Opinions - Need help discovering a working, non-addictive treatment for depression and anxiety

Discussion in 'Benzodiazepines' started by kailey_elise, Sep 1, 2006.

  1. kailey_elise

    kailey_elise Gold Member

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    I'm looking for help for a friend who suffers with depression, anxiety attacks & panic attacks. Said person was on a benzo for years & it helped, but with great emotional and physical costs. Was off them for years and got back on them for a year or so; while again they helped, it wasn't a reasonable solution. Said person has been prescribed:

    * Klonopin (the first medication that worked & promptly became addicted to, thus helping to send said person down the path to other drugs)
    * Zoloft
    * Prozac
    * Paxil
    * Effexor
    * Neurontin
    * Seroquel
    * Risperdal
    * Ambien
    * Sonata
    * Cymbalta

    Said person spent too many years on Paxil LOOOONG after it stopped working, out of fear of the withdrawls. Doc prescribed a tapering program off the Paxil & onto Effexor, with Said Person not completely understanding the Effexor withdrawl can potentially be WORSE than the freakin' Paxil! Neurontin and Risperdal prescribed for what I can best describe as "breakthrough" anxiety when detoxing from the later 1 year run of Klonopin. Discontinued the Neurontin as wasn't seeing any effects, reduced the Risperdal to nighttime use only.

    Got a new doctor, prescribed a tapering plan off the Effexor and onto Cymbalta. It went reasonably painlessly; however started experiencing anxiety problems again about a week after the Effexor was finally discontinued, which has continued until this point, about a month and a half later.

    I suspect, and Said Person agrees (sometimes) that many of the symptoms (crying fits for little/no reason, non-physical rage attacks) may be due to post acute withdrawl of the Effexor; apparently, Doc suspects this as well.

    (it was during this last time, during the switch from Paxil to Effexor, that Said Person returned to Klonopin and had a hell of a time getting off that)

    Is there something out there that works much like benzodiapines, without the addiction potential? I know, it's probably wishful thinking! Doc apparently suggested a medication that is an anti-psychotic Said Person hadn't heard of before; Said Person took it for 2 or 3 days and found it just caused fuzzy thinking and word slurring & described it as being much like the Thorazine Said Person was given during a hospitalization many years ago. Obviously, one can't function like that! Said Person also seemed to get offended/take it personally that an "anti-psychotic" was prescribed; when researched, the medication didn't have any mention of an off-label usage for anxiety or mood disorders. *shrug*

    Is there any hope? Is there a good chance this is just PAWS, and it will pass in maybe another 3 weeks? Anyone know of a medication that works on the same parts of the brain as a benzo without it's addiction complement?

    Thanks for ANY help anyone can provide!

    ~K.Elise
     
  2. Jatelka

    Jatelka Psychedelic Shepherdess Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be effective in anxiety, and biofeedback techniques help with panic attacks. Talking therapies are effective in mild to moderate depression. Antipsychotics ARE often used for anxiety (although sometimes inappropriately in SWIJ's opinion, there are others here, however, who are far more qualified in these matters).

    Drug wise for depression: Dothiepin (Dosulepin) worked for SWIJ. It's a tricyclic, and all too lethal in overdose. Tricyclics are rarely prescribed these days but they DO have a place.
     
  3. Benzhead

    Benzhead Titanium Member

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    CBT, as SWIJ noted, is sometimes effective as an anxiety treatment.

    Effexor(venlaxafine) is terrific in that it sometimes works when other drug therapies do not. However, as youF knows, there is a cost. The discontiunation syndrome with venlaxafine is acutely painful for many.

    I was on venlaxafine for a couple of years, and didn't seem afflicted by withdrawal as many report.

    There seem to be few medications that are as efficacious as venlaxafine at tackling all the symptoms that youF has..this is unfortunate.

    I don't see any NaSSAs(Noradrenergic and Specific Serotonergic Antidepressants) listed - at least none that I know by the names given.

