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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Psych meds

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Author Topic: Psych meds
Samlyme
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Everything is causing me anxiety lately. I stopped my antibiotics because I needed a bit of a break.

The anxiety I was having was just continuing to escalate. I'm off the meds like two weeks now just about. Im still having strong anxiety.

My body is feeling much abused and I tpreally can't take this.

What are my options for taking something to help me manage?

I'm afraid of dependence and all that but at the same time I feel so wrung out and like I can't keep going on like this. Are there safe options out there?

Than you for your advice.

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Carol in PA
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Anxiety is a symptom of low magnesium.

The Lyme bacteria use up our magnesium for themselves, which causes us all kinds of problems.


Besides taking supplemental magnesium and eating foods high in mag, you can take fish oil.
The essential fatty acids in fish oil improve the integrity of the cell membranes, which helps the cells work better.

You can google for anxiety magnesium and anxiety fish oil to find more information.

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Samlyme
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I was taking magnesium glycinate 500mgs a day. I am extremely sensitive to methyl donors though so I stopped. I'm not sure if the glycinate somehow increases my methyl group through metabolism.

I have low platelets and fish oil is much too blood thinning for me.

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Samlyme
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I'm having a lot of anxiety attacks. It felt like my entire day yesterday was an anxiety attack. I need to address this somehow.

I've been trying every supplement imaginable. I've stopped that because nothing is working.

I don't want to develop a dependence on a drug and complicate my problem but I think some people must have some tools that they use during this kind of experience.

Something that helps and is also manageable.

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Robin123
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Just curious - does it help at all if you do deep breathing to bring in more oxygen?
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Samlyme
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I've been Buddhist for six or seven years so I'm familiar with a lot of breathing exercises. Deep breathing helps but it' doesn't help me enough to get a handle on this situation.

I'd really rather someone with experience managing a serious anxiety disorder make suggestions. Normally I appreciate any and all suggestions from people but this is different.

The suggestion to take deep breaths and magnesium are so far removed from what a serious problem this is.

I'm definitely not trying to insult anyone for their ideas, I know they're coming from a kind place. I just want to clarify that I am looking for help with something different than this train of thought.

It's actually a big deal for me to admit to myself that this isn't something I can will away. It's a legitimate affliction that can be managed with all of the ways one would manage an anxiety disorder (magnesium and breathing exercises included) but it seems, at this point, obscene to simply suffer through acute phases as if they weren't realy happening.

Medication has its drawbacks, which is why I would prefer a short term situational option if something like that existed. At this point I'm concerned about the toll these episodes are taking on my body.

And lyme treatment has just so exacerbated the problem. I'd assume others with lyme who are afflicted with this type of problem have tried different ways to manage it.

I am just looking to hear what has helped.

[ 01-13-2015, 08:10 AM: Message edited by: Samlyme ]

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seibertneurolyme
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If you are considering meds then you need to be aware that many tickborne patients do not do well on SSRI meds. Lyme causes brain inflammation and as a result the body uses an alternative pathway which causes serotonin to be converted to the neurotoxin quinolinic acid.

Buhner discusses this in his book Healing Lyme. Resveratrol (Japanese knotweed source is best) can block this conversion. When hubby added that supplement he was able to take 5HTP and p5p (activated form of B6) to help with sleep.

But as with any supplement - start out slow - much slower than the book suggests. One capsule daily rather than one capsule 3 or 4 times daily as the book suggests.

For hubby SAM-e (400 mg) was very helpful. He had a methylation problem (only one defective gene though). This supplement worked better than any psych meds he tried for anxiety.

I also think that antioxidants - such as CoQ10 and pycnogenol (pine bark extract) and high dose vitamin C - that cross the blood brain barrier are very helpful for helping balance nerurotransmitters and detox.

Resveratrol and SAM-e should work quickly if they help. The other supplements take longer to have an effect and are more for maintenance.

This is not medical advice, just my opinion based on hubby's experiences.

Bea Seibert

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desertwind
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I just wanted to give some info on the medication option. You many already know all of this...

All anti-anxiety drugs (Benzo's) have a high profile for not just psychological but also physiological dependency. You already know this but it is important to put this out there because interdose tolerance withdrawal can occur in as little as 2 weeks of continual use.

Many PCP's are not well versed in these drugs and will tell you if taken as prescribed you will not develop dependency but that is not always true.

Benzo.s down regulate the Gaba A receptors very quickly and can cause a lot of problems with your CNS once your body become dependent on them. A lot of the interdose tolerance w/d symptoms that occur can mirror lyme so just be aware of that.

Now not everyone is going to become dependent so easily but others will.

With that said; The most common Benzo.'s that are prescribed are;

Ativan
Klonopin
Xanax
Valium

I don't think I can give dosage info but typically these meds are given up to 4 times a day for serious anxiety and panic disorder.

Xanax is typically given for extreme panic attacks due to its quick onset. Also has a very short half life which can result in interdose tolerance withdrawal symptoms becoming intense pretty quickly. So Xanax is in your system very quick and out very quick.

Valium has a longer time of onset and a very very long half life. Half life is something like 90-200 hours and a lot of people who are trying to withdrawal off of Xanax cross over to Valium because of this. Some people find Valium more sedating then Xanax but again it is an individual thing.

