I'm heterozygous for MAO A and MTHFR A1298C. I was a melancholy child but as an adult have only had a very few bouts of depression. I wouldn't describe myself as an anxious person.
Heartfixer says this:
MAO A: Monoamine Oxidase AMonoamine Oxidase A breaks down serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is generated from the dietary amino acid tryptophan, in a BH4 requiring reaction. Many anti-depressant drugs, including the SSRIs (Serotonin Selective Reuptake Inhibitors) work by blocking the breakdown of serotonin. Defects in serotonin metabolism have been associated with mood and neurological disorders. How best to address the MAO A R297R abnormality is not clear to me. As serotonin metabolism is adversely affected, individuals with the R297R defect should avoid large doses of high tryptophan foods (see appendix). High doses of St. John’s Wort, often taken to address depression, could lead to mood swings as serotonin levels fluctuate. Dr. Yasko recommends frequent dosing in small amounts of St. John’s Wort, 5HTP (a tryptophan metabolite), and the Mood S RNA formula if serotonin support is needed. If serotonin production is impaired on the basis of BH4 deficiency secondary to a Methyl Cycle abnormality, as the abnormality itself is addressed, BH4 levels should stabilize, hopefully normalizing serotonin production.
The one time I was medicated for depression I was given Desyrel, not an SSRI, but it worked beyond belief. I took 1/3 pill each of two night and was 80% better the third day. It is not prescribed for men, though, due to the risk of priapism. This was 1987; it may not be prescribed at all anymore. No one knew the mechanism by which it works.
My original methylation protocol was 1mg methylfolate and 5 mg. My tryptophan before starting was at 59 (reference range 40-91), so I was at 37% of the normal range. Two months later I tested low for tryptophan (20, half low normal), so I started taking 500 mg/day. At the next test, it dropped to 17 in spite of the supplements, which I did not stop before the test, so I upped it to 1500 mg/day about August of last year. I also upped my B12 at that point. I started wondering if I've had some occasional mild depression, only after a friend asked if I was, but I think a lot of that was circumstantial. (I was having severe issues getting anyone to look at an abnormal medical test result because the endo who read it said it was normal. This past Monday I convinced my primary care, Tuesday I asked him to order an MRI, and yesterday found out that I have a pituitary tumor. I started being elated on Wednesday when I finally got the MRI scheduled, because finally I was going to know, even though I've known since November that a tumor was statistically the most probably cause of my symptoms. So far, I'm happier knowing than not. Well, that is, after I fainted twice and then threw up. Was this depression, then, or frustration? I'm voting for frustration.)
So , what I did (all directed by my nurse practitioner except upping the dose to 1500) is opposite what heartfixer says. But in general, I think its working. My happiness generally bounces back as long as I'm not dealing with the headache or low cortisol symptoms.
What I think is that we're each a whole package, and a whole different package. What works for you may not be the same as what works for me. But you asked for experience and this is mine.