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KarD786: Looking to begin anti-depressant therapy, neurogenesis question


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Hello all, and thank you for any help/advice.


I have been doing more and more research on anti-depressants, and am looking to get on a short-term therapy treatment after telling myself for months that I would never resort to using them.


A little about my history. I am a 21 year old male who, up until a year ago, was living the life. My fitness health was in great standing, I was a straight A University student, and was happy all of the time. About a year ago, we briefly lost our medical insurance, and I started self medicating my thyroid medication. As a result I was not under doctor administration and put myself in a hyperthyroid state for almost a year. Even though we had regained insurance, the short term effects of being hyperthyroid made me happy and I stayed on them. Little did I know that thyroid hormone has a direct relationship with cortisol, and that I was flooding my body and organs with tons of cortisol.


After about six months I started getting fatigued, hypoglycemia, and a host of other side effects and at the time I did not know that it was the thyroid. During this time, my parents had also divorced, and there began coming tons of stress from there. So for the last year, I have been permanently stressed so to speak. Even if there was no outside aggresor, my elevated thyroid hormone had my adrenals working overtime.


Fast forward to Janurary of this year, I finally attributed the thyroid hormone to the reason for all my side effects. I was still feeling stable at this time and motivated for the future. It took about six weeks of feeling like crap and finally getting my thyroid numbers normal.


However while this was happening, I was having insane early morning awakenings, and was unable to enter deep sleep. After waiting for the thyroid medication to stabalize, I went to a sleep doctor and got diagnosed with sleep apnea. That began another three months of stress and waiting for treatment for that.


At this point, my morale is completely dead. I am constantly fatigued (thyroid is perfect now), have no appetite, have lost interest in everything I loved, procrastinate in school (I still maintain an A average but it is a drag where as I used to enjoy nothing more than doing homework), and sometimes even getting dressed is a complete drag for me.


Now I am not an extremely depressed person in general and have a lot to look forward to in life. In my opinion and from my research, my mild-moderate depression is due to a shrinking of the hippocampus from the literally constant stress I have put my body through. I don't think I neccesarily have an imbalance so to speak.


Would going on anti-depressants for a short period (6 months or so) help me reap the benefits of the neurogenesis of the hippoacampus and other brain areas?


I made an ill-informed decision as a 19 year old to self-medicate, not knowing the effects that I was battling just for a slight boost in metabolism. I still have the drive to do many things to be honest, but I then get shunted by fatigue and negative thoughts.


Any advice/personal experiences are welcomed. Thank you!

Edited by Petu
added paragraphs for readability
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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi KarD786,


This is your lucky day :)   Coming here may have saved you from making your second ill-informed decision.  This is a support site full of people who have taken various antidepressants and related drugs who are now suffering with adverse effects, side effects and withdrawal symptoms from trying to stop taking them.


I started taking zoloft, an antidepressant, in 1997.  I went on it for anxiety, not depression.  It worked fairly well to suppress some of the anxiety I generally experienced, but within a few weeks, I was experiencing the worst feelings of emptiness and meaninglessness that I had ever felt.  I had no idea this was being caused by the 'antidepressant', so I kept taking it.  You can look at my signature line for the rest of my miserable story. I wish I had never started on the things, what I'm going through now is a hundred times worse than the anxiety I started with.


If I were in your situation, I would give yourself some more time to heal naturally from the imbalance caused by the thyroid medication you took.  Diet, exercise and lifestyle changes have been shown to be more effective for mild to moderate depression than drugs.  Counseling would be a safer method for dealing with any feelings of loss or sadness related to your parents divorce. Negative thinking can be treated very successfully with cognitive behavior therapy.


Our brain and nervous system are extremely complex systems, throwing random chemicals in there, which are not properly tested, can cause damage which can be difficult for some people to recover from.


You have written that you have done some research on antidepressants. I'm wondering if you have researched the negative aspects.  Robert Whittaker did and he wrote a book about his findings here:  Anatomy of an epidemic


Here are some unrecognized facts about psychiatric drugs from The Council for Evidence Based Psychiatry in the UK:




A link to a chapter of a book available online:  Psychiatric Drugs: Cure or Quackery by Wayne Ramsay, J.D.


