Alright ya’ll. I posted yesterday about my withdrawal from antidepressants, but I want to follow up with some ways that you can manage the symptoms and jump start your brain so that it starts to produce and reuptake (I’ll explain this later) the neurochemicals (Serotonin in my case) that it needs to function.
Oftentimes people mistakenly believe that if you take antidepressants, it’s because your body is unable to produce the correct amount of neurochemicals needed for healthy brain activity. Sometimes this is the case, but for me specifically, my brain needs a boost to help it more slowly absorb the serotonin that it produces naturally.
Science Speak: Reuptake is defined as “the absorption by a presynaptic nerve ending of a neurotransmitter that it has secreted.”
Simple Speak: When a neurotransmitter is created in the brain, the nerve endings absorb it and use it for healthy brain function.
Many antidepressants work to inhibit, or slow down, this reuptake. These medications fall into the category of SRIs (Selective Reuptake Inhibitors)
Science Speak: SRIs “inhibit the reuptake of a neurotransmitter from the synapse into the presynaptic neuron, leading to an increase in the extracellular concentrations of the neurotransmitter” SRIs Information
Simple Speak: SRIs are used to slow down the absorption of neurotransmitters so your brain can swim around in yummy fluid for longer before being processed.
“Although serotonin is well known as a brain neurotransmitter, it is estimated that 90 percent of the body’s serotonin is made in the digestive tract. In fact, altered levels of this peripheral serotonin have been linked to diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis.” Gut Health & Serotonin
This quite literally means that gut health and a balanced diet is the #1 way to promote healthy brain function.
When I decided to quit Sertraline cold turkey, I did a lot of research on different natural supplements I could take to help with the short-term withdrawal symptoms as well as long-term benefits. Gotta throw in there that I’m not a doctor so don’t take my advice, blow it out of proportion, and hurt yourself then try to sue me. This is California after all. Most of our laws exist because somebody sued and ruined it for the rest of us 🙄
St John’s Wort:
Commonly used in Europe to treat depression naturally, St John’s Wort is a wild plant that can be bought in pill, herb, and liquid form. I use the liquid form and put it in my water bottle in the morning that way I’m getting a good dose throughout the day.
Note: St John’s Wort can make other medications less effective, especially prescription antidepressant medications and hormonal birth control. It’s also possible to overdose on serotonin production so do your research y’all.
Check out this link for more info: St John’s Wort
GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid):
GABA is a naturally occurring amino acid and neurotransmitter created in the brain to regulate the nervous system and can help with anxiety, depression, insomnia and addiction. GABA is most effective when taken in the morning on an empty stomach for optimal absorption.
Check out this link for more info: GABA
5-HTP is a chemical by-product of L-tryptophan and works to increase serotonin in the brain. It has been proven as effective for treating depression and possibly effective (not tested enough) as a treatment for anxiety, sleep disorders, migraines and PMS.
Check out this link for more info: 5-HTP
P.S. If you’re wondering about my beautiful pinecone candles in the photo, they are made by my friend Lindsey. They are 100% beeswax and smell like delicious honey. Check out her etsy shop here —> Redwood Coast Mercantile
Always with love- xoxo Dee