MDMA - use in psychotherapy

Discussion in 'Self Harm & Substance Abuse' started by Dreamer uk, Jan 29, 2008.

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  1. Dreamer uk

    Dreamer uk Well-Known Member

    Hi, I thought I'd present some interesting information on the use of a drug which some people may be unaware of. The drug I am going to talk a bit about is MDMA, commonly known as Ecstacy.

    I have a very strong interest in drugs, both legal & illegal, I have studied the subject at university, I have read a number of books and lots of information on MDMA, the main source of what I'm going to recall now is from a book called Pihkal, written by the 'godfather' of MDMA Alexander Shulgin & his wife.

    I am in no way advocating the use of MDMA or any other drug, but I believe we should all have the freedom of choice to make informed decisions in our lives if things are carefully researched and considered and are not spur of the moment decisions.

    I have posted this in the drug abuse forum, but really it is about drug use.

    MDA was an infamous love drug around in the 60's but it was eventually superceded by the N-methylated analogue, MDMA. Alexander Shulgin had synthesised it before but never realised it's effects until a girl named Marie Kleinman (I think), told him about MDMA, and just said of the experience it was very emotional.

    One of the best ways to study the mind, is to look at the effects that drugs have upon it. This was Shulgin's area, he is a famous pyschonaut, like Albert Hoffman, the discoverer of LSD.

    MDMA is a class of drug known as a Phenylethylamine, Pihkal is a book which details classes of these compounds, the most famous being MDMA. He has also authored a book called Tihkal, which is about tryptamines, i.e compounds like LSD.

    Shulgin is the person who basically spread the knowledge of MDMA, but even he was disappointmented at the mindless rave culture who embraced the drug and eventually caused the drug to be made illegal.

    MDMA, like LSD is one of the most profound drugs on the planet. It is extremely potent, a small amount does basically nothing, but once a threshold is reached the magic can occur.

    MDMA is not the sort of drug you would want to take regularly. Tolerance is quickly built upto MDMA and people soon end up taking larger and larger doses to achieve the relative effects. MDMA can be toxic to serotonergic neurones and like any drug, overuse can cause a downregulation of neurotransmitter signalling pathways. The brain exists in balance, if that balance gets tipped the brain will try to compensate to restore normal functioning. I read somewhere that Alexander himself said 4 times per year should be maximum, although I can't remember reading him saying that in Pihkal.

    So instead of taking a measured dose of 120mg, pill poppers end up taking 20-40 pills per night once a week to get high off their dance drug, not a very good strategy to maintain mental health.

    So what does MDMA do then, what is it like?

    MDMA is quite possibly the post potent empathogenic drug which will ever be discovered. It's chemistry is unique, the bulky methyl group attached to the amino group prevents fast deamination by monoamine oxidase enzymes, and the magic occurs at the methylenedioxy bridge. It effects various neurotransmitter levels mainly Serotonin, but also acts strongly on other systems such as dopamine, norepherine, oxytocin , vasopressin, etc. The molecule ends up recycling Serotonin across synapses, it pumps it in and out of the cell causing a loop creating very high serotonin levels.

    It is an extremely potent love drug, it will make you feel so much love you will want to explode. Love that you never thought was possible, where the world seems like the place it should have been, full of friendly caring people. Hate & violent thought becomes non existent, replaced by a serene sense of love for everybody & everything. You could basically meet a stranger and feel like you’ve known them your whole life, mistrust completely vanishes. Music sounds amazing, like you could never imagine, which was why it was taken up as a popular dance drug worldwide.

    I have taken MDMA before, as well as many other drugs, mainly during my youth, but I last had it about 12 months ago. The experience was wonderfully pleasant, and I had chance to reflect upon myself and make some important decisions to help move me forward through my depression.

    After my wonderful experience, then followed ‘suicide Tuesday’, a time when the serotonin dip hits very hard and makes you tearful & depressed. You feel like you’ve been dropped from utopia back to the shit society we live in, from a truly massive height. That is something to be very wary of if you’re already feeling down anyway, ironically the people who fall in love often end up falling out of love during this time.

    After this time I felt elated for months afterwards, like a different person after being in such a deep depression, I could still remember the way the music sounded even months after the experience and just thinking about it would put a big smile on my face, I emerged with a very positive outlook, although now the experience has somewhat faded into the distance again.

