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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Antidepressants

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Author Topic: Antidepressants
lymeHerx001
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Would anyone like to share their experience with antidepressants?

I have been on four or five and now finally after building up the dosage Cymbalta is helping.

I dont want to eat my words here either.

I can live with the Orthostatic Hypotension.

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Leelee
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I would probably have killed myself without anti-depressants. I just could not live without the help they have given me.

I don't think everyone has the severity of psychological problems I do b/c of Lyme and I realize not everyone believes in taking them, but I do and have been on them for years -- long before my Lyme diagnosis.

Currently I take Trazodone, Lexapro and Bystolic. The last one is really a beta-blocker, but my LLMD prescribed it "off-label" to help with the horrible anxiety I have.

All-in-all I literally could not live without these meds.

--------------------
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King,Jr

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Lymetoo
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I've had Lyme forever and have been on tricyclics since the 90's. They have helped me alot. I've been on Trazodone for about 7 yrs now.

I tried to get off of it last summer... no go.

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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Keebler
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-

Unlike LeeLee, I probably would have killed myself were I to have tried to stay on antidepressants (and I came close to ending it all from bad reactions from them). I tried many different kinds, at various times. I had terrible reactions to every single thing I tried - doctors would urge me to just keep taking this or that - but I could not continue. I am been glad to be free of them all for 15 years now.

Everyone seems to react differently. I guess my best advice is to say if something is not working, don't put up with bad reactions.

For me, I can't take any pharmaceuticals due to the way my body reacts but I do very well with supplements and herbal formulas under my ND's guidance. Yet, I know of others who do very well with some prescriptions.

If you find what works that's what matters, as long as you keep in mind liver support to offset the stress that some have on the liver.
-

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kitts
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I'm on cymbalta60mg now for a year. I take trazadone and sometimes lorazapam if my anxiety is really bad--happens with my herx. I guess this is all keeping me afloat. Wasn't on anything befor the lyme. I am taking Mepron to treat babs--It is making me more depressed. I with you the best--

--------------------
Kitty
Lyme, Babesia, XMRV virus Diagnosed 2008
Mepron, Zithro, Cepaflexin, Fluconozol, Vitamin, Herb therapy

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julielynne4
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I have been on and off of Zoloft for "postpartum depression" after the birth of each child...However even before I had kids, depression was so severe at times.

At one time I was on Effexor which worked incredibly well. However, it was pure torture weaning off of it. I thought I was going crazy.

I decided about 6 months ago to wean slowly off the zoloft once and for all. I figured I dont need it anymore since I now understand why I have depression in the first place (haven't felt well for 25 years, just diagnosed with lyme less that a year ago.

So I slowly, very slowly, went off zoloft. The depression came back with a vengeance. It got so bad a few weeks ago that I asked my LLMD to put me on Lexapro.

I already feel a little less horrible. Less anxiety, fewer moments of utter doom. I am a teacher and I was afraid I would not be able to teach...I am managing so far.

I look forward to feeling better and better. I have heard of many people with Lyme, however, who do horribly on antidepressants. I agree that you just have to take it slow and don't put up with horrible side effects.

Julie

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lymeHerx001
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to be honest I felt the same way.

Even st johns wort would make me too nervous.

I had terrible side effects begginning on the cymbalta so I literally took it in my hands and undid the capsule so I could build up the dosage.

It worked!

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lymeHerx001
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^
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mojo
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I've been on Paxil for over 15 years - it changed my life - literally.

I was always very anxious and sometimes depressed.

I tried to wean off recently - went super slow and when I got down to a half dose I started getting very moody, and had minor 'rages' just like I used to get prior to the Paxil.

I'll stay on my Paxil.

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lymeHerx001
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wow mojo,

these were the kinda stories I was looking for, long timers and how they did.

I came to the realization that I might have to be on "something" for most of my life...

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kylasrain
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Lexapro has saved my life and helped me literally heal.

