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Anxiety stopping progress?

Blog Forums Raising Metabolism Anxiety stopping progress?

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    I’ve been familiar with Matt Stone’s work since last summer. Since then I’ve gone back and forth between refeeding and restricting. I’ve steadily gained around 60 lbs since I began. I went from about 150 at 5’8″ to about 215 presently. I have a history of obsessing over food and health, starving/binging, trying all sorts of diets, etc. I’m a 19 year old male. My waking temps are in the low 96s.I’m serious about eating in abundance now and committed to raising my metabolism. No more restricting for me.

    I also have a really long history of anxiety. stuff like panic attacks. It’s been pretty bad as of late. I can get into a really paranoid state where logic is of no help and anxiety reigns supreme. The smallest of things can get my heart beating like crazy. I’m considering getting onto some antidepressant medication to help with this. I’ve seen a couple therapists over the last couple years and they all recommended it. I’ve read both terrible and wonderful things about it. The terrible stuff is what made me decide to not take it.

    But what I am concerned with is if this anxiety is putting too much stress on my body for it to heal and becoming less stressed through a medication would actually help me heal faster. Or would it just mess the process up all together. I’m making progress, but it seems like my temps should be a little higher after 6 or so months. Am I right or horribly wrong on this one?

    So, could meds help me? Do they have a tendency to mess with a person’s hormonnes? Is this anxiety getting exacerbated by refeeding and a symptom that will get better with time? Will the OCD behavior be lessened with refeeding?

    Thanks for any input


    you need to try something called tianeptine…it is a drug used in asia and europe for treating anxiety/depression. do some research on it and you will soon realize that a lot of people are finding it to be very helpful. I got mine from the link below:

    Ray Peat talks a lot about how high serotonin levels as well as weak metabolism contribute to feelings of anxiety…in the meantime, get some benadryl, it works very well as an anti-anxiety. tianeptine makes me more resistant to stress and I am the same way as you. you are right, your never going to heal with the continued anxiety. tianeptine makes me feel like I can bounce back from stressors, whereas before stressors would give me cold feet and make urinate frequently. I am not fully healed yet, but I knew I would never get better in a stressed state. After all, stress is what got me here in the first place. DO NOT take anti-depressants, SSRI’s are dangerous and will make your situation worse. A lot of people may disagree with me, but intuitve eating will only get you so far. Tianeptine has been my crutch, along with lots of coke and red bull.


    I don’t have experience with anxiety or antidepressants so I can’t add anything to what you already know there about antidepressants pluses and minuses. Personally, I’d try to avoid it, but I’ve never been in a state to need it so I freely admit that I may choose differently if I did suffer from anxiety.

    That being said, if you can manage it, I think you should try to give yourself some more time and forgiveness working without medication first. You said you’ve been refeeding for the last 6 months, but that you’ve also restricted during that time as well so I think it’s likely to have derailed or at least slowed your progress and would be worth giving your body some real focused attention and love.

    19 is young and hopefully given what you need you can start to see progress quickly. Maybe journaling regularly could give you something to look back over and help you see slow progress more clearly like realizing you’re having fewer panic attacks or your up days are coming more frequently than they used to. I just know that sometimes when we have a long way to go it can be hard to see how far we’ve come while we’re still in the midst of it.

    Best of luck to you with whatever route you take for your healing.


    I’m obviously not a doctor, but if I were you I would not go the medication route… at least not yet. It’s entirely up to you though.

    I have experienced panic attacks before and I have found that having a lot of salt helps more than anything else, as well as reducing fluids. Don’t go to the opposite extreme and refuse to drink when you’re extremely thirsty, though.

    How is your salt and fluid consumption? I could quite reliably bring about panic attacks by drinking a litre of water by itself without eating anything.


