Serotonin, Depression and SSRI Antidepressants

Insights and discussion from the cutting edge with reference to journal articles and other research papers.
Jena S
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Re: Serotonin, Enhancing and SSRI Antidepressants

Postby Jena S » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:20 am

wgtnz wrote:Hi, I am new to this forum and was interested and heartened to see this thread as I have just resumed taking Citalopram after a year of being off medication and am also E3/E4. I suffer from Dysthymic Disorder and was hopeful that the "road back" supplements and later the micronutrients I was taking ( having read about Julia Rucklidges research with them), might have worked for me but they didn't. Although my doctor has suggested continuing with the micronutrients may allow me to take a smaller dose of C. Having recently received my ApoE results I was concerned about resuming C and whether it posed an increased risk factor for AD. So it was kind of reassuring to know that this may not be the case.


Welcome, wgtnz! It's so wonderful to have you join this forum. I think you will find a wealth of information and research-based discussions to help support you. I am so glad to see that you are trialing various options with your care to see what specifically works for you. As orangeblossom already stated, be sure to check out the "Primer" which is found under the Home Page --> Getting Started which was written by our moderator, Stavia, who is a practicing physician. It's absolutely phenomenal. We are so glad you are here and please reach out with any questions!

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Re: Serotonin, Enhancing and SSRI Antidepressants

Postby Jan » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:33 am

wgtnz wrote:Hi, I am new to this forum and was interested and heartened to see this thread as I have just resumed taking Citalopram after a year of being off medication and am also E3/E4. I suffer from Dysthymic Disorder and was hopeful that the "road back" supplements and later the micronutrients I was taking ( having read about Julia Rucklidges research with them), might have worked for me but they didn't. Although my doctor has suggested continuing with the micronutrients may allow me to take a smaller dose of C. Having recently received my ApoE results I was concerned about resuming C and whether it posed an increased risk factor for AD. So it was kind of reassuring to know that this may not be the case.

wgtnz, I'm a big fan of Julia Rucklidge's work. Here's a link to a past thread with a discussion on depression, which contains a link to a TED talk by her. search.php?keywords=julia+rucklidge&terms=all&author=&sc=1&sf=all&sr=posts&sk=t&sd=d&st=0&ch=300&t=0&submit=Search

(In case it hasn't been pointed out for you, the site search engine is the three stacked squares at the top right of the page, which will allow you to search the voluminous threads contained within the site.)
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Re: Serotonin, Enhancing and SSRI Antidepressants

Postby Orangeblossom » Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:21 am

Good video. Interested to find I just can't seem to tolerate my prozac after making such changes as much. and this ties in with what the psychiatrist said about 'exercise (and lifestyle changes) will do more for you than that anything I can give you" And that is from someone who is an expert on these medications.

However I think we might run the risk here in having an either / or approach. It is not as simple as it just being about nutrition, for example with postnatal depression (which I had myself) it can be a lot about isolation, stress, financial and social factors. Although it may be complex, it is not helpful to beat ourselves up about needing medications either. My doctors also told me 'we wouldn't feel bad about taking medications for our physical health so why should that be different for mental health"

Maybe another problem is taking meds is seen as the solution and other things such as nutrition are overlooked. and it should be more holistic than that. there can be different solutions to problems.

The key perhaps is to be kind to ourselves and find what works for you. I think for me, the meds helped me into a space where I could then use things like sleep, nutrition and exercise to help myself. But maybe with more of these things in place, I wouldn't have got to that stage in the first place. Stress, and cortisol are also very important too.

The key thing which seems to be important is that it is treated

https://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/201 ... -dementia/

However that doesn't mean I think that always means meds!

Found this useful article and it has info about the different minerals, proteins etc - noticed low carb may contribute to depression so that might be a challenge, low GI foods might seem to be the way forward, (tryptophan).

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2738337/

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Re: Serotonin, Depression and SSRI Antidepressants

Postby Orangeblossom » Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:23 am

Spoken to my doc and they are not happy about me trying to swap prozac for Curcumin. Say the psychiatrist wanted me to stay on it as helped in the past and to prevent relapse. So going to try taking just one a week, as it has a long half life and can be taken in a weekly dose. They seem OK with that but need to keep an eye on it. It seems tolerable to me at a small weekly dose with the other nutrients etc. (going to take the daily dose not the higher weekly dose to start with and see how it goes) Going to take Curcumin on the other days.

For example, weekly dose and how it compared to placebo. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11772132

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Re: Serotonin, Depression and SSRI Antidepressants

Postby wgtnz » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:40 am

Thank you members for your earlier responses to my post. Orangeblossom your latest post resonated with me. I had been on SSRIs for nearly 20 years before I decided to start the withdrawal process. During that time I became a bit of an anti SSRI, anti pharmaceutical company evangelist which makes me cringe now as I've come to realise everyone's circumstances are different and as you wrote 'find what works for you'. It took me a year to come off them completely. I was fine for nearly a year after that until what I call my Eeyore days started to emerge with more regularity so I made the difficult decision to return to SSRIs. I think there was a part of me that really wanted to be the poster girl for micronutrients and depression! However I'm also aware that in finding a solution 'that works for me' I had the financial resources, emotional support and medical services available to me that allowed me the space to find out what worked for me and sadly that is not the case for many people.

