My Time in the Psych Ward – Part One

wVlfnlTbRtK8eGvbnBZI_VolkanOlmez_005

Writing this is honestly more for myself than anyone else, but hopefully it will help some of you who do read it. I wanted to document the two weeks I spent in the Mental Hospital as a way to process it and remember it. This was a very major event in my life and even if no one else around me talks about it, I want people to know that I’m not ashamed of what I went through. Thanks for reading!

April 14, 2015

I had had a really good day actually. I had spent the day visiting my parents, I was really happy during the two hour drive home, I remember singing and stopping to take a picture of the river because it was pretty. I got back to my apartment and found out that my roommate wasn’t going to be home that night, so decided to spend the night watching movies and painting my nails.

Things were going great for awhile, and then my brain decided to take over… after that, like many nights before, I just sat there crying and begging it to shut up and leave me alone. All I could think about was how I was a failure, how overwhelming my life was, how I just wanted it to stop, how everyone would be better off without me.

I had been struggling with depression and anxiety for a long time, pretty severely for the past 3 years and to some extent all of my life. I had moved away from my home town and I was having trouble figuring out life in my new town. Because of my anxiety I hadn’t been able to get a job and my parents were still paying for everything. I was also getting married in just two months. Getting married was something I was excited about, I loved him, but I also felt someone pushed into it, like it was my only choice. And of course wedding planning and a long distence relationship was difficult. I was overwhelmed and I felt guilty for existing.

Suicidal thoughts were not new for me. Especially late at night, but I hadn’t gone through with anything yet.

I had decided that I was going to start saving up my prescriptions so that, if I wanted to, I could take them all at once and just be done with everything. I hadn’t actually done this yet though and I didn’t have that many pills in my cupboard that night. I remember searching on my phone to see if just maybe what I did have would be enough to kill me.

I had tried texting my Fiancé, my friends, anyone I could think of in my contacts, I just wanted to talk to someone. I also sent a text to a suicide hotline. But it was already early in the morning and no one was replying.

I was so tired, and so sick of all these thoughts and my life. I took one of my pills… telling myself I would only take enough to help me sleep and stop thinking. Then I took another, and another. By the time I had taken all of the pills I had, they had started working enough to calm down my brain. To the point where I was no longer sure I wanted to die and I was afraid to fall asleep in case I didn’t wake up. Somehow I managed to stay awake for hours despite all of the pills I had taken (usually just one of the pills would knock me out for the night).

The hotline I had texted finally texted back and I told them what I had done. I also texted my mother saying I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to go to the hospital but because of my anxiety I couldn’t bring myself to call someone (hence the reason why I TEXTED a suicide hotline haha) so the woman from the hotline called an ambulance for me.

I was disoriented so I’m not sure how long it actually took but it felt like just a couple of minutes had gone by when a police officer showed up banging on my door and came in. He walked me out of my apartment to the ambulance. It was probably eight in the morning at this point.

Once I was in the ambulance I signed some papers and they took me to the ER. At this point everything starts to get really blurry, I think they tested my urine, and somehow ended up in an ugly purple hospital gown (those things make you feel more naked in them than if you had nothing on). And then I just sat in the hospital bed in the ER. They apparently asked me to admit myself to the Psych Ward but I don’t remember that part. They sent a guy over from the Mental Ward to watch me ( I found out later that his name was Colin). He was asking me questions to help me stay awake and I managed to mumbled back.

My roommate and another friend came to the ER and sat with me. At one point I asked her if she had seen the girl who just walked by outside, she said “yes”, I said “she had really pink hair, that was crazy!” My friend told me that “her hair was brown”. I was totally hallucinating. Later I also said something about how they had only been there for a few minutes and I was told that they had stayed for a couple of hours! Time was moving so much faster for me. My parents showed up within what felt like minuets even though it would have taken them two hours to drive there.

I eventually was taken in a car to the Psych Ward and asked a lot of questions and who knows what else, I don’t remember any of it. Apparently I talked to staff and doctors who I didn’t even remember meeting later.

