12

votes

Does anyone deal with anxiety and depression naturally?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 06, 2011 at 3:30 AM

Besides diet and exercise, that is. I've been slowly weaning myself off of a SSRI, but I'm finding the process frustrating and difficult. I was wondering if anyone had herbs (St. John's Wort, Kava, et al.) or lifestyle changes they've used in dealing with psychological disorders.

6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on November 21, 2011
at 08:40 PM

+1 for addressing the fundamental requirements for mental well being instead of just giving a laundry list of supplements that worked for you that may or may not work for this person. I believe anyone seeking healing from depression must address the fundamentals before searching for therapeutic supplements. They are called supplements for a reason. Nearly complete answer to this question.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on November 05, 2011
at 02:32 PM

Yes, CBT is very cool, and I'd recommend *The Feeling Good Handbook*, by David Burns. One caveat: it's important to actually follow the CBT process. I've found that sometimes I only get as far as writing down my negative thoughts and feelings, over and over, and that may only serve to reinforce them. It's important to go through the process of analyzing them and deciding whether they come from illogical thinking, so you can get them in perspective. Especially at first, when the process doesn't come naturally.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on November 05, 2011
at 01:39 PM

Yeah. I come here and i realize im doing well relatively speaking.

Ea776df66c8277321b167e2ee3f22574

(316)

on September 07, 2011
at 04:11 PM

Huh, sorry to hear that. I've been using it successfully for about a year and a half - and I can definitely tell when I don't take it for a while.

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on September 07, 2011
at 04:49 AM

New Chapter holy basil was a MIRACLE herb for me for all of two weeks. Then it completely stopped having any effect. I really wish it would work again because it was amazing.

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on September 07, 2011
at 04:47 AM

Nice place to visit though

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on September 07, 2011
at 04:47 AM

I've been on this rock my whole life. I've been trying to get off this rock my whole life. No wonder I was depressed ;-)

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on September 07, 2011
at 12:31 AM

Sam-e has been looking good in some small trials

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 06, 2011
at 11:04 PM

Man I wished I lived in Hawaii...

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on September 06, 2011
at 06:01 AM

I second Julia Ross' work...she has helped my family SO much!

25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on September 06, 2011
at 05:34 AM

If you can tolerate fluoxetine, that's the SSRI to switch to for weaning purposes due to extremely long half-life. 20mgs fluoxetine = roughly 50mgs sertraline.

C5c3a1fb34a486366e45afbb5eaaca05

(453)

on September 06, 2011
at 04:29 AM

Zoloft/Sertraline. I was at 75 mg for a year, but knocked it down to 50 this summer.

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on September 06, 2011
at 04:06 AM

Maca hasn't helped for me but I hope it helps for you!

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on September 06, 2011
at 04:05 AM

For lifestyle changes, take a look at "The Depression Cure" by Stephen Ilardi: http://thedepressioncurebook.com/index.html

  • C5c3a1fb34a486366e45afbb5eaaca05

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21 Answers

best answer

6
244e1f82efb3fd15d2da39397488fb24

(549)

on September 06, 2011
at 10:56 PM

Oh, boy, have I!!

First off, I like to get a little bit of exercise every day - even if it's just walking for twenty minutes or doing some paleo squats - that helps a bit. I also got a full-spectrum light bulb (it was like, $25.00) and I stare at it for a count of sixty seconds once a day, and I keep the house well lit.

For supplements, I use 5HTP, Tyrosine and sometime I use SAMe. SAMe increases the amount of receptor sites for serotonin. Do not use SAMe without supervision from a professional if you are bipolar, as it can trigger a state of mania. 5HTP is the direct precursor to serotonin. Tyrosine helps with my crippling lethargy. Tyrosine is needed to create adrenaline, noradrenaline and epinephrine, which are considered to be motivating. I am useless without it.

Amino acids should be taken on an empty stomach away from protein meals - protein meals will contain amino acids (obviously) and they will compete for absorption - one of the reasons we may be deficient in the amino acids that keep us mentally balanced and keep our moods balanced are said to be caused by the other amino acids in our protein meals which interfere with their absoption.

