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I've had so many problems with them in the past, so I'm reluctant to try, try again.  However, I'm wondering if my brain is pleading for a serotonin boost because the worse my depression, the more I crave starchy carbohydrate-loaded foods. 

Is there a connection between carb cravings and low serotonin levels, or am I overreaching on this?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Neurotica, I'm not a doctor (I only play one with my tdoc), so I don't know if you need an SSRI. For me, it depends on side effects versus how bad the depression is. Me, I'll take the side effects over the effects of depression. Various SSRIs work differently for different people, and SSRIs aren't the only antidepressants. If you've had problems with one, you can try another. If it doesn't work out, you can always stop or go in a different direction.

Do you have a pdoc and have you spoken with her/him about this?

On food, I've noticed that going on, or raising the dosage of, SSRIs gives me a tremendous appetite for the first 24 hours or so. Also, when I'm not feeling well, I crave comfort food, which carbs can be.

f1

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Neurotica,

carb cravings and depression can be linked.  (or you could be craving carbs because your blood sugar is low, and when blood sugar is low some people get moody.)

According to Kathleen DesMaisons, author ofPotatoes Not Prozac there is a BIG link between carbs, food and depression. 

I've read two of her books (and a more technical book by her mentor, which i can't remember the name of, but let me know if you want to know it) and what she says makes sense.... to a point. to the "not prozac" point.  that is, i think eating right can help A LOT, but if you have clinical depression, get the to an MD!

which SSRIs have you tried?  they really aren't all the same.  then there are the SNRIs and Wellbutrin, and tricyclics.... there are a ton of meds out there to try.  if you are depressed, please, don't let a few bad med experiences stop you from feeling better.

penny

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Do you have a pdoc and have you spoken with her/him about this?
We're currently entertaining the possibility of Cymbalta.  Well, pdoc is exercising patience while I drag my feet.  I have this routine where pdoc suggests something and I say, "Let me research that and I'll get back to you."  I'm leery of trying new meds to the point where I get anxiety attacks just thinking about jumping back on the meds-go-round.  New meds that don't work out can screw with my system for months afterwards; restabilizing (is that a word?)  is a significant pain in the posterior. 

On food, I've noticed that going on, or raising the dosage of, SSRIs gives me a tremendous appetite for the first 24 hours or so. Also, when I'm not feeling well, I crave comfort food, which carbs can be.

That is one crazy side-effect I've never had the misfortune of encountering.  At least it only happens for a brief time.  My appetite fluctuates, irrespective of what meds I'm on.  I know some people experience a decrease in appetite when depressed, but I get hungrier.  I do crave comfort food, and that often means sweets and empty carbs.  That's what I was wondering, whether I'm merely craving foods that are psychologically soothing or if the carb cravings are symptomatic of low serotonin.  Enough chocolate will give me a good buzz (if only I could indulge every day without gaining weight!).  V-Day was a good excuse to get a good chocolate high going, though. ;)

carb cravings and depression can be linked.  (or you could be craving carbs because your blood sugar is low, and when blood sugar is low some people get moody.)
I eat small meals throughout the day, so I doubt blood sugar is an issue.  I've had my levels checked periodically and the numbers are always excellent.

that is, i think eating right can help A LOT, but if you have clinical depression, get the to an MD!

I agree, and I agree!

which SSRIs have you tried?  they really aren't all the same.

Whew.  Just about all of them, I think.  Prozac (pure evil in pill form), Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro...I think that's it.  Paxil and Luvox have been steered clear of because of their side-effects profiles. 

Tricyclics do funky things to my heart...SNRIs and MAOIs are the unexplored territory.  Except for Wellbutrin, mother-of-pure-evil in pill form.  MAOIs I'm not too enthused about trying, but will if it comes down to that.  I did give Effexor a trial run a few years ago...now I can't remember why I quit taking it.  That's another possibility, I suppose.  There was a time when I didn't know about initial side-effects...I thought what you felt like in the first few days was what you'd feel like in a month or year's time.  GPs don't tell you these things; I've come to realize they're very unreliable sources of information about psychotropics.