--------------------
http://kylahikeson.blogspot.com

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Keebler
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-
LymeHerx,

You said "st johns wort would make me too nervous"

St. Johns Wort is not for everyone and can increase agitation. It's not the end-all be-all.

There are dozens of other natural options. A LL ND (naturopathic doctor) who is also ILADS-education would be a good choice if you are interested in pursuing other options.

-

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Cass A
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Unfortunately, antidepressants suppress some of the symptoms, and become physiologically addicting. This means that people can't get off of them, because the symptoms they suppress come roaring back--sometimes even worse than when they started!

And, this doesn't include the other adverse physical effects that may not go away, like heart arhythmias, structural brain damage, etc. Or, the increase in suicidal thinking that people on them experience.

Many people who felt down after 9-11 and listened to the Paxil ads found out that they couldn't get off the drug.

It seems more sensible to me to look into KPU or niacinamide or B Vitamins to deal with depression while getting the critters that are likely the cause of the situation under control.

A good site is http://www.alternativementalhealth.com

Best,

Cass A

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lymeHerx001
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quote:
Originally posted by Keebler:
-
LymeHerx,

You said "st johns wort would make me too nervous"

St. Johns Wort is not for everyone and can increase agitation. It's not the end-all be-all.

There are dozens of other natural options. A LL ND (naturopathic doctor) who is also ILADS-education would be a good choice if you are interested in pursuing other options.

-

thanks!
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mojo
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I wish I could have found something natural as I always prefer that.

Paxil was the first drug I tried and it worked so well I stayed with it. I've tried to go off a few times and my symptoms just come back. The first time I went cold turkey and was bi-polar for about a month (that was a dumb idea)

After living over 30 years with anxiety - I prefer NOT.

It seems like my family (I have 9 sibs) all have some sort of chemical imbalance and most of us benefit from anti depressants.

I feel that they are way over prescribed but I was in therapy for about two years before they were prescribed to me.

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lymeHerx001
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quote:
Originally posted by Cass A:
[QB] Unfortunately, antidepressants suppress some of the symptoms, and become physiologically addicting. This means that people can't get off of them, because the symptoms they suppress come roaring back--sometimes even worse than when they started!

And, this doesn't include the other adverse physical effects that may not go away, like heart arhythmias, structural brain damage, etc. Or, the increase in suicidal thinking that people on them experience.

Many people who felt down after 9-11 and listened to the Paxil ads found out that they couldn't get off the drug.

It seems more sensible to me to look into KPU or niacinamide or B Vitamins to deal with depression while getting the critters that are likely the cause of the situation under control.

A good site is http://www.alternativementalhealth.com

Best,

Cass A ]

I am thinking the opposite. THat antidepressants are healing my brain and klonopin too.

My brain has been through alot with lyme and company. I had my neurotransmitters tested once and they came back 1/4 normal.

That cant be good, how can the body and brain function with neurotramsmitters that low?

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Cindy Ss
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Hi Lymeherx,

I have read (can't remember where) in my research of this statement. And there are studies that show that these drugs can possibly protect your brain and the balancing that is needed there. So you could be right...

THere is also a thread here I followed about someone that has done reserch on this very topic and discovered the same.

But other post to say the opposite as you can see here.

I think these SSRI drugs can help lots of people. I myself have been struggling with anxiety since I began my treatment for Lyme. I have been going back and forth on beginning one of these SSRI. Haven't yet...

Have tried lots of the natural stuff but if you have a severe enough depresion or anxiety then they may not work. Didn't in my personal experience and I was always worried about the dose and how often to take them. Some natural herbs for this can be harmful and you are not taking them under a DR direction unlike beginning a prescription SSRI.

I have began taking a med called Buspar for my anxiety. It is not an SSRI, but is helping so far. I am on really low dose and have the ability to go up slowly if needed. All with monitoring from my local PC.

Possibly may be harder for those to stop SSRI's that have problems with depresion/anxiety other than this disease can cause. Lots of post by people that have gotten off no problem once their treatment began working or symptoms were gone. Probably depends on how you were before Lyme mentally.

