View Full Version : 5-htp treatment for depression


addkid92
01-29-11, 01:31 AM
Hi,

Just wanted to create a thread to inform everyone who's currently battling depression about 5-htp.

I'm on day 5 of this stuff, and, I can honestly tell you - day 3 I was laughing while watching a comedy on youtube, 2 things I never do; laugh & watch comedy shows.

I haven't gone too far into this trial to determine whether what I'm feeling is placebo or not, but, I can tell you today (* day 5 *) - I was able to function in society without having an anxiety attack, and, seemed more comfortable in social situations.

I'm taking 100mg 1x daily, I bought a bottle at wal-greens for $15, but, you can certainly find it cheaper with more pills for less online.

I've been battling depression for almost 6 years, I've tried various SSRI's and they've all left my mind clouded and confused. I wouldn't create this thread if I didn't see some potential in this supplement.

If you have nothing left to lose - there must be something to gain right? Give it a try, tell me how it goes for you. You should see benefit within 3days to 2 weeks (* max *).

That's all I have for now. I'll be sure to follow up and report my progress.

nova2012
01-29-11, 01:49 AM
Glad you've noticed some positive results already! That's great.

I tried a combination of 5-htp and St. John's Wort, back when I knew nothing, and I promptly stopped because it gave me crazy dreams. Ironically, the Wellbutrin I'm now on gives me insane and pretty vivid dreams, too, but I'm sticking with it.

Before this, I was taking a special formulation of SJW called Perika, which is a standardized extract with hyperforin, and it's the formulation that all the clinical trials use. I didn't notice much in the way of benefits... maybe a slight mood lift, but very slight.

Anyway, hope the 5-htp continues working for you.

addkid92
01-29-11, 03:10 AM
Hi Nova,

Yes, the dreams are pretty intense. You can expect that on just about any SSRI, i've experienced that with prozac, zoloft, and celexa. I didn't get any results from St Johns Wort, which led me to be skeptical about pursuing 5-htp.

How does the wellbutrin work for you? I heard it raises neopinephrine transmitters in the brain, possibly helping ADHD?

nova2012
01-29-11, 04:09 AM
Hi Nova,

Yes, the dreams are pretty intense. You can expect that on just about any SSRI, i've experienced that with prozac, zoloft, and celexa. I didn't get any results from St Johns Wort, which led me to be skeptical about pursuing 5-htp.

How does the wellbutrin work for you? I heard it raises neopinephrine transmitters in the brain, possibly helping ADHD?

SJW works totally differently from 5-htp, so that's not cause for concern. No one really knows how SJW works, although there are several hypotheses. It's a slight MAO inhibitor, for one. 5-htp, by contrast, is simply the precursor to serotonin and melatonin, biosynthesized from tryptophan, which is no longer sold in the U.S. for a stupid reason.

Wellbutrin has maybe worked a little so far, but I've only been on it for a little under three weeks. It's supposed to take about six weeks to reach peak efficacy, sometimes longer. It's a hard and long wait. I think it's had the most effect on my energy levels and on not feeling like I want to sleep all the time. But, mood-wise, I haven't noticed much yet.

Any ADHD benefits it offers would be from its dopaminergic qualities, which are secondary to its noradrenergic ones. So it's definitely not as effective as a stimulant as methylphenidate or amphetamine, but it's probably somewhat effective. Haven't noticed much in that department, really, but maybe it's been gradual, and thus hard to discern.

sambru
02-20-11, 03:23 PM
Before this, I was taking a special formulation of SJW called Perika, which is a standardized extract with hyperforin, and it's the formulation that all the clinical trials use. I didn't notice much in the way of benefits... maybe a slight mood lift, but very slight.

Bezuidenthustra
02-20-11, 03:43 PM
Glad you've noticed some positive results already! That's great.

I tried a combination of 5-htp and St. John's Wort, back when I knew nothing, and I promptly stopped because it gave me crazy dreams. Ironically, the Wellbutrin I'm now on gives me insane and pretty vivid dreams, too, but I'm sticking with it.

