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Re: Effexor w/ Traz or Remeron; which better for sleep

Posted by redjr on May 17, 2005, at 9:39:23

In reply to Re: Effexor w/ Traz or Remeron; which better for sleep, posted by StayceeIB on May 16, 2005, at 20:06:43

> just wondering has anyone here ever said NO to meds and tried to just beat the anxiety and depression with out? Ok with out daily meds and some ativan when needed and no sleep aid even though it is impossible to sleep(ambien does not work tho I have it)???? I really am anti-med ..but not sure if i will get worse or will i be ok with alot of hard work with my therapist..
> anyone thoughts ?? advice?

I understand where you're going with that argument, and if depression were simply a 'state-of-mind', then I would say there's some merit. However, more often than not, depression is related to a chemical imbalance in the brain. This in turn can upset proper hormone levels that help to keep us functioning in a normal world - and more importantly in a 'normal' way. In the stress related world we all live in it can even be more devastating when the levels are out of wack - for whatever reason. At a minimum ADs have helped millions by 'leveling the playing field' in what otherwise would be an intolerable world.

I don't see problems with our brain and associated glands any differently then other organs of our body that are treated every day with chemicals to treat and fight disease. Would you just say NO to aspirin if you had a headache? Would you just say NO to penicillin if you had pneumonia? Would you just say NO to vitamin C if you had a bad cold? Would you say NO to a cast if you broke your arm? Why would you say NO to certain ADs if they help to pull you out of the depths of severe depression - possibly brought on by a chemical imbalance?

Let me relate a personal story where I acted as my own advocate suggesting many times what the physicians might be looking for. About 5 years ago, I was plagued with fatigue, lack of strength, and general malaise. My GP at the time could not find anything physically wrong with me. But depsite the medical communities efforts, I continued to battle the symptoms, subtle loss of muscle mass, lack of any sex drive and interest, concentration, focus, memory and others. Sounds like depression doesn't it? I scoured the Internet for answers. After a couple of years of no answers, I developed a severe pain in left shoulder that shot down my right leg via the sciatica nerve. My GP referred me to an orthopedic specialist. At the end of his exam, while he was writing prescriptions for related lab tests I asked him if it would be a good idea to get a bone density test as well. He asked if I had some history with fractures, and I told there had been a couple of incidents. He agreed to the bone density test.

His tests revealed a degenerated disc in my neck that was pinching a nerve affecting my shoulder and leg. But more importantly, the bone density test(BDT) revealed something far more sinister going on with my body. Due to the positive results of the BDT he referred me to a local endocrinologist(endo).

The endo prescribed more test - blood work for testosterone and other hormone levels, as well as an MRI of my brain. The results were very interesting to say the least.

The blood work revealed that my testosterone level was way off the chart in the wrong direction (read low) for a 51 yr old man. The MRI revealed further clues to the mystery - a benign micronoma(cyst) on my pituitary gland. So, as a result he started me on testosterone injections, as well as Fosamax for bone density supplement. That was 2 years ago. The testosterone alone has made me feel like a new man - with a renewed lease on my sexual life! My muscle mass is improving and bones are getting stronger.

I'm not a doctor, but I do know the pituitary gland is vitally important to our overall well-being. It's kind of like a hormone traffic cop, that regulates the control of many other adrenal glands, testes and other organs via an internal feedback system. It's buried at the base/stem of our brain(probably for the added protection it needs) because it is so vital. Now, is it possible that a cyst could upset the delicate balance and flow of signals sent to and from the pituitary gland causing possible chemical imbalance of other hormones? Quite possible ideed.

I will agree that many times general medicine treats the symptoms and not the root cause. We do know that stress can directly affect the proper functioning of our bodies as well. But, in many cases there can be something that's physically out of wack that manisfests itself in physical, or 'mental' sysmptoms.

Sorry for such a long post.





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