So for those of you that do not know I have been on zyprexa for 14 years. Currently doing 5mg. After 7 years of zyprexa I developed drug-induced insomnia and other rather serious side-effects like constant restlessness and brain discomforts, including sometimes pain.
Somehow I discovered that certain herbs seemed to help me with a state of phyisical discomfort in my brain and a never ending restlessness.
After a while I came to realise after some research that all of these herbs seemed to have one thing in common. They somehow stimulated or worked as a agonist on the gaba-system in the brain.
So why not just take a gaba supplement?
Well…apparently most(or all) atypical antipsychotics have a antagonist effect on the gaba system. I haven’t researched this extensively, but I think the reason is to reduce the possibilty of developing tardive dyskinea. There is a much greater risk of developing dyskinea when taking first generation antipsychotics, because they don’t have any antagonist action on the gaba system. Normal levels of GABA while taking a antipsychotic seems to promote tardive dyskinea.
So I took a 750mg dose of pure GABA supplement. And sure enough, on day two or three I think it was I developed uncontrollable movement in my left hand. So naturally I had to stop. I have later re introduced GABA, but now taking only 250mg a day. I have done that for about a week and so far I have not had any trouble with involuntary movements.
When it comes to the herbs that modulate the GABA system their effect on me is that they seem to calm down my overactive mind. It is easier to stay calm and focused in the daytime, it takes away discomfort in my brain and I am able to relax in the daytime. For example before I started taking these herbs it was impossible to lie down on a sofa and relax. My mind simply could not rest. Now however this is possible. I can take naps and my quality of life is better. My general health seems to be improved and more normal, combating side-effects from medication.
So herbs that can be helpful are: licorice root, magnolia bark, chamomille, valerian root and lemon balm to mention a few.
Here is a study discussing herbs that works on the gaba-systems anti-insomnia properties which is related to what I’m talking about regarding relaxation. A lot of the herbs they discuss are not common remedies. I never heard of most of them, but there are also a few common ones like licorice root and valerian root in the study. I guess what I’m talking about can be useful to look into if any of you guys struggle with the same things I do.