I 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!
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 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!
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 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 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.