Finally I was allowed to go to sleep! It was sometime in the afternoon by now (I believe) and I had been awake since the morning before.

I slept until sometime the next day when I got up to stumble into the bathroom and throw up. I pushed the buzzer and a nurse brought me some ice chips to eat.

The rest of the day is a blur, I don’t remember what I did or anything.

End of Part One.

Do any of you have experiences with staying at a Mental Hospital that you would like to share? I would love to read them!

My Morning Routine

I am not a morning person. At all. Never have been. Even though I have been sleeping better lately I still do not always look forward to getting up in the morning. I have, however, found a few things that I now do when I first wake up that help me to get going and start my day off on the right track!

IMG_20150207_154605

Ditch the obnoxious, annoying, irritating alarm clock!!! Seriously if you’re waking up every morning with a jolt you need to figure out something different. I wake up each morning to the alarm on my phone playing soft music (I believe the title of it is “Serene Morning”. Now doesn’t that sound more pleasant than “Buzzing Foghorn”?).

Stretch. Spend five to ten minutes in the morning stretching to improve circulation (which will help you feel more awake!).

Drink water. You haven’t had any liquids for hours! Your body is dehydrated. Do it a favor and drink a glass of water upon waking. Even better, drink a mug of hot water with lemon and cinnamon. This is beneficial for a lot of things,detoxing as well as stimulating your digestive system are a couple.

Exercise! This doesn’t have to be major, but even a short, gentle walk with your dog will improve your mood and health.

IMG_20150131_083158

Breakfast. Give your body some good quality fuel for the day. Some of my favorites are smoothies, greek yogurt with nuts and fruit, eggs, and turkey bacon.

And there you go! You may now proceed to shower, get dressed, do your makeup, or whatever it is you need to do to before school, work, or blogging from home!

What do you do every morning that motivates you? Is it sitting by your window sipping tea? Or fitting in a quick workout before heading to work? I’m also curious as to what time all of you wake up at (I get up at 8).  Thanks for reading!

All personal photos.

My Nightly Routine

IMG_20150207_121815My last post was on how to establish a routine to help insomnia. I talked about how it is important to spend time before bed relaxing and without electronics. To give you some ideas of things you might want to incorporate into your evenings I thought I’d share what I do!

So, I go to bed every night at 11. Pick a time that works for you, ideally you will probably want to be sleeping for about 8 hours though so factor this in. I have also read (though have not seen much research to back this up) that your body releases certain “restorative” hormones only between the hours of 12 and 2 at night and that you have to be asleep by 10 for this to happen. Not sure how much truth there is to that but it’s something to consider.

Here is an example of a typical night for me

Bye bye technology. Around 9:30-10:00 I turn off my laptop and stop using my phone (well, mostly. I turn on my app that blocks out the blue light from it and only use it to text my boyfriend off and on. Don’t judge!

Start by taking sometime to get ready for the next day… I make my lunch sometimes, check to see if have clothes that are clean, and make a to do list. Whatever it is you need to do, do it, and then stop worrying about it. It’s taken care of for now, it will all be there tomorrow to deal with and hey! You’ve got a head start on it!

Drink something warm and relaxing. I love filling my favorite mug up with warm almond milk and adding honey and cinnamon. Holding the warm mug, seeing the steam rise off the top, and smelling the calming scent, is such a great way to unwind. Try a relaxing tea blend or just warm water with lemon, a lot of people find that cherry juice helps them to sleep. Just find something that you can look forward to immersing yourself in and will signal the end of a long day for you.

Do something calming. This could include…

  • reading a book
  • journalling
  • listening to soft music
  • taking time to do some visualizing or deep breathing exercises
  • spending quality time with your spouse or kids
  • taking a bath (with low lights, bubbles, candles, and music)
  • having someone give you a massage
  • giving yourself a manicure, pedicure, or facial
  • working on a hobby or craft
  • whatever it is that you enjoy and find relaxing

Do all of the above if you want! This is free time you get to spend doing things for you. Sometimes this is hard for us to do, to focus on ourselves and not feel guilty about it (or is this just me?), but this is a form of self care and is important to your mental well-being. So it’s okay! Enjoy it and know that it’s benefiting your health at the same time!

