This is topic Veterans of lyme anxiety and depression, some help please in forum Medical Questions at LymeNet Flash.

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Posted by B4LYME (Member # 23222) on :
I am in my seventh month of treatment and my sixth month of Mepron. I am being treated for a relapse or reinfection. Last time I dealt with this was 2001. During that treatment I had the anxiety and depression, but with treatment, it went away in a little over a year. That and fatigue were my most bothersome and earliest symptoms.

Now with retreatment, I find myself struggling again with the anxiety and depression. The aggitation gets really bad the third week into a round of Mepron.

I am currently on Remeron and some klonopin, but it doesn't fully cover these symptoms. The rest of my symptoms are disappearing or decreasing monthly.

My question is, should the anti-depressant and the klonopin make all the depression and anxiety go away? Did they help you lose those symptoms completely or just help take the edge off?

Thanks for your help and input.

Posted by EyeBob (Member # 12572) on :
My understanding is that many times Lyme and it's related illnesses can directly affect the neurotransmitter production, uptake, regulation that are responsible for keeping us on an even keel. I too suffer from the anxiety piece (I only have Lyme). Treatment with an SSRI, a mystical drug at best, often helps with this but also can help with other symptoms. Whether the symptoms are caused by the chemical imbalance in our brain (and so we feel better when that's addressed) or whether the SSRI somehow directly acts to treat is not fully known.

I hope that you're open with your LLMD about all of this. some of us have to take a rather interesting coctail of drugs, SSRIs, clonapin, Xanax, etc just to get our minds straight. Once this happens we can rest better, we can live life a little better too. If you're not having success with your current regimen you need to discuss it with your LLMD. Remember though, the anxiety/depression piece that you experience can also be used as a marker for how good a job your immune system is doing in it's fight. Ironically, the worse you feel, the more killing you may be doing. Just something to consider.

Posted by Cockapoo1996 (Member # 14238) on :
If the Klonopin is helping somewhat, you may try increasing a little bit at a time until you hit the point where you feel ok. Get a pill splitter if you don't already have one.

Break it into even as little as 1/4 pieces. Because too much and you feel exhausted. But the right amount and it is great stuff. You will need to wait 30 minutes or so to feel the effect.
Posted by rks (Member # 24316) on :
My LLMD suggested NeuroReplete; I just started taking it, so can't yet say how it's going, but there is a lot of positive feedback from others online.

Hopefully, they are real people and not anyone from the company! But, there is also a lot of info on the science of it too.
Posted by bcb1200 (Member # 25745) on :
I'm on 20mg of Prozac. It has helped immensly. I have no anxiety any more. Not sure if it is the Prozac or the lyme treatment working.
Posted by lymetwister (Member # 19590) on :
I have researched this stuff down to the cellular level for a few years now as Anxiety was my biggest problem and has been intense all along.

Depression hit later.

The research out there is terrible. Keep in mind SSRI's inhibit the reuptake of Serotonin making more available in the Synaptic cleft. Basically, this means it reuses what you have, but doesn't make more. For many, these drugs work, but then they get "poop out" syndrome, and the drug no longer works. This is b/c the body hasn't made any more Serotonin and nothing to reuse. This is where 5-HTP (Amino acid) comes into play. 5-HTP directly converts into Serotonin and it does cross the blood brain barrier. The literature says not to use the two together.

Personally, I could never tolerate the SE's of SSRI or SNRI's. SNRI's inhibit the reuptake of both Serotonin and Norepinephrine. Same theory as above.

The Benzos work on the GABA receptors, completely different from the above. It gets very confusing as to what is what. You can get peripheral levels drawn, but they are useless as they change up all day long and do NOT correlate with the levels in the brain. To get a brain level, you would need a Lumbar puncture. But, this is even useless as if you look at the ranges of what is "Normal", the gap is huge. What is normal for one person is not normal for another.

Not to mention, if you look at the literature or your hand out with your prescription, it clearly states "the exact mechanism of action is not fully understood". So basically, your a lab rat when getting these prescibed, and I'm referring to the SSRI's and SNRI's. Benzos are pretty simple and very well understood.

Klonopin is a great drug as it has a long half life and steady state levels are achieved. Whereas drugs like Xanax, Valium, etc. have short half lives and you have peaks and valleys. Taking these drugs long enough will create rebound anxiety when the drug wears off or better put, when you are in the "valley".

I have found that w Lyme, the anxiety produced is not necessarily related to GABA. In fact, even to this day, Xanax and the like only give me sedation, but do nothing for the anxiety I get. This was a clue early on for me that something else was causing this. In my case, I strongly believe it was Sympathetic overdrive without Parasympathetic response.

Reading through posts, it appears many have this as well. Benzos and even AD's will have no effect on this type of anxiety / depression.

I have found however, that low dose narcotics do help to calm the CNS. Personally, I can take a 5mg Percocet, cut it into 1/4's and take 1/4 of the 5mg table and this does calm my CNS and eliminate the anxiety I get associated with the Sympathetic overdrive type of anxiety.

Tramadol (Ultram) is another good drug for this. This drug goes to work on the mu receptors in the brain, which are similar to the opiate receptors. But they also have an affinity for both Serotonin and Norepinephrine inhibition for the reuptake response. So, it's like 3 in 1.

Again, this is from my own research and my own experience. I'm just sharing it with you and of course can't recommend it for legal reasons, but this is what I know and has been a strong focus of my clinical research.

I should finish this by saying that SSRI's, SNRI's do work for some people. Statistics show that 1/3rd of people that take them receive benefit, while the other 2/3 don't. Included in the 2/3 are those that can't tolerate these meds. This has to do with Methylation and other things that I can't get into here as it gets very complex.

Hope this helps someone...........

Posted by B4LYME (Member # 23222) on :
Thanks for the replies. I know the anxiety and depression are from the lyme and will go away with treatment.

I just was wondering if during treatment these things are just managed or if they can actually go away while on treatment. Hope that makes sense.
Posted by triathletelymie (Member # 26456) on :

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