Posted by Tomatheus on September 3, 2011, at 16:15:50
Four weeks ago, I began taking a dietary supplement called ATP-20, which is made by Douglas Laboratories. I had read some anecdotal reports from patients were taking the supplement for chronic fatigue syndrome and noticing significant improvements in their energy levels, and I thought that ATP-20 would be worth trying for my chronic, treatment-resistant anergic depression.
Before I start writing about the benefits that I've experienced since I started taking ATP-20, let me first give a brief background on my anergic depression. My symptoms first set in during the spring of 2000 after several months of intense stress and long-term sleep deprivation. Once I finally started getting enough sleep on a regular basis after having partially deprived myself of sleep each day for months, I noticed that I wasn't feeling the same way I was before I went through my stressful, sleep-deprived period. I was mentally and emotionally exhausted, my sleep was no longer refreshing, I slept too much, and my thinking was significantly slowed down. These symptoms persisted, even after I had been practicing good sleep hygiene (once again) for months. Basically, my depressive symptoms were lack of energy, psychomotor retardation, hypersomnia, circadian-rhythm abnormalities, difficulty concentrating, and anhedonia. Over the years, I've been through psychotherapy and have tried many medications for my anergic depression. To make a long story short, the only treatment that ever significantly relieved my anergic depression for more than a few days at a time was the MAOI antidepressant Nardil. However, some of the medications that I've taken have also left me feeling much different than I was before I started taking them, notably lithium, which left me with a tremor and agitation after I stopped taking it, and aminoguanidine, which left me with psychotic symptoms, cognitive impairment, intellectual impairment, and restlessness. My original depressive symptoms still remain, but have been complicated by the additional symptoms that seem to be tied to my use of lithium and aminoguanidine.
Anyway, in addition to having participated in psychotherapy and taken medications, I've also tried a lot of dietary supplements for my anergic depression and for the symptoms that emerged after I took lithium and aminoguanidine, and for the most part, I've had little success with the supplements. I take a few supplements regularly under the supervision of my psychiatrist (in addition to the medication that I take), but the benefits of these supplements are fairly weak. One problem that's emerged with a lot of the supplements that I've tried is that some of them work to a degree on my concentration difficulties and other depressive symptoms for a day, a few days, or at most, a week, and then stop working completely. Fortunately, the ATP-20 that I'm taking doesn't seem to have this problem. If it stops working for me, at least I'll be able to say that I experienced four weeks of significant relief from some of my symptoms on it.
So, what benefits have I noticed from taking ATP-20? For starters, my hypersomnia is less severe than it was before I started taking the supplement. Instead of sleeping 10-11 hours every night, I'm finally sleeping 8-9 hours a night. And now that I've been taking ATP-20 for four weeks, I'm both falling asleep and waking up a few hours earlier than I was before I started the supplement. Another symptom that's improved for me is my concentration. Before I started taking ATP-20, my concentration was so poor that I had difficulty reading short news articles. Now, I'm spending a lot more time reading, and I've even finished off two books in the past four weeks. Finally, my psychomotor retardation is somewhat less severe than it was before I started taking ATP-20. Even though I'm not thinking quite as clearly and quickly as I'd like to, I've noticed some nice improvement in these areas since I've been on ATP-20.
I wouldn't say that my anergic depression is in remission by any means or that I'm not still experiencing substantial impairment from the symptoms that manifested themselves after I took aminoguanidine, but I can say that ATP-20 has significantly improved the quality of my life and that it's given me more symptom relief than any other dietary supplement that I've tried. At this point, I can't say enough good things about ATP-20, but if my situation with the supplement changes, I'll be sure to post an update.
Suffers from anergic depression and aminoguanidine-induced psychosis and cognitive impairment, diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder.
Taking 5 mg Abilify, 2.25 mg Hydergine, and five supplements.