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What Supplements Do You Take for Depression/Anxiety/Mood Problems & Why?

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  • #16
    You've been Primal for 2 months and seen some benefits, IMO more time is required.
    Have you strictly cut out both Grains and Dairy?, Gluten & Cassein in sensitive individuals will have a major impact on mood disruptions.
    My experience was after about 3 month's, I had a distinct shift in the headspace and things just felt lighter, same worries and fears, just turned down a notch in severity. Then about six months later a further clearing in the head allowing the space to just think about one thing at a time without all your troubles coming at you at the same time.
    As YB said, get some testing done to determine if their is any particular deficiency to deal with, but otherwise, focus on dense nutritient foods, sort out any bad sleep patterns and reallign circadian rhythms.
    CBT is good, like meditation and Yoga, they help you create new behavioural pathways and erase the old patterns so deeply reinforced from childhood.
    Don't have any particular suppliments to offer, medications just relieve symptoms and don't address core issues.
    "There are no short cuts to enlightenment, the journey is the destination, you have to walk this path alone"

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by firetiger View Post
      I can try and see if she will do the tests. I have been on birth control since I was 16 (for irregular cycle) so it's hard to tell how my cycle is naturally. The reason I seriously want to get better this time is because I lived in Perú for 2 years (Peace Corps) & I was able to actually experience contentment. I felt connected to the world rather than just going through the motions as I am now. That feeling went away about 6 months after I returned stateside and began my masters program.

      I'm stressing out right now because I see my psychiatrist tomorrow & I know he's going to want to raise the Wellbutrin dose as I responded at first but since have responded to the medication less and less. It just seems like a temporary fix for a permanent problem rather than a solution. I've been on SSRIs before and responded to them but they didn't "fix" the problem either. I won't go back to SSRIs as that time period directly correlates with a large amount of weight gain.
      Personally, what I have found with depression is that CHANGE is a very successful alleviator of symptoms...! But it's not permanent. I spent eight years moving house, and even now I still travel all the time. It's a distraction for me. I don't mean to presume this is the case for you: I'm sure living in Peru had lots of benefits other than that, but I don't believe that changing external circumstances is the answer, or that there's any one person / place that will bring us happiness.

      It sounds like your stress levels got upped when you started your MA, and maybe this gradually brought you to the edge and over? I think people who suffer from depression have a default stress setting which is higher than others. Any excess stress is much harder for us to cope with.

      I can't really comment on the meds, since I've never been on them... I know they do work for some people, but idk... it always seems to be a temporary solution to get them out of a fix, you know? My recent experiences with docs has confirmed to me that most don't have a clue what they're doing.

      In relation to getting hormones tested: it's not just sex hormones you could look at. There's things like thyroid function, serotonin, cortisol... all of which can contribute to feelings of depression. I know I'm kind of pushing the blood work, but I've just been plauged with depression for so many years (to the point of nearly taking my own life), and I know now that trying to fix it yourself is really, really hard. You need something concrete to work with. Hence, the bloods.

      Also, the pill can really fuck with the ol' hormones. Another reason to get it all checked out. If you're worried your doc won't give you the tests, just bamboozle her with a list of symptoms longer than her arm

      Originally posted by VacillateWildly View Post
      Be careful with herbs and supplements, that can be very strong, particularly herbs. I strongly advice not to self-medicate with them without guidance from a naturopath, and don't mix with other medication without guidance either.
      Originally posted by Omni View Post
      medications just relieve symptoms and don't address core issues.
      Agree.
      "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

      In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

      - Ray Peat

      Comment


      • #18
        First off, thank you so much for your replies!
        Originally posted by Pebbles67 View Post
        My recommendation is to read the Mood Cure or Diet Cure by Julia Ross. She recommends Amino Acid therapy for many of the symptoms that you describe.
        I read it yesterday; it scared the shit out of me. I fall into every single one of her mood problem categories. The amount of supplements is overwhelming; I wouldn't even know where to begin.

        Originally posted by VacillateWildly View Post
        Your post could have been written by me. I feel for you but it sounds as though you have hope and are wiling to change things for yourself. The best thing you could take right now is a daily dose of Hope and Patience, depression, anxiety and mood swings are so entrenched that healthy eating and a few rounds of CBT aren't going to help. However, daily and regular application of these things will help you.

        For me, long term therapy/analysis was what changed my mindset and allowed me to function again in the world after crippling depression in my teens and early twenties. I had childhood depression and trauma and have had every type of depression since then. I require at present SSRI drugs, I'd like to come off them at some stage but I'm too fragile and now is not the time. I don't seem to suffer side-effects and see them as enough to get me through another rough patch.

