About 15 years ago I was going through a very difficult and agonizing family upheaval. I was angry, not depressed, and felt the need to talk to a psychologist. Unfortunately, my insurance didn’t cover the services of a psychologist (who can’t prescribe medications), but it did include visits to psychiatrists.
I am no expert, nor am I a medical professional, but I have learned how to research and discover much-needed information about harmful pharmaceuticals. In this article, I will be sharing my personal experience with NSRI Anti-depressants (Nor-Epinephrine, Serotonin, Re-uptake Inhibitors.) Since two brain chemicals are involved, NSRI’s are much more difficult to taper (reduce dosage) than the older SSRI anti-depressants like Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil.
WARNING: NEVER STOP TAKING THESE DRUGS WITHOUT A SLOW TAPER, IT CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS.
Unfortunately, most doctors either don’t know how dangerous these drugs can be, or they are willing dupes for the Pharmaceutical Industry. My doctor still insists that anti-depressants are not addictive. They may not be addictive in the same way as codeine or other narcotics, but because of their various “mechanisms of action” and the fact that they don’t allow your brain’s important neurotransmitters to flow naturally, your brain becomes accustomed to always having these neurotransmitters “at the ready.” When you decide that you may no longer need the medication and try to taper safely, you are hit with what is commonly known as “brain zaps.” These “brain zaps” are very disconcerting and can drive a person to distraction. I found myself quickly upping my dose to prevent this phenomenon. Follow-up research allowed me to more efficiently handle the “zaps” because I understood they were happening because my brain was starting to work normally again. The “zaps” are created because the brain is forced to once again “fire at the synapse” as a way of asking for the serotonin and nor-epinephrine that had been so readily available while on the drug.
An additional, important aspect of anti-depressants is their “mechanisms of action,” for reasons not completely understood they provide pain relief. A couple of months before my visit to the psychiatrist, I had injured the rotator cuff on my right arm, and the pain was excruciating. Shortly after starting the NSRI called Effexor XR, the pain subsided. I mentioned this to the doctor, and he told me that there can be pain relief from these drugs. That was indeed my experience, and it was another reason I was unable to successfully taper from them for so long.
This pain relief aspect has added an “off-label” general use of this harmful pharmaceutical which has enabled the drug companies to make even more money and create havoc for more people. The information below is quoted from https://www.mayoclinic.org/pain-medications/art-20045647
Antidepressants: Another Weapon against Chronic Pain
Although not specifically intended to treat chronic pain, antidepressants are a mainstay in the treatment of many chronic pain conditions, even when depression isn’t recognized as a factor.
Antidepressants seem to work best for pain caused by:
- Nerve damage from diabetes (diabetic neuropathy)
- Nerve damage from shingles (postherpetic neuralgia)
- Nerve pain from other causes (peripheral neuropathy, spinal cord injury, stroke, radiculopathy)
- A tension headache
- A migraine
- Facial pain
- Low back pain
- Pelvic pain
The painkilling mechanism of these drugs still isn’t fully understood. Antidepressants may increase neurotransmitters in the spinal cord that reduce pain signals, but they don’t work immediately.
You may feel some relief from an antidepressant after a week or so, but maximum relief may take several weeks. People generally experience moderate pain relief from antidepressants.
Medications from other drug classes with distinct mechanisms of pain relief (such as anticonvulsants) may be used in combination with antidepressant class medications if pain relief with antidepressants is incomplete.
END OF MAYO CLINIC QUOTE
Sure, let’s add another pharmaceutical to the mix.
Fortunately, my research led me to MIT Scientist, Dr. Stephanie Seneff. Much can be learned from her papers and research. Here is the link to her MIT homepage – https://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/
Dr. Seneff’s essential work focuses on the harmful effects of glyphosate and how it is depleting the soil of its vital nutrients and thus destroying our health. She has also studied the relationship between glyphosate and autism. The following video, less than 7 minutes in length, provides valuable insight into the cause of many diseases. In this video, she discusses the sulfur/sulfate connection.
Could This Be the Root Cause of Inflammation and Many Modern Diseases?
This video interview with Dr. Seneff changed my life. After viewing it, I was able to understand that our body will do whatever it can to keep our blood supplied with necessary cholesterol sulfate. Here is a quote from the video:
“I worked out a theory that cholesterol sulfate is synthesized in the skin in response to sunlight. This is a really important thing that happens. The way that animals have been able to capture sunlight and make use of it and hold on to that energy from the sun and make use of it through making this sulfate anion and sticking it onto the cholesterol and shipping it out. This ends up being a major source of the supply of both cholesterol and sulfate to all the tissues, but especially the blood and the blood really, really depends on cholesterol sulfate to be healthy, particularly the red blood cells.”
