Author Topic: Serotonin Deficiency and Preparedness  (Read 5528 times)

Offline CdnGuy

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Serotonin Deficiency and Preparedness
« on: September 14, 2009, 09:48:58 AM »
I call it serotonin deficiency, because the word 'depression' has a horrible stigma around it. There's feeling depressed and clinical depression and these are two different things entirely.

That being said, I know that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy helps dramatically with clinical depression. That's from experience. However there are times, with what I believe is a true chemical imbalance, when even with all the right thinking in the world, some clinically depressed people just are depressed, defeated, debilitated.

So, if a person is using pharmaceuticals to deal with depression, what can be done in a true SHTF situation? If you have a few months supply that's fine. However, sudden withdraw from selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI's) and other depression drugs like mono-amine oxidases (MAO's)  can potentially cause a psychotic episode, or depression that cannot be checked leading to suicide. Either way, that's just not acceptable! Especially for people that are so survival minded in their hearts. For the record my 'friend' is using SSRI's.

If anyone has any information about getting off SSRI's and dealing with depression with natural ways, it would be greatly appreciated. For those that are medical professionals here, ' my 'friend' will be doing this with the cooperation of a physician and ina town where there is the provincial mental health hospital. So we have more psychologists and psychiatrists per capita than, well, anywhere. No worries!

If it works out well I'll let you know what I'm doing, er, I mean what my 'friend' is doing and how it's working. ;)

Offline firetoad

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Re: Serotonin Deficiency and Preparedness
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2009, 10:28:17 AM »
Look into St. John's Wort.  However, be advised that it is additive to SSRI's and other similar drugs.  That is, OD is possible if combined. 

Offline ColdHaven

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Re: Serotonin Deficiency and Preparedness
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2009, 10:42:14 AM »
Look into St. John's Wort.  However, be advised that it is additive to SSRI's and other similar drugs.  That is, OD is possible if combined.  

I second that. When I was going through my divorce many years ago I took St. John's Wort. It is highly effective, and has an effect which is similar to diazepam. I stopped taking it after awhile because it also had effects like some prescription meds which makes you feel nothing at all. It normalizes all your emotional responses in a way that you couldn't even feel real happy about anything either. At least, that was its effect on me. Chammomile is another wonderful calmative. Kava Kava, before it was made illegal (stupid government) was also good for depression, but didn't have the emotion restrictive element to it. I would also add dark choclate. The darker the better. Choclate has chemicals in it that are similar to the chemicals the body produces during coitus (dopamine). Here is a link: http://www.chocolate.org/

One thing, that I think works even better than any of these, is meditation. Meditation, when used, has calmative, clearing, and focusing effects that are much needed in a high stress enviroment. I can suggest a book on this called: How to Meditate by Kathleen McDonald. This has been one of the more clearcut and easy to understand guides to meditation that I have read to date. It is easy to understand and takes religion out of it (though some things are offered if you want to try them and adapt them to your own beliefs). To me, the benefits of meditation are endless.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2009, 10:46:31 AM by ColdHaven »

Offline ryerle23

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Re: Serotonin Deficiency and Preparedness
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2009, 12:44:15 AM »
SSRIs should be tapered off slowly, especially ones with short half lifes, i.e. paroxetine. Fluoxetine, citalopram, and sertraline discontinuation are usually pretty well handled if done over 3-14 days.  Some sypmtoms of withdrawal include dizziness, nausea, fatigue, muscle aches, chills, anxiety, and irritability .

Effexor while not an SSRI is often used to treat depression as well and can have severe discontinuation symptoms than fluoxetine, citalopram, and sertraline.

The following is just my opinion, in true extended SHTF your "friend" should be doing enough exercise and releasing enough endorphins, they should be just fine.

Also if you have a generic SSRI, get PRN refills from your physician and check a cash price at Costco, more than likely it will not be prohibitively expensive to get a large amount.

