Depression/Mental Health Forum
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Avatar universal

Scared to try Lexapro, how about natural?

I had a miscarriage on 9-12-05 after being pregnant for 4-6 wks and then started thyroid medication on 9-29-05. after 9 days on the med, i stopped because i felt spacey, weak, just off. on 10-14-05, i had my first panic attack. the 2 weeks after that were not fun--scared to drive, go out, go to work. was taking ativan or niravam for that. then i was relatively fine for a month--was taking Bach Flower Remedies, praying. again, recently, started panicking, worrisome thoughts, and agonizing depression. the depression is different from the past. before, i would have trigger for it such as a breakup or not being satisfied with my life. this is different--there is no trigger, i just feel horrible. i am going through lots of testing-hormones, adrenal, thyroid, gluten sensitivity, candida testing, food allergy testing, mercury levels. i am scared to death to start on an antidepressant after reading some of these posts. my MD rxed Lexapro 10 mg. yesterday and i almost took it but stopped after coming across this site. the withdrawal sxs are horrific. but i also feel horrific right now--what do i do? have you heard of these natural txs--Amoryn, Seredyn, Mindsoothe, Anxius, and Deprex? they all have similar yet different ingredients such as St. John's Wort and Tyrosine and 5HTP. have these worked on anyone? i am much more open to trying these since they are natural and not prone to severe side effects. i just want to start feeling better quickly and am wondering which route to go--synthetic or natural??  please help. thank you.
12 Responses
242532 tn?1269553979
You haven't mentioned psychotherapy as an option and with your symptom picture, you should.  The problem with all the natural medications is there is no controlled and exact amount, they too have side effects, and their efficacy is much less certain.

If you use antidepressants, think of using the smallest dose, for a short time bridge, and get off early.  that will make detox easy, and if you follow a three week weaning period, you won't have any withdrawal effects.
Avatar universal
I would like to know about natural vs synthetic meds for depression and anxiety too. I am wanting to have fewer side effects also.
Avatar universal
Dear M.D.--

i am seeing a therapist. i am actually a therapist myself which makes this even more frustrating. honestly, the therapy is not helping.  maybe i have to try a different therapist or a different form of therapy.  but the cognitive behavioral form just doesn't seem to do the trick.  if there is something going on chemically, it doesn't make much sense that by changing the way that i think or perceive emotions, i will get better.  the chemical mechanism is what needs to be fixed.  the scary thing is what these drugs do.
Avatar universal
please read above comment--thank you.
79258 tn?1190634010
My husband also had panic attacks that started after a surgery went awry. His doctor put him on Lexapro, and it has made all the difference in the world. I would never avoid any med just because some people have side effects. Lots more people are just fine :-)
Avatar universal
First of all I wish you a happy new year free of anxiety. A positive thought works better than any pill, keep that in mind.
I come from Greece -just to let you know that people arround the world face the same thing as you. I had my first panic attack on November 2003 which was a result of GAD. I don't suffer any more from GAD. For many months I was a very negative patient since my father is a GAD sufferer 35 years (last decade on xanax) and I refused to accept that the same thing is happening to me.
I was facing that without ANY help. My choise though....I'm a stuborn aries. My case was turned to be severe I couldn't even breath correctly for many months.
I found the key on the way and wish I'd find it at the beginning since I wouldn't get social phobia (caligynephobia specificaly).
You must break the circle now that is early. Therapy helps when there's a specific problem. It doesn't help much to reduce anxiety. Anxiety is a result of depression. Depression is a result of bad thoughts running into your mind. Anxiety brings more bad thoughts and so on.  
Therapy won't help you to move quickly to the way out. It can bring more quality to your life (it did to me) -if you find the right therapist.
The key is to stop the idea of panic attacks. Never to use that words any more. That is what brings you anxiety. The fear of a panic attack

What ever is in your mind during a panic attack it won't kill you. Trust me. I was a skydiver and the comparison helped me a lot.
The very first moment I promised my self not to be afread of the next panic attack my anxiety reduced and that resulted to zero panic attackes. Try to benefit from what arrived to your life. I'm not kidding you'll find it very beneficial afterwards. If you manage to control it now you'll get out of it very easy. I rarely  take xanax. Half pill 0.5 in order to face difficult situation and in extrime cases a pill of 0.5. I never use it for panic attacks. The symptoms of a panic attack go away (but only if you don't think you'll die from it) If you don't do that the cirle begins. Chest pain etc. BREAK THIS CIRCLE. I wouldn't even need to take any xanax at the moment if I'd follow that rule from the beginning. In order to get rid of chemicals I tried today for the first time seredyn (that's how I found this forum) so I don't have much to tell about it. It reduced my nervousness but is too early to know for sure since I don't know what was the part of my will power (your will power does more than you thing)  
Last but not least you must fight the mechanism of the mind. The mind has the ability to accelarete when we are depressed. It's a mechanism that we inherited from million of years of men kind development. Whenever a thought crosses your mind -any thought- say the word BLOCK.  After a week you'll be able to block any thought. Then you'll choose which thoughts you want to block which ofcourse need to be only the bad ones.:) I have hundred of tips to help you if you like. I'm sure though that everyone is able to create his own tips which ofcourse work better on oneself
Avatar universal
I don't see the difference between natural and synthetic, they're both chemicals. St. Johns Wort is thought to show weak MAOI activity......basically a weak version of an older class of antidepressants. The reason you don't get as many side effects is because you don't get as many effects in general. I myself have never noticed any withdrawl from the SSRIs I've taken(several..including lexapro). If you stop slowly over a period of weeks you shouldn't have any problems, so I wouldn't worry about withdrawl.