Before this, I was taking a special formulation of SJW called Perika, which is a standardized extract with hyperforin, and it's the formulation that all the clinical trials use. I didn't notice much in the way of benefits... maybe a slight mood lift, but very slight.

Anyway, hope the 5-htp continues working for you.

Yeah, 5-HTP was great (OP, I don't think it's placebo effect), but I had to quit that **** because it messed up my already screwy sleep routine (both in terms of schedule and in terms of lucid dreaming). I had an in-dream panic attack at one point, at which point I was like, "Okay, Bezuidenthustra, no more of that stuff."

Bezuidenthustra
02-20-11, 03:45 PM
Hi Nova,

Yes, the dreams are pretty intense. You can expect that on just about any SSRI, i've experienced that with prozac, zoloft, and celexa. I didn't get any results from St Johns Wort, which led me to be skeptical about pursuing 5-htp.

How does the wellbutrin work for you? I heard it raises neopinephrine transmitters in the brain, possibly helping ADHD?

Dunno about nova, but Wellbutrin actually affected my ADHD negatively. Worked beautifully for my depression until I started having a major allergic reaction to it. I documented my experience in the Wellbutrin forum.

If you don't have any serious side effects like that, I highly recommend the drug.

Joker_Girl
02-20-11, 05:01 PM
I would like to try this 5 htp but i looked it up and it says you should not take it with an SSRI, which I recently started.

It would be great to get something over the counter for it though.

I tried St. John's Wort a while back and i didn't think it helped me, I couldnt tell anyways.

ronball
02-20-11, 05:55 PM
I stumbled along this post (NOT in ADHD forums) when researching various supplements that have been described here:

I am like you - my craziness is dopamine/norepi related, I'm sure of it.

The best thing to raise dopamine is a strict low carb, calorie restricted diet BTW. This lowers serotonin and dopamine is relatively more active by that. That's why kids with ADD/ADHD need low sugar, low carb diets; the excess of carbs increases serotonin and depletes dopamine so they can't focus, are apathetic, unmotivated (like the way a lot of serotonin antidepressants make you feel). Hyperactivity is part of some forms because of serotonin's effect on norepi. Norepi will cause hyperactivity and also anxiety (serotonin will cause anxiety if it is too high OR too low...a lot of women with anxiety have too much serotonin, not too little).

Second, I suggest using st johns wort. I am certain SJW works very rapidly on dopamine/norepi, like a stimulant, and it also has a longer term (over weeks) effect as a serotonergic drug. SJW is definitely the way to go if you want all natural antidepressant that will work on these chems.
I have a slight tendency toward bipolarity, the first time I took SJW, I was *FLYING* by that night in that typical dopamine/norepi way. Pairing SJW with coffee really accentuates the effect. The most amazing hypomanic episodes will be had if I eat pure fats, restrict carbs and calories a bit, on top of consuming coffee and taking SJW. All of these interventions - coffee, fats/carb restriction, SJW - all share in common raising dopamine, and this is consistently the only thing that will affect my depressive tendency.

Some people report success with l-tyrosine (http://www.netrition.com/cgi/goto.cgi?aid=281&url=now_tyrosine_caps_page.html) although I've never tried it. l-tyrosine is the precursor to catecholamine, stimulatory dopamine/norepi. Theoretically it might make anxiety worse, since catecholamines (dopamine, norepi) metabolize into adrenaline (epinephrine) so taking lots of l-tyrosine might cause panic attacks in some people. But, other report sharper focus and motivation and less depression and everything one might expect from enhancing these neurotransmitters.


As for 5-htp (http://www.netrition.com/cgi/goto.cgi?aid=281&url=now_5htp_page.html)... it turns into serotonin and melatonin (http://www.netrition.com/cgi/goto.cgi?aid=281&url=now_melatonin_page.html). Even though I believe my depression is mostly about dopamine, serotonin is of course hugely important.