    MDMA was used very successfully in psychotherapy for many years. While it was legal Shulgin would spread it amongst psychotherapists who used it very successfully in sessions to help people suffering from emotional trauma.

    MDMA was eventually made illegal, Shulgin was given a license to continue to do research but when he released the book Pihkal telling the world how to make it in a chemistry laboratory and printing all his research on the other PEA’s, the DEA busted him for some paperwork misdemeanour.

    One very sad story from this concerns a certain psychotherapist, I can’t remember his name, but he continued to use MDMA to help his patients even after it was made illegal. He helped many people with this amazing drug, but eventually he was discovered by the authorities and he committed suicide.

    The DEA effectively ceased any use of this drug to help people suffering from mental illness.

    If anybody wants to read further on the subject, there is lots of information on the web, and in Pihkal on the therapeutic benefits of MDMA in psychotherapy.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2008
  2. ToHelp

    ToHelp Well-Known Member

    Hi Mark,

    Ah yes, methylenedioxymethamphetamine, (a couple of mouthfuls!), chemically 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methamphetamine. Its actions are not *precisely* nor fully understood but it's not illegal in most countries the world over for no good reason.

    It is true that many people--renowned, credentialed, much respected people the world--over advocate this drug's use. Alas, they are far outnumbered by those who are wary its safety. Put simply, your "suicide Tuesday" is but one example of its dysphoric drawbacks the day after.

    We are very, very young in our understanding of the brain. It really is easy to understand why it's illegal. For one, it's extremely experimental in psychotherapeutic uses, and of course anything that is so experimental cannot be sanctioned by (our) FDA.

    I find it as fascinating as you. What other drug out there will induce such an enhancement of understanding of self and insight. It's very akin to a spiritual experience.

    But any promise or holdout of the practical, clinical usd of MDMA almost negates what the future holds as neuroscience advances in the near future including nano-neuropharmacological advances.

    It's an interesting subject to broach, to be sure. :)

  3. Esmeralda

    Esmeralda Well-Known Member

    I would be shocked if someone could take 20-40 pills of X and not die either from overdose or dehydration. It's mostly non-toxic, yes, but extremely powerful. Your heart-rate can increase to dangerous levels and it raises your core body temperature (keep in mind, this is with ABUSE, not USE). Drinking water is very important on this drug and drinking alcohol is discouraged.

    But it can lead to some profound experiences...I would recommend this WAY before acid. With acid, many people have bad experiences because their mind is not in the right place or because they freak out. This does not happen with MDMA. It's damn near impossible not to feel great while doing this drug.

    The other concern is that you may not get pure MDMA (and you probably won't), so you have to deal with other chemicals whose toxicity levels are quite high.

    Also, the day after can be tough because your brain has no Seratonin left to give. I would recommend that marijuana be a "must have" when taking this drug both during and especially after.
  4. Dreamer uk

    Dreamer uk Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting, it is very interesting to read your comments, all of which I agree with.

    With regards to it's illegality, I agree as it has a high potential for abuse, as anybody who has tried the substance will know. Anything which is pleasurable has the risk of becoming addicting.

    It's use in psychotherapy is experimental, and although there are a number of human tests been santioned it is highly unlikely the FDA will ever approve a use of the drug.

    It is a shame that experimentation looking for sustainable alternatives has pretty much ended with its listing as schedule 1.

    As I view it, MDMA is basically like the ultimate anti-depressant, it is very unspecific, and at a threshold dose becomes psychadelic. It is far too powerful a drug to be used in convential medicine.

    Yet still I'm left wondering if this drug could be of help to people stuck in emotionally disturbed states, not being able to have acceptance for what has happened to them, although I agree this would be a potentially addictive substance to introduce people to, and with Serotonin crashes following could even prove fatal.

    Better living through Chemistry, fix my genes :smile:

    When I took MDMA 1 year ago today it made me realise how depressed I actually was and it also made me understand I had some sort of Serotonin dysfunction. I eventually started taking SSRI anti-depressants which went a great distance to rectifying my chemical imbalance, but alas they are not perfect and have their own problems.

