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KiwiBex


KiwiBex

member
Location: Melb

Total posts: 69
Posted:Hi Everyone,

I'm currently considering taking St John's Wort as a remedy/support for depressed mood/anxiety.
After going into a couple of 'health food stores' (those places that sell nutritonal supplements, e.g. Holland and Barrett, GNC) and being frankly alarmed at how little information the labels give and how ignorant the staff are!!! I have done an internet search to find a fair bit of the info is studies commissioned by vitamin companies....

So what I would like to know is:

Is anyone happy to share their experiences/advice of taking St John's Wort/Hypericum? Do you consider it effective? Side effects? How long did you take it for etc...

Cheers everyone wink


I said perhaps, and thats FINAL.

I love my length!

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tim_marston


addict


Total posts: 614
Posted:bex,ive heard good and bad reports about st johns wort,i think it can work in some cases but may have one or two side effects.
i found talking to people,exercise and not too much substance abuse has helped me stay happier,
you could also try aromatherapy oils which can relieve stress and maybe accupuncture or a more healty diet.


i hope you sort out the problems you have and dont get too unhappy,most people have or will suffer with depression at some stage in their lives so dont feel alone cos we know just how [censored] it can be.
love
tim hug


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Neon_Shaolin
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

Neon_Shaolin

hehe, 'Member' huhuh
Location: Behind you. With Jam

Total posts: 6120
Posted:I did take it for a while but like most things I fall out of the habit of taking it on a daily basis.



Also I was unsure of whether it was only a placebo effect and I never wanted to become dependent on it.



I would recommend talking to your GP first to see if they think St John's Wort is what you need...



"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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alien_oddity


alien_oddity

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: in the trees

Total posts: 7193
Posted:i'm with the shaolin one on this, i was on anti D's for a while and they made me worse, i couldn't just stop taking them either so i supplemented them with st johns wart. eventually i was completely off the anti depressants and just taking st johns wart but i went the same way as neon shaolin and stopped taking them.


talk to your GP about this as some anti depressants react badly to it


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Neon_Shaolin
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

Neon_Shaolin

hehe, 'Member' huhuh
Location: Behind you. With Jam

Total posts: 6120
Posted:Then again my GP was very dismissive, adopting a 'you made your bed, you lie in it' angle with regards to the 'gay thing'.

Then did an about-turn in diagonisis when the subject of my (relatively mild) drug abuse past cam e up, insisting that DRUGS COUNCILING was what I needed instead of a psychiastrist


"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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KiwiBex


KiwiBex

member
Location: Melb

Total posts: 69
Posted:Cheers Tim,
Yeah, I have completely cut out the smoke for a whole month now and won't indulge again in the foreseeable future...

I try to eat properly as much as possible (esp since I am veggie) altho am pretty slack on the exercise front, except for walking to and from the train station.

I just wanna get to the cause of my depression you know? I've had counselling and stuff, Cognitive behaviour therapy and that, which sort of helps, but it gets to the point where I feel much better and the therapist says, "You're ok now", so we wrap up the sessions. But then the depression always always eventually comes back.

So result is that so far my adult life has been spent going on and off prozac and I really hate it. I just can't accept that the rest of my life I will 'need' to be medicated to have a stable life... of course any GP or otherwise doctor I see thinks thats what I should do, just be on prozac for the rest of my life. F*&$ that. Besides they mostly are of that opinion because if I harmed myself (which I have NO intention of doing!!!) their arses would be covered because they had followed the conventional wisdom to write me a prescription.....

Meanwhile I try alternative therapies (aromatherapy, massage - Thanks Kat!I really enjoyed it if nothing else! -, yoga, b-vitamin supplements, iron supplements, evening primrose, eating brazil nuts, talking therapies, smoking myself into constant oblivion -a bit illadvised that one- among others. Thus far I haven't found anything that keeps me on a consistent, normal-life, even keel.

I suspect its chemical imbalance but how do you prove something like that and unless you can afford to consult some private doctor-whiz you get the brush off and another prescription.

Aaarrrggggh!!!! angry


I said perhaps, and thats FINAL.

I love my length!

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KiwiBex


KiwiBex

member
Location: Melb

Total posts: 69
Posted:Thanks guys. As you can probably guess with the post I just submitted, my patience with GPs is wearing a little thin!!! I'm not on anti depressants of any kind at the moment so its not going to react...

I said perhaps, and thats FINAL.

I love my length!

