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Depression and Weight Issues Have you been diagnosed with depression, are possibly on depression medication, and find it affects your weight loss efforts? Post here for support!

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Old 01-27-2010, 12:00 PM   #1
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Default Over The Counter/Natural Remedies

I looked around for a bit and didn't find a whole lot on this, so figured it couldn't hurt to ask. I'm not looking for medical advice, just wondering if anyone has some helpful input. And sorry about the long, rambling post here...

So, bit of a back story - I was diagnosed with depression when I was 13. My teen years were rough and I got placed in a psych center for 2 weeks one summer due to the severity of my depression and my doctor's/family's fear for my well being. Anywho, life is much better at this point and my depression is... well, mainly in check. I was on a cocktail of Wellbutrin and Prozac, dosages slowly increasing from age 13 - 18. By the time I hit 19 I was taking the highest dosage available of Wellbutrin and Prozac. Fun stuff.

I failed to realize how expensive anti-depressants are until my mother's insurance dumped me due to my age and my work insurance doesn't cover squat. To fill my script for a month would have cost me about $450 out of pocket. Ouch, right?

So for about 6 months I've been totally off all meds and doing alright. My moods are everywhere and my bad days are particularly bad. I'm doing well with managing my feelings and being very aware of emotions as they surface, but it can be hard. So my question here is, does anyone take anything natural / over the counter that helps improve mood and balance you? A little pop of energy would be awesome too.

I've googled the **** out of this and gotten millions of products and supplements, all with clashing reviews. I know talking to a doctor is my best bet, but again I cannot afford the co-pay for a consult right now. And like I said, not looking for any medical advice - I know this isn't the place for it. Just some suggestions.

Thank you kindly.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:15 PM   #2
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DH was on the max dose of Zoloft for years. It made him a zombie, he had no sex drive, no emotions at all - he was never happy, never sad, never angry, nothing. He talked to his PP who said that's what he would have to deal with because there was *no* other way.

I bought a book called Natural Remedies, or something like that, which suggested St John's Wart. (This was years ago, before it became widely known around here.) He takes standardized herbs, from a reputable company, 900-1200mg/day. He actually has moods again, normal human moods, with none of the side effects. We're both very pleased with the results.

We buy it in bulk now, but when he first started taking it we bought the smallest bottle we could find. It's only a few dollars a month.

I am not a doctor, but it's a thought.
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:23 PM   #3
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Thank you! I've heard a lot about that, I'll have to look into it more.
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:21 PM   #4
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Hi, if you are making very little money and your insurance is bad, you may be elegeble to participate in low income medicade type programs where you can see a doctor for a co-pay (mine is 15 dollars) and get generic perscriptions for 4$ each. Please go to your state's health and human services department and see if you qualify for a program. Low income people can also get additional food, low cost food boxes and other discounts.

Among OTC and natural herbs I've tried: Magnesium citrate, B-vitamins, Omega-3 oils, tryptophan, melatonin, valarian, st. John's Wort. Tryptophan works the best as far as I am concerned, but gives some people strange dreams or auras around objects so take it only at night before going to bed.

Both tryptophan and melatonin are seratonin pre-cursers and work along the same biological pathways as many of the psychiatric drugs-- but they are not re-uptake inhibitors.

I do not have any medical training, this is just from reading, and trying them out, so look them up and read about them before trying them.
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:50 PM   #5
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Thank you for the advice. I'll definitely do some research on those.

I've tried getting some help through the state, but they've really been little help. I'm just at a point in my life where I'm okay with dealing on my own, no meds - because I did have the problem of feeling emotionless while on them. So this gives me a good starting point in figuring out what would be good for me.
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Old 01-30-2010, 04:08 PM   #6
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Hi, Salaam -

I was also diagnosed with depression in my teens. As my parents had just watched my aunt go through anti-depressiant cocktails each of which made her a zombie, they opted to put me on an herbal remedy as well. For about 3 years I was on a combination of St. John's wart, Griphonia Seed Extract and Vitamin B Complex. It really helped. I don't take it any more, though, as my moods have stayed in check for most of my adult life and because you cannot take St. Johns wart with a BCP. It will make your BCP ineffective! I just wanted to make sure you knew in case you went that route! So, if you can't take St. Johns wart, try the Vitamin B. Also, get plenty of sunlight and dairy. Vitamin D is also shown to help with depression.

