"Natural" antidepressant suggestions please

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by jeannette, Jul 13, 2006.

  1. jeannette

    jeannette Registered User

    Feb 27, 2006
    Dear All.
    Don't want to start down the chemical antidepressant route, but with my mother's AD plus all kinds of other things going wrong at the same time - and the length of time it's all been going on, I'm really down too much of the time these days - and consequently of less use than I'd like to be to my mum and husband. I'll get back up, I know, but I just thought I'd try TP to see what recommendations some of you might have for natural/preferably food-type alternatives for what is definitely becoming some kind of depression. And I figure some recommendations might just help others too.
    Any suggestions?
  2. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    Hiya Jeannette,
    I know several people who now use ST John's Wort as an alternative to 'commercial' antidepressants. One was recommended it by her CPN. You can get them in health food shops and supermarkets, they come in two strengths. It does help.
    Love Helen
  3. mojofilter

    mojofilter Registered User

    May 10, 2006
    I was on antidepressants but I didn't like the effect that they were having on me, so after a chat with one of my tutors I tried ST John's Wort and it's worked very well for me...

    Stay cool,

  4. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    #4 noelphobic, Jul 13, 2006
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2006
    I've used St John's Wort on and off for years and unfortunately I'm not convinced that it helps me. However, it seems to work for a lot of people so would definitely recommend trying it. It's not recommended for anyone using the contraceptive pill as it interferes with the pill's effectiveness. It can also make you more sensitive to sunlight ie you would get sunburnt much more easily than usual.
  5. kazlou

    kazlou Registered User

    Feb 3, 2006
    Hi Jeanette,

    Best advice is to ask your pharmacist especially if you are on other medications, as even natural remedies can have side effects.
  6. wendy43uk

    wendy43uk Registered User

    Dec 22, 2005
    depressed in the winter

    i suffer with sad i went to the gp who told me to try st johns wort wich helped a lot the side effects was small i lost weight went down 2 dress sizes not such a bad thing hope u soon feel better the good thing was i stopped them in june and now i feel ok till october:)
  7. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    "Natural" antidepressants

    I've found that Yoga has helped me learn to relax, and the deep breathing techniques have also helped me to avoid the after effects of colds. Ten or eleven years ago, I was on antidepressants for nearly eighteen months altogether, but I've not needed them since I started Yoga.
    Counselling might also help, if there are any unresolved problems. Sometimes I find that I'm making life harder for myself than it needs to be and it can be a good idea to stand back and see if there is a different way of approaching things. I did try a Homeopathic Doctor and although I'm not sure that the remedies actually helped, the questions he asked, in the assessment, did make me think about my lifestyle, and whether I was trying to do too many things at once.
    I've heard that St.John's Wort can cause problems for some people.
  8. jeannette

    jeannette Registered User

    Feb 27, 2006
    Thank you all!

    Just logging on today and seeing all your kind responses has already helped quite a bit - and I'm definitely going to try St John's Wort - but probably just the tea to begin with, as it's meant to be the mildest form. Yoga never really seems to work for me as I mean it to - I either crack up because I'm so bad at it, or I fall asleep in the relaxation part, but I might do a little basic (very basic!) stuff again, and try and motivate myself to dance or walk. The problem is that I intend to do these things when I'm feeling a little better, and then when I feel down I can't seem to get going.
    It's not too bad though, thank goodness, and there are so many of you with far worse problems, and I guess all the other stuff that's recently descended on me (apart from my mum's AD) will somehow get resolved.
    Anyway, I do think that TP helps us draw strength from each other, and I can't thank you enough.
    Take care of yourselves, everyone.
    Best wishes, Jeannette.
  9. mocha

    mocha Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    Lancs, England

    I wonder if you have heard of REIKI?
    We have sessions of it at the Carer's meetings that I go to. It is a Japanese form of healing and you can find details on the Reiki Association web page, just put Reiki into a search engine.
    The first time I had it I was very sceptical but after one session I'm convinced. You can perform on yourself but I haven't attempted that yet but I have the music CD that goes with it. It helps with both mental and physical troubles.
    Just an idea...................
    You may find someone to come to your home - I did
  10. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Hi Jeannette, just to pick up on the 'food' idea I know I am guilty of reaching for chocolate or a G&T (and I understand alcohol is actually a relaxant/depressant so it's not the answer?) when the going gets tough but I have found in the past that changing my diet can be really up-lifting..... not dieting as in losing weight - although necessarily through cutting out fats and sugars that follows anyway - and probably in part gives a psychological boost - nothing special or specific - just lots of greens, salads, copious amounts of water ... boosts the physical energy levels which in turns makes me feel better emotionally..... never keep it up for very long - perhaps 'switching' dietary intake just gives the old metabolism and moods a shake up????

    (Bad week this week - definitely a G&T coming on.....);)

    Hope you're not too down today.

