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Drugs to combat limerence

topic posted Tue, October 8, 2013 - 1:28 PM by  Anna
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Hi folks,

Just wondering if any of you have taken any drugs to combat limerence?
What medication worked, and what did not.

As far as I understand, prozac is used for OCD like symptoms.
Is limerence some kind of OCD-type behavior?
Would prozac work to combat limerence.

Would love to hear your opinion!

Thanking you in advance!
posted by:
Anna
New York
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  • Hello Anna,
    Welcome to tribe LE.
    I don't think that there are any specific drugs available yet to treat Limerence, as most therapists/ doctors/mental health professionals have very little to no knowledge of Limerence. But, since Limerence in my humble opinion very rarely exists on its own and is usually accompanied by some form or type of issue like depression, anxiety, OCD, etc etc, drugs can be prescribed/taken to combat or help with the other problems. In my case I was already mildly depressive before i became Limerent. And then after a few years of living with Limerence, the crippling anxiety hit, with panic attacks occuring frequently. It was the extremely high blood cortisol levels detected in my blood after a major panic/anxiety episode sent me to the emergency room that I finally accepted the fact that I needed medication to control the Limerbeast and that I could not "deal" with this problem on my own anymore. So, I have been on Lexapro and Buspirone prescribed by my doctor and Psychiatrist, since 2010, to help with the depression and GAD. These drugs helped, A LOT..... I am infact now cutting back on my dosage with the ultimate goal of going off medication by the middle of next year.
    And thats my personal story.
    Opgal.
    • Thank you so much, Opgal.
      I am going to see a CBT specialist tomorrow, let's see what she says.
      I was never clinically diagnosed with anything - I mean I never sought psychological support from specialists; but I suspect that I have chronic depression problem.

      I don't have OCD in the literal sense of the word, or perhaps I am not aware of the spectrum of OCD people might fall into.
      However, I think this very symptom of getting stuck in thoughts about my LO, thinking about him day and night, replaying our past conversations in mind over and over and over, looking for a slightest hint that would rekindle my hope for a future together (although there is a huge amount of tangible evidence to clearly indicate the contrary) etc. might sound like OCD related character? Not sure.

      At the moment, I think I am going insane, and I cannot really concentrate on what I am typing. So, please forgive me if I make no sense.

      Thanks for allowing me to share my story with you.
      • We here at tribe LE have a word for the symptom of getting stuck in thoughts about the LO, we call it the" roundy roundies"...
        Heh.. Jokes apart, this kind of obsessive thinking is what clued me in on the fact that, what I was feeling was not your garden variety infatuation but something that was radically different, more intense and definitely consumed my thinking thru every min that I was awake.
        I am thankfully at the point now after nearly 6 yrs of Limerence, where LO doesnt intrude too often and I can shut off thoughts of him. Yes it is possible do that... I pretty much went through all the phases of Limerence and have now achieved some stability and Tribe LE was a very important part of my journey to recovery. You will find a lot of help and words of wisdom in the past posts. And people on the tribe have all pretty much had their moments of insanity and feeling out of control. Dont beat yourself up over what is essentially a very difficult problem to overcome. Be kind to yourself and as far as I can tell you have already taken the first step towards helping yourself by going in for CBT and scheduling an appointment with your doctor. Keep that momentum going and try not to interact with LO if you can in any form, No conversations either face to face, or over a text or over email, chat.. Nothing.. Try it for a day first, then take it to two days, then three, then a week.. a couple of weeks... you get the idea. And reward yourself for maintaining NO CONTACT. Do whatever you need to do to achieve these small steps. Thats how I began my recovery. There was a lot of sliding and slipping but I am getting there finally.
        Sending hugs your way..
        Opgal.
    • Thank you so much, Opgal.
      I am going to see a CBT specialist tomorrow, let's see what she says.
      I was never clinically diagnosed with anything - I mean I never sought psychological support from specialists; but I suspect that I have chronic depression problem.

      I don't have OCD in the literal sense of the word, or perhaps I am not aware of the spectrum of OCD people might fall into.
      However, I think this very symptom of getting stuck in thoughts about my LO, thinking about him day and night, replaying our past conversations in mind over and over and over, looking for a slightest hint that would rekindle my hope for a future together (although there is a huge amount of tangible evidence to clearly indicate the contrary) etc. might sound like OCD related character? Not sure.

      At the moment, I think I am going insane, and I cannot really concentrate on what I am typing. So, please forgive me if I make no sense.

      Thanks for allowing me to share my story with you.
  • Welcome Anna

    I have read the lexapro has been given to help symptoms. Personally for me I will not medicate.
    The only meds I am on is blood pressure. My father took lexapro for depression and it did not help him.
    I know it does not mean that it wont work for me but I no meds for me.
    Anyway take care and I welcome again.
    Dani
    • Thanks Dani!
      I am going to see a CBT specialist tomorrow and possibly see a psychiatrist next week.
      See what happens!
      Thank you so much for being there for me!
      Please accept my gratitude!
      • Hi Anna,

        Welcome to the forum and please keep us regularly posted on how your course of CBT goes, I'm currently giving serious consideration to trying that particular method of therapy for myself. Good Luck! :-)

        Dave
  • I've had some success with antidepressants for depression. I did try them when I was fighting limerence because I thought depression was a factor.

    My strategy for overcoming limerence was a guerrilla-style war of attrition. My emotional state was so overwhelmed by limerence that I knew I couldn't muster the willpower to take it head on. Instead, I looked for each and every little thing I could do to undermine the limerbeast. Some worked, some didn't. The AD drugs helped marginally, so I used them for a while, but eventually dropped off when the side effects became a bigger issue than the benefits. That was me, so you'll have to decide for yourself.

