Posted by abstract on December 3, 2004, at 19:23:48
In reply to Re: why not dopamine for depression? » SLS, posted by zeugma on December 3, 2004, at 18:20:12
This is a very interesting thread. I have often wondered and researched myself about the dopaminergic qualities of various medications and their affect on depression. I have some catching up to do but wanted to reply to several posts. Please forgive...this is going to be a little long.
First a little background. I have been diagnosed with several illnesses however only a few 'stuck' thru various psychiatrists over 10 years and several hospitalizations. First I was diagnosed bipolar. Im not. Then obsessive compulsive which is true as I was a checker of stoves and door locks as a kid and started having irrational fears in my adult life which included full blown panic attacks, anxiety, obsessive worrying....you know the drill. For the last 2 years the anxiety has been gone (probably due to my ex-wife being out of my life ha ha) and mostly depression remained.
Im not a doctor but just another person who has been forced to dedicate many years of his life studying this crap but here is what I have found....
I currently take provigil, effexor and abilify. Provigil has caused no anxiety. Rather it has taken me out of the slump I have found myself in over the last few years. I noticed a difference after > 3 days <. I started on Paxil along with the benzos many years ago which worked for a while. After a few years paxil stopped working and I switched to Effexor which I continue to take. About 1 1/2 months ago my doc started me on provigil. Its has done good things but not drastic. The MOST interesting thing about Provigil is that noone knows how it works. This is pretty scary but I think that many medical professionals do not know how most of this stuff works anyway.
The latest additive to the mix is Abilify. Actually an anti-psychotic with stats on treating depression. I started taking this several weeks ago only to stop after 4 days because of anxiety. HOWEVER, after 3 days of being off it I had an AWESOME 3 days. Energy, high mood lift, almost hypomanic which coming from depression I would take in a hearbeat (not mania, hypomania). I started researching dopamine heavily. Abilify's main action is to regular the dopamine receptors. At first I didnt think it was going to work for me as most schizophrenics have too high a level of dopamine and these drugs limit the level.
I started taking Abilify again after telling my doctor I wanted to test it again but at half the dose. I am on my 5th day now and am STARTING to feel the same affects I did before after stopping. (basically starting to feel pretty good) Its my own little experiment with the docs approval.
I tested out L-Tyrosine which is supposed to be a precursor to dopamine but it didnt do anything for me. I dont know if I took the correct amount or stayed with it long enough but decided I didnt want to add to the mix of an already complicated problem I am trying to solve. You see, I have for the most part given up on the psychiatrists. I go to one regularly and she is very good at letting me say my 2 cents about what I feel is working. I would be interested in anyone else's experience with L-Tyrosine and other natural supplements.
Anxiety is usually caused by too much norepinephrine which Wellbutrin is very good at acting on directly, effexor also works on this chemical. I took wellbutrin several years ago but it shot my anxiety so high I was in bad shape and had to stop. This makes sense now seeing what it does. It is a wonderful drug for many people. I actually thought about starting on it again as my illness has somewhat 'migrated' to a less-anxious depression. Not sure. Effexor is supposed to work on the same chemical and it hasnt caused me anxiety either.
If I have mistated anything I welcome any comments, corrections, questions etc...im on the path to learning more about this just like everyone else.