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My withdrawal from SJW

Buffy

New Member
#1
I would like to post this warning -- please do not use SJW if you are not presently taking it. It has taken me over a year to successfully wean off 750 mg. I am presently on day #5 with no SJW, and wondered many days if I would ever get here. (I began taking it in 1996 because I was going through a separation -- in retrospect it gave me panic attacks because it lowered the level of alprazolam I was on then).

In the last year I have had so many weird experiences -- for example, I could not use olive oil as that exacerbated my withdrawal. I could not properly process vitamin A, so had to cut out everything with that in it. I had to stop eating fish because it elevated my acetylcholine level. I used flea powder and had a very strange reaction with that. It contained phosphates and that had some really weird affect on my brain chemistry which I am still experiencing.

Please google the metabolic pathway for choline and betaine compounds. I had a problem eating or being around anything that had phosphates. I felt like a lab rat a lot. I could not eat anything with a high folic level because the folic acid elevated the acetylcholine which exacerbated the withdrawal.

Best wishes everyone,

Buffy
Free at last, 9/1/2010 :dance:
 

kelly

Administrator
Staff member
#2
Buffy;10710 said:
I would like to post this warning -- please do not use SJW if you are not presently taking it. It has taken me over a year to successfully wean off 750 mg. I am presently on day #5 with no SJW, and wondered many days if I would ever get here. (I began taking it in 1996 because I was going through a separation -- in retrospect it gave me panic attacks because it lowered the level of alprazolam I was on then).

In the last year I have had so many weird experiences -- for example, I could not use olive oil as that exacerbated my withdrawal. I could not properly process vitamin A, so had to cut out everything with that in it. I had to stop eating fish because it elevated my acetylcholine level. I used flea powder and had a very strange reaction with that. It contained phosphates and that had some really weird affect on my brain chemistry which I am still experiencing.

Please google the metabolic pathway for choline and betaine compounds. I had a problem eating or being around anything that had phosphates. I felt like a lab rat a lot. I could not eat anything with a high folic level because the folic acid elevated the acetylcholine which exacerbated the withdrawal.

Best wishes everyone,

Buffy
Free at last, 9/1/2010 :dance:
Why do you feel these problems are related to St. John's Wort?

Are you a doctor or have a background in medical research? I don't understand much of what you are saying.

I'm sorry to hear what you went through, but I simply don't agree with your opening statement. Millions of people have taken SJW and it has helped the vast majority of people. Telling everyone to never take it is doing such a disservice! You have every right to post your experiences but I don't believe you thought this through. To tell everyone out there to not take SJW is, well, I hate to say it but a little selfish don't you think?

Too many people have written to me personally to say that SJW helped them, so many that I have long since lost track. Even a few wrote me saying that SJW saved their life, in that it helped prevent them from killing themselves following some of their darkest hours. The saddest result of depression is suicide and part of the reason I started this website. No one should ever have to be so depressed that the see the cowardly act of suicide to be the only way out.

For God's sake, try to think about the greater good!!

Kelly
 
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Buffy

New Member
#3
Did SJW cause my symptoms of withdrawal?

Yes, these symptoms were definitely linked to withdrawing from SJW. No, I am not a medical doctor. But, these things happened to me in the last year. I also take 5-HTP and GABA on a regular basis as well as melatonin. I don't think this would predispose me to have all these weird problems, do you?

Yes, I entertain the thought that SJW might help someone, however, it did not help me. Maybe I was never depressed to begin with. Back in the 1990s SJW was touted as almost a cure-all. I indeed did have problems with my ex and in the process of working through that I took SJW.

I realize now that if I need to take something to have a relationship with someone, then it is not the right relationship/friendship or job or whatever. Why can't people be who they are without changing to make everyone else happy? If I have to over-stimulate my brain receptors to keep in a situation, then I'm in the wrong situation. I did not have this insight before. Maturity comes after you have made some of the worst wrong decisions, however, I am so glad to be through the withdrawal. I am so glad to be alive and functioning. Yes, I have been through a lot, but who hasn't? God bless you all.

Buffy
 
#4
Update from my withdrawal

I am still having some problems. I cannot eat anything with high phosphate content very much like potatoes, or lecithin--eggs. I cannot stand any polyester on my body or anything with dyes right now. :spin: I can only wear cotton and had shingles on my back a month ago.

However, I am quitting the probiotics I had been taking and reducing/eliminating B6, and melatonin too.

