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SylG

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Jan 29, 2012
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Hi there,

And sorry in advance if this post is in the wrong spot - this site is huge and I've mostly just lurked until now. :)

My question is about possible ways (non-drug related) to cope with maybe unipolar.

My life 'til now:

I've dealt with depression for many years (20+) and I've been on and off anti-depressants since my early 20s. Over the years things have gotten worse until I worked a horrible job that combined with personal issues, tipped an extended depression into a suicide attempt (which was half-hearted and failed obviously). I went to my doctor shortly after, went on meds, and was referred to a psycho-pharmacologist who diagnosed me (or at least confirmed my doctor's diagnosis) that I suffered from unipolar depression, I changed meds and after a few months of suffering just about every side effect of first one then another medication, I went off the meds altogether. At the same time I also quit my job, felt awesome the next day, and have since been trying to monitor the onset of my depressions to try to understand what's going on. In the two years since then, I went through a little over a month where I felt depressed around Jan/Feb last year, and this past Nov/Dec again for roughly a month from onset until I just felt "normal" again. So not to doubt the abilities of my doctor (GP), but I wonder if I don't actually suffer from cyclomythia or S.A.D. instead of unipolar.

All that being said, I'm wondering if there's a short term treatment or something I could try if this pattern persists. Would taking Xanax work for something like that? I'm not unwilling to try CBT or something similar, but if what's going on could be neurochemical is there something to just interrupt the really bad days until I can ride the depression out?

Thanks in advance!
 

MHealthJo

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Hi there!

Some people use herbal and other supplements for mood, anxiety or depression, relaxation and brain health, which can generally be stopped or started anytime. There are lots of preparations that offer combinations. Some things that are related to these functions include good doses of quality magnesium (chelate is good), valerian, licorice, hops, china root, passionflower, SAM-E, St Johns Wort, lithium, and fish oil. Remember not to take St John's Wort at the same time as antidepressant, and check any recommendations/contraindications on the bottle. Ask your pharmacist if unsure.

It sounds like there could be benefits too from some psychotherapy at those times, or I recommend books by David Burns, Russ Harris, Dr Phil McGraw, and Eckhart Tolle, depending on what's happening with you and other factors Of course the support and expertise and objectivity of a good and caring therapist / clinical psychologist can be a definite asset. :)
 

PrincessX

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Great recommendations. I personally have tried near infrared laser therapy, the blue spectrum in a Sybaritic capsule last year. It was expensive and short term lived, but it felt like spending a day in the sun. Going to a sunny place for a week or more also helps me feel better.
I found my family physician and one specialist I have seen close to incompetent in diagnosing mood disorders and also having attention span issues themselves. After a failed SSRI trial, the only things that help me so far are therapy, self-help books, sun or light therapy, exercise whenever possible and as much as possible, some randomly chosen herbal teas and vitamins/supplements, good sleep hygiene, including hot shower or hot tub before sleep. Of these things sun, therapy and exercise have been the most and always effective for me.

---------- Post Merged at 11:18 AM ---------- Previous Post was at 10:52 AM ----------

Also, I wanted to say that I was talking only about my own experience, and my condition could be viewed more as an adjustment thing then a medical disease.
I know that depending on the severity of symptoms some people do need medications and for a lot of depressed people takes time or a couple of trials with a competent doctor, until the right medication is established. Because people can get severely depressed, nobody can deny that medications are necessary in some cases. I don't like Antibiotics either, but if I had a life-threatening infection, I would have no choice but to take them.
 

David Baxter

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Bear in mind that alternative medications like St. John's Wort also have their own lists of adverse side-effects and they may interact badly with other prescribed or over the counter medications. Don't assume that because something comes from a plant it's safe to use. Talk to your doctor(s) and do your homework first.

More information:

Alternative Medicine - Alternative Therapies - Natural Remedies

Top Herbal Products: Efficacy and Safety Concerns

Alternative medicine: Evaluate claims of treatment success

Warning about the use of herbal and natural remedies

Herbal Supplements May Contain Unwanted Ingredients
 

PrincessX

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Exactly. I am not a fan of randomly using herbs either, the most I have used is common teas, but basically any herbal, homeopathic or supplemental product has the potential to harm or interract.
 

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