Consider taking something to help you sleep. Common natural supplements people use are melatonin and valerian. I found that GABA is helpful for me occasionally.

Finally, get ready for bed. Showers make me sleepy so I take one every night right before bed. I go into the bathroom, brush my teeth, take a hot shower with my lavender scented body wash, get out, dry off, use a moisturizing lotion (again, one with lavender in it), and put on pajamas!

At exactly 11 o’clock, after adding a drop of lavender oil to my pillow and turning on music, I crawl into bed and and after following this routine, am now able to fall asleep within 15 minutes compared to the hours and days I would be awake for before.

What do you do to help you unwind at night? What are your tips and tricks? Thanks for reading (:

All personal photos.

How to Beat Insomnia

6359992745_568b4ce090_o

“Our bodies need rest, but our brains need sleep.”

This is something my chiropractor told me a long time ago. When talking about mental disorders, this seems like a pretty important thing to focus on (brain, mental… you see where I’m going with this?).

Getting a good amount of sleep every night can be extremely helpful in dealing with and getting through depression, anxiety, and well, really anything. It is essential for your overall mental, physical, and emotional health! It is the foundation for all things health related. If you are not sleeping, or not sleeping at the right times, or for the right amount of time, you are going to suffer.

I have been working hard over the last few weeks to establish a good sleeping routine. Doing this has proven to be challenging as I have had insomnia my whole life, but it’s made a big difference in how I feel overall.

This is not an easy schedule. It requires commitment, but if you have tried everything and are still struggling to get enough sleep, this is what you need. Commit to this schedule for two weeks and see how you feel. Then continue. Make it a part of your life and enjoy the benefits of feeling refreshed physically and mentally.

The Rules

  • You must go to bed at the same time every night. Pick a time and stick to it. Even if this means ditching parties with your friends, not getting the dishes done, or not finishing “just one more episode”.
  • You must also get up at the same time everyday, whether or not (this is the hard part) you have slept. I repeat, whether or not you have slept. This is important. Even if you have just fallen asleep an hour before, you have to make yourself get up and you are not allowed to sleep until your bedtime that night. This is the only way you are going to be able to reset your body’s internal clock. Unless you have tried, really tired this, you are not allowed to say that “I’ve tried everything to sleep and I just can’t”. (Especially if you are posting this on Facebook at three in the morning…sorry.)
  • Your room needs to be dark, quiet, and cool. We’re talking pitch black dark. No light shining under your door from the hallway, no digital alarm clocks, block out the street light coming in through the window. Use white noise or calming music without words to drown out any distracting thoughts or sounds. Keep your room temperature between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Stay in bed for eight to nine hours. Do not get up, turn on lights, etc. (The exception to this is if you have to use the bathroom. However, if you are finding yourself waking up for this reason, stop drinking fluids before bed.) We want you eventually sleeping solidly through the night without interruption.
  • Turn off ALL electronics 30-45 minutes before bed. TV, computer, smart phone, all of it. Electronics keep your brain from being able to shut down and transition into sleep. The blue light emitted from them prevents your body from producing melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone produced by your body that helps regulate your sleep and wake patterns.
  • Spend the last hour before going to bed relaxing. Create a routine (check out an example of my nightly routine) that you can follow every night that will signal your body that it’s time to sleep. Take a bath, read a book, drink tea, wash or face, brush your teeth, whatever it is you need and want to to at the end of your day.
  • Consider using a sleeping pill for the first week or so to help you jumpstart this routine. Don’t become dependant on it though, we want you to be able to keep to this schedule without it needing a pill that will cause you to feel groggy in the morning.

Now picture yourself crawling into clean sheets at the same time every night, in a room thats dark and quiet, that maybe smells of calming lavender, and listening to soft music as you drift off to sleep. Then discover yourself waking up each morning feeling more relaxed, refreshed, better about life, and ready to start your day! (We will discuss a helpful morning routine in the future). This is the goal we are striving for.

