Antidepressants for nervous system regulation?

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Hi all,

One of my main symptoms since becoming ill has been some kind of dysregulation/dysfunction of my nervous system or HPA axis. I am on edge a lot of the time and get stressed out very easily. My startle response is ridiculous. I do all those things that get recommended by doctors and well meaning friends - go for walks, meditate multiple times a day, keep very good sleep hygiene and eat very healthy but after having a crash in October things have gotten worse and I am even more run down from the stress of daily life with CFS than usual.

I'm wondering if going on an antidepressant will help regulate my system? I've been prescribed Amitriptyline for sleep and always get the best sleep when I take this, and I feel more relaxed the next day. I tried 5htp which really helped for a couple of weeks until it stopped working - I was much more relaxed and was sleeping more deeply.

Had anyone had any experience with this?

Thanks
 

heapsreal

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Hi all,

One of my main symptoms since becoming ill has been some kind of dysregulation/dysfunction of my nervous system or HPA axis. I am on edge a lot of the time and get stressed out very easily. My startle response is ridiculous. I do all those things that get recommended by doctors and well meaning friends - go for walks, meditate multiple times a day, keep very good sleep hygiene and eat very healthy but after having a crash in October things have gotten worse and I am even more run down from the stress of daily life with CFS than usual.

I'm wondering if going on an antidepressant will help regulate my system? I've been prescribed Amitriptyline for sleep and always get the best sleep when I take this, and I feel more relaxed the next day. I tried 5htp which really helped for a couple of weeks until it stopped working - I was much more relaxed and was sleeping more deeply.

Had anyone had any experience with this?

Thanks
Look into testing adrenal hormones cortisol, dhea and pregnenolone if they do it. Having these hormones at optimal levels can alot with stress and anxiety.

Just something id do first, then try antidepressants. Im guess the dose of amitriptyline is quite low if used for sleep, thats good its helping you sleep. An antidepressant option might be to increase your amitriptyline dose, talk to your dr about it. Doses used for depression and anxiety are like 100mg and up. But some people get more side effects too.
 
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I've been prescribed Amitriptyline for sleep and always get the best sleep when I take this, and I feel more relaxed the next day.
Amitriptyline is a tri-cyclic anti-depressant, and it's mode of action is thru inhibiting the mechanism responsible for the uptake of norepinephrine and serotonin in adrenergic and serotonergic neurons, which might point you in the right direction regarding why it helps you so much.


Sleep though is sooooo critical that it's worth a risk or two to get a decent amount and quality, at least for long enough to interrupt a downward spiral. It's possible that even small doses of amitriptyline could make a diff for you, and reduce the ancillary issues that all psych drugs drag along in their wake. But it comes with some potentially nasty side effects, and should be undertaken after some research and careful consideration ....

The Stanford Abilify research uses very small doses of Abilify, which is an anti-psychotic drug, and seems to have had a modicum of success with some, but not all, ME/CFS patients.

@heapsreal 's suggestions are worth pursuing too, even if you decide to continue on the amitriptyline. The results of those tests could provide you with even more info, and with this creepy little crabgrassy plague of an illness, information is the only weapon we have.
 

Judee

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@LINE was mentioning getting some relief from a sublingual GABA supplement in a recent thread. When I looked it up some of the comments on selling websites indicated that the users felt like they were getting benefit from it for anxiety and sleep issues. Anyway, just a thought.
 
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@LINE was mentioning getting some relief from a sublingual GABA supplement in a recent thread. When I looked it up some of the comments on selling websites indicated that the users felt like they were getting benefit from it for anxiety and sleep issues. Anyway, just a thought.
The key phrase in the above is ' ....selling websites....'. Sellers use all sorts of tools to unlock our credit cards, and paid encomiums from happy customers would be one of the most effective, bottom-line-wise.

But it's worth giving a shot to, since, if it doesn't work, it also won't do much damage, if any.

Sorry to be a downer. I'm just really suspicious of selling-website's information, having been led down that happy path myself in the dark past :rolleyes::rolleyes: :huh: :hug::hug: .....
 

Mouse girl

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some people have problems with anti depressents but others do not, so you could try a low dose and see how it goes. Anti depressents have been life savers for so many people. I'm sensitive to some of them, but recently trying a SNRI because my depression and anxiety are at absolutely intolerable levels, can't function and I've never ever been like this before. So, got to do something as nothing else has helped at all.
 
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Thanks all, the amitriptyline is just for sleep and I would not plan to go on a tri-cyclic for daily use.

@LINE was mentioning getting some relief from a sublingual GABA supplement in a recent thread. When I looked it up some of the comments on selling websites indicated that the users felt like they were getting benefit from it for anxiety and sleep issues. Anyway, just a thought.
Hmm this is interesting, I may try this before going down the antidepressant route, thanks for the suggestion! I would really rather not take antidepressants. It seems that like all things with this illness, this will be a case of trial and error.
 

BrightCandle

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All SSRIs did for me was turn my emotional system off and turn me into a walking zombie. I stopped complaining to my doctor about my illness but I was in the same amount of pain and suffering. It was a bit dangerous because it was during this time I was highly open to anything they suggested I do and its during this period they GETed me into severe disease. If the medical system could be trusted then I would say its worth a go but given it can't be and they may use the mild altering effects of this drug to break you down and ruin your body its just not worth it. Until medicine commits to never doing this again and fires the people that did honestly I wouldn't try anything like this again.
 

lenora

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I firmly believe that you have to make this decision yourself. Amitriptilyne was the very first drug that helped with pain and many other problems. Even today, most rheumatologists will starts patients off on it and if you go from the smallest dose up, you should be OK...but that's very independent of the individual.

Following that we had gabapentin, followed by what I'm now on, lyrica. Gaba was fine for very large people as the doses were unknowingly tailored to those larger individuals. I've heard of many lives that were started anew b/c of gaba. Note that they weren't all ME, but also other illnesses. Lyrica is an early child of gaba and I'm on it now and have been for a number of years. No complaints, the pain is better (but pain will always be my constant companion, it's just that it is now toned down). I'm happy with the results, know exactly how my body is responding and will stay on it until my doctor decides it's time to try something else.

No matter what, each med will have some side-effects. Most pass within 2-3 wks. Your doctor will usually want to talk to you or see during that time. Doses may be adjusted from the reports you give. I've never had a drug that hasn't had some side-effect or another, but for the most part, no harm will be done (unless allergies are a problem).

B/c of the problems I have I'm in no position to refuse meds. I just get through the adjustment period and then go from there (I have things like other neurological illnesses, heart valves, high BP, seizures, autoimmune encephalitis and others). I do believe in using vitamins and herbs....if you can and if they provide help for the body. Again, each person has to make their own decision. Best of luck...and do feel better. Yours, Lenora.