Depression w/ out medication

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by brenbren13, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. brenbren13

    brenbren13 New Member

    I have depression and have been struggling with it off and on (more on then off) for the past 2 1/2 years. I don't want to take drugs for it, but I have been taking vitams which were suppose to help, but it doesn't seem to keep it at bay. any suggestions? I exercise every day only becuase I feel a little high for the next 4 or so hours, but on the days I am really dragging, exercising doesn't help. I have a 21 month old son and I just wish I could get a grip so I could be a better mother for him. HELP! I feel overwhelmed and alone. What can I do?
  2. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    Assuming the depression is an imbalance or lack of some neurotransmitters, you may want to try the simple nutrients that your body uses to make them. I haven't been depressed for awhile (since I've been feeling better) but now, when I read alot, my neuros get low and my brain fog increases. So I take these and it takes care of it. Below is a copy of my post to someone else with anxiety and depression. These things may sound "funky" but they are all chemicals either found in food or your body makes to use from other ones in food. So they are natural and since they aren't drugs, your doctor won't know about them. Have you tried 5htp? That's the only one not listed here:

    There are many other neurotransmitters that are important besides serotonin.
    Some other neurotransmitter "nutrients" like 5htp you can try are:

    phosphatidyl choline
    phosphatidyl serine - amino acid
    TMG (trimethylglycine) - amino acid
    phenylalanine - amino acid
    tyrosine - amino acid
    DMAE (is molecularly similar to choline) - amino acid
    B vitamins
    threonine (everybody spells this one differently, amino acid)

    Here's some interesting stuff about "neuros":

    5-HTP---converts to--->Serotonin---converts to--->Melatonin

    Phenylalanine---converts to--->Tyrosine---converts to--->DOPA---converts to--->Dopamine
    ---converts to--->Norepinephrine---converts to--->Epinephrine (aka adrenaline)

    Note that norepinephrine is a key neurotransmitter AND an adrenal hormone.

    Here's some neuros, what they're for, sign of deficiencies, and the nutrients your body needs to make it:

    Serotonin: for Emotional Stability
    deficiency causes: Lack of rational emotion, feelings of irritability, sudden unexplained tears, sleep problems
    body needs: 5HTP or L-tryptophan, Calcium and Magnesium

    Dopamine: for Pleasure, reward, good feelings toward others, maternal/
    paternal love
    deficiency causes: Anhedonia - No pleasure, world looks colorless, inability to "love", no remorse about personal behavior
    body needs: L-phenylalanine, Vitamin B6

    Norepinephrine: for Arousal, energy, drive
    deficiency causes: Lack of ambition, lack of drive, depression
    body needs: L-phenylalanine
    Vitamin B6

    GABA: for Staying calm
    deficiency causes: Free floating anxiety, feelings that things are closing in around you, unexplained panic
    body needs: L-glutamine, Vitamin B6

    Enkephalins: for Psychological pain relief
    deficiency causes: Feelings of incompleteness, lack of fulfillment, feelings of inferiority, feelings of inadequacy, never feels "equal," fearful, insecure feelings
    body needs: D-phenylalanine, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid (a B vitamin)

    Tryptophan is the least common amino acid in food. It is also the most difficult to absorb into the brain. These make serotonin synthesis more difficult. Although tryptophan is mainly found in fish, meat, dairy products, eggs, nuts and wheat germ, eating these does not substantially increase serotonin. This is because these foods contain other amino acids that compete with tryptophan for absorption. Tryptophan “loses out” to the other amino acids.

    Eating carbohydrates raises serotonin levels but eating protein decreases serotonin levels. Carbohydrates cause an insulin response that favors tryptophan absorption over other amino acids. This explains why many people who need more serotonin (like being overly-stressed or depressed) start to “self-medicate” by eating more sweets or starchy carbohydrates. As tryptophan absorption rises, so will serotonin production.

    EFAs (essentail fatty acids) are also critical for brain function.

    The levels and function of several neurotransmitters can be increased by the supply of their dietary precursors. The neurotransmitters include serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline, histamine, acetylcholine and glycine, which are formed from tryptophan, tyrosine, histidine, choline and threonine (amino acids).

    This is why alot of us are loading up on free form amino acids. Our broken bodies cannot product them in sufficient quantities.



    hope this helps,

    karen
  3. pw7575

    pw7575 New Member

    I read up on these a few months back. They are all supposed to be easy on you with really no side effects.