I think my body chemistry was out of whack from all the supplements. Since I've reduced the probiotics to just once a day I feel a lot better already. :smile:

God bless you all,

Buffy
 

Buffy

New Member
#5
Probiotics and SJW withdrawal

Yes, I know the probiotics made my withdrawal worse because the probiotics increased the phosphorus in my system and that made it much worse for me.

Also, the melatonin is a thyroid inhibitor, which also inhibits the parathyroid gland, which controls the balance of phosphorus and calcium in your body. My phosphorus was way up and the calcium was probably way down. I got a lot of shocks from things, like my car door, etc. I still have problems with synthetic fabrics, nylon, polyester.

I think you should make a list of the foods you eat and keep a list. It will help you draw conclusions.

God bless,

Buffy

Psalm 103:1-5 :read:
 

Buffy

New Member
#6
Sjw

Well, are you keeping a list of triggers - foods that make you feel worse? SJW will make you nervous if you take a benzodiazepam because it will eliminate the benzo from your body because it activiates the CYP450 enzyme in your liver. That made me have panic attacks on the SJW when I was stressed. I never knew why until I finally figured out (years later) the SJW was to blame. Also, certain foods such as broccoli and blueberries will clear the benzo out of your body at a faster rate as well as cranberries.

I don't know what meds or other products you take, so I'm just guessing about what your situation is.

If you were not taking any meds, then perhaps you have a wheat allergy, especially if you have blood type O. I had that 2 years ago and it made me very nervous. I stopped eating wheat (there is a lot of help with that out there), ate plenty of vegetables and some meat. There is a book that is called "Eat Right for Your Blood Type." It will tell you what to avoid.

I would suggest that you quit SJW. I found out that organic apple skins contain quercetin, which is one of the ingredients of SJW and that will help with your allergies. Once you get your allergies under control, you will not be depressed or as depressed. I am stopping all herbals, vitamins and the last thing is the diazepam and until I will be free of all of it. My food is my medicine. Ps. 103:3. :read:


God bless,

Buffy
 
#7
Kitarist-
My depression came from a panic attack too in late September. While life was hell to live in, I managed to stick through it. I know without St. Johns, my wife would have been a widow by now. It's sad to say, but very real. I think for me, I wanted a quick fix: a pill that will take this ****ty feeling away the second I take it or at least a day after I take it, but the truth is that we have to give it time. I've been on St Johns since the end of September, and will say that it's worked for me. I still have anxious moments and bouts of depression every now and then, but the future is more hopeful now, and I have better control of it now. I hope you find a solution.
 

Buffy

New Member
#8
Sjw

SJW is known to cause stomach problems and in my case skin problems.

I still think you have an allergy problem.

If you can, please provide me your email and I will discuss further with you.

SJW caused me lots of problems, I would not recommend it for depression.

I recommend reading the Psalms for depression. David said, Wait upon the Lord and He will strengthen your heart. You have to be willing to lay down your body and become part of Christ's body. That is true freedom. :dance:

Blessings,

Buffy
 
#9
Sjw

I am sorry you had a panic attack, but the question is, what brought on the panic attack? What were you doing? I don't think consuming SJW will help it. In fact, SJW can cause you to feel manic, so how will that help with a panic attack? My panic attacks came after I started taking SJW because it reduced the benzo level in my body. Are you taking any other meds? SJW clears everything from your body quickly (I think because of the quercitin - just like organic apple peels).

I think the best thing for panic attacks is to quote scripture and listen to praise music. Realize that the feeling you are feeling will pass. Your soul needs to be adjusted and acclimated to God's word. That is a process of change or renewing your mind. Yes, we all need change -- but not with pills. I have spent a lot of years expecting pills to change situations, but it brings sorrow when you figure out that it didn't, but caused you to have more problems.

Well, let me just say, so what if everyone doesn't like me? So what?? So what if everything I ever do does not work out perfectly? So what?? I can still be happy. I know I have a Savior and a Great Shepherd. He is guiding me though it all here. Yes, sometimes it looks bad, but with God's help, I am learning to stand firm in the heat of the battle and not cave in, because I have the Greater One in me. Yes, I have been through some battles and so have you. But we cannot become conquers until we learn to fight. As David said in Psalms, The Lord teaches my hands to war. Then God gives me rest and revives me. I am an overcomer. :dance:

Buffy
 
#10
Serotonin science

I want to add something else from this source: powersupplements.com/craniums which says that neurotransmitter health is maintained with a balanced diet of adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fats. Dietary neurotoxins, like excess caffeine, nictotine and alcohol decrease production and should be avoided.

