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Serotonin the new 'Cure All'

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by heapsreal, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Maybe not so new but still not alot of evidence of a cure all.

    Some info is conflicting, serotonin increases energy where one wants to jump out of bed but then at night serotonin calms people down and then extra melatonin is made from serotonin and one nods off to sleep. Suppossedly also helps one keep a calm mood and lifts mood into a level that increases happiness. Also said to help reduce pain and even helps us lose weight.

    I would say my experience with ssris is that they greatly worsen sleep, feel overhyped up. stress seem to just flow off like a water off a ducks back but also can become quite numb which i think is part of the antianxiety, if one can live being like that???

    Im trying to understand how serotonin helps sleep. The only thing i can find that helps are trytophan supps, maybe through increasing serotonin levels or maybe it increases melatonin levels??

    If ssri's really worked then they would be an effective treatment for many with cfs/me.

    So why dont they seem to help so many of us??
    So why do so many get better results with supplements like 5htp and tryptophan.

    Im interested to hear in others experiences and there opinions of serotonin being a cure all??
     
  2. Artstu

    Artstu Senior Member

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    SSRIS's just make me sleep for about 16 hours a day instead of my more normal 11 to 12 hours.
     
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  3. SDSue

    SDSue Southeast

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    2 weeks on an SSRI was a horrible experience for me - anxiety in spades and I became suicidal. All of which simply "confirmed" to my GP that I suffer a psychological condition, because "we never see that with these low doses".

    I wanted to say, "Well, open your eyes cause you're seeing it now, sister. Wouldn't hurt to read a little literature, either, as it's a well-documented side effect!" Instead, I just found another doctor. Sigh. Never again.
     
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  4. Martial

    Martial Senior Member

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    I did not have a fun time with them, getting off of them was also a real pain in the arse with the withdrawals and symptoms it triggered.

    Methylation support helped me to regain these neurotransmitters naturally without relying on synthetic forms to do it for me.

    Also how would a brain chemical help with chronic illness, psychiatric drugs won't make my lyme disease simply vanish.
     
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  5. vamah

    vamah Senior Member

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    Well, I don't think anything is a cure all. I hate articles that make sweeping statement like that. Ssris did help me immensely at I time when I was suffering from severe anxiety attacks/ ocd. I think it helped keep my brain from getting caught in an ever expanding loop of anxiety.
     
  6. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

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    All SSRIs were terrible experiences for me, and I was really hoping for relief. I have been able to tolerate one SNRI. As for what they do, about 90% of serotonin receptors are in the gut or at least outside the brain. Something like 90% of the serotonin receptors inside the brain are inactive due to glial blockade. Even selective drugs like these affect the gut a great deal, and may or may not have desirable effects on the brain.

    Honest doctors will admit they don't actually know why sometimes these things work on some people and not others. Chemical changes take place within hours, but even fast responses require about one week. Doctors familiar with the problem will try for up to 6 weeks before deciding an SSRI does not work. I ground my teeth for close to three months before we gave up, and this was the second try; the first had to be aborted when I completely stopped eating.

    The low serotonin level hypothesis has all the characteristics of a convenient medical myth.
     
  7. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl Narcissism = lack of self awareness

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    @Martial You know, the past week or two I've had this underlying anger beneath the surface. Everyone and everything was pissing me off. I could feel my brain was not right.

    Then the last 2 nights I took a low dose of Seroquel for sleep and it's much better. I can feel my brain is not "off", I'm much calmer and the anger is gone. You mentioned the methylation helped your neurotransmitters. Do you think it's possible that the mfolate could be screwing me up since the anger started about the time I started that.
     
  8. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Im always researching sleep, suprise suprise. Serotonin always pops up, so looking into it further and many articles mention serotonins role in increasing energy or contradict each other saying increases enrgy and helps improve sleep. I havent heard too many people say ssri's improve sleep unless they are bombed out all day, seems very hit and miss.

    @anciendaze agree its a convenient medical myth and although helps some, i dont think it widely helps as many as they make out??
     
  9. liquid sky

    liquid sky Senior Member

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    I have only been able to tolerate one SNRI at the smallest dosage. It helps me sleep, but I think it is the antihistamine in it that actually helps. I recently heard at a seminar that psychiatrists have discovered why there is an increased risk of suicide when people start an SSRI. They said they asked patients why they tried to commit suicide after starting an SSRI. The patients said they had wanted to commit suicide before the SSRI, but didn't have the energy. Then when they started the SSRI, they had the energy to carry out their plans.

    I think this is completely bogus. SSRIs often cause akathesia, which is intolerable for some people. I know that they make me want to crawl out of my skin. I would not call this energy, but rather torture.
     
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  10. SDSue

    SDSue Southeast

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    I'm with you - total BS. SSRI's are a multi-billion dollar business. Those companies have a vested interest in fostering a mindset the mindset that protects that bottom line.

    Ten years ago, if you searched SSRI, the top hits were all about suicide risk. Now, the top hits are "SSRI's do not increase suicide risk". Besides, we all know that the psych world can be bought and sold.
     
  11. Leopardtail

    Leopardtail Senior Member

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    The first part is easy: The body makes Melatonin FROM serotonin. 5-HTP short cuts producing serotonin that in turn allows Melatonin.

    The issue with SSRIs is they don't only reduce Serotonin loss butr mess with lots of other body chemistry.

    I reacted badly to SNRI's too - they made me super agitated and bad tempered (not normal for me) - but then my body reacts to my ME by producing shit loads of Adrenalin (I think) due to Glutamergic issues.

