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Posted by: Indigo ( )
Date: March 09, 2019 10:20PM

I've had trouble with depression since high school. Used to stay in bed most of the day and not function very well, and I was constantly self-harming and feeling like I didn't want to live, but I'm making some progress now that I've finally decided to stop caring about Mormonism. It lifted a huge burden when I'm not always feeling so much self-hate. But..I'm still sad and anxious a lot, and frequently suicidal even though I've tried to eat healthier, connect with people, exercise, etc. I'm the thinnest I've been since I was a kid, yet I still struggle with so much binge eating and sadness, especially in the evenings. I hate myself for it. I just feel so weak willed and fat.

I've been researching ways to overcome this (especially the binge eating) and i think the root of my binges is the anxiety and low moods, so if I could just get a handle on that, I could fix my binging.

Have you tried any sort of supplements, herbs, or essential oils that helped with depression and anxiety? Getting desperate.

Thanks for your help.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: March 09, 2019 10:47PM

Lions Mane mushroom (usually a ground up mixture of brown rice and mycelium) helped improve my mood and concentration. Studies have suggested it could help with anxiety and depression.

In a mouse study it reversed Alzheimer’s. Good news if you’re a mouse.

About binge eating, apples. Eat apples and you will go a long time without feeling hungry. Some foods lead to intense hunger pangs and then you just want to chow down.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/09/2019 10:51PM by babyloncansuckit.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: March 09, 2019 11:15PM

Regarding Anxiety:

Green tea is probably the best to begin with. The active ingredient for anxiety in green tea is L-Theanine (and L-Theanine is also available in capsule form: 200 mg per capsule is what I have). You can choose either or both, and either or both do help.

Other natural teas which are recommended for anxiety are:
peppermint tea
chamomile tea
lemon balm tea
passion flower tea

All of these have been used for centuries, so they are well-proven to be safe.

Teas which contain kava also do work, but kava comes with a list of warnings of what COULD happen if you take too much, including serious warnings about liver damage (plus a whole list of other possibilities about the overuse of kava). There is a very popular kava-based tea from Yogi (the brand name) called: Kava Stress Relief. It really does work, but I would strictly ration Kava Stress Relief to no more than a cup a week--and before you buy it or try it, please Google: warnings about kava. You are only issued one liver per life, and after that, you're pretty much out of luck so far as livers go.

Regarding depression:
Depression (depending on a number of factors) may be helped (possibly quite a bit) by taking Omega-3 Fatty Acid ("fish oil") capsules--which I very strongly recommend. Even if they don't help the depression (though they are known to help depression in many cases), they WILL contribute to your overall body health, including your brain health in particular.

It would also be good to try a good multi-nutrient (vitamins/minerals/antioxidants) supplement, with some extra folic acid/folate, which is one of the many "B" vitamins, plus zinc (the relative lack of which has been linked to depression).

In the same vein, I would personally recommend brewer's yeast tablets ("brewer's yeast," also known as "nutritional yeast," is a food product--so, effectively, you cannot take "too much"). Brewer's yeast/nutritional yeast is chockful of the spectrum of B-vitamins, as well as nucleic acids (which most people do not get at all enough of).

The herb teas are available at any health food store, and (for some of them) at Whole Foods, despite the fact that since Whole Foods was sold to Amazon, their stock has been getting "dumber" and "dumber."

Because you probably can't get to Follow Your Heart (Canoga Park, CA), which has EVERYTHING, if you can't find something locally, go online, or your local GNC store may be a good choice (depending on your location, and sometimes whether the store is a corporate store or a franchise store), as is Vitamin Shoppe. (I get my bioflavonoids and rutin, both of which "go with" Vitamin C, at Vitamin Shoppe because I can't find them anywhere else in my regular shopping area.)

I strongly recommend the many different Traditional Medicinals teas (, which are available most "anywhere" (maybe even in your local supermarket, in the "healthier foods" section).

Alternatively, Whole Foods carries many of their teas in the herbal tea section of any Whole Foods store.

When I have a headache it's Traditional Medicinals Ginger Aid tea....becoming aware of the first signs of a cold means I go for Traditional Medicinals Gypsy Cold Care tea....when I am REALLY upset and having trouble breathing (I was once diagnosed with asthma) it is Traditional Medicinals Breathe Easy tea....and just about every well-known public speaker or voice performer is a fervently committed customer of Traditional Medicinal's Throat Coat tea. (Bill Clinton has said many times that he could not have been elected president, nor could he have served as president, without a cup of newly-prepared Throat Coat tea before he went before the microphones.)

I hope this helps!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/09/2019 11:20PM by Tevai.

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Posted by: caffiend ( )
Date: March 09, 2019 11:41PM

My wife tried it for a while without noticeable effect. Some people are helped by it.

As you know, most of these remedies have little or no formal studies attesting to their efficacy, if any. About the only thing they have to prove is that they are not harmful to most people. And you'll find a lot of skeptics and scoffers (some very hostile) (some on this board).

Most of the recommendations come from individual, and sometimes collective, anecdotal testimony. With that in mind, try a few recommendations, but only one at a time, so if something does work (hooray!) you can determine just what it is.