    Remeron(mirtazapine) is now a first line antidepressant(AD). Mirtazapine is also an NaSSA. This class of ADs is typically well tolerated in individuals with panic/anxiety as part of the manifestation of their depression. This class doesn't typically cause jitters during the initial adjustment phase that are typical with SSRIs(Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) and SSNRIs(Selective Serotonin & Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors). Quite the opposite, in fact.

    Mirtazapine is non-addictive(but like nearly anything sedating, I am pretty sure that hibituation could occur), somewhat sedating, and has a pretty benign side-effect profile.

    It is probably contra-indicated for people with elevated cholestorol levels - and if used for therapy, cholesterol levels should be regularly checked. This side-effect does not occur in all individuals - it did not in SWIM's case.

    Without getting into a thesis on neurochemistry, youF may want to ask if one of the NaSSAs isn't worth a trial. The discontinuation syndrome for SWIM from mirtazapine was non-existent.

    HTH!
     
  4. Broshious

    Broshious Silver Member

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    I was prescribed paxil,effexor,zoloft etc, and it wasn't until I was prescribed nortriptyline(TCA) that I feltany better. I believe the TCAs are very effective and I feel normal not zombieish as on SSRIs and the like. Also I have read about a French SSRE(Selective Serotonin Reuptake Enhancer) called Tianeptine which supposedly works as well as Paxil for anxiety and depression, and I haven't heard about any problems with discontinuation. It's not available in the states though so it costs a pretty penny.
     
  5. OccularFantasm

    OccularFantasm Silver Member

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    Re: Need help discovering a working, non-addictive treatment for depression and anxie

    I have been on all of those medicines except sonata and effexor, with some others added in there. I am astounded that swyi did not have any withdrawl form the nuerontin. (although swim never tapered off anything) Any antipsychotic will screw with your brain. SWIM recalls when I was on daily risperidal (the tasty melt in your mouth ones you cant spit out) that there would contantly be these purple rectangle boxes that would fly across the ceiling 24/7. The nuerontin is also well known for making the patient 'dopey' and unable to do many things the perosn would otherwise be able to figure out. I also have OCD, panic attacks, depression, and adhd. I am also familiar with the after effects of having taken such medicines for a couple years as well as upon coming off of them. I would suggest if you start getting what SWIM can only describe as something similar to the flashback myth from lsd, except with the effects from the antipsychotics. (swim never got this from lsd, bt did from numerous antipsychotics) I would reccomend against taking benzos or other sleeping pills as these will further deplete key chemicals in the brain. SWIM beleives that they drop of dopamine and seratonin could exacerbate your symptoms. (antipyshcotics are dopamine antagonist and ssris keep seratonin active longer, both eventually deplete these chemicals) I would wonder if marijuana has been helpful and if swyi has tried mushrooms for anxiety. mushrooms and weed are the only things that work for swim. SWIm would also suggest taking 5-htp as it helps reuptake seratonin. If swyi gets some temporarily psychosis from taking antipsychotics for too long, the only thing swim ever found to fix this is salvia. (although swim beleives this to simply be detoxing of it.) SWIm does wonder if other kappa opioid agonists would work as well, swim just doesnt know any others, except of course for ibogaine, but ibogaine isnt solely a kappa opioid
    agonist. I would also reccomend some kava, some valareian, maybe some blue vervain and definaltly some easily diestable magnesium. SWIM hopes this may help you in your journey to not be anxious and having panic attacks and depressed. I would also note, that only the 5-htp and mushrooms (psilocybe only) work against the depression. The rest are for anxiety and panic attacks. if swyi gets angery with sometimes with anxiety, I has had success with a stress tonic that has many of the aforementioned things from iamshaman. SWYI may also wish to pursue some sort of detox program to get rid of toxins that get stuckin your liver after taking all these medicines; else there could be ill effects long after abstinence from these medicines has been adopted. SWIM also wishes you good luck.

