My dad, who is 71, has a history of depression and bad moods for most of his life. I get depression too and found 5-HTP to be very helpful but recomended that he try L-Tryptophan for a similar result as I think it is supposed to be easier on the body than 5-HTP (as he is on beta-blockers and blood pressure medications and has health problems).
He tried a 220mg dosage of L-Tryptophan about three times over a few days and he has now been getting what I believe are "brain zaps" or "brain shocks", the strange sensation that often goes through your head if you are withdrawing from SSRI's.
He was on Prozac low dosage for about 2 months up until 2 weeks ago and didn't seem to get any withdrawal symptoms (he also didnt get any benefit from it, though he was also on it about 15 years ago and said it worked great but that was probably a different dosage).
I'm confused here. As far as I know, brain zaps are supposed to happen with low serotonin such as when withdrawing from SSRI's, and a few times I have seen people recommending 5-HTP as a treatment for this. How could Tryptophan be causing the brain zaps, or has he maybe just not waited long enough after quitting the Prozac? He is probably chronically low on serotonin at this stage, so could it just be some weird sign that the Tryptophan is working and activating his serotonin receptors but that until his serotonin rises above the low level, he will keep getting the brain zaps?
I'd appreciate it if anyone with some knowledge on this could give me their opinion.