Ativan is very strong and works more like Xanax then Valium.

Klon. is thought by some to be the most highly addictive with the worst w/d concerns.

At any rate, all can be taken PRN but also on a daily basis. Just know that after about 2 weeks your body may need more to get the same effect and you may go into withdrawal at that point in between doses.

My experience is more professional then personal but from a personal perspective I have had a hard time coming off of a benzo. It either flared my TBI's or mirrored my TBI sx.'s All Benzo will de-sensitize your CNS and can make every nerve in your body feel on fire if you have been on for an extended period of time and then stop. A slow taper is always recommended (per Dr. Ashton protocol) or better yet take breaks from the medication to avoid dependency.

Your best bet would be to see either a Psychiatrist or a Psychiatric Nurse Practioner as they are trained specifically in psychotropic meds and will be better suited then your PCP to know the downfalls of these meds and how to avoid problems.


At the end of the day there are times when we need the help of a pharmaceutical. Not long term but short term to help manage the unmanageable. You could continue with your Buddhist practice and focus on being more mindful while taking low dose short term anti-anxiety meds. It does not have to be one or the other. I found when I HAD to take a Benzo I still practiced my meditation and mindfulness and the combo of both helped potential the positive effects of each one.

The effects of anxiety on your body may outweigh the negative effects of taking short term medication. I wish you the best. DW

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jlcd1
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I take lexapro, i take the 10mg pill...cut it in half to 5 mg...then again to 2.5...then again. And I started with that dose about 2 months ago. Now im up to the 2.5 and I may just stay there for another few months. I also unfortunately take xanax but needed to function just a little. I dont go out of the house much but when I do I need xanax right now.

I know nobody wants to hear that and they are very addictive but i'll have to worry about coming off of it later and that will be another huge struggle.

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desertwind
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quote:
Originally posted by jlcd1:
I take lexapro, i take the 10mg pill...cut it in half to 5 mg...then again to 2.5...then again. And I started with that dose about 2 months ago. Now im up to the 2.5 and I may just stay there for another few months. I also unfortunately take xanax but needed to function just a little. I dont go out of the house much but when I do I need xanax right now.

I know nobody wants to hear that and they are very addictive but i'll have to worry about coming off of it later and that will be another huge struggle.

You will be able to taper off the Xanax when the time is right! Rule of thumb is a 10% reduction every 2 weeks. Check out the Ashton Manual for detailed info.
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Samlyme
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Thanks everyone. It's helpful to hear your first/second hand accounts and desertwind that summary is very sobering and informative.

Bea this is really interesting.

"Lyme causes brain inflammation and as a result the body uses an alternative pathway which causes serotonin to be converted to the neurotoxin quinolinic acid"

It certainly feels like something like this is happening. Unfortunately Methyls cause me severe anxiety so I would have to go a different route than your husband supplement wise. I'm frustratingly not with it enough to figure all that out but am planning to possibly see a Dr. who specializes in mthfr stuff depending on cost.

I think medication can be a helpful option. Sometimes just having other options is enough to help you get through things.

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Phoiph
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Samlyme...

I also had severe, constant panic for the 8 years that I had NeuroLyme (5 years homebound). I paced continually due to nerve pain and agitation, which would worsen whenever I stopped moving or tried to rest.

It was a living hell without respite to be sure, and it seemed absurd when well-meaning people would suggest meditation or breathing (which I totally support otherwise)!

Anyway, I am now well and symptom/med free, thanks to mild hyperbaric. mHBOT is also being used, among other things, to treat veterans for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and anxiety/panic disorders.

You can read the LymeNet thread here, and PM me if you like:

http://flash.lymenet.org/scripts/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=125201;p=0

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Samlyme
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Sorry I had shot down the breathing question so quickly. I'm exhausted and didn't want to discuss natural remedies. I have noticed that I'm barely breathing during intense moments. I kept waking up in the night last night feeling like I was barely breathing. And at several instances during the day I would realize I hadn't taken a breath in much too long. Deep breaths do help.
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SacredHeart
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Same thing for me. I notice when I'm stressed about some thought I don't want to have, I'm not breathing at all. I don't even notice that I'm holding my breath.

--------------------
Lyme flare June, July, August of 2013. Diagnosed September 2014 Lyme, Bartonella, Mycoplasma, Mono

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lymenotlite
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Low dose lithium was a big help for me.
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MannaMe
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My husband is using Lorazepam - generic Ativan - it does help keep the anxiety under control.

He's been on it for two years at this time - has been able to reduce the amount he takes from 4 pills a day to 3 pills per day.

It is addictive and he MUST wean off slowly (he's done it twice before) He doesn't like having to be on it, but says he's got to be able to live too.

He also used Relora for awhile - that seemed to help for a time.

Hubby has the C677T MTHFR mutation. He is taking supplements from his ND for this.

Hope you can find something soon that helps. Anxiety is no fun.

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mlg
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I have 3 doctors main LLMD, LL psychiatrist, and alternative LLMD trained by Dr K. Also, a detox nurse.

Kono
Ativan
Atenolol
Ambien

The further I got into treatment and no longer do I need to take anti-anxiety meds in the day.

Mother wort herb. Lemongrass tea, b complex for methylation problems.

The more I treated babesia and parasites, colonics, juicing, infrared sauna, the better I got.

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