So often, people ask me: “What is the best natural supplement for depression?”, or: “What is the best natural treatment for depression and anxiety?”, and I have recently written a few comprehensive articles about this topic as my attempt to help provide better solution for these age-old issues.
When I talk to friends, family and clients, we often talk about mental health, since many know that I myself went through severe depression, anxiety and chronic back pain. I then explain the 5 Dimensions of Mental Health, the need to do a comprehensive holistic health assessment to provide a second opinion and a targeted, customized natural supplement plan in the context of what I call the "Nutrition Orchestra".
In this article, I am focusing on the Nutrition Orchestra and the role of Supplements in it.
These days, we are fortunate to have many effective options to help mental health issues - including natural supplements for depression and anxiety. Often, we can lessen or even eliminate the painful symptoms going hand in hand with them. And nutritional or dietary supplements play in my opinion a very important part in it.
In my over 40 years in healthcare - and as a mental health "patient" and "thriver" myself, I believe I can provide you with not only the latest scientific research, but also historical context, philosophical context, practical experience and “lived experience” when it comes to mental health, depression, anxiety, and the role of nutrition, diets and nutritional supplements to assist with full recovery.
A Case for Natural Supplements in the Holistic Treatment of Mental Health Issues
Because Conventional Treatment Options for Depression and Anxiety often Fail
Most people who feel depressed and anxious see their family doctor first. And this is a good thing, as physical illnesses like thyroid disease, infections, anemia and others can cause symptoms that can easily be confused with depression and/or anxiety as well as can have many other root causes.
But often, after a simple blood test to rule out very common other causes, doctors are clueless to go further. They prescribe antidepressants, often still adhering to the by now disproven hypothesis that low serotonin levels (a neurotransmitter in the brain) is the cause of depression. All modern antidepressants are based on this theory, that has never been proven. And latest scientific research shows that antidepressant use does not improve your quality of life.
Sometimes, patients are referred to a psychiatrist, which often means even more medications and many patients feel more and more in a "zombie" like state of altered feeling.
The traditional treatment for Depression and Anxiety also includes often psychotherapy. There are different variants of psychotherapy that can be immensely helpful, but sadly, don’t always lead to a resolution and often only end up being supportive.
More and more, lifestyle changes like adding exercise and healthy eating, as well as stress management are recommended by conventional practitioners.
What about Natural Supplements for Mental Health Disorders like Depression and Anxiety?
Natural Supplements are often also called natural remedies. So, Are there any natural remedies for depression?
Research shows that there are many treatment options. In my previous overview article, I provided you with a breakdown of the most common types of them, like Functional Psychiatry, Holistic Psychotherapy, Naturopathic Medicine Treatment, Coaching (Health/Life/Specialized), Spiritual Counseling and Energy Medicine. (also called Body-Energy Techniques, Bio-Energetic Medicine etc.)
Many Self-help options exist, and this website aims at giving you helpful information to learn about the role, benefits, and risks of natural supplements for mental health. (Sometimes these are called vitamins (those are just a small part of the supplement family) nutritional supplements, dietary food supplements, or food supplements)
Online Programs and Courses
There are many programs that can be used to help depression and/or anxiety and related disorders.
I will review the best of them soon on this site.
There are millions of self-help books in the mental health field available.
I will review the best ones on this site soon.
The use of food and the importance of healthy eating for better general health has been established and acknowledged, even by mainstream medicine for some time. It is slowly also recognized that healthy eating is contributing to good mental health, too, and can assist rapid recovery from depression.
The debate is more over what constitutes healthy eating.
The guidelines of the US department for Agriculture can be found here. A List of Diet Associations in the US, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia can be found here. Here is what the WHO (World Health Organization) considers a healthy diet. Canadians are supposed to follow their own food guide.
The influence on food on mood and mental health is also being more and more studied. You can find a good article about nutritional psychiatry here.
These official guidelines are widely accepted in conventional medicine. But many consumers like you and me have doubts, since their funding often comes from large corporate organizations that produce packaged food or even pharmaceuticals.
A good synopsis of what to eat for vibrant health and better energy is found in my little book, that you can purchase on Amazon. It can help you when you may or may not know what you should eat - but what if the ideal food choice is not affordable or not available? This book clearly spells out: what food is best, what is acceptable and what should better be avoided - and why.
Nutritional Supplements for Mental Health Disorders
There is increasing evidence that nutrition alone is not enough to help someone suffering with mental health issues.
There has been much research done on the benefits of nutritional supplements for mental health in recent years, and certain supplements, like fish oil, probiotics, Magnesium, Vitamin D, B-Vitamins, and others are more and more recognized as important addition to the healing plan - I call it, as part of the "nutrition orchestra".
Developments in agriculture and food processing in the last 100-150 years have led to a depletion of the soil as well of nutrients and micronutrients in fruits, vegetables and other foods we eat on a daily basis. More of that is explained in the book mentioned above.
What are nutritional / food / natural /dietary supplements?
I talk more about all kinds of supplements in this overview article. Mainly, we talk about vitamins, minerals, fats, amino acids (Parts of Proteins), enzymes, herbs and phytochemicals (Plant chemicals), spices, glandular preparations, and essential oils, but there are many others.
On this website, I regularly talk about supplements for depression, anxiety and ADHD, stress and sleep disorders, and also review good other products, books, courses and more, that I personally recommend or actually take or use.
I am still building it, so please subscribe to my email newsletter to never miss an update, important or helpful information or a special offer or discount.
So What Really Is The Best Natural Treatment for Mental Health Issues?
By now, you may have guessed it:
No single strategy will work for everyone. The treatment for your mental health condition needs to be just as individual as you are.
In the experience of most practitioners (including my own), you will have the best chances to fully recover from depression and anxiety if you follow the 7-step strategy and process outlined here
I started with adding targeted supplements to my diet without changing anything else at first. You can read what I did in my story here.
If you’d like my help to get your individual supplement plan, please book a FREE Supplement Consultation with me.
How long will it take to get well?
Here also, the best answer is: It depends. It truly depends on your genes, environment, strategy and actions. Most often, it will take years to achieve full recovery, especially if you do not get the best natural treatment for depression and anxiety possible at the right time, whether with or without conventional treatments added.
Where do I Go From Here?
That is a very good question. I recommend first doing some research of your own. the links in this article as well as other articles on this website can help.
You can go from there to assemble your own strategy to recover from your issues or seek professional help from one of the practitioners in an area that appeals to you. For help with gaining clarity, this Life Strategy Session can help.
If you have questions or concerns around the use of supplements for mental health issues, feel free to book a supplement consultation with me to discuss your plans. I am always willing to help out a fellow seeker!
Always Note: If you suffer from any medical or health condition, take medication, supplements or use other drugs, ask your doctor, pharmacist or other healthcare practitioner for individual advice before changing your diet, lifestyle or adding any supplements.
That said, you can absolutely achieve complete recovery from depression and anxiety with a good assessment, strategy and even better follow-through. It will take time, but many have done it before you, me included.
Don't give up and keep on seeking for your best solution. It is out there!