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Antidepressants – “Natural” and Otherwise

By Mikhaila

I was on antidepressants for over a decade. They probably saved my life. If you’re taking them and want to try eliminating food, keep taking them until you feel like the depression/anxiety is gone, don’t stop first. I could tell when I could stop taking them even though I hadn’t had a break in over 10 years.

If you suffer from anxiety or depression but you find it’s fairly manageable (or you can survive without antidepressants), I highly recommend 5 HTP. Here are links to some that don’t have soy or anything in it I react to:

Canada – NOW 5HTP

America – NOW 5HTP

You should take it with food. When I try to reintroduce something that doesn’t go well on the diet, I take 400 mg, 3 times a day until the flare up is gone. That’s a really high dose… start with much less, but I’ll need that much. 200 mg a day doesn’t do anything. You might be different. I usually do this for about 4 weeks until the flare is over. If I have an IgG reaction, leading to a serious flare up, I’ll go back on antidepressants for about 12 days and then switch to 5 HTP on day 13 for another 10 or 11 days. This is not what the medical community suggests, but it’s what works for me. Sometimes the flares are bad enough that they warrant a short period of antidepressants. Granted, the dose I usually use is 1/4 of what I used to take all the time, and that’s good enough.

If you’re on an antidepressant, do not take 5 HTP at the same time. It can cause serotonin syndrome in a very unpleasant way. I figured that out the hard way.

5 HTP works on serotonin. I’ve met people with anxiety who tried 5 HTP and it made them more irritable. Obviously their out of whack neurotransmitter wasn’t serotonin, so if you feel like it makes you worse, stop. It works really well for what happens to me though.

I haven’t taken antidepressants in a very long time. I’m good enough at this diet that when I reintroduce something and have a flare, it’s fairly minor. Obviously , nothing that hits your mood, digestion, skin, etc, feels minor, but it is minor enough not to need pharmaceuticals. The only reason I took antidepressants with a flare was when it was caused by IgG food.

Another quick thing: not everyone will have as severe a reaction to an IgG food as my dad and I. This is a warning mostly for people who suffer from anxiety and/or depression. My mom doesn’t have mental issues (although wheat makes her feel pretty unstable), and her IgG reactions are mostly physical. If she eats an IgG food she’s pretty okay. I am not okay at all when that happens. I seriously recommend an IgG food test if you suffer from mental problems at all. Reintroducing food that triggers an IgG reaction is god awful, and it’s not as obvious until you start messing around with diet. I can’t stress this enough. My depression used to be pretty much the same year-round, worsening slowly as the days got darker and peaking in early January. When I started messing around with food, the depression would go away and come back worse than before when I messed up. I didn’t do the IgG testing before I started changing my diet and it was a huge mistake. This is avoidable if you pay attention to the IgG foods.  If you don’t suffer from a mental problem, reintroducing an IgG food (from what I’ve seen) isn’t nearly as dangerous.

Anyways point of the post: 5 HTP is awesome for me. If I take it with food I don’t have any side effects, even at higher dosages. It makes me much more relaxed and during a reaction helps with irritability and doom sensations. I highly recommend it.

The other thing you might want to try is dihydromyricetin (it works weakly on GABA). 

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  1. kapikachhu contains natural 5htp and l-dopa the dopamine precursor along with other nutrients, it has improved my alertness and seems to have some anti depressant effects and increased vividness of dreams.

  2. I have a close relative with depression so I try to become more knowledgeable about it. The world of mood disorders is complex and the treatments seem to be maddeningly variable in their efficacy. This blog may already be on your list of helpful sources but in case it isn’t, it’s here: mentalhealthdaily.com/ It’s remarkably comprehensive for a non-medic, unfortunately because the poor author has toured every combination of options to control their problems. The comments are almost as informative. Anyway, just passing it along…

  3. Hi Mikhaila.

    Did you take something else with 5htp or did the product you took include something else (like vitamins etc.)?

    Thanks for writing this blog!

  4. First of all, thank God I found this website (through your dad’s post on twitter). I’ve been dealing with severe anxiety (and the depression that comes with it) for 16 years now (since I was 20). I’ve been on meds this entire time, but nothing seems to work well enough for any given period of time. Those meds have also had an effect on weight as well, so that’s been rough. Anyways, what are your thoughts on IgG contributing to not only depression but intense anxiety? To get tested, will I need to go to a specialist? I don’t currently have a General Practitioner, so that is why I ask. I’ve spent so much time looking at other options or possibilities of treatment, but non have worked out so far. I’m hoping this may be the answer. I appreciate any advice or feedback you could give. Thank you so much for speaking out on these matters and helping out everyone who has been touched by your articles.

    1. Unfortunately in Canada in order to get the IgG testing done you need to see a Naturopath. I’ve seen the rare doctor’s office that does the testing but it’s hard to come by. The upfront cost of seeing the naturopath and getting the test is rough, but it’s worth it. You can also ask them to email you your results so that you don’t have to pay for another appointment. IgG foods were linked to all my problems. Definitely anxiety, not just depression. Nothing else has helped me as much. Good luck!

    2. Thank you for your quick reply. I’ll look to see if there are some good Naturopaths around. I’m sure I can find one. Even if it’s expensive, peace of mind and health are worth it. Thank you again. You have shed a light on a possible solution and I’m so happy you’re active about this and put the information out there. Bless you.

    3. Good luck! Be weary with naturopaths as well, I’ve been to many that aren’t useful. You have to keep looking into this yourself. They are useful for that IgG test though!

    4. Thanks Mikhaila! I’ll be sure to do some research into the local naturopaths first. The test will be the main thing I go to them for. As for the rest, I’ll keep looking into this to find the best way to deal with it.

  5. Boy do these work! Mikhaila, quick question:

    I begin to feel the effects fade off after 12 hours. Is it safe for me to take another 5 HTP?

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