    B-Complex Vitamins, Magnesium, Inositol (sometimes called Vitamin B8), L-Theanine (it is in Green Tea but also sold as a supplement), St. Johns Wort, SAMe.

    Not sure if you are on any medications so you may want to check with your doctor to see about any interactions.

    I have read that you should take a B Complex vitamin rather than just one type of B vitamin because more of one can cause deficiencies in others.

    Good luck! I hope you are feeling better soon.

    Take Care,
    Pam
  4. s--raquel

    s--raquel New Member

    Karen...wow! I just learned alot about depression/anxiety,etc!!! I've had depression-and mood
    disorder-since childhood.I've read alot, been told and taught alot but that was a great "list".LOTS of info!!
    Im gonna copy it!Thanks!!

    brenbren13...is this the first time you remember having
    depression ever? Just wondering...there can be so many
    causes and/or triggers...if this is your first time experiencing it, that might help you narrow the list a
    little...
    s--raquel
  5. pw7575

    pw7575 New Member

    I take 2-3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed every day. It is supposed to be good for depression etc and is a very good source of omega 3 fatty acids which is an essential fatty acid that your body needs.

    If you do the shake below the flaxseed will be in there so you wouldn't need to take it separately.

    Also you may want to try the Shake that Stormyskye put up for depression. Many use it and say it works great. Here is the info for the shake that I copied from Stormyskye's post.

    The shake 02/13/06 08:35 AM

    "The Shake"
    I got it from Dr. John Gray (Men are from Mars guy). It's in his new book. i listened to him speak and don't have the book but I would still recommend it.

    It helps with balancing the chemicals in the brain to start your day. Did you know that most of the serotonin you need for the day is produced in the morning and only if the brain is getting the proper nutrients?

    You can use it to address depression, serotonin issues, ADD, ADHD, sleep issues, withdrawal and addiction, and on and on it goes. He spent many years researching this and finding the correct amounts of what is needed.

    The particularly cool part is that it's cheap and it's just food. It replaces breakfast, keeps you full till lunchtime, and tastes pretty decent.

    Whey 3/4 TB for women - 1 TB for men
    Flax 2 TB for women - 1 TB for men
    3 or 4 almonds
    1 apple
    1 tsp to 1 TB molasses

    That's it. Easy enough.

    Mix the whey, flax and almonds in the blender until it's all tiny pieces. Add your apple, peal and all - just get rid of the seed part, and the molasses. Blend, drink. Add a bit of water if you need to.

    Whey is a protein powder and costs about $4 for a bag that will last a long time. I got mine at the health food store. There are all kinds of expensive "special drinks and health food stuff that has that in it but all you need is the plain old cheap whey powder. (Marketed as "Sweet whey")

    Flax is a seed and must be broken up for your body to process it. You need to keep it in the fridge or even the freezer because it goes bad fast. This can be found anyplace including Target. It's been know forever that this will help with depression and those who can't take SSRI's can be prescribed this. Too bad that don't start with this. Again, about $4 a bag.

    The apple can also be part other fruit if apples aren't your bag. You can use half an apple and add any other fruit of your choice. Just make sure it's a "superfood" like berries. I use half an apple (or apple juice in a pinch) and a half cup of frozen mixed berries (rasp, blue, & black). That's what makes it taste good for me. Completely drowns out the taste of flax. You can also use banana as part of the fruit.

    Molasses contains minerals and that's why it's in there. Start with 1 tsp and build up to 1 Tb. If you are taking a green food supplement or a mineral supplement you could leave this out.

    Sometimes I just eat the almonds while the rest is in the blender.

    It really is quite good. I look forward to my morning "smoothie" and pretty good health for the rest of the day.

    You can also eat the shake as in dump all the stuff into some applesauce and stir. Add a little cinnamon if you like. You can also make your own applesauce and prepare it ahead of time by just blendering up an apple, peel and all. Better for you than prepared applesauce. That way it is an alkaline food rather than an acidic food.

    If you are withdrawing from a substance like antidepressants, make sure you do it slowly. Give the body time to adjust. I may take many weeks even with the shake. Listen to your body.

    Or so says the doctor. According to him, there have been absolutely wonderful results with this. Everyone that does it is helped. Pretty good odds, I'd say. Worth a try. Good luck.