    BTW, only an MD can prescribe drugs in the US. Most CBT therapists are not able to prescribe, so you may have to see your MD or a psychiatrist.
  • Hi Anna,

    I've been limerent in a mutual situation for about a year now. I've done Full Disclosure a few times and the limerence seemed mutual but still didn't turn into either the friendship I could settle for or the romance I wanted -- always in between.

    I started No Contact June 1st after the last Full Disclosure. I did it through email and waited for a response. I made it 67 days and then I texted him. We met and had a face to face dramatic conversation and quasi date. He was such a mess and seemed limerent for me and weird so I started Wellbutrin a week later.

    I'm not almost at the two month mark.

    Wellbutrin has been good for getting my baseline emotions to be happier and not so sagging.

    I've been reading about the brain chemistry of limerence and one theory is that limerent people (mutual and happy or not happy or not mutual and heartbroken and limerent) all have high levels of dopamine and norepinephrine. Wellbutrin stimulates those, so I've been getting the feeling that what made No Contact so hard the last time was partly wanting an email response, but partly that seeing him helped give me a hit of dopamine and norepinephrine, which I'm now getting through the pill.

    To combat the endless loops and anxiety, Wellbutrin wasn't as helpful directly, but because my baseline emotions are higher and not so depressed, it's easier to snap out of them.

    Also, I went to a hypnotherapist to help with obsessive thoughts. We did guided imagery to say goodbye. He is also an addiction counselor and my Limerent Object has drug and alcohol problems I only recently became aware of fully.

    I still think of him all the time, but by filing my life with other activities I can squeeze him out more often. By using Wellbutrin and exercising with cardio and a personal trainer for weights, I'm raising levels of dopamine and norepinephrine to get my little happy high without him.

    I'm considering trying Saint John's Wort or 5-HTH because those affect serotonin levels. Helen Fisher -- the same doctor with the brain chemistry theory on limerence -- thinks that serotonin levels getting lower during limerence are what contributes to obsessive thoughts.

    I am not averse to an anti-depressant, obviously, but the SSRI drugs like Prozac and Lexapro etc. raise serotonin levels but also kill libido and contribute to weight gain. I'm losing weight and don't want to kill my libido either -- that would depress me even more!

    I've read that St. John's Wort takes 3-4 weeks to feel the full effects. I'll start that or 5-HTH next week.
    • Matthew - good to hear you are doing well St John's Wort is not usually recommended with SSRI drugs . I am not sure about Wellburtin, but I am sure you have done your reseach, Good Luck,
      • Eve,

        I meant that I'm considering taking St. John's Wort INSTEAD OF an SSRI.

        SJW doesn't have the side effects of an SSRI and I'm already on Wellbutrin. I'm just considering other methods of raising serotinin levels to help with intrusive thoughts without going to an SSRI.

        • I see Matthew, this is all fairly new to me.

          So does SJW raise dopamine ?

          This is my 5th day on Lexapro, no marked improvement (yet) but noticing mood getting lighter. Its the first time on it. As I have been very very flat post-limerence (with the odd relapse) but mostly overcome. Haven't noticed appetite increase (yet) just nausea, which puts me off food, so hopefully the weight gain is not an issue.

          I have been doing a fair bit of research on the 'pleasure award' aspect of chemicals in the brain. How the euphoric recall 'works' Chrys' article on addiction really explains it. But I am still trying to come to grips about wha the difference between serotonin and dopamine are.
          • Hi Eve,

            "How the euphoric recall 'works' Chrys' article on addiction really explains it."

            Would you mind to put a link to Chrys' article, please!
            I don't know where it is, and would love to read the article!
            Thank you!

            • Here it is Anna, its from Chrys' most recent resurrected post

              www.addictionhelpcenter.com/how-...apse/
              • I mentioned in another thread that rumination is common in those depressed and once the depression is cured the ruminations cease or at least significantly diminish.

                OTHO, certain antidepressants those with dopaminergic or noradrenalinergic activity many increase rumination/limerence. This was my case with an MAOI and I actually blame the MAOI for the mess I found myself in. Once I stopped the MAOI, there was an almost immedate diminishing of the ruminations and limerent thoughts. Not completely gone, but measurably better.

                Several OTC supplements may help, NAC (n-acetyl cysteine) being the most promising. Of obsessive-compulsive behaviors, hair pulling and cutting are among the most difficult to treat and studies show NAC to be the single most effective agent for treating these refractory OCDs.

                Some very leading edge psychiatrists will treat OCD and Bipolar patients with NAC first line, along with magnesium, zinc and selenium.

                Vitamin-D is very much ignored by the medical-industrial complex and may actually be a powerful anti-depressant. Make sure your Vitamin-D are at least 60 ng/dl.
                • My vitamin-D level is extremely low (way below the danger zone).
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    I am taking 10,000 IU daily until my level gets to that range. For reasons I don't fully understand, it can take months.

                    The anti-depressant effect of Vitamin-D may be the reason why many still over-do sun exposure even when they know the risks of cancer and premature aging -- it makes them feel good.

                    While bright blue light exposure is shown to cure winter depression (SAD, and even better than meds), Vitamin-D has some efficacy here as well. Synergy may exist.
    • Hi Matthew,

      Thanks to you very much for such a comprehensive comment!
      I have now purchased Saint John's Wort and considering taking them from tomorrow.
      I do intend to get a full fledged hormone test done, too, before proceeding further with medication.
      Thank you once again for the detailed response!!

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