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Mikegs96: Is there any hope for me after many years of being on psych meds. Since I was 11

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Mikegs96

My drug history is being on Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Prozac, Lexapro, Buspar, Trazodone, Vyvanse, Adderal, Celexa, rexulti, and EMSam which is an MAOI inhibitor. I was mostly on a medication called celexa and Vyvanse throughout middle school and high school. But was started on Zoloft when I was 11 which I was on for a year.

I stopped taking the Celexa abruptly after maybe 8 or 9 years of being on it and ended up in a psychiatric hospital. Where they diagnosed it as a recurrence of depressive symptoms. For over a year in 2018 I was put on and off different medications. I was dealing with symptoms like anhedonia, insomnia, depersonalization, derealization. So they ended up trying me on a bunch of different medications like the ones listed above. The last two medications that I was on was EMSam and Trazodone for insomnia, which I ended up stopping abruptly after three weeks. 

 

I started to realize that trying all of these different medications probably were making me worse. I'm a lot more mentally stable in the sense that I'm barely having crying spells anymore. But I'm still dealing with symptoms like Derealization, depersonalization, anhedonia, insomnia, and barely being able to concentrate enough to read. 

 

I have been trying supplements to deal with the symptoms like Melatonin, Vitamin B12, Magnesium, and Inositol powder. I'm taking about 18 grams of Inositol each day since I have read that it can resensitize my serotonin receptors. And even tried two ketamine infusions to see if it will help with the healing process. I'm also thinking about going to a sleep study.

I'm just worried that I will have to deal with anhedonia and insomnia for life since I was started on medications while my brain was still developing. I also smoked marijuana heavily in high school. My main question is if there is any hope of getting better? Or is my brain just permanently damaged from all of this.

 

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Gridley

Hello, Mikegs96, and welcome to SA.  Yes, there is every hope of getting better.  No, your brain is not permanently damaged.  The brain has remarkable abilities to heal itself, known as neuroplasticity.  There are several cases we're familiar with where children were drugged with psychiatric drugs and went on to a drug-free healing as adults.  It's a very good sign that you're more mentally stable now.

 

To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.  A list format is preferable.  Please also list supplements.
 
 
The symptoms you developed after abruptly stopping Celexa are typical withdrawal symptoms.  Unfortunately, psychiatrists are not trained to recognize and do not believe in extended antidepressant withdrawal and invariably diagnose them as "return of the underlying condition" and put the patient on a merry-go-round of drug, as happened in your case.  Your continuing symptoms, such as insomnia, derealization nd anhedonia are attributable to continuing withdrawal from the Celexa, compounded by the destabilizing effects of all the other drugs they tried you on.  Here is some information on withdrawal, so you will have an understanding of what you're experiencing.
 
 
 
It has been our experience that anhedonia and your other symptoms will fade with time.  Unfortunately, no one knows the amount of time necessary to healing.  Every person is different.  
 
Because you were on these drugs while your brain was still developing, you may not have developed some of the non-drug coping skills needed for dealing with withdrawal and with life.  Here are a link that should be helpful in this area:
 
 
We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium, which you're already taking, and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system.  I've found magnesium glycerinate to be a calming form of magnesium.

 

 

 

Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.
 
Regarding Melatonin, some members have found it helpful with insomnia.   
 
 
It's best to start at a very low dosage, such as .25mg, and gradually increase if needed to the lowest effective dose.  A higher dosage, such as 3mg, can have a paradoxical effect.
 
Here is some information on inositol.  From what we know, time is the only thing that will resensitize neurotransmitters and get them back on line, but good luck.

Inositol - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

 

This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions, post updates and connect with other members.  Please let us know how you're doing.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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Mikegs96

Is the insomnia and concentration problems something that gets better with time too, along with my appetite? Because right now I get between 3-5 hours of sleep a night. There's also articles like this that concern me.

https://www.madinamerica.com/2013/08/ssri-discontinuation-is-even-more-problematic-than-acknowledged/

it pretty much says some people never end up getting better and that you end up with a condition called tardive dysphoria. 

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julia955

There is absolutely hope for you, and I'm living proof- I was put on antidepressants at age 5, and I've been 100% free of them for a year now and am doing very well.

