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 Post subject: Tapering and Depression
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:57 am 
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Hi All,

Well, I feel like a failure. My taper has been going very good and got down to 1mg as of last Tuesday. I've noticed my mood hasn't been the best but just chalked it up to life's little issues.

On the third day of being on 1mg, my body finally caught up and realized I was feeling mild depression. I felt like taking anything to improve my mood. Opiates are out of the question as they wouldn't work anyway. Gave some thought about trying to get some Xanax because that does work well with mood issues but the only way would be to go to the doctor and it was late in the day.

Have just been emotional and not feeling myself. Finally the light went on! It's part of my w/d. I forgot that depression is part of the w/d process and haven't really read up on it about what to do when it arrived. Well, it arrived and I felt helpless. So what I did was take two 2mg film strips of Sub knowing it would knock it out completely and it did. Yes I know I should have taken just a little more but was just tired of feeling this way the last few days. The cravings went away and I had that hyped feeling you get when you take too much Sub. Going from 1mg to 4mg's is too high a jump but it felt right.

I don't have regrets about it and will try to take my 1mg today and see what happens over the next few days. In two weeks I have my regular Dr. appt. and will discuss it with him and see if it would be wiser to be put on Effexor to deal with the depression of tapering. Then once I get Sub out of my system for six months or a year, I'll take a look at the anti-depressant and see if it's still needed. Funny, to take a mind altering drug to help get off another mind altering drug.

So tell me my fellow addicts, did you suffer depression when you got down to a low dose? And if you did, what did you do about it? I considered just trying to hang in there but didn't trust myself. I am also an alcoholic so the addiction part of me is very serious and not something to take chances with.

No, I won't beat myself up although I did backslide. This is a slow and steady process and I'll keep the course.

How about some input.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:20 pm 
Rule: I totally get this, I got the amotivation and depression at 1mg. I am the one who did the 21 day taper. I had been put wellbutrin 2 weeks prior to the suboxone treatment and it helped a bit, but gave me anxiety. Please be careful with Xanax as it is so short acting and can cause depression when used more than 10 days.

Are you tapering too quickly? Wouldn't Dr J recommend that you hold for awhile at the dose you feel the best on? I thought I have heard holding for 2-3 weeks then dropping by 1/8th when you get to the lower doses?

I dunno, just what I thought I have read.

Take care, robin


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:09 pm 
Please resist those feeling of failure, Rule. You've been doing really well with your tapering (I've been loosely following you, as I've been tapering also.)
You are not alone with what you're going through....at all! The depressed mood/lack of motivation/just generally not feeling good thing has been with me off and on throughout my tapering process. I have had 'failed' tapers before and this issue has been the single biggest stumbling block for me every time. What seems to happen to me is that I'll begin to feel crappy, then I'll get just that much more wrapped up in my head/my feelings, then the cravings for 'real' opiates hit, and in the past I have succumbed to the cravings and used full agonists on top of or in place of (for a day or two) my Suboxone. Of course, this always backfired and I would end up just having to chalk up another brief lapse/relapse and then go back on a therapeutic dose of Sub to get straightened back out. What a mess!
I guess my point to that is that when this happens to us, we have to work on new ways of coping with it and getting through it. If that means taking some extra Sub to get your thoughts/feelings/symptoms under control, that is better than a lot of the other alternatives I can think of! I do agree with you, though, that you probably could have gotten some improvement by taking a bit less extra than you did....but that's okay....I've done the same thing more times than I can count.
In my opinion, where you are right now.....working on stabilizing at 1mg or less a day.....is when it really does get harder. I know, I know....I've said it was 4mg, then I thought it was 2mg.....it's just all so subjective and so based on comparing where you've been and what you've experienced before. I just know that whatever w/d symptoms I've had with tapering only intensify the lower I get. Anyway....I'm not at all surprised that you ran into trouble on your 3rd day at 1mg. It generally has taken me 3 days or even more to notice a difference after a big dose reduction. That's the other thing I think is important for you to remember, Rule. I've come to see this for myself, as well. You and I have taken fairly large drops at once compared to a lot of other people who are tapering at this low level. In my opinion, if we're tolerating those drops okay....then fine. If not, we have to be open to slowing down. For instance, I recently dropped from ~1mg/day, straight to ~0.5mg/day stayed there for a week or two then dropped right on down to ~0.25mg/day. That last drop proved to be a little too fast so I've slowed down and will stay at the 0.25mg and if need be I'll supplement with the tiniest bit possible. It may be weeks before I try another drop and I'm okay with that.
Since you took the extra dose, I would expect that you'll feel fine going back to your 1mg/day....at least for the next few days, at which time you might feel crappy again. I think you'll just have to decide for yourself if it's best for you to really pull back and up your daily dose versus trying again to level out at 1mg. But that's one of the great things about Sub....we actually can take control of our dose, where I certainly could NOT with agonists!
Another thing to consider, if you haven't already, is going ahead and obtaining some Clonidine. If you've had any hint of trouble with benzos before, I'd stay away from those unless is becomes absolutely necessary later in your taper/jump. Of course, those are things to discuss with your doctor.
I think your idea about starting an antidepressant for a while is a good one too. I had to do that very thing myself and I don't regret it, as I think it has helped at least a little bit. I'll worry about getting off of it after I'm done with the Sub, through with the acutes and any post acutes I might have.
Again....try to not feel bad. Focus instead on how for you've come. So maybe you added a number of days or even weeks to your taper?.....I've come to accept that it's all okay as long as I'm moving in the direction I desire. It takes as long it takes. Hang in there! You're doing good!


