Jun 16, 2016
What Is Depression?
Depression is a mood disorder described by feelings and behaviors of negativity and sadness; an emotional state of loss that can affect our everyday actions, how we perceive ourselves, and the world around us. Feelings associated with depression are sadness, worry, emptiness, anxiety, worthlessness, guilt, and anxiety; but other symptoms of depression may include restlessness, insomnia, fatigue, or even digestion issues.
A diagnosis of depression can be ambiguous and can be used as a blanket term for feeling low or blue, or be symptomatic of other mood disorders; however, it is important to call a distinction between how we casually talk about someone being depressed and clinical depression, or major depression, as a major mood disorder as diagnosed through a psychiatrist. Diagnosis is based off of self-reported experience or from friends and family, and a clinical assessment. Common onset occurs in ages 20-30, with the incidence rate peaking between 30 and 40.
Natural Treatment for Depression
Below we have nearly a hundred different user-submitted home remedies and natural cures for dealing with depression. People have posted success stories in dealing with depression using apple cider vinegar, 5-HTP, fish oil, and even cold shower therapy1. From exercise to diet, here are many options for those suffering from all kinds of depression.
Additional Pages of Interest:
Remedies for Depression
5-HTP gives me terrible nightmares. It seems as if every night I am waking up screaming or crying, which has never happened to me even as a child. Every night for 2 weeks, I have dreamt that horrible things happened to family members, friends, and me. I also get these weird hallucinations when I am about to drift off to sleep where suddenly I see a giant spider or something on my pillow, then I'll scream and wake up. It is all but impossible to get up in the morning, even when I am done sleeping.
I started out taking 100mg before bed, then gave it a week and tried 100 in morning and 100 before bed, gave it another week and tried 100 in morning and 200 before bed, then tried 100 in morning, 100 in afternoon, 200 before bed, which I've been doing for the past 2 weeks. It does not seem to be helping my depression at all; in fact, it seems as if it has gotten worse.
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Posted by Neukoln (Edinburgh, Scotland, Uk) on 02/08/2013
I too had very good results with 5HTP. I was initially taking too much and got the anxiety that people mention. But I cut back the dose and it is so much better. I think people need to experiment with the times of the day that is best for them, and the dosage. I open the 100mg capsule and take 50mg in a tiny bit of water 30mins before breakfast - it helps get rid of the morning catatonia. I take 100mg in a tiny bit of water 30mins before dinner - it helps get rid of the comfort eating in the evening. And I take 50mg in a tiny bit of water at bedtime. I think you need to take it on an empty stomach. It seems to work better that way. But 5HTP definitely works for me - it was matter of finding the right dose and time of day to take it.
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Los Angeles, Ca, United States
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Posted by Amy (Los Angeles, Ca, United States) on 02/07/2013
Hi All! I take 60 mg of an anti-depressant (1 capsule, twice a day (doesn't really help) and depression. I also take 2 mg of an anti-anxiety (1 tablet, twice a day) for anxiety. I am trying to get off all my Rxs. I have been reading up on 5-HTP and weaning, which I did already know about, but my question is: How do I wean when the anti-depressant comes in capsule form (30 mg/capsule). I feel like there will be no way for me to know how much I am taking if I open the capsule to get to the medication. Also, I have gone from 60 mg to 30 mg, and even that was simply awful! Any help with this weaning situation is most appreciated! Amy
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Replied by Amy
Los Angeles, Ca, United States
Posted by She (Richmond, Virginia, United States) on 10/23/2012
I'm on Effexor for depression and anxiety. I would love to stop taking it and try something more natural. But I know from previous experience that if I forget to take it within 6 hours I start having withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms are like having a really bad bout of the flu. Can't get out of bed, have really vivid dreams, etc. What is 5 -HTP and how could I start taking that and get rid of the Effexor? Thanks for any advise!
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Grimsby, On< Canada
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Motown, Ca/ Usa
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Richmond, Virginia, United States
Posted by Linda (Atlanta, Ga) on 07/01/2011
5HTP helps me very well when I have the Blues. I take only 50mg in the morning. It works very subtle. I notice when I do not take it. I also take PS (Phosphatidylserine). It helps me get up and do my work and it helps me with procrastination. I found with 5HTP that it works better in low dosages. When people take too much they experience anxiety.
