DHEA Levels and Depression…. Anxiety?

Question by sid: DHEA levels and depression…. anxiety?
Can dhea levels be low in a 25 year old?
Hi im a 25 year old male. Without detail I have been on many possibly 20 psych drugs over the past 7 years for severe anxiety and depression. I was treatment resistant to all ssris and antipychs. Benzos worked for anxiety but are addictive and cause long term damage. Eventually due to maybe all the drugs or stress I had a nervous breakdown psychotic experience that greatly damaged my confidence and memory. was told by a doctor that i probably have ptsd from it. I am feeling better but anxiety and depression continue…low motivation sex drive etc. I have done research and dhea has been reported to help those with ptsd. My question is i am a well muscled guy if levels are low wouldnt I have trouble maintaining mass. I currently take gabapentin for anxiety shaking and it definitely helps have tried st. johns wort….bacopa….rhodilia rosea….and some others with mixed results.I am thinking this may be a hormonal thing due to so much treatment resistance from drugs. Does anyone have any suggestions ideas on what herbs or other things to try and what dosages?

Thank much

Best answer:

Answer by Christy Taylor
Hi there. DHEA is said to possibly help depression but that’s what researchers are saying, not me. It looks like you are definitely resistant to SSRI’s and antipsychotics. If you’re resistant to those, and benzo’s are too risky, have you tried MAOI’s or tricyclics? A lot of people umbrella MAOI’s and tricyclics under SSRI’s so maybe you’ve taken them, maybe not.

I’m the kind of psychologist-in-training that believes that the “magic” of antidepressants is more due to placebo effect than actual agonistic effects of serotonin reuptake inhibition. Think of these medicines as rudimentary. Maybe sooner than later, better medicines will be created. Add on the fact that they also increase the risk of suicide and you have one student who really thinks they may do more harm than good in the end. The only drug that I think, personally, is decent as an antidepressant and anxiolytic is cannabis at LOW doses, right before bed. That way, the person can sleep soundly through the night without intrusive thoughts badgering them awake. Your psychologist might dislike that idea but it’s not a bad idea to run it by him or her just to see.

Drug treatment is only half (or less than half) of the battle between you and your brain trying to find a balance. What we are trained to do is to help people learn to teach their brains how to behave. It’s very challenging and many people turn away from therapies because it hurts worse before it gets better . You just have to ask yourself if you want to be this way anymore. Get mad. Stick up for yourself when the destructive thoughts start up. I know from experience that this is the hardest thing to do. When in a depressed mood it is SO HARD to tell yourself that all the things you believe about yourself are not true or not your fault. Without getting too personal, I have PTSD and that is responsible for all my depression and anxiety. What has helped me more than anything in defeating the most troubling, debilitating problems is finding a good psychologist. Whew, they are tough to come by. There’s two problems I’ve seen with mental health professionals: they either have a therapy style that doesn’t work for you, or they just don’t care enough to really get involved in your treatment because they are burned out in their job. Up until I was 25, my life was shit. I couldn’t hold a job because of the PTSD so I decided to take my mental health in my own hands and studied the hell out of psychology. I decided it was so important to my well being to learn all I could that I went back to college to major in clinical psych and I’m about to graduate.

So, with all the rambling aside, I would recommend the following. Continue looking for a medication of sorts because you could find something that helps. I cannot deny that they work for people, at least initially. I’ve known many who really like Prozac. If it’s legal in your state, consider low doses of cannabis. High doses do the exact opposite and can make you more depressed and anxious. But above all else, taking your mental well being seriously is the best thing you can do – and I see that you do and that you are trying very hard. Make a list of all the extraneous stressors in your life. Categorize them by things you can totally eliminate and things you can’t eliminate but can be coped with. Take that list to your mental health care provider and tell them these are the things you want to do. Many of us with PTSD will find that traumatic life experiences cause us to be more stressed in situations that are not normally stressful to others who don’t have PTSD. Be mindful of how you react to specific situations and take notes on how you deal with them. There’s a new therapy for us that is showing a lot of promise for depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Read about it here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindfulness-based_cognitive_therapy

Sorry for writing a novel! Best of luck.

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