Supplements for Depression
Quite apart from all the relaxation and positive thinking techniques, we can also help our body along with supplements for depression.
Depression and anxiety are both said to be related to serotonin levels in the brain, which is why anti-depressants of the SSRI type tend to work fairly well for many people with anxiety and hence why doctors prescribe it. People who suffer from depression and/or anxiety tend to have low serotonin levels in the brain and it is believed that the SSRIs work by inhibiting the re-uptake of serotonin and therefore providing more of it for the body to use.
Serotonin is associated with mood, sleep and vomiting, apart from other aspects, and a lack of it is associated with depression, IBS and anxiety disorders amongst others. The body produces over 80% of its serotonin during deep sleep, so as you can see a vicious circle occurs: we are depressed so we don't sleep too well, because we don't sleep too well less serotonin is produced, the low serotonin levels increase the depression, which means we don't sleep too well ... ad infinitum. That is the bad news.
The good news is that we can help our body to produce and use serotonin with supplements, though obviously if the depression is severe or manic, it is unlikely to be sufficient. The supplements which are worth trying are 5-HTP and St John's Wort.
5-HTP is a substance that is naturally produced in the body and has the ability to increase production of serotonin in the brain. St John’s Wort is thought to work by prolonging the action of serotonin, dampen down the high levels of stress hormones, as well as increasing night-time production of melatonin hormone (the brain’s own natural sedative) to improve sleep. Good, quality (and again not too dreadfully expensive) tablets can be bought at any good healthfood shop, chemist or can be ordered from Amazon. If ordered from Amazon, I would suggest the following were worth trying:
For St John's Wort
Obviously if you are on any kind of medication, check with your doctor BEFORE taking either of those supplements, as they can make some medication less effective. Also, don't expect miracles overnight, they can help your body to combat the vicious circle, but they cannot eradicate the depression or anxiety completely, and like all nutritional supplements they need to be taken regularly for at least 6-8 weeks before you can accurately assess whether they are helping or not. As mentioned above, if you really feel you cannot cope with your life, or your depression and anxiety is very severe, your doctor can prescribe medication which will work faster and probably make a greater impact and doesn't condemn you to a life of being dependent on meds ... just that I like to know the alternatives and I like to try them first and keep the prescription meds as an option if the natural stuff isn't sufficient for my needs!
Also, try to follow the general guidelines on healthy living: eating at least 5 portions of fruit or veg each day, eating a regular and balanced diet and moderating alcoholic consumption and smoking. Sometimes even these obvious 'guidelines' are difficult for us to follow ... we might well be treating our bodies without the compassion and respect they deserve because we don't feel worthy in ourselves, or may at some level be 'punishing' ourselves by neglecting our bodies. Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulemia are not uncommon amongst victims and survivors of either child abuse or domestic violence, and it can be hard to recognise when we need help with our self-care. If you suspect you may have an eating disorder, your GP can help.
I hope that at least some of the suggestions will help you get through this stage - and it really is a stage, it will come to an end and you can and will get through it and out the other side!
© 2011 Hidden Hurt
In This Section:
Domestic Violence Articles
It's My Life Now - Starting over after an Abusive Relationship or Domestic Violence by Meg Dugan and Roger R. Hock. has been found to be helpful by a number of people recovering from an abusive relationship. Have a look at the portions available online to decide whether it may be of help to you - recovery is a very personal issue.
The Self-esteem Workbook by Glenn R. Schiraldi - recommended by workshop facilitators.
The Self-esteem Journal: Using a Journal to Build Self-esteem (Overcoming Common Problems) by Alison Waines - A very helpful work book with exercises to dip in and out of while recovering.
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