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[personal profile] cellomusette
My basic brain issue can be described as ongoing depression with anxiety, and some complex PTSD.
For years, meds providers have been treating just the depression, with SSRIs, thinking this was the main issue and that the anxiety would naturally abate. My recent experience with going off my prescription SSRI contradicts all that.

I do need to be supplemented with something that provides an SSRI function. My brain sucks up serotonin like a sponge, and I become a moody miserable nonfunctional bastard. Who somehow retains a flatness in my affect. No, we don't want THAT! But: how much SSRI dosing do I need? The answer: Not tons. Just enough to make a difference, without turning me into a zombie. Luckily, I'm sensitive to medications, and St John's wort/hypericum works for me. The benefit of the herb is it's strong enough to boost my serotonin, but mild enough to leave my mental energy and creative force intact. I have more drive, ambition and clarity than I've had in years, possibly ever.
(Still taking fish oil, too. High dose of omega-3 = increased grey matter function and reduced inflammation in the body and brain. Do the math. It's a win.)

The trouble with hypericum: for me, it doesn't treat anxiety. I find myself having difficulty compartmentalizing emotions that come to the surface because I'm used to having them stuffed down by the old drugs. And anxiety, if it goes steadily for long enough, crashes me into a depressive funk. So: it MUST be treated. I've had poor results with magnesium supplements, 5-HTP and chamomile.

What works for anxiety, for me, is diazepam (Valium). It does not make me sleepy, if I take it for anxiety (and I don't take it for anything else, really). It does not make me feel "high". It does not give me an artificial feeling of everything being right with the world.
It just makes me normal and functional so I can go about my day in a good mood.
It stops me from involuntarily tensing up my body in reaction to stress.
It has NO side-effects. No weight gain, no headaches or dry mouth or stomach upset or hangover.
IT JUST WORKS.

Now, if I can figure out a dosing schedule that works for me, I may be able to get my brainpan under control.
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