Antidepressant alternatives: Natural drug-free first aid kit for depression and anxiety

The loss of my mother-in-law recently prompted me to relook at depression and anxiety. Certainly there is a difference between temporary grief and chronic depression but the two can feel similar. I took antidepressant Paxil for years and my husband was on Lexapro and Wellbutrin. I gained 100 pounds during the time on the drug and also lost a stillborn child. So those were both obviously depressing but it was more than just that. Paxil (paroxetene) made me disoriented and lethargic.

So I searched out natural antidepressant alternatives. Here's my supplement and herbal first aid kit for depression. Using five simple "ingredients" my husband and I have been able to wean off antidepressants and treat anxiety. It's not a perfect solution but then nothing is--and it's certainly better than where we were. We're actually happier off the happy pill! Here's what you need:

magnesium (preferably powdered effervescent magnesium--we use Mellow Mag by True Goodness)
vitamin B complex with extra B-12
vitamin D
St. John's Wort
Kava Kava (found primarily at health food stores)

We also work to eat healthier and keep refined sugar and processed foods out of the diet. 

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education. 

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