I also take .50 Xanax 3 times per day for anxiety. I have had some pretty good days this past week with no anxiety at all. I can see that I am taking my Xanax dose even when I don't have anxiety. (So it seems I don't need it sometimes) So I am hoping whatever I get on once I am well, I will have no problem getting off of.

I have always been a worrier type personality, even more so now. That is why I may consider going on an SSRI soon but will start with the lowest possible dose and with the SSRI's that has the lowest side effects. There are lots to choose from and some are listed in LLMD books I have read.

This is just my personal experience, if it helps you then I have done my part on Lymenet

[Wink]

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lymeHerx001
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i have general problems thinking! So im thinking that if I take it and my neurotransmitters go up, pain goes down and so does the swelling in my brain and my brain fog, right?

I take xanax to and have stopped cold turkey with no problems.

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WildCondor
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In my experience, antidepressants are extremely helpful when you are battling chronic disease. I remember 9 years ago I was feeling the doom and gloom of herxing and the anxiety got to be too much. Some antibiotics can directly cause depression, Flagyl and Rocephin did that for me, so I needed to calm that down. I asked my LLMD for help and got on zoloft and xanax. It made a huge difference on everything in my life at the time. Don't be shy about asking for them folks, it is a good supportive measure to help your treatment along. [group hug]
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gwb
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I agree, xanax helps me tremendously when I have anxiety attacks which has been much more frequent lately.

I get these horrible loud noises in my head where it feels like there's a train going by me shaking my whole body.

1/2 mg xanax does the trick for me, but at the very most I only need 1 mg when it's real bad. It definitely helps me when I need it.

Gary

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lymeHerx001
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i think lyme lowers gaba
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lymeHerx001
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up
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mojo
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i use Benzos when needed, too.

I am fortunate that I can wean down very quickly from even high doses of Benzo's without issues.

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lymeHerx001
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gotcha, me too
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lymeHerx001
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up,

any evidence they help the immune system
?

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mojo
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I read a couple of articles that said they are "pretty sure" that SSRI's affect the immune system - but they haven't figured out if they help or hinder!

I'm loads of help, aren't I?

I haven't seen any new articles in the past several months, though.

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lymeHerx001
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Popular Antidepressants May Also Affect Human Immune System
23 Jan 2006

Drugs that treat depression by manipulating the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain may also affect the user's immune system in ways that are not yet understood, say scientists from Georgetown University Medical Center and a Canadian research institute.

That's because the investigators found, for the first time, that serotonin is passed between key cells in the immune system, and that the chemical is specifically used to activate an immune response. They do not know yet, however, whether these SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) drugs "including the brands Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil and others" could have either a beneficial or a damaging effect on human immunity.

"The wider health implication is that commonly used SSRI antidepressants, which target the uptake of serotonin into neurons, may also impact the uptake in immune cells," said Gerard Ahern, Ph.D., assistant professor of Pharmacology at Georgetown and lead researcher on the study.

He said that while it may be possible that SSRI drugs may restore a healthy immune function in people who are depressed and prone to infections, it is possible that they might also bolster immunity to the point that they trigger autoimmune disease. "At this point we just don't know how these drugs might affect immunity, so we really need to clarify the normal role of serotonin in immune cell functioning," Ahern said.

The surprising finding that serotonin is rapidly passed between immune cells in a manner similar to its transmission between brain neurons was revealed in mid-October, when the research team published the findings in the journal Blood. In December, the discovery was highlighted for the general scientific audience by the journal Nature Reviews Immunology, and now the research team is working to produce an animal model that may help describe the precise nature of this interaction.

"The novelty is that we reveal a potential communication, involving the transmitter serotonin, between immune cells that is normally only found between neurons," Ahern said.

In addition to Ahern, Peta Connell, Ph.D., from the Robarts Research Institute in Canada, was also a co-lead researcher on the study. Scientists from the Robarts Research Institute also contributed to the work.