Penny, your dx is uncannily similar to mine.  Just swap the GAD for OCD and tack on a preliminary dx of bipolar NODFY (NO Designated Flavor Yet). What supplements are you taking for your CFS, if you don't mind my asking and you have the time to list all of them?  :)  

Love your avatar, btw.  It reminds me of a vintage B-movie poster...Hero Oozing With Machismo Rescues Glamorous Damsel In Distress! Very chic.

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There is a connection between carb craving and depression; that big carb craving thing can be an indicator/co-issue with depression. Often, solving the depression also solves the worst of the craving (unless like me, bread is your favorite food group).

Cymbalta is a pretty good med for a lot of people, I'm sure there are multiple threads on it in the non-ssri board. FWIW I didn't have any trouble on it, although it wasn't enough for my depression either.

Fiona

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ok this is so weird b/c i SWEAR i replied to this... but i guess i forgot to hit the post button?  and now i don't fully remember what i was going to say, gah.

Penny, your dx is uncannily similar to mine.  Just swap the GAD for OCD and tack on a preliminary dx of bipolar NODFY (NO Designated Flavor Yet). What supplements are you taking for your CFS, if you don't mind my asking and you have the time to list all of them?  ;)  

Love your avatar, btw.  It reminds me of a vintage B-movie poster...Hero Oozing With Machismo Rescues Glamorous Damsel In Distress! Very chic.

oh yeah, i asked something about what other meds you're on as you're BP NODFY and you should make sure you're on a good stabilizer before venturing back into SSRI land (i know, i know, i'm sure you know this but it's a knee-jerk warning)

a list of the supplemts i take is in my moderator profile  (yes, i'm too lazy to retype... or apparently even cut and paste...)

avatar is a b movie poster

go robbie the robot go!!!

penny

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There is another possible connection between carbohydrate cravings and mood. A byproduct of the digestion of grains in the intestine is sodium butyrate (natures valproic acid). Maybe it is an evolutionary habit to crave carbs. If you also have suffered from IBS then sodium butyrate supplements may be worth a shot.

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Often, solving the depression also solves the worst of the craving (unless like me, bread is your favorite food group).
It is easier for me to eat healthily when I'm not depressed.  I don't get the same overpowering cravings.

Bread products are always a weakness, though.  ;) I guess the cravings are mainly psychological in origin.

oh yeah, i asked something about what other meds you're on as you're BP NODFY and you should make sure you're on a good stabilizer before venturing back into SSRI land (i know, i know, i'm sure you know this but it's a knee-jerk warning)

I'm on Lamictal but probably need a higher dose.  It just doesn't have the same effect any longer.  I'll have to look into that along with getting a script for an anti-depressant.

a list of the supplemts i take is in my moderator profile  (yes, i'm too lazy to retype... or apparently even cut and paste...)
I recognized most, and have a few questions, but I should probably send you a PM instead of using post space.  Will get around to that in a bit.  (And when I say "in a bit" that could mean anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks.)

avatar is a b movie poster

I am so psyched that I guessed correctly! I was married to a "Rob"...he was a bit robot-like himself.

A byproduct of the digestion of grains in the intestine is sodium butyrate (natures valproic acid).

Ahhh.  So there's the chemical connection.  Very interesting.  I had pancakes for dinner.  Pancakes.  I had a salad for lunch, so it balances out.  But still. I'm going to have to start forcing myself to diversify my food groups, sodium butyrate fixes be damned.

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a list of the supplemts i take is in my moderator profile  (yes, i'm too lazy to retype... or apparently even cut and paste...)

I recognized most, and have a few questions, but I should probably send you a PM instead of using post space.  Will get around to that in a bit.  (And when I say "in a bit" that could mean anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks.)

boy do i understand this.

i have a "to do" list 500 miles long and new things seem to always get shoved to the top of the list in terms of priority and then it's 3 months later and i'm like SHIT i TOTALLY forgot to call so and so on their birthday/ mail that wedding gift/ etc.

i need a second brain.  not like a PDA b/c i'll forget to charge it or look at it, like a real second brain.  or a personal assistant, but that requires being uh, rich and having a job.

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