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Neon_Shaolin
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

Neon_Shaolin

hehe, 'Member' huhuh
Location: Behind you. With Jam

Total posts: 6120
Posted:Well when I went at the time I was completely substance free and had be for a long while but the GP was insistant that I go see a drugs counsellor.



I had been clean for a while. I do not find myself craving the smoke and have no problems in turning them down when surrounded by friends who do smoke...



Obviously there are some problems which are more deep-seated than a past fondness for green... And the GP's dismissal of my 'lifestyle choice' was nothing short of blood-boiling...



(She even used the phrase 'have you tried not being gay?')



On the subject of Anti-depressants I don't think that replacing one substance with another to abuse iis quite the long term answer...


"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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Medusa
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Medusa

veteran
Location: 8 days at Cloudbreak, 6 in Per...

Total posts: 1433
Posted:I took it for a while to try to help with my depression but it didn't do much of anything....

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alien_oddity


alien_oddity

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: in the trees

Total posts: 7193
Posted:i would suggest investing in a light box, i have one and it dose help, also quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content 50%+

also getting out and meeting new people and trying new things helps


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Neon_Shaolin
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

Neon_Shaolin

hehe, 'Member' huhuh
Location: Behind you. With Jam

Total posts: 6120
Posted:Problem with the chocolate thing was that I have an addiction to chocolate as well, meaning I couldn't stop at just '2 or 3 pieces' a day - leading to caffine and sugar high and the inevitable caffine and sugar crash.



Not fun...



Sometimes the 'meeting new people' tactic can lead to feeling more vulnerable around new people... Spreading yourself too thinly with far too many people without making a real connection with any of them...



Gee aren't I Mister Glass Half Full? (Depends on it the glass was previously empty, if it was it's half full, if it was previously full, it's half empty biggrin)


"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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jo_rhymes
SILVER Member since Apr 2005

jo_rhymes

Momma Bear
Location: Telford, Shrops

Total posts: 4525
Posted:St John's Wort is ok if you have very mild depression and you take the pills regularly. however, if you are on the pill, st john's wort stops it from working so you'll need to find another method of contraceptive. If you're determined to stick with the alternative therapies, try kava kava root, or even chamomile tea for relaxing, and valerian to getting off to sleep.
as for me, I'm on meds smile good luck x


Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

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Neon_Shaolin
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

Neon_Shaolin

hehe, 'Member' huhuh
Location: Behind you. With Jam

Total posts: 6120
Posted:Take a few of these

hug hug

and call me in the morning... smile


"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin

Total posts: 3556
Posted:it didn't work for me, it made me feel "funky." I just didn't feel right, but i had more than mild depression...
i took zoloft for a bit, counseling never worked, none of that alternative stuff did either
mostly, i just go hug my dog and go outside and get some sun
oh and chocolate is my friend


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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squarefish
SILVER Member since Sep 2002

(...trusty steed of the rodeo midget...)
Location: the state of flux

Total posts: 403
Posted:eek  Written by:

(She even used the phrase 'have you tried not being gay?')

eek

is there no way that you can report her to some sort of ethics comitee for such statements? censored
Totally insensitive and unhelpfull to someone in need of support.

Why don't you go to a different doc? are there any members of the local scene that might be able to point you to a more openminded/gay friendly doctor?


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jo_rhymes
SILVER Member since Apr 2005

jo_rhymes

Momma Bear
Location: Telford, Shrops

Total posts: 4525
Posted:
Non-Https Image Link


Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

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Neon_Shaolin
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

Neon_Shaolin

hehe, 'Member' huhuh
Location: Behind you. With Jam

Total posts: 6120
Posted:That was a couple of years ago and I've not been to see that GP since (or any GP). I've mostly been fine but I do have my moments but I try not to resort to antidepressants and I'm not even sure I'm a depressive! Probably a hypochondriac more likely!

"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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KiwiBex


KiwiBex

member
Location: Melb

Total posts: 69
Posted:Neon Shaolin, sorry you had to put up with a crap GP like that! No wonder you havent been back to another!

How is Zoloft compared to Prozac? I've always been on the Zac except once they gave me Doxepin which didn't work for me.

So the lightbox is good then Ravehead? I sorta dismissed that one cos my depression is not at all dependent on the season...Do you use it every day?
A friend of mine told me that GPs in Scotland suggest sunbed sessions in winter to depressed people.. dunno how true that is!

Anyway not feeling too bad today which is groovy. ubbrollsmile

Thanks for all your comments guys! hug


I said perhaps, and thats FINAL.

I love my length!

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Valura
SILVER Member since Apr 2002

Valura

Mumma Hen
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Total posts: 6391
Posted:hey sweetie!

