Depression and anxiety become a way of living for many of us. It is not the way life is supposed to be. The big advancement in the medical field is undeniable. Mind issues though are more difficult to deal with. Your brain is more complex than the myocardial muscle.
Leave aside the risks associated with the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) drugs like Paxil and Prozac, the problem is that these drugs address the effect and not the cause of the problem. The mechanism of action of these drugs is blocking the re-absorption (reuptake) of Serotonin by certain nerve cells in the brain.
Serotonin is the good mood neurotransmitter. Altering the way the brain processes Serotonin has unforeseeable effects. Sure, severe depression needs medical attention, but for mild and moderate depression a natural remedy should be considered first.
A holistic approach to mental health that has similar results if not better than SSRI drugs in treating mild and moderate depression and anxiety, combines natural supplements and meditation. This is a double whammy that will:
put you in the good mood zone and melt down depression and anxiety in a short period of time increases the calming hormones melatonin and serotonin. raise your threshold to stress triggers reduces blood lactate, a marker of stress and anxiety decreases the stress hormone, cortisol keep your mind focused and clear make you feel energized throughout the day become optimistic and accept things you can not change
Meditation is no longer an esoteric or time consuming practice. Twenty minutes a day go a long way. Look at it as a “mind workout” for a lot less time than many of us spend in front of the TV (which by the way is mostly stressful). Beside increasing your Serotonin levels, there are other body direct responses to meditation, most noticeable being the increase in the DHEA (natural steroid pro-hormone produced from cholesterol by the adrenal glands) that naturally decreases with age. Similar benefits with the HGH (Human Growth Hormone) that is naturally released during deep sleep or deep … meditation.
Natural supplements are equal important. St. John’s Wort is proved to have similar or better results than SSRI drugs for treating depression without the negative side effects. Hyperforin is the active antidepressant compound in St. John’s Wort. Pharmaceutical-grade products are standardized to a minimum of 5% hyperforin. The effective daily dosage of St. John’s Wort is 900 mg for a mild-moderate depression.
Another effective natural supplement for depression is 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan). This amino acid is extracted from the Griffonia Simplicifolia plant. When taken alone, doses of 150-300 mg per day are effective. In herbal treatments for depression that combine 5-HTP with St. John’s Wort, a daily dose of 25-100 mg 5-HTP is sufficient.
B vitamins are also known to help maintaining the brain neural connections and good mental health.
Double blind placebo trials are expensive hence not feasible for compounds that can not be patented like the ones mentioned above. The lack of interest of the big pharmaceutical companies, does not make these natural supplements less effective for treating depression and anxiety.
These compounds passed the test of time and were filtered by the wisdom of hundreds of generations of people like you and me.