Good luck!!!!
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Old 01-30-2010, 05:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heidelene View Post
because you cannot take St. Johns wart with a BCP. It will make your BCP ineffective!
It actually reduces the effectiveness of some birth control pills, and isn't the case with all birth control pills, or all birth control methods. A great way to check is to call your doctor, or Planned Parenthood, and ask if it interferes with your particular brand/method.
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:42 AM   #8
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Some discount pharmacies like Costco and Walmart have enormous savings on 90 days supplies of generic medications. I mean incredible savings. With a possible low-income plan + use of these type of stores, you might be able to afford a medication that could as important to you as insulin is to a juvenile onset diabetic.
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Old 01-31-2010, 12:04 PM   #9
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A few cautions about herbals:

Make sure the bottle of whatever you get has the USP (United States Pharmacopeia) label on the battle somewhere. It's usually very small. This let's you know that the concentrations and ingredients on the label are actually what's in the bottle.

If you're taking any other medication (including other herbals/supplements), talk to you pharmacist. A lot of people forget to tell their pharmacist about these products and they can seriously interfere with other medications.

I'm a pharmacist that is a huge supporter of herbals. Others are very old school and against them. In the US, things aren't regulated very well, so you have to do your research on a product/brand to make sure you're getting something from a reputable company.

I was involved in a research project during school where we tested several formulations of available herbals (st. johns, saw palmetto, and a few others). There were several in each category that either contained minimal or no amount of the ingredient listed.

/disclaimer: I'm a pharmacist, but not your pharmacist. Go talk to them, because we really do like to answer patient's questions to prove we learned more in all our years of schooling than how to count by 5 ;>
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Old 02-19-2010, 02:46 PM   #10
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I have heard of St. John's wart as a natural remedy for depression but I've also heard it was pulled in a lot of countries because it can be dangerous if you're self medicating, so I agree that you should go talk to someone who works a natural remedies store or a pharmacist before you start taking anything. What my boyfriend takes when he feels mild depression is the Bach flower remedies. He takes the one called rescue remedy so check it out. I don't know if it's a placebo or not but it seems to work for him.

I've also heard that a lot of our problems a can come from diet. so try doing a cleanse by just eating really healthy! Cut out sugar, dairy and caffeine try to eat organic everything. It's expensive and a big lifestyle change if you're not used to it but. We've been doing it for about 4 months now and I have to tell you I feel great. I get lots of sleep, exercise (which is another great natural remedy for depression) and eat right! I've lost some weight (which let's face it is never bad )but mostly I just feel good! My exercise isn't supper strenuous, I mostly just go for about a 45 walk as often as I can.

Try it! you'd be surprised!
Hope this helps!!
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Old 02-19-2010, 07:59 PM   #11
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I tried different over the counter meds and they just didn't do the trick for me. I must admit though that I never consulted a specialist and maybe that would have made a difference.

I am on meds right now and feel anything but emotionless. I have a good range of emotions but they aren't over the top and they don't change back and forth in a heartbeat like they used to.
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Old 02-19-2010, 08:46 PM   #12
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I would suggest homeopathy. The remedies are cheap, and I am a firm believer. The homeopathic remedy has to be tailored for your symptoms specifically though, so it would require going to a homeopath, which yes does cost money, but you could just explain that you can't afford much and can only go one or two times, or they might even give you a reduced rate.

the remedies themselves though are cheap.

I was on meds for 10 years, and before that on them for a year. I also took Prozac and Wellbutrin.

I have successfully been off meds since November 2007. This was with the help of diet change/exercise, naturopathy, homeopathy and acupuncture.

Don't get me wrong, i still have my down periods for sure, and struggle, and wonder sometimes whether it might just be easier to take drugs again, but.....I haven't gone back and really don't want to.

~CGH~

P.S. I found St. John's Wort did work for me too, but I had to keep upping the dose to get the same effect and it was just too many capsules in the end.

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Old 02-19-2010, 10:35 PM   #13
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A low carb diet can even help.. so I've heard


ok.... so I've experienced


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Old 02-25-2010, 02:07 AM   #14
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some great info here. i've been thinking about starting taking sam-e.
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Old 03-01-2010, 01:03 AM   #15
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It would be nice to hear from more people who had success with St John's Wort or Sam-E. Please share your stories.
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