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Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience:  PsyD, LPC, CHt
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My daughter is 21 years old and has been on Lexapro for

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My daughter is 21 years old and has been on Lexapro for eight months. She had been having panic attacks prior and had generalized anxiety disorder coupled with mild depression. She feels better, but has gained 15 lbs. She feels hungry often and eats more than she used to. Her skin started breaking out around the mouth area about four months ago. She has very vivid dreams and has trouble waking up in the morning. Are any of these related to the Lexapro, and, if so, what could she switch to? Can she try to address the panic attacks in a naturopathic way?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 8 years ago.

Good evening caring mother,

The side effects of psychotropic medications (Lexapro being one of the SSRI's - selective serotonin re uptake inhibitor) vary from person to person. I personally am not aware of Lexapro causing weight gain/it is not to be ruled out though.

Individuals who are depressed and anxious may resort to eating comfort foods -processed sugars, refined carbs, chocolate etc in an unconscious attempt to naturally boost their serotonin levels. Has she monitored her eating habits? Metabolism also starts to slow about this time in one's life :(

Hormonal changes can lead to water retention, overeating, and mood changes ex: depression, irritability. Has she consulted w/ her OB?

Yaz is a birth control pill used for women who may experience premenstrual mood related symptoms.

As far as the GAD (generalized anxiety) there are natural ways (but she has to decide what she is willing to do and of course always consult with a physician about supplementation) and always consult with a naturopath or herbalist. As an advocate of natural methods here I have only listed some for informational purposes only!

Supplements that can have natural anti depressant properties: Amino Acid L-Tryptophan, S.A.M.E, Melatonin (to be take at night prior to bed ) - (which converts to L-tryptophan and that then converts to serotonin in the brain)

For anxiety: herbs - Lady's Slipper, Lemon Balm, (mineral Magnesium, ) Vitamns B-complex.

Another suggestion for anxiety that is natural is the use of self hypnotic tapes (cheaper than seeing a hypnotherapist in person but also a great option) Check out the CDs by Glenn Harrold (but there are also other good ones out there)

Other natural options- meditaion, walking/exercise, journaling, bibliotherapy, face to face counseling with a CBT (cognitive behavioral therapist)

There is a wonderful book out there titled The Natural Prozac.

Best of luck.

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