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Can antidepressants help?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Adventureseeker, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. Adventureseeker

    Adventureseeker Peer Supporter

    My doctor has prescribed me with antidepressants (Sertran) since she said they would help me not think about my symptoms too much. I haven't taken them for the moment since I'm still skeptical, any opinions on this? In a way not thinking about my symptoms could improve TMS, yet I know that medication is not generally the answer.
  2. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    While medication is not the answer it can be a very helpful bridge during stressful and painful times. Too many tms'ers compound their woes by refusing to take anything and this often seems counterproductive (not to mention stubborn and perfectionistic). I would suggest you reflect upon the offer for a while. There is no need to immediately take medications. You can start tomorrow, next week or never. The choice is yours.

    I would however point you in the direction of soothing your system and symptoms through natural means. It does well to spend time outdoors each day (in sunlight and moonlight when she is full), be in nature, move, walk, dance and exercise when you can, eat well, drink water, smell the roses, listen to the singing birdies...all grounding and healing things in and of themselves. Sometimes we chain ourselves to our corporate, civilised, urban lifestyles and forget how vital it is to feed our wild and natural side.

    TMS is essentially a vicious cycle of anxiety, fear, pain, anger, sadness etc and anything that diminishes and/or breaks chains in that cycle helps. If you take this awareness into your healing and view taking meds as a circuit-breaker while you devote yourself to other healing ways then it can truly benefit. The decision must be yours though. Only you can determine the pro and contra of your situation.

    Plum x
    linnyc87, Mac07, westb and 3 others like this.
  3. Mark W

    Mark W Peer Supporter

    It depends on your level of depression. For mild to moderate depression, antidepressants are no better than placebo, and things like meditation, CBT, or MBSR are effective options. However, if you are severely depressed, antidepressants do help, and if you combine them with CBT the effect is that much greater.

    Also, Sertran (sertraline) can take 2-3 weeks to start working, and there can be side effects such as nausea, fatigue, dizziness, and decreased libido. In the U.S., sertraline also has a black box warning that states that there is an increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in people under 24 years of age.

    So, if you are not severely depressed or if you are under 24 years of age, you may want to talk with your doctor about options other than Sertran, and perhaps consider doing CBT if they think it would be helpful.

    Best of luck to you!
  4. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    If a doctor has picked up on your emotions and thinks anti-depressants would help you through your TMS rough patch, I would take them. Dr. Sarno was not anti-meds and mild doses of anti-depressants have been clinically found to be helpful with such TMS symptoms like back-pain. A short run of a mild anti-depressant could be helpful in quieting your anxiety/TMS from your symptoms and allow you to focus on solving or accepting your TMS emotional life issues.
    plum likes this.
  5. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    I did a search here and at the TMS HELP FORUM and found an abundance of posts about "anti-depressants". I found one of mine to another member here that sums up my experiences that I'll copy here:

    "I don't know how acute your anxiety/TMS is, but if it's debilitative, I would consider taking some meds for it--but, that's me. If you want to breakthrough, using TMS psychological thinking alone, that's commendable. Dr. Sarno prescribed meds when necessary.

    When I had my first, of two, Panic Attacks (about 10 to 15 years apart), and thought they were heart-attacks, (there's nothing like the thought of imminent death to give you anxiety), my kindly doc sent me home with an rx for Xanax. I passed the doc's office EKG treadmill test at Mt. Everest level, which was reassuring that I was in excellent physical health--no heart attack. My doc told me if I felt like that again take a Xanax. That was almost twenty years ago and I've taken maybe only half of one since. Just knowing they're in the medicine cabinet has been reassuring as a psychological band-aid.

    In college, during a junior year abroad program in the Mid-East, a doc prescribed some Librium for me during a rough patch. My roommate got hepatitis and was in the hospital for weeks. His doc saw I was a nervous wreck trying to help my buddy. After a couple of weeks taking the Librium, my nervous system settled down enough to return to successful functioning. I got back to my university studies finishing the program with good grades. My roommate recovered from hepatitis, regaining his normal skin tone after having turned carrot orange, passing out while we were in a phone booth while calling for a taxi to the hospital--fun times in 1968/69--the falafels were good.

    After hearing that mild doses of anti-depressants were helpful for TMS/back-pain, I experimented with a short course of Celexa. They helped alleviate some of the L4/L5 pain and to focus on the TMS aspect. After a couple of weeks stopped taking them feeling a bit detached from life.

    After another very rough-patch, having to take over my aged Dad's life situation, I had a bad reaction to Lexipro when a doc mis-read my nervous system's needs--but some people swear by them. I think it depends on whether one needs settling down or pepping up. I may be sounding like a drug addict here but this spans a few weeks over a fifty year period and, I take as few meds as possible too.

    The same with my Flomax for urinary urgency, I was spending a lot of time looking for trees on the side of the road after I turned fifty-five. It took a few years to convince my sub-c that TMS was the volume control for the my UU, and now I don't give it a thought-- or I'll laugh and make a contest out of how many times I can go in 100 miles.