You may find some some ideas to help with your fatigue and negative thinking in our topic:


Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms


I'm sure others will be along soon to share their experiences and opinions.





I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?

VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?

VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?

VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes




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There is no short term antidepressant therapy.

Once you're on one of these things and they're working for you (a month or two), it's almost impossible to get off

again-without a lot of suffering. Suffering symptoms so awful you can't even imagine. Always much much worse

than whatever you're experiencing before going on them.

Dr.s don't understand about the hell of tapering and post tapering withdrawal.

Save yourself another big drug mistake and pass on the antidepressant.

All of the problems you talk about can be addressed through therapy-preferably Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

If you don't believe me, read some of the personal stories on this site.

Antidepressants should only be used in extremely severe cases of depression-as in when a person doesn't get out of bed anymore

and soils the bedding. Drs misrepresent antidepressants as being benign. They are exactly the opposite.

Do whatever you have to do to get through your current problems with therapy-whatever time, money or expense-it's worth avoiding the suffering they can cause.     

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

hello KarD and welcome!


I couldn't agree more with Petu that today is your lucky day! I believe each and every person on this site would do everything to be in your place and reconsider their decision to take ADs. They are the reason we are here, a lot of us suffering very badly. I think I was your age when I decided to change my initial opinion of no to drugs and decided to give them a chance. How I regretted it! My situation was complex so it took many years of therapy yo resolve it and now when it did, drugs are my biggest problem in life. I actually think they didn't do anything for me in the first place...


I believe we could all sign under what Hudgens and Petu wrote and Petu gave you some great sites and suggested some books that anyone making a decision should read.


You are being remarkably responsible and mature in your decision making process and I have no doubt that you will make a good choice for yourself. It's better to feel a bit low for some time than expose oneself to this...




Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Kar, I would like to add Dr Peter Breggin's video, What is medication spellbinding, to the excellent suggestions

already made. 


I think it is a very good thing you came here and decided to do some research before falling into the rabbit warren

of psychiatry.  The truth is that depression is not a chemical imbalance as was claimed for many years.  

Doctors give out tablets to cure this so called imbalance but stopping them after 6 months is a fantasy! 

Coming off them is a nightmare for many people, and they end up back on them because doctors say their 

illness has returned, when it is actually withdrawal that causing problems on stopping. 

I, like many others here, started a 'short' course of antidepressants after some very stressful events and that

started a 20 year nightmare of being polydrugged and hospitalised.  Then I was told I had a severe mental

illness and needed drugs for the rest of my life. Those drugs made me so sick I was bedridden! 


That is just me, you can read many many similar stories here.  It's great to have you join us before getting to 

that same place, now you can take an alternative route and avoid that rabbit hole! 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.



Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014


Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 


My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33


Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible



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  • Administrator

Welcome, KarD.


I see you have a question about antidepressants causing neurogenesis. Did your doctor tell you this was a beneficial effect?


Antidepressants causing purported neurogenesis has been observed in mice, but the degree and quality of neurogenesis has never been demonstrated. For example, neurogenesis induced by antidepressants has never been compared, even in mice, to neurogenesis induced by exercise. And, in humans, to reading a good book, or anything else that might be mental stimulation.

(By the way, the process of making mice "depressed" would be laughable if it didn't involve tormenting the mice.)


No  one has ever demonstrated this neurogenesis is a good thing. In fact, neurogenesis is seen by neurologists as a symptom of brain injury.


It is an undisputed fact that antidepressants distort the sleep cycle. One thing that happens during the sleep cycle is the brain "prunes" unneeded dendrites -- a normal process like optimizing your computer. Is this neurogenesis due to interference in this essential pruning function?

Is it possible, for example, that whatever new cells are produced, they might be wiped out by the stress of withdrawal? (See Harvey, 2003.)

As usual, psychiatry relies on studies that haven't been properly controlled, where whatever benefit is claimed for antidepressants has not been compared to less-invasive treatments or even normal fluctuations in emotional state. Clearly antidepressant-induced neurogenesis (if it exists) is not an unmixed blessing.


For example, a common side effect of even short-term antidepressant use is sexual dysfunction.

And finally, emotional anesthesia is a common outcome of antidepressant usage.








I question whether you can call this a victory over depression.

So if antidepressants "work" by inducing neurogenesis, we have yet to prove a functional benefit from it.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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