Finally I recommend that your read The Mood Cure by Julia Ross, and/or Optimum Nutrition For The Mind by Patrick Holford.

Finally, take this test to see what nutritional supplements are right for your type of chemical imbalance. This really helped me.

http://www.moodcure.com/Questionnaire.html

9
F4d04667059bc682540fdfd8b40f13a7

on September 06, 2011
at 03:45 AM

Emily Deans has some good posts about depression, from a paleo standpoint.

Also would recommend Nora Gedgaudas's book Primal Body - Primal Mind, she suffered from depression for years and seems to have completely overcome it.

8
A141571ee2453db572c9d3222657bf6b

(756)

on September 06, 2011
at 04:23 AM

My observations and personal experience with bipolar depression and bipolar mania has resulted in the conclusion that a high percentage fat diet, with an emphasis on omega-3, is vital to establishing stable healthy brain function in someone experiencing cognitive or mood issues.

Meditation is also demonstrated to be capable of increasing specific neurotransmitter levels. Daily exposure to sunlight can also improve mood. Clinically, there are several studies showing that regular and aerobic exercise can be comparable in efficacy to pharmaceutical antidepressants. These can be found via google/NIH/pubmed.

Generally for depression I suggest avoiding herbal treatments as these can be comparable to pharmaceuticals in action. If supplementation is felt necessary, supplement amino acids instead. As foods they will be utilized as needed and discarded if not. L-tryptophan is a good place to start. There is an abundance of research available on this searching online.

8
65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on September 06, 2011
at 04:09 AM

Vitamin D supplements got rid of 95% of the severe depression I had for 2 years. I live in Hawaii so I normally "get a lot of sun" but the supplements helped unbelievably. I recommend one in an extra virgin olive oil, like Nordic Naturals (best in my opinion)

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on September 07, 2011
at 04:47 AM

Nice place to visit though

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 06, 2011
at 11:04 PM

Man I wished I lived in Hawaii...

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on September 07, 2011
at 04:47 AM

I've been on this rock my whole life. I've been trying to get off this rock my whole life. No wonder I was depressed ;-)

6
1a0976c846702f549ee4df0d811098be

(972)

on September 06, 2011
at 08:31 PM

I was on 100 mg of Zoloft for a few years. I weaned off it when I changed my diet, and now any increased depression or anxiety can be linked directly to either eating gluten or not getting enough fat. I almost never eat gluten, so usually, when I start feeling bad, I eat a big meal full of fatty pork, butter, coconut oil, etc, and my mood picks up quickly. I also have to be careful about sleeping enough.

Another thing I have discovered is that although decreased libido was one of the worst side effects of the Zoloft for me, increasing how often I have sex has proven to be one of the best ways to combat depression.

Conclusion: Gluten: bad. Fat and sex: good.

4
D54290f91bd8c2ff9fdf2f519933bf3e

(1231)

on September 06, 2011
at 06:37 PM

i take 600mg of magnesium and have since stopped having panic attacks.

3
Ef2f6c723983d7fe7a06bd57af6adeed

(1725)

on November 21, 2011
at 06:28 PM

  1. Seek after Jesus Christ. Read the Bible. Pray.

  2. Get in community. Be with people. Love on people.

  3. Eat/drink healthy - lower sugar intake, lower caffeine intake, up carbs, and drink water (half your weight in ounces daily)

  4. Get adequate restful sleep. Try to get to bed @ 10:00pm - 10:30pm for best restful sleep.

  5. Exercise - get outside, walk, and be amazed at God's creation.

  6. Get the "Linden Method". I got the download version ($99). It has helped me TONS!
    http://www.panic-anxiety.com http://www.stopworry.com http://www.charles-linden.com

  7. When feeling depressed or anxious - take organic Niacin (vitamin B3). But read and follow the link first.
    http://www.foodmatters.tv/_webapp_417125/How_to_Take_Niacin_-Vitamin_B3-_for_Depression_and_Anxiety

  8. Let me know if it helps and cures your anxiety/depression!

6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on November 21, 2011
at 08:40 PM

+1 for addressing the fundamental requirements for mental well being instead of just giving a laundry list of supplements that worked for you that may or may not work for this person. I believe anyone seeking healing from depression must address the fundamentals before searching for therapeutic supplements. They are called supplements for a reason. Nearly complete answer to this question.

