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Happy pills aren't working

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kickintheface posted 3/18/2014 18:15 PM

My go-to happy pills are not working. I've given it a couple weeks and other than not being as angry, they are doing no good. I just don't care about anything, have little motivation. I do get up and function and do what I should, but at the last possible minute. I can now get ready for work in 5 min. (that's not a good thing). My school work gets done the night it is do and it is done half-assed. My house looks like complete shit and I could care less. I really have no feelings towards anything. How is it the meds are having no effect!!!! Going to possibly ask to switch to another AD I used to take, but that one's a bitch to come off of. I just need my oomph motivation, my drive...even just a little bit.

MovingUpward posted 3/18/2014 18:20 PM

Some A/Ds need 6 weeks to totally kick in. If you are only a couple of weeks in you might want to talk to the doc to see if you should give it another couple of weeks.

kickintheface posted 3/18/2014 18:32 PM

I know they usually take a few weeks, but I am one of those oddballs who feels the effects rather quickly. I've been on AD's off and on for 20 yrs and usually respond quickly to AD's (good and bad). I've had some that turned me into a raging lunatic within 4 days. I also respond quickly to other meds that are not AD's. It's been about 4-5 weeks...and I just don't feel much of anything at all. And ALL my negative feelings about my husband have come back....which doesn't make me sad, just over it. UGH!

InnerLight posted 3/19/2014 00:23 AM

Are you eating well? There are some key nutrients that are essential for making the neurotransmitter serotonin. ADs do not give you any more serotonin, you still have to make it yourself from the food you eat. ADs just keep what you have in the synapse so you use the same molecules of serotonin over and over.

Good nutrition will make the ADs work more effectively. You need

Protein - and specifically the amino acid tryptophan that is in protein foods, this is a building block of serotonin.

B Complex - specifically B6, a co-factor in the production of serotonin. B6 is found in seeds, nuts, fish, poultry. B6 is also used for detoxification by the liver as well as many other body functions so if you have been leaning on your liver to detoxify alcohol, environmental toxins, food coloring and preservatives, BC pills and other medications you will have less B6 to produce your own serotonin. This is one of the reasons why depression is listed as a possible side effect of BC pills and other meds.

Other nutrients needed for conversion of tryptophan into serotonin are zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, vitamin c, and folate.

EPA/DHA from fish, fish oil, wild game or grass fed/pastured poultry and their eggs, beef, lamb etc. This helps by making the membranes that surrounded the nerve cells more fluid and more able to send / receive molecules of serotonin.

If you are under the care of a knowledgeable doctor/nutritionist you can take 5HTP with an AD to increase the serotonin more directly, but this is best not to do on your own, without tests to show you are indeed low on serotonin while taking your med.

Some ADs work with dopamine instead of serotonin, but similar nutrients are needed.

Boosting your diet for a couple weeks might make a huge difference. I know it's hard when you're down to eat well, but at least get in some protein shakes and a B complex and a capsule of fish oil that isn't rancid, Nordic Naturals is a good brand.

kickintheface posted 3/19/2014 07:15 AM

Great information to consider. I've been told do to my Type 1 diabetes that I will likely need AD's for the rest of my life. Fluctuations of blood sugars over the years have likely screwed up my neurotransmitters. But I will consider adding some additional protein as well as B6. Can't hurt.

I didn't think there was a way to test serotonin levels? I've always been told there is no way to do this. Wish there was, would be much easier if I knew if this was just a serotonin issue alone or if my dopamine levels are off again too.

Thanks for the info.

nutmegkitty posted 3/19/2014 09:34 AM

There are meds you can take to boost the effects of your ADs. Abilify is one. Maybe talk to your doc about something like that?

tushnurse posted 3/19/2014 09:46 AM

I would also add that adding some Vitamin D is important esp this time of year, when we have been absent from the sun's presence for so many months.

Along with what Inner said, and your medical issues I would really consider making sure that your Thyroid is ok if it hasn't been checked. One endocrine issue often means you will develop others.

Lastly there is a new AD that has come out, that has been received really well, and it has little to no sexual side effects, and doesn't have the weaning issue that some of the SSRI's do. It is call Brintellix. It is also an SSRI and has an almost immediate effect the other bonus that I have seen with this is less weight gain.
I'm not telling you need it, but it is something to consider when you rule out any other medical related issues.

InnerLight posted 3/19/2014 23:49 PM

There isn't a standard medicine accepted way of testing for neurotransmitters, but there are functional medicine tests such as the urine organic acids panel from Metametrix labs. There is excellent information on nutritional deficiencies in this test and a section with markers for serotonin, dopamine and catecholamines. Other sections give markers for vitamins involved in the citric acid cycle, other markers are about nutrients involved with detoxification. I use these to inform dietary recommendations for an individual. I have had clients on ADs show low serotonin. Those are the ones that I suggest they talk to their doctor about doing a small amount of 5HTP with their meds. It usually helps. has sample panels, look up urine organic acids, and somewhere on the website are the more in depth explanations.

kickintheface posted 3/20/2014 07:28 AM

Thanks for the replies. I had my Vit D and thyroid checked a couple weeks ago along with my regular lab work that goes along with my Type 1. All were good.

I'm curious about this urine test though...would my regular doctor order this or do I need to go to a holistic doctor?

Also, I was thinking maybe it's not depression...maybe I'm just tired of this shit. No AD is going to make me happy about the stuff in my life that sucks...right? And if they could, would I want that? Usually my AD's will help me deal with things better...right now nothing is really phasing me at all. I just shrug stuff off...that's not healthy.

InnerLight posted 3/20/2014 11:37 AM

My guess is your regular doctor would not be familiar with it because it is not considered standard medical practice. However some doctors are interested and open to getting information in different ways. It is a test more well known to holistically oriented doctors and naturopaths as well as holistic nutritionists like me, and acupuncturists. The key phrase when asking a question is to ask if someone practices functional medicine or functional nutrition. The term 'functional' means that they are looking at the way whole organ systems are functioning and seek to support where they are weak, which is a bit different than seeking to find pathology and treating a disease. Functional medicine seeks to support the whole organ system and whole person so that their system is strong enough to self-correct. I hope that helps and makes sense.

Your thoughts around the feeling down being related to your situation rather than the ADs sounds like a good avenue to explore. Is it possible to find a counselor, mentor, confidante to discuss this with in depth?

[This message edited by InnerLight at 11:39 AM, March 20th (Thursday)]

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