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L-Theanine vs. Benzos, A good alternative?

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Hi all. I am currently taking 1.5 mg Klonopin and 20 mg Lexapro daily for OCD.

Both meds work really well. Although 'Special K' has lost it's efficacy after I inadvisedly attempted to taper last year. i couldn't handle the withdrawal symptoms and resumed at a higher dose.

Now I really want to get off of K because I am concerned about long term affects, and my memory is now being afffected by the higher dose. But things go 'real bad' for me when I don't have a a potent benzo in my system.

Up until now I had the view that even if K shortend my life, that the peace it brings makes it worth it. Now I am not so sure.

Anyway, I am considering a much slower taper this time using the Ashton method. And I am pinning my sanity on the use of L-Theanine, an amino acid that calms me as well. The only problem there is that I have to take it every hour to maintain the effects. A thin tightrope to walk every day. Also, when I'm off K, it may not compensate enough.

So.....I am wondering what other's experience is with L-Theanin eis. For those with sever OCD or anxiety, does it work well as a benzo substitute for you?

Thanks.

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In my opinion, I think it would be better to stay on what is working, I don't see how it could shorten your life. If your dead set on changing meds maybe try Ativan at 2mg or so and see if you can get by with less side effects.

BTW special K is a name used for ketamine as a street drug, you threw me off for a moment there :P

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I can't imagine that overloading your body with an amino acid is good while klonopin is bad. I have never read that benzos shorten your life span so if I were you, I wouldn't worry about that. I have never tried L-Theanine so I can't speak to its efficacy, but I would suspect that if it is so efficacious we would have heard about it all over the news.

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If you are going to use L-Theanine (which I do not advise), please call your pdoc before starting it, and see if it is okay. Supplements can screw up psychiatric medication.

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I have used it. Have a whole bottle of it with Suntheanine a trademark. Theanine is a derivitive of green tea and there is considerable research indicating efficacy do a pubmed search and you will see quite a good bit of research supporting it; however my personal experience with it is that it cannot hold a candle to a benzo-any benzo for serious anxiety. That said it does have some distinct calming effect and I think for someone seriously trying a withdrawel schedule it might not be a bad idea to discuss it with your doctor because it does seem to me to ease the negative effects. I am currently trying to ease off Klonpin 3 x .5 mg a day to a PRN status

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Do not take benzodiazepines. They open up the chlorine ion channel for GABA transmission and can cause serious cognitive defects and memory problems. Try a natural substitute called Curcumin, coupled with an SSRI such as Prozac and also take L-theanine. I completely solved my severe anxiety, social anxiety, depression and other psychological problems with this above combination. Testaments of serotonin syndrome from combining Curcumin with SSRI's are floating around the web, but I assure you they pose nothing to worry about. I take this combination and I am more than well. xD. Try listening to Alpha or Gamma brainwaves (binaural beats). They certainly work but they must be listened to using headphones. If you are afraid of serotonin syndrome, remember that L-Theanine actually decreases serotonin. Curcumin, although a mild MAO-A and MAO-B inhibitor, modulates serotonin signalling therefore if there is too much; it will down-regulate serotonin release so there is nothing to worry about. It also balances dopaminergic receptor sites as well as cholinergic systems. Acute administration of SSRI's as well as Curcumin both exhibit GABA releasing properties. L-Theanine does increase GABA transmission, mainly by increasing Alpha brainwave activity in the Neocortex of the brain whilst stimulating Gamma transmission in the Limbic system and Amygdala. 

Meditation, exercise and sufficient sleep in combination have been proven countless times to exhibit multiple health benefits equivalent to most pharmaceutical drugs. Exercise up-regulates dopaminergic receptor sites, protects against Amanoid-beta plaques and improves blood flow and increased Hippocampus size. Sleep improves vocabulary and is indeed very useful in the consolidation of information into the long term memory (specifically deep wave, Delta sleep.). meditation increases Melatonin, Serotonin, Dopamine, GABA release by 22%, increased acetylcholine receptor binding affinity and most importantly; cognition, memory and processing speed as well as an increase in satisfaction with life. I hope this information helps you and please do not take Benzodiazepines. Benzo's are tranquilizers and do not treat the underlying cause: they just mask it

Good luck!!!

Jonathon

Edited by SecondaryMrSnox

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Not proud, but if Benzo shortens life I would be negative years and I'm not even counting the decade I smoked at least two packs of cigarettes a day.

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1 hour ago, SecondaryMrSnox said:

Do not take benzodiazepines.

Benzos can be used safely and effectively for some people.

1 hour ago, SecondaryMrSnox said:

Try a natural substitute called Curcumin, coupled with an SSRI such as Prozac and also take L-theanine.

^^ (I would consult with your DR first before trying anything natural.

1 hour ago, SecondaryMrSnox said:

Try listening to Alpha or Gamma brainwaves (binaural beats). They certainly work but they must be listened to using headphones.

How did you do this (actually listen to brainwaves using headphones)? 

1 hour ago, SecondaryMrSnox said:

 

Meditation, exercise and sufficient sleep in combination have been proven countless times to exhibit multiple health benefits equivalent to most pharmaceutical drugs.

These things may work for people without meds, but not everyone.  Some people need pharmaceutical drugs to get sufficient sleep.  And it is hard when you have depression to do any meditation, exercise, or get any sleep.

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4 hours ago, SecondaryMrSnox said:

 I take this combination and I am more than well. 

Meditation, exercise and sufficient sleep in combination have been proven countless times to exhibit multiple health benefits equivalent to most pharmaceutical drugs. 

You are more than well? Then you have no business being on a peer support site. We're all crazy all the time, over here, and your more than wellness has nothing to do with us. Fuck off with your wellness, since we're all about the batshit insane.

Also, you don't think that any one of us crazy-ass folks has never heard of meditation, exercise, nor sleep? You don't think that we're not trying our best in this regard, since people like you keep telling us to do them all the damn time? They're either not working, aren't enough, or ain't cutting it for whatever reason. That's why it's called mental illness not mental lack-of-mediation, or mental laziness, or mental more-sleep-needed. 

We're ill, and you're still an unwelcome idiot.

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32 minutes ago, WinterRosie said:

That's why it's called mental illness not mental lack-of-mediation, or mental laziness, or mental more-sleep-needed

I need to use this line on a few people!

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13 hours ago, SecondaryMrSnox said:

 Testaments of serotonin syndrome from combining Curcumin with SSRI's are floating around the web, but I assure you they pose nothing to worry about. I take this combination and I am more than well.

So...you take Curcumin and an SSRI, and that's fine? It's not OK for the rest of us to take the meds we need, but as long as you approve of a combo, all is hunky-dory?

Fuck off with your anti-med attitude. We are a pro-med and a pro-treatment site, and if you keep this shit up, you will be shown the door in very short order.

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