Antidepressants & Their Alternatives
Nutritional Supplements For Depression
I must come clean when it comes to drugs such as anti depressants I have absolutely zero personal experience. I have never been depressed, and God willing I never will. I appreciate that anything that can help people to deal with the dark despair that sometimes proves to be too overwhelming is nothing but a good thing, and take this subject very seriously. For some reason, here in the UK, we have been conditioned to believe that a mental illness is a sign of weakness and something to be ashamed of. To my mind that is as logical as mocking the poor chap with chickenpox because he was “weak enough” to succumb to a physical illness. I write all this as a prelude to my next statement however – anti depressants are something that you should aim to get off as quickly as possible and are NOT a long term option for most people with mild depression.
The long term use of anti depressants has been linked to a host of negative side effects and it no abundantly clear that unless one is severely traumatised or depressed, it is sensible to do everything that you can to wean yourself off medication. Virtually all anti depressants have side effects such as weight gain and reduced sex drive – to my mind these are not things that are conducive to regain a healthily positive mind set! So with this in mind I offer a few alternatives that I know have worked for a number of people and helped to wean them off various tranquilisers and anti depressants. Please take note here that these are suggestions to try alongside your medicine with the goal that you may feel well enough (in consultation with your doctor) to eventually go drug free.
Go onto the internet and order Valerian root capsules – this is a herb that has a calming effect similar to diazepam (at 600mg dosage of valerian) AND promotes restful sleep. I have used that to help wean people off anti depressants. One can take 1-3 500mg capsules in that last 3-4 hours before bed.
A high quality fish oil should unquestionably be added to the diet. NOT cod liver oil and NOT cheap store bout fish oil that is high in mercury. I put all my clients on a minimum of 10gms (up to 40gms) daily of fish oil and they all report better moods and reduced food cravings. A good side effect is that omega 3s (fish oil) also have a great impact upon positive body composition too, enhancing fat loss to a quite startling extent in some cases.
Those of you currently on medication will probably have found that in the time leading up to you taking anti depressants that you put weight on around the front of your belly in particular. This is due to the stress hormone cortisol and any reduction of that now will do you a lot of good. There is a product called reishi mushroom extract (which is just what it says it is – extract of a japanese mushroom) that really works well in reducing stress and aiding sleep when used long term. You can also buy this on the net too, although you should look for the product sold as a liquid, not the capsules. I give this to my personal training clients when they have a hard time unwinding at night, and it works wonders both on their mental state and on helping to reduce the so-called “stress belly” that is the plague of many an overworked Londoner! Nutritional supplementtion for depression is not intedned to replace any medication, but it can help wean you off and get you back to living a happy and heathy life, and that surely can’t be a bad thing.
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