    So, like I said I don't know how debilitative your nervousness is, but I wouldn't rule out the right mild tranquilizer under the supervision of a competent medical professional that is agreeable to your mindbody." What do others think?

    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
    Tennis Tom, Feb 24, 2016ReportBookmark
    Lavender and plum like this.
  6. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    I favour herbal remedies as well. Aside from being natural and therefore free of side effects, some herbs are also nourishing. I think Tom beautifully points out how we can judiciously use meds or other remedies to alleviate symptoms while maintaining a keen eye on the tms ball. The danger lies in black and white thinking. A relaxed, flexible approach to healing really is the best way to go and you'll find most people recover once they take the pressure off themselves.

    Plum x
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  7. Kalo

    Kalo Well known member

    Shoot the messenger and read Dr. Peter Bregan's how physciatric drugs are drangerous! Be warned if you have anxiety, when you deciede to come off these horrible meds, the anxiety will worsen big time.

    I was given sertran like you and didn't take them! I was given paxil 10 years ago and it was the worst mistake of my life.

    Worst, yet, was when those stupid doctors gave me klonopin! I was on them for a year and a half and just four months ago went off them. My body went through hell and is still going through healing.

    Klonopin, floods the brain with GABA and when you come off any type of anti depressants and or anti anxiety meds your brain has to heal. The brain effects your central nervous system the very thing you are trying to heal.

    So, if you are taking them for pain, your pain will increase big time once you come off of them...Why, anti depressants floods the brain (makes you high) with serotonin...Once you brain gets accustom in too much serotonin it STOPS making serotonin on its own...Then you need more of the drug to feel better.

    Once you stop taking anti depressants and or anti anxiety your brain is temporarily damaged until it learn to make its serotonin or GABA.

    Think twice before you make the choice of whether to take it....

    I am not trying to scare you, but, I wished someone would of told me this before I started any serotonin reuptake and or anti anxiety med like klonopin.

    Also, be warned your doctors are the worst and they do not know what these drugs truly do...Withdrawl is the worst and they don't believe how horrible it is.


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  8. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    I was on the anti-depressants for only short periods of time, about a month. (edit: In my initial post I wrote Lexapro by mistake, I meant Librium. I had an adverse reaction to Leaxapro, but some people swear by them, I guess it depends where your head needs to be at.) Librium relieved my anxiety successfully. I experimented with a small dosage of Celexa for about a month about ten years ago, after reading that it was beneficial for TMS/back-pain. It was helpful for me getting me to another level of TMS focusing. I had a bad reaction to Lexipro, resulting in a panic attack and a midnight visit to the ER. I believe the doctor prescribing the Lexies misread my symptoms thinking I needed "pepping up" rather then calming down.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2016
  9. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

  10. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Last edited: Aug 17, 2016
  11. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dr. Norm Shealy, a neurosurgeon and author, told me that antidepressants only have to have a 7% success rate over a placebo for the FDA to approve them.
    7%!! Would you buy a car with a 7% success rate?
    Perhaps try some natural calming supplements first. Do you take magnesium? Most American diets are deficient. It'a great for calming the muscles and the nerves.
    linnyc87 likes this.
  12. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    Many of the areas of the brain that deal with pain also deal with emotions which is why in many cases taking Anti Ds can help. If by taking them u can change the way the brain perceives pain then u may want to consider using them temporarily. They can help to break a vicious cycle & lessen the pain enuff for u to think more clearly while u deal with the emotional aspects & stresses that may be causing the pain.

    I would do that under the guidance of a dr u can trust & at the same time if possible, have a few sessions with a TMS expert or psychologist rather than take supplements without any supervision.

    Just because something is natural, it does not mean they r safe or that there r fewer side effects. So called natural supplements can indeed cause side effects & also interfere with other meds u may be taking. St Johns Wort, Kava, Ginko r examples.

    So tread carefully & with caution I think.

    Boston Redsox, Mac07 and Tennis Tom like this.
  13. Adventureseeker

    Adventureseeker Peer Supporter

    Hi, thanks everyone for your suggestions. I haven't started Sertran yet, though I might if I keep thinking about the pain all the time. As Mala says, my only interest in taking them is to break a vicious cycle... if they work and the symptoms lessen, then I will know more surely that they were TMS related. I am not in a state of panic, I'm just over-conscious of my pain. My only concern is the other side effects which the drug may cause... but then I'm always worried about the side-effects of any medication I take. I'll wait a couple of weeks and then maybe give them a try, but not for more than a couple of months.
  14. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    For me a combination of A/D and CBT helps....but dont put to much weight on either, they are bridges to get you threw a hard time..CBT can also be very repeative and counter productive, once you have discovered these hidden emotions and discovered why you where hiding them down deep in the SUB C....you are done therpists love bringing up the same issues over and over to relive the trauma over and over..very backwards appraoch for me.

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