By the way, SJW not only elevates serotonin, but also dopamine and norepinephrine which will make you feel hyper after a while :lookaround:. And does other things too.

If you are prone to panic attacks, I think you should research herbs that work on just elevating serotonin. I have been taking 5-HTP which elevates serotonin, and I am currently reducing it as I don't need it now. I would only recommend it short term until you get your diet cleaned up, etc. but it is safer than SJW.

There are other safer things out there that work on increasing serotonin such as ginseng also.

God bless,

Buffy
 
#13
SJW, etc.

Yes, I used to be addicted to marijuana too. And at other times, other things. I tried just about everything at some time. I got desparate and tried SJW. But now I know that SJW is bad, bad, bad and has made a harder withdrawal than pot, alcohol or nicotine. I really believe it is of the devil. But if it does something for you, I took 375 mg once a day, and then up'd it to 375 three times a day. I took it for 14 years, but most of the time was at the lower dose. I started taking 5-HTP almost 10 years ago for another reason--I had a yeast problem and someone online suggested it would help with my current bad feelings. Now, I know it just made my health worse and that is why I'm quitting it. :roll: I took between 50-100 mg before bed. I'm down to about 35-40 mg now and also weaning off vitamin B6. Yes, this trash messed up my chemistry big time. I am here to tell you. My story has a bright ending because along the way I got desparate enough to start praying, reading my Bible and finally went back to church. Now I have a joy and peace and a HOPE in the midst of all this stuff--which I believe Jesus to be the best high because he is the Most High. And through his Holy Spirit he communes with me -- more than the SJW or anything else could do. That is my story. And He will do the same for you (John 3:16).

Buffy
 
#14
More brain science

Here is a link to Eat Sane, Be Sane. I think it might help also.

http://www.surfingman10.org/niacin.html

I used to put poision in my body and did not properly take care of myself. That is probably why 99.9% of us have tried SJW to compensate for the lack of it.

I hope you appreciate my honesty.

I have been through too much to lie to you, so I hope you understand.

Buffy :freak4:
 
#16
Prayer

I am happy to tell you that prayer is having a conversation with your Heavenly Father, who made your spirit and soul. Yes, your parents made your body, but He put the other 2 things in your body. How did He do it? I don't know. How did he put the sun and the earth in orbit? I don't know that either.

Anyway, if you have a Bible please read Genesis chapters 1 and 2. It will tell you what God's plan is for His creation (we are His creation). He wanted Adam, the first person He made to have communion with Him. He and Adam walked "in the cool of the day" and fellowshipped. He wants to have the same relationship with you.

I have more to say, but I have to lay a good foundation first. I am happy to tell you that everything that God does is good (in Him is light and there is no darkness at all). He wants you to walk in light and not in darkness. That is why He sent His only son Jesus. Jesus lived a sinless life and died on a cross to pay the penalty for our sins. That is how much He loves you and me (John 3:16). Jesus says that if anyone will open the door, He will come in and sup with them. If you want to have a relationship with Jesus, just say, Dear Jesus, I am sorry for my sins. I would like to invite you into my heart. Thank you for the new life you have given me now that I belong to You. Amen. Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit, or comforter to come into our life when we accept Him who leads us in truth. Then, you can say, Jesus, thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit. And Holy Spirit, I receive you now. Come and fill me with your presence. In Jesus' name, Amen. That is how you begin your relationship with the Father. :smile:

I would like to know if you make Jesus Lord of your life. Jesus said, those that worship the Father must worship in spirit and in truth. When you say that prayer your spirit gets born again and you become a new creature or new creation and begin a wonderful and everlasting relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Yes, Jesus is everything to me. Since my salvation, I have been unfaithful to Him so many times, but He forgives me. He said the spirit is willing, but the flesh (body) is weak. He also said "I will never leave you or forsake you."

I hope you make a choice that will change the rest of your life.