 

I'm not going to lie, tapering was a very difficult process for me (although I made it 100x worse than it needed to be because I was ignorant about how to help myself at the time and made many bad decisions), but there is light at the end of the tunnel. I completely sympathize with the anger you must feel about being put on them so young, before you could understand or consent. This is something I've really intensely grappled with, but now I am just so happy to be feeling better. It's definitely not too late for you. The body and brain are amazing at healing themselves when given patience and the right knowledge and tools.

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Mikegs96
26 minutes ago, julia955 said:

There is absolutely hope for you, and I'm living proof- I was put on antidepressants at age 5, and I've been 100% free of them for a year now and am doing very well.

 

I'm not going to lie, tapering was a very difficult process for me (although I made it 100x worse than it needed to be because I was ignorant about how to help myself at the time and made many bad decisions), but there is light at the end of the tunnel. I completely sympathize with the anger you must feel about being put on them so young, before you could understand or consent. This is something I've really intensely grappled with, but now I am just so happy to be feeling better. It's definitely not too late for you. The body and brain are amazing at healing themselves when given patience and the right knowledge and tools.

 

Is it still possible even after being on all the medications I listed?and do the symptoms like insomnia, anhedonia, brain fog, concentration problems, and memory problems eventually get better? I'm just worried because I also smoked marijuana heavely in high school. Right now my insomnia is even worse and I have been up since last night without even feeling slightly tired. Which I read could be because I decided to supplement with 20grams of inositol last night. But anyway my main question is it still possible even after being put on medications for over a year to treat the symptoms I was having from stopping celexa abruptly? I didn't bother tapering the EMSam patch because I was only on it for two weeks before I got out of the psych hospital and that was over a month ago now. By tools do you mean supplements or something? I think from being on so many psych meds over the years REM sleep was completely destroyed for me. Because I never have dreams anymore when I do sleep

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Altostrata

Welcome, Mike.

 

What drugs are you on, which drugs have you come off recently, at what dosages, and when?

 

Insomnia and concentration problems are very common withdrawal symptoms. Generally, people very gradually recover from them. But if you're recently off drugs, you may be able to reinstate a tiny amount, such as 1mg, and circumvent a long healing process. You'd taper off later.

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Mikegs96
22 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

Welcome, Mike.

 

What drugs are you on, which drugs have you come off recently, at what dosages, and when?

 

Insomnia and concentration problems are very common withdrawal symptoms. Generally, people very gradually recover from them. But if you're recently off drugs, you may be able to reinstate a tiny amount, such as 1mg, and circumvent a long healing process. You'd taper off later.

Right now I'm not on any psych meds.

I was on the 6mg/24h EMSam patch for around 2 weeks. It's an MAOI inhibitor. I was on it for the first two weeks of march I think it was.  Stopped taking it abruptly after I got out from the psych hospital. This may not have to do with withdrawal but is it possible that I'm not even entering REM sleep anymore? Cause I get between 3-4 hours of sleep every night and never have dreams. I'm not on any drugs right now but have been on and off psych meds since I was around 11. Mostly stimulants and anti-depressants. Plus all the meds I was prescribed which was to treat the symptoms that they thought was recurrent symptoms of depression. After I went off of celexa abruptly 

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julia955

Yes, it's still possible. Are you taking anything now? I can tell you from my own experience that all of the symptoms you listed did get better for me, it's a slow process but things do heal. I'm a completely different person (in a good way) than the person I was in early stages of withdrawal. I'm amazed every day at how much my brain genuinely did heal. In terms of the marijuana, I really don't think that caused any kind of permanent lasting damage that would interfere with healing now. I wouldn't recommend smoking during this process, though. 

 

I dealt with the insomnia as well. I would often be up all night. That's completely passed for me and my sleeping habits are totally normalized now. And yes, by tools I meant knowing what to expect, practicing patience, learning how to maintain an inner calm and hope during the process, and slowly trying things like some supplements or diet changes. This website has a ton of information and testimonials from people who are going through the same thing and found different things that worked for them.