This is hard. It’s strict. The first few weeks might feel like torture and be sleepless. Eventually, though, your body will adjust itself and you will realize just how important sleep is after experiencing it in the way we need it.

Please let me know if you try this and how it works for you, tell me what helps you to sleep better, and feel free to ask if you have any questions!

photo credit: Insomnia or login to sleep illustration via photopin (license)

Showing Your Self Harm Scars

  1. Tell a close friend or family member and ask them to go with you.
  2. Realize that you’re in control. Bring along a sweater that you can put on if you start to feel anxious, or wear long sleeves pushed up that you can roll down when you feel uncomfortable.
  3. Try showing them around strangers first. You don’t know these people, you don’t have to talk to them, they’re not going to notice your scars, and if for some reason they do? They have no reason to comment on it. And, besides, you’ll probably never see them again.
  4. Visualize showing your scars and having it go well… if you tell your brain that it is going to be ok? Chances are it will start to believe that. And believing that you’re going to be okay is going to increase your chances of actually being okay when you’re in that situation (:
  5. Think of a few replys you can use in response to any possible questions you might get. If you are worried about someone asking about  your scars (which again, chances are most people won’t) it helps to feel prepared by keep in mind a simple answer or two. And remember that you DON’T HAVE TO ANSWER. This is your body, you’re in change, and you don’t have to share anything that you don’t want to. A simple, “I’d rather not talk about it” and then changing the subject is fine. Something I plan to use if anyone ever asks me what happened is, “I got in a fight with myself” and leave it at that. To me that feels comfortable. So find something that will work for you, it can be witty, serious, sarcastic, or maybe your answer is to NOT answer. It’s whatever works for you!
  6. Before hanging out with groups of your friends it might be helpful to (in a calm, one on one, neutral setting where you are comfortable) explain about your self harm to a few close friends first, so that they’re not surprised when they see them and can be there to help support you when showing them around others.
  7. Consider hiding or drawing attention away from them. Bracelets, bandages, makeup, jewelry, creative clothing choices, haha whatever it is, might not completely hide your scars but they can make them less noticeable. Do you plan on swimming but have scars you can’t cover up? Draw a stick figure on a different body part. Sure the scars are still there but theres something else for others to look at. Paint your nails! Get a tattoo! Wear an outfit that you feel good in! I don’t know! Just do whatever you feel will make it easier for you (:
  8. Accept your scars. Yes they’re there. No they’re probably not the most attractive things ever (although I know some people like them). But they show that you have gone through something difficult and made it. You haven’t given up and you’re still trying. You should be proud of that.
  9. Think of something you enjoy doing, that requires showing your scars, and start looking forward to it! Make plans and think about how much fun it will be and all of the things you’re going to do. Look at the big picture. Your scars are just a small part of that day and don’t need to interfere with the rest.
  10. Go try it! Take a chance and go somewhere, for a few minutes or a full day and then tell me how it went! (Here’s how my first day of showing scars went) You can feel good about yourself for overcoming such a big hurdle (:

What has helped you to brave the public eye? Why do you want to be able to show them? Or why do you not?

You can’t show your cuts in public!

Yesterday’s agenda: Travel 2 hours away to go see my therapist, do some shopping afterwards.

Yesterday’s temperature: 78 degrees.

Yesterday’s main issue: Ran out of lightweight long sleeved t-shirts to wear (why can I never remember to do laundry??), grabbed a sweatshirt on my way out the door though.

Result of yesterday’s temperature and issue: It ended up being too freaking hot to wear my sweatshirt!

I digress, basically, I have never shown my cuts, burns, or scars (which cover mainly my left arm and right thigh) to anyone other than my parents and boyfriend. The self harming thing has been a lot better lately but I did end up cutting a couple of times last week. I’ve thought a lot about showing my scars in public, since I’m trying to stop and summer is getting really close and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to avoid it. I’ve never considered showing them before they were scars though or before I was done self harming.

Apparently though, yesterday I didn’t really care. I was going to a city where I didn’t know hardly anyone, and the people I did see (or who saw me) I’d never see again. So whyyy would I care if they saw my cuts?