I have suffered from depression for a a great deal of my life and I have found a few things have helped...
Firstly diet is EVERYTHING. I have recently been recovering from SEVERE Post Natal Depression and when I changed my diet it changed a whole lot for me... I smile more I have more energy, I feel less fuzzy...a whole [censored] loads of high protien foods as well as loads of fresh fruit and veges. That will help so much.

Depression is dehydrating and being dehydrated can inturn make the depression worse, so its a nasty cycle...drink HEAPS of water and really cleanse a lot. Also if you do decide to go on to Meds again drink a load of water as the meds are also dehydrating so you get a double whammy.
Avoid coffe and energy drinks and LOADS of chocolate like the plague, only have in real moderation, as the caffine effects your mood heaps.

I am currently on lexapro which is a great med for me...Its stopped my panic, anxiety and low mood...Perhaps Prozac wasnt right for you....some meds just dont agree with some people
Maintain some catch up days with a regular councellor and dont let them fob you off...explain that you want to maintain your positive mental outlook by seeing them once a month even when you are feeling better.

St Johns Wort = yucky for me. But if it works for you thats great. Its dnagerous to mix the antidepressants and St johns Wort so make sure you tell the dr if you decide to try again with the meds.

Try some meditation and continue with the CBT. Cognative Behaviour Therapy is fantastic and has helped me so much...I can now control my "Stinking Thinking"

If you need the sunshine get as much as you can... apparently the sunlight has an effect on our chemicals which help to release endorphins to make us feel good!! YAY!

hope you feel better soon angel. hug


TAJ "boat mummy." VALURA "yes sweetie you went on a boat, was daddy there with you?" TAJ "no, but monkey on boat" VALURA "well then sweetie, Daddy WAS there with you"

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Gnor
BRONZE Member since Mar 2003

Gnor

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Perth

Total posts: 5814
Posted:St Johns wort has been associated with light sensitivity and reactions with other antidepressants. I also read this  Written by:

St. John's Wort may also block the effects of birth control pills

...thats would add all sorts of tricky issues eek

I think Valuras guideline of healthy body through good food gives us our best chance of being healthy in mind. Sounds like coiunselling works for you and stopping it leads to a slow slide. Can you have "maitenance sessions" that are less often but help keep you even and on track.


Is it the Truth?
Is it Fair to all concerned?
Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

Im in a lonely battle with the world with a fish to match the chip on my shoulder. Gnu in Binnu in a cnu

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Skulduggery
GOLD Member since Aug 2004

Skulduggery

Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
Location: Wales

Total posts: 8428
Posted:Bex I have been on St Johns Wort. I take it only in the winter to help avert the affects of S.A.D. I've found that it works for me. I did take other meds years ago from the GP but they just made me emotionally numb and I hated the feeling of being once removed from life, so I stopped taking them.

St Johns Wort will make your skin very sensitive to sun light so if you do take it all year round I would suggest you use a high factor sun block everyday on any exposed skin.

I also have a light box for the winter to help with S.A.D. The box is only useful if your depression is caused by the lack of day light hours and probably won't be any help if that is not the cause of your problem.

The thing I've found most help with any times I've felt myself slipping into the pit is to recognise it is happening, tell people around me and accept that it's ok to have off days but if it goes longer than 3 day to ask for help. Now I see the signs of it happening earlier and earlier and do things to avert the slippery slide down into the pit. Valura's suggestions are great, as are the suggestions of exercise and fresh air.

Having purpose helps too. If you feel you are slipping, make a plan for the next day of things to do. Just a loose list of things, from as simple as having a wash and getting dressed to going for a walk to the shop to get a pint of milk. Don't berate yourself if you don't do everything on the list, just praise yourself for the things you do manage.

Smile biggrin even when you don't feel like it. You'll find people smile back at you when they see you smile and for some strange reason (I don't know the reasons why) that sets of a chemical reaction in your head that makes you feel happier. It's kind of like a chain reaction. Your smile will make someone else a little happier and when they smile back it makes you a little happier. I know that sounds like bunkum but try it... it really does work.

The last thing I will say to anyone suffering from depression is, don't suffer in silence or alone. Many people are ashamed of admitting they have depression or any other form of mental illness. Don't be! Ask for help when you need it. If you had an ear infection you couldn't clear up on your own you would ask for help.... well depression is just the same. ASK FOR HELP!

hug KiwiBex I hope that you find a pathway that's right for you soon hug


Feed me Chocolate!!! Feed me NOW!

