T Nation

Anti-Depressants

what are your guys’ thoughts on antidepressants? do you guys know of any natural ways to fight it?

Well, if you’re clinically depressed, anti depressents can literally be a lifesaver.

Some folks don’t have too many problems with side effects, but most people do. These are usually weight gain and a few other undesireable things. If you’re a manic depressent, then it’s worth it.

Daily exercise does wonders for fighting depression. I can’t point to any studies, but I’m pretty sure these meds make losing weight difficult, as I can attest to that from first hand experience.

I recently weaned myself off them and, thus far, have no side effects or depression relapses.

Anyway, good luck to you !

well i took lexapro for about a year and i decided to quit taking them suddenly (dumb i know, i was only 18). and most of the time im pretty good about keeping myself happy. they diagnosed me as manic depressant cuz i can go from one mood to another really easily. lately i been debating going back on lexapro but i jus like to think i can make myself better without them.

I was briefly in Pharmacy school and my undergrad was Bio and Psych so I suppose I feel the need to throw in my .02 on this one.
Our current understanding of neurotransmitters and receptors are light years ahead of what we knew just 50 years ago.

That being said in my opinion most current anti-deppressants are akin to using a machette where a scalpel is needed. Wholesale manipulation of a handful of neurotransmitters seems like a sketchy scenerio at best when the magic happens at the receptor level.

Until we can effectively create pharmaceutical agents to operate specifically on only the intended subgroup of receptors in a particular region of the brain I consider taking SSRIs, ADHD meds, and the like too risky a proposition for my taste.

Couple this with the modern phenomena of overmedicating everything and everone (especially kids) and you have a pretty twisted scenerio where upwards of 20% of school age kids in the U.S. are currently prescribed psychoactive meds.

This is not to say that some people don’t benefit from traditional anti-depressants. In fact some folks need them to function properly. But I would chance to say that that population is much smaller than drug companies would have you believe.

Also you’re deluding yourself if you think the majority of shrinks understand with any detail the mechanism of action for the drugs they prescribe. Most decisions concerning what medication to give a patient hinge on what if any free samples the Dr. has on hand and which company sprung for the best golf outing/continuing education seminar in the tropics last Feb. (there are exceptions to this of course)
If you are suffering from depression try getting regular steady state aerobic exercise. Get some sun. Take some fish oil. Meditate/Pray.
If these steps don’t help, seek therapy to talk about your issues. Meta-cognition is a possibility as well.

If none of these offer you any relief THEN consider medicating yourself. But I’d be damn sure the doc can explain to you (in terms you understand) what it is, what it does, and why you’re taking it.
Rant over.
Peace
BuddaBill

[quote]skimmy_jimmy wrote:
what are your guys’ thoughts on antidepressants? do you guys know of any natural ways to fight it?[/quote]

It seems that I read somewhere that taking 6 to 9 grams of fish oil per day and doing aerobic training (not lifting) 4 to 5 times per week was just as good as the best prescription drugs. In addition to that helping others was also listed as being benificial, emotionally, to the person who was depressed.

Hope this helps.

Upon further review SPELL CHECK would have been a good idea.
Wow.

I’m bipolar and currently take welbutrin and abilify. I’ve actually lost about 15 pounds since starting that combination, and I can say it’s most likely saved my life.

edit: The pills have saved my life, not the weightloss.

[quote]skimmy_jimmy wrote:
what are your guys’ thoughts on antidepressants? do you guys know of any natural ways to fight it?[/quote]

There are a multitude of reasons for the onset of depression and until you have investigated all of the possible root causes, I would hold off on taking SSRI’s. They have helped many people, but should only be used as an absolute last resort.

Unfortunately, most people use them as a first resort so they can justify the continuation of their piss poor lifestyle choices.

The following is a list of possible causes of depression:

Lack of exercise

Dehydration
http://www.watercure.com/

Stress

Neurotransmitter depletion
(ie. dopamine and serotonin)
http://www.drkaslow.com/html/neurotransmitter_repletion.html

Chronic underlying infections
(ie. H. pylori, parasites, candida)

Nutritional deficiencies
(magnesium is a big one)
http://www.carolyndean.com/content/view/21/41/

Lack of sunlight
http://www.newstarget.com/001541.html

Food allergies
(ie. egg, dairy, soy, wheat, corn, MSG, aspartame)

Hormonal imbalances
(ie. adrenals, thyroid, low testosterone)
http://www.drrind.com/scorecardmatrix.asp

Toxic bowels
(Much of our serotonin is produced in the gut)
http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_105441.html
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1175/is_3_32/ai_54504396/pg_1

Poor sleep
(most beneficial is 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.)

Over training exercise
(impacts hormone levels and immune system)

Lack of essential fats

Dissatisfied with career or relationships
www.thesecret.tv

Unresolved emotional issues

Lack of spirituality

Here is the website to a lab that does testing for most of the physiological issues I listed above. Once you uncover the underlying reasons for your depression, you will be able to target a more effective protocol for healing.