In another quote we learn:
“The blood always tries to maintain these charge issues (i.e., negative and positive) which is hard to do without enough sulfate. So I think there is a sulfate crisis going on that triggers all these diseases and the diseases can be explained very simply. Things like arthritis, Alzheimer’s, or various gut disorders. All of these can be explained by this inflammation going on in that tissue. The inflammation is causing the body to attack the extracellular matrix where there is lots of sulfate, and it actually breaks off those sulfated molecules around the knee joint (as an example) in order to get them into the blood to save the blood, but meanwhile, the knee is getting destroyed. So you are basically sacrificing some organ for the sake of the blood, and it is essential because if blood doesn’t flow you are dead.”
I feel this final quote is very important:
“Researchers are appreciating that inflammation is the cause of all diseases, it’s a sort of “mantra” these days. But, no one says, well, what is the cause of inflammation? The thing is you need the inflammation in order to get the superoxide to make the sulfate.”
Please forgive all the technical jargon. I added these quotes from the video to get to my “Aha!” moment. Because of the use of the glyphosate herbicide and genetically modified ingredients found in our food supply, our bodies require a supplement or amino acid (the building blocks of protein) to provide for the low or missing sulfur that it is unable to obtain naturally. Some of these supplements are Taurine, ALA – alpha lipoic acid, MSM – methyl sulfonyl methane. I take an amino acid called N-acetyl cysteine (NAC).
The results I’ve obtained from the use of NAC didn’t happen overnight, but after a couple of months of NAC usage, my arthritis no longer caused me pain. It was a revelation. So, I wondered if it could also be helping with my rotator cuff injury and decided to, once again, try to taper off the NSRI anti-depressant Efexxor XR. I had been taking three 37.5 mg extended-release capsules daily for a total of 112.5 mg. In the past reducing the dose below 100 mg a day caused my rotator cuff pain to return. This time, however, my reduction to 75 mg per day was a success, no rotator cuff pain. I stayed at this dosage for 4-6 weeks to allow my body to adjust to the change. After that, I reduced the dose from 75 mg per day to 37.5 mg per day. Again, success.
Then came the final phase which was the most difficult. After 4-6 weeks of taking only one 37.5 mg capsule, I tried an every-other-day dosage of 37.5 mg. This reduction caused terrible “brain zaps,” and I was forced to return to ingesting one capsule daily. I feared that I would not be able to taper from the drug entirely. This undesirable possibility led me to do a bit more research, and I discovered that people had found success during the final stage by removing some of the time-release beads contained in the capsule. I decided to try this approach. The 37.5 mg capsule contained approximately 38 beads, so I started by removing five beads and maintained that dose for a couple of weeks. After that, I removed ten beads and so on. After a couple of months, I was finally freed from this terrible drug. I still experienced some “brain zaps,” but they were a small price to pay. I have been anti-depressant free for close to 6 months now and the “brain zaps” are a thing of the past.
In closing I would like to ad
for this article was to show that there are natural supplements, amino acids, and vitamins that can improve our overall health. Harmful pharmaceuticals aren’t necessarily needed. The amino acid, N acetyl cysteine is working very well for me. I continue to take it because it continues to prevent pain from arthritis and my rotator cuff injury. As a caveat, there is a very small percentage of the population that could form kidney stones from taking NAC. Because of this, it should be taken with Vitamin C and a Vitamin B6 supplement. I purchase my NAC and B6 from a company called NutraBio. Their vitamins and amino acids are pharmaceutical grade and contain no excipients and they are very reasonably priced. Their website is: https://www.nutrabio.com/
Instead of Vitamin C, that is synthetic ascorbic acid, I prefer the organic, natural Vitamin C made from berries that is produced by a company called NutriGold. It is a bit more expensive than ascorbic acid Vitamin C, but in my opinion taking a natural, organic supplement is preferred. I purchase my NutriGold Vit C through Amazon, the Amazon product number is B00B0F6EAO. I have no connection to any of these companies nor do I receive any money for these recommendations
Please feel free to ask any questions. I am not a medical professional, but I’m confident that I can assist you in your search for additional information.
I am currently in the process of tapering from another pharmaceutical/anti-anxiety drug – Ativan, a Benzodiazepine. I plan to detail that journey in a follow-up article.