Today, before I remembered it was Mental Health Blog Day, I responded to two posts about depression in two different Facebook groups.
In one, someone I don’t know was asking about natural remedies for depression. I didn’t know the poster and was the first to reply with:
“oh, that’s a huge conversation! Read The Mood Cure by Julia Ross for starters. Need omegas (but as I’ve learned, only if your fat metabolism is working or else get enzymes), yoga, bodywork esp cranial work, could be something you’re eating that is a trigger… Practice laughter and smiling – they do actually change your brain chemistry, as does meditation. Vitamin B for sure. Could look into 5-HTP as well. Teaism has a zen tea with St. John’s Wart that helps me feel good. Talking to people who treat you with empathy… Emotional Freedom Technique! Music, dancing. Keep at it and keep asking! Here’s a post I did on life after antidepressants.”
After some other folks posted about eliminating gluten and dairy, I added:
“I too felt a lot better when I went GFCF and got adrenal support. But two kids and 11 yrs later (and now on autoimmune paleo diet), there has got to be other stuff going on! got bloodwork yesterday and will be interested to see what it reveals.”
Some of that bloodwork was standard and will include thyroid levels. The other test will see how my zinc/copper balance is and assess if I have excess histamine, which I’ve recently learned could be a cause not just in my physical symptoms on a skin and fatigue level, but with depression.
A bunch of folks went on to talk about eliminating sugar and caffeine and lots of other products and strategies, including essential oils, which I do think might have helped yesterday, and sleep, whose lack is definitely a key factor with me. When my kids wake in the night needing support through illness or allergies, I struggle. It’s a pretty clear cause-effect! And something I have no control over and no way to predict.
Later I saw that a friend posted in another private group to check in with folks and let us know about her recent struggles with postpartum depression and finding the right medication despite preferring to do things naturally. She said she was feeling better and got lots of positive and supportive comments. But a few reveled in her progress feeling better in a way that challenged me a little, since I know what it’s like to go up and down and don’t want anyone to feel like they have to prove that they are on a positive trajectory. It’s not always so simple. So to her post I replied:
“I’m so sorry to hear about all you have been going through. I hope you are getting the support you need and that you feel better. But I know from experience it is not always linear! My body is so sensitive that I really don’t think I could tolerate meds again even if they were life-savers years ago and there are times when I am sure my family wishes I was having an easier time of it. Here’s a post I wrote a while back. Happy to talk with you about my experience and yours! Hugs!”
I’ve not been doing a lot of personal blogging lately as I try to figure out how to realize my vision for my website, Mindful Healthy Life, and also how to actually get healthy! This has really become a complex puzzle! But as my mom told me yesterday about the years I spent using antifungal cream as an infant-into-toddler, it has probably been 42+ years in the making!
I hope we can all be more open about our struggles and what helps us along the way. Strategies don’t always translate perfectly from one person to another, but what does is a sense of being not alone in the seeking.
Read more about how I try to keep my head above water without medication at “Life After Antidepressants.”