I notice things that affect serotonin (like 5-htp, carbs, or sunlight) are very important for creating a sense of "balance" and "general well being". You know, that trippy hippy dippy feeling of peace and oneness... a feeling of pleasure and satisfaction, almost heroin-like...that is allllll serotonin my friends. It makes you feel "okay" where you are, right now. And, it makes you feel able to rest, relax, and sleep.

Serotonin, in my opinion, is way overpromoted as a neurotransmitter relevant in depression. Serotonin deficiency (or even excess, due to norepi) is more about nervous tension, worry, feeling just generally "bad" and "jumpy" and not sleeping well. I mean, this is depression... but the kind of depression most people have - the apathetic, lethargic, unmotivated, numb, socially withdrawn, emotionally dead type is mostly a dopamine/norepi deficiency thing. Pure depression is dopamine deficiency. Serotonin in excess actually can depress (via numbing and sedating the sh*t) out of people who have unstable dopamine systems (people like me, with a bipolarish tendency).
Serotonin deficiency/instability is more about those people who have super unstable moods, very emotionally reactive, anxious and nervous, tense, worry, create crazy blowups in their minds over nothing, don't sleep well... kind of the opposite of the lazy sacks of flesh most people associate with depression.


With that said, I find 5-htp can help in a lot of circumstances. When I'm really wound up, uncomfortable, achy, getting OCD thoughts, and can't sleep well, having emotional overwhelming feelings... general signs of serotonin being low... then I pop 2 5-htp at night, and usually wake up the next day feeling a lot more balanced and "replenished". However if I try to take 5-htp every day, consistently, then it just numbs the crap out of me and turns me into an apathetic zombie, with radically cycling energy levels every other day (it makes my bipolar worse, but I'm too numb to care, lol).

Therefore, 5-htp is an "as needed" thing, it is not first line in depression for me, because 5-htp & serotonin doesn't have much to do with my depression. Depression is a lack of stimulation, it is related to dopamine deficiency, and 5-htp will only make that worse. 5-htp, however, is super important for the "lack of well being" feeling, the unsatisfied, uncomfortable, irrational, moody/emotional, generally not balanced feeling... but I don't get that consistently. My depression is the apathetic/understimulated type. When I start feeling like a fussy whiny 2 year old, I know I'm low on serotonin, and I know I'll benefit from 5-htp.


In summary:
-stick with low carb, maybe cal restriction, increase fats
-try sjw, maybe l-tyrosine as these enhance dopamine stimulation
-5-htp as needed for emotional craziness and "lack of well being".



I find it pretty interesting. I don't know how much credit to give this person, but I have noticed an increase in focus etc while on a low carb diet.

It seems like a lot of my problems, are tied to hers. As my concerta does seem to treat (albeit partially) my depression-like symptoms.

I think it's worth keeping what she has written here in mind.

I wouldn't mind hearing some other perspectives on this persons post as well, as I think it's entirely relevant to the 5-HTP discussion going on here as well.

Amtram
02-20-11, 11:47 PM
5-HTP is a precursor to serotonin, but it's not going to have a guaranteed effect because there are several steps in between 5-HTP and serotonin. In addition, you need to be aware of any allergic reactions, since it's made from a plant rather than being synthesized.

That's also a problem with St. John's Wort - what you're getting is a quantity of raw material rather than a quantity of active ingredient. If you've ever bought a bunch of jalapenos and found that only a couple were actually hot, you can see that more of the raw ingredient doesn't necessarily mean more of the chemical for which you bought it.

That actually makes it even more important to avoid when you're taking a prescription medication. While the chance of there being enough of a dose of the ingredient that can cause a bad reaction is small, it will vary from pill to pill because it's just dried ground plant matter. The problem arises if you happen to get a pill or two from a more potent batch of plants, and suddenly you're experiencing something very bad for you. (And you don't know what caused it because you haven't taken anything different from your usual.)

These supplement manufacturers are very happy to put the required disclaimers about their products not actually treating anything for a very good reason.