I hope some of this helps you,

Jason

[quote]Jason32 wrote:
skimmy_jimmy wrote:
what are your guys’ thoughts on antidepressants? do you guys know of any natural ways to fight it?

There are a multitude of reasons for the onset of depression and until you have investigated all of the possible root causes, I would hold off on taking SSRI’s. They have helped many people, but should only be used as an absolute last resort.

Unfortunately, most people use them as a first resort so they can justify the continuation of their piss poor lifestyle choices.

The following is a list of possible causes of depression:

Lack of exercise

Dehydration
http://www.watercure.com/

Stress

Neurotransmitter depletion
(ie. dopamine and serotonin)
http://www.drkaslow.com/html/neurotransmitter_repletion.html

Chronic underlying infections
(ie. H. pylori, parasites, candida)

Nutritional deficiencies
(magnesium is a big one)
http://www.carolyndean.com/content/view/21/41/

Lack of sunlight
http://www.newstarget.com/001541.html

Food allergies
(ie. egg, dairy, soy, wheat, corn, MSG, aspartame)

Hormonal imbalances
(ie. adrenals, thyroid, low testosterone)
http://www.drrind.com/scorecardmatrix.asp

Toxic bowels
(Much of our serotonin is produced in the gut)
http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_105441.html
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1175/is_3_32/ai_54504396/pg_1

Poor sleep
(most beneficial is 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.)

Over training exercise
(impacts hormone levels and immune system)

Lack of essential fats

Dissatisfied with career or relationships
www.thesecret.tv

Unresolved emotional issues

Lack of spirituality

Here is the website to a lab that does testing for most of the physiological issues I listed above. Once you uncover the underlying reasons for your depression, you will be able to target a more effective protocol for healing.

I hope some of this helps you,

Jason

[/quote]

Jason, this is an excellent post.
All the males in my fam suffer from Bi-polar disorder (big ups and big downs every single day). It’s been hell. But interesting all at the same time.
My doc has tried to prescribe all the shit out there for years.
I’ve refused as the side effects always sounded worse than the condition.
My opinion of natural remedies (After you’ve taken care of all the preventative measures that Jason kindly outlined above which are BIG keys to maintaining a normal life):

St. John’s wort - made me feel flat, not up’s, no down’s. I just felt blah all the time. In my books this shit sucks. I’d rather get my depression on sometimes if it means I get to be happy as well. Never being happy and never being sad is next to death.

Gingko - while generally not thought of as an anti-depressant I have found it improves my mood as it makes the ability to think much easier. And this is a huge help when you’re trying to work through emotions.

5-Hydroxtryptophan (5-Htp) - this stuff has literally saved my life. Attempted suicide twice in my late teens before I found this stuff (for those mofo’s who say ephedra is dangerous - fuck that - I took 150 of the 25mg pills in one shot and didn’t die, that after swallowing 18 sleeping pills and 4 gravol).

I use 5-Htp in place of what the doctors what to prescribe me. I keep my dose low, 50mg x 2-3 times daily.

I suggest you look into 5-htp if your depression is based around low seratonin (as 5-HTP is the direct precursor to seratonin) or low reuptake of seratonin. Head to head with Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil it’s been proven to work faster, in more people and with less side effects than these top prescribed drugs.

www.5htp.com

Like any condition depression is serious and it’s something you take preventative measures against - diet, exercise, supplements and finally drugs if needed.
I am totally against the bandaid solution today of “Doc, I’m sad.” “Oh, okay, let me give you Prozac. Take 3 a day.”
They don’t even test you anymore for chemical imbalances.

Look into cranial microcurrent stimulation (CMS). It works wonders for me.

I built a homemade “Voodoo Magick Box” and it works great. See http://www.hackcanada.com/homegrown/wetware/ces/index.html

You can get a commercial CMS called the AlphaStim. Chris Shugart did an article on it a while back. http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=227micro2

In my experience,they’re pure crap and are worthless after time.
I fought depression a long time ago. For a while I was taking anti-depressants,but then they started to make me worse,not better.
I didn’t just try one kind either.
After a very close friend of mine committed suicide on a Anti-Depressant drug he was taking,I thought it was time to come off of them completely. The drug companies are good at painting pictures of how Anti-Depressants are wonderful,miraculous drugs-they aren’t.
I was taking an anxiety medication and the side effects were depression!
I think it’s poison and there are better ways to help yourself with depression instead of relying on these useless drugs. No one wants to be on them for the rest of their lives.
It’s just another quick fix because people don’t want to take charge of their life.
Anyway,once I came off I went to a doctor who didn’t use drugs because I knew they were useless and dangerous.
If I hadn’t of come off of the drugs today,when my original doctor said I should of stayed on them,I probably wouldn’t be here today or I’d probably still be stuck in the same bubble of switching drugs. My doctor told me I was an idiot for coming off of these drugs,but I knew I didn’t want to end up like my friend did.
After I threw them down the toilet I never looked back.
I’m now doing much better and am applying the techniques my new doctor gave me to my life.

