We’re often told that if we have depression and/or anxiety, we have to take medication. We’re rarely told about supplements. Having taken most of the antidepressants out there myself, I’m here to tell you from personal experience, that they don’t really work. Personal experience has taught me that meds don’t work. And, the American Medical Association agrees with me (more on that later). Go figure!
I’ve seriously tried so many antidepressants; even been part of a study for treatment-resistant depression. Oh sure, things seemed to maybe take the ‘edge’ off, but only for a little while then, it didn’t really work. At best, I felt like an emotionless zombie just doing things out of necessity. I was numb at best, useless at worst. I was still depressed no matter what I did.
Faith & Hope
Prayer, regular church attendance, and scripture study were all part of my life. Yet, I was still depressed. I was going to the doctor’s and taking all the meds, increasing their dosage until it reached the max. Then, we’d start the game all over again with a different medication. Round and round we went. Felt like nothing would ever work. But, I had faith despite everything, that I would feel normal again. After all, God didn’t create me and put me on this earth to feel like this forever. He created us so that we might have joy! Also, I had kids. And, by golly I was going to do better by them! They deserved a functional mom!
That feeling of hope and knowledge deep inside my soul and the fact that I had to do it for my kids, was what kept me going. I knew I was going to get better. I HAD to! My kids and my wonderful husband deserved better!
Supplements and How They Helped Me
Because I’m a hopeful nerd, I researched a lot and never lost hope and faith that I was going to get better. During one of those, I found out that although some studies say that SSRI’s were significantly more effective than placebo, the adverse side effects were things like increased suicidal ideation. In my book, not good.
What I found is that natural herbs and certain supplements were either just as effective, if not more effective (usually more effective) than antidepressants without any side effects! Ever since I weaned myself off my meds and started on my supplements, I’ve felt so much better! Of course, I changed some things too, like greatly reducing my sugar intake (makes a huge difference). Sugar is highly inflammatory to our bodies and depression and anxiety can be some of the symptoms of this systemic inflammation.
Why Eating Well Isn’t Often Enough: Supplementation to the Rescue!
Unfortunately, though some of us may eat well, our food has been depleted of nutrients; thanks to poor farming practices and highly processing of foods. This is why we use supplements. Magnesium (one of my favorites) is essencial to the healthy functioning of our bodies. It helps with brain fog and relaxation. I take Magnesium L-Threonate because it passes the blood-brain barrier and helps me think better and sleep better, which helps with depression and anxiety (sleep is magic). Of course, I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist, so, please, check with a competent holistic/integrative/natural doctor or nutritionist to make sure what you’re taking won’t mess you up more or interact with meds you might be taking – this is important! Because, if you’re taking an SSRI and decide to take St. John’s Wort (good for depression too, btw), you could suffer from what is called serotonin syndrome.
Taking pro- and prebiotics is also helpful to balance the gut microbiome, which is essencial to mental health (I talk a little bit more about it here). I use Plexus supplements for that. You can browse and learn more about them here (look under gut health), if you’d like. Eating more fiber through green, leafy veggies, and increasing your Omega-3 fatty acids is also extremely helpful to improve your mood. I like to kill two birds with one stone, so I like to use chia seeds. I sprinkle them in lots of thinks like pancake batter and my eggs (I know, the latter is weird, but I gotta get my omegas).
Coincidentally, many of the supplements that we’re told help our immune system, help our mental health. Here are some: Zinc, Vitamin-C, Vitamin-D, B vitamins (all of which I take on a daily basis).
Needless to say, there is hope. Even if you’re like me and have taken all the meds and feel like you’ve tried all the things. Don’t give up. Keep going. With God’s help and your will, you can do it just like me!
Enjoy your joyful life!
The Joyful Life Blueprint
P.S. Let’s get to know each other. Here’s my story, what’s yours?