Posted by Gtijes (Allentown, Pa) on 08/24/2010
Hey, I have always struggled with depression and anxiety since I was young. However, it wasn't until my father passed away very suddenly that I started taking lorazepam & citalopram for extreme anxiety and depression. I am really not into prescriptions unless absolutely necessary. Does anyone know how to start to switch off of prescriptions onto 5-htp? I can never find any answers if it's ok to start weaning off of the prescriptions and introducing the 5-htp right away. Anything you can offer would be greatly appreciated. I really want to get off of these meds right away. Thanks!
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Posted by Denisse (Long Beach, CA, USA) on 05/07/2009
5-HTP for depression. This little pill did wonders for me. I had been feeling depressed for around a month due to heavy family problems. When I finally put all my symptoms together (oversleeping, hopelessness, sadness, emotionally unstable) I instantly came to this site. Cold showers did not appeal to me at all; I live in sunny CA and still get cold. I ordered the pills and thankfully they came the next day. I take one or two (depending on how I am doing) 100mg pills a day. My mood has definitely improved and I am finally returning to my normal self. They also seem to have reduced my terrible headaches. I recommend 5-HTP to all!
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Ashland City, Tn
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Las Vegas, Nevada
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Manchester, New Hampshire, Usa
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Posted by Michele (Kenn, GA) on 02/16/2009
i have some depression and am afraid to go off well butrin. what effect does taking 5htp and tyrosine have if u took it with wellbutrin? i also have a low thyroid and gain weight when i do go off wellbutrin and find it hard to get off and i exercise alot.....
Posted by Rachelle (Roseland, NJ) on 11/14/2008
I have suffered from depression and "dark moods" for years. I am very much against taking prescription drugs as I believe they do more harm than good. However, about 6 weeks ago I was feeling so depressed and dark that I began to consider going to the Dr. for a prescription antidepressant. I thought, maybe I'm just adding to my suffering by being so against modern pharmaceuticals. Anyway, I turned to Earthclinic and read about 5-HTP and decided to give it a shot. I bought extra strength 5-HTP in the form of L-5 hydroxytryptophan, 100mg per capsule. I started off taking 2 capsules first thing in the morning before eating. Did this for about 3 weeks. I increased the amount to 3 capsules per morning and have been doing that since. I first noticed that my moods were more "neutral" instead of depressed and I took that as a sign of improvement. I presently feel good and not depressed.
I would just like to add that I recently added fasting to my health protocol. I read a fascinating book called "The Miracle of Fasting" by Paul and Patricia _____.
They say in this book that fasting helps emotional issues as well as physical ones. I have done a 24 hour fast once per week for 2 weeks in a row and I believe that it has contributed to my feelings of well being. I plan on continuing doing a weekly 24hr fast.
Hope this helps.
Posted by Kellie (Vancouver BC, Canada) on 01/13/2008
Hi I found 5 htp a couple years ago on the internet , looking for some thing to help my saddness and depression, so i heard about 5 htp , well i was desprite and i took 2 100 every day , it helped me so so much , i go off it some times because the side effects for me are, it makes me get my period more ofton , mind you i think that is when i was taking 300 mg . and also it has caused me to get itchy palms of my hand ,and the back of my head . but now that iv gone down on them and taken a break for a few months , im good . but i have to go on them because it helps me so much for depression . i have just discovered the 5 htp with 200 mg L- Ter , wow as far as im concerned its a bloody mirical . it changes my hole mood . makes me very happy .but for sure one other side effect im not as hungry when im on it . and i dream more vividly . but as fare as im concerned its a wonder drug , sorry for the spelling.lets just hope the drug companys don't take them away.
Replied by Fred
Posted by Karin (Arlington) on 08/29/2005
5HTP has been one great discovery for me and several of my friends. We used to all take Valerian root which worked great but smelled awful. St. Johns wort wasn't bad either, but there was concerns about taking before surgeries. We've been taking 5HTP for over a year now and there is always this significant sense of calm.
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Solana Beach, Ca
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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
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Raleigh, Nc, Usa
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Las Vegas, Nevada
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Bozeman, Mt, Us
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Posted by Charlotte (Richboro, PA)
My 6 year old grandson was diagnosed with "Select Mutism" 2 years ago and rather than put him on "Prozac", my daughter did some research and learned about 5HTP and chose to try it first. He started on 50mg every night. His psychologist saw the same results with the 5HTP as children on prescribed drugs. It's been a miracle for him. I have since then also taken it since our family seems to have anxiety problems and ADD runs in the family and it has helped very much with these problems. I usually take 100mg to 200mg daily depending on my stress levels at the time. We are so grateful our little grandson did not have to take Prozac or a similar drug. I would highly recommend it as a first choice to try at least.