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 Post subject: Slowly buy surely
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:18 pm 
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Thanks for the input Robin. And yes, I do go slow with my tapering. Normally one week is the earliest I've ever made a drop, but it's usually two weeks or more.

I felt fine physically, it was only the depression. And I changed my mind from my original post. Today I took one 2mg strip and will stay with that until I see the doctor. Then like you, I'll be put on an anti-depressant and then have to wait, what, four to six weeks for the full effect? This needs to be done correctly as failure is not an option with this taper journey. It has gone so very well I had wondered what all the fuss was about. The mind is the worst of it. I think most of us can handle the physical stuff because it's really not all that bad, just like a slight flu. But mess with my mind and all bets are off.

The reason I said Effexor was because of all the trial and error in the past. Wellbutrin worked well for my nicotine habit but didn't help with my mood. Had terrible side effect from most of the others with Lexapro being the worse. Couldn't wait to get off that stuff! But I do remember Effexor making me feel quite good. I stopped it because it felt fake. But then I wasn't depressed as I had just started Sub and that eliminated any depression.

This is all new for me. Never in my life have I suffered from depression. That is why it took me so long to figure out what was happening to me. The only regret I have (albeit a small one) is taking a larger amount of Sub to alleviate my symptoms than was needed. All I really needed was another milligram. I knew the dose was too high but wanted relief so bad I didn't care. Today I took 2mgs and will continue for the next two weeks until my appt. Then the tapering process will begin again once the Effexor kicks in.

Why I didn't expect that symptom, "Don't know, Mongo only pawn in game of life". (sorry, my favorite saying) Obviously I'm not depressed anymore!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:03 pm 
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Around 1.5 and 1 mg was right where I struggled with this too. I hung in there, but I had to go to 1.25 and then alternate with 1 mg....just really slowly for a while. I have a healthy fear of the mental darkness that can come with getting off Sub too quickly. It's absolutely the worst thing and is far worse than anything physical.

I probably would have tried an antidepressant, but the ones that have helped me in the past (Effexor, Wellbutrin) are off limits due to my seizure history. Another reason I've gone so slowly. I think it's wise for you to get on one that works and then resume tapering. As far as taking a bunch extra, it will give you complete relief from any trouble for quite a while. It's remarkable in that regard. Most of us have taken extra at least once during our tapers. We are only human! I did that one day when I had the stomach flu. I took three times the amount I normally did. It helped so much! Then, of course, I felt super guilty but got over it because guilt will only lead to bad things. Let it go. Get back to just doing the best you can.

laddertipper

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:22 pm 
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rule62 wrote:
Hi All,

Well, I feel like a failure. My taper has been going very good and got down to 1mg as of last Tuesday. I've noticed my mood hasn't been the best but just chalked it up to life's little issues.

On the third day of being on 1mg, my body finally caught up and realized I was feeling mild depression. I felt like taking anything to improve my mood. Opiates are out of the question as they wouldn't work anyway. Gave some thought about trying to get some Xanax because that does work well with mood issues but the only way would be to go to the doctor and it was late in the day.