        Be careful with herbs and supplements, that can be very strong, particularly herbs. I strongly advice not to self-medicate with them without guidance from a naturopath, and don't mix with other medication without guidance either.

        The birth control pill was a huge contributor to depression for me, could you come off and watch your cycle for a while? My hormones play an extensive role in my mood. Once you have had your hormones tested, you could take naturopathic herbs to help regulate your cycle, it could make a huge difference to your mood.

        I hope all these responses help you, but you seem to be on the right path, so well done for doing that.
        I realize that no amount of meat or veggies or healthy fat that I eat is going to fix this. It's a long problem so I have formed/destroyed many neuronal connections in my brain. Like I said this is since I can remember. I think going off of my birth control is an excellent option, especially since I have sworn off men (since they tend to worsen all of the above symptoms).

        Originally posted by Omni View Post
        You've been Primal for 2 months and seen some benefits, IMO more time is required.
        Have you strictly cut out both Grains and Dairy?, Gluten & Cassein in sensitive individuals will have a major impact on mood disruptions.
        My experience was after about 3 month's, I had a distinct shift in the headspace and things just felt lighter, same worries and fears, just turned down a notch in severity. Then about six months later a further clearing in the head allowing the space to just think about one thing at a time without all your troubles coming at you at the same time.
        As YB said, get some testing done to determine if their is any particular deficiency to deal with, but otherwise, focus on dense nutritient foods, sort out any bad sleep patterns and reallign circadian rhythms.
        CBT is good, like meditation and Yoga, they help you create new behavioural pathways and erase the old patterns so deeply reinforced from childhood.
        Don't have any particular suppliments to offer, medications just relieve symptoms and don't address core issues.
        No dairy/grains. I feel a difference in the mood swings; they are not as strong & I know that some of them might have been related to the carbs before. I will definitely keep eating well; that's been benefiting me in many ways already. I realize that this is going to be a long, incredibly difficult process but I'm willing to put in the hard work; I hate therapy but I know that I have to tackle the thinking patterns.
        Aren't we all just works in progress?

        Using primal as a tool to heal depression/anxiety & promote overall well-being:
        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread84615.html

        Comment


        • #19
          I had a lot of luck with temporarily taking 5-HTP for depression and irritability, BUT... it was because of a couple of head injuries that messed up my brain chemistry, and I wasn't taking anything else that might have interacted poorly with it. Might be worth doing some research and talking to your doctor about it, though. But I wouldn't just start taking it, especially if you're on something like Wellbutrin.

          I'm yet another person suggesting that you get your hormones checked out, as well as vitamin D levels (at a minimum). Maybe look into how well you're sleeping (magnesium before bedtime helps me fall sleep quicker and stay asleep through the night) because bad sleep can really mess you up.

          Also, you might want to try a spoonful or two per day of good quality, unprocessed coconut oil. I could tell a noticeable difference when I was taking it and when I wasn't. Things just seemed more "level", without so many of the highs and lows. I know it sounds like woo, but it did help, and it's much safer than pretty much anything else you could do.
          Durp.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by firetiger View Post
            The amount of supplements is overwhelming; I wouldn't even know where to begin.
            Though I found her book interesting and potentially helpful, that was my impression as well.

            Originally posted by firetiger View Post
            I think going off of my birth control is an excellent option, especially since I have sworn off men (since they tend to worsen all of the above symptoms).
            If you've been on a decent dose for a very long time, don't get discouraged if you don't immediately notice a change. When I stopped (admittedly 20 years ago) I thought I had totally bypassed all of the problems my friends had talked about when they went off them. It wasn't until 3 months later that I suddenly broke out in acne and got emotional. It took that long to exit my system. It might just take longer than you would think to see any changes.
            Durp.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by RitaRose View Post
              Though I found her book interesting and potentially helpful, that was my impression as well.
              Agree... I found the book prescriptive and yet speculative.

