It’s now been about 12 days since I’ve been taking the natural supplements St. John’s Wort as well as fermented tryptophan boosting foods.
I am going through the same weirdness like I did with generic Prozac, mentally; but with minimal side effects.
Its a Tue today. On Sunday, few days ago, I had to reply to my wife “My brain is not working”. Today I feel better, but I am still in the “loading up” phase of the natural version of Prozac, which is classified as an SSRI, or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor.
So in the medical journals the time of the “upswing” or build up of the SSRI in my brain is a delicate time. I can confirm that. At night I have a hard time going to sleep. In the morning I have little desire to get out of bed. The worst is at night, when my mind becomes a devil’s workshop and I keep out strange and crazy thoughts by watching lots of Netflix. I am only sharing this in case someone else like me is reading this. If you are feel free to connect with me.
The experience so far makes me guess that something is happening, and I hope that eventually my Serotonin levels will reach a good level. It might be 20 more days or 40 more days. I don’t know how long the special foods will take; I am guessing 30-60 days as well.
This is my story, as I try to stop a a very common mental health issue in my personal case. Today was relatively a great day. Sunday was not. I am hoping in next few days most of this will pass.
I’ll blog about it in some time again....
So I've been on this journey for about 60 days now.
For the first 50 days I was on prescription pharmaceuticals, active ingredient from Prozac. But I was having side effects. Now I am on special foods and natural supplements for the last 8+ days and this is my experience so far:
1. YES, I do feel different
When I started Flunil (name of generic Prozac) I actually had to "load up" my brain for 10 days with a lighter 10mg dose. After 10 days I went to a 20mg dose. That's when the side effects began. I kept having 20mg pills for 30-35 days and side effects did not improve. That's when I decided to try natural. I then lowered the dose down to 10mg for 6 days, 2 days nothing, and started the natural supplement St. John's wart. They say its very important to first get yourself off the first anti-depressant before starting St. John's wort.
Along with that I started fermented foods and a special fermented dairy - kefir. All high in tryptophan, an amino acid which helps our guts produce Serotonin. These are not directly linked to creating more Serotonin in the brain (low Serotonin causes depression) but these are the undiscovered boundaries of human science.
However, they can prove that low Serotonin in gut leads to low Serotonin in the brain. That's what I read in some scholarly articles.
2. So How do I "feel different"
It is still early but what my wife and I notice is that I am more calm around my family. This was a good thing that started with Prozac and that's why I tried it for so long.
An example from today : The little kids at night-time are first playing and then crying. They are tired. One of my sons starts crying as he has to sleep now and disagrees with me. What do I do ?
The old me would have put my foot down; told my son he needs to be a big boy. he should appreciate what he's got and kept repeating words.
The news me : told him the same things, but only once. Then I started doing things to calm him down instead, like humming, or telling him how much I loved him.
My wife and I both notice these differences. That's why I am wanting to try anti-depressants despite side effects.
So far only 1 physical side effect, much milder. But feeling sleepy in the day, the drowsiness, the lack of caring; that all seems to be going.
We'll see what happens after another 10 days on this.
So I’ve recently been diagnosed with depression. I’m glad I was, rather than suffering through it for longer.
I was prescribed Prozac, one of the most popular anti-depressants on the planet.
My anti-depressants. On the left the 10 MG in the middle the 20 MG. Once I switched to 20mg I started having all the side effects. I tried it for 1 month. Now that I’m going off it, I have to down size back to 10 MG and slowly ease off. Next I am switching to natural SSRI’s, which is what Prozac/Fluxonil is.
I want to take this moment to tell all the people that work with me, that the reason I’ve been blase about work, leaving early, not calling, not caring, is due to the side effects. At the same time, I am happier in my personal side in a unique kind of way. Its not bad. However I am also having other side effects such as having to change my clothes as I'm sweating too much. Serotonin also affects sleep and my sleep cycle has gone haywire. I am willing to try an alternative for these reasons, but I know the doctor will just prescribe another SSRI class of anti-depressants. So I’m trying to go natural. Instead of trying a different chemical anti-depressant why not try natural next?
My research is showing that nutrition and natural supplements can cure depression, with similar chemical reactors (SSRI) as the Prozac pill, but natural with no side effects.
I’m going to take 350mg x 3/day of the herb St. John's Wort plus home-made Tryptophan boosting fermented foods like German sauerkraut. Turns out that Seratonin, the happy molecule which Prozac boosts in my head, is actually not mostly found in head, but mostly found in gut. 90% of it. So the nutritional based science says, why not boost the 90% in your gut. We cannot prove right now how it will go to the brain, but the brain and the gut are connected through the vagus nerve. So these things are at the cutting edge of nutritional science.
But I am a believer to try to use my own body to try these things. Seeing my various family illnesses and no cures with medicine, I have enough motivation to keep trying with nutrition based therapy.
I will suggest to anyone feeling down to get yourself checked out. Yes I am having side effects, and there are many types of options available. I am going for the natural one in this case, if it doesn't work I will go for another chemical one. But yes, I do feel happier and am surprised I kept going for so long without seeing a doctor.
Junior Gupta is the founder & Chief Research Officer of Life Healing Food. He has spent over 9 years of research of food, nutrition and diseases.