Lexapro is a very good medication, with very few side effects. Do you really need it, or is St.John's Wort enough? Does it really matter? If you take St.John's and are undermedicated you'll feel depressed, if you take Lexapro and are overmedicated you won't feel depressed and the side effects will probably be minor and insignificant compared to the depression.

One more thing, did you ever consider that your worries about taking Lexapro might be a symptom of your depression and anxiety? At times its best to have others help you in making decisions. Good luck, and I wish you a happy and healthy new year.
Avatar universal
I couldn't agree more. Debussy has a point on 3rd paragraph. You can take a "light" antidepressant which beleive me won't hurt you. On the contrary in some weeks you'll be able to clear things out and feel stronger to take your own decisions.

Seretyn has only one restriction. Do not take SEREDYN if you currently taking an MAOI. It can be taken though with most prescription and over-the-counter medications. Talk to your doctor about the combination.

I feel great this morning. As I said on my previous post I used SEREDYN on my outgoing last night for the first time in order to reduce my anxiety for caligynephobia (somekind of social phobia). I noticed that my internal tembling(I only feel it cause I pay attention to it)is very low this morning.

Assume your condition as an aggrandizement of what you always felt. This way you will be able to change things in your life which previously were there but didn't hurt you consciously.

You are a therapist so keep in that in mind. Chemistry of the brain is always a result of the thoughts we make. No matter the reason for the first panic attack the rest come only because of negative thoughts which change the chemistry of the brain. On my point of view the pathological part starts the mechanism (but has very low effect on the body) and the rest is a result of our bad mood. You create this and you can change it
Avatar universal
I'd be scared to try Lexapro also.  That's one drug that will never go in my body again.  I had similar severe side effects when taking Prednisone for asthma.  Never again for those two.
Avatar universal

Tryptophan is an amino acid your body uses to make serotonin.

The reason that tryptophan is not offered until after lengthy psychiatric `treatment` is that you cannot patent an amino acid and to prescribe it immediately would do the pharmaceuticals out of the billions they get for SSRI`s.

The  medical industry is tailored to find drug `solutions` instead of natural alternatives that will actually benefit without damaging side effects or addictions occuring.

If there was any reason to suspect a lack of serotonin in a depressed person who goes to the doctor (which there isnt),

then the first thing the doctor should be doing is educating about typtophan -rich diets to promote natural production of serotonin so that unnecessary risks from drug-taking are avoided.

Then if it were deemed necessary tryptophan supplements could b e tried.Cant anyone else see how corrupted the whole process is..?

You take in tryptophan from proteins in food-

your body converts it to 5-HTP

5-HTP is converted to serotonin

Therefore with adequate dietry intake ,either by foods or supplements you should be able to fully satisfy your need for serotonin .

Instead of approaching the process naturally doctors give you SSRI`s .Which -

interfere with your natural reuptake of serotonin

flood your brain with too much of one chemical message

force your nervous system to deal with this overload by shutting down receptors

create a biochemical imbalance when there was no evidence of one that the pills were supposed to be rectifying

damages  how your nervous system sends and receives not only serotonin but other neurotransmitters

(SSRIs  have been shown to cause dopamine receptors to process serotonin instead of dopamine  and you can read about that study here - http://sheknows.com/about/look/5625.htm)

cause major neurological and brain function problems.More so than many illegal drugs.

cause side -effects that have shown NOT to subside when you disconinue the drug

Doctors and psychiatrists neither provide you with information on alternatives nor warn properly ,if at all about the dangers of taking psychiatric pills.

Your doctor is not looking after your interests he is looking after his/her own.If you ask your doctor how he/she knows psychiatric pills will benefit you he/she can only say what drug company reps have told him and the drug companies can only claim what has been proven by `studies` that they commissioned .
Avatar universal
I tried Seredyn today and I felt a little wierd. It brought on a panic attack then it went away quickly..I was worried when I took in hopes that it would harm me..maybe that is what brought it on. Have any of you had success with it?
And will it harm you in any way?
I don't take any meds at all because I don't like them. I wanted something naturally that could help. Any advice?
Avatar universal
Hi... I really feel for you. I've had a lot of experience with
severe deppression and know exactly what you are going through.
Mine started about 1995. I started to feel down and out and it progressively got worse. I didn't feel like doing anything, wasen't intersed in things that used to be fun anymore my stomcach was always tied up in knots and I just wanted to die.
I too was afraid of the antidepressants. the first one they gave me was paxil and I had a really bad reaction to it and it made me not want to try anymore. I tried all the natural remedies that were out there spent a lot of money to no avail.
My opinion is that the natural remedies my work for mild cases of depression and anxiety but aren't strong enough for severe cases. Finally it came to either trying other meds or die.
I had to try several meds and get through the side effects.
finally the one that helped me was effexor xr. It got me up and funtioning again. It's not perfect but it keeps me out of that hell. I've recently talked to my doctor about trying to up my mood level a little higer and he recomended trying lexapro to maybe elevate the level of seritonin a litle higher so I'm going to try it and see what happens. I am no longer afraid of the meds. Have been on effexor for 10 yrs now and haven't had any problems with it.
I would suggest that you try the lexapro. it has a good history of minimal side effects and appears to be very effective and safe. If it doesn't work for you there are plenty more to try.
Once you find the one that works it will save your life.
With depression there isn't any cure that I know of. It can only be treated so that you can lead a normal life again.
So please don't give up. Keep trying and keep fighting. You can
get better. I thought I had to die to get better.
as far as getting of the meds its not really a problem as long as you don't stop them ubrubtly. weening off slowly and you won't experience the withdrawal near as much.
anyway thats my 2 cents worth. I know its been a few months since your post and I hope you're feeling better now.
I've been where you are and there is hope.
I feel like I want to talk to you personally about this but
don't know how to do that without posting my email address for all to see.

Hang it there
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