    Serotonin is something I need to do more thorough research but high of low levels both cause depression, it seems hellishly complicated. It also has effects via melatonin that has been implicated in different immune problems when high of low. It's similar with pain, there are Serotonin receptors that reduce pain, and others that increase it. Not much simple about Serotonin is there?

    It's a shame we can't get organised and 'split the load' with all this research isn't it, or that we can't trust the doctors to do it properly.
     
    heapsreal likes this.
  12. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    Prior to my diagnosis, I went through a "psychologising" stage. I took a number of SSRIs. I had a variety of problems with them which I no longer recall. I was taking a "drug holiday" from one (which I do NOT recommend) and I became aware that it had reduced my higher order thinking skills.

    I resumed taking the drug and did a proper taper. I experienced a more subtle "fog lifting" as I did so. I then realized that I had experienced a similar "fog lifting" each time I quit an SSRI.

    I had no realization of impaired mental function while I was on the drugs. I think they are dangerous.
     
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  13. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    fwiw in case it may help someone dr Goldberg, Ca pediatrician, uses various SSRI's a lot in autism (he got 'into' it via CFS/ME) - he is the one who 'championed' antiviral approaches and using valtrex etc. As is the case with everything they help a lot in some cases and not at all in others. The reason I am bringing him up is that he uses small doses - usually 1/4 to half of the normal weight dose, and most interestingly if someone has a very bad reaction to say a 1/4 dose just increasing it can work absolute wonders. So if suffering a bad reaction to an SSRI, esp along the lines of being "agitated and bad tempered" maybe worth tweaking the dose before discarding it completely?
     
  14. Leopardtail

    Leopardtail Senior Member

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    I was referring to SNRIs different drugs all together.
    Given my test results since, they were predictably harmful. We are a diverse group but the more usual pattern with ME patients is that upping the dose ups the side effects but not the benefit. The other issue is that if for example you are short of Norepinephrine body wide, these psychiatric drugs help far more in the brain than they do elsewhere, hence can mask the problem or worsen it since the brain does the 'sensing'. My personal opinion is that with our illness I would want to be extremely sure of the benefit before pushing through symptoms and increasing dose..
     
  15. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    An SSRI gave me SEVERE akasthesia 6 years ago after only two doses and I have never fully recovered. This was when my GP believed I 'only' had depression. I actually wasn't depressed at all but was having anxiety problems and was in a severe M.E relapse.

    This experience was exactly like being tortured only the intense phase lasted over two years. My first goal was just to be able to feel calm enough to sit down and eat dinner with my family, the second was to be able to relax enough to sit and watch tv in the living room with my husband.

    I was not the least bit suicidal before I took the SSRI, but became so after the first dose and the thoughts plagued me on and off for a couple of years.

    I will NEVER, EVER, EVER, put my body through that again. I cant actually believe I survived it, and think I may have a form of PTSD from the experience as for a few years afterwards I couldn't talk about anti depressants or look it up on the internet. I was so afraid by it that I couldn't even complain to my GP or health board as it made me panic every time I thought about it.
     
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  16. Leopardtail

    Leopardtail Senior Member

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    I had a different reaction to each SSRI, one caused mock diabetes lipidus urinating 14 litres per day (that is considered severe), one caused me to be doped an unable to wake, another that I have to use occasionally messes up my focus and causes eye strain and migraines. I really do consider these the last resort now. I have also noticed several charities and some medical guidelines not tell doctors to avoid them at all possible.

    Given how harmful most psychotrophic drugs were for me, I am now profoundly distrustful of psychologial nonsense with ME.
     
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  17. Leopardtail

    Leopardtail Senior Member

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    During the phase when I go from lighter to worsened illness, and mirror imaging when recovering I produce masses of stress hormones even when I feel mentally calm, they eventually cause 'anxiety' which is hardly bloody surprising. I produce the levels of Adrenalin you would expect (or more) jumping out of a plane, on a roller coaster,seconds before a car crash etc continuously,.
    I understand exactly where you are coming from justy.
     
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  18. Martial

    Martial Senior Member

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    thats actually a side effect of methylation start up, I got hit with that pretty hard too.. Just gotta ride it through is all.
     
    minkeygirl likes this.
  19. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

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    Just to clarify, I was able to tolerate a single SNRI. Overall, my chart has a list of medications attempted running three pages just for the names. The entire chart, with descriptions of side-effects, crises, etc. now occupies two folders.

    I don't know how many people are helped by SSRIs and SNRIs. A drug which helps 30% of patients in a short-term study can be approved. This is already close to placebo response. Placebos are much more effective if doctors believe in them. (As I've said elsewhere w.r.t. antibiotics given for pneumonia which may be viral: "Purple, foul-tasting, expensive pills work best.") Studies about benefits of long-term use are really pretty thin on the ground.

    The common assumption in a great deal of medicine is that severe depression (which is a common misdiagnosis for ME/CFS) is a temporary problem, so that a medication which reduces risk of suicide over a period of months is of value. Many doctors are still incautious about increased risk in the first two weeks. Some actually take steps to avoid patients during this period.

    Every patient with ME/CFS should be classified as long-term, which makes a great deal of clinical data inapplicable. This also makes me wonder how long it takes doctors to figure out that they are treating the wrong illness.
     
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  20. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl Narcissism = lack of self awareness

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    @Martial No kidding? So why do you think the Seroquel helps? I'm telling you, I had this seething anger going on. I knew my brain was off but couldn't help not take it punt on people.

    How long does this last? Ball park...
     

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