Don't combine things, because they can have harmful, as well as confusing, effects. Should you find something that works (hooray, again!) understand that it works for you at this time. Like clinically tested drugs, it may not be effective for you at another time or under other circumstances.

And what worked for somebody else may not work for you.

Don't give up on professional therapy or regular medications. But a "natural remedy" may be safe, more comfortable, cheaper, and with fewer side effects. Be an informed "self-patient."

Look into essential oils, too. You can get them at Whole Foods and specialty stores, without paying the big sales commissions of MLMs. Diffusing certain essential oil(s) over a warming candle, or applying a little to your skin, might help. Different essential oils are supposed to be good for different things--there's a lot of literature out there. Educate yourself.

Regarding Traditional Teas (brand). I find they are of good quality. I take chamomile and fruit blends during the evening (what--the CAFFIEND!? You bet!) and Celestial Seasons Sleepy Time Plus (valerian) before bed. Look into valerian and melatonin as natural sleep aids. A good night's sleep may help your disposition during the day.


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Posted by: CateS ( )
Date: March 15, 2019 02:15AM

I took St. John’s wort for about 2 years about 20 years ago. It made a big difference then I developed a rash. Hives on the palms of my hands and had to get off it. It took weeks for the hives to go away. When I tried the sjw again several months later the hives returned within 2 days. But it did work.

I would not go on a ssri antidepressant. No way.

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Posted by: LeftTheMorg ( )
Date: March 10, 2019 12:00AM

I've struggled with depression and anxiety since high school also. It did help a lot when I realized the church couldn't possibly be true.
I then got up the courage to see a Psychiatrist. A Psychiatrist is a specialist in medication for mood disorders and can help you find the very best antidepressant for you specifically. I highly recommend seeing a good Psychiatrist.

If you cannot afford to pay a Psychiatrist then contact your County Mental Health Care System who can schedule you with a Psychiatrist you can see according to your ability to pay. Just google the name of your County and "Mental Health" and the services should come up. It's well worth it. It is the best way to treat depression and anxiety.

I have already tried all the other "remedies" via the Health Food stores, and all kinds of things I read on the internet. The scientifically created and double-blind tested actually medications are what worked. If I had it to do over again I would not waste all the money I did on "herbal" "cures" and the dangerous "essential" oils. Medications that are rigorously tested are now the only thing I will bother with.

There is also a book that was very helpful to me, "Feeling Good the New Mood Therapy" by Dr. David Burns. Excellent, Excellent Must Read Book.

Also very helpful: deep brain stimulation, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. Both the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins have these treatments listed on the internet where you can read about them.

I would encourage you to see a specialist, which a Psychiatrist is. Also please try walking outdoors first thing in the morning daily for 20 minutes.

You will get a much bigger return on your money and time if you go with the proven treatments that have been tested in controlled double-blind studies against a placebo. This is what a Psychiatrist can help you with. You are worth it. Give yourself this gift of caring enough about yourself to see a specialist. I'm so very glad I did. My best wishes to you, and I hope for a turnaround in your life, which is what I was able to achieve when I went to a specialist. You are worth it.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: March 10, 2019 01:44AM

I agree with LefttheMorg, with the exception that these days you do not need to visit a psychiatrist to treat depression. All you have to do is ask your regular physician to give you a prescription for depression, and that is all there is to it. If one doesn't work, you try another one until it does.

They've come a long ways from 30-40 years ago when you had to see a psychiatrist to be treated for depression. Now it's considered a physical malady that is treatable like many others with a doctor's care.

As for needing therapy, a licensed therapist can also be helpful but doesn't have to be a psychiatrist. Unless you have something more serious of course that only a psychiatrist can treat.

The worst thing is to do nothing. If left untreated it takes much longer to heal on its own than with medical treatment.

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Posted by: slskipper ( )
Date: March 10, 2019 01:45AM

I have an all-natural remedy for you. It's called "See a doctor"!

Supplements, herbs and essential oils are what's commonly known as frauds. Oh, lots of people feel lots better after taking them. It's called the placebo effect. Or maybe self-delusion.

Tell me why you trust some hyped-up woo over the entire body of modern medicine, which is taught in accredited medical schools according to the best and most evidence-based information we have, and which is always proving itself via placebo-controlled double blind trials and peer reviews to ensure that the American pubic gets the best possible medical information?

Yes, there are lots of plant-based medications out there. And we know exactly what the active compounds are, purified by well-established organic chemistry techniques and tested and retested by the manufacturers and regulatory agencies to make sure that what you ingest is really what you need, in the correct dose, to achieve the therapeutic outcome that you and a licensed medical professional have decided is the best outcome for your disease state. Show me the clinical trials for any supplement or essential oil.

Seriously, it is entirely analogous to what we criticize TBMs for- insisting that we believe in the face of no evidence whatsoever. I repeat: see a doctor.

Sorry to rant for so long, but as part of the medical/scientific community, it really bothers me when people cross the line between open minded and nonsense.

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Posted by: Dorothy ( )
Date: March 10, 2019 12:29PM

I can't agree enough with this post. Self harm and suicidal thinking are serious SERIOUS urgent issues that should be addressed by a doctor.

I'm well aware that real medical treatment is not perfect or convenient, but please see a professional for evaluation. Real medications do save and improve lives.

