also some interesting work being done with Opiate based drugs like Suboxone.
The theroy is that if a way can be found to remove the opiate part of the actual opiate drug, that we will have an antidepressant that will revolutionaize the treatment of severe depression and anxiety no matter how med resistant the patient is.
I really think that between now and the next 10 years we will see a complete shift in treatment. This next decade will open up a whole new understanding of this disease and better ways to treat it.
Re: Amino Acid Therapy
While researching info for a friend who was suicidal who had been was on anti-depressants I came across an excellent free ebook online by Dr. Priscilla Slagle that maps out a very specific amino acid program for depression -- which from what I gather -- is also very effective for recovering alcoholics.
The book was a best seller published by Random House and she recently put it online for free. The ebook is called "The Way Up From Down" -- the site is: http://www.thewayup.com/
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