[quote]AllTraps wrote:
Jason32 wrote:
skimmy_jimmy wrote:
what are your guys’ thoughts on antidepressants? do you guys know of any natural ways to fight it?

There are a multitude of reasons for the onset of depression and until you have investigated all of the possible root causes, I would hold off on taking SSRI’s. They have helped many people, but should only be used as an absolute last resort.

Unfortunately, most people use them as a first resort so they can justify the continuation of their piss poor lifestyle choices.

The following is a list of possible causes of depression:

Lack of exercise

Dehydration
http://www.watercure.com/

Stress

Neurotransmitter depletion
(ie. dopamine and serotonin)
http://www.drkaslow.com/html/neurotransmitter_repletion.html

Chronic underlying infections
(ie. H. pylori, parasites, candida)

Nutritional deficiencies
(magnesium is a big one)
http://www.carolyndean.com/content/view/21/41/

Lack of sunlight
http://www.newstarget.com/001541.html

Food allergies
(ie. egg, dairy, soy, wheat, corn, MSG, aspartame)

Hormonal imbalances
(ie. adrenals, thyroid, low testosterone)
http://www.drrind.com/scorecardmatrix.asp

Toxic bowels
(Much of our serotonin is produced in the gut)
http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_105441.html
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1175/is_3_32/ai_54504396/pg_1

Poor sleep
(most beneficial is 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.)

Over training exercise
(impacts hormone levels and immune system)

Lack of essential fats

Dissatisfied with career or relationships
www.thesecret.tv

Unresolved emotional issues

Lack of spirituality

Here is the website to a lab that does testing for most of the physiological issues I listed above. Once you uncover the underlying reasons for your depression, you will be able to target a more effective protocol for healing.

I hope some of this helps you,

Jason

Jason, this is an excellent post.
All the males in my fam suffer from Bi-polar disorder (big ups and big downs every single day). It’s been hell. But interesting all at the same time.
My doc has tried to prescribe all the shit out there for years.
I’ve refused as the side effects always sounded worse than the condition.
My opinion of natural remedies (After you’ve taken care of all the preventative measures that Jason kindly outlined above which are BIG keys to maintaining a normal life):

St. John’s wort - made me feel flat, not up’s, no down’s. I just felt blah all the time. In my books this shit sucks. I’d rather get my depression on sometimes if it means I get to be happy as well. Never being happy and never being sad is next to death.

Gingko - while generally not thought of as an anti-depressant I have found it improves my mood as it makes the ability to think much easier. And this is a huge help when you’re trying to work through emotions.

5-Hydroxtryptophan (5-Htp) - this stuff has literally saved my life. Attempted suicide twice in my late teens before I found this stuff (for those mofo’s who say ephedra is dangerous - fuck that - I took 150 of the 25mg pills in one shot and didn’t die, that after swallowing 18 sleeping pills and 4 gravol).

I use 5-Htp in place of what the doctors what to prescribe me. I keep my dose low, 50mg x 2-3 times daily.

I suggest you look into 5-htp if your depression is based around low seratonin (as 5-HTP is the direct precursor to seratonin) or low reuptake of seratonin. Head to head with Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil it’s been proven to work faster, in more people and with less side effects than these top prescribed drugs.

www.5htp.com

Like any condition depression is serious and it’s something you take preventative measures against - diet, exercise, supplements and finally drugs if needed.
I am totally against the bandaid solution today of “Doc, I’m sad.” “Oh, okay, let me give you Prozac. Take 3 a day.”
They don’t even test you anymore for chemical imbalances.[/quote]

Yeah,they’re too fast to hand out these Anti-Depressant drugs like candy.

I have bipolar disorder. I have used a lot of different meds. I have been off all meds since the summer and I feel pretty good. However, when school gets stressful I fall into a depressive state. I have a very good support network of my family and freinds so they have helped me. I have also found going on HRT for my low t has helped.

I have noticed that Power Drive helps. I know its a bit of a plug but it makes me feel energized. I also take a ton of fish oil (15-20 pills a day).

Working out does help, but sometimes its difficult to find the motivation.

Props to Jason32 for offering suggestions to help.
Whereas I was just bitching about drugs.
Peace
BuddaBill

[quote]keaster wrote:
I have bipolar disorder. I have used a lot of different meds. I have been off all meds since the summer and I feel pretty good. However, when school gets stressful I fall into a depressive state. I have a very good support network of my family and freinds so they have helped me. I have also found going on HRT for my low t has helped.

I have noticed that Power Drive helps. I know its a bit of a plug but it makes me feel energized. I also take a ton of fish oil (15-20 pills a day).

Working out does help, but sometimes its difficult to find the motivation.

[/quote]

Congrads.
I really hope the whole thing with school and feeling depressed works out.
If you need anyone to talk to I’m here bro’.
I get those days where I don’t feel like workin’ out too,but I just do it.
I try to think about something that motivates me,which really helps.