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Posted by: mel ( )
Date: March 10, 2019 03:06AM


I am very sorry about your struggles. I do not do herbs but recently read a study that the amount of live tv watched ( not movies) influenced weight gain because of all the food commercials, even if you fast forward through them (your brain still registers .

I also read a book saying the way to get a handle on binge eating is to substitute people for food (is talk to them).

Glad you are here. Hugs. :) :) :)

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Posted by: mel ( )
Date: March 10, 2019 03:06AM

Also I agree with slskipper and others here to see a doctor if you can find a good one.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/10/2019 03:25AM by mel.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: March 10, 2019 03:55AM

We were stigmatized for years into thinking that depression was a spiritual ailment for not being spiritual "enough." Baloney!

If anything, Mormonism sets people on the fast track to clinical depression.

Time to come out from the darkness and into the light! There is no shame in seeking treatment for what ails ye. Just do it.

You'll be glad you did and better off for it.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: March 10, 2019 05:26AM

If you see a doctor, they will prescribe an SSRI. The SSRI can prevent natural remedies from working, takes a few weeks to start working, and has side effects you might not like. You might as well at least try natural before bending over for big pharma.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: March 11, 2019 10:37AM

babyloncansuckit Wrote:
> If you see a doctor, they will prescribe an SSRI.
> The SSRI can prevent natural remedies from
> working, takes a few weeks to start working, and
> has side effects you might not like. You might as
> well at least try natural before bending over for
> big pharma.

Not all anti-depressants are SSRI's. Welbutrin is not, and is what is most often prescribed to treat both depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder. Welbutrin is a NDRI, and one of the few on the market that doesn't make you drowsy.

Another one that doesn't make you tired nor is a SSRI is Symbalta. It's an SNRI. Both of them help with weight control and neither causes fatigue.

If Indigo goes to his doctor and asks to try an anti-depressant he can name which one. The doctor will write the scrip and then see if it works for him or not. It isn't like the old days where you had to see a psychiatrist to get a prescription. Those days are gone forever, thank goodness.

Depression if left untreated can be serious and debilitating, and life threatening.

There is no reason to play with fire.

Indigo, get to the doctor and ask for help. The over the counter remedies are not the same as state of the art medicine.

Symbalta and Welbutrin have generic equivalents (throwing them out as examples.) You wouldn't need to pay very much for your prescription, with or without a copay, and they are life saving.

The SSRI's cause extreme fatigue from my experience. I can only take the ones that do not cause drowsiness. I used to take Welbutrin until it caused me hyper tension. Now I'm good with Symbalta. It gets me through Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/11/2019 10:40AM by Amyjo.

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Posted by: angela ( )
Date: March 10, 2019 06:25AM


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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: March 11, 2019 07:30AM

Valerian is used as a sleep aid. It makes me very groggy. Not a good idea if you have to be operating a vehicle or going to work me thinks.

It also has a foul odor. I no longer use it because of its stinky smell. It gave me a belly ache the last time I tried it, lol, on top of the stink.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: March 10, 2019 09:55AM

Indigo, it sounds to me like you have chronic, clinical depression combined with anxiety. This is not situational depression (a short-term bout of the "blues") that can be soothed with some chamomile tea or oil of lavender. If you haven't already tried conventional medicine, I would give it a try now. Consult your physician/GP or a psychiatrist. It often can take more than one try to get the medicine right or to get the dosage right.

I've worked in schools with licensed mental health counselors who work hand-in-hand with psychiatrists. I've seen incredible turnarounds in depressed, anxious kids or kids with other mental health issues when given proper medication. Again, it's a process. It takes time and feedback for the medical practitioner to get the proper medicine and dosage. But when that happens, wow! You have a new kid -- a happy kid.

Give conventional medicine a try. It might give you some genuine relief.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/10/2019 09:56AM by summer.

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Posted by: Notelling ( )
Date: March 10, 2019 12:20PM

You mentioned 2 serious issues.

You said you are suicidal and that you are thinner than ever yet you feel fat.

I think this is beyond herbal teas and natural supplements. I think you should see a doctor and get the antidepressants AND go into weekly or ongoing therapy.

I am all for natural solutions but sometimes our problems are more serious. Also exercise is important it releases endorphins and can help with anxiety at least if not also depression.

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Posted by: You Too? ( )
Date: March 10, 2019 02:17PM

I have used supplements to good effect. But be careful, it is hard to get the dosage right. Too much serotonin in your blood/brain can cause problems, sometimes serious, sometimes deadly.

To the above, I would add cayenne pepper and chocolate, deep fish oils and St. John's Wort.

But I agree with the others, you really should see a psychiatrist.

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Posted by: Chica ( )
Date: March 10, 2019 04:00PM

Magnesium (as much as your bowels can tolerate)
Vitamin B12 (daily)
Vitamin D3 (10,000 IU/daily - especially important in the winter)

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: March 11, 2019 10:45AM

My physician recommends the Vitamin D in the wintertime for Seasonal Affective Disorder. I get extra D with Caltrate supplement since I need extra calcium intake I take them both together. What we lack in our diet is made up for in a good dietary supplement.

The D is supposed to help with chronic fatigue.

