Mental health - affects nearly everyone !

Mental Health

What a minefield - a subject that covers depression, anxiety, bi-polar, addictions and drug withdrawal and even insomnia.

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Depression - a persistent low mood is a common disorder affecting most people in the world for varying periods of time.

Some people are naturally melancholic and negative while others are tied into depression by severe stress or grief.

The end result biochemically in the brain is low serotonin and or adrenalin – neotransmitters that make us feel happy and balanced.

This has been targeted by the pharmaceutical industry to manufacture a range of drugs such as SSRIs, SNARI, TCAs and other atypical drugs.

These have varying degrees of success based on the level of neurotransmitter chemicals present in the individual at the start of treatment. This is quite unique as there is no accurate pathology test to determine this.

So it becomes a guess on behalf of the administering practitioner. The results vary and side affects are common.

There is also the large issue of a withdrawal syndrome when the patient decides to stop the drug. This can be more unpleasant than the depression being treated. Some withdrawal symptoms are anxiety, electric shakes, sweating, insomnia, restlessness and rapid heart beat.

Clearly a more holistic approach to depression is required. A non drug approach is possible with the clever use of natural medicines.

1.    Vitamin D – natural antidepressant that is free from the sun, enjoy it but be careful not to burn. Get your doctor to test your levels, aim to be above 100nmol/l. You may need a course of 12 x 50,000IU tablets.

2.    5HTP – converts into serotonin within 4 hours. The dose can vary from 50mg – 400mgdepending on the severity and duration of depression. Do not take with antidepressant drugs (SSRIs esp). 5HTP is very versatile and can be taken daily or when required – especially after a bad day or big weekend. It is the classic antidote to the ecstasy down 2 days after intake. In cases of mercury toxicity depression doses of 400-600mg daily are not uncommon.

3.    Tryptophan is an amino acid found in our diet, especially turkey and egg whites, and is converted by a long process to 5HTP (10:1) factor. That is why a turkey meal is very calming and may make you sleepy.

4.    B vitamins – Take a good B vitamin complex to help in the manufacture of all the neurotransmitters, especially if you are very stressed or burnt out. It is even better if they are “activated” B vitamins ready to use to avoid overloading the liver.

5.    Ashwaganda – (or Withania) an Ayurvedic herb that is wonderful in balancing moods and helps you adapt to changing situations.

6.    Melatonin 3mg – take 1 – 4 tablets 30 minutes before sleep. Very important if sleep disturbance is part of the problem. Can be used safely with 5HTP.

7.    SAMe – This can be useful when all else has failed. Will help you if you are a person who has issues with methylation. Connected to levels of Vit B and B12.

8.    Magnesium – in high doses is useful for associated anxiety, sleep disturbance, restlessness, agitation, head aches and muscle cramps.

9.    Vitamin C in doses +2000mg per day have been shown to improve cognitive function and mood in dementia patients. Is really worth taking in any case to improve immune function and oxidative stress affecting the brain.

The above provides a treatment option without any serious side effects and no chance of drug dependency.

In a disordered mind, as in a disordered body, soundness of health is impossible. ~Cicero

By Dr Glenn Twentyman

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