In the brain, serotonin transmission between neurons is associated with feelings of pleasure, mood, and appetite, and the class of antidepressants known as SSRIs keeps serotonin active within the synaptic spaces between neurons, enhancing the chemical's positive effects. Unlike in the brain, which uses chemical messengers to communicate between nerve cells, the immune system is believed to "converse" through physical contact -- one type of immune cell touches another, setting off a response.

Specifically, "antigen presenting cells" display their antigens (bits of a foreign invader) to T-cells, and a resulting physical coupling between the antigens and the T-cells will prompt the T-cells to divide and expand in population, triggering an immune response designed to destroy the invader. This process may take hours.

What the Georgetown researchers found, however, is that dendritic cells -- the most powerful of the antigen-presenting cells and the ones that can find invaders that have never infected the body and "educate" the immune system to fight them -- also use serotonin to quickly excite a T-cell response. They discovered that these dendritic cells can rapidly secrete serotonin, which activates serotonin receptors on certain types of T-cells.

"In addition to the physical contact, it surprised us to find that these immune cells also have machinery to take up serotonin and to secrete it in an excitatory manner," Ahern said. "The point behind this transmission is not entirely clear, but it appears to be an additional way of stimulating a T cell response."

Drugs that block serotonin reuptake "likely change some of the parameters of T-cell activation, but we don't know yet if it enhances or inhibits the total immune response," Ahern said. "But it is something that should be explored because we really have no idea what SSRIs are doing to people's immune systems."

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lymeHerx001
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Anti-depressants 'boost the immune system'
By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 3:37 PM on 12th May 2008
Comments (0) Add to My Stories Two different anti-depressants were found to boost white blood cells


Anti-depressant drugs may have a useful side effect - they boost the immune system according to new research.


The pills enhance the activity of natural killer cells - key elements of the immune system.
Evidence suggests they could help the body defend itself against infections such as the Aids virus HIV and even cancer.

Natural killer (NK) cells are white blood cells which home in on infected or cancerous cells in the body. They release agents that cause the cells to self-destruct, so they cease to be a danger.
NK cells are especially active against viruses. Inducing 'cell suicide' causes the invading virus to be destroyed inside the cell. Simply killing the cell by means of a toxic chemical would allow the virus to be released.
Tumours are also targeted by NK cells, as long as they are able to recognise them.

The new research emerged from earlier findings that stress and depression impair NK cell function and can accelerate the progress of HIV/Aids.

Scientists recruited both depressed and non-depressed HIV-positive women and treated them with three different types of drugs used to treat stress and depression.

One was citalopram, a selective seratonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) belonging to the same drug family as Prozac. The other two were antagonist drugs that block specific biological pathways.
The research showed that citalopram and the drug 'CP 96,345' both increased NK cell activity, while drug 'RU486' had no effect.
Study leader Dr Dwight Evans from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, US, said: "The present findings provide evidence that natural killer cell function in HIV infection may be enhanced by selective serotonin re-uptake inhibition and also by substance P antagonism in both depressed and non-depressed individuals."
The findings are published in the latest issue of the journal Biological Psychiatry.

Editor Dr John Krystal said: "There has been growing evidence that the compromise of immune function associated with depression influences the outcomes of infectious diseases and cancer.

"Antidepressant treatments are beginning to be studied for their potential positive effects on immune function.

"The paper suggests that antidepressant treatment may have positive effects on natural killer cell activity in cells isolated from individuals infected with HIV with and without depression. This type of bridge between the brain and the rest of the body deserves further attention."


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1019159/Anti-depressants-boost-immune-system.html#ixzz0VQthCbGn

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lymeHerx001
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I like the last line:


"...but we don't know yet if it enhances or inhibits the total immune response," Ahern said. "But it is something that should be explored because we really have no idea what SSRIs are doing to people's immune systems."

