Many people are very hesitant to begin taking a course of prescription drugs for their illness. They've been led to believe that prescription drugs are bad or unnecessary and should be avoided. There are certain natural alternatives for Prozac treatment that can be tried before Prozac treatment begins. However, with natural supplements and alternatives there is no guarantee that they will help and are not intended to cure any illness or disease. This is simply an alternative method for those weary of prescription drugs. For some it may work. For others it may not. The majority of people will benefit from prescription treatment rather than natural alternatives.
•St. John's Wort - St. John's Wort is one of the most popular alternative and herbal supplements for the treatment of depression and comes from the Hypericum perforatum plant species. The plant contains a chemical called hyperforin that is believed to be the catalyst for its anti-depressive and anti-anxiety properties. Scientists are not sure how exactly St. John's Wort works, but they believe it is very similar to that of prescription SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), which Prozac is a part of.
It can be purchased at most health-food stores, drug stores, large supermarkets, and on the internet. It should not be taken if you have any liver or kidney diseases. It may not be effective immediately and usually takes 4-6 weeks to see noticeable improvement. Users of St. John's Wort should be extra careful when in the sunlight as it increases photo sensitivity.
Do NOT use St. John's Wort in combination with any other SSRI, MAOI, other anti-depressants, oral contraceptives, etc. St. John's Wort used in combination with other anti-depressants can cause multiple negative effects including Serotonin Syndrome. Speak with a doctor or other professional before using this supplement.
• 5-HTP - 5-HTP is a supplement that gets its name from its chemical name 5-hydroxytryptophan and is a close relative to tryptophan as evidenced by its name. 5-HTP is essentially a naturally occurring chemical in the brain as it comes from the secretion of Serotonin. Supplemental 5-HTP is extracted from Griffonia simplicifolia seeds. Theoretically taking this supplement is supposed to raise levels of Serotonin in the brain but experts feel that there is not enough solid evidence to prove its efficacy, although many DO see positive improvement while taking the supplement. 5-HTP should NOT be used along with any other anti-depressants.
5-HTP can be found at most health-food stores, drug stores, large supermarkets, and on the internet.
•SAM-e - SAM-e, which is actually pronounced as it looks "Sam. E.", gets its name from its chemical name S-Adenosyl methionine. There have been studies that proven its worth as an antidepressant supplement.
It can be found at most health-food stores and on the internet.
•B-Vitamin Complex - This is probably the most safe, effective and easiest supplementation. B-Vitamin complex refers to the complex of water soluble B-vitamins that are found and put together. B-vitamins, specifically B6, B9, and B12, can be very efficient towards alleviating depression symptoms. The best way to get B-vitamins is through proper diet. Meats and leafy green vegetables are known to be high in B-vitamins. Deficiencies in these vitamins, even slightly, can render signs of depression in the body.
B-Vitamin Complexes can be found at most health-food stores, super-markets, drug stores, and on the internet. Do not worry about the excessive amounts of vitamins in the capsule. It is not uncommon to see incredibly high Daily Value (DV) percentages on the nutritional label. Most of the B-vitamins are very water soluble, therefore any vitamin that is not used by the body will be flushed out in urine. Do not be alarmed by the electric yellow color of urine. It is normal when taking high amounts of B-vitamins.
•Omega 3 Fatty Acids - Omega 3 Fatty Acids are a group of fatty acids essential for proper functioning of the body, especially for normal neural brain functioning. The unfortunate thing is, many people, especially Americans do not get enough Omega 3 Fatty acids in their diets and we as humans are unable to produce the fatty acids with in our bodies. Instead, most American's diets are laden with Omega 6 and Omega 9 Fatty Acids, drastically lowering the ratio of 3-6-9 fatty acids. The depletion of Omega 3 Fatty Acids from our diets is closely linked to depression rates. Countries with diets that include high fish intake have much less depression rates.
Omega 3 Fatty Acid's can be obtained by eating more fish in the diet such as salmon and sardines. Additionally, one may be able to find Fish Oil pills in a health food store, drug store, super-market, or online. Fish Oil is high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids and is a viable supplement to raise Omega 3 levels. Be sure to check the label and make sure it is free of contaminants like Mercury as well as checking to make sure there are EPA and DHA in the pill. These are the two positively working active ingredients in the Fish Oil.
•Diet - Proper nutrition and diet have been linked to happier and less depressed cases. Rid your diet of excessive sweets and simple sugars. Remove processed foods high in fat and sodium. Lower your intake of caffeine, alcohol, and other drugs. Add more vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 to your diet as well as Magnesium. Many American diets lack the necessary vitamins and minerals for proper functioning.
•Exercise - Many Americans lead very sedentary lifestyles these days, especially with the advent of new technology keeping us more efficient with work thus making us lazier. It's amazing to believe that simply just exercising can stand to very powerfully affect anxiety and depression symptoms, but it's certainly true. Many don't like to hear that they have to get up and exercise, but it can not only make you feel better, but also save your health and your life. Exercising lowers stress levels and stress hormones in the body and increases positive neurotransmitters and other chemicals that aim to make us happy.