    Love, Karen (TF), x
  11. jeannette

    jeannette Registered User

    Feb 27, 2006
    More thanks - and another approach

    Thanks for the further suggestions. I will look up Reiki.
    This weekend, on two occasions, I felt pretty low - not terrible by any means, but thinking it was time to drink more St J tea - but instead we had to do a load of clearing out and furniture shifting and the physical stuff just helped so much. Great therapy - except now my back's playing up! Better than the blues, though, so long as it's only a bit of ache.
    All the best to you all.
  12. mojofilter

    mojofilter Registered User

    May 10, 2006

    I've put on so much weight since I started caring for my mum, when I get stressed out I t reach out for comfort food. I guess it's better than smoking or drinking but my weight is getting out of control....

    Sad but true,

  13. lou lou

    lou lou Registered User

    Nov 9, 2005
    Hi Jeanette,

    interesting what you said about shifting the furniture. A painful task I know. I spent most of last summer emptying out my Mothers house after she went into a nursing home and my MILs house after she died.

    But.. there is research evidence that mild to moderate excercise can be as helpful as anti depressants in treating Depression.The NHS Trust I work for employs an excercise physiotherapist for just that reason. It needn't be anything strenuous involving Lycra or gym equipment. Just walking will help.

    In my area they do a wonderful Aquacise class where you do the excercises in water lovely if you are a bit arthritic. and unlike everyday kind of excercise (like housework etc) it means you have to organise some "me time" which I think lifts the spirits anyway, whatever you do with it.

    I'm an inveterate potterer in my garden. Retail therapy also works works for me though I confess to being something of a comfort eater too. One of my Russian colleagues once brought me some Chocolate flavoured vodka ( what more could a girl want ?) But hey ! whatever gets you through ( providing it doesn't compromise your health)..then do some more of it.

    Kind regards

    Lou Lou

    PS I've just got back from two weeks in Peru (Coca tea works for most things out there) and a week in the carribbean. It's the first time in 2 years that major disaster hasn't struck at home while I've been away. And I'm off to France for 5 days on Thursday to attend a friends anniversary party ( but perhaps I'm pushing my luck !)
  14. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Hiya Paul

    I get so frustrated that I seem to do so much 'running around'/ physical activity in caring for mum and yet I too am piling on weight - how much does one have to do to burn off the calories in a chocolate bar, for goodness sakes???? Truth, I know my downfall (apart from the chocolate and the G&Ts) is the takeaway pizza, the takeaway curry etc - which I seem to live on sometimes. Mum is well provided for but I seem to grab 'what I can when I can' - easy to grab a 'Cup-of-Soup' and a packet of crisps to keep me going and avoid spending unecessary time over lunch, say- but then often by late evening I am too tired to rustle up anything healthy for myself and 'pig-out' ......

    Paul the demands on you as a 24/7 carer must be very different - but my guess is your own diet and 'store cupboard' is dictated by your mum's needs?????

    I saw on another thread you have some respite this week (and trust you WILL do all you need to recharge - even if that's nothing!!!) Do you always eat the same as mum - or would YOU prefer to have alternatives? Is it worth having a little time out to think about what YOU would like too - and perhaps how to combine both your needs relatively easily?

    (First time my son went away from home for a week with school me and hubby said 'Right! We're going to eat everything WE like' - trouble was, we couldn't remember what those things were!!!:eek: :) )

    Love, Karen (TF), x
  15. jeannette

    jeannette Registered User

    Feb 27, 2006
    hi lou lou

    I haven't been spending as much time browsing in the past week or so because of the heatwave - it gets revolting in the room I keep my PC in. Thanks for your posting. Too hot to exercise now - but at least having the heat to moan about's taken my mind a little off other stuff. The only person I know who doesn't seem to mind it is my mother! All her life she's felt cold, and welcomed heat. Then a few years ago she became panicked by summer heat to the point at which I really feared for her. Now she's reverted to her old chilly self, so at least that's one less worry.
    I think the vodka (chocolate vodka was your idea, wasn't it?) sounds great and the chocolate separately. I'm suddenly finding ice cream truly wonderful.
    Did resort to St J's tea again today - enough reasons. But maybe because there's so much real stuff to worry about at present, the "no good reason" blues are a little better. Or maybe I'm just a bit weird.
    All the best.
  16. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005

    Ref. not feeling the heat, even now, my Mum's the same. Still wants her electric blanket on every night, & 2 hot water bottles! (Well, not real hot water bottles, too dangerous, but wheat bags you heat in the microwave)

    She goes over to the radiators and because they are not hot, she thinks the house must be cold, so she says "I'm cold" - I'm sitting there in the bare minimum of clothing, right in front of an electric fan set at Warp factor 6!!
    I have, of course, tried explaining that the house is so hot and that the thermostat doesn't switch the CH on unless it goes below 20 degrees C., but she can't get her head round it any more,
  17. jeannette

    jeannette Registered User

    Feb 27, 2006
    Heatwave and our mothers

    Lynne, I found a blanket (!!) on my mother's bed today, on top of the duvet. I perspired just seeing it! Thankfully she seems to have forgotten about hot water bottles (fingers crossed).
    Best, Jeannette

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