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lymeHerx001
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im on a SNRI !!! take that
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Thyme2heal
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Im on wellbutrin xl...its been a total lifesavor for me..its the only perscription im still on..plus vicoden for pain occassionally..

the wellbutrin has been the main aspect contributing to my health i believe because when im in a better mood..i make better choices for my body

Ive been running too..this also has benefitted me beyond what i couldve imagined..i just need to make more time for it!

wellbutrin is an ssnri i think?

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Dancer
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Antidepressants have helped me enormously. Pre-diagnosis, they helped me to function, eg. restore ability to sleep, got my work performance back up when I nearly lost my job for being "slow and in a fog". But I had to keep increasing the dose to keep up with the escalating Lyme. I think Zoloft is a big reason I'm a fairly high functioning Lyme person. If I'm on it the rest of my life, so be it. It helps me not just with depression, but with energy and mental clarity.

At 2007 ILADS conference, Dr. Br. gave a presentation on "The Psychiatric Management of Tick-Borne Diseases".

One of the interesting questions he addressed was "Do psychotropics have antimicrobial effects or immune effects?" I have the presentation slide printouts which are limited, but I will type out a few here for any who may be interested.

Psychotropics

* Antidepressants were developed from TB drugs that had mood lifting side effects
* Psychotropics effect neurotransmitters &:
- Are sometimes antimicrobial
- Can be immune modulators
- May alter CNS gene expression
- Can be neuroprotective
- Can increase neurogenesis and BDNF

Another slide says:

Antibiotics or Psychotropics?

* When a patient has been treated with just antibiotics, consider psychotropics.
* When a patient has been treated with just psychotropics, consider antibiotics.
* When a patient is treatment resistant consider both.

Another:

Anticipate the Unexpected Adverse Drug Reaction

* Due to the complexity of the human brain and individual differences, there will always be someone with an opposite response or unusual reaction to any psychotropic.
* An apparent adverse drug reaction may instead be a symptom flare or Herxheimer reaction
* Be prepared to respond to the unexpected

One more:

Benefit of Symptomatic Treatment

* Chronic stress, dysregulated hyper/hypo-arousal & impaired sleep cause compromised immune functioning (increased inflammation, decreased cellular immune response) & increased oxidative stress resulting in decreased neuroprotection and increased neurodegeneration
*Symptomatic treatments can prevent and sometimes reverse progression of illness

Posts: 227 | From South of the North Pole | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lymeHerx001
Frequent Contributor (1K+ posts)
Member # 6215

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on 300mg wellbutrin xl now along with 120 mg cymbalta, feelin a litttle panicky with the wellbutrin. THe wellbutrin IRs didnt do that to me.
Posts: 2905 | From New England | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
annier1071
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i have never tried or has my llmd suggested any anti depressants for me. I am always down from this disease as well as my menieres. I just got my master degree in May and then in June I am no longer able to do my job due to lyme and cognitive issues. That is so depressing! I am afraid of even trying the drugs, glad to hear they are not as horrible as they get labled. They may be somethign I need in the future.

I have been on xanax 3 times a day for many years for the vertigo of menieres. My LLMD has suggested I up it to 4times (4mgs a day so the nerve endings can calm down from the neuro lyme. I have yet to increase in fear of the terrible withdrawal. Xanax withdrawal has to be done very slowly..quarter milligram at a time for 2 weeks each. Please be careful and Never do it cold turkey if you have been on it for a few months. I lost a good friend when she tried..Please take care

--------------------
Diagnosed with chronic neuro lyme 12/10 after 30 years of vertigo.2 tick bites in 3 yrs from upstate NY. Was on omincef for nine mths..zith and rifampin stopped.Remission~ All the pain and symptoms are back and I am not treating now with biaxin.

Posts: 788 | From New york..queens | Registered: Nov 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
5vforest
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Since this thread has been resurrected... I would like to pose a hypothetical question. And I'm serious, not trolling, etc:

Since anti-depressants can be addictive, and since I'm housebound and unable to do anything more than use the computer, watch TV, and read short paragraphs...

Why would I take an anti-depressant when I could get a prescription for an opiate instead?

Posts: 333 | From san francisco, ca | Registered: Nov 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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