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Posted by: beanhead ( )
Date: March 10, 2019 10:03PM

Maybe you don't need pills, natural or pharmaceutical:

Maybe you are in a bad situation: a toxic family environment, a crummy work situation, manipulative church, or surrounded by narcissistic friends. Sometimes moving, changing jobs, switching churches, and forming new relationships helps. No pill popping involved in those things.

That being said, do whatever works for you, whether that be smoking green stuff, taking prescriptions for prozac, taking herbal supplements, or visiting a counselor or support group.

Remember, 70% of studies are wrong Just ignore the haters, do what works for YOU.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: March 14, 2019 10:31AM

Since leaving the church has had a positive effect, your therapy may be more mental. Besides supplements (look at 5-HTP), nature, sunshine and exercise, figure out how to “raise your vibration”. That search term will get a lot of hits. Positive self talk, positive beliefs. Discard any belief that doesn’t serve you. Mormonism demonstrates that beliefs are pretty arbitrary but do have significant effects whether good or bad. TSCC provides you with beliefs that serve THEM.

Judgmental Mormon God is made up, just like the BoM and BoA. If a conniving horn dog can make up things and have them stick, why not you? Make up your own God, one that suits you.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/14/2019 10:36AM by babyloncansuckit.

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Posted by: Tea Ceremony ( )
Date: March 11, 2019 10:08AM

Kava Kava tea works very well.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: March 11, 2019 11:08AM

Tea Ceremony Wrote:
> Kava Kava tea works very well.

Kava does work, but it is also potentially dangerous: it can cause permanent and serious liver damage, acute hepatitis, and a number of other medical disorders no one wants to have.

Anyone who is thinking about using kava should first Google: warnings about kava.

It may be a natural product, but the side effects can be both undesirable and serious.

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Posted by: Rubicon ( )
Date: March 11, 2019 01:34PM

Constant depression, low energy, feeling like you don't want to be around can all be signs of a medical problem. You could have a thyroid condition, pre-diabetes, diabetes. Even if you have been seeing a primary physician and having general blood work they can miss problems with your endocrine system.

You may want to see an endocronologist and have some tests done to make sure your endocrine system is functioning right. High blood sugar. Low blood sugar. a misfunctioning thyroid all can cause the symptoms you described.

Many councilors and psychiatrists have their patients have blood work done before they continue with a mental health diagnosis. In many cases the depression and anxiety is the result of a medical problem. Out of balance blood chemistry can make your feel horrible emotionally and you don't necessarily feel sick.

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Posted by: annabelle ( )
Date: March 11, 2019 01:47PM

Stopped being Mormon and gave up sugar-read lots of books on the subject of anxiety, etc. Feel better than ever. Good luck to you in your journey.

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Posted by: kathleen ( )
Date: March 11, 2019 01:49PM

And, while you’re working on nutrition and medical advice, please read “The Feeling Good Handbook” by David D. Burns, MD.

Take care. Hope you feel better soon. :)

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Posted by: blacksheep1 ( )
Date: March 11, 2019 06:16PM

I've dealt with vicious, chronic, treatment-resistant depression and anxiety since my teens, i.e., for over 40 years. Yours sounds a lot like my case. What beanhead said about a bad situation--or experience--is probably at the root of this. Depending on your body/brain and how long the situation has lasted, or how long ago the experiences were, your brain chemistry may--may--have changed permanently. What Rubicon said about the testing is excellent advice.

Whatever options you choose, make sure to read about them as thoroughly as possible. I agree with the recommendations for the book The Feeling Good Handbook by David Burns. It's better than his other one, which is also helpful. Neither one is a cure-all, but lots of things in life (Mormonism for sure) can mess up our thinking.

Any information I give about pharmaceuticals, herbs, vitamins, etc. can be researched and verified. I encourage you to do so. Do not assume that anyone is so expert that s/he knows everything. <--This last bit is very NOT how mormonism works, so it's worth writing down. You're re-educating your mind, retraining your thinking habits.

SOME natural remedies do have lots of good data behind them, such as St. John's Wort, but it can increase anxiety. Also, most studies are only 'scientific' because Big Pharma bought and paid for the definition of 'scientific', for a part of Congress, and for essentially all of the FDA. These studies lasted for typically only 2 to 6 months (sarcasm: yeah, that's adequate for a med you may be on for years, and they haven't done any long-term studies since getting FDA approval); serious reviews of the literature find that an average of only 30% of patients get _any_ help from these sometimes quite dangerous meds. And some of that is likely placebo effect. There are many herbs and herbal combinations with better stats and fewer negative effects.

Yes, kava can be dangerous, if your kava isn't from a reputable company and if you don't follow directions for safe usage. It's the same rules as for aspirin: el cheapo brands are more often contaminated than name brands, and you should read the directions and follow them.

Aspirin, by the way, was originally an herbal remedy, a tea made from willow bark. Chemists at Bayer isolated the primary compound, salicylic acid. First the company extracted the acid from willow bark, then began synthesizing it. These processes turned it into a convenient, standardized dose, but also into a harsh chemical without all of the balancing factors in the willow bark, so that it causes stomach bleeding and even stomach ulcers in many users.

Pharmaceutical companies are still studying and extracting the 'active compounds' from natural plants. They have medical doctors, botanists, anthropologists, etc. traveling the planet and talking to folks in remote villages to find out which local herbs the people have been using for what.