    For extreme anxiety that you cannot control with anythign else, take between 1.0 and 1.5 grams of nuerontin without building a tolerence, but try not to do this more than once or twice a month. Tolerence builds fast, and the less you do it the more efective it will be.

    SWIM also noticed that the mushroom rutine helps regulate sleeping patterns, which if proper sleep is obtained, anxiety goes down.

    I would also suggest perhaps getting their adrenaline tested. If results come back as your not making adrenaline, which can cause for what would normally be a fight response into a fright response ie panic attack, test for precursors to adrenaline and things needed to make it. IE: copper, dopamine, tyrosine, chromium, folic acid, and methionine.

    The cause may also be toxic elements stuck in your body. These may inclue nickel, arsenic, uranium, gadalinnium, lead, mercury, etc.

    Also if swyi does smoke weed, it is much more theraputic for anxiety to smoke up a tolerence every day, than to smoke rarely. This may be more helpful if you are one of the ones whom feels paranoid or whatever on weed. This feeling goes away after heavy use. It is also a great way to quite cigarettes, swim found. SWIM hopes this helps you, even if only a little bit, because it sucks to be anxious and depressed all the time.

    The fuzzy thinking and impaired motor functin and perhaps even 'cogwheeling' joint may occur with antipsychotics. These effects will approach zero, as to say they will continue to diminish so that they will not be totally gone fast, but at least to a more manageable level within a couple weeks. From there it just lessens and lessens. The total amount of timeis dependant upon both the individual and the regiment they have been on. SWIM personally felt those effects for about 2 years after discontinuation, but I had also felt those effects for that long. SWIM supposes it may be safe to say if swyi only experianced these feelings for a short time, it may be subside just as quick. SWIM also suggests hitting the next doctor that tries to give you antipsychotics, especially seroquel or haldol.

    I have never heard of NaSSA's, so your guess with that is as good as mine.

    Taliking therapy has mixed results. Studies have shwon that in people with mild dpression without post traumatic stress disorder have positive results, whereas people whom exhibit PTSD tend to actually get worse from talking therapy. This is most likely from therapists emphasizing all the bad parts the patient wishes to forget. This is somewhat paradoxal however, as people whom do not express their feeling, weather it be happy or sad or mad or whatever, actually worsen their depression. SWIM beleives people whom also exhibit obsessive compulsive disorder would have the same results as those with ptsd, and the results would be magnified if the person has both conditions. I would advise speaking whatevers on your mind, but if swyi goes to do some therapy stuff, be careful not to obsess on bad stuff.

    I dont beleive in cognaative behavioral therapy, but that is swims opinion. I have seen no results from that type of approach, from a blind study group of 14, including swim. (swim knows thats not so many people for an experiment) I did repeat these results several times, not once finding one patient helped. Take this information for what its worth. Be happy, feel better.

    SWIm did find forcing onesself to be overly optomistic does eventually improve your mood, and if tripping, your trip.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2007
  6. lulz

    lulz Gold Member

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    Re: Need help discovering a working, non-addictive treatment for depression and anxie

    If you're willing to try a couple of things that might not do anything for you, just to explore all avenues, I can suggest a couple of options.

    You said you're looking for something that would have similar effects to a benzo. As you may know, benzos work by increasing the levels of a chemical called GABA in your brain. They do this by making GABA neurons more sensitive, so that they are easier to activate. When GABA activates a neuron, it fires a molecule of GABA at the next neuron, and if that one gets activated the pattern will continue. The easier it is for GABA neurons to communicate like this, the more you feel the "benzo" effects.

    Well there is a different way to try and improve the communication between those neurons. Instead of making each one more sensitive, you can try to increase the amount of GABA molecules they have to fire at each other.

