I was sleeping up to 21 hours per day due to the antidepressant I was taking for clinical depression. My doctor seemed unsympathetic. I will not use the word that, in sum, described this guy in my mind. I soldiered on. I kept taking the medicine every day for more than two years. I knew despite the horrible side effects I was having from the myriad antidepressants they tried me on, Zoloft, Celexa, Prozac, and Wellbutrin I was better off using the powerful SSRI and Dopamine Agonists than without them. Why? How could that possibly be? Well, when you have almost an absolutely undeniable urge to end your own life due to your own personal hell you are living in, being awake three hours per day is a gift. Better three than zero, right?
Since these dark days, I have been able to get off and stay off completely from the pharmacotherapy of antidepressant medicines for over two years. How? I’ve written a book called Guide to Natural Mental Health: Anxiety, Bipolar, Depression, Schizophrenia, and Digital Addiction that teaches all my secrets. However, I want to share with you the three main things that have saved me from clinical depression and the one thing that saved my brain the last time I had to take the antidepressants. Ready. Set. Go!
Fish Oil- The Omega3s of fish oil decrease inflammation in the brain and body and have a lot to do with the metabolism and health of the brain. Add this to your daily regimen. Currently there are 784 articles specifically about DEPRESSION AND FISH OIL on MEDLINE the doctors’s database. Fish oil is generally well-known, safe, and helpful for a multitude of mental and physical ailments. Do not take too much of it as it will thin your blood if you take an excessive amount. Also, you generally must stop fish oil a few weeks before a surgery due to this thinning of the blood and preventing it from clotting which is no bueno when you are getting cut open.
Men’s Multivitamin with Zinc- If you are a woman get a women’s multivitamin with zinc. If you are a kid do the kids thing. If you are a senior, do the senior thing. Why? If you are deficient in zinc, this is not good for your hippocampus at any age and when your hippocampus, an important structure in your brain, is not healthy and happy you may be more prone to depression and actually acting on negative thoughts. There is some evidence that a healthy zinc level will help children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Conversely, if your hippocampus is functioning well, it should help your overall mental health and make you, theoretically, be better at spatial memory tasks, (i.e. geometry, calculus, or architecture). Do not take more than the RDA, recommended daily allowance of zinc, as zinc in excess of this can be toxic. Also, always check your other vitamin pills as they might push you over the dose because they also contain zinc. The other vitamins bolster the action of the zinc and along with a healthy diet like the Mediterannean diet, which by itself has shown to act as an antidepressant, you’ll just do better filling in your nutritional gaps doing things like reducing inflammation which can only help.
Vitamin D- Most people are deficient in this “Sunshine” vitamin, especially in the winter when days are long and the sun is weak. One might also be deficient if they live in a colder climate and have darker skin. Or, the person with low levels of vitamin D may just be indoors in their office too much. In the United States about one in two people gets insufficient Vitamin D. Madre always told me that people who lived near the equator were happier, in general. It turns out that there is some truth in this, as many, many people in colder climes such as Sweden and other places have a much higher incidence of a depressive disorder called Seasonal Affective Disorder, man times known by the acronym SAD. Talk to your doctor about how much vitamin D is safe for you, as too much vitamin D, like too much zinc is toxic. Always check your other vitamins like your multivitamin or specialized vitamin complexes, as they might also contain vitamin D. Always be careful with vitamins and drugs you put into your system, as you may not know it but even water in excess can kill you.
So, I had to get back on the antidepressant Celexa more than two years ago. But, one thing I did differently this time was to bolster my glutathione levels with whey protein. So, I had a healthy sleep schedule- not 21 hours per day of sleep. Wow! So, what is this glutathione and why should you care? It turns out that many psychiatric medications such as antidepressants and antipsychotics drain the brain and body of glutathione, the master antioxidant in humans. This is not a good thing. So, when I took the right kind of whey protein I put that disbalance back in balance. What I am saying here is that when I was sleeping over 20 hours per day, it was due to the action of the antidepressant drugs depleting my brain of glutathione. So, now if I ever really need an antidepressant, I know what to do to keep a better state of health.
William Jiang, MLS is the Author of 63 books, including the bestselling books Guide to Natural Mental Health , 3rd ed and his critically-acclaimed autobiography A Schizophrenic Will: A Story of Madness, A Story of Hope. You can see a selection of his books about mental and physical health nicely laid out on his blog at http://www.mentalhealthbooks.net or check out his Facebook at Mental Health Books.NET