Considering that I am usually ridiculously nervous just going out in public where there are *gasp* people! This was pretty shocking even to me.

First place we went into I did get nervous but as the day went on (and my therapist assured me that people don’t notice us as much as we think they do) and I realized no one was paying any attention to my uncovered arm? I was able to relax and be pretty okay with it (:

I still don’t plan on showing my scars around people I know until cutting is something in my past, but going out yesterday has given me a little more confidence for when I DO decide to show them.

In conclusion, do what makes YOU comfortable. Anyone who does judge isn’t worth your time and doesn’t really care about you so why should their opinion matter? And for the most part, they’re not going to notice anyway (: Hang in there!

Have any of you, that self injure, shown your scars in public?

My Goals for the Week

medium_5820119430I’m doing okay (:

I went to see my therapist today and even though I’ve had a few not-so-great days, I’ve been able to recover from them fairly quickly so that they haven’t turned into bad weeks. Instead of being triggered by something, getting really upset, and then having EVERYthing get progressively worse from there… I’ve been able to go back to “normal” shortly afterward. This doesn’t mean I’ve been blissfully happy all week but I’ve been pretty stable with only slight ups and down opposed to my usual highs and super low, long lasting lows. It’s nice… I feel more like me (:

All through my 5 months of weekly therapy we’ve focused on mt anxiety, depression, cutting, panic attacks, emotions, and techniques for dealing with all of these. Anytime something came up about any abuse I may have experienced when I was little, my therapist would say something like, “That’s something that we can start to talk about when you’re ready and feel you are at a point when you can handle it”. Which makes complete sense, bringing up something like that and trying to process it when you’re depressed or anxious isn’t going to go well at all! Today, though, she brought the subject up briefly and even asked me how I would feel about exploring other therapy options in relation to that. While I said I didn’t want to get into that right now (because my summer is going to be pretty busy and potentially stressful, and I want to be able to focus primarily on just that when I decide to tlk and think about it) I’m so excited that she thought I was at a point where I could deal with processing something like past sexual abuse…

It means I’ve made progress!!

I really have made a lot  progress. It hasn’t always felt like it over the months, I’ve had some really bad low points, but I’ve worked really hard to understand what’s going on with my mind and what I can do to help it and I’m starting to learn how to even apply some of those things I’ve found. It’s a lot of work! Anyone trying to recover from a  mental illness will understand that. It can be hard too because most people around you can’t see the amount of effort you’re putting into getting better because for the most part the work all takes place in your head!

So I just want to say to anyone who is working towards getting better… good job! I know how hard it is and how mentally (and physically) exhausting and draining it can be. You should be proud of yourself for putting forth that effort to do what’s good for you (:

Anyway, since I have decided I want to focus on just staying where I am at right now, working on using my relaxation techniques, trying to stay on a good sleep schedule, ect, I thought I would share my list on specific things I want to work on over the next couple of weeks…

  • Acceptance. I’m going through a lot right now. I’m doing really good though so don’t let minor setbacks upset you too much… have a bad day? Feel guilty for something you did? Acknowledge it and move on, you have tomorrow to try again (:
  • Sleep. I was doing good for awhile at turning my computer off at 9 and spending a couple hours trying to relax so I could fall asleep before 12 or 1 in the morning. I need to get back into that.
  • Headaches. For awhile I was doing good at noticing when I was starting to feel anxious or down and then using the appropriate coping skills to deal with it. I have had quite a few especially bad headaches over the last couple of weeks though that have made it hard for me to want to DO anything when I notice my mental state dropping. Physical pain makes it hard to deal with mental and emotional pain. So! Work on a few ideas for coping with headaches (not like I haven’t been doing this for years… I’ll keep trying tho).
  • Balance. I have a couple of trips to make over the next few weeks, so I’m going to be busy. Being busy can lead to stress and anxiety and a physical and mental crash afterwards. Try to pay attention to how I’m feeling while I’m away from home and take a break when I need to. Don’t overdo it! (;

So there you have it. Some of the things I am going to try to work on, think about, and keep in my this week. Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear what kinds of things you would put on your list for the week! (:
photo credit: LateEnough via photopin cc

Take Time to Focus on YOU

large_114182751

It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary. – Mandy Hale

Many of us grow up being taught to be selfless. To give of yourself to others and to put their needs ahead of your own. I agree with this for the most part and know from experience that helping others can bring you real happiness, distract you from your own problems, and help put your problems them into perspective when you see that, really, everyone has struggles of some kind or another and we need to help each other through them.