 

Definitely go LOW and SLOW when it comes to supplements. When I was in withdrawal I was always eager to try something I thought would help. I was taking so many things at high doses, not even keeping track, giving up on them quickly, etc. All this did was make things worse. First establish a baseline. Then, try ONE supplement at a time at a low dose, wait a couple weeks, and see how it goes. This way you can know what's actually helping, and avoid adverse reactions

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Mikegs96
35 minutes ago, julia955 said:

Yes, it's still possible. Are you taking anything now? I can tell you from my own experience that all of the symptoms you listed did get better for me, it's a slow process but things do heal. I'm a completely different person (in a good way) than the person I was in early stages of withdrawal. I'm amazed every day at how much my brain genuinely did heal. In terms of the marijuana, I really don't think that caused any kind of permanent lasting damage that would interfere with healing now. I wouldn't recommend smoking during this process, though. 

 

I dealt with the insomnia as well. I would often be up all night. That's completely passed for me and my sleeping habits are totally normalized now. And yes, by tools I meant knowing what to expect, practicing patience, learning how to maintain an inner calm and hope during the process, and slowly trying things like some supplements or diet changes. This website has a ton of information and testimonials from people who are going through the same thing and found different things that worked for them.

 

Definitely go LOW and SLOW when it comes to supplements. When I was in withdrawal I was always eager to try something I thought would help. I was taking so many things at high doses, not even keeping track, giving up on them quickly, etc. All this did was make things worse. First establish a baseline. Then, try ONE supplement at a time at a low dose, wait a couple weeks, and see how it goes. This way you can know what's actually helping, and avoid adverse reactions

Right now I'm taking Vitamin B12, 250mg of magnesium at night, 2 omega 3 supplements each day, and a multivitamin.  I also was taking Inositol, but I feel like I'm doing too much and from that 20 gram dose last night I have been awake since than. Still don't feel slightly tired. When you did start to notice healing what started to improve first? I'm guessing it's taking longer for me because I kept interrupting the healing process after abruptly stopping Celexa a year and a half ago. Being put on many different SSRI's, Wellbutrin, and even one anti-psychotic called rexulti. What medications were you on? if you don't mind me asking. 

Were you ever on an MAOI inhibitor? 

 

Because I'm still dealing with depersonalization/derealization, and all the other symptoms I mentioned in my post. When you noticed improvements with insomnia did you just start getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night or was it gradual with that too? 

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Mikegs96
Posted (edited)

Topic title: If I was to go back on EMSam how would I taper off of it? Since it's a skin patch

 

I was thinking about going back on to wean off of it since when I did stop i did abruptly

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title

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ChessieCat

You could cut a small piece off the patch.

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Mikegs96
1 hour ago, ChessieCat said:

You could cut a small piece off the patch.

Ok thanks. Do you think it's worth doing since I have been off it for almost three weeks now? Plus I was only on it for two weeks to begin with when I was in the hospital. Btw could using too high of a dose of a supplement interrupt your recover? because after taking 20 grams of inositol last night I have been awake for almost 48 hours. I read it's because your brain is really sensitive during this state. I 

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ChessieCat

re EMSam, 2 weeks on and 3 weeks off.  Probably not worth reinstating it.

 

SA's topic:  inositol

 

From:  https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/inositol#mental-health

 

Quote

 

However, mild side effects have been reported with doses of 12 grams per day or higher. These include nausea, gas, difficulty sleeping, headache, dizziness and tiredness

 

 

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Altostrata
18 hours ago, Mikegs96 said:

Topic title: If I was to go back on EMSam how would I taper off of it? Since it's a skin patch

 

I was thinking about going back on to wean off of it since when I did stop i did abruptly

 

 

16 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

You could cut a small piece off the patch.

 

15 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

re EMSam, 2 weeks on and 3 weeks off.  Probably not worth reinstating it.

 

SA's topic:  inositol

 

From:  https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/inositol#mental-health

 

 

 

I agree with Chessie on all counts.

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Mikegs96
8 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

 

 

 

I agree with Chessie on all counts.

Ok is there actually other people on hear that were put on many different psych meds throughout their childhood and teen years and ended up getting better? Because it stills feels really unrealustic to me that my brain will somehow heal. After being on at least 8 different meds throughout my childhood and teen years. And then being put on even more for the symptoms I was having when I was 21 after going off  celexa abruptly. 

