Any Natural Remedies for Depression???

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by DoveL, Sep 26, 2006.

  1. DoveL

    DoveL Member


    Does anyone have any 'natural' remedies for depression???

    I have tried anti-depressants in the past, and am too 'alergic to alot of meds/side effects.

    I have FMS/CFS, and although I am lucky to be able to function better than I could years ago, I find myself in boughts of depression (I was NEVER depressed before this illness)I don't know if it is the 'disease' doing this to me, or the losses that have come with it (such as having no money, or energy for my future..ect ect :(

    I am looking for something 'natural' that works. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks :)
  2. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    Get out in the sun at least 20 min a day. I'm on prozac and have taken many different ADs...this is the only one that doesn't wig me out w side effects.
  3. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    1) St. Johns' Wort. This actually does work for a lot of people, especially if you have noticed that you feel better in summer or when you get more sun. The only issue here is that you need to be sure to get a good brand, since an awfully lot of them have very little useful stuff in them. It needs to be controlled for, let's see if I can remember the names off the top of my head, hyperican _and_ hyperforin. Make sure it says this on the label. Also buy a reputable brand from a good health store. Pure Encapsulations is the one I use. Give it a couple of weeks after you start.

    2) DLPA. This is an amino acid that apparently helps the body to make phenylethalynine (I think this is brain is mush today), the stuff that our bodies have in abundance when in love (and to a lesser extent all the time). If you have a shortage, you will be depressed. Take well before meals (particularly meals with protein) so that all of the DLPA is absorbed.

    3) NADH. The CFS sufferer's best friend (at least in terms of what's been "proven" in the scientific literature) also apparently can be good for anybody who has depression. Depressed CFS patients might especially want to give it a try. New research suggests that you need to go higher than recommended on the box....maybe 20 mg or more. Read my recent post called "NADH" for a discussion of how to buy the sublingual form (which is cheaper and maybe better than the regular ENADA sold in stores).

    4) Fish oil and other "good fat" supplements. One study said that something like 10 capsules a day helped manic-depressives. Perhaps a bit excessive. A few capsules a day is said to help a lot of people with depression at least a bit. Lubricant for the brain, maybe.

    5) l-Theanine. This is what's in green tea. Supposedly it brings the brain to the sort of state that's achieved by a lot of meditation (if you're good at meditation).....e.g. relaxed, calm, and sort of serene. This is especially recommended for anxiety, but depression is related. This is sort of an amino acid,, but unlike all other amino acids, supposedly you can take it any time you want (rather than between meals).

    6) 5HTP. This supposedly helps your body to make serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps you handle stress better and thus get less depressed about life. It thus is related to drugs like Prozac. However, to the extent it works, it supposedly just helps make more serotonin. (Prozac does not do that---instead it either causes you to keep the serotonin in the nerve receptors longer or maybe to grow new neurotransmitter nerves.) The SSRI's all have huge numbers of side effects, whereas 5HTP has few (actually, I can't remember any, but my brain is cloudy today). If you feel that you're oversensitivee to life, this may be a good one to try. Probably you shouldn't take it if you're already on a drug like Prozac, though.

    7) Keep a daily journal. Write down an event that happened to you. Then write down how it made you feel, elaborating to the extent that you can. Then write down another event and how it made you feel. Continue until you've gone through the things that have happened in your day. This is probably as helpful as going to an average therapist, certainly much better than going to a lousy therapist, and maybe close to being as helpful as going to a good therapist. In any case, it's a lot cheaper than going to any therapist. I suggest this for you because you say that you never felt depressed before getting sick and feel that some of the things that are happening to you may be causing it. Therefore, addressing the psychological part of your depression may be helpful. After you do it for several days, you'll get an intuitive sense of whether it's helpful or not and can decide whether to continue.

    There are all kinds of other things out there, but I've included only things that have some evidence behind them. I can't think of any others that fit this description at the moment, but I'll add to the list if I think of them. In the meantime, good luck!
    [This Message was Edited on 09/26/2006]
  4. DoveL

    DoveL Member

    Thanks for all the great advice...I am going to try some of these supplements listed...
    I took fish oil for 2 years straight, and did not notice any difference in my moods or depression.

  5. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Very good point about the food allergies. I have a ton of them, and some of them do cause depression. Corn, especially. If you find that you wake up feeling fine and then are hit with depression for no discernible reason (which is why it's helpful to have a journal) at some point in the day, food allergies could be the cause.

    Corn is the big "depression allergy" for me. The other allergies to food cause other problems.

    Try Coca's book "The Pulse Test" if you want to start exploring whethr you have food allergies. (I'm too tired to explain the method at the moment....catch me a better time and maybe I'll explain so that you don't have to buy the book. Anyway, if it tells you that you're not allergic to something, it's possible that you are anyway. On the other hand, if it tells you that you are allergic to something (and you can repeat the result), you pretty much certainly are. Or at least, that's my experience, and my CFS doctor agreed.

    The other thing to do is elimination diets. These are a lot of work, but the most accurate.

    Unless they've improved a lot, lab tests for these are pretty hit-and-miss.
  6. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Oh, yes, don't just go to the health food store and buy this stuff and take it. Read up on it a bit first. Most doctors know little about natural remedies and so you probably won't get help there (unless you have an unusual doctor), but you should be educated before you take anything.

    ANNXYZ New Member

    5htp , which is an amino acid that is a precursor to
    serotonin production. IT MUST be combined with VIT B6
    to be absorbed . I believe it can be purchased here in the store . " Natural Balance " label makes a combo of 5HTP
    and Vit B6 and Drug Emporium sells it .

    I would buy some Carlson's lemon flavored fish oil also and take them together . Fish oil has been studied to wrk on bipolar and unipolar depression. I take the Carlson's oil in juice, and it is free of pollutants and recommended by Dr Weil .
  8. matthewson

    matthewson New Member

    I take 5-htp and it works well for me to keep severe depression away. I was on zoloft for 2 years and though it worked really well, I didn't like the lack of libido it can cause.

    I was off of the zoloft for about 6 months when I felt the depression creeping back and I started taking 5-htp. It doesn't quite work as well as zoloft, but it is keeping me from being really depressed, and it doesn't seem to have any side effects that I have noticed, so I am pretty happy with it.

    Before you take it though, I would run it by your Dr. and make sure that it will not interfer with any of your other meds and supplements. DO NOT TAKE IT WITH ANOTHER ANTI-D such as the SSRI's or anything that increases serotonin. You run the risk of getting serotonin syndrome and it can be fatal.

    Hope you find something that works for you. Take care, Sally

    PS. I have to take it with food, as it causes my stomach to be upset if it is empty. Not sure if this is common, but just an FYI.[This Message was Edited on 09/26/2006]
  9. bandwoman

    bandwoman New Member

    I will add some to the list from others. My alt dr prescribes lithium orotate(this is not the lithium for bipolar by the way) and rhodiola. Exercise is a natural antidepressant to a degree. Some studies show it as effective as antidepressants. Hope this helps.

  10. DoveL

    DoveL Member

    thank you all for the is interesting to see what everyone has tried.

    I do eat a really healthy, balanced diet, (I see a nutritionist), take walks when I can, and get some sunshine each day..

    But this depression really STINKS!!! It 'cycles' with the illness..I cannot remember the last time that I was truly mentally happy???? The illness is bad enough, I wish it did not effect my brain too!

    Anyway, thank you all for your suggestions, I will let you know what works for me when I try some supplements suggested.

    Cheers. DOVE
  11. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

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