    Raw foods are more important than we generally realize. Eat more of it. 80% of the diet should be raw food. Fruits, veggies, grain, nuts.
  6. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    I have not read all the responses but have you tried "cognitive therapy"?

    I did and it really helped. I needed to discuss and resolve problems that were causing my depression and anxiety.

    I don't believe that drugs are the only answer. Maybe you have a legitimate reason to feel depressed. To find a therapist I went to the website for "psychology today" and did a search. I selected and spoke with three different doctors before deciding on one. I am so glad I did that because the doctor I landed with was great. She was a PHD which I feel made a difference.

    You are probably a excellent mother but life is not easy. If you find a good therapist it can make all the difference.

    Also, since the therapy, I also saw someone and did some hypnosis work. Just for relaxation, and also discussed things that bothered me. It also helped.

    It is so hard when you are also not well physically and so understandable you would feel overwhelmed.
  7. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Is it possible for you to describe your "depression" more specifically?

    Different kinds of depression respond better to different sorts of treatments.

    Best, Lisa

  8. brenbren13

    brenbren13 New Member

    I just recently (a little over 6 months ago) was diagnosed with depression. My dad says I had it my whole life, but due to other family things nothing ever really got done. I guess I finally allowed myself to say I have depression. I’ve been in denial or just didn’t understand what was going on. I usually feel hopeless, overwhelmed, I cry very easily, I have guilt and frustration. I feel like I am about to explode with all the emotions bubbling up inside of me. I have a very low apatite and little to no motivation to do things when I feel depressed. I feel worthless and get really down on myself. Life has been hard the past few years because I had a baby, moved when he was 3 months old across the country where I didn't know anyone and it was the 1st time being so far from family. My husband is in medical school so I am basically a single parent. We have been working on this together because part of my depression is stemmed from loneliness. My dr. is really pushing to put me on drugs, but I have a sister who battled depression, but is no longer struggling because she exercises it off. I thought it would work for me, but it just didn’t. I realized not every depression is the same and can’t be treated the same. That's why I felt drugs were not an option for me at this point. If you need more information, feel free to ask. It is nice to finally open up. My dad told me to take St. Johns Wort because he wanted to put me on it as a teen.
  9. 4isfamily

    4isfamily New Member

    I was never diagnosed with depression, but I believe I fit a category of mild depression (at least). I have two small children, work full time, have FM - I actually think that depression is what triggers FM in me.

    I have decided to focus on dealing with being happy - if I am happy, I can deal with the pain. Have done thorough research and started taking SAM-e two weeks ago. I still don't want to jinx it, but this stuff appears to be amazing. It is supposed to help with your mood, but they claim it helps with joint pain and liver function. What I noticed first is after about 1 week, my blood circulation has improved - I have nice warm tingly feeling in my legs and don't feel cold all the time. I sleep better. Deep sleep with less waking up. I wake up not in pain - muscles probably get proper rest at night and I have started exercising again. My mood seems to be better, but I also try to force it to be positive (pls see my other post of today). And, my joint pain seems to be going away and I am not exhausted during the day. Again, I don't want to jinx it, but this stuff seems to be doing some good. SAM-e working on liver seems to increase glutathione levels in your body and I think this is the major benefit it seems to be doing to my body (at least that's how I explain to myself the warm, pleasant feeling, which I hear people who get glutathione directly feel).

    I got it from Costco, it's by Nature Made brand, which I understand has a good quality - it is important not to buy Sam-e in bottles, but rather in individually sealed foil, as oxygen ruins the pills. I take 400 mg on empty stomach in the morning. For depression apparently you can take more (800 mg or more), but I hate pills and do not want to overdo this. ONE WARNING: as this increases your serotonin and dopamine, you cannot combine SAM-e with other antidepressants OR St. John Worth. It could result in serotonin syndrom, which can be very serious and life threatening. SAM-e should be taken with good B-complex vitamin to assure proper absorption and prevent that you body is depleted of some B vitamines (B6 and B12 I believe)

    You may also start taking good Omega-3 fish oil (I have one which is apparently from deep waters of Norway and there should be not risk of mercury contents), it is supposed to help with mood.

    Somebody mentioned green tea. I love Yogi Tea Super Anti-oxidant, I always feel so energized after it.

    Good luck!

    Petra
  10. California31

    California31 New Member

    Never have had great efficacy with antidepressants...bad side effects...From time to time I have had good results with Bach Flower Remedies...