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Altostrata

Marty Hinz supplements and neurotransmitter imbalance

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Altostrata

oaklily, I looked into Marty Hinz and I have my doubts. He seems to think "depression" etc. is due to a neurohormone imbalance. This is as untrue in alternative treatments as it is in psychiatry. Also, he has a number of businesses selling those supplements.

 

I'd be careful about taking them.

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Lilu

oaklily, I looked into Marty Hinz and I have my doubts. He seems to think "depression" etc. is due to a neurohormone imbalance. This is as untrue in alternative treatments as it is in psychiatry. Also, he has a number of businesses selling those supplements.

 

I'd be careful about taking them.

 

I have taken L-Tyrosine and 5HTP before without any adverse side-effects. But I have never tried taking them together, which according Dr.Hinz is the only way to get them to work. So I'm willing to try to see if it makes a difference. I'm not sure what a neurohormone imbalance is, but I'm sure Depression has many causes.

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Altostrata

Right, you usually take regular Effexor twice a day. Good that your doctor was helpful with the prescription.

 

"Neurohormone imbalance," "serotonin deficiency," "brain hormone imbalance" are all the same fallacy regarding the source of depression.

 

Withdrawal syndrome is not depression, it's an entirely different neurophysiological situation. Are those supplements supposed to help withdrawal?

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Lilu

Right, you usually take regular Effexor twice a day. Good that your doctor was helpful with the prescription.

 

"Neurohormone imbalance," "serotonin deficiency," "brain hormone imbalance" are all the same fallacy regarding the source of depression.

 

Withdrawal syndrome is not depression, it's an entirely different neurophysiological situation. Are those supplements supposed to help withdrawal?

 

What do you believe causes depression? Or what have you found out? And yes the supplements are supposed to "replace" the antidepressants

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Altostrata

Personally, I think unhappiness and stress cause depression, except for a very, very small number of people, maybe 1% who have some kind of genetic disposition underlying a physiological dysfunction that expresses itself in classic depression -- the definition of which includes inability to function at all.

 

I am very, very skeptical of supplements to "replace" antidepressants to ease withdrawal. See Stuart Shipko's comment here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/656-5-htp-5-hydroxytryptophan-and-tryptophan/page__view__findpost__p__32807

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Lilu

Personally, I think unhappiness and stress cause depression, except for a very, very small number of people, maybe 1% who have some kind of genetic disposition underlying a physiological dysfunction that expresses itself in classic depression -- the definition of which includes inability to function at all.

 

I am very, very skeptical of supplements to "replace" antidepressants to ease withdrawal. See Stuart Shipko's comment here http://survivinganti...dpost__p__32807

 

I have read Dr. Marty Hinz report very carefully and what I understood from it, is that the activity of antidepressants in your brain, the selective blocking of receptors, actually shuts down the receptors. What the Amino Acids do, as raw materials, is they encourage the regenaration of your receptors that have been shut down. And they don't work without each other - 5htp and tyrosine, that is according to Dr. Hinz. So that is a theory I'm curious to explore. Because I did take each supplement separately before and they did not work.

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Altostrata

Yes, antidepressants cause downregulation or desensitization of serotonin receptors.

 

Amino acids taken in food help the body rebuild itself. Amino acids taken in concentrated form as supplements may be too strong for a sensitized nervous system.

 

Pouring serotonin in the form of 5-HTP, SAM-e, etc. over downregulated receptors does not help them upregulate. We have some evidence that SAM-e also causes downregulation, as we have a couple of members who've experienced withdrawal from it identical to antidepressant withdrawal syndrome.

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Lilu

Yes, antidepressants cause downregulation or desensitization of serotonin receptors.

 

Amino acids taken in food help the body rebuild itself. Amino acids taken in concentrated form as supplements may be too strong for a sensitized nervous system.

 

Pouring serotonin in the form of 5-HTP, SAM-e, etc. over downregulated receptors does not help them upregulate. We have some evidence that SAM-e also causes downregulation, as we have a couple of members who've experienced withdrawal from it identical to antidepressant withdrawal syndrome.