              Originally posted by RitaRose View Post
              If you've been on a decent dose for a very long time, don't get discouraged if you don't immediately notice a change. When I stopped (admittedly 20 years ago) I thought I had totally bypassed all of the problems my friends had talked about when they went off them. It wasn't until 3 months later that I suddenly broke out in acne and got emotional. It took that long to exit my system. It might just take longer than you would think to see any changes.
              My skin changed a lot when I came off the pill too...
              "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

              In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

              - Ray Peat

              Comment


              • #22
                Anxiety is more my albatross than depression, but they're a lot alike. A lot of VitD helps me as far as supplements go. But when I'm feeling like the whole world is a land of hassle, 25 mg of trazodone for two or three days pulls me back to "the world doesn't suck." Like a lot of people, I don't really want to "need" an Rx to make me feel better. But that's just the way it is for me. I'd rather be a little dependent on a drug than to be so freaked out by anxiety that I won't go out my front door.
                "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

                B*tch-lite

                Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by firetiger View Post
                  First off, thank you so much for your replies!


                  I read it yesterday; it scared the shit out of me. I fall into every single one of her mood problem categories. The amount of supplements is overwhelming; I wouldn't even know where to begin.
                  Funny, I felt the same way then I read The Diet Cure. It becomes clear in that book that the aminos are the most important supplements. I am currently supplementing l-tyrosine, l-glutamine and l-phenylalinine at 500mg 3x / day. At night I take 100mg 5htp and a combo pill of l-theanine and Gaba. My sleep has improved immensely. I just feel more stable all day long. It is easier to eat right and exercise the way I need to.
                  Primal since 9/24/2010
                  "Our greatest foes, and whom we must chiefly combat, are within." Miguel de Cervantes

                  Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools
                  MFP username: MDAPebbles67

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    You've received a ton of great advice already, I'm just chiming in and seconding those really. I did not do well on Wellbutrin at all, in fact I got worse and let's just say an incident related to a black box warning forced me off of it (and any other mood altering medications) for good. I second the advice of ditching hormonal birth control, while it gets worse for a while when your hormones are stabilizing afterward, it's worth it. I have a non-hormonal IUD now, I am so much more myself and can't believe I spent so many years of my life living that way. 5-HTP was helpful during the stabilization period, but I don't feel that I need it now. Vitamin D is another good one, I got tons of sun this past summer and felt amazing, but once we moved back into a house and winter came, I felt the negativity creeping back in. I started supplementing D3, which helped a lot, and now that spring is here and I'm outdoors a lot more, the improvement is vast.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Pebbles67 View Post
                      At night I take 100mg 5htp and a combo pill of l-theanine and Gaba. My sleep has improved immensely.
                      I never could take 5-HTP late in the day. Gave me REALLY vivid dreams, so much so that they would wake me up.

                      Originally posted by meeshar View Post
                      5-HTP was helpful during the stabilization period, but I don't feel that I need it now.
                      Same here. It helped me over a rough patch, but I have no clue what it's like long term.
                      Durp.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Pebbles67 View Post
                        Funny, I felt the same way then I read The Diet Cure. It becomes clear in that book that the aminos are the most important supplements. I am currently supplementing l-tyrosine, l-glutamine and l-phenylalinine at 500mg 3x / day. At night I take 100mg 5htp and a combo pill of l-theanine and Gaba. My sleep has improved immensely. I just feel more stable all day long. It is easier to eat right and exercise the way I need to.
                        Sleep is not too bad for me actually. It used to be years ago but not anymore. I have actually already started the 5-HTP (100 at lunch, 100 at dinner) since I had responded to SSRIs in the past & since it won't interfere with the Wellbutrin (works on norepinephrine/dopamine). I need to re-read the book at a slower pace. I definitely fit EVERY category, not just barely but with almost all of the symptoms. I have a neuroscience background so brain biochemistry I understand & what she says about the precursors available to make the different chemicals makes sense. However, it's not like I was not eating protein before. Even on a CW diet I focused on protein intake. For me it seems to be a genetic predisposition of some sort. I'm willing to experiment with the other supplements but am going to stick to 5-HTP and look for an effect.

                        Originally posted by meeshar View Post
                        You've received a ton of great advice already, I'm just chiming in and seconding those really. I did not do well on Wellbutrin at all, in fact I got worse and let's just say an incident related to a black box warning forced me off of it (and any other mood altering medications) for good. I second the advice of ditching hormonal birth control, while it gets worse for a while when your hormones are stabilizing afterward, it's worth it. I have a non-hormonal IUD now, I am so much more myself and can't believe I spent so many years of my life living that way. 5-HTP was helpful during the stabilization period, but I don't feel that I need it now. Vitamin D is another good one, I got tons of sun this past summer and felt amazing, but once we moved back into a house and winter came, I felt the negativity creeping back in. I started supplementing D3, which helped a lot, and now that spring is here and I'm outdoors a lot more, the improvement is vast.
                        Wellbutrin definitely gave me a boost to get things done/get out of bed. I still have to have an inner dialogue with myself to accomplish things but it definitely helped. However, its effects seem to be waning. I've read that you kind of hit plateaus on it. I think it's a temporary solution to a permanent problem. I think I may start vitamin D supplementation as well. I have definitely noticed that sunshine helps. Good thing I live in Louisiana now & not Michigan anymore. I am scared/wary of going off of my birth control but I am willing to consider it. I had issues with other types before but this one doesn't seem to affect me negatively. My periods are shorter & not super terrible. It's a lower dose birth control (Azurette).

