Holistic Treatment Alternatives to Psychiatric Drugs: Part 1

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As more people are discovering the dangers of psychiatric drugs and their adverse withdrawal effects, there is a massive awakening on a global scale happening.  More people are becoming aware and turning to holistic and alternative therapies and treatments for anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses.  Antidepressant drugs cause drug induced nutrient depletion, depleting the body of vital nutrients such as Coenzyme Q10, B2, and sodium.  Withdrawal from them causes a host of problems such as oxidative stress on the brain, adrenal gland stress and fatigue, hormonal problems, and digestive problems.  Some cause lifelong brain damage and other depilating effects.   Taking an antidepressant, or other psychiatric drugs such as benzoxepines should be an absolute last resort.

Supplements and nutraceuticals are becoming more popular choices to help fight anxiety and depression and some can assist with the adverse effects of psychiatric drug withdrawal.  The words supplement and nutraceutical can often be used interchangeably.  It is undeniable food can serve as medicine which is what many supplements and nutraceuticals are made up of.  A healthy diet is essential first in order to receive the maximum benefit from any herbs, supplements or nutraceuticals.  Emphasis has been on alkaline based diets in which diseases cannot thrive as easily compared to an acidic environment.  Choosing produce from organic and grass-fed farms will help people obtain more vital antioxidants and less unhealthy fats then conventional produce. Simply drinking more water can help prevent dehydration which is linked to depression and insomnia.   Using herbs, supplements and nutraceuticals can be beneficial in certain cases but it is vital to review all the possible interactions they could have with prescription drugs.  If you are not on any prescription drugs, St. John’s Wort and Valerian are two herbs that have been shown to help depression.  However, as previously stated, it is important to check all the possible interactions they could have with any prescription drugs you are taking.

Some helpful supplements that have been reported to help during antidepressant and benzodiazepine withdrawal are fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids), magnesium, and B vitamins.   However, it truly is a tricky situation when one is experiencing adverse symptoms from antidepressant/psychiatric drug withdrawal.  It I s important to be very careful with what you add to your body during this time, and everyone is different in what they may or may not experience.   Glutathione, a master antioxidant found in every cell of the body, has also been reported as beneficial.  A study in the journal of Neuroscience from December 2000 had indicated that Tricyclic antidepressants and SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) were shown to cause oxidative stress in a nerve cell line due to a reduction of intracellular Glutathione levels.  Therefore, building up glutathione levels helps with this oxidative stress and supports the immune system.  It also helps with the natural sleep cycle. 

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