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Posted by Tim (Perth, Western Australia) on 03/13/2009
I am a 46 year old male who has suffered from regular bouts of depression for most of my adult life. These depressed episodes were not usually linked to any situational cause and indeed could be very difficult to understand for my family because there was no obvious trigger or reason why I was depressed. The symptoms presented as physical as well as mental and I would suffer from joint pain, lethargy and extreme nausea and in severe bouts even cold sweats and shivering that would last for days and sometimes a week. I have tried prescription anti-depressants but the side effects were almost as bad as the ailment so I resolved to put up with the ups and downs (I only probably had episodes bad enough to take off work maybe twice a year).
About 2 years ago someone put me on to 5 Hydroxy Tryptophan or 5-HTP as a precursor to serotonin production and I decided to give it a try (the potential for weight loss was an added incentive) and I found the results somewhat hit and miss until after some research and experimentation I hit on the combination of 5-HTP (100mg) combined with Pyridoxal 5 Phosphate (15mg) (the active enzyme version of vitamin B6 and assists in the conversion of the 5-HTP to serotonin) taken first thing in the morning on an empty stomach (I avoid eating for at least half an hour). The theory from my research into taking it on an empty stomach is that this avoids the 5-htp metabolising into serotonin in the stomach before it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Further, I have found that the active version of B6 is more effective than the common variety version (pyridoxine) because I think I struggle to metabolise the pyridoxine variety into the active enzyme and therefore have a natural B6 deficiency (probably why I don't produce enough serotonin).
I haven't had a bout of depression for over 12 months now despite the fact that I have experienced (as many others have over the past 4 months) the most stressful and extreme anxiety creating environment of my professional life.
Apart from sharing my discovery on this excellent website I have a question about Apple Cider Vinegar and my 5-HTP regimen. I have in the past week begun to experiment with the ACV and Baking Soda remedy for Acid Reflux and I have a dilemma in that the majority of posts suggest that the ACV/BS solution should be taken on an empty stomach. If I take it first thing in the morning at the same time as the 5-HTP and B6 combo will that cause the 5-HTP to metabolise into serotonin in my stomach before it gets a chance to be absorbed (My research indicates that serotonin itself can't be absorbed). Because I don't want to jeopardise the efficacy of the depression remedy, I am waiting half an hour to drink the ACV concoction which is inconvenient to say the least as it makes me nauseas and I can't eat breakfast before having to leave for work (maybe that is the weight loss trick).
Any suggestions? By the way the ACV/BS Combo seems to be working with some interesting side effects (nausea diarrhoea and gas) but it's still too early to tell.
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Posted by Sveta (Des Plaines, IL) on 07/28/2009
Having been suffering from bipolar, bulimia, anxiety disorder and depression for 5 years. Tried ACETYL L-CARNITINE. Have one thing to say, it's freaking amazing! I'm surprised you don't hear about it much. It helps my anxiety better than cold showers, antidepressants, and even Xanax! I'm so happy that that i found out about it. It's like the hell I've been living in for years is over. This supplement has the strength of a prescription drug. I advise everyone who has anxiety problem to give a try. Though I need like 50 mg a day instead of 5000 the way they recommend. 5000 is too much for me to tolerate. Find your dosage. And never give up. Try every supplement for depression and anxiety out there, one by one. Some will do nothing, some will make you feel worse, but there'll be one, two, or even more that will help you and make your life a beautiful and joyful thing to have. Good luck everyone.
Replied by Sharon
Wood Dale, Illinois
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Saint Louis, Mo
Posted by Molly (Madison, USA) on 04/11/2008
One time I purchased a bottle of 5-htp, and after taking one capsule morning & evening, just twice, I threw the bottle away. My reaction to 5-htp was horrific; upon further research I learned that high levels of serotonin are associated with SEVERE ANXIETY. I also read that the spice ginger is a serotonin antagonist, so I have a bottle on hand, just in case I ever feel so anxious ever again.
Then I read somewhere online that there is a set of people whose depression responds to Acetyl L-Carnitine, they said the depression lifted in these people when using 3-4 grams a day, and to take two grams of acetylcarnitine on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning.
This amino acid is the most amazing substance; I've never been able to take more than 2 grams per day - there is such great mental clarity, there is utter inability to be depressed, but there simultaneously is no euphoria - just calm lucid clarity. I've read that it assists the brain in making many different neurotransmitters - so it is not anything, not anything at all like 5-htp which floods the brain with serotonin - which, if you don't need it, might create severe anxiety.
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Las Vegas, Nv Nevada