 

There are doctors out there who disagree with this:

 

"SSRIs can help a patient to recycle their naturally occurring stores of serotonin, but if you don’t have any serotonin to recycle, then using a serotonin re-uptake inhibitor drug is pointless. That is partly the reason why it is better to supplement with 5 HTP instead of an anti-depressant (not to mention that antidepressants have frightening side effects). People can take 5-HTP or any amino acid along with antidepressant medications because it is a natural brain chemical. Once people start filling their brain up with serotonin by taking 5-HTP, the prescription SSRI medications then actually have something to work with!" http://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php?topic=14389.0

source: http://drrodgermurphree.com/anxiety-depression/

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Altostrata

That is completely wrong. Serotonin is one of the most abundant hormones in the body. There's lots of it in the gut. If there were a lack in the brain, the stomach would immediately send some up.

 

You can find a great deal of information on the Web and in print publications about the discredited serotonin imbalance theory, from conventional medicine and alternative practitioners, too. All of them are wrong. The serotonin imbalance theory was a raging fad for about 20 years. It's an embarrassment now.

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Lilu

I did search the web, and this is the first time I'm reading about this. I had no idea that scientists discredited the theory that depression is caused by neurotransmitter imbalance.

 

I found this article: http://saltycurrent.blogspot.com/2011/09/psychiatrists-and-nimh-set-record.html

"Pharmaceutical companies, however, have been so effective at marketing the neurotransmitter deficiency theory of depression that even though the NIMH has now retreated from this view, the general public and many doctors continue to believe it. The mental health establishment has not yet zealously publicized its newer depression theory - that excess stress chemicals (such as cortisol) can cause nerve cell damage - perhaps because it would confuse millions of patients who continue taking neurotransmitter-enhancing drugs (it would certainly upset the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture them) (p. 23).

 

I have never read anything in my 7 years of doing research on this topic, about stress causing nerve cell damage as a cause of depression. But I will look into it further.

 

I also found this very interesting article which explains why the biochemical imbalance theory of depression, is faulty. Very interesting.

http://www.dana.org/news/cerebrum/detail.aspx?id=3260

 

I started experiencing depression in my early teens, although at the time I didn't even know the concept. Up to now, my thinking was that I have an underlying genetic predisposition to depression, which progressively got worse during times of extreme stress, causing my neurotransmitters to get depleted. This made sense to me. So, I always knew that stressful life events were responsible for tipping the balance from a low-level depression to clinical depression.

 

Either way the stress somehow affected how neurotransmitters function in my brain. Whether stress hormones, like cortisol, cause levels of serotonin & norepinephrine to be depleted. OR if the stressed caused damage to nerve cells. The depletion theory makes sense to me. Basically in response to consistent and constant stress, your body cannot keep up with your brain's demands for serotonin, etc. Demand exceeds supply. Perhaps that's what causes the nerve cell damage? Who knows?

 

All I know is that I have never gotten back to normal, with or without antidepressants. I would gladly go back to my low-level underlying depression!

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Pandora

Personally, I think unhappiness and stress cause depression, except for a very, very small number of people, maybe 1% who have some kind of genetic disposition underlying a physiological dysfunction that expresses itself in classic depression -- the definition of which includes inability to function at all.

 

I am very, very skeptical of supplements to "replace" antidepressants to ease withdrawal. See Stuart Shipko's comment here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/656-5-htp-5-hydroxytryptophan-and-tryptophan/page__view__findpost__p__32807

 

Totally with Altostrata on this. I recently read a book called "The Loss of Sorrow: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sadness into Depressive Disorder." According to these authors, the number of seriously, severely depressed people out there for whom antidepressants "might" work is very small. The rest of us are more than likely experiencing normal sadness due to any number of things, or any combination of things past and present that we haven't properly dealt with but don't realize it. So when we go to our psychiatrists and say "I feel depressed", they use the DSM-IV's criteria of a 2-week stretch of sadness symptoms...the only exclusion being bereavement.

 

Makes sense to me. Curious though...why do we believe we feel better after taking the stuff? Is it the placebo effect, or the flattening of our emotions that makes us think because we aren't sad/anxious anymore we're good ...not necessarily HAPPY but normal. Friends who take ADs say it makes them feel "normal." I said it myself.

