More than just “feeling blue” or experiencing sadness or grief because of a specific circumstance, depression is a mood disorder characterized by a persistently sad or empty feeling, irritability, and a diminished or absent interest in everyday activities. Usually depression occurs in episodes, which can last for weeks, months, or even years. Many patients experiencing such bouts of depression actually feel quite “normal” in between flare-ups.
- JOHN’S WORT is often used for mild-to-moderate depression; this herb will take about a month to sufficiently build up in your system and produce noticeable benefits. In the meantime, add phosphatidylserine to your supplement regimen. This amino acid has been shown in clinical trials to lift mood and positively affect behavior.
- SAMe (S-Adenosyl methionine), a newly available amino acid, has been shown to be as effective as such antidepressants as amitryptiline or norpramine. European doctors frequently choose SAMe over conventional antidepressants because it works more rapidly and it has virtually no side effects.
- 5-HTP is often recommended until SAMe became readily available. In the brain, 5-HTP converts into serotonin, which studies are finding is a potent mood enhancer.
- GINKGO BILOBA sometimes seems to fight depression better than St. John’s wort, especially in those over age Depression has been linked to reduced circulation in the brain, and ginkgo is often used to increase blood flow.
- VITAMIN B COMPLEX helps strengthen the nerves as it enhances neurotransmitter production in the brain.
- KAVA KAVA is used for depression accompanied by anxiety. This herb, which seems to affect the brain’s limbic system, helps calm the revved-up emotions that often accompany depression. It’s fast-acting and generally not addictive.
- CHASTEBERRY COMBINED WITH ST. JOHN’S WORT may help if your depression is well correlated with the second half of your menstrual cycle; this type of depression may be a variation of PMS. Take the combination during the days when you’re not menstruating.