Get off Antidepressants
For ten years I was on antidepressants. I was a single mom, supporting two children. I lived far from my family and had no support system. I read about the long-term effects of antidepressants on the liver. I also come from a family where taking medication is supposed to be a last resort. For these reasons, I began to explore alternative medicine. I knew I wanted to get off the antidepressants, but I had to figure out how. Not only that, but I gotten to a point where the medication was not working as well for me and it became one grand experiment to see if the right drug could be found.
I explored things like herbal remedies, aromatherapy, and energy work such as Reiki. All of those things helped a little, but not enough to make me feel confident in abandoning my medication. Then one day, I was in Canada with my cousin Melody. We happened to walk by a convention center and the sign outside said, "Alternative and Complementary Medicine." We walked in and they asked if we were medical practitioners. We said no and were told we could not come in. Melody said, "I