What Are You Putting in Your Mouth?

I am a firm believer in vitamins. I feel like prescription medications are often over prescribed and over taken. I don’t claim to be an expert; however, I thought I would share my daily vitamin intake with you for a couple of reasons.

1. My friends always ask me for vitamin recommendations because they know I strongly believe in taking vitamins on a daily basis.

2. I recently began reading a blog a gal writes on her struggles with giving up alcohol and the death of her father. She shares her struggles with depression/anxiety and staying sober. She doesn’t want to be on any kind of anxiety medication but is suffering from disruptive panic attacks. I’ve never suffered from panic attacks, but I do suffer from social anxiety. In a recent post she asked readers for suggestions on different supplements to take to ease her symptoms. When responding to her I got to thinking – maybe others wonder this too?

I was on Prozac after the birth of the Chiquita when I was diagnosed with Post Partum Depression. I give my doctors a big F as in fail when it came to my treatment because they left me out in the middle of the ocean lying on a piece of wood like Rose in Titanic. I knew something was wrong. I knew I wasn’t improving, and I continued to reach out for help. My doctor’s answer (yes, THIS doctor) was to continue to increase my Prozac.

Increase, increase, increase…more of anything is the recipe for success. Right? WRONG! Each time my meds were increased the more depressed and anxious I became. I was getting worse – going from not just wishing for God to take me in my sleep but actually driving on I355 and imagining my Mercedes-Benz smashed into the concrete barrier. Bam. It’s over. Relief….

This went on for months. When I hit rock bottom I fired all my doctors. I went off all prescription medication*. Cold turkey. That’s it. No more meds. *This is not recommended. It’s what I had to do for myself at the time to try to regain some control, but this approach can backfire.

My mom is a big believer in vitamins and supplements and urged me to at least – if nothing else – begin a vitamin regimen. This is not expert opinion or advice. I’m simply sharing with you what is now working for me to keep my depression/anxiety under control. I am now taking a small dose of Prozac which has helped to take the ‘edge’ off a bit. In addition to Prozac I also take these vitamins on a daily basis:

1. Carlson – The Very Finest Fish Oil

fish oilVitamins can really add up! If you have to pick only one vitamin to take I highly recommend fish oil.

Fish oil is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids and a lot of research shows that fish oil supplements may help ease symptoms of depression. See Mayoclinic.com.

This fish oil is to be taken twice a day – preferably one in the AM and one in the PM. I’m not sure why, but I was told it works better in your body when taken at different times as opposed to taking two in the AM.

One thing many people complain about when taking fish oil is that you can burp up a nasty fish taste. This brand I am sharing with you has a yummy orange taste – you can even chew them – but I do not.

2. Co-Enzyme B-Complex By Now Foods

BAfter I quit all my medication I went to The Fruitful Yield for advice on vitamins/supplements to take to help ease my depression/anxiety symptoms.

On the weekends The Fruitful Yield has a licensed nutritionist on staff to answer any questions you have. I went on a Saturday, found the nutritionist and said, “I have Post Partum Depression. I’ve gone off all my medication. Tell me what to buy.”

This product was one that she recommended. Co-Enzyme Vitamin B supports a positive mood and improves energy. See Wellness Resources.com.

There are different forms of B-Vitamins and Co-Enzyme includes all of the Bs, which are B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12.

I have actually recommended this product to a few people who now take this vitamin on a daily basis. I find that if I skip a day of Co-Enzyme B I am lethargic the next day. I definitely notice an increase in energy while on this supplement.

3. Vitamin D3 – 2000 IUs

DVitamin D deficiency, the result of low vitamin D intake and poor sun exposure, has been linked to depression and Type 2 diabetes. See article here.

Here is some research on the daily recommended doses of vitamin D from The Mayo Clinic.

Because I’m vitamin D deficient and I do suffer from depression/anxiety I take at least one vitamin (2,000 IUs) each day to be sure I’m getting an adequate dose.

From Mayo Clinic: For mood disorders, 400-800 IU daily or 100,000 IU weekly has been taken by mouth for up to one month to improve symptoms of depression associated with seasonal affective disorder.

4. L-Theanine By Now for Stress Management

L-theanineWhen I went off all my medication I was struggling with feelings of being overwhelmed at all times. One task in front of me left me feeling as if I was drowning in ‘things to do’. I found during this time that my anxiety was more prevalent than I had known.

I often had a nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach and dreaded to leave the house unless I was going to familiar places…work, my grocery store, my mall, my Dunkin Donuts, etc. Going anywhere out of the ordinary made me extremely anxious and sick to my stomach.

The nutritionist at The Fruitful Yield explained that I absolutely had to get this supplement. She compared it to anti-anxiety meds and said that she often used this to control her own anxiety symptoms.

You can take one Vcap 1 to 2 times daily as needed. I like the ‘as needed’ because you don’t have to take it every day. You can simply take it when you’re feeling stressed or anxious.

Maybe it’s nothing honestly? Who knows. When I opted to go back on Prozac – a much smaller dose this time – I’ve not felt the need to take this as often anymore. I showed it to my new shrink who gave me the OK to take it with the Prozac.

I sort of had the feeling she was laughing inside since I know most doctors strongly believe in pharmaceuticals and don’t like their patients opting for “natural” methods. But, maybe she wasn’t. Maybe it was my anxiety. Either way, even if it’s all in my head, when I have that feeling like I want to crack skulls (thank you for that aphorism, Bethenny Frankel) I take one tablet and I feel better! 🙂

Bethenny is my new obsession....I still love my future BFF Giuliana, but I have a crush on Bethenny!
Bethenny is my new obsession….I still love my future BFF Giuliana, but I have a crush on Bethenny!

Please use the comments section to let me know of any vitamins/supplements that have helped you with depression/anxiety. There are other things I can recommend, like this Goji which I used to drink to help balance my hormones….

Goji

But, the above four vitamins/supplements I gave you are what I do take and recommend. Feel free to ask me any questions – I can give you responses on how these products affect me, however, PLEASE be sure to seek medical consulting before taking any and all vitamins/supplements with your physician.