Posted 3/24/2017 8:02 AM (GMT -6)
I was on anti-depressants for 15 years (family history, "chemical imbalance" etc etc), the most effective ones were Lexapro, Zoloft, and Effexor. But they always wore off in a few months, and after I got on such high doses and had to switch, I became suicidal from withdrawal. I got married and realized the side effects were not something I was willing to put up with. So I decided to get off all of it. Right now I'm stuck on Wellbutrin, which I really don't think helps at all (how could it if I need serotonin help and that works on norepinephrine and dopamin? doctors never seem to be able to explain that logic!), but since I'm in Lyme depression now, they aren't willing to remove it yet.
I'm seeing a Naturopath, completely changed my diet, got my cortisol checked (turns out the reason I couldn't get out of bed in the morning was low cortisol, not depression!), treating thyroid with natural supplements, and now working on hormones - messed up levels will also make you depressed. Lyme threw everything off and messed up my progress, but I have full hope that I'll be right back on track when that's done.
I took 3000mg omega 3 (DHA and EPA, no junk filler; now down to 2000), 5-htp, vitamin D, GABA, vitamin B complex (at least 50 mg of each B), cut out gluten, sugar, and dairy (gradually; you go nuts if you go on an extreme diet all at once!) adrenal complex, thyroid complex, hormone support, lots of protein to rebuild those neurons... i don't even remember what else.
ALSO I was seeing a counselor until I moved. Some days I hated it and thought it was a waste of money, but I did always feel better after talking, and i got some really good things to think about - cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and very simply keeping healthy snacks on hand because I get very HANGRY!
I do not recommend going to the drugstore and just pulling out some fish oil and 5-htp... my ND recommends high quality products, and when I see the price, I cry then go to the drugstore and find a cheap alternative... and it never works. As soon as I do what she told me in the first place, I feel better. At the very least get a professional to tell you what YOUR specific needs are and recommend how to find the good stuff (for example, most fish oil in the store says 1000mg... but its only 360 mg of actual EPA and DHA! Those were crap for me. Also the "super high potency B complex" turns out to not have nearly enough of what I needed! my psy. told me at least 50 mg of each, which GNC has a supplement for)
It IS a lot of pills, and the start-up and testing with an ND is expensive, BUT the best part is that there are NO SIDE EFFECTS! I have my libido back (priceless), I am sleeping so much better, and if I accidentally skip a dose, NOTHING HAPPENS! I don't have to freak out if I forgot a pill, I'm not going to go crazy in a day like being on AD's. And no suicidal withdrawal (after the last of Effexor - its a BEAST, took me 9 months to taper!). The body is a complex system that works together, and if something is off, you can't even imagine the chain reaction that can cause depression. Perhaps, just maybe, there's a hereditary chemical imbalance like they told me... but I would much rather work on my body and nutrition and whole-system health FIRST than have wasted 15 years of my life losing the battle.
I feel so free (and healthier) not being chained to pharmaceuticals!
I know its not for everyone, but once I discovered the alternative - even if for now it is a strict diet that makes me lose my social life and cart around a ton of pills - it's so worth the FREEDOM.
But it was my journey that led me here, so I don't expect anyone to just "get it". You have to find out for yourself. If you're currently on AD's, my recommendation would be to work as much as you can while you're able, save up a lot of money for an ND, let them build your immune system and brain up for a fight, then get off them. Pull the plug before you're ready, and you lose your job and your family and your sanity... *shudder* I hope that's all in my past.