Tell me about supplements that work - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 01-20-2010, 11:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Dh has finally vocalized that he is depressed and has been for some time. He was forced multiple times to see therapists as an adolescent and therefore is not willing to ever see one again. He also doesn't really want to get on pharmacologic meds unless he has to.

I'm trying to help him as best as I can and help him develop some healthy habits, but wondering if what supplements he might try that could help him pull out of this rut?

I'm interested in trying St. Johns Wart and 5htp, but don't really know which brands are reputable and what kind of dosing we should do and also for how long? My pharmacology teacher made it sound like St. Johns wort works a lot like prozac and you need to be on it for extended time periods to allow your receptors in your brain to down regulate, but how long exactly are we talking?

Thanks for any help in advance!

Student nurse Mamma to Kaylum (3/01/2007) and wife to computer nerd DH .

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#2 of 7 Old 01-21-2010, 12:12 AM
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Not sure about SJW. I have taken 5-htp with not great results, but I think it does work for some people. The one thing that has made a huge difference for me is taking a B-Complex supplement. I take the Whole Foods brand "Stress B-Complex" - 2 capsules a day, as well as a multivitamin with a mega dose of B vitamins (I take this - here is the a version sans iron).

Would he consider seeing a naturopath? They can be very helpful when it comes to treating depression naturally.

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#3 of 7 Old 01-22-2010, 11:51 PM
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These have helped me:
- B-complex vitamins, especially B-9/folate (methylfolate if possible, at least 400mcg) and B-12
- The amino acids tyrosine (1500mg), phenylalanine and tryptophan (or 5-HTP, not both, 150mg) are the precursors for neurotransmitters
- Omega-3's in the form of fish oil, studies I have looked at suggest anywhere from 2.5 to 4g of EPA and DHA

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#4 of 7 Old 01-23-2010, 05:07 PM
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Has he had his D levels checked. I know I finally got my levels up to where they should be, and the winter isn't bothering me at all this year. I take cod liver oil, and a really good D3 supp. that together give me 2000IUs a day. I was taking 4-5000 IUs a day to get my levels up to where they need to be. I know my psychiatrist has me take 1000IUs of folate a day, and I take 2 tsp. of bee pollen a day for energy and the B vitamins in it. I am also in 50mg of Pristiq.

I would also google True Botanica they make therapeutic strength supplements. One of the developers/owners is my DD's p.doc. He's wonderful, and very well respected. He was having me take Theanine 2-3 times a day, the Mental Clarity multivitamin, and the Clear and Calm 2-3 times a day for my depression and anxiety. The only reason I'm not taking them, at this time, is because I can't afford them. Once I can afford them, I will start taking taking them again. I also found that you HAVE TO take most supplements, for depression and anxiety, through out the day, or they don't last long enough even if they've built up in your system, because their half life isn't very long. It's the reason why pharmaceuticals come in extended release, so you don't have to take them multiple times a day. Unfortunately, supplements aren't made this way, you have to take through out the day.

As far as SJW, it takes 4 to 6 weeks to notice a difference, and you want to make sure he's taking a therapeutic dose of it, because if he's not taking enough he might not think it's working. I know SJW didn't work for me, it made things worse, but then again I didn't do well on Prozac either. SJW is just a natural SSRI.

These are just things that I have discovered in my search for a natural way to take care of my anxiety and depression. If his depression is sever enough he might have to see a regular doc, or do talk therapy. I know he doesn't want to, but I have also learned that it's selfish of me to not get the help I need, for my families sake, when the natural stuff just isn't strong enough, it's not working or I just can't afford it and my health insurance will pay for me to see a psychologist, a psychiatrist, and pay for medication. What has finally worked for me is a blend of both worlds, it's not my ideal, but I hope when I have more money I'll be able to afford the docs, and treatments I really want. Just my 2 cents. Sorry this was so long.

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#5 of 7 Old 01-24-2010, 07:29 PM
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I am almost completely med-free...down to 25mg pf Zoloft every day. I do see a naturopathic doc and the supps I have tried and seem to be working are:

Vit. D3 10,000 IU per day (my tested level was 22 should be 50-60) I will be testing in Feb. to check again and modify dosage. Testing is very important when you start to take over 2,000 IU daily.

B-Complex vitamin

Fish Oil 2 grams daily (I take Carlson or Spectrum brand)

HTH - Kate

Kate, Wife to DH and Mommy to a 5yo lovin' DS; three angels 4/08 9/08 3/10 in Heaven,
waitin' for my baby

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#6 of 7 Old 01-26-2010, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by lovbeingamommy View Post
I am almost completely med-free...down to 25mg pf Zoloft every day.
25 mg of Zoloft per day is the standard dose for anxiety disorders and PTSD.

OP, in addition to supplements, exercise (30 minutes cardio per day) and light therapy (tanning 3X per week or 30 minutes per day exposure to a full spectrum bulb) are also very helpful. They've been shown to be effective alone and in combination in many studies.
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#7 of 7 Old 01-28-2010, 01:55 AM - Thread Starter
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I hadn't thought about DH's D levels. It's possible. He's a computer nerd and spends all day in front of a monitor. He also does not exercise near enough. I have been helping him eat a more balanced diet by using a menu for him to follow. He will eat what I tell him to, he just doesn't want to have to think of it on his own. Luckily with the weather warming soon we should be able to go out and walk more, which will help both with the exercise and the vit. D.

He takes a multi vitamin already that is high in B vits, so I don't think that is an issue.

I did some more research and it seems like 5htp is more effective in conjunction with other supplements. So I had him start the 5htp as well as a St. John's Wort tincture. I used my drug guide to estimate dosages. I am thinking that the 5htp will help with the long build up for the St. Johns wort. It is kind of annoying because he has to take the tincture 3x's a day between meals. But so far, he's been willing to do it. He's home most of the day, as he goes to school at night (and I during the day) so he can better stay on top of it.

We only have preventative health screening insurance, so like annual check ups and pap smears, so even if he was willing to go to therapy, we'd have to pay for it out of our already stretched thin loan money. I got him rolling on the diet and supplement changes about a week ago, and so far, he already seems to be improving.

Previously, when he had a big school project due (he's in graphic design) almost always before he actually got started, he'd get so overwhelmed about the whole process (the idea, making sure it was right, not believing it was good enough..blah blah blay) he would just shut down. He'd get in bed, cover up, and refuse to talk to me until I really annoyed him and then he'd snap at me. Since we made these few changes, I really haven't seen him go into that shut down mode. He's been staying on top of things and has actually appeared to be in a good mood, and is even handling or toddler struggles with much more ease.

Just so no one is too worried that we are ignoring a serious problem, I never really felt like he had a severe depression. It's just always been an underlying thing. Like a chronic bad mood, and poor stress management. He's had issues with this for a long time, but he manages to function at a basic level. I just know the he and I both want him to be able to achieve a more enjoyable living experience and feel like he can handle life's challenges without having a mini crisis at every corner.

Thanks for all the suggestions and advice

Student nurse Mamma to Kaylum (3/01/2007) and wife to computer nerd DH .

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