The flushing experiment.

I started to see a therapist a couple of weeks ago. Things haven’t been getting better for me, and I had reached a point of desperation. I have been to two different therapists before over different traumas. One therapist talked to me like a child and used cutesy words. The other therapist mostly sat there in silence. I needed a more direct approach. So far, this new therapist is more talkative. I have only been twice, and go again next Wednesday. The trial period for therapist #3 has officially begun.

At my next appointment, my therapist is going to start EMDR. I have never done this before, although I have certainly heard of it. She has honed in on my self-defeating opinions of myself and wants to work on that first. So, we’re going way back to when the low feelings of self first started… all the way back to age 11. The therapist has given me some ideas of what to expect, and I have done my own research at the upmost tier of reliability (a.k.a. Dr. Google). I am still a bit nervous, but open to trying something new.

At my first appointment, we went over my history of Wellbutrin and Zoloft use, and the undesirable side effects I had from each (fogginess/short term memory issues from the Wellbutrin and weight gain from the Zoloft). I am greatly fearful of gaining weight again on an SSRI like I did on the Zoloft. Although I found Zoloft helpful, I am opposed to going through the fat mill again.

My therapist asked me if I have seen the documentary Food Matters. I had not, so she started to explain Dr. Saul’s position on niacin use and depression. Dr. Saul believes that high doses of niacin can help with the symptoms of depression. Check out a clip from the film here:

Niacin doesn’t have the side effects that anti-depressants do, although individuals with liver conditions can have complications with such high doses and thus should not follow this advice. One of the few side effects is a flushing of the skin, which feels warm and resembles one big hive. The flushing effect is temporary, and should subside within 30 minutes.

I started taking niacin a week ago. I got up to 1000 mg spaced throughout the day, but still was not experiencing any flushing. My therapist believes that my niacin levels are really depleted if I had no flushing effect at that dosage. I am now up to 1500 mg and experienced my first flush 2 days ago. My hands and forearms started to form deep pink blotches, which eventually connected into one giant pink mass. My ears began to burn and tingle. My face felt hot and melty. I experienced this at work, and tried to play it off as an allergy. I did not experience any flushing today, so it sounds like my body is getting used to the 1500 mg.

I am not sure if the niacin is helping my depression at this point. I still have been weepy on a daily basis, and flow from various points of despair. I have had less racing thoughts today, but I don’t know if that’s the niacin or keeping my brain occupied on a busy work agenda during the day and a good book this evening. Time is what I have, so time is what I will give to see if it is worth continuing.

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