    GABA is just an amino acid, you can buy it at most health food stores. Unfortunately it's not much good if you just try and swallow a few capsules, because there is a membrane surrounding your brain which filters the blood and GABA is too big to fit through it.

    However, if one molecule of GABA is chemically bonded to one molecule of vitamin B3, the properties of the new substance are changed and it can easily pass through the blood brain barrier. Once it reaches the brain, the GABA molecule should be able to activate receptor sites.

    I've never tried it, but logically it should at least have some positive effect. From what I've read, some people really get a lot of relief from taking it. Also it appears to be very safe, and you can buy it extremely cheaply if you look around. And since it's just an amino acid bonded to niacin, it's perfectly legal.

    The other thing you can look up is a similar substance, it's called Phenibut. Again it's basically a modified form of GABA which can pass through the blood brain barrier easily, that's about as much as I have read about it.

    *shrugs* worth trying, if your alternatives are neuroleptics and nothing
     
  7. old hippie 56

    old hippie 56 Gold Member

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  8. pickledsheep

    pickledsheep Silver Member

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  9. withthelotus

    withthelotus Newbie

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    Re: Need help discovering a working, non-addictive treatment for depression and anxie

    try some rivotril (clonazepam) along with what you are taking.
    although like everything else it is addictive but it really helps if ur meds arent working completely. its like it fills that empty space...
     
  10. OccularFantasm

    OccularFantasm Silver Member

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    Re: Need help discovering a working, non-addictive treatment for depression and anxie

    I have tried that phenibut and its okay. I would think it would probably not be strong enough in this situation, although if it is, run with it. Try taking some omega fatty acids with it, specifically 4 parts omega six to one part omega three, and see what happens. It works well for quelling anxiety, being slightly sedative, and making the brain function better. It is certainly worth a shot.
    If that doesn't get the anxiety, just use some Kava root and some free-form magnesium with it. Also consider perhaps a regiment in which L-glutamine is involve. It can help heal any parts of the intestinal lining where any damage could have occured, as there are receptor sites for the rain in the intestines, and L-glutamine is a natural precursor to Gaba, an anxiolytic (or however its spelled), it would certainly not cause any harm, and could potentially help.
     
  11. salviablue

    salviablue Gold Member

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    Re: Need help discovering a working, non-addictive treatment for depression and anxie

    SWIM with anxiety, started treatment on venlafaxine, which worked fairly well at controlling the "overwhelming impending catastrophic event" feeling and the over irritability and IBS caused by being in a semi-permanent "fligh or fight" response mode. Problem was withdrawal, esp. if they forgot to pick perscription after running out! BRAIN SHOCK + SENSORY JARRING!
    Venlafaxine was phased out of British perscriptions and I was introduced to Citalopram. This wasnt as effective but still works. Swim informed me that after maybe a year on citalopram (or clitorispam as s/he once told a doctor!) gradual reduced strength to the minimum eventually seemed to work just as well as the initial stronger doses.
    However, the withdrawal are just as bad, although takes longer to build up.

    SWIM informed me that s/he discovered whilst in Amsterdam, s/he had forgotten to take with his/her tablets (whilst on venlafaxine). Towards the end of the holiday the brain pain was unbareable, reflecting that psilocin may flood the synapses with seratonin, mushrooms were ingested. These worked in completely reversing the toxic withdrawal effects from venlafaxine and v.pleasant trip ensued. The effect of withdrawal reversal was asthough the actual script tablets were taken.

    Since then, whenever SWIM frogot his/her tablets for a few days, mushrooms were ingested (subject to availability).

    More recently, since moving onto citalopram, I have noticed that both psilocin and free base bufotenin (or maybe Calcium Bufotenate) have good anti-withdrawal actions and even seem to continue the supposed effects of the ssri. I had starting experimenting with sub-psychedelic doses (well just a few liberty caps) of shrooms, but with supply being seasonal and sporadic, Cebil experimentation has begun, albeit with slightly less successful results as yet. The shrooms worked really well in place of the ssri, and seemed to be fairly interchangable with the ssri (although prescence of the ssri altered the effect of the shrooms, dependant on the ssri`s half life). The Cebil experimentation has only just started and as thus I cannot really make too many comments upon the effectiveness of Cebil (, plus the occurance of extreme nasal discomfort greatly discoloures the usefulness of the cebil vs ssri experiment).