 

Thoughts?

 

Pandora

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Lilu

I agree that most people and/or doctors these days, jump on the antidepressant bandwagon way too quickly. But personally that was not the case with me. I was so severely depressed that it was like being inside a dark laberynth all the time. I did not want to go on antidepressants having had a bad reaction from Paxil and Celexa after only a week or two on each. By the time I went on Effexor, I pretty much had no choice, because I was crying for at least four hours a day every day for a week. I was heartbroken over a relationship and was having breakdowns at work. I couldn't function at all. I really didn't know what else to do. If this was a singular occurance, I probably would just ride it out, and I wish I had. But I realized that my depression had reached its peak with this event.

 

After two weeks on Effexor XR, I felt completely different. It was like someone lifted me out of the Labyrinth and I could see daylight again. I really didn't think it was due to the antidepressant, but it was. I got better, started going out and dating again, found a new job, a new boyfriend, and things were good for a while. Until they weren't.

 

Antidepressants DO help initially. But now I believe that in the long term they alter your brain to such a degree that you cannot get your old brain back.

 

If targeted specific therapy was made available to me, as readily as the drugs were, I believe I would have recovered without them. Even though I was in such a depressed state.

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Lilu

Excellent two-part article about the fallacy of the chemical imbalance theory and the role of psychiatry and pharmaceuticals in promoting it:

 

http://www.nybooks.c...ess-why/?page=1

 

"...instead of developing a drug to treat an abnormality, an abnormality was postulated to fit a drug....“By this same logic one could argue that the cause of all pain conditions is a deficiency of opiates, since narcotic pain medications activate opiate receptors in the brain.” Or similarly, one could argue that fevers are caused by too little aspirin."

 

 

"Prior to treatment, patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, depression, and other psychiatric disorders do not suffer from any known “chemical imbalance.” However, once a person is put on a psychiatric medication, which, in one manner or another, throws a wrench into the usual mechanics of a neuronal pathway, his or her brain begins to function…abnormally. "

http://www.nybooks.c...-of-psychiatry/

 

"American psychiatry in the late twentieth century moved from a state of “brainlessness” to one of “mindlessness.”2 By that he meant that before psychoactive drugs (drugs that affect the mental state) were introduced, the profession had little interest in neurotransmitters or any other aspect of the physical brain. Instead, it subscribed to the Freudian view that mental illness had its roots in unconscious conflicts, usually originating in childhood, that affected the mind as though it were separate from the brain.But with the introduction of psychoactive drugs in the 1950s, and sharply accelerating in the 1980s, the focus shifted to the brain. Psychiatrists began to refer to themselves as psychopharmacologists, and they had less and less interest in exploring the life stories of their patients. Their main concern was to eliminate or reduce symptoms by treating sufferers with drugs that would alter brain function."

 

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Altostrata

About the placebo effect: What Kirsch found was that a large amount of the relief of "depression" was due to a placebo effect. He wasn't saying the drugs do nothing at all, in fact, he called them "placebos with side effects."

 

For some people, these side effects are stimulation, others sedation, others emotional numbing, which they prefer to feeling sad. There are lot of other side effects, of course, but those are the ones people might mistake for alleviating whatever they called "depression."

 

Generally, in these studies "depression" is defined as a score on a multiple-choice test. You can see how a lot of things might get lumped into "depression" as people answer the questions from their own perspectives, and how a lot of other effects might lower those "depression" scores.

 

If you've taken recreational drugs such as LSD or MDMA, you know psychiatric drugs are causing a similar ruckus in your nervous system. Unless you have an adverse reaction, taking recreational drugs also distracts you from "depression."

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Lilu

I have to tell you, all this information is really blowing my mind, but really doesn't change anything. If the placebo effect was so affective across the board, then Amino Acid therapy or any other type of therapy would be effective. But its not. There are lots of things that people try that do absolutely nothing. And the scientists that tested Dr. Hinz Amino Acid supplementation approach, found that they were much more effective than a placebo. The only thing left to do, is to try it on myself.