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Altostrata

Yes, there are. The brain is a wonderful thing. Read up on neuroplasticity, your brain is changing all the time.

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Mikegs96
2 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Yes, there are. The brain is a wonderful thing. Read up on neuroplasticity, your brain is changing all the time.

Ok I will. Do you know if the omega 3's can help with the concentration and memory problems? Because even just talking to someone I can't remember what they're saying if the sentence is long. That's something I still haven't noticed much improvement in. 

 

It also somewhat scares me that articles like this exist. That say that the problems you have going off antidepressants are permanent. And that you end up with something called tardive dysphoria.

https://www.madinamerica.com/2013/08/ssri-discontinuation-is-even-more-problematic-than-acknowledged/

 

it pretty much says that some people wait a really long time and end up never getting better

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Altostrata

Read our Success Stories instead.

 

A lot of people find fish oil and magnesium supplements helpful, see
https://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
https://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

Try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.

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ChessieCat
5 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Read our Success Stories instead.

 

success-stories-recovery-from-withdrawal

 

Please create your drug signature using the following format.   Keep it simple.  NO diagnoses or symptoms please - thank you.

  • details for last 2 years - dates, ALL drugs, doses
  • summary for older than 2 years - just years and drug/s

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

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Mikegs96
6 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Read our Success Stories instead.

 

A lot of people find fish oil and magnesium supplements helpful, see
https://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
https://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

Try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.

Why does it seem like there's not much of them? Do some people just not post when they do end up getting better. There's only four pages.

 

After I stopped the inositol. I'm noticing that I'm starting to have dreams again when I do sleep. Is that a good sign? Still having the memory, anhedonia, and concentration problems though. 

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brassmonkey

Moving away from the forum can be a very important part of the healing process, it's one of the sure signs of healing.  As people get better they want to put it all behind them and get on with their lives so they just drop from sight.  We really wish they would come back and post a success story but many of them would rather move on and not revisit a very painful time in their lives. 

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Mikegs96
24 minutes ago, brassmonkey said:

Moving away from the forum can be a very important part of the healing process, it's one of the sure signs of healing.  As people get better they want to put it all behind them and get on with their lives so they just drop from sight.  We really wish they would come back and post a success story but many of them would rather move on and not revisit a very painful time in their lives. 

I'm starting to have dreams again once in awhile. Is that a good sign that my brain is healing? 

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Gridley
43 minutes ago, Mikegs96 said:

I'm starting to have dreams again when I do sleep. Is that a good sign?

 

It's a very good sign of healing.

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Mikegs96
2 hours ago, Gridley said:

 

It's a very good sign of healing.

Ok that's good to hear. Does sexual functioning ever return to normal? Because I think I might have PSSD. But I don't know because sometimes my orgasms are normal and sometimes they just aren't there at all. Is fluctuations in sexual function part of the healing process too? 

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Mikegs96
4 hours ago, Gridley said:

 

It's a very good sign of healing.

Plus I'm still having a really low lobido and visual stimulation is also nearly impossible. Idk if that's part of the withdrawal process. It's been like this for awhile now ever since I first went off celexa abruptly.  Also is feeling very emotionally flat part of withdrawal too?

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Mikegs96

I have been on many psych meds since I was 11 and have recently went off EMSam 4 weeks ago. 

The symptoms that are bothering me the most is the anhedonia, and emotional numbness. 

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ChessieCat

These are both very common.  See:  anhedonia-apathy-demotivation-emotional-numbness

 

There are many existing topics on this site.  Please use the site search function and/or google and add survivingantidepressants.org to the search term to see if there is already a topic before creating a new one.  Thank. you.

 

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brassmonkey

Mike-- we really need that signature block that Gridley linked you to in his first post.

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Mikegs96
4 hours ago, brassmonkey said:

Mike-- we really need that signature block that Gridley linked you to in his first post.

Ok I finished it. It pretty much has my whole history the best I can remember it. Btw is having no appetite part of withdrawal too? Because that something I have been noticing. Where I can go the whole day without eating and not feel hungry. It 

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Mikegs96

So this post is just for a few more questions. Mainly because I see on some of the success stories the people posting them recommend amino acids along with the other supplements already recommended. 