Wellbutrin causes fewer negative effects in fewer people than other anti-depressants in these short-term studies. It's still a harsh chemical with potentially serious negative effects that may build up over time.

If you buy herbs, buy from decent companies, and buy herbs that come in standardized doses. If a company standardizes its herbs so that a capsule always contains X% of a compound, its not going to be a fly-by-night fraudster. There are also voluntary but good and responsible certifying/compliance organizations. People who say herbs have only placebo effects really aren't knowledgeable about the topic. My allergic responses/sensitivities to pharmaceutical drugs as well as other factors mean I have had to learn about my options and my limits. You can learn a ton for free online, and can study the labels and common ingredients buy spending time on Amazon. I agree that Traditional Medicinal Teas are good quality and effective. I also like Yogi Teas. Herbs are not the sledgehammer approach that pharmaceuticals are. It's like the difference between yoga and Marine calisthenics.

Yes, bingeing/eating lots of carbohydrates has an anti-depressant effect as well as a calming effect/helping a person sleep. We crave these foods because our bodies know they can help somehow. They might not be the best answer, but our brains will push us toward what we already know. For example, if you crave chocolate, it's probably because your brain knows it as a source of theanine and/or magnesium. Better nutrition will also help against the cravings.

I need more help, but I take:

Melatonin -- it'll probably work on sleep sooner, but give it two weeks to start noticing real change in depression.

5-HTP -- it's the natural precursor to serotonin, the main chemical our brains make to prevent depression; it's now really inexpensive, hurray!


A high-quality (best you can afford) multivitamin/mineral supplement; good nutrition plus enough sleep are the two key points to the foundation of our health.
Be sure it contains:
lots of all of the B vitamins (important for your nerves)
plenty of Vitamin D3
which works together with
plenty of calcium and magnesium and zinc

Clean (no mercury) fish oil is nice if you can afford it. Do NOT go on a low-fat or low-cholesterol diet until your brain chemicals are balanced the best you can get them (unless a doctor orders such a diet b/c of life-threatening illness) because our brains are made of lots of cholesterol, which is made primarily from healthy fats. Don't be afraid of eggs, which are good for Vit D and healthy fats. Spend a bit more and get the organic, free-range ones. You can feel better by knowing you've been kinder to chickens, and you'll get a lot more useful nutrition from the egg as well as fewer weird chemicals and hormones that your currently imbalanced body seriously does not need. All of that anti-egg/anti-cholesterol 'research' was sparse and BADLY done.

Get enough sleep. The melatonin should help. Our brains detox/clean themselves while we sleep. Use the gentlest supplements/teas you can find that work for you. Herb combinations with Passionflower work best for me. Valerian, skullcap, kava, tryptophan, and GABA are also good, and ALL have verifiable scientific evidence to support them. Just as aspirin doesn't relieve all pain, so pharma companies invented Tylenol/acetaminophen, Advil/ibuprofen, and others; what works best for you may not be exactly the same as for anyone else. This is true no matter which route you take.

Once you've got the sleep in reasonable order, a cup of green/white tea for a bit of caffeine as well as theanine and other ingredients/functions may boost your mood. Be careful not to throw yourself into high anxiety, and don't expect to feel great all day. It may be good only for a temporary improvement when you've got an especially challenging day. For me, a cup or two of mild green or white tea a day works well. I need the tea for other reasons, anyhow. I also take the occasional 'day off' so I don't build up tolerance.

If you can pay for one, find a medical doctor (MD) or doctor of osteopathy (DO) who is ALSO a naturopathic doctor (ND). There are getting to be more and more such 'combination' doctors. DOs often think more about a person's whole body instead of seeing us as just a collection of separate parts, which is the standard MD view. Psychiatrists think only of pharmaceuticals in my experience, especially the ones at the county mental health agencies. HOWEVER, if that's the route you want to take, then do it.

The important thing is that you do something. No matter how rotten your situation, it will not get better unless you, and only you, try something different. You've done great by asking here. If you do go to psychiatrists, read ALL of the instructions, warnings, and potential 'side' effects; ask lots of questions; don't be afraid to call the psychiatrist/nurse assistant/pharmacist with even the tiniest question or concern; read up about the medicine(s) online; TRUST yourself and how you are feeling.

Whether with herbs/nutrition or pharmaceuticals, the change will probably be gradual. You won't notice a difference from one day to the next, but one day you'll think, 'Wow, I feel better than I did last Thursday' or 'I've had this same headache for 3 days' or 'That's twice now that fried chicken upset my stomach' or 'Hey, I feel like taking a walk'. Write this stuff down. Start now. You have to keep track of what's going on and for how long, to convince a doctor to switch meds, to help yourself make decisions about what's working and what isn't, whether the negative effects outweigh the benefits, etc. Write it in a little notebook, in an app on your phone, whatever works for you, but do keep track. Start now. Maybe you're always a bit congested when you get up or your ankles are often a bit swollen by late afternoon, but you've never noticed before. Notice. Take note now, so you've got a clearer idea of what your baseline, your starting point is. Some good effects as well as negative effects can begin and then go away, or increase in strength. It's a new way of getting to know yourself (probably), and you'll be surprised at how many ways your body can change from day to day. You don't want to be thinking an herb or a med is having a bad effect when it's really because you started putting sugar on your cereal instead of honey. You don't need to be obsessive, just analytically attentive. Herbalists, doctors, psychiatrists -- they aren't mind readers. They make informed guesses. Give them the best information you can to make the best guess they can.