Have just been emotional and not feeling myself. Finally the light went on! It's part of my w/d. I forgot that depression is part of the w/d process and haven't really read up on it about what to do when it arrived. Well, it arrived and I felt helpless. So what I did was take two 2mg film strips of Sub knowing it would knock it out completely and it did. Yes I know I should have taken just a little more but was just tired of feeling this way the last few days. The cravings went away and I had that hyped feeling you get when you take too much Sub. Going from 1mg to 4mg's is too high a jump but it felt right.

I don't have regrets about it and will try to take my 1mg today and see what happens over the next few days. In two weeks I have my regular Dr. appt. and will discuss it with him and see if it would be wiser to be put on Effexor to deal with the depression of tapering. Then once I get Sub out of my system for six months or a year, I'll take a look at the anti-depressant and see if it's still needed. Funny, to take a mind altering drug to help get off another mind altering drug.

So tell me my fellow addicts, did you suffer depression when you got down to a low dose? And if you did, what did you do about it? I considered just trying to hang in there but didn't trust myself. I am also an alcoholic so the addiction part of me is very serious and not something to take chances with.

No, I won't beat myself up although I did backslide. This is a slow and steady process and I'll keep the course.

How about some input.

Thanks


YEP im here! got your message and replied. SAME BOAT. Gonna increase my zoloft till im done, and even wait 6 months after to go back down to 50mg of zoloft. I am staying at 2mg for now. Are you going to stick to 4mg or 2mg or 1mg until you see the doc? maybe stick to 2mg to be safe???
This is a process. we are all here.


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 Post subject: p.s.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:25 pm 
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I just saw you are sticking with 2mg until the med kicks in. itll be fine to wait and this process is to be taken seriously! we can still stick to our plan and i already called the pharmacy today-i couldnt believe the depression. ill wait too, to go down to 1.5 then 1mg.
you are doing the right thing! keep your head up!!!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:22 am 
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hi ladder and every one". i'm not tapering, but meds never worked for me effexer neither. but i have been on leprexo over a month now and it lift my depression a lot. i'm just saying that they did not work for me but on subs lexapro is working. ladder. i hope you could try lexapro" and it don't bother your seizures? also nuvigil is for sleep problems but? it can lift depression".
it brings your mood and emotions up. it sorta gets you going,and that can lift depression and emotions? hope this helps? my experience.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:57 am 
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johnboy wrote:
hi ladder and every one". i'm not tapering, but meds never worked for me effexer neither. but i have been on leprexo over a month now and it lift my depression a lot. i'm just saying that they did not work for me but on subs lexapro is working. ladder. i hope you could try lexapro" and it don't bother your seizures? also nuvigil is for sleep problems but? it can lift depression".
it brings your mood and emotions up. it sorta gets you going,and that can lift depression and emotions? hope this helps? my experience.


Thanks, johnboy. I would try Lexapro if I felt I really needed to, and I actually was fairly certain I could not get done with this taper without an AD. Now, I'd taking 1/8 mg and started throwing in 1/16 days mg. The thing is that since getting low on Sub and getting over the nasty hump at 1 mg, I feel better than I have in years. I suddenly started to like running again, which helps a ton. And I love, love, love riding dirt bikes. The adrenaline rushes I get now are fantastic!! I think exercise is like magic to combat any feelings of being down. So, I think I probably won't need the AD after all, which I am really thankful for.

Thanks for always being so kind!!!

laddertipper

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:02 am 
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laddertipper wrote:
johnboy wrote:
hi ladder and every one". i'm not tapering, but meds never worked for me effexer neither. but i have been on leprexo over a month now and it lift my depression a lot. i'm just saying that they did not work for me but on subs lexapro is working. ladder. i hope you could try lexapro" and it don't bother your seizures? also nuvigil is for sleep problems but? it can lift depression".
it brings your mood and emotions up. it sorta gets you going,and that can lift depression and emotions? hope this helps? my experience.


Thanks, johnboy. I would try Lexapro if I felt I really needed to, and I actually was fairly certain I could not get done with this taper without an AD. Now, I'd taking 1/8 mg and started throwing in 1/16 days mg. The thing is that since getting low on Sub and getting over the nasty hump at 1 mg, I feel better than I have in years. I suddenly started to like running again, which helps a ton. And I love, love, love riding dirt bikes. The adrenaline rushes I get now are fantastic!! I think exercise is like magic to combat any feelings of being down. So, I think I probably won't need the AD after all, which I am really thankful for.