    I’ve dealt with the anxiety and panic and in my opinion drugs are not worth it. When I was 20 I was put on antidepressants for post partum depression and anxiety (I would wake up in the middle of the night with panic attacks) and they didn’t work. I went through a bunch, can’t remember all of the names Effexor? Paxil? I think those were two. But I was thin as a teenager and I didn’t gain weight during pregnancy, but over a year on antidepressants with no change in my diet I gained 50 lbs. Not only that, but they did not work which is why I went through so many. I was offered anxiety medication by a new doctor but he actually told me that the medication was like a bandaid and it wouldn’t solve the problem, if I went off of the medication the anxiety would likely return, that I needed to work through the issues that were causing the anxiety. The only thing that finally worked for me was a combination of vitamin supplements (I took a B complex along with extra B6 & B3) and a self-help program called Attacking Anxiety & Depression. The program is expensive (although you can find it online if you look around) and takes a lot of work and commitment to stick with it, but it really works.


    ive tried all the drugs too, prozac, lexapro, wellbutrin, klonopin and they all sucked….tianeptine is different, it works to lower serotonin, instead of raise it….it works well for me in haulting a panic attack….and it gets to the root of the anxiety and depression, having an effect even after you stop taking it

    The Real Amy

    Antidepressents have major effects on metabolism and other systems. Definitely a risk, and I have not ever seen it assist with metabolic healing (usually the opposite). Your decision of course, but bear in mind therapists and doctors love to recommend these meds without discussing all of the risks. At the very least, people should be aware they are very dependence-causing and tough to get off for many people (in some cases impossible).

    I stopped my own panic attacks 100% by CBT methods. It can be done. I do still get anxiety, but no more panic attacks, and it’s manageable. I highly recommend that you buy “Hope and Help for your Nerves” by Claire Weeks. It is a book from the 1960s, and frankly her writing style is a little annoying, but her lessons are genius. Basically, you can stop panic attacks and manage anxiety by ceasing to fight and resist it, and she walks you through it. It is a very cheap solution.


    Amy…the term “anti-depressant” is completely subjective. Me and you have completely different definitions of what an “anti-depressant” is. This is like someone who says they eat “healthy” because they are a vegan. Someone who follows the paleo diet may claim they are “healthy” as well. There can only be one right answer as to what is healthy, and I am not saying either of the two are correct.

    Prozac, the most popular “anti-depressant” in the U.S. does not even exist in many countries around the world. It has been shown to increase suicidality and induce mania. Prozac’s main function is to raise serotonin levels. On the other hand, “anti-depressants” in Europe, for example, are those that lower serotonin levels. A very popular drug called Tianeptine works to enhance the uptake of serotonin and is the standard in places like Europe and Asia, the same way that Prozac is the standard in the U.S. Pretty ironic, being that they both do opposite things, and are both considered “anti-depressants.”

    I have extensive experience with the mainstream U.S. “anti-depressant” medications like Prozac, Lexapro, etc. but never saw any improvement. When I began take anti-serotonin medications like Tianeptine or cyproheptadine, I saw tremendous improvement in my feelings of anxiety. I am a new person because of these “anti-depressants” and there has never been any documented dependancy found with these medications. Making vague statements like you did is the real danger here.

    Amy…please do the entire 180 degree health forum a favor and don’t comment on areas that you are not familiar with. Try and view the world outside the little bubble that you have seemed to become accustom to living in.

    The Real Amy

    That was a pretty rude reply, Tucker. Tianeptine isn’t approved in the US so is not readily available to most on this site. SSRIs and trycyclics are mostly what doctors prescribe, and that is what I was referring to. No, I don’t know a lot about Tianeptine, but I highly doubt it is without side effects. Nor is it fixing the root cause of depression or anxiety, it’s addressing the immediate symptoms. That’s great you feel like a “new person” but before you become the drug’s spokesperson, how do you know what will happen decades down the line? Do you plan to be on it for life? What effect will it have on your brain longterm? What happens if you try to go off it? I think caution is always a good thing when it comes to medications. There are always longterm effects to deal with.

    I’ll go back to my bubble now…


    As far as bubbles go, I like Amy’s.

    A bubble where you can buy a book and gain knowledge to potentially overcome anxiety issues, versus taking another mind-altering drug… I think I’d try the book first. Worst that can happen, is you still talk to your Dr. about drug options after trying the book (coke and red bull are also drugs in my book, and may also have long-term undesirable side-effects).


    Tucker…is Ray Peat paying you? I mean, I never see a post of yours that doesn’t say “Ray Peat” in it. You repeat “Ray Peat” a lot!


    Amy, I just purchased the book you recommend. So far so good (: thanks for mentioning it here.

    • This reply was modified 10 years, 1 month ago by Christinam.