    I'm now interested in getting my genotype determined, particularly I want to know what gene variants I carry for trp1 & trp2 genes, which control serotonin levels.

    The drug that I need to take hasn't been invented yet, I was born too early, shit, I need some nanotechnology or something.
  5. Dreamer uk

    Dreamer uk Well-Known Member

    I think people get away with taking those sorts of quantities of MDMA because they have built up such tolerance to the drug and they take the tablets over a prolongued period of time, say a weekend. Plus the pills contains god knows what, maybe very little MDMA. The main risk, like you say, comes from overheating, lack of water, or too much water, these problems are created at dance events. With these conditions only a small amount of the drug would be needed to cause severe problems. About a decade ago, I went to Club UK in london, the week before it was shut down. I had also stupidly took amphetamine as well, and with the problem of drugs being illegal, didn't have a fucking clue as to how much drug I was actually taking. Anyway, this club had no air-conditioning, no air-circulation, the heat was unbearable. I was very ill aftewards and never touched any class A drugs since, except the MDMA I had last year. People died in this club of heat exhuastion and it was shut down
    I'm not really talking about MDMA as a recreational dance drug, more of a spiritual drug, not taken in the dance culture way, but in a sort of psychotherapeutic context, for the reasons you state, that it is damn near impossible not to feel great when you're on it, and all of lifes baggage is lifted.
    Of course that is a concern with all drugs, that they are mostly impure, a lot do not contain MDMA or are mixed with other chemicals. I can't buy pills, however, I can buy, off the street, pure MDMA crystals, which is becoming more and more popular and is surprisingly cheap. I couldn't do any better myself even with an advanced chemistry laboratory with all the chemicals I'd need.
    Yeah, if it wasn't for that serotonin depletion I'd probably take the stuff quite regularly, instead the loss of serotonin which acompanies MDMA use is almost enough to put me off taking the drug for the rest of my life, even though I know it is a wonderful experience, I never repeated the experience during the last 12 months.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2008
  6. ToHelp

    ToHelp Well-Known Member

    LOL now that's humor. :thumbup: Yep, me too. I definitely identify.

    The Zoloft (sertraline) I take is rife with nasty side effects and *might* be helping me. Some.

    But that's a whole other subject.

    Can't resist: I wouldn't recommend either because MDMA is illegal. Nothing personal Ana.

    Also, on another topic, I never endorse rave-party discussions where people coach one another on how to have them "safely," as it crosses the line of addiction and abuse into illegal use.

  7. Dreamer uk

    Dreamer uk Well-Known Member

    Hi mate

    Yeah bring on some gene manipulation nanobots so I can live a life where I feel normal, I don't mind being half borg if that's what it takes.

    I was on the sertraline myself, took them for about 12 months, then came off them about 6 weeks ago. Probably one of the reasons why I'm feeling in such a low mood now. Stopping taking them is no fun, I think there has been a reorganization of my SERT proteins, no wonder that shit takes 6 weeks to start working, that just isn't right, they don't know how MDMA works but I think they know even less about sertraline and the other SSRI's. In the end I really didn't like the way the sertraline made me feel. I think it needed more of a boost in the dopamine/norepherine direction. It was better being on them but I was hesistant about ending up taking them for the rest of my life. Plus I wanted my sertraline transporter proteins back, just in case I give myself a bit of self psychotherapy :rolleyes:

    The brain exists in a balance, so all drugs have there drawbacks, especially if taken over the longer term. People talk about downregulation of SERT from MDMA use but who knows what SSRI's do. Pharmaceutical medication has plenty of side effects as well. I'll probably just end up spending the rest of my life taking an antidepressant.
  8. ToHelp

    ToHelp Well-Known Member

    *tips hat*

    Well could be, Mark. There is a phenomenon known distinctly as discontinuation sydrome and is exclusive to ADs. It's not the "protraction withdrawal" sometimes seen in benzodiazepine stoppage. It's not the prolonged, unique withdrawal (whose name stubbornly escapes me right now) from opioids/opiates.

    Nope - discontination syndrome is unique to ADs (SSRIs, SNRIs, and probably tricyclics; even MAOIs themselves, as well). The reasons I propose that are a bit complex for here.