Buffy
 
#17
Painful withdrawal from SJW too

I've also experienced difficult withdrawal from SJW. So far it's been about four years that I've been taking it and it has helped. I've tried to wean off it a couple of times when confident and everytime I feel gradually worse as the SJW leaves my system. Not only do I go back to feeling depressed but I feel even worse than when I first started taking it. I get panic attacks; last time it was out of my system was the first time I had ever experienced a severe panic attack, it was horrible. That was after like a month off of St John's wort and it had taken me a long time to get to that point to begin with. It's almost like no time has passed and I have many unresolved feelings from the past. I go back to thinking about things that happend before I had started taking SJW, almost like I've been numb all these years. I feel very unhappy about where I'm at in life and cannot fuction without SJW. I'm considering changing my situation, maybe going back to school, see if I can get to the point where I'm okay to stop SJW without absolutely hating my life and obssessing about things that happened over 5 years ago. I don't think I should try to quit again without any additional support since starting SJW again after stopping took like 3 months to take effect. I'm also considering getting on a traditional SSRI to try to get off the SJW. I think I need to find something that will help me heal instead of just blocking all of those emotions. I know that SSRI's work similar to SJW but I have hope that there's something out there that will help. Plus several doctors who evaluated my depression told me initially that SJW was not going to be enough for my depression b/c it was too severe. My experience with SSRI's have been mixed. The times I've tried taking them I get paranoid and so I stop. The one time that I did stick with the treatment for a whole month it actually worked but only when I stopped taking it (this was before SJW). I know that people can be on SJW for many years with no side effects but I would really like to feel like myself again. It would be really helpful if I could get some advice as to what I should do because I feel like I'm in a nightmare that I can't wake up from. Also I would appreciate if no advice about religion, thanks.
 

florana

Regular Member
#18
Hi imarmole,

Have you ever tried practical therapy such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or other types of therapy or counselling. As you say changing your situation, such as re-entering education may help and you don't have to do it alone. They may help you to formulate a plan and method of action to getting towards your goals. Some studies suggest CBT or other therapies may help to reduce the amount of relapse. For some conditions CBT has been found to be comparable to SSRIs in effectiveness with possibly a longer lasting effect. Though for severe depression a combination of CBT with an antidepressant is usually reccomended I think. I've also heard some reccomend ACT (Acceptance and commitment therapy) if CBT doesn't suit. If you're in the UK you can get CBT via the NHS, but don't know about ACT. I haven't tried it myself though I do know someone who says CBT helped them, but thought I'd suggest it as something to discuss with a doctor.

As far as SSRIs go, there are a few different ones, and in some cases newer versions of older ones (e.g. Escitalopram vs Citalopram). You may find a different one has less side effects. There are also other herbal antidepressants but if you feel herbal stuff isn't cutting it then try to discuss with your doctor what's available. A site I use for info does mention on the page for St John's Wort:
Most studies show that St. John's wort may help treat mild-to-moderate depression. You shouldn' t try to treat severe depression -- where you may not be able to function day to day, or have thoughts of harming yourself or others -- with herbs. Always see a doctor if your depression is making it hard for you to function (See "Precautions" section).
.
 
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#19
SJW withdrawal

You are withdrawing too fast. Just aim for about 15-20 mg reduction per week or slower. Switch over to 150 mg capsules. Use a Sharpie pen and mark it. I marked dots starting from top of capsule, i.e. ................ then I used a Tupperware orange peeler and scooped out that much SJW. Yes, you can do it if you give yourself some time.

Best wishes,

Buffy
 
#20
Thanks for the tips. I have tried CBT and it has helped but I'm not currently in therapy right now although I'm considering it. What Buffy said really made me think though because the brand of SJW that I'm taking is 750 mg per capsule! At least that's what I understood from reading the information on the back. It says 'each 3 capsules contain 2,250 dry herb equivalent,' 2,250/3 = 750. I only take two capsules a day eventhough the directions suggest 3 per day. That could be why I'm having such a hard time withdrawing. It's a brand from the United States called Gaia which uses a liquid, gel-like form of SJW. They are the strongest and highest quality SJW I could find in the US as most forms are available over the counter, most brands are not that good. I have tried other brands with powder extract in capsule but those did nothing for me after being on Gaia so I'm afraid to switch back to the dry extract since these liquid ones seem to be the best. I am worried about not being able to withdraw gradually enough. The last time I tried I would just skip an entire dose every now-and-then to start off. I only take two per day so I struggled just to be able to get it down to 750 mg per day but I seemed to be doing fine with that after I adjusted. Until I quit completely and just felt awful so I had to get back on. I have made some dietary changes, though, I know you mentioned that in one of your earlier posts. Juicing, for example, has helped but not enough for me to quit so I was bummed out about that. Well, as of now I don't really know what I'm going to do. I'm thinking that maybe it's not a good idea to quit just yet, and that I should hold on a bit longer but another part of me just wants to feel my life again. I don't know if I'm being realistic to think that I can quit and be okay or if I'm not being patient enough. We'll see...