 

Why is it that only omega 3's and magnesium is recommended? 

Because on one success story one guy said that the amino acids are pre cursers to nuerotransmitters like dopamine, and serotonin. 

And also about that whole receptor downregulation thing for the receptors affected by psych meds. 

Is any of that permanent or is it reversible because your nervous adapts to being without the drugs eventually? 

I saw it on the story that said where are all the success stories. Which also scared me because I saw a guy in the comments that said he's 10 years off meds and still has severe dp/dr.

 

This is also an update to say that I'm getting about 5 hours of sleep now

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Mikegs96
On 5/16/2019 at 5:04 AM, ChessieCat said:

These are both very common.  See:  anhedonia-apathy-demotivation-emotional-numbness

 

There are many existing topics on this site.  Please use the site search function and/or google and add survivingantidepressants.org to the search term to see if there is already a topic before creating a new one.  Thank. you.

 

Ok sorry about it that. But about that whole windows and waves thing. Can you have that with sexual function too? Because sometimes my orgasms are 100% normal and other times they are really weak or aren't there at all. I tried searching to find if anyone else had fluctuations in sexual function but couldn't find anything. 

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Gridley
14 hours ago, Mikegs96 said:

 

Why is it that only omega 3's and magnesium is recommended? 

Because on one success story one guy said that the amino acids are pre cursers to nuerotransmitters like dopamine, and serotonin. 

And also about that whole receptor downregulation thing for the receptors affected by psych meds. 

Is any of that permanent or is it reversible because your nervous adapts to being without the drugs eventually? 

 

 

 

 

Our systems are very fragile in withdrawal to many things, including supplements.  Magnesium and omegas have shown themselves to cause fewer reactions than other supplements, hence our recommendation (though some members can't tolerate these either).

 

Downregulation reverses itself as the dose is lowered. Time and lowered doses are the surest path to upregulation.  Below is a link dealing with amino acids in withdrawal.  As you'll see, the danger is that they can have a negative effect. 

 

The downregulation is not permanent.  The brain heals itself through the process of neuroplasticity.  It can take a long time.

 

Amino acids - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

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Mikegs96
1 hour ago, Gridley said:

 

Our systems are very fragile in withdrawal to many things, including supplements.  Magnesium and omegas have shown themselves to cause fewer reactions than other supplements, hence our recommendation (though some members can't tolerate these either).

 

Downregulation reverses itself as the dose is lowered. Time and lowered doses are the surest path to upregulation.  Below is a link dealing with amino acids in withdrawal.  As you'll see, the danger is that they can have a negative effect. 

 

The downregulation is not permanent.  The brain heals itself through the process of neuroplasticity.  It can take a long time.

 

Amino acids - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

Ok thanks. I have read about the windows and waves thing. I'm just wondering if it's possible to have that with sexual function? Because sometimes my orgasms are completely normal but other times they are weak or aren't there at all. 

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Mikegs96

 update 

 

I ended up developing some new symptoms specifically when I stand up. I feel like I'm going to pass out and my vision gets blurry. Plus once in awhile I get heart palpitations. I also feel like my testosterone levels are fluctuating because every time I get a blood test it is really low for someone my age. But other times it's closer to normal. Plus I decided to try more inositol and it made my sexual problems even worse. I guess it could having an overly sensitive nervous system from what I read. 

 

Is any of this even possible during withdrawal?

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Gridley
11 hours ago, Mikegs96 said:

Is any of this even possible during withdrawal?

Basically, yes.  The range of withdrawal symptoms is almost endless due to the fact the central nervous system underlies everything.

 

Vision problems and dizziness are common withdrawal symptoms.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/514-eye-problems-and-withdrawal-syndrome/?hl=visual#entry5235

Dizziness, vertigo, light-headedness, rocking or swaying sensations ...

Regarding the inositol, withdrawal can make us extraordinarily sensitive to supplements and even certain foods.  That's why we are so cautious about supplements, recommending only omegas and magnesium.

 

 

 

Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.
 

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