Battling anxiety and/or depression without drugs - support and idea sharing? - Mothering Forums
Mental Health > Battling anxiety and/or depression without drugs - support and idea sharing?
Attila the Honey's Avatar Attila the Honey 11:58 AM 09-22-2008
I need everyone's methods, ideas, suggestions, coping strategies? I am about 3 weeks off of my Zoloft and doing rather well, but I want to be sure that I KEEP doing well. Dh and I want to have a baby so I went off my medicine and we are taking a little time to focus on taking care of me and being happy and healthy.

What I am focusing on:

Most importantly, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy 1x a week. I've gone nearly every week for the last 15 months and it's been a tremendous help. My therapist describes it as medicine treating the symptoms but therapy helping to cure. I don't believe I would have gotten as much out of therapy without the medicine to keep my panic and depression at bay, but I know I'd never have made the improvements I've made on just medicine alone.

Reading "The Feeling Good Handbook" by David Burns and using many of his techniques. I'd be very interested in any and all book recommendations along these lines.

Reading anything/everything by Sark, coloring mandalas, trying to keep my mind occupied with fun things that do not stress me out.

Taking daily walks, getting out everyday to collect beach glass or go to a playground or look for leaves with dd. Even just a bus ride downtown to buy a cookie on a rainy day helps. I know exercise helps with serotonin, but I also have agoraphobia so it's important I make myself leave the house everyday.

Taking B vitamins, calcium/magnesium, omega 6, and a multivitamin (I am researching a candida diet, my therapist recommended trying it).

Gettng any and all podcasts I can find with guided meditation/mindfulness type themes. Anyone know of any? I get most of my from hayhouse radio.

Sticking to a strict sleep schedule. If I start staying up late OR going to bed too early that's never good for me, I can sink into depression very quickly. Also, I force myself to stay in bed at least until 6am. Early morning waking is a problem for me at times.

Sileree's Avatar Sileree 02:49 PM 09-22-2008
It sounds like you are doing a really good job. All of this sounds great.

The only thing I am wondering about is if you meant you are taking omega-3s instead of 6s? Those are supposed to help with depression. Most people get too many omega-6s and too little omega-3s. What I've read is some doctors recommend 4g a day as a therapeutic dose, but 1.5g has been working for me.
Attila the Honey's Avatar Attila the Honey 04:13 PM 09-22-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sileree View Post
It sounds like you are doing a really good job. All of this sounds great.

The only thing I am wondering about is if you meant you are taking omega-3s instead of 6s? Those are supposed to help with depression. Most people get too many omega-6s and too little omega-3s. What I've read is some doctors recommend 4g a day as a therapeutic dose, but 1.5g has been working for me.
Oh yeah, that. I always get them confused. thanks!
lifeguard's Avatar lifeguard 04:48 PM 09-22-2008
For me exercising daily (or every other day) & making it a hard workout so that I am in optimal physical shape & tired at the end of the day is absolutely key for my depression. It also means that I have better quality sleep at night.
megababymomma's Avatar megababymomma 08:59 PM 09-22-2008
I don't have much offer, but kudos to you! I am about 6 weeks off paxil and have been noticing the irritability/anger back with a vengenance... today is the first day I feel depressed, but I also neglected to eat all day and now that i have, I feel much better.

I admire your self care discipline.
Tired ADHD Mom's Avatar Tired ADHD Mom 04:28 AM 09-23-2008
I have a book that has helped me immensely in dealing with my anxiety. I have been off of antidepressants for several years. It is miraculous to me to be depression free for several years.

The book that I have found exceptionally valuable is by Jeffry Schwartz, MD entitled The Mind and The Brain. Schwartz is a psychiatrist who specializes in OCD. He is jewish by birth but buddhist by practice and it is his buddhist practice that helped him develop his 4 step process (which is a form of CBT.)

His book goes into depth about brain processes and is based on the philosophy that the mind actually effects the brain, that with his 4 step technique you can retrain your brain to cut out the disfunctioning responses and to function in a more favorable pattern.

Another thing that I have found helpful is EFT. (see www.emofree.com) It is a strange, "tapping" acupuncture that is said to overcome physical and emotional issues. The great value for me is that it helps me trace my anxiety issues to the original source and in doing that I am actually freed from the power those profound psychological wounds have held over me.

You mentioned magnesium. Magnesium absorption is very, very tricky but it is also absolutely necessary for fighting anxiety and depression. If I can find the web site that I found helpful I will post it here. Meanwhile, try epsom salt baths. They can make a real difference. Epsom salts are a form of magnesium and they provide a very soothing, calming effect and help with sleep.

I need to follow my own advice and get back into the epsom salt baths.

Oh and here is another - google Dr. Wilson and adrenal fatigue. He markets adrenal supplements that made a HUGE difference for me in very short order. I have never witnessed such obvious improvement from any supplement. I read his book long before I bought his supplements. I am quite a sceptic and always certain that people are bilking me. Not with this product. I bought each of the adrenal products and the thyroid and hair,skin,nail. They helped me enormously.
Astrogirl's Avatar Astrogirl 04:34 AM 09-23-2008
I'd also be interested in any podcasts people have found. I'm long past giving birth but i STILL listen to my HypBirth cds because they calm be down and bring me back to my best moment. Other than that, I try to skip coffee (makes my anxiety a little worse, its seems) and have green tea instead. I also take rescue remedy if its right before a big meeting.
subtlycrunchy's Avatar subtlycrunchy 10:51 PM 09-27-2008
Quote:
Another thing that I have found helpful is EFT. (see www.emofree.com) It is a strange, "tapping" acupuncture that is said to overcome physical and emotional issues. The great value for me is that it helps me trace my anxiety issues to the original source and in doing that I am actually freed from the power those profound psychological wounds have held over me.
I am so curious about EFT. Thanks for posting a bit more about what it is all about.

As for the OP's question, I read the health advice at women to women dot com (alternative/integrative medicine) and always find their articles to be excellently researched and informative. Here's what W2W says about depression/anxiety, coming off meds, natural methods, etc.:
http://www.womentowomen.com/depressi...erotoninstress
Good luck!
guestmama9915's Avatar guestmama9915 01:09 AM 10-18-2008
Thank you for this, was very helpful... nothing to post yet, going to try a lot of these things.
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