We are wrought with stress these days and one of the most common statements I hear from women I talk to in friendship circles, in the street and in Clinic is that they "Don't want to take antidepressants".
And honestly, I can't blame them. The side effects can be nasty and coming off them, I've been told, is worse than the anxiety or depression they originally experienced.
Now before we get started, I want to clear up something. As a Naturopath - I understand the mechanisms of the body during Anxiety are very different to that of Depression. So, when we look at supporting these conditions with herbal and nutritional medicine - we use DIFFERENT approaches. Because DIFFERENT things are happening in the body. Plus, people can have BOTH conditions concurrently.
What I seem to get confused about, is why do doctors prescribe antidepressants for people with anxiety? It is not always to do with serotonin!! Anxiety is often to do with stronger neural pathways to the amygdala (our flight fight response area) and less to the pre-frontal cortex and hippocampus (logical reasoning and healthy perception of emotions and feeling). These things need to be supported differently than with SSRIs (antidepressants). Hence why when people with anxiety are prescribed antidepressants, their symptoms aren't often changed. Some doctors will prescribe anti-anxiety medication (known as benzodiazepines) however the side effects of these include drowsiness, fatigue, nausea and nervousness.
So what can you do if you're suffering from Anxiety or Depression and you DON'T want to take anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications?
Naturally, there are numerous options. Here are the top 10 tips for you - whether you seek support with a Naturopath or self-medicate (look for a good over the counter brand) always be careful with combining your medicines and remember that the body needs BOTH herbal and nutritional support AT THE SAME TIME to create a significant and lasting change.
(The reason for this is that Herbs make your body do something, like a drug. But if you're deficient in nutrients to do those things in the body, then taking the herb is almost pointless)
The top 10 Natural medicines to take when you are experiencing Anxiety or Depression:
There are so many amazing more options, which I could choose for you if your symptoms are more widespread, however the above 10 are my personal favourite to use.
Now you know that you DON'T have to take antidepressants and that there are actually a wealth of options for you to feel 100 times better, naturally.
Book in for an individualised consultation if you need any support with this.
Love and light,