Therapy is a VERY good idea, especially for people who've had long-term problems (more than a couple years), but be aware that many therapists do push the meds. If you're trying herbs first, tell them and expect them to respect it. But, do read up on the herbs. It stinks, but no matter what your preference is, you're in the big leagues now. You've gotta step up to the plate and be an informed consumer. One step at a time, and you can do it.

If the directions for a med or an herb say do not also drink alcohol, be a sensible adult and don't drink the alcohol. That can be a lethal mistake.

Nothing works for everybody. Only you can decide whether it's worth trying something else, whether a certain set of side effects is better than how you feel now. You can start taking melatonin, 5-HTP, and vitamins while you're waiting for whatever appointments you make. Talk to somebody. Don't try to do this alone. If you meet unhelpful twits, then they're unhelpful twits and that's got nothing to do with what it's OK for you to ask for. Talk to someone else. Read the Feeling Good Handbook to help you out. Do not give up on yourself, please.


I tried to write less; sorry. My VERY best wishes.

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Posted by: kathleen ( )
Date: March 11, 2019 11:13PM


Please don't try to write less. If anything, write more! Your advice was logical and fascinating.

I hope that it benefitted Indigo and others here. It certainly benefitted me.

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Posted by: blacksheep1 ( )
Date: March 14, 2019 05:06AM

Thank you, kathleen. I had the same hopes, and that's why I shared so much.

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Posted by: matt ( )
Date: March 11, 2019 07:27PM

Quiet Life tablets.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: March 11, 2019 07:50PM

I've got em all in my little shopping mall.


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Posted by: JM ( )
Date: March 14, 2019 08:29AM

Although it sounds strange, a healthy gut helps a healthy mind.

Foods which will help you include oily fish and bananas (both good for the brain), and kefir, which is an acquired taste (!) but will give your gut beneficial bacteria which will help your mind function better. Avoid caffeine and energy drinks, don't go straight to bed at night (spend at least half an hour winding down before actually getting into bed), avoid looking at phone or computer screens late at night (the bright light does stuff to your sleep centers)... in other words get better sleep, and don't take anything which picks you up because it will slam you down.

Stay away from fast food except on a few occasions. Cut down your sugar intake and you'll avoid energy crashes. An apple gives you better energy than a chocolate. Also cut down on starchy foods like potatoes etc.

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Posted by: HappyandFree ( )
Date: March 14, 2019 02:31PM

I'm concur with the suggestions to stick with Science-Based/Evidence-Based Medicine. Supplements have a huge problem--they're not regulated by the FDA, so there's no verification that what's printed on the bottle is what's in the pill or capsule. is a very good blog.

The makers and sellers of essential oils continue to make all sorts of claims that are not backed by ANY scientific studies. Essential oils should never be ingested. They smell good, but that's all they do. Don't rely on them to treat depression/anxiety. And do not get into an MLM to sell them or even to get a discount. For lots of good details about where that path leads, check out r/antimlm

Good nutrition, keeping a regular schedule with 8-9 hours of sleep per night, daily exercise, getting sunshine on your face daily (weather permitting), and get a check up with your doctor. In addition to the standard blood tests usually run with a checkup, ask the doctor to also check your B-12 and folate, Ferritin and an Iron Panel. If you get any push back about an Iron Panel, tell the doc you have a family history of Iron problems. If Iron is too high (look up Hemochromatosis, the most common genetic mutation in North America) OR too low, you've got trouble. And there are lots of Iron problems that never show up on a CBC test, or only show up after the problem has become severe.

About a year ago my Ferritin level was rock bottom. And the results of my Iron Panel showed low levels despite my CBC being in normal range. After about 2.5 months of taking a daily Iron supplement, I couldn't believe how much better I felt! So much more stamina, physically, mentally, emotionally. Highly recommend checking Ferritin and Iron Panel!

Your doctor should also check your (blood tests) TSH, T4 and TPO antibodies. Thyroid problems cause an amazingly long list of problems that may seem unrelated. Unfortunately, there's a lot of disinformation about Thyroid out there. Is a good reality check.

If you try Melatonin, pay close attention to how you feel. The fine print on every bottle of Melatonin says that it may cause depression.

All best wishes!

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: March 14, 2019 03:26PM

Don't forget Dark Chocolate as a mood enhancer ! Yes, it's twue !

"Dark Chocolate
Research conducted by Mary Engler of the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing revealed that dark chocolate has several health benefits. This type of chocolate contains flavonols, which are naturally occurring chemicals that increase nitric oxide levels in the blood. This promotes better blood flow and relaxation of the arteries. In addition, the relaxed feeling that occurs after eating a piece of dark chocolate was found to occur because dark chocolate can raise serotonin levels in the brain. Dark chocolate also contains antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals and slow the destruction of cells."