However, (yes, here comes the “but”) when you are dealing with a mental illness you need to IGNORE some of this. Telling yourself and hearing that you need to just start thinking about others and realize that “there’s always someone who has it worse”? Isn’t going to help. If you’re depressed or anxious you’re probably overwhelmed enough as it is. You don’t need added pressure. It’s okay to focus on yourself. You’re not going to be any help to anyone else if you can’t take care of yourself first. So don’t try and don’t feel bad about it. Realize that you’re taking time to learn to be easier on yourself, to take care of yourself and to make YOU happy so that, later, you can focus on and help your family, friends, ect, better than you’re able to right now.

You need to be able to love and care for yourself in order to love and take care of anyone else properly. This doesn’t mean cutting off all human ties and relationships, but it means letting THEM help YOU for a change. Allow yourself to take the time to do things that you enjoy and find relaxing. To do the things you know you need to in order to get through this. In the long run it will benefit both you and those who you are close to.

I’m discovering that happiness is contagious. I had to stop worrying so much about what everyone else was thinking of me. I had to stop stressing about how I thought I was making them unhappy. Then, when I accepted that was just how things were right now and learned that they didn’t love me any less for it? When I stopped trying to hide how I was feeling in an attempt keep people from leaving me? I realized that THEY were happier because I was happier. Overall it means less stress for everyone and allows me to relax and be okay with taking as much time as I need to care for me! (:

Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know.

Well now they know.

Let it go!

– Frozen

photo credit: DonnaGrayson via photopin cc

Essential Oils for Anxiety and Depression

medium_8543552581I am a big fan of essential oils. The obvious reason being that they smell AMAZING. Seriously. The second reason being that I feel they have been helpful for my depression, anxiety, and headaches. They’re easy and enjoyable to use, and have numerous benefits.

Here are some EOs that are good for anxiety, depression, sleep, ect and which ones I have been using.

(I will be listing single essential oils as well as blends from the doTERRA and Young Living  brands)

Anxiety

  • Frankincense
  • Harmony **
  • Joy **
  • Lavender
  • Orange
  • Serenity *
  • Lemon
  • Elevation *
  • Balance *
  • Stress Away **

Depression

  • Balance*
  • Citrus Bliss*
  • Elevation *
  • Lemon
  • Joy**
  • Harmony**
  • Frankincense
  • Lavender
  • Bergamot
  • Ylang Ylang

Headaches/Migraines

  • PastTense*
  • Peppermint
  • Deep Blue*
  • Deep Relief**
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Tranquil**
  • Valor**

Insomnia

  • Dream Catcher**
  • Lavender
  • Orange
  • Serenity*
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Tranquil**
  • Peace and Calming**

That’s a lot. I know. I spent hours trying to decide which essential oils I wanted to try, because, lets face it, these aren’t always cheap. Here are some tips for narrowing it down though…

  1. SAMPLES! Find an essential oil representative in your town and ask for samples. I got a whole bunch of them and was able to try them out and see what I liked.
  2. If you don’t like how it smells it’s probably not for you. Apparently the ones you like the most are the best suited for you.
  3. Pick favorites! You’ll notice, for example, that Lavender is listed in all four categories. Pick multi-purpose oils that cover several of your needs.
  4. Do your research. Google, ask questions, try them out! It can be a process of elimination.

Here is an example of my essential oils routine…

medium_124218131

In the morning I apply Balance* and Elevation* to the bottom of my feet. This is one of the quickest ways for them to enter your bloodstream. These EOs help keep my moods level throughout the day.

