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Herbal Supplements for Depression
casablancajj posted:
Hi, thank you for allowing me to enter your discussion. My daughter is a recovering anorexic/bullimic. She has just turned 20 in January and has been living with her boyfriend in Germany for a little over a year. Although she has made progress with her eating disorder, is now a pretty healthy weight, she still battles depression. I know she does not want to take an anti-depressant like prosac or another prescription drug, but i think i could persuade her to take an herbal supplement. Thing is, i don't know what to recommend or how much. I don't want anything that would have a negative effect on appetite. Would Sam-e be effective? Could I bring her some on my next trip to Germany? Many, many thanks for any information or help anyone can offer.
nvera responded:

I used to be anorexic as well and still suffer with depression. I do take medication after years of refusing to and it does help. If your daughters concern with taking medication is the weight gain (which is common while on antidepressents) you could tell her to ask her doctor about Well Butrin XL it has no side affects related to weight gain. It does reduce appetite but her mood will be better so she will also want to eat more.
casablancajj replied to nvera's response:
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. If it is not too intrusive to ask, could you tell me what finally convinced you to take medication and what kept you from taking it ? My daughter is an artist and she says she cannot paint or draw properly when she takes anti-depressants. ( She tried prozac once and did better until a teacher at her school told her it was poison so she stopped taking it. ) i am going to just try to talk to her about seeing a doctor but i know i can't force her to go. My friends all say i should just leave her alone and not say anything anymore. It makes me feel so good to know that you have made progress with this terrible illness. <3
Thomas L Schwartz, MD responded:
Hello- so from my end it is unclear if any herbal supplement works as a stand alone antidepressant... Deplin(l methylfolate), SAMe, and NAC seem to have some data that they work when added to an official antidepressant... perhaps they could be tried alone but this has never been proven truly effective. St Johns Wort is very popular in europe and some studies there show it to be effective alone. Studies done in the USA have been less favorable. A light box (10000lux) daily for 30 minutes may be an option too. Hope these ideas help

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