Dr. Hinz recommends supplementing for 4-6 weeks while on an antidepressant before attempting to taper. He says that patients who feel that their antidepressant has stopped working are perfect for the Amino Acid therapy. I'm sure my body will let me know if this is the right approach. How can I possibly know what is really going on in my brain, when even scientists can't agree on what's true!

 

This is like the age old question, what came first, the chicken or the egg?

 

But really, just as with any illness, there are usually multiple causes and contributors. Just as in diabetes it's a combination of genetics, a diet high in simple carbs, and being overweight. Depression too probably has multiple causes. Especially for people like myself, who've pretty much lived with it their whole life. You cannot say that depression is simply caused by unhappiness. There are children who have perfectly good lives, good parents, etc. and yet feel suicidal for no good reason. Something IS off in their brain.

 

And as someone who has tried a number of different therapies, mainstream and new age, including positive thinking, self-help books, affirmations, Avatar, hypnosis, past-life regression, etc. I can say that nothing worked as well as Effexor when I first took it. It was very hard for me to believe that my negative thoughts and beliefs were actually caused by chemicals and neuro-hormones. I was shocked. But there it was. THAT my friends, is much more than a placebo affect!!!

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Altostrata

Correct, oaklily, psychotropics do indeed change the activity of the brain, as well as the rest of the body. Whether or not this change alleviates whatever has been called "depression" is a matter of debate.

 

If the beneficial effect of an amino acid cannot be predicted, it is accidental.

 

I'm sure there are a spectrum of reactions to any amino acid therapy, alongside the spectrum of reactions to dosage reduction. So if someone's taper is successful, and he or she doesn't have noticeable adverse reactions to the supplement, the person may well attribute the success to the supplement, when in reality it's due to systematic, gradual dosage reduction.

 

That's the basis of all the testimonials you'll find on the various supplement-selling Web sites such as The Road Back and Label Me Sane.

 

I've been looking at this for 8 years, and I have not yet found a supplement program I can recommend with a clear conscience. References to correcting a chemical imbalance in the brain and marked-up ordinary supplements (or expensive supplements with "proprietary" formulas) being sold with the withdrawal advice are red flags.

 

That's why we have a policy here of No recommendations for commercial programs to assist withdrawal. It looks to me Marty Hinz is in the supplement business.

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Lilu
Yes, Dr. Hinz IS in the supplement business, but it doesn't mean his reasearch is wrong, does it? And yes, I've looked into his supplements, they are available only through a physician, and are very expensive. So I would just buy the Amino Acids separately and see if they'll work together. At first I will try them WITH the antidepressant to see I actually feel better. If I don't, I will not use them during the taper. And even if I do use them while tapering, I do have my previous taper (that I did 3 years ago) to compare it to. So we'll see. Aminos are a bit of a pain to take, cause you have to take them on an empty stomach.

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dalsaan

Doesn't mean the research is wrong but does make it more questionable if the person promoting the results has a financial interest in those results being accepted as true. It's the critique of the research undertaken by big pharma

 

By all means try it, but be open to any outcome and give credit only to evidence from your body rather than the idea that it is supported by research

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MrAnxious

It would be interesting to know how you did on this marty hinz fellow? or how anybody did ? I don't believe in it, but if it was tried and honestly worked I'd definitely have a look at it. Just sounds like a money grab.

 

Oak have you tried this supplementation? B)

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Lilu

Well, I took 5-I took 100 mg of 5-HTP one night, while on Lexapro (either 10mg or 5mg) and woke up 4 hours later with diarrhea. Short  after I stopped taking my antidepressant completely, and took 5-HTP 100 mg.  And I think, the next day, I wind up having worse crying spells!  I still haven't given up on using Amino Acids, but for me, I think I better wait until I'm done with withdrawal!

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Altostrata

Please see our topic on 5-HTP. A bad reaction to it is not unusual for people with withdrawal syndrome.

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600

bump

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GettingThere

I tried the Hinz protocol and they made my depression really bad. He calls them "paradoxical reactions" - when things don't go as planned, but instead get worse. His "fix" for this is to raise the dosage even further, in the believe that when you hit the right amount, symptoms will magically disappear. Great when you are selling the product and raking in a lot of dough... not so great when you are on the other side of the fence, spending thousands of dollars, and ended up feeling worse instead of better. 

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