Tuesday, September 2, 2008

How SSRI medication work

Ok, tomorrow will be the starting day of school so I won't be able to update this site as weekly as before. So I better post this entry to let you have an understanding on how SSRI medication works, how prozac works or how lexapro works.

The brain chemistry of depression and anxiety is not fully understood. However, a growing body of evidence supports the view that people with these disorders have an imbalance of the brain's neurotransmitters. These are chemicals in the brain that allow nerve cells to communicate. One of these neurotransmitters is serotonin. An imbalance in serotonin may be an important factor in the development of depression and anxiety.

"...by blocking the reabsorption (reuptake) of serotonin by certain nerve cells in the brain. This leaves more serotonin available in the brain. As a result, this enhances neurotransmission - the sending of nerve impulses - and improves mood. SSRIs are called selective because they seem to affect only serotonin, not other neurotransmitters."

Excerpt from: RevolutionHealth

So we can see how it truly works. That is why it usually takes a few weeks for the medication to work.

Still, I won't recommend medication (even if it is instant anxiety-relief like Lorazepam, Xanax, etc.) because you will tend to rely on it and you will have to "suffer" the withdrawal symptoms. There's also a chance that you can get the Serotonin Syndrome if there's too much Serotonin in your body. Could you imagine? Worst part is, I remember reading an article when I was researching on Serotonin, it is said that Psychiatrist or any other medical professionals do not know what is the exact amount to be prescribed to patients. They need to do a "trial and error". That is why if you tell your doctor that your condition is worst, they will increase your dosage.

Instead, I recommend you use natural ways to achieve a Serotonin balance in your body - through diet, exercise, etc. Also, you do not need to worry of any side-effects when you try to achieve it in diet, etc. Except that you wil visit the toilet more often to release waste.

Anyway, here's an interesting regime on a diet that could help you achieve a balanced Serotonin level in your body. It is called the Serotonin Diet:

Have a turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread and protein milk-shake. Their body would then turn this food (that includes tryptophan) into natural serotonin. This is the way nature intended it to work. If not, try to take supplements such as "L-Tryptophan" (The "L" can be exluded).
I've placed the exact good item to the Amazon recommended list - browse around (by pressing 1,2,3,4) to see more. But please do remember that there are many other ways to follow a Serotonin Diet or than just turkey sandwich and milk-shake. There's a good book called "The Serotonin Power Diet" which got many good reviews and will help you on this.

Lastly, there's something I found out.
Next time when you do your deep-breathing, whether in bed trying to sleep or outside, follow this step. Breathe in for 5-seconds, hold for 12-seconds, exhale slowly for 15-seconds or more. And as you do this, listen to your heartbeat and try to make it beat slower. But don't force yourself.
Why exhale for a longer time? If you have tried listening to your heartbeat, you will realize that when you inhale your heart tends to pound lighter and rapidly; but when you exhale your heart tends to pound heavier and slower in speed.


OnaTutors said...

Thank you for the suggestions.

I will look up "The Serotonin Diet" book, immediately.

I've, also, been looking into Deep Breathing techniques.

Thank you for the VERY detailed description and the exact count of seconds for breathing in, holding my breath, and exhaling slowly.

very, Very, VERY kewl stuff!

I look forward to reading your next Blog entry. :)