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Thread: Has Anyone Tried Stem Cell Therapy To Reverse Psychiatric Medication Induced Damages?

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    Has Anyone Tried Stem Cell Therapy To Reverse Psychiatric Medication Induced Damages? 
    #1
    My brain has been completed destroyed by psychiatrists prescribing me over 40 different types of psychiatric medications. I am currently in a position where my medication cocktail of Depakote Sprinkles, Klonopin and Anafranil no longer works for sleep. So basically I'm going to end up psychotic or suicidal very soon. I have heard that stem cell therapy can reverse some iatrogenic damages but I am not sure if the whole SCT thing is a big scam like psychiatry is. Really, any advice on what to do to get back to a normal sleep schedule would be helpful.
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    #2
    I am by no means an expert or even educated on this issue, but a couple of months ago when I saw my GYN for a final time, prior to my relocation from the Midwest to the West Coast, we were talking about how I might go about finding new doctors (I have several chronic health issues). My GYN is pretty progressive - most GYNs will not prescribe hormone therapy for post-menopausal women with a cancer history as I do. But his parting words to me were, "Be very careful in California (and Florida, too); there are a lot of places popping up that are making all kinds of promises with stem cell therapy that have no scientific proof.

    So continue to do your research, but know that these kinds of unethical places exist and will try to sell you anything with all kinds of promises. Good luck.

    I'm not familiar with your diagnosis, but if one of your issues is depression, have you considered ECT? I had it five years ago (12 sessions over four weeks) and it was an absolute miracle. I've been told by many physicians that it's the most under-utilized treatment out there for any serious medical issue. I am back at a place where I am not ruling it out, unfortunately, after a year and a half of several very serious losses (deaths of three people very close to me - two brothers within twelve days -, as well as finding out about another chronic health issue, AND discovering my husband had been cheating on me with three different women over two years; oh, then there's the major relocation - job related - after calling the Midwest home for more than 30 years).
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by thisismylife View Post
    I am by no means an expert or even educated on this issue, but a couple of months ago when I saw my GYN for a final time, prior to my relocation from the Midwest to the West Coast, we were talking about how I might go about finding new doctors (I have several chronic health issues). My GYN is pretty progressive - most GYNs will not prescribe hormone therapy for post-menopausal women with a cancer history as I do. But his parting words to me were, "Be very careful in California (and Florida, too); there are a lot of places popping up that are making all kinds of promises with stem cell therapy that have no scientific proof.

    So continue to do your research, but know that these kinds of unethical places exist and will try to sell you anything with all kinds of promises. Good luck.

    I'm not familiar with your diagnosis, but if one of your issues is depression, have you considered ECT? I had it five years ago (12 sessions over four weeks) and it was an absolute miracle. I've been told by many physicians that it's the most under-utilized treatment out there for any serious medical issue. I am back at a place where I am not ruling it out, unfortunately, after a year and a half of several very serious losses (deaths of three people very close to me - two brothers within twelve days -, as well as finding out about another chronic health issue, AND discovering my husband had been cheating on me with three different women over two years; oh, then there's the major relocation - job related - after calling the Midwest home for more than 30 years).
    Thanks for the heads up on the SCT. I'm going to roll the dice and apply for it as I am truly desperate. I applaud your bravery as I'm personally terrified of ECT probably more than most things in life. I've been in several inpatient hospitals and have seen the before and after statuses of people that I talked to on the unit. I can only recall one guy who was maybe 19 years old who benefited from it. This was after he was admitted for overdosing on Seroquel and just got out of a coma also. He must have some sort of resilience that others do not. Everyone else I saw had their memories erased of me, chronic migraines, worsened depression etc. I also am unsure if I would be a candidate for ECT since I'm taking medications that are meant to prevent seizures (even though I don't have a seizure history) and ECT induces seizures. There's also quite a lot of info from dissident psychiatrist / psychiatric survivors about avoiding ECT.
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    #4
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    Sorry if this comes off as blunt, but your distrust of the entire field because of some bad practitioners could make it easier to fall prey to quackery. I've seen it happen to people IRL. There are bad doctors, yes, but that doesn't make psychiatry a "big scam."

    I know that stem cell treatment is showing promise in treating traumatic brain injury and degenerative neurological conditions like Parkinsons or Alzheimers, but I have heard nothing about the potential for stem cell treatments in treating psychiatric disorders. When you do research, stick to unbiased sources from established medical journals, not places shilling for treatment.