    Snorting crushed aspirin tablets also helps to relieve depression by reducing brain inflammation.


    It helped tremendously for me but I suspect the context matters and anxiety is varied and complex subject. In my case, the anxiety was due to the prolonged use of amphetamines and other stimulants and the severe calorie restriction that comes with it. It wasn’t a “mental” sort of anxiety that arises as a result of some stimulus but a constant, extreme physiological feeling of stress. In other words, it was a bodily sensation of anxiety minus the mental component.

    The obvious answer was to eat more but it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. Originally I experimented with Eat For Heat and Peatarianism without success. I could take Cytomel (pure T3) and still be freezing. The linchpin, I found was a high caloric intake. It’s not enough just to eat pro-metabolic foods I had to sate my hunger. And after two years on speed I forgot what hunger and satiety really felt like. I didn’t see any relief until I made a conscious effort to stuff myself. There seems to be no anti-stressor like the feeling of being stuffed. I’ve come to believe that any metabolism-raising method whether it be EFH, Peatarianism, Thyroid or other drugs need high food intake to work. I really liked Diet Recovery 2 but I think Matt made a mistake taking out the parts of “eating past satiety”.

    Unfortunately every body is different and your anxiety is a latent anxiety and not caused by drugs. Ultimately you need to find what works for you and that means experimentation. Everybody craves surety – to definitively know what will happen to their body with taking the risks – but you’re not going to get it. Some things you just have to find out on your own.

    If you’re going to try going the food route, give yourself permission to go full bore. If you were hardcore restricting for a long time then in the beginning the amount of food you will need to feel sated will probably scare the crap out of you. You will have to consume an appalling amount to feel consistently full. You will be a pig at the trough. The good news is that over time (I’ve found) you develop a reverse tolerance and need less food to get the satiating and calming effect. If it works, the gluttony will recede and you’ll reach some sort of equilibrium eventually.

    The drug route has risks of which you’re probably well aware but there can be a payoff. If they weren’t effective at all obviously no one would suggest trying it.

    There are a lot of conservative people out there who an aversion (and perhaps an outright fear) of psychoactive drugs. Most of them have never tried them. They fear losing control or becoming somebody else – irrevocable changes to the psyche. I can say from experience that it’s not like that. If you’ve never taken them it’s easy to believe there will be a night and day difference but once you do you find the effects are subtler than you were led to believe. Even drugs like amphetamine, which are perceived as being hard(er) drugs with dangerous social consequences, don’t feel as “harsh” as you would think. At least in the beginning at reasonable doses. The obvious exception would be the hallucinogens. I imagine those are quite noticeable. They’re also all illegal. Psychoactives are not benign substances but they’re not to be dreaded either. It’s hard to explain and only experience can teach you.

    SSRIs are the standard first line treatment for anxiety and OCD these days. There is considerable anti-SSRI sentiment on this board. Mainly because of the work of Ray Peat and because a lot of people have tried them and didn’t like them. Myself included. I’ve been on several and had a pretty crappy time. But this is all anecdotal. Just because I had a crap time doesn’t mean you will. There are plenty of reports of people out there who say SSRIs made a huge positive impact on there lives. Who am I to tell them they’re wrong? That’s not something an objective minded scientist would say. That’s something Tom Cruise would say.

    Like any drug SSRIs have their horror stories but I think those horror stories are comparable to the propaganda surrounding drugs like marijuana. It’s blown vastly out of proportion. The chances of you taking Prozac and jumping out of the window are next to nil. Chances are you will still feel like you. SSRIs are very subtle drugs. If I could describe my experience with them in one word it would be “boring”. The effect was so slow and subtle that I became acclimatized to it without realizing it was happening. Personally, I didn’t like it. But you may, who knows. It’s your decision.

    I have no experiences with benzodiazepines or other anti-anxiety meds so I can’t speak to them.

    Despite Tucker’s hyperbole, Tianeptine really is an interesting drug. I haven’t tried it myself but, from what I’ve read it seems to hold a lot of promise – especially for those who didn’t respond well to SSRIs. That said it’s not a panacea or wonder drug either and I’ve read accounts of people who also had bad times on it. It’s also not available in North America which makes actually acquiring it a tricky ordeal into murky legal waters.

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