St. John's Wort has a ton of drug interactions so be aware of that

YMMV, my info for entertainment purposes only, etc

sarahluker

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Re: Serotonin Deficiency and Preparedness
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2009, 06:41:31 AM »
I have taken Effexor and had to get off because of side effects.  I tell everyone I know NOT to take it.  I thought I was losing my mind literally and was frantic to get help.  My doctor finally told me to taper off and add another ssri to the mix to help ease off.  It helped but the experience was horrible.  I have worried about what I would do if I couldn't get my Rx's.  My kid's both have Dorette's and have to take medicines to keep the tic's in control.  It's not like not having insulin but it would be debilitating for those of us who need these meds to go without.

Offline CdnGuy

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Re: Serotonin Deficiency and Preparedness
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2009, 06:44:04 AM »

YMMV, my info for entertainment purposes only, etc

Good info to have. I'll be looking for a naturopath to work with as well.

What does YMMV mean? That's a new one on me.

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Serotonin Deficiency and Preparedness
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2009, 01:32:59 PM »
What does YMMV mean? That's a new one on me.
Your Mileage May Vary

sarahluker

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Re: Serotonin Deficiency and Preparedness
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2009, 01:41:23 PM »
BTW, I meant Tourette's.  Didnt spell check.

Offline Doc K

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Re: Serotonin Deficiency and Preparedness
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2009, 05:19:14 AM »
I call it serotonin deficiency, because the word 'depression' has a horrible stigma around it. There's feeling depressed and clinical depression and these are two different things entirely.

I agree completely about the stigma.  I often call it "neurotransmitter deficiency" for just that reason. 

That being said, I know that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy helps dramatically with clinical depression. That's from experience. However there are times, with what I believe is a true chemical imbalance, when even with all the right thinking in the world, some clinically depressed people just are depressed, defeated, debilitated.

Again, I completely agree.  CBT works very well.  The studies have shown that CBT is almost as good as an SSRI alone, but the two together have the most benefit.

If anyone has any information about getting off SSRI's and dealing with depression with natural ways, it would be greatly appreciated. For those that are medical professionals here, ' my 'friend' will be doing this with the cooperation of a physician and ina town where there is the provincial mental health hospital. So we have more psychologists and psychiatrists per capita than, well, anywhere. No worries!

I think it all depends on the type of depression a person has.  A person with what I call a "reactive depression" that pops up because of a major life event (a death of a child, a los of a job, TEOTWAWKI, etc.) - it usually just is a matter of time before the neurotransmitters regain balance again and the person does not feel depressed.  SSRI's work well here.  CBT is great here.

A person with what I call "random depression" is where everything in life is going great.  No big problems. And out of the blue, a person feels blue.  Again, this is likely just a matter of time before the neurotransmitters reset themselves.  Again SSRI's work well here as does CBT.

I don't think a reactive depression or a random depression NEEDS an antidepressant.  Does it help?  In most cases.  I look at it like having a broken leg (although much more serious).  If I have the ability to take pain meds, I would, but they are not absolutely necessary.  Are there some people who don't respond well to the medicine? Of course.  But I would never tell a person not to take a certain antidepressant based on another person's experience.  Some people can't take tylenol, but that doesn't mean no one should take it.  Exercise could help here for the natural endorphine rush.  St. John's Wort has been shown to be helpful with some people (read my other post about herbal meds http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=8782.0 ).

Then there is the person with either severe or "major depression" and a person with a baseline depression (also called dysthymic disorder).  These people really need long term anti-depressants and long term counselling.  This is where stockpiling these meds could be useful in a TEOTWAWKI situation (however, that can be hard, because people often store up these meds for overdosing and suicide attempts - getting large amounts can be hard.)

Please, if a person is struggling with depression, work with someone who has experience with depression.  Be wary of anyone who tells you X treatment is the ONLY way (be that SSRI, counselling, herbs, etc).  It is often the muti-pronged approach, guided by a professional, that has the most lasting positive outcomes.