Although personally I prefer milk chocolate with the exception of peppermint patties. :)

"Eating chocolate increases the levels of endorphins released into the brain, giving credence to the claim that chocolate is a comfort food. The endorphins work to lessen pain and decrease stress (2). Another common neurotransmitter affected by chocolate is serotonin. Serotonin is known as an anti-depressant.May 2, 2018
Chocolate on the Brain - Serendip Studio

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Posted by: mel ( )
Date: March 15, 2019 08:48PM

Amyjo Wrote:

> Although personally I prefer milk chocolate with
> the exception of peppermint patties.

Yummm peppermint patties!!!!!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/15/2019 09:16PM by mel.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: March 16, 2019 08:01PM

That's what I forgot to buy at the store tonight.

They put me in Seventh Heaven.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: March 16, 2019 08:01PM

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/16/2019 08:10PM by Amyjo.

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Posted by: Bradrdh ( )
Date: March 15, 2019 05:32AM

Try KRATOM powder. Big pharma hates it. It’s getting thousands off of opioids. One great side effect is it’s ability to make you feel good, gives you energy and takes away the blahs. Can be a bit addictive( like coffee) but so are most other pharmaceuticals. It’s 100% natural and it saves lives.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: March 15, 2019 12:33PM

The best herb would be cannabis.

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Posted by: Aloysius ( )
Date: March 15, 2019 08:01PM

I live when people go on and on about the benefits of"natural" supplements, teas, and tinctures, then recommend that you go to a store (or the internet) and buy these things. I'm sorry, but I never saw a tree that grew capsules and pills, or a field growing boxes of tea bags, or a plant that grew in liquid form inside tiny bottles. None of these things are "natural." They are all processed and packaged in factories and shipped out of warehouses--just like conventional pharmaceuticals. The difference is that, unlike with drug comanies, nobody is checking to make sure that so-called natural supplements actually work or that the manufacturers are actually giving you what they say they are giving. Oh, and their profit margins are astronomically high.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: March 15, 2019 08:33PM

Don't forget the occasional colon cleanser or enema for thorough bodily cleansing.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: March 16, 2019 02:36PM

Make sure you use coffee for your colon cleansing.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: March 16, 2019 07:58PM

You'd be surprised how well licorice root and senna works too!

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: March 19, 2019 12:16PM

How do you know if it works or not ?

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: March 19, 2019 12:34PM

I have a sweet tooth for black licorice and I drink senna tea occasionally (only,) when I feel constipated.

I swear they work!

You'll feel clean as a whistle in no time!


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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: March 19, 2019 12:37PM

I drink coffee almost every day or every other day.

I wouldn't exactly call it a colon cleanser, but it does help move the bowels.

So does eating a well balanced diet which includes the five food groups.

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Posted by: exminion ( )
Date: March 15, 2019 09:40PM

So much information!

To add by two-bits' worth, I agree with all the nutritional information. Keep as healthy as possible, and whatever problems come your way, you can handle them more easily. I have celiac disease, and have suffered from various vitamin deficiencies. I had to ask the doctor for specific blood tests for celiac, and Vitamin D and B12 deficiencies, which I had. Deficiencies can act like "depression" on your body.

Also, sugar made me feel depressed. It was all those sugar-crashes, all day long, after each ingestion of candy, ice cream, and other gluten-free sweets. A famous doctor called this "The Sugar Blues."

SO--First of all--SEE A DOCTOR! Get checked for all those ailments the posters mentioned. Being unwell can make you very depressed!

A good general practitioner doctor will refer you to a good psychiatrist. A psychiatrist is more qualified to administer medications--but does not necessarily push them onto you.

I tried all of the herbs and potions mentioned, and none of them worked on me. Valerian did make me a bit sleepy, but I felt no effect with any of the others.

Exercise worked, every day in the sunshine, or indoors with a light box. Aerobic exercise releases endorphins, which elevates your mood for the entire day.

Avoid caffeine. It is like poison in my body, and creates instant anxiety and jitters.

I was already seeing a psychiatrist, when I discovered that the Mormon church was a hoax cult. Quitting the church--resigning and taking my children out with me--did a great deal to restore my self-esteem and confidence. Mormonism is depressing! In my mind, I call it "the cult of despair." My children and I were being abused by Mormon family members, and by ward leaders. That's a long story. The psychiatrist and RFM helped me through all of this, because I was the first person in my TBM family to leave, and I had to do it all alone.

OK--The bottom line is that you are diagnosing yourself with "depression." It might be something else. I am diagnosed with PTSD. The abuse I suffered as a Mormon child was severe.

Self-diagnosis is dangerous! I used to take caffeine, to "pep me up", so I wouldn't be "depressed." Instead, caffeine put me through the roof, unable to sleep, crying with fear that the Mormons were right, and that I would fail, and my children would fail, also. The psychiatrist prescribed a mild tranquilizer, which I took for several months, only during anxiety attacks. I now know how to handle anxiety attacks, without drugs of any kind, and just using "mindfulness" meditation, yoga breathing, exercise, proper diet, etc. My psychiatrist taught me all of this. I rarely have anxiety, rarely have nightmares, and I have no phobias. My life is on track, and so are my children, now married, with careers, homes, and families of their own.

For me, my problem was not depression, but anxiety.

