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  • Low GABA?

    Hey there,

    I've been suffering with depression since I was about 12-13 years old (acknowledged it when I was 18 years old when I finally realised there was a problem; ended up manifesting a horrible voice in my head that hated everything along with seeing [something similar to that scary girl from The Ring, and no I hadn't watched the film first], a figure when in pitch black. Anyway the voice (which a psychiatrist said was manifested from bottling up my subconscious anger etc.) has whittled down to a barely audible whisper and although I'm nervous to be in a pitch black room, It's doable without seeing the figure anymore. Pray for small mercies.

    The depression has never left, although on rare occasions I can have the bipolar highs, where it's so bad, where I have so much energy I am physically unable to stand still, something has to twitch, I talk so erratically fast, I can't keep my thoughts focused (which also happens a lot in my head when I'm depressed as well, but it's just beneath the surface), the doctors did think I had a possibility of having bipolar type 2, and that (from childhood symptoms) I have ADHD in remission (I do notice that I forget 'my turn' etc.).

    I get stress eczema, my skin gets itchy,...

    but I've recently experienced 1 new thing..

    1. Hair pulling
    I end up being in a determined daze in front of the mirror, constantly pulling out hair (looking for the ones that I don't think look nice, and sadly yes, the grey hairs coming out of my head (I'm 26 years old, and I started getting greys when I was about 19 roughly), but their coming through a lot now (probably because I'm pulling them out, and grey hairs can also be attributed to stress). I find it difficult to stop, and I've started to see that at the center of my scalp, that it's a lil thinner, and if I don't figure out how to control myself, I'll end up with a bald patch and hate myself even more. I have no idea how to manage this.

    I've also gradually begun to get more anxious, and yesterday (12/6/17) it took me about 2 hours to get home because I felt like I was having mini panic attacks. When I finally got close to home, I had to sit down, as I could feel it again, called my bf and he came to meet me and walked me home.
    I've had a few mild panic attacks for the last couple of years, but nothing major.
    I've also had a lot more anxiety though, and it normally starts when I know I have to leave the house, and I start freaking out about what to wear, makeup, how to get there, and the overall main fear is the actual physical travelling (once I finally arrive to my destination I'm better), crowded areas are too much for me (this is another recent fun experience, which can ruin a lovely day out)..
    Yet normally I'm already home when it kicks in at times.
    I've never had it happen at work before.

    I have generally gotten more of an uneasiness about the idea of leaving the house, unless it's work, or going somewhere with a particular goal, but I've had that since about the time my depression kicked in, but again it's increasing.

    I bought a fidget cube which is OK for mild tendencies (helps with the senses 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste), which helps me out a bit.

    I read recently that low GABA can cause, well pretty much the illnesses I've mentioned above, has anyone experienced GABA?
    I'm thinking to consult my new doctor when I move (once I've registered to a new practice), I wondered if this would be worth investigating.

    A couple of times the doctor wanted me to have a Thyroid check, and if I remember correctly, there was no serious issues.

    Any techniques that would be useful to help me?

    I'm trying hard not to think about the fact that today I have to go out to collect something and it's making the anxiety bubble up inside of me, the prospect of going out isn't great at the moment..

    I feel like i'm going to have mini breakdowns lately.

    Also in the last few months we have been organising moving to another country (be a 2nd time doing this for me), and starting a new job, I'm unsure if this is an additional stress or the main focus point for the hair pulling (the rest has been going on for a few years, gradually getting worse).

    I'm also unsure if 'hair pulling' is my way to 'self harm' as I'm not technically breaking skin etc. and I feel the same kinda relieving rush after it's done (haven't hurt myself in a long time, and I'd like to keep it that way, although my bf has tried to tell me that hair pulling isn't OK and that its similar in many ways - his way to try to get it into my head, and I agree and yet I'm also in a weird kind of denial about it at the same time).

    I have a contraceptive implanon in my arm, I'm unsure if that's destabilising my hormones, had a thought that I might be pregnant, but the forum here refreshed my memory about how the implanon worked.

    I'm also suffering from lack of sex drive (hormones again), I can feel the 'want' to do things, but the ability to act on the impulse

    Thanks for listening,
    I've been so ashamed of the hair pulling, I hate it.


  • Well, mental illness is nothing to take lightly. But, I there is an epidemic of overdiagnosis of mental illness, when many times there is an underlying physical cause that if treated, could solve the problem. Yes, sometimes it is a low nutrient level, a low brain chemical, etc. Have you had all your regular levels checked: vitamin B, vitamin d, A1C, etc? If too low, b and/or d can cause serious side effects. I believe it is critically important to remove the possibility of an underlying physical issue before allowing a doctor to decide on mental illness.

    If all other issues are ruled out, I would consider something like bipolar disorder. Your episodes sound very manic but also OCD. The hair pulling seems like an OCD behavior.

    I think with these issues, it is so incredibly important that you DON'T get pregnant right now. This is not the right time for you or for a baby. It is important to get your own health and wellness straightened out first. VERY important. It is a double edged sword because I want to tell you to get rid of the hormonal birth control because it could very likely be worsening your issues. I went off of it after nearly 10 years of rollercoaster health issues, hair loss, sex drive loss, continual mood swings, a constant feeling of being mentally weighed down and unhappy. I got off of it and felt a euphoria I can't even describe, but that is when I knew I couldn't go back. I read the book I told you about and made a commitment to a hormonal birth control free life. I have used the FMA method (described in the book) for many years now and have managed to avoid pregnancy so far. I don't recommend this for people who will be careless with it, or who will not commit to reading the book and learning this method inside and out before beginning. Those people will accidentally get pregnant, and like I said, this would be a terrible time for you to get pregnant.

