success concept

With so many anti-depressant medications being prescribed in U.S. alone, you may be wondering why this website offers so many natural solutions to help you achieve a healthy, happy mood.

First, let us point out that we believe that nothing on this website is a substitute for a true medical diagnosis from a certified medical professional. Arming yourself with knowledge of natural solutions for good mood is an excellent way to improve your life and live a healthier lifestyle. At the same time, if you ever feel that you need help, seek the advice of a medical professional right away.

Your medical professional has plenty of training and knowledge, and can offer you a variety of solutions if you are feeling down–everything from medication to counseling and therapy.

Then it’s up to you to decide which solutions you want to pursue to boost your own mood. You can try any combination of solutions, or try them one-by-one to see what works.

We offer the following stories and quotes to add to your arsenal of knowledge about what contributes to a good mood, along with our own experiences helping others with natural solutions and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Antidepressant Medication Stops Working

"For so many people, antidepressant medication either stops working or has too many side effects." Henry Emmons, MD, Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota
While Emmons does prescribe medication for his patients, he also offers them advice about how nutrition, supplements, and exercise can have a significant positive effect on mood.

No Results Seen with Medications

"We were trying all these medications and not seeing any results. Eating for your mood became a really new concept for me." Amita Patel, CBS New York
Patel told CBS 2’s Maurice Dubois that she had suffered from depression for years, and that the prescribed medications did not alleviate her condition. That’s when she looked into the mood food connection. She noticed that her mood changed within a month of removing junk food from her diet and adding mood boosting foods back into her diet. She says, “I’m so much happier and healthier than I ever thought I could have been.”

Herbal-Natural-Supplements1

Patel is not alone. According to the CBS report, many mental health professionals are now jumping on the bandwagon and embracing this concept. Says Dr. Drew Ramsey in the same CBS report:

"When patients come to see me, I talk to them about what they eat and I give each of them my food prescription. There are more ways to get relief from mental suffering than just the traditional pharmaceuticals and medications." Dr. Drew Ramsey, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons

Increased Stress in Society Calls for Alternative Measures

"The tendency to depression in its many forms has increased due to our stressed society. Antidepressants are effective for only 50-60 percent of patients. Moreover, these antidepressants have slow onset of action and negative side effects. All this suggests the need for creative and new strategies... The large body of evidence that chemicals in chocolate, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, teas and other certain foods could well be mood-enhancers encourages the search for other mood modulators in food." Karina Martinez-Mayorga

Martinez-Mayorga and her team focus on lifestyle factors that contribute to good mood as alternatives. These include staying fit with exercise, sleeping and eating well, and including good quality foods that contribute to well-being.

Antidepressants May Worsen Mood

"Every year, 230 million prescriptions for antidepressants are filled, making them one of the most prescribed drugs in the United States... Despite all of these prescriptions, more than one in 20 Americans are depressed, according to the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of those depressed Americans, 80 percent say they have some level of functional impairment, and 27 percent say their condition makes it extremely difficult to do everyday tasks like work, activities of daily living, and getting along with others..."


"Unfortunately, research has confirmed that antidepressant drugs are no more effective than sugar pills. Some studies have even found that sugar pills may produce BETTER results than antidepressants! Personally, I believe the reason for this astounding finding is that both pills work via the placebo effect, but the sugar pills produce far fewer adverse effects."


"Many people forget that antidepressants come with a slew of side effects, some of which are deadly. Approximately 750,000 people attempt suicide each year in the US, and about 30,000 of those succeed. Taking a drug that is unlikely to relieve your symptoms and may actually increase your risk of killing yourself certainly does not seem like a good choice."


"In addition, since most of the treatment focus is on drugs, many safe and natural treatment options that DO work are being completely ignored. No wonder so many people are suffering." Dr. Joseph Mercola, DO, Natural Health Practicioner

Dr. Mercola goes on to recommend 5 natural solutions, most of which we have already addressed:

  • Emotional Housekeeping (meditation, journaling, breathing exercises, yoga, sharing with friends)
  • Get Regular Exercise
  • Improve Your General Nutrition
  • Supplement Your Diet with Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Let the Sun Shine Down on You

Antidepressants Don’t Solve the Actual Problem

"We're facing a bad-mood epidemic. It's clear that our moods are deteriorating at unprecedented rates." Julia Ross, MA, executive director, Recovery Systems in Mill Valley, CA a clinic that treats mood problems using counseling, nutritional therapy and biochemical rebalancing

While Ross acknowledges that antidepressants work for many people in the short term, she cautions people about using medication as a first line therapy. She says, “… before you go down that road, it’s important to understand that drugs like antidepressants carry the risk of significant side effects – plus they don’t actually ‘fix’ the underlying problem. Antidepressants can only stimulate the mood-enhancing brain chemicals you already have, but most disorders stem from having inadequate levels of these chemicals to begin with. What you really need to do is rebuild the deficit.”

Ross and other health experts are now advocating the use of amino acid supplementation as a natural alternative to antidepressant drugs. According to Eric Braverman, MD, amino acids are essential to brain function (and we have already discussed the importance of the brain to your mood). He goes on to explain that the body’s central nervous system is mostly regulated by amino acids and peptides (multiple amino acids linked). Amino acids are the building blocks for neurotransmitters (the chemical messengers in the nervous system) and can affect sleep, mood, mental performance, and more.

"The key point to remember is this: Antidepressants affect mood by temporarily increasing the time in which neurotransmitters exert their effects. But if you naturally have low levels of neurotransmitters, then taking drugs is not going to change that. In contrast, amino acids actually go to the heart of the problem and normalize neurotransmitter levels. If you're deficient, taking amino acids can give your body the raw materials it needs to make more." Victoria Freeman, PhD, Freelance health writer

Sources
WebMD: Annie Stuart, Reviewed By David Kiefer, MD, “Herbs, Vitamins, and Supplements Used to Enhance Mood”
CBS New York, “Mood Boosting Foods Could Be the Answer To Your Mental Health”
Dr. Joseph Mercola, DO “Please Don’t Visit This Type of Doctor Unless You Absolutely Have to”
Victoria Freeman, PhD, “A Better Way to Improve Mood.”