Yesterday’s post was about depression itself, but today I would like to focus on some holistic supplements for depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Please take note, I am not a psychiatrist, I am not a licensed professional and I do not have a doctorate degree, yet! But these are all suggestions and materials gathered from past or present therapists whom are licensed professionals in the mental health field. With that said, let’s get this train movin’….

**If you are already taking psychotropic medications for your mental illness, please, PLEASE, consult with your psychiatrist first before taking any supplements in combination with your medications as there can be dangerous interactions. Consult with your doctor about doses and quantity. Again, I am not a licensed professional, but am simply making suggestions based upon information I have been provided by a mental health professional.

I’ll start with holistic therapies for depression (some of these will overlap for insomnia and anxiety as they target some of the same neurotransmitters in the brain):

To increase serotonin (a chemical that helps with happiness, well-being, cognition, learning, memory and sleep):

  1. 5-HTP (100-400mg throughout the day with meals)
  2. Vitamin B-6
  3. Vitamin B-5
  4. Vitamin B-12 or B-complex (50-100mg per day)
  5. Sunlight (Vitamin D)
  6. Walking/running–moderate to rigorous exercise and cardio
  7. Massages–good for reducing cortisol (stress hormone) and increases dopamine (“happy” chemical)
  8. Meditation/mindfulness–good for reducing cortisol, helps with trauma, suppresses the ‘fight or flight’ reaction
  9. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
  10. Probiotics
  11. SAM-e (S-adenoslymethionine)
  12. St. John’s Wort
  13. Tumeric
  14. Vitamin C
  15. Amino Acids
  16. Magnesium
  17. GABA
  18. Calcium
  19. Melatonin (helps with sleeplessness)
  20. Therapy with a mental health professional (CBT, ACT, mindfulness)

 

Anxiety/stress (many of the above also help with anxiety): 

  1. XingPiJeyu (a Chinese herb)
  2. Acupuncture
  3. Chamomile
  4. Lemon Balm
  5. Lavender
  6.  Passion flower
  7. Kava kava
  8. Bacopa
  9. Ashwagandha
  10. Essential oils and diffuser
  11. Warm bath
  12. Increased protein intake
  13. Cranberries
  14. L-theanine (200-400mg per day)
  15. Cherry powder
  16. Fruits and vegetables
  17. Probiotics
  18. Meso dressing
  19. Aerobic exercise
  20. Omega 3
  21. DHA (for sleep)
  22. Therapy (CBT, mindfulness)

 

For sleep/insomnia:

  1. Chamomile tea
  2. Lavender
  3. Kava kava
  4. Valerian root
  5. Melatonin
  6. Ginkgo Biloba
  7. Tryptophan
  8. Turn off screens/blue light
  9. Deep breathing
  10. Follow a routine sleep schedule
  11. Dark room

 

This list is by no means conclusive as there are many other natural, holistic techniques that can be applied and help alleviate anxiety, depression, and insomnia but this is a good running list for starters. I encourage you to consult with a physician and/or your therapist for moving forward with these supplements. You may have to trial and error, but it is SO worth it. Many of these have much less side effects than psychotropic medications, but sometimes are necessary in combination with prescription drugs.

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