    This is what had worked for SWIM in the past, and if psilocin was freely available all year round, this would be swims prefered way of dealing with anxiety.
     
  12. Panthers007

    Panthers007 Iridium Member

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    Re: Need help discovering a working, non-addictive treatment for depression and anxie

    Using a psychedelic for anxiety is tantamount to letting the cat guard the mouse: Eventually the mouse gets eaten alive. Psychedelics, by the definition of the word, presumes a magnification of the mind's internal processes. If one is suffering from anxiety, psychedelics can easily make the situation worse.

    If this works for SWIM, more power to him/her. But for most folks, suffering anxiety, this could aggravate the situation.
     
  13. fiveleggedrat

    fiveleggedrat Palladium Member

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  14. salviablue

    salviablue Gold Member

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    Re: Need help discovering a working, non-addictive treatment for depression and anxie

    Sorry, I should have explained slightly better. When I used psilocin to control anxiety inplace of ssri, I found that similar anti-anxiety effects were felt at less noticable doses using psilocin than clitaropam (I know, its what I used to call it before embarrassingly being corrected by the doctor! Citalopram). Most of the time the psilocin was subliminal - as in I didnt really notice it at all because of such small doses. SWIM also experimented with the regularity of the doses, from a couple times a day to once every few days.
    In all SWIM cant actually be sure whether this would be a long term management strategy as the longest continuous experimentation/treatment was over a couple months. In that time not all doses were subliminal, some mushrooms were significantly stronger than others leading to noticable effects and consequently a reduced effect of further doses for the next few days. Plus when I tried dosing a 2-3 times daily SWIM noticed a rather fuzzy head feeling - not too dissimilar to missing a few doses of ssri, which soon dissipated on lengthening dosage frequency.
    During these months SWIM still had to take my regular ssri around once a week, otherwise the flu narcosis would exponentially increase around the 6 - 7 days mark, day 8 felt like death (this is what is normally experianced during withdrawal, usually plus the painful brain jarring/ sensory grating).
    Ofcourse, with out proper scientific testing (and neither I nor I have looked much into any such existing experiments, or indeed if there are any) these conclusions are entirely arbitrary and totally subjective to what I found worked at the time and subsequently. The effects could have been attributed to a number of things, and not nesseccarily what SWIM attributes them to.

    Having said all this SWIM guess it was slightly irresponsible of me to make SWIM`s previous statement with out a bit more clarification.
    I would whole heartedly agree that constant psilocin use, esp. plus predisposed mental/emotional imbalance is generally a very bad idea - leading to possible psychosis. If SWYM was to consider such an experiment, a v.sensible close friend would have to be informed of the experiment and be prepared to take nesseccary sensible action to abandon experiment and prevent said psychosis should any warning signs manifest. But I nor SWIM are trained medical proffessionals and as such any thing I or SWIM may say is just theoretical and to be taken as such. Any interest in what I relay from I would require intense research before any kind of self experimentation, not that I suggest any such self experimentation.

    salviablue added 8 Minutes and 12 Seconds later...

    Sorry forgot to mention, I found that when s/he stopped smoking/ingesting cannabis for weeks at a time, mental clarity greatly increased and thus the ability manage the anxiety greatly increased. I have found s/he has to be vigilant and exercise great will power over pot intake as this has severe consequences on SWIM`s anxiety - regular medicine or no.

    Dont forget that cannabis is a potent long acting psychedelic and it has been implicated in interfering with anxiety treatment - this is fairly well documented.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2008