During the day I diffuse Orange EO in my house to help fight any anxious thoughts that like to make themselves present (and it smells REALLY good! My boyfriend thinks it smells like tea. No idea where that came from but at least he likes it haha).

If I have a particularly bad headache I will diffuse Peppermint and apply Deep Blue* to my temples and neck.

At night I usually take a bath with a few drops of Lavender oil and then put a few drops of Serenity* on my pillowcase before going to bed.

So that’s how I do it and I have noticed a difference (and, possibly more importantly, so has my family). Let me know if you’ve tried essential oils! (:

* doTERA blend **Young Living blend
photo credit: antonychammond via photopin cc
photo credit: pix.plz via photopin cc

Natural Supplements for Anxiety and Depression

medium_8116279888I have always been interested in more natural/holistic approaches for just about everything. Growing up with a chronic physical illness, I would spend my days home from school reading about home remedies and studying (yes, studying… I have the highlighter marks and notes to prove it) books like, “Prescription for Nutritional Healing”. Learning how to help my body function at its best without the use of chemicals has always appealed to me.

So, when I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety I started searching for things I could do or take to make it better. At one point I found a few pins on Pinterest (check out TAD on pinterest!) listing natural treatments for anxiety and depression. I spent some time researching each one, picked the ones I felt would be the most helpful, ordered them, and now a couple weeks after taking them I am feeling a LOT better. My mood has improved drastically and I have actually been sleeping at night.

In case it might be helpful to anyone reading I thought I’d share what I have been taking and why!

Basic Multivitamin 

Before I started adding on specific things that I hoped would help with my anxiety and depression I wanted to have a good “foundation”.

People have differing views on the effectiveness and necessity of vitamins, common beliefs being that they are not absorbed or that you get enough nutrition from your food. I personally feel that if you are taking a good quality product (I use Standard Process supplements which are actually whole food pills.) your body can absorb it, and that in a typical diet and considering the quality (or lack of) in our food, it would be nearly impossible to get what you need without added help.

B-Vitamins

B-Vitamins are necessary for the production and regulation of neurotransmitters connected to depression. B-vitamin deficiency has been linked with mood disorders, including depression and anxiety.” (see first resource link) Anyone with depression knows about the “chemical imbalance” in their brain, basically your neurotransmitters are misfiring… B-vitamins are one of the things that can help correct them. Yay!

medium_4398689320Vitamin D

The sunshine vitamin! I live in Montana and I have been told by one of my doctors that almost everyone in Montana is vitamin D deficient due to lack of sunlight. Michael Holick, MD, PhD says, “One of the effects that vitamin D has on the brain is to improve serotonin levels — which is the same chemical that many antidepressants act on.” 

Omega 3

Omega-3 fatty acids are good for your brains health (as well as you hair, skin, and other things. Added bonus!) and for regulating your mood. If you have a mental illness it makes sense to take something to improve its health right?

Magnesium

Magnesium calms and nourishes the nervous system. It’s beneficial for anyone who has panic attacks and/or anxiety. I’ve also found that taking it about an hour before bed helps me to sleep at night, and that has been one of the best feelings ever.

That’s my list of the things I have been taking on a daily basis. If you’d like more specifics on what brands, amounts, ect I’ve been taking please leave a comment. I really do think that they’ve drastically affected my depression and anxiety for the better. Hopefully by continuing to take these I will be able to avoid going on any antidepressants. Have you found any vitamins or herbal supplements to be helpful to you? Leave me a comment and I’ll look into them for myself! Thanks for reading (:

 

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I recommend doing your own research and talking to a doctor before starting on any supplements (especially if you are already on medication as they may interfere), and never go off your medication without consulting a physician first.

Resources used.

http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/conditions/anxiety-depression
http://www.webmd.com/depression/news/20120627/vitamin-d-deficiency-linked-to-depression
http://www.besthealthmag.ca/embrace-life/mental-health/8-nutrients-to-help-beat-anxiety

photo credit: epSos.de via photopin cc
photo credit: colindunn via photopin cc