                        Originally posted by RitaRose View Post
                        Same here. It helped me over a rough patch, but I have no clue what it's like long term.
                        In the book she makes it sound like it will stop working when your body makes a sufficient amount of neurotransmitter so you don't need to take it for forever. I like the idea of that.

                        Do any of you guys take B vitamin complex? It's supposed to help with stress I think...
                        Aren't we all just works in progress?

                        Using primal as a tool to heal depression/anxiety & promote overall well-being:
                        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread84615.html

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by YogaBare View Post
                          It sounds like your stress levels got upped when you started your MA, and maybe this gradually brought you to the edge and over? I think people who suffer from depression have a default stress setting which is higher than others. Any excess stress is much harder for us to cope with.
                          Yes. This. I perform well under stress but at a high cost. Also, for example, certain situations will bring me absolutely down. They've usually had to do with ending a relationship. This last bout of severe depression was brought on by a guy.

                          I can't really comment on the meds, since I've never been on them... I know they do work for some people, but idk... it always seems to be a temporary solution to get them out of a fix, you know? My recent experiences with docs has confirmed to me that most don't have a clue what they're doing.
                          That's kind of what I'm going for. I was in a crisis when he prescribed it to me. Crisis is somewhat managed but I'm still pretty fragile. They might help until I can find more permanent solutions.

                          In relation to getting hormones tested: it's not just sex hormones you could look at. There's things like thyroid function, serotonin, cortisol... all of which can contribute to feelings of depression. I know I'm kind of pushing the blood work, but I've just been plauged with depression for so many years (to the point of nearly taking my own life), and I know now that trying to fix it yourself is really, really hard. You need something concrete to work with. Hence, the bloods.

                          Also, the pill can really fuck with the ol' hormones. Another reason to get it all checked out. If you're worried your doc won't give you the tests, just bamboozle her with a list of symptoms longer than her arm
                          I already have that list prepared. I've had thyroid tested before I think & that's fine. The other ones I'd really like to know. I'm worried if I give her symptoms she'll want to send me to a specialist instead of doing the labs. *crosses fingers*
                          Aren't we all just works in progress?

                          Using primal as a tool to heal depression/anxiety & promote overall well-being:
                          http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread84615.html

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            What hormones are you going to get checked? Would be worth getting thyroid checked again: even if your numbers are in the normal range they'll give you a more complete picture.

                            Originally posted by firetiger View Post
                            Yes. This. I perform well under stress but at a high cost. Also, for example, certain situations will bring me absolutely down. They've usually had to do with ending a relationship. This last bout of severe depression was brought on by a guy.
                            Sigh. I *hear* you. Problems in love are a big trigger for many people. I had to avoid relationships too because I kept getting into destructive patterns. Which is a double-edged sword, because on one hand you can avoid some anguish, but on the other hand a person has needs (dammit! ).

                            Therapy and self refection are good because you'll start to understand yourself, your fears, and how your subconscious processes shape your life, but ultimately i think meeting the right person comes down to having an open heart, full of love for yourself.

                            Hugs to you!
                            "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                            In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                            - Ray Peat

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              I focused on the amino acids in The Mood Cure and skipped the vitamins. I know I have absorption problems, but I figure my diet is good enough. I take a B-complex once or twice a week, Vitamin D regularly, but that's about it aside from the 5-HTP every night. That made the biggest difference for me.

                              I did take L-Tyrosine for a while and it seemed to help with anxiety, but I don't seem to need it much anymore. I've found that anxiety is the key for my anxiety/depression and the 5-HTP helps with that and getting enough sleep. My dreams are more vivid when I take it, but not as bad as when I was on SSRI's. I had nightmares all the time on Prozac, especially. These are just weird dreams, not scary.

                              I got my hormones tested last year and found that my progesterone was low. When I took Vitex (to make my body produce more) for a few months, my PMS was entirely eliminated, but I didn't notice any overall change in moods.
                              Depression Lies

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                              • #30
                                For me, eating a very high fat diet works wonders.

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