2
41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on September 06, 2011
at 06:44 PM

I was watching a documentary this weekend (of course, now I forget which one... have to check my playlist) and they were mentioning high dose Niacin (B3) for depression. Seems to be a lot of info about it if you google. Was just looking at this article, but there are others.

2
Bbb65dfde2b925e334048eb6438b3950

on September 06, 2011
at 08:52 AM

I have anxiety problems and sometimes the occational blue week. I took cipralex for a year while learning CBT = Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to deal with the anxiety. Then I stopped taking the cipralex cold turkey, because my prescription ran out...which I do not recomend. But I was left with a very powerful tool. CBT has helped me stay in control of difficult situations and I have even used it to stop freaking out about needles when having blood drawn.

Aside from that, I will start to get depressed and anxious in about a week or two if I stop taking my fish liver oil for some reason (out of oil, forget or just lazy). So Omega 3 and vit D is a huge relief for me, as well as no alcohol. I went on a 6 month depression rollercoaster a few years back after partying for two weekends in a row and getting relatively intoxicated. I have to be very careful not to get drunk because it is a major trigger for me, and others I have realized.

I have yet to work on sleep and exercise...hmm.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on November 05, 2011
at 02:32 PM

Yes, CBT is very cool, and I'd recommend *The Feeling Good Handbook*, by David Burns. One caveat: it's important to actually follow the CBT process. I've found that sometimes I only get as far as writing down my negative thoughts and feelings, over and over, and that may only serve to reinforce them. It's important to go through the process of analyzing them and deciding whether they come from illogical thinking, so you can get them in perspective. Especially at first, when the process doesn't come naturally.

2
D9c329b7485db6e8b88efad7344a79c8

(258)

on September 06, 2011
at 04:26 AM

http://www.moodcure.com/ great book about diet, amino acids and mood stabilization. helped me alot!

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on September 06, 2011
at 06:01 AM

I second Julia Ross' work...she has helped my family SO much!

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 06, 2011
at 04:13 AM

No direct personal experience but my adult son, who had depression, had a very low Vitamin D level. Raising his level of Vitamin D seemed to help, so having your level checked might be a good idea..

1
D6e74c229b6eb4265dbdc71c3feb2bc7

on September 06, 2011
at 06:29 PM

I take a pretty comprehensive slate of supplements in order to evade the black dog, after a few years of taking drugs for depression/anxiety and ADD

Lithium Aspartate/Orotate
Rhodiola Rosea
Ashwaganda
Bacopa
L-Tyrosine (or Acetyl-L-Tyrosine)
Acetyl-L-Carnitine
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Ginseng

Daily meditative practice has also been very important in stabilizing my mood, along with attending a support group (Adult Children of Alcoholic and Dysfunctional Families)

I eat oily fish a few times a week, but I could probably stand to do more omega-3 supplementation. You may have noticed that I lack serotonin-boosting herbs/supplements, and you'd be correct. Why? I don't know.

1
32d2f8a41a121608d07aa68aa17991c7

(597)

on September 06, 2011
at 04:23 AM

Depends on what you mean when you say "deal with." I have them (more mildly than many people) and have less of them when I am eating well. Right now I'd say I'm mostly not dealing with the fact that I have anxiety and depression (mine manifests as being lethargic, snippy and totally unable to hold a thought); I'm a bit too stuck in it to exercise as much as I should and I would probably be medicating conventionally if I were not nursing a child.

That said, improved diet improves things tremendously for me. The best success I have ever had has been:

Wellbutrin (helped some. Enabled me to get out, get to an acupuncturist, exercise a bit.)