The psychiatrist helped me find the causes of my PTSD, which was obvious, it was so extreme, and also of my free-floating anxiety. One main cause was Mormonism, which teaches us as children, to live in a world of fear, threats, evil, lies, shunning, blame, and ridiculous superstitions. Mormonism is really over-the-top, with the group hysteria and hatred! I'm pretty much cured, but I can't go into a Mormon church building, without having a PTSD flashback. So, the cure for that, is to not go into a Mormon church--and I'm fine with that!

You need more INFORMATION!

OH--about possible food allergies--that might be a cause, also. One of the symptoms of a celiac attack, is that right after I eat gluten, I feel extremely drowsy and sluggish, like I'm "depressed". About 4 hours later, the physical symptoms appear, and I'm sick for several days. But not if I never eat gluten in the first place! Who told me about that? Well, it runs in our family, but it was my blessed psychiatrist that told me to get tested!

My ex-husband's side of the family has eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Both my sisters-in-law will need Prozac for the rest of their lives. Whenever they stop taking it, the bingeing starts again. They are thin, successful, and happy in life. They need Prozac, like a diabetic needs insulin. Feeling depressed is awful, and I'm sure you will cooperate with your doctor in doing whatever you need to do. It is curable!

Nothing--NOTHING--can take the place of good doctors! What you have is life-threatening (suicide), and you need help!

Aren't you glad you are rid of that hysterical, idiotic cult, and that you aren't held back by superstitions and jealousy anymore. Doctors and psychiatrists are GOOD. Priesthood blessings and MLM potions are silly and useless! Trust your own wisdom. Trust the years and years of schooling and experience that doctors have going for them!

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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: March 18, 2019 02:19PM

Over the course of my life, I have found that absolutely NOTHING gets rid of depression like getting out of the situation(s) that could be causing the depression. Anti-depressants never worked for me, and I tried many of them.

One of the major causes of my depression was an abusive marriage. It took a lot of work and was physically and financially depleting, but I got out of it. I began to heal.

The other one, which was enormous, was retiring, which I did the day after I became eligible. I never wanted a "real" job in the first place. I intended to be a fiction writer, and was off to a good start, having sold short stories to several national magazines. But the now-ex wanted to see a predictable paycheck coming in every other week, so he pressured me half to death to get a job.

Once I was gainfully employed, I couldn't very well let go of that support. Not for thirty years. I wasn't due to retire until October of 2002, but Regional Office offered "early outs." I immediately took leave, got all the papers, spent the rest of the day completing them, and FedExed them to the Regional Personnel office. The following Monday, I got a phone call from a personnel lady in our Regional office. She asked me (sarcastically) "How did I ever guess that the first retirement papers I would get would be YOURS??"

The first possible day I could leave was June 28, the day after I turned 55. They turned me loose before lunch, as I no longer had entry into the computer system and could not do anything productive.

Like Michelle Obama after she left the White House for the final time, I sat in my car and just cried for about a half-hour. There were times along the way when I didn't think I would live long enough to see that day.

It's been nearly 17 years since then, and I have realized, many times, that there is no longer so much as a shred of depression coiled around my personality. I am happily remarried, too. And free of the Mormon Church.

Since then I have dealt with cancer, which is scary, and with my son being on dialysis from hereditary kidney disease (which he got from me - I watched his grandfather die of it when I was only 15.)

So sure, there have been upsets, but I have dealt with them appropriately, not freighted down with depression.

I wish you the best.

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Posted by: butterfly48 ( )
Date: March 18, 2019 09:35PM

Neurofeedback really works and permanently with no negative side effects. Sleep, Exercise, Good Nutrition, and of course laughter.
Look into Neurofeeback. Good luck!

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Posted by: loislane ( )
Date: March 19, 2019 02:44PM

I once read that you cannot be physcially exhausted and depressed at the same time.

On the few occasions I have tried this, it has done the trick.

You must be totally PhYSICALLY exhausted where every ounce of your physical energy is depleted.

A long long hike that is just a tad beyond what you think are your physical limits would be great.

Same thing for a 30-mile bike ride. You decide what is going to do it for you.

Mental exhaustion doesn't count. You must be PHYSICALLY exhausted.

This solutions definitely works. But the depression comes back.

Oh, well.


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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: March 19, 2019 08:02PM

You need a doctor. Don't be fooled by the claims of herbalists and homeopaths. Don't trust testimonies. Please see a doctor.

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Posted by: cftexan ( )
Date: March 20, 2019 01:40PM

I wanted to touch on your binge eating because I'm currently a recovering binger. You can binge for a few reasons, emotional and physical. You say you're binging mostly at night, how are you eating the rest of the day? Are you restricting and getting hungry at night so you binge?

You may have an eating disorder too, they can come from anxiety and depression and can also cause the same.

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: March 20, 2019 09:30PM

I sometimes smoke CBN (cannabinol), which is a great anti-inflammatory, and good for mood. It doesn't have any psychactive quality, but has a real mild seditive effect, sorry of like taking a Tylenol-3.

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Posted by: kathleen ( )
Date: March 25, 2019 11:30AM

The television yattering all day long ramps up anxiety and depression for me.

I don’t know if it gives off a frequency that’s intolerable, but both DH and I do better with it off. We still watch programs we like, but then it goes off again.

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