Thanks for always being so kind!!!




laddertipper



LADDEr
any advice for the 1mg hump? im tapering to 1.5 now. I do hot yoga and stuff- cant run anymore because my knees. i take an AD too, but any suggestions for how long i should stay at a dose before dropping? i usually do 10 days-2 weeks..thanks you are a master it seems at this !!!:)


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 Post subject: Too Fast
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:58 am 
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Zenzo,

I think we both dropped too much at one time. LT writes about going from 1.5 to 1mg and having depression so she went back up to 1.25. That's the key. Next drop, let's do it the right way. 1.5 to 1mg is a 33% drop....too much. Maybe I won't need the AD. I still have two weeks to figure this out b4 asking my dr for the Effexor.

And yes, getting settled on one particular anti-depressant is a trial and error. My worst experience was with Lexapro. Hearing others speak of it, they say it works best of all including my old doctor who refused to believe I had such bad reactions to it.

Only one worked, and I'm glad I found at least one. Funny how drugs affect each body different.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:06 pm 
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Hey Rule,

Lexapro and Celexa drove me up a wall. I'm not sure what the heck happened with those 2 meds, but I simply could NOT stand taking them. I took Celexa for about 4 days and said eff this, a few weeks later I tried Lexapro at very small doses....same thing. It's still hard to describe how they made me feel......huge anxiety coupled with strange thoughts??

Anyway, I got on Wellbutrin and things seem good. I know Wellbutrin helped you stop smoking, but didn't touch your depression. Funny, Wellbutrin helped my depression, but didn't do squat for my smoking??

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 Post subject: Wellbutrin
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:42 pm 
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Romeo,

The Wellbutrin worked fine for nicotine cessation but didn't affect my depression because I didn't have any depression! I was given it only for the Nicorette Gum and it gave me just enough of a push to get that habit out of my life. Boy that was a hard one to quit though and I still miss it.

Had the same experience with the Lexapro. Climbed the walls and extreme anxiety. Never again.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:49 pm 
NO EFFIN DEPRESSION ALLOWED TODAY I LIKE U 2 MUCH


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:29 pm 
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Well, I realize that I am in a depression. No energy, tired, sad, no motivation, poor appetite, cranky, bored, unhappy, feeling of hopelessness/helplessness, the works. I read some of this thread and see that it is par for the course, so I decided to take a little bit of extra sub. I am only on .25mg so I took an extra half of that amount (what is it .125?) I really need to get off this sinking ship. I have never experienced depression till now. WOW. I really felt like I had nothing to live for. Not that I have the balls to kill myself but I feel if I died It would be better than feeling this way. I do not want to try effexor. I HATE speed and I gave a friends stupid bf one of my pills to see what it would do and he said it was like being on bad speed for 24 hrs. LOL..Better him than me. I do have a script for Remeron. I may start this at some point, but I took 1 pill months back and it knocked me on my ass. I know I need to let it take its course to start working, but I can not be on my ass at all as I am the capitan of this ship and need to keep smooth sailing or I will go off the deep end for sure. I think I feel the extra sub. Definitely just want to get thru the weekend. Even if I increase by that small amount, I am still under .50 mg. and I am fine with that! Hope everyone is doing good and has a great weekend.! Ciao


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:12 pm 
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Hey sweet,

The depression that may accompany opiate wd is certainly hard to deal with. More and more, we've been seeing people opting to start on an antidepressant before they kick Suboxone, that way the antidepressant has had time to kick in and it'll hopefully address the depression that can come with opiate wd.

I know when I quit Hydrocodone back in 1999, it was the absolute crushing depression that made me go back to Hydrocodone. I made it 30 days with no Hydro's, but I just could not take the depression.

Thank God, when I quit Suboxone, the depression was minimal.

If I were you, I'd look into some kind of antidepressant OR just slow your taper down and give your mind/spirit and body more time to adjust. Taking that extra .125mg was a good thing. It may be your body telling you to slow down. I know it took my brain a LONG time to adjust to not having any opiates. Give yourself time, OK?

I hope you get to feeling better soon.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:17 pm 
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Thanks Rome, I actually feel way way better. I actually caught a little buzz from the extra sub. (not my goal) Now it is not a great buzz, but it certainly made me feel 95% better. That tiny bit did the trick. Unbelievable how strong this stuff is. Last time I decreased my dose was Jan.23. I stopped my eve. dose which was exactly what extra I took today. Such a small amount. I would think that after 2 weeks I was stable on my new dose. Maybe not? Is the depression a temporary symptom? I would really hate to start on ANOTHER medication. I think if I just get off my butt and take walks it will alleviate some of the depression. I just started on DHEA. It is a suppliment that helps promote adequate hormone levels. Which by the way is depleted by opiates (along w/ some other things)....I am hoping this helps as well. We will see. Thanks again for the support and the advise. I appreciate so much... Have a great weekend...