Acupuncture (helped a lot.)

Distance running (helped more than anything and allowed me to stop both weekly acupuncture and daily meds.)

1
5b4fd1d0dcb02b1cc3c666ece9e5983d

(1169)

on September 06, 2011
at 04:15 AM

It is hard to answer this question. How severe is the anxiety/depression? Which also begs the question - what is a normal level of anxiety/sadness.

These feelings within certain hard to define parameters are normal and part of the human condition. One can be sad or anxious because they are a living, breathing, existential being in a world that can be sad at times and anxiety inducing.

I think dietary supplements like vitamin D, etc. are a good route and preferable to medicating - but sometimes its kind of difficult to decide if it is a normal bout of anxiety or something that needs a concerted treatment. And then, for those that need treatment, at one point does one need the help of a mental health professional/therapist rather a dietary response?

1
A5cdf3bce5e042cf359b7793a821319c

on September 06, 2011
at 04:06 AM

I just bought some stuff Called Maca and am going to try it this week. I will get back to u! Hope it helps!

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on September 06, 2011
at 04:06 AM

Maca hasn't helped for me but I hope it helps for you!

0
25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

*Which SSRI?*

25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on September 06, 2011
at 05:34 AM

If you can tolerate fluoxetine, that's the SSRI to switch to for weaning purposes due to extremely long half-life. 20mgs fluoxetine = roughly 50mgs sertraline.

C5c3a1fb34a486366e45afbb5eaaca05

(453)

on September 06, 2011
at 04:29 AM

Zoloft/Sertraline. I was at 75 mg for a year, but knocked it down to 50 this summer.

0
D7ee2c67b3290a5d7f267052cbbd247d

on November 21, 2011
at 08:10 PM

Try Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (not "shock therapy"). It has been studied extensively and found to be very effective for treating anxiety, depression and insomnia.

Watch this Wall Street Journal video for more info:

http://online.wsj.com/video/using-electric-current-to-treat-mental-illness/4E69923B-5EC2-41B5-9A89-9FE1063B4BBF.html

Cost is around $400 for a unit. FDA approved and has been used in Europe for the past 40 years with great success. We don't hear about treatments like this because we are so prone to looking at pharmaceuticals to cure our ills.

The unit I use is the CES Ultra. You can Google it to get more info.

0
9cc813605b497e1a91dd2d85f97a6b9c

on November 05, 2011
at 01:27 PM

I have a similar problem coming of Seroxat (UK), Paxil (US). The ideas given in the posts are interesting and will look into them next time I try coming off, I did read somewhere GABA for anxiety, 5HTP for Serotonin, depression problems.

Everytime I come off Seroxat I get really depressed and angry and have to go back on, this time will addnutrient to make it easier for me, who knows, may work.

0
Ea776df66c8277321b167e2ee3f22574

on September 06, 2011
at 04:59 PM

I have found that Holy Basil and Red Raspberry Leaf really help me with anxiety. I used to only take RR before my period, but found that taking it every other day or so helps with mental health, too! Holy Basil 'promotes centered calmness'. Best of luck!

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on September 07, 2011
at 04:49 AM

New Chapter holy basil was a MIRACLE herb for me for all of two weeks. Then it completely stopped having any effect. I really wish it would work again because it was amazing.

Ea776df66c8277321b167e2ee3f22574

(316)

on September 07, 2011
at 04:11 PM

Huh, sorry to hear that. I've been using it successfully for about a year and a half - and I can definitely tell when I don't take it for a while.

0
1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on September 06, 2011
at 01:27 PM

Vitamin D and folic acid are your best bets for depression, irritability and other mood disorders.

0
5d757a44e37b33a5ac803152bb656c98

on September 06, 2011
at 04:08 AM

I use doTERRA essential oils. They have two that have worked for me and many others I have shared them with. The two are elevation and balance. They are blends. Elevation is designed to be an uplifting mood stabilizer. Balance is designed to ground you and balance your body. I used them together with great results. To learn more just google doTERRA there are a lot of people that sell it.

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