    I stopped my Zoloft last year - AFTER ABOUT EIGHT YEARS, Mark! I only thought I had properly tapered, but man that stuff hit kicked me in the ass right along about week 4 with a deeper, more mournful depression than I'd ever experienced--ever.

    Had to go back on 'em; may NEVER come back off. That period was black, it was long, and it was rough.

    Me, too. Myself (I'm NOT an M.D.) and a bunch of highly schooled professionals including psychiatrists who are able to post anonymously on Usenet think they're shit, actually.

    And without a doubt they're over-prescribed.

    In brief, one thought is that Big Pharma pumps these things out, people become neurologically dependent upon them, and then--whether they want to quit or not, they're "hooked," or more accurately acutely dependent. Drug companies (including the generic companies) comprise a billion-dollar industry, bro. I mean mate. :tounge:

    Among those who oppose the proliferation of SSRI scripting is a vocal, highly intelligent neuropharmacologist himself. (The field of neuropharmacology is actually the guys/gals "in the white lab coats" we think of--they're actually researchers).

    Neuropharmacologists do the actual synthesis and development of the new compounds before they are even named!

    I am very lucky, as the neuropharmacologist in question--the researcher--is a friend and mentor to me. I've been reading him for ten years (lol), honestly. Have learned a TON and continue to do so (albeit from many other sources, as well).

    lol You're a pleasure to read mate. (I call mate... yet I am in the U.S. It's fine. :cool:) Yes, that's along the lines of what I was thinking. Alas I am now in a more resigned, humbled disposition when the question comes to ever again getting free.

    Homeostasis. Ideally, it does Mark. Do we really know this? What of the demographic of patients who are "out-and-out" mentally ill such as schizophrenics who live in and out of different realities than our own?

    Which one, do you figure?

  9. Dreamer uk

    Dreamer uk Well-Known Member

    lol, I think it will be the fluoxetine for me next time, upto 40mg

    Fluoxetine is the least specific SSRI, so it also targets dopamine & other neurotransmitters. Plus fluoxetine has a very long half life of several days.

    The halflife of sertraline is 26 hours, paroxetine & venlafaxine is even worse at about 10 hours.

    The brain zaps are the worst, I realise now that part of the way I'm feeling is cos of the anti-depressants.

    I really need to be on antidepressants, but I really don't want to take them for the rest of my life.

    I was taking some bupron for a bit to topup the sertraline which was pretty good as it balanced out with some affinity for dopamine & norepherine.

    Shit, I really should have stayed on the sertraline, I wouldn't be in this mess now lol

    Take care mate
  10. Esmeralda

    Esmeralda Well-Known Member

    Mark- pure MDMA crystals? Wow. That's pretty cool. I have never taken the drug at a rave or anything, but you're right that this is the most dangerous place to take it. I personally don't think I would want to do much more than talk with a few friends or just lay there and breathe...never knew breathing was so fun :) Plus, I get really sensitive to sound, so that would probably not go well for me.

    I know that there was an experimental thing going around in the U.S. for awhile (I don't know if they still do it) where they will test the drug for you at raves to determine purity. I think there is also a kit you can order to do this at home.
  11. ToHelp

    ToHelp Well-Known Member

    lol... Yep, could be. But me and you's flying blind here, just trying to be normal, or normally happy.

    Or happily normal. :laugh: So we could hardly be blamed for trying.

    Hmm, never heard that. Are you sure? Got a linkable source handy maybe? As SSRI stands for "selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor," it seems counterintuitive to think it should have equal affinity for the three primarily targeted neurotransmitters (NTs)--serotonin, norepinephren, and dopamine.

    It can be labyrinthine at best to figure out, and there are several other NT-specific classes, one being "SNRI"s! (Serotonin-norepinephren reuptake inhibitors, venlafaxine being one example.)

  12. Dreamer uk

    Dreamer uk Well-Known Member

    lol yeah I just want to be happy & as normal as I can be.
    Sorry, I didn't mean that it has the equal affinity for transporter sites. I just meant it is possibly the least-specific of the SSRI's. Citralopram is the most specific to serotonin transporters which is why it is a first-line choice.

