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HOW do prescribed meds for depression+sleep aids differ from supplements?

All meds for anti-depression and sleep aids have shown the increase of memory loss from patients.

What about the supplement such as 5-htp, L-Theanine, GABA, and etc?  Do they make the memory loss too?

How do the meds differ from the supplement regarding nero-transmitting?  In another word, how do they WORK differently?

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I don't think this is actually true.  What you are I think referring to is some research that suggests long-term use of antidepressants and benzos have an association with dementia.  This is isn't a proven fact, it's an association, but is to be taken seriously.  Causation hasn't been explained, so if they do have this effect, given how long it takes to get dementia, you would be old when you got it.  You can avoid the problem by taking these meds as they were originally approved and intended, which is for short-term use only.  There have never been any studies done to get approval of these meds that did long-term studies of them.  They were intended to tide one over until one gets the problem fixed in therapy.  Unfortunately, that doesn't necessarily happen, as the results of therapy are very hard to do an analysis of as double blinded trials are almost impossible and what forms do lend themselves to that have very low success rates in the trials, such as CBT, but because you can see lots of different therapists you might do well with one but not with another.  The meds also have a very low success rate in trials, but again, there are a lot of them and so the hope is you find one or two that do work for you.  The problem is, when you're on a med, you're not really you completely and so it's harder to do therapy, and when a drug works, who really wants to do therapy?  So most of us, when we get to the point of taking meds, stop trying therapy.  As to supplements, nobody has an answer for you.  The research on natural medicine exists, but it's not of great quality because it's too expensive to do it and still make money because there's no possibility of a patent for natural things that you get from a medication.  Do know that no natural remedy works the same way that antidepressants work.  Antidepressants alter the way the brain naturally uses the targeted neurotransmitters.  Natural remedies enhance the way the brain naturally works, but don't change it.  So they are quite different.  You should know that theanine doesn't have a great track record of working.  GABA doesn't usually pass the blood/brain barrier, so it usually isn't absorbed.  But take 5-HTP.  That's a metabolite of tryptophan.  While tryptophan supplements also don't usually cross the blood/brain barrier, 5-HTP does seem to do that.  But the brain knows how to use 5-HTP because it naturally produces it when you eat a complete protein that contains tryptophan, B6, vitamin C, and other co-factors, and that's how the brain manufactures serotonin.  Which is to say, the brain is programmed to do this.  Antidepressants that target serotonin alter how the brain uses the serotonin your brain has already manufactured using the 5-HTP, preventing the body from breaking down used serotonin so that it washes around longer in targeted receptors in the brain.  Other receptors shut down, as the brain determines they aren't needed anymore.  Whereas with 5-HTP, the brain is manufacturing serotonin but only using what it determines it needs or can use and the rest is evacuated.  What it uses is broken down by an enzyme that is blocked by medication, as the brain naturally prefers fresh serotonin.  It's a completely different process.  Herbs that target GABA are more similar to meds that target GABA, so if you take, say, kava or valerian or one of the tons of herbs that work on GABA, it enhances your usage of GABA but much much more mildly than say benzos do.  They are also not addictive, which benzos are if taken regularly.  But benzos are more potent, just as antidepressants are more potent than 5-HTP.  If you use natural medicine, you would usually be given a cocktail of remedies to enhance how they work and to work on different areas of the body that are part of the process.  They are best if used systemically.  They also work better if you also work on your diet, lifestyle, meditate, exercise, and all the other things that make the whole body function better.  Which is why it's called holistic medicine.  Whether it will work or not is trial and error, but the bottom line to your question is, natural medicine doesn't at all work the same as meds.  Meds have to work differently or they can't get patents.  Peace.
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You have heled a lot on this issue.  Thanks
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