Supplements and Mental Health
People have been using herbal supplements and vitamins for decades to address mental and physical health issues. There are vitamins and supplements for memory, energy, the immune system, and the bones. Many of these options are simply an extra dose of the things our bodies already produce, or absorb through our food.
There are numerous supplements that are widely known to aid in mental health.
Today I am going to share with you five vitamins and supplements that I take every day to help treat the symptoms of my PTSD due to childhood trauma.
Why I take Supplements
For years I struggled with undiagnosed PTSD. I’ve always been relatively healthy in the “physical” sense but mental health has caused me challenges.
Many years ago, I was prescribed an SSRI for depression. At that time I had just lost my closest relative and was having a hard time with normal functioning. A couple friends pushed me straight to a family doctor who saw the symptom as sadness and gave me a pill.
For months I struggled with the side effects of that medication but was told to just keep taking it. It took well over a year before I was able to safely wean myself off of the anti-depressant and try another form of treatment.
I realized that for me, a pharmaceutical was not going to do it. It felt like I sacrificed parts of myself to not be sad, but I wasn’t really feeling happiness either.
I have spent a lot of time over the years talking with my counselor about whether I need medication or if natural supplements will work to treat my complex symptoms.
Under her guidance and that of the in-house psychiatrist I began taking a five pill combination of vitamins and supplements. Three of them I take in what is called a therapeutic dosage per the this sheet I was provided.
I have most definitely noticed that they help me. I don’t suffer any negative physical or existential affects, life is back in color. Not to say I don’t have bad days, but there is noticeable changes in how my anxiety, depression, grief hits me and how I can manage it.
5 Vitamins & Supplements for Mental Health
S-adenosylmethionine is a chemical made by the body that helps in the production of all the feel good hormones. It is not found in our food supply so if you are running low the only way to supplement in through oral ingestion or injection.
Sam-e is used in other countries as a prescription medication for depression. It helps with fatigue, depression, ADHA, and joint pain. I take 400 mg twice a day with no negative side effects.
This is a supplement that is popular for treating anxiety and stress. It helps the body relax and find a state of calm. I take 220 mg twice a day. I noticed within a couple weeks of taking this that my body’s response to anxiety wasn’t as intense. It has made it easier for me to manage the mental side of panic attacks.
3. Vitamin D3
The sunshine vitamin! 🌞 Our bodies naturally product vitamin D when we absorb sunlight however, not all of us get enough sun! Vitamin D3 is easiest for our body to absorb and it boosts the immune system, helps ward of depression, and it can even help with weight maintenance.
I take 5000 IUs once per day.
4. Super B Complex w/Vitamin C
A Super B complex vitamin is just that – the whole B complex. B vitamins (and there are many) help our brain, our blood, our bones, our immune system, and our mood. Vitamin C also aides the bones and immune system.
Taking a Super B vitamin will help with overall physical well being and it is yet another tool to help you with depression. I take one capsule per day.
This is a another aid for the anxiety and depression. It also helps with insomnia, ADHA, and joint pain.
I take 400 mg once a day before bed to help me sleep.
Consult Your Mental Health Professional
If you are taking prescribed medications for a mental health condition and are considering natural supplements, don’t stop taking your medication. Please speak with your doctor before you begin taking supplements or mixing them with your medications to be certain they are safe for you.
Ultimately, medication is necessary in certain cases and the treatment we seek for our mental health is personal. Vitamins and supplements aren’t necessarily for everyone.
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I would try SAM-e if it wasn’t so expensive. I would aim for 1600 mg/day, and with higher prices of supplements across the board in Canada, it would end up being really pricey.
I remember the sticker shock when I first went to the store to purchase here in the US. I switched to online. I also take only 800 mg per day so I completely get it. I have considered an increased dosage but am not able to do that right now.
This article is very helpful for me. Thanks for sharing this with us.