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Re: Serotonin, Depression and SSRI Antidepressants

Postby Orangeblossom » Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:47 am

wgtnz wrote:Thank you members for your earlier responses to my post. Orangeblossom your latest post resonated with me. I had been on SSRIs for nearly 20 years before I decided to start the withdrawal process. During that time I became a bit of an anti SSRI, anti pharmaceutical company evangelist which makes me cringe now as I've come to realise everyone's circumstances are different and as you wrote 'find what works for you'. It took me a year to come off them completely. I was fine for nearly a year after that until what I call my Eeyore days started to emerge with more regularity so I made the difficult decision to return to SSRIs. I think there was a part of me that really wanted to be the poster girl for micronutrients and depression! However I'm also aware that in finding a solution 'that works for me' I had the financial resources, emotional support and medical services available to me that allowed me the space to find out what worked for me and sadly that is not the case for many people.


Yes, I understand what you mean. I get it from family a bit as well, they want me 'off those pills' and see them as a negative thing, even though they help me. My doc has been quite helpful, really. I sat down with them in the past and we wrote out a kind of plan for all the thing we could combine to help, including the meds, exercise, things like nutrition, CBT and mindfulness. So kind of cover all bases. That helped me quite a lot. I too have been on them a similar time.

I have been having a problem feeling too 'buzzy' from my meds after taking more supplements etc especially Curcumin, anyway yesterday took the prozac after a week off and it was fine. So thinking this once weekly thing might work for me. Other ones don't have such a long half life though.

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Re: Serotonin, Enhancing and SSRI Antidepressants

Postby optimize » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:08 pm

Orangeblossom wrote:However I think we might run the risk here in having an either / or approach....The key perhaps is to be kind to ourselves and find what works for you.

Great advice!

About curcumin... I wonder if Longvida might work better since it has better absorption.
Orangeblossom wrote:Found this useful article and it has info about the different minerals, proteins etc -

Along those lines, here are things I've read can contribute to depression, and what to do about them:

    Low folate -- take higher doses of methylfolate or quatrafolic (Deplin prescription) and B12; look into adding supporting nutrients as shown on MTFHR protocols, especially if carrying homozygous MTHFR C677T

    Low B12 -- take methylcobalamin or hydrocobalamin or adensylcobalamin (look for version without folic acid)

    Low serotonin -- take 5HTP on an occasional or cycling basis, or eat carbs on an empty stomach before bed

    Low serotonin due to fructose malabsorption -- avoid FODMAPs

    Lack of motivation -- take L-tyrosine on an occasional or cycling basis

    Perservating, persistent negative thoughts, mind spinning -- take Theanine on an occasional or cycling basis

    Disrupted sleep cycles -- do sleep study, then use CPAP mask or better sleep hygiene (changes in sleep environment and timing)

    Lack of exercise -- exercise to breathlessness a few times a day; hard exercise is equivalent to one Prozac and one Adderall per day

    Low Omega-3 lipids -- take 1 teaspoon fish oil or cod liver oil daily

    Hypoglycemia -- avoid carbohydrates and increase protein

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Re: Serotonin, Depression and SSRI Antidepressants

Postby Orangeblossom » Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:19 am

Yes it's Longvida I'm taking and noticing a benefit from.

Also finding 5HTP and magnesium helpful in the evening.

Methyl folate in higher doses can cause side effects so best to start with small doses. I'm taking other folate wish foods as couldn't tolerate it.

I am reading more on the gut /brain connection and inflammation and how it effects us mentally, and starting to make kinks as my mental health got a lot worse when I had bowel surgery and was very ill physically, for example lots of IV antibiotics and low electrolytes needing IV infusions. Also had a lot of small bowel removed meaning problems with digestion and nutrients.

Interested to see now things have settled down with that I don't seem to need the meds a lot. I think it is good to look at the body as a possible source of mental health problems which might be the cause of depression, depression might just be a symptom of that, perhaps.

Had a raised liver function (ALT) test and going to speak to docs again about stopping meds as although they said it is not a problem I think it may be. I am not in second week off meds and doing OK. I think the 5HTP and Curcumin are still helping, also finding magnesium helpful in the evening. It may well be a placebo affect - possibly, but it's also helping with my pain levels too so possibly not.

Best wishes to all dealing with this and hope you find a way through it. For me, overall I think there is less evidence for anti-ds helping than there is for other things, and the safest option at present is to manage with other things.

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Re: Serotonin, Depression and SSRI Antidepressants

Postby Orangeblossom » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:31 am

A week on since last taking prozac, feeling Ok but getting some vertigo. I know it is best from reading about it, to try not to react in a panicky way but just accept it for what it is. Mood OK though. Finding the following things helpful in withdrawal so far:

5HTP mornings along with Lonvida Curcumin and fish oil. (I take first thing)
Magnesium evenings (I use a mix with theonite and other types together)

Hope this may help others going through the same thing.

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Re: Serotonin, Depression and SSRI Antidepressants

Postby MarcR » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:29 pm

Thanks for sharing, Orangeblossom. Members may also be interested in this topic from Surviving Antidepressants:

Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)


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