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Neon_Shaolin
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

Neon_Shaolin

hehe, 'Member' huhuh
Location: Behind you. With Jam

Total posts: 6120
Posted:Indeed I did find that diet can be a major contributing factor to mental health.



It is definitely important to maintain a regulated blood sugar level. As too much and too little can lead to feelings of tiredness and the inevitable 'sugar crash' which could feel like depression. Eating too much protein can give you headaches and make you feel sluggish etc...



In reference to an earlier post regarding chocolate, I don't think I emphasised how severe my chocolate addiction had become. It got to a point where I couldn't pass a off-licence, grocery shop, petrol station etc without going into check out what new chocolates there were if not buying a bar/packet. The more I ate the harsher the sugar/caffine crash which 'necessitated' the need for more... Which lead onto a neverending cycle...



Another affect was that the more I ate the more convinced I was putting on weight - which I later came to realise didn't really matter - leading to what experts call 'Distorted Body' image. This didn't start during this period but goes back to deep-seated anxieties I've had about my body since childhood.



These days I have a much more balanced diet and I actually love fresh fruit and veg - especially brocolli which is known to have 'feel good' properties when eaten. It's just a matter of making time and finding ways to make healthy food quite appetising which is quite easy with my family's background in Chinese food...


"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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Valura
SILVER Member since Apr 2002

Valura

Mumma Hen
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Total posts: 6391
Posted:HUGE hugs to you Neon. You have really shared a lot about yourself here... thats a brave thing to do mate and I respect you for it. hug hug

Its hard to be sad... and sometimes its hard to stop being sad...sounds like you did an awesome job of getting better


TAJ "boat mummy." VALURA "yes sweetie you went on a boat, was daddy there with you?" TAJ "no, but monkey on boat" VALURA "well then sweetie, Daddy WAS there with you"

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Neon_Shaolin
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

Neon_Shaolin

hehe, 'Member' huhuh
Location: Behind you. With Jam

Total posts: 6120
Posted:Well if you can't share it with people you respect and won't judge you, who CAN you talk to?



(Certainly not single minded, homo-insensitive GPs that's for sure)



I think reading other people being surprisingly open on a public forum that allowed me to do so without being paranoid about feeling like an attention seeker...



hug hug hug



Thanks Valura. As I say, I still have my moments but then again don't we all?


"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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KatP
SILVER Member since Jan 2005

KatP

Muddy fingernails
Location: Way oop norf

Total posts: 505
Posted: Written by: KiwiBex



I just wanna get to the cause of my depression you know? I've had counselling and stuff, Cognitive behaviour therapy and that, which sort of helps, but it gets to the point where I feel much better and the therapist says, "You're ok now", so we wrap up the sessions. But then the depression always always eventually comes back.





Maybe it would help if you stopped trying to find reasons for your depression.
This is a bit long winded, but hopefully explains why I'm suggesting this:

I had fairly bad depression while I was at uni. It had started, or at least I started to recognise it in my final year at school, and the syptoms worsened over then next 5 or 6 years. I self harmed, I had agoraphobia and I would spend hours sitting in a corner of my room crying uncontrollably. I had practically no self esteem, and went through a number of 'relationships' which did nothing to help that. (I can elaborate if you like, but basically I allowed people to treat me badly, because that was what I subconsciously thoguht I deserved)
I spent ages telling myself I was being stupid, I had no right to be acting that way and that I should just pull myself together and get on with it - not very helpful! Eventually I admitted to myself I wasn't coping and went to see my GP. Unlike most, he was okay - he did prescribe anti depressants (seroxat) but I found they didn't really help and made my head pretty fuzzy.
Admitting there was a problem did help though, because then I could start to do something about it. I asked to be referred for counselling, but had to wait 6 months for an appointment at which point I was coping fairly well (I was going through a good patch - swings and roundabouts!) so got a nice letter saying that I did have depression but I was okay now. Lovely.

Over the next couple of years I did a lot of thinking. I stopped trying to blame myself, or other people, for the way I felt. I accepted that it wasn't my fault, and I wasn't a bad person. I stopped looking for reasons for my feelings, and started trying to deal with them. It took a while, but now I can go out and meet new people - it's really scary still, but I make myself do it. Last year going to Uberstaff, Falmouth and Play were really big things for me, because I didn't know anybody (especially at Uberstaff). I haven't cut myself for 7 years. I still have bad days where I feel like hiding from the whole world, but like Skully I try not to let myself slide down that slope again. Still need to work on motivation though.