    Please make an appointment with your doctor to get all your levels checked. Tell them you want a full physical and all your vitamin (including iron)/thyroid/a1c levels checked. Tell them you are having some serious issues and want to rule out an underlying physical issue. Be careful if the doctor listens to your concerns and immediately tries to throw you on anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds, etc. That MAY very well be what you need, but please rule out physical issues first. If you rule out a physical issue, please begin seeing a therapist immediately.

    "Be what you're looking for."


    • After we move, receive my health insurance from my new job, I can then go to the doctor and have some tests done in case something was missed when they were done before/ has changed. Be good to rule out something.
      Didn't Robin Williams end up having an underlying illness that caused his depression.
      My sister in law has also mentioned yoga, and my mum has mentioned red wine, fruits & veg (which I probably eat more veg at dinner than fruits), and tea (I'm British, so drinking tea is a piece of cake XD ).
      I've had an OK day today, managed to bear through one of my outdoor tasks, and luckily have had a stress free day nearabouts. I'm tired and feel a little bubbly inside, so I think the tiredness is making me be a lil 'up', but that's not uncommon tbh. I think we all get the tired rambles, funnily enough my bf was when he was drifting off to sleep last night.

      I have been med free for about 3 years, and it's been hard, having to 'check myself', my bf and my mum keeping a watchful gaze as well in case I slip and need more help again.
      The meds I used to have was:

      Quitapine (made me drowsy at first, and when they had put me to the highest 500mg it still didn't seem to help, and nor was I getting any particular side affect either (my GP was a little concerned and had me wear a 24 hour heart monitor as he found my heart rate could be quite fast and was concerned about the medication causing more issues)>

      Then I was on something else for a short while.

      Then Resperidone (had to go to a particular GP who would assess me, blood pressure, weight, medical questions), and then Diazepam (was worried about Diazepam as I know it can be addictive, so I tried to take it as sparingly as poss.)

      All fun and games.

      I think your right (even if I was on a different birth control pill etc.) to let things just 'happen' at the moment wouldn't be great at all. Although I'm worried that if my mind never fully gets sorted, then I'll never be able to start a family in the future, but I'll have to deal with that nearer the time that we seriously think about kids and how we are financially, mentally, all the different and important variables.

      I did the same as you, had the Implanon removed to see if it helped with my mood, sadly I didn't feel any different after giving it a few months, and then later making an appointment to have it back again.

      All our money is on the move at the moment, but I've written the book info down as it would be great to have.

      Jeez it took me til Adam Ruins Everything show to be reminded on how the Hymen works (embarrassing), I don't recall in our Sex-Ed that being discussed in great detail compared to the rest (which was really well explained).

      I do think it would be helpful for me to get back into counselling (yet most times I'd feel rather crap after a session, especially if I had had a nice day and felt rather positive before my session).
      There's apparently a swimming pool nearby our new place, so it would be nice to get back into swimming (then afterwards go running more with my bf, he says he misses the company, but I stopped because I have some knee and back issues, and at least swimming will give me support as I get back into shape, and then running will be much easier, would be interested in learning Kung Fu as well), I know exercise can help, but like we all know it can be hard to break the evil depressive cycle that is always trying to stop us from being the best of ourselves. It's such a nasty illness, but I also know it's having the will power to stand up and say 'no more, I won't let you win', I've not had that kind of powerful inner 'oooomph' for awhile, and I'm not sure how to get it again as it comes in small waves... :/



      • I like your attitude. Exercise is definitely a great thing, even if it's just something minimal to get your endorphins kicking a bit. I'm curious if you have ever heard of SAMe? It's over the counter. I tried it after the tragic and unexpected death of my boyfriend in 2014. I experienced anxiety in a way I never had before. My thing was not being able to take a deep breath. I just couldn't, and I wanted to SO badly. I would try and try to the point of my rib cage getting sore, but I could not take that good deep breath that we so often take. That was one of my many anxiety related issues. For a while I thought I was pregnant (wishful thinking for me at the time), then I thought I had ovarian cancer, then I thought my thyroid was messed up, etc. All of these things were nothing at all but anxiety. Anyway, I didn't want to get on prescription meds that I might become dependent on. I didn't want to NOT fully experience my grief, because I knew I needed to, no matter how terrible it was. So, I researched SAMe and decided to try it. I was able to take a very small dose and within only days, the air hunger and biggest parts of my anxiety were gone.

        Yoga is GREAT!! Especially bikram or "hot" yoga. Such a release!! IF you can find a good holistic-minded chiropractor, consider that too. Mine worked wonders for my back and knees. He also helps me with sinus issues, equilibrium issues, adrenal stress, etc.
        "Be what you're looking for."


        • Mental illness can be very scary but your positive attitude is wonderful. You've obviously taken steps to tackle your mental health. I think many people should take inspiration from you. Just carry on as you're doing. I think you'll be fine, as hard as it is.


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