    I can't find the binding specifics for fluoxetine, it is just known to generally be one of the strongest SSRI antidepressants. I did find the binding potentials for sertraline when I started taking them, it has about 1% of the affinity for dopamine transporters. I presume sertraline has more specific binding because it is a newer antidepressant.

    I think sertraline is the most commonly prescribed AD in the US, but I think fluoextine is the most common over here.

    9mg of sertraline is enough to bind to 50% of serotonin transporters. At the therapeutic doses all the SSRI antidepressants bind to 80%+ of transporter proteins. It seems this 80% occupancy level is important to get a therapeutic effect.

    I was on 100mg on sertraline, my transporter proteins must have been well occupied, probably about 90-95%. I think sertraline & fluoxetine also have effects on voltage gate ion channels.

    Fluoextine is often used to help people get of sertraline. My preference is with fluoextine because of the long half life.

    Bupron is often used in conjunction with sertraline to combat the sexual side effects. It really gives you a pick up of energy, although sleeping becomes a bit of a problem.

    Over the longer term Bupron causes a lowering of dopamine release.

    Basically the brain regulates itself to cope with these chemicals in the body, I don't know whether the SERT proteins withdraw or whether there are other changes involved in the synthesis & breakdown of serotonin.

    It really worries me about the changes long term use of anti-depressants will have on the brain. The brain adjusts to being on them, and then it is very hard to get off them without going into a suicidal depression.
    I'm staying well away from venlafaxine because it has the shortest half life of the drugs at about 10 hours. The brain zaps from withdrawal get most complaints from paroxetine & venlafaxine.

    I will probably either go on fluoxetine because of the long half life or possibly try to get onto some sertraline augmenting with some bupron.

    The next time I go back on anti-depressants, I ain't never coming off them again, I'm staying on them for the rest of my life.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2008
  13. Dreamer uk

    Dreamer uk Well-Known Member

    I've been looking on the net but didn't find much.

    I did find this:

    which points to one difference of fluoextine & sertraline being for the 5H2C receptor. I think this is a target for antiemeitc drugs, but I'll have to check.

    Maybe sertraline does have a slightly higher affinity for dopamine, I can't find any information that isn't on pay-to-view research sites.

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2008
  14. ToHelp

    ToHelp Well-Known Member

    Hey Mark,

    Random thought. I'm not sure that all of the primarily-targeted NTs for are equally as important to treat depression.

    Question for you. What, exactly are "SERT proteins"?

    It's been supplanted since by escitralopram, which is *claimed* have even fewer side-effects.

    I congratulate you for avoiding venlafaxine like the plague, man. lol That stuff has had more patient-reported serious adverse effects than ANY I know of. And God help you if you ever desire to come of that drug, from what I hear. Discontinuation at any tapering schedule has been found to be troublesome and unpredictable. :eek:

    lol! I love your passion and tenacity Mark--I too have run into this "research barrier" of which you speak. You know that you're a cut above the general population in both interest and ability to understand once do, for hitting upon research sites that won't let you in or want to you pay means that you've exhausted information deemed digestible to the general public and have wandered into bona fide doctoral research territory. :)

    I always get a chuckle when that happens.

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2008
  15. Dreamer uk

    Dreamer uk Well-Known Member

    lol I don't know anything exactly.

    SERT just means Serotonin transporter, a bit like DAT, the dopamine transporter. As far as I understand they are basically proteins located on the surface of the cell of the neuron which transports the neurotransmitter to and from the synapse and back into storage vesicles.

    I agree with what you say about the targetted NTs to treat depression. They are not equally important as such. Serotonin is thought to be one of the major NT's which affect mood, but drugs like sertraline and fluoextine are more efficient at treating depression because they are less selective. Dopamine is thought to play a major role in treating depression.

    I think dopamine & serotonin exist in a balance in the brain, if you push up the serotonin levels whilst leaving dopamine & norepherine you end up feeling very emotionally flat. I've never tried going on citralopram, or the other one I can't spell, lol, as I considered that they would have a less efficient antidepressant effect.

    Today I was also considering going on bupropion, which is an efficient anti-depressant, probably not very suitable for me but I fancied getting an anti-depressant effect without effecting serotonin.