Sometimes there isn't a reason for depression that you can find, and hunting for one can make it harder to cope. I don't think depression is something you can cure, it doesn't ever go away - you just learn to cope with it.

All skully's suggestions are fantastic especially setting yourself goals each day, even more so on 'bad' days.

I hope that made sense, and you will get there. Don't rush it and don't expect miracles, but it sounds to me like you're doing really well already. The hardest part is facing up to a problem and starting to deal with it.


Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!

KITTENS!!!!

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KiwiBex


KiwiBex

member
Location: Melb

Total posts: 69
Posted:Hey everyone,

Thanks for your hug hug advice and suggestions!
Glad to hear that altho everyone else seems to have suffered too, everyone is coping (at least at the moment)! Its very encouraging to me.
Good ideas re counselling, I have just moved country (yet again.. since 2000 the 15 months I lived in London is the longest in any one place!). As exhausting the idea of finding a counsellor and starting again is, I know you are right. I'm still in two minds about the St Johns Wort though.

hug2


I said perhaps, and thats FINAL.

I love my length!

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Gnor
BRONZE Member since Mar 2003

Gnor

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Perth

Total posts: 5814
Posted:How much does the counsellor actually do for you?? Is it someone to talk to and hear yourself and solve your own issues? Or do they offer concrete ideas for you.

Is it the Truth?
Is it Fair to all concerned?
Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

Im in a lonely battle with the world with a fish to match the chip on my shoulder. Gnu in Binnu in a cnu

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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali

Total posts: 4030
Posted:I have found st Johns Wort useful In the past. I believe there have been proper clinical trials that shows it compares Ok with 'medical' anti- d's.. but they are not right for everyone either. Depression can be caused by so many things.. if it ain;t that specific precursor or chemical missing, taking that rememdy ain't going to work.
But I have found the following very useful...as well as acupuncture... and chinese herbs....

Diet: to lift the metablic rate and even out highs and slumps:

Include Some exercise first thing in the morning (walk fast to somewhere nice and do some poi...) then have
small amount (about 40g) protein every three (3) (!!!) hours.

Eat by the clock to start with until your metabolism lifts to being spontaneously hungry that often.
That's about equivalent to half a tin of tuna or an egg, so it's not a lot. Get some protein powder from a chemist or sports shop, that is a really easy way to get enough protein... whey powder is easiest, NOT soy based as that can affect the thyroid function, which itself causes depression. (It is worth having a test for thyroid, by the way. T3 and T4 levels. If you have low thryoid you can help with specific minerals eg selenium.)

Do not snack at all, never, not a bit. Have water if you feel 'empty'in between 3 hourly feeds... and do not eat carbs after dark. Veges until you burst, yes, but not potatoes, pasta, rice etc. Which makes it difficult to be vegetarian as there are few sources of complete protein in the diet (you usually have to combine eg rice and dahl, corn and beans to get enough)
and seriously, really truly...If you are vegetarian and not thriving, seriously consider NOT being, at least for long enough to get your health back. It is frequently not good for women to be vegetarian. HUGS!!!\Gabe


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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Neon_Shaolin
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

Neon_Shaolin

hehe, 'Member' huhuh
Location: Behind you. With Jam

Total posts: 6120
Posted:If you're a veggie. Quinoa is a good grain/seed to have as it is a complete protien. It come in both white and red varieties

You can treat it like rice/cous cous or have the flakes as porridge...

You can probably get it from most Health Food shops...


"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin

Total posts: 3556
Posted:personally comfort foods is what helps me feel better
in general, i don't have an appetite, so when i look for food for comfort, it is the wrong hunger but it's still a hunger...
getting outside is important...the whole light thing with vit D or whatever it is...maybe increase the uptake of that
lexapro made me jittery so did prozac...we tried a few and zoloft works best for me...but that is the key, whatever works for you probably will not work for the person next to you
i was taking zoloft in the morning and trazadone at night when i needed it
Do NOT take Remeron: in my experience, and a few other people that I know, we gained insane amounts of weight in a short time.
I went from 105 to 155 in a couple of months. took my intake down to just about 1k cal/day w/ emphasis on veggies fruits and protien and exercised 4hrs a day to maintain my weight.
After i got off it, it took me a year or so but got back to 115.


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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tim_marston


addict


Total posts: 614
Posted:some people including my mum who has been a counsellor for 15 years,would say you should examine the spiritual side of your life to see if you may be missing faith of somekind in your life,i know many people me included are sceptical but it is a thought maybe worth some exploring?
love to everyone
tim


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