Depressed? Pop a Pill….No Really….
Some people struggle with depression their whole life, and some people get smacked over the head with it when they never thought it would happen to them. Feeling in the dark, helpless and hopeless is no way to live. Some people need antidepressants to help them see the light, but many others can be helped by making conscious choices to help change the internal problems that are causing their depressive episodes.
I’m one of those people that never thought it would be me.
Having a baby changes life a lot and it also changes a woman’s body chemistry. This is why postpartum depression is so tragic and dangerous. While I did not suffer from postpartum depression, during the tumultuous toddler years I have been challenged in ways I both expected and did not expect and a number of life’s curve balls all hit me at once.
In the span of seven months we lost our two cats that we’d had for 12 and 14 years, leaving us petless for the first time. My husband also was laid off from his job. The winter months were tough, with sickness abounding. When my son and I both had the flu at the same time in March, I thought I would die.
It was a dark place. The things that used to bring me joy were no longer interesting. I would cry two or three times a day. Sometimes I would start to cry and not be able to stop. I felt like I was failing my son. As my husband prepared to returned to work, leaving me the sole caregiver of our almost three year old for sixty or more hours per week, I was terrified. I knew I needed to do something. Fast.
It’s a bit embarrassing to admit that I’ve dealt with being depressed so recently since I did write a book on happiness last year. I can honestly say that if it weren’t for the research I did creating that book, I would be on medication. Instead, I decided to take my own advice.
One of the chapters in my book discusses supplements that help balance moods. I decided to try S-adenosylmethionine (SAM-e). Here is an excerpt from my book:
“SAM-e is created by your body when the essential amino acid methionine is metabolized. Due to age and diet, this molecule may become depleted. This is problematic because SAM-e aids the body in important work such as regulating hormones, neurotransmitters, the nucleic acids in DNA, and more. When these functions are disrupted, it can result in difficulty responding to stress and an all around poor mood. Supplementing it has been shown to boost mood by improving the balance of these critical brain functions. Studies have shown that people taking SAM-e experienced mood improvement in as little as seven days (sometimes up to fourteen days) and side effects generally are none. A mild upset stomach that goes away as supplementation continues may occur for some people. As with any supplementation, if you are pregnant, nursing, have bipolar disorder, or are taking antidepressants, please discuss SAM-e with your doctor before beginning supplementation.”
I started taking SAM-e, and within three days I felt a difference. My situation had not changed at all, but my head was clearer, I had more patience and was finally feeling positive about the future. The longer I took it the more balanced I felt until at last I started feeling like myself again.
The difference has truly been night and day. Since I started supplementing with SAM-e my crying spells are drastically reduced. I feel like I’m back in the driver’s seat of my own life instead of having been run over by the bus. If you are experiencing some of the same feelings I had and are trying to avoid antidepressants, SAM-e may work for you. It can’t hurt, and it may give you your life back.*
This is the brand and dosage I take. I take 800mg per day, but I started out with 400mg each day as suggested by the manufacturer. Your personal needs may vary. The maximum recommended dosage is 1600mg per day.
As a side note, many people are very good at hiding depression. There are very few people who knew I was struggling. Everyone else still saw the same look-on-the-bright-side person, positive Toastmasters club president. I kept working, and my life continued to function as it always did. Just because someone seems fine to you does not mean they are not at war with themselves inside. Please share this post because you really never know who needs to hear this.
You can find more information on supplements for happiness and fifty-two other ways to boost your joy in my book, Happy Now! 53 Ways to Be Happier Today.
*This is the part where I have to have a disclaimer. *sigh* No, I’m not a doctor and this is not medical advice. This is MY personal experience and I share this with the hopes that it may help someone else. PLEASE do not stop taking any medications you’re on for depression to try SAM-e without talking to your doctor first. It works really well for me, but as they say your mileage may vary. Be smart about your mental health and if you have any concerns please do speak to a professional – they are there to help.
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