    Also maybe I should consider looking at things like Lithium and I would also like to try out an MAOI to see what that is like. I'll have to look and see if there are any withdrawal effects from MAOIs, although they are the least prescribed because historically they have been dangerous although there are much better ones around now.

    That sertraline binds to SERT protein for about 3 days, all my SERT proteins are almost taken out of the equation by sertraline which just leaves higher levels of serotonin in the synapse. No wonder the brain has some difficulty adjusting to that level of manipulation both when you start taking the medication and when you stop.

    I just don't know what the best form of treatment is. I would like to know what gene variants I have for trp1 & trp2 genes which are involved with serotonin, and maybe some of the other genes which control neurotransmitter levels, like COMT.

    I definately have some sort of serotonin dysfunction, whether I break down serotonin too quickly, don't release enough of it I'm not sure, but I don't think preventing it's reuptake at the synapse is the best solution to the problem.

    I don't pretend to know how the brain works, I've never studied it, and no doubt I could spend a hundred lifetimes doing so and still wouldn't understand it much.
    Yeah I know, I'm just lazy and just still refer to the drug with the same name as it is harder to spell. lol It is basically the same, except the new one you mention is the more active enantiomer of the original drug.
    lol venlafaxine sounds pretty good, so does paroxetine, until you read all the withdrawal symptoms people go through, sertraline was bad enough. If I'm gonna stay on the AD's for the rest of my life I suppose I could consider it. It is supposed to be a bit more powerful as an anti-depressant but it causes more problems for people in the long run, so I don't think that one is for me.

    Fluoextine is supposed to be the easiest to come off because of the long half-life which is why it is used as an adjunct to come off other antidepressants.
    I have a passion to learn about drugs, the body, evolution, life sort of stuff, thank god I don't have to leave it soley in the hands of doctors or psychiatrists.

    lol yeah the research barrier, do research and then not tell anybody about it who needs to know, a very clever strategy for keeping people in the dark. I Google something, every link seems to have the answer I'm looking for, then I basically just get told to fuck off. lol

    Take care mate (I mean bro) lol
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2008
  16. ToHelp

    ToHelp Well-Known Member

    "Yeah I know, I'm just lazy and just still refer to the drug with the same name as it is harder to spell. lol"

    Dude!!??? Or, matey - you just add an "E"! :faint:

    Your post is very substantive. There's is a lot to think about. I never knew or considered that affecting one NT could have an indirect affect or downregulation of another.

    Good stuff Mark.

    "I Google something, every link seems to have the answer I'm looking for, then I basically just get told to fuck off."

    LOL, that's about the size of it. :)
  17. Dreamer uk

    Dreamer uk Well-Known Member

    lol I try to leave the E's alone mate :rolleyes:

    tbh I'm not even sure I was spelling the other one right, I think it is the extra syllable that throws me, I don't even know how to say it.

    Let me practice ( has it got an s in as well?)


    I'll just call it Celexa, it is quicker on the tongue, I think that is the brand name over here. I don't know whether the doctors are prescribing both now, presumably they are just using the more modern & active form of the drug.
  18. Dreamer uk

    Dreamer uk Well-Known Member

    I don't pretend to know what goes on with the complexity of neurotransmitters cos I don't really have a clue.. There are many NT's in the brain and the control is no doubt unbelievably complex.

    I found this, it appears to show fluoxetine has more affinity for dopamine & norepherine than sertraline.

  19. ToHelp

    ToHelp Well-Known Member

    :lolabove: Mark you know we're alienating the entire rest of the forum now, right? lol

    Well, I can help out with that. But first, citalopram is Celexa over here as well, while escitalopram is Lexapro. The pronunciation got me too. Usually I can get them, but with these two I was really taken aback. Their etymological syllabification is quite unique.

    So, after guessing and guessing I had to turn to my doc!

    It's [SIGH tal o pram] and [ES sigh tal o pram].

    That help any? And I was wrong about them being just one letter's difference of course. :) Escitalopram adds in an E and S.

    The latter still being under patent, Celexa is far cheaper, so many go for that. Efficacy is purported to be about the same, as you mentioned--and here's an interesting historical aside. Got come coffee or your favorite heady brew? You might need it.

    * * * * *​

    Did you know the golden standard by which the clinical efficacy of all new ADs are measured is... imipramine!? I find that incredible on many fronts.