    And lastly, I apologize if this is an oversimplified no-brainer, but what are your sleep hygiene habits like? Is the room silent, cool and dark? Do you do stuff in bed like read or look at stuff on your phone? A rehab therapist told me that you don't want the brain to equate your bed as a place you do stuff. Just sleep and sex. I've been an insomniac for as long as I can remember - all the way back to when I was a young kid. I used to lay in bed flipping out about being unable to sleep until I just quit worrying about it. Sooner or later, you'll sleep.
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    #5
    Especially if you've been inpatient before where you've seen people just in the middle of ECT treatment, you shouldn't judge what they look like even two weeks after they've completed their treatment. I know that cognitively I struggled while still in the hospital. In fact, I remember weeks later my therapist (who stopped by to visit me when I was in the hospital) and a couple of friends who saw me immediately afterward said they were worried. But over a few weeks, a lot of the memories came back. What would happen would be... someone would say something to me like, "Let's go see so and so," and I might reply, "Yea, we haven't seen them in a long time." And their response would be, "We saw them two weeks ago, right after you got out of the hospital." Then, when I asked for a few details, once they were given to me, the memories would come back. Yes, it was frustrating, but I'd say the only things I temporarily lost memory of were things that happened within 4-6 weeks of starting treatment, some stuff during treatment (there are some things about being in the hospital I definitely remember), and maybe a week or so after treatment. And as my psychiatrist says, when you're so depressed that you need ECT, your cognition is poor to begin with anyway, so how much of the memory loss is due to depression or ECT? In fact, I spent almost four weeks at an inpatient hospital back in mid-August to mid-September - I went there because they are known for their work with childhood and even adult trauma, and my anxiety was off the rails. I couldn't function. But their philosophy is, you can't do the deep therapeutic work if you're on a benzo, so they switched me from Xanax to Librium, and tapered me every 3-4 days until I was off it completely in 2.5 weeks. It was by far the most horrific experience I've ever had in any inpatient setting. I was almost catatonic; I felt like a walking zombie most of the time, my GI system got so screwed up I ended up in the ER with serious dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. I spent many hours in bed with an eye mask on to shut out any stimuli, and listened to nature sounds with an iPod. I lost 10 lbs. It was horrific. I called my husband to come get me 2.5 weeks early because they weren't willing or capable of trying to get at the bottom of my GI issues. It will be six weeks tomorrow that I left and my GI issues are still not completely resolved, despite my going back on Xanax. I have very few memories of my time there... similarly to when I had ECT because I was so depressed and despondent. So don't underestimate how bad just being severely depressed can mess with your cognition. Most people I've talked to who have had it regained much of their memory over time. My biggest complaint was the first two days after my first treatment, I had some muscle soreness, like I'd worked out really hard the day before... I'm sure that's because of the induced seizure. Truly, though, when you're under anesthesia and the health care professionals are watching you for your seizure threshold, all they want to see is a baby finger twitch the slightest bit... that's it. I never experienced any headaches and with a few sessions my appetite started to come back and I started to gain some more energy. I did my last three sessions outpatient, and within a few weeks of that, unexpectedly (at least on my part), my anxiety started to decrease dramatically to the point that, within two months of my last treatment, I was completely off of 1.5 mg. extended-release Xanax a day I'd been on for several months (.5mg taken three times a day)... all of my own fruition. No one told me to cut back... I just did because my anxiety was dissipating. Oh, they did also give me a dose of ketamine immediately prior to putting me out for my first two ECT sessions. This was in a large teaching hospital in a major metropolitan area.

    I can guarantee you I was terrified of ECT when it was first suggested to me a few months before I agreed to it. My biggest fear was that I'd do it, and it wouldn't help. I knew it was bringing out the big guns and if I did it and it didn't work, I couldn't see living the rest of my life the way I was. I had also already tried TMS and it did nothing for me, much less all the psych drugs we'd been through. I did really well for many years - what I'm going through now is the result of a LOT of PTSD in the last 18 months... stuff I had no control over. We just relocated across country and I've only met my new psychiatrist once (meet her again on Monday), but I told her I couldn't continue to live like this and if it came to it, I'd be willing to discuss ECT again, because I know what a miracle it was for me, and other people I've met through support groups (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance - DBSA).
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