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:12 am 
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Hey sweet, I hear ya about not wanting to start on another medication. Once I got off Suboxone, I pretty much swore off all medications because of the bitch of a time I had getting off Suboxone and getting back to normal. But, just here in the last few days, I had to get back on my Wellbutrin. I haven't taken it since this past August, but my social anxiety has absolutely been kicking my ass and it's been spilling over (general anxiety) into too many areas of my life. I finally decided enough is enough and I've decided to stay on Wellbutrin for three months to see if my social anxiety improves.

It was a hard decision. I tried and tried to manage my social anxiety on my own, but it just kept on kicking my butt. It ended up causing all kinds of issues for me. Sleep problems, stomach problems, quasi depression.

Long story short.....my quality of life was starting to really suck, so I decided it was time for some help.

The depression that may come with opiate wd may be temporary, it may be longer lasting. I would suggest you keep an eye on your quality of life and use that to help you figure out what to do. Know what I mean?

BTW, 2 weeks may not be enough time to stabilize. You "may" still be "catching up" from that huge drop you did a while back?? I remember pretty clearly when Laddertipper got fairly low, she had to sit at few of her new doses for well over a month before she really felt stabilized.

Another thing you can do is alternate that evening dose. Take the evening dose one evening, then no dose the next evening, etc. Maybe then go to every three evenings??

I know the slower you taper, the less you feel it.....and that's kind of what we're shooting for. But I also know how frustratingly long tapering can be, you just want to be done with it. It's a catch 22.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:16 pm 
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Hi guys, well thanks for the info.
Rome, thanks for your advise. The past 2 days I have took an extra .125 of sub after around noon. I plan to NOT do this anymore. i was really slipping into a deep depression and I was willing to do anything to get back on top. (except drugs) The little extra was exactly what I needed and now I have made a list of things I will do in the event the depression happens again. It is a simple list and the first thing is pray.....I know, for me this is a new thing and it has been "showing up" in my life a lot lately, the god thing. I still feel like I am a more spiritual being and want to remain as such, but I can still pray even if it is not to "GOD" the man.... So I am going to stay at .25 until I am no longer feeling ANY wd. Even depression. I am NOT going to go on AD meds for now. I have decided to just go to my list of things instead. A lot of walking, bikeriding, doing something kind for another etc........
I appreciate that you let me know that 2 weeks is not always adequate time to stabelize. I just know Romeo that I have never had depression and I can beat this. I do not want to be on any more drugs. Pharm or otherwise. I even stopped weed.... Ok that is a BIGGY because I have smoked since 11yrs old. I also know I need to get a life. I have eliminated all the druggies and drinkers in my life and find that I have,..... Well, really nobody.... Yes my kids, but they are up and nearly gone and starting their own life. (partying I am sure) I need to figure out how to meet people who do not "party". I will not do the NA thing. I find it for me to be counter productive. So healthy things and I know where to start.
I am so thankful for all of you on this forum. I just do not know what I would do without this place....Blessings all....God eve.
Oh and Whitney Houston, RIP..........(substance abuse claims another life,,, SAD)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:32 pm 
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Yeah I'm a bit concerned about this come my taper. Anti-depressants are actually bad for my recovery these days.

However, I've recently found the following things have helped me a lot. It's been almost like a natural mood-lift, not the forced altered-state of the anti-depressants.

- St John's Wort
- Inositol
- Fish Oil

With the St John's Wort, I just take it as it's advised on the bottle. 2-3 pills spread over the day. Inositol is a powder I mix into my juice or yoghurt. Maybe 2-3 grams twice a day? Fish Oil I have pretty big doses - 3-4 1500mg capsules, two and night, 1-2 in the morning.

St John's Wort is probably the one that's made the most impact, and studies have proven it to be just as effective as anti-depressants for mild-depression.

Another thing I tried that gave me a mood lift was SAM-e . It definitely made an impact, but it also gave me a really weird anxiety in my relationship. Literally whenever I was away from my girl I was worried she was going to see someone else. And I was never like that in my life, not being a jealous person. So I stopped taking it, and it went away. Weird?


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