    Imipramine was the first tricyclic used to treat depression. (In my searching, tricyclics and MAOIs appear to have been put to use right about the same time--'57, '58-ish.)

    Because of it and other tricyclics' oppressive side effects, the advent of yer good ole Prozac in 1987 led to sky-rocketing depression treatment. The considerable lack of those side-effects is what made Prozac revolutionary. But that's not all.

    If you read a while on the 'Net, you can see that Eli Lilly saw $ $ $ $ and proceeded to launch an aggressive marketing campaign suggesting that Prozac was an actual breakthrough and new approach to treating depression.

    In fact, it is not at all. Damned stuff just has fewer side effects. lol

    But they all regulate and affect various NTs in a similar modality. No milestone there. So.... that's a good 50 years now that we have treated depression in essentially the same ways, and with very similar drawbacks.

    We are very young in all this, believe it! Once you and I die, science will probably come upon some new field of nanoneuroaffective treatments (nanotechnology) and change everything. lol

    It's true: We were born too early goddamnit I tell ya! :rant: Ahh but philosophically though, there are two sides to THAT coin, and I just bet you know what I'm going say. :laugh:

    Can you imagine life during the truly hard times in history? During The Plague; during various droughts when there was no running-water infrastructure and reservoir to turn to?

    When people had to literally bury their own dead?

    Can you imagine suffering depression before '57?

    Yep, it's all in how you look at it. An ability and willingness to have gratitude for everything we have these days and not take them for granted is very powerful indeed.

  20. Dreamer uk

    Dreamer uk Well-Known Member

    lol sorry if this thread has gone a bit off topic, should have called it serotonin manipulating drugs or something, but it is all relevant.

    Thanks for the info on escitalopram/lexapro & citalopram/Celexa. I know now how to say them both and can spell them. I've just read the Wikipedia page on Lexapro, seems that has the highest affinity for Serotonin receptors of any SSRI's.

    lol You make a good teacher.

    Thanks for the information on imipramine, I've never really come across that before. I've read some interesting stuff on Diphenhydramine (I call them Nytol over here but I think you call them Benadryl. It is an over the counter anti-histamine sedative drug normally sold as a sleep aid but it also has effects on the reuptake on serotonin, I think this led to the search for better antidepressants which eventually culminated in fluoxetine.

    I didn't realise imipramine was the first TCA, I just read the information about it on Wikipedia and it sounds quite a powerful drug with strong effects on norepherine & also affecting dopamine. Although, like you say the side effect profile is worst. I didn't realise it was the gold standard to measure AD's against.

    I wonder if people have problems getting off that medication like they do with most of the SSRI's, presumably they still have some difficulties

    Yeah, all they do is just try to develop drugs which target neurotransmitters more specifically, bring on the nanobots, they can test them on me. Make me into some kind of superhuman like Neo. lol
    Yeah the quality of life has generally gotten better, and will continue to do so, it isn't good enough for people not to take their own lives yet, we are far away from the utopian society.

    Times past have been much more cruel. I could of got burnt at the stake for practicing a bit of chemistry or more likely to suffer pain from this cruel world.

    At least there are several choices to be had now in treating depression, not so long back there wouldn't have been any of those choices.

    Sometimes, I try to think back even further, to like when were primitive cavemen where life would have been much more of a struggle, but it would have been so much simpler than having to deal with the complexities of the modern world and would realise the important things are shelter, food, warmth, and of course love and not all the materialistic things we take for granted in modern society.

    On the subject of SSRI's I read this on Wikipedia the other day:

    I was just wondering how you find it being on the AD's for many years, do you notice any drop off in the effects?

    Have you switched antidepressants many times, do you have experience of others, and I was just wondering what dose of sertraline you currently take now?

    Also, when you said you stopped using the sertraline how long did the discontinuation symptoms last, did you get through them or did you just end up going back on the sertraline before they ended.

    I can still feel that my head is foggy from stopping the ad's and that it is causing me to have negative feelings and not want to do anything.

    I'll probably get myself put back onto fluoxetine or sertraline, I'm not sure which one is the best, although they are very similar. Is there any reason why you have preference of sertraline over fluoxetine?

    Best wishes

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