Depression Community
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Are there any alternative therapies for depression that really work?

I have been suffering at the hands of this crippling disease for 9 years. I have tried paroxatene for 3 and a half years. I came off voluntarily as I don`t like taking drugs. For years I have obsessed over my health and am scared of so many things for so many stupid reasons. I feel absolutely helpless and overwhelmingly sad that I can`t be like everybody else. I envy people who are carefree. I used to be but now I cannot even recognise myself or relate to the person I once was. I cry at the drop of a hat, I have dark horrible thoughts, I worry all the time and obsess about my health. I recently went for blood tests and my doctor was not sympathetic when I told him that I had been waiting 9 years for cognitive therapy, he is referring me for councelling. My blood tests were normal for diabetes, b12 defficiency, liver, kidney, hormones apart from thyroid function, a bit low not excessively. I have had a holter monitor, and echo, that was all fine but I am convinced that there is something medically wrong with me.
My social life is virtually non exsistent and I can`t do half the things I used to because of this. Please can somebody tell me that this will pass  and that one day I will look forward to something, anything?? I am beside myself, emotionally and mentally drained
10 Responses
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There are no natural remedies proven safe and effective yet so its best not to chance it. And they are all an unknown quantity. As for medications that are approved and available though there are many options. We have some good websites linked up such as "Depression Central".  There are some aspects of physical recovery you are working as well but that question would more be for your doctor. One thing I can say is I am not sure why you had to wait 9 years for cognitive therapy. That can be helpful. Talk therapy is good as well. Medication is a neccessary part of treating depression though. Remember there are an increasing number of medications approved for treating depression. Just because you couldn't tolerate one doesn't mean another wouldn't be more helpful or more tolerable. Find out more information and have an informed conversation with your psychiatrist.
Avatar universal
Firstly I don`t have a psychiatrist. I was told I wasn`t mad enough and that came from a proffesional. I was also told that my issues were emotional ones and put on a list with a host of other poor people who know doubt took some courage as I did from the promise of cognitive therapy. I saw my doctor 3 weeks ago and he said that I would recieve a letter from a councellor, fill some forms and that it would all be up and running within the month. The absolute truth of this matter is that when I told my doctor about the 9 year wait for therapy he told me not to come crying to him about the NHS. When I said that I was crying because I felt so down he apologised and pushed a box of tissues over to me. He also told me that the NHS are not operating a cognitive therapy unit locally to me. I came home and soon found out that my local hospital actually are and have been for years. The lady I spoke to said that when I got my councelling, to get them to refer me. Fine doctor? Just one of a string I have seen over the past years and the least sympathetic of them all.
Anyhow, I am currently taking St John`s Wort, have been since the doctors app. However this is great for mild to moderate sufferers of depression and so I cannot say if it will make a dent but I`m all for trying. I take thyroxine daily which I have to and the two together are apparently safe. Thankyou for answering my question. It does help to know one thing, I am not alone and also I would like to wish you all the very best too. Hopefully we will both get there in the end!
Avatar universal
St. John's Wort in combination with other drugs can be dangerous. There is no way to regulate thing strength and purity of the drug. I'm shocked that a doctor said you weren't sick enough to see a shrink. You definitely need to see one with all of your issues. They need to be addressed, and more then likely add some meds to your regime. You'll also get a proper diagnosis as well. Sure talk therapy helps alongside meds, but in your case, IMHO - you need the right meds.
Avatar universal
Over the counter meds may say you are getting a certain % of some ingredient, but as LCC says, that is no guarantee since it is not regulated. Besides, since the OTC St John's never went through any drug trials, there is no way to know if it works or how much would be needed. Or if it works, if it is appropriate for your needs.
You are self-medicating by not seeing a professional to choose a proven med (that went through double blinded trials) that is appropriate to your needs.

Also, the natural appeal of herbal drugs is undeserved. As an example, cortisone occurs naturally in your body, and cortisone relieves pain, but my physiotherapist said there is nothing natural about taking herbals to increase the body's cortisone level to reduce pain. In fact she said it is dangerous to do that.
Avatar universal
Make sure you have the latest copies of your blood tests. You mentioned you are on thryoxine. You said your thryoid is low and I assume you don't mean your TSH is low, but that you are hypothryoid (slow). Some patients ( and I am one) feel best at the low end of the TSH, so you might need more medication. Or you may need to add T3 if your body is bad at converting T4. About ******* has a wonderful support site for thyroid patients, and you might want to look around there for advice about  thyroid problems and its relationship with depression.

I've been to many alternative medicine doctors. There isn't one cure for depression, I think of being better as more of getting a good balance in my life.

Take hi quality vitamins if possible. (One-a-day is not high quality.) Zinc and selenium are great for hypothyroid patients. Vitamins Bs, especially B12 in particular, help with depression.

Watch out for food allergens, wheat and milk intolerances are very common. You might want to try a rotation diet to eliminate any foods that might be causing brain fog or depression. Many people feel better on a low carb diet or gluten free, even if they are not celiac diagnosed. If I eat wheat I will cry about 2 hours later and totally lose it.

Regular exercise. Yup. I'm sure you know all about it without saying much more. You do this and therapy and you've done a whole lot to coping with depression just right there.

Learn to meditate. It teaches you to calm your brain waves, find your center, boosts immune function, and lots of other good stuff. I would suggest finding a class to start with on this. If you are depressed and doing it alone it can be easy to brood. It can take a while to find the right fit with the right meditative approach: ' mindfulness meditation' is often recommended for depressives. You might continue to be depressed but find more accceptance for your condition. Also, yoga practices that teach you breathing techniques that can help with anxiety (known as pranayama).

Cognitive behavior therapy is a great choice for depressives. I wish you luck with getting treatment. Do all of the above whole heartedly for six weeks and I am sure you will see improvement.
Avatar universal
Thyroid a bit low can make you feel really bad. You should get that treated.  Also try a new depression medication. Taking the medicaiton is not the worst thing in the world as all the obssessing and downess definately has a negative effect on your health and this has been proven.

May be you just need a low dose if you try all the nice suggestions given by sparkangels

good luck
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