Hope this helps!
Doc K

Offline CdnGuy

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Re: Serotonin Deficiency and Preparedness
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2009, 09:11:09 PM »
I'd have to say I'm in category three. I suffered from depression for about 20 years without knowing what it was. I thought everyone felt like that.

Every doctor I talked to said it was in my head. Well, yes, sort of. Anyway, I moved to a town that has a psychiatric hospital (willingly moved - I saw that look!) so my physician here was all over it like a fat kid on a smartie. SSRI's and therapy. Great leaps and bounds over about 3 years. Life is pretty damned good now, and I can see that. No mania either. I was scared of over correcting.

Anywho, I think I've found a naturopath who will help me, and work with my physician. We'll see how it goes.

Offline CdnGuy

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Re: Serotonin Deficiency and Preparedness
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2017, 07:20:06 PM »
How's this for reviving an old thread? That was 8 years ago.

The naturopath method didn't have any real effect. There were B12 shots and several supplements, all of which didn't do anything to assist with the depression for me.

The type of depression I live with is constant and not reactive to events. There was an extended hospital stay, the lowest point possible once, then another hospital stay, ECT, medication, and a few years of therapy.

I'm at a place where it's mostly under control. I know a lot of us are not for antidepressants and other psychiatric medications, but the last 5 years or so have been the most 'normal' since I was about 12.

The event in my life over the last 5 years have been extremely stressful. My workplace was not healthy, either physically or psychologically, but I persevered and did not spiral again. Some days were better than others, of course.

Last year, the company was sold and I spiralled for a bit. Not to the depths of before, nor nearly as long. Just a really rough couple weeks. I saw most people at work go through the same thing though, so I guess that was kind of 'normal'.

A year later, almost to the day, the new company restructured several of us out of work. So, fired without cause. My wife too. Both of us jobless, in a home where the kitchen was gutted to the studs and floor joists with just a dirt crawlspace underneath and a Canadian winter coming at us.

I didn't lose it.

Meds? Therapy and applying that? I don't know what got me through. Maybe I just didn't give a shit anymore about what the world says I have to be doing with my life. I know I didn't feel like I had to go on a job hunting binge and take the first thing that came along. This is the first time I ever felt I didn't have to do that.

In a way, the dismissal might have been a blessing. Without this time off, there's no way we'd have the kitchen done before Christmas. Now, we should be done about 3 days before Christmas. We're doing all the work, of course.

We're also looking at re-training so we can become self-employed. I'm looking at home inspection and my wife is looking at becoming a pastry chef.

I do admit, I have some days that I'm quite down, but I can usually power through. Sometimes I have anxiety that brings on irrational anger about nothing. But, I'm mostly able to manage it and get on with it. I can recognize it for what it is. Pretty much a malfunctioning operating system that sometimes does weird shit for no apparent reason then goes back to working just fine.

I doubt I'll ever come off the meds. Part of me would really like to, because I hate being dependent on anything I can't produce. But I just don't think it's worth the risk of spiraling down to that last thread again.

If something should happen that prevents me from having access to these medications, I think I could make it through. It wouldn't be pretty, and I don't know if I'd have as consistent a state of mental health as I have now, but I would at least try to find a way to deal with it.

Now that I have the time, I'm working meditation and exercise back in to my life. If I'm going to be depressed, I might as well be calm about and be built AF at the same time. ;)

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Serotonin Deficiency and Preparedness
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2017, 09:50:35 PM »
Necro-posting at it's finest!  The first 10 posts in this thread were just a few months after I registered here, and I hadn't read them until just now.

Great to hear your update, CdnGuy.  "Mostly under control" is a pretty good success story. :)

Offline Cyd

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Re: Serotonin Deficiency and Preparedness
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2018, 04:57:35 PM »
Every thought that you have is a set of electrochemical signals in your brain.  When you think positive, peaceful thoughts, your brain chemistry changes.  When you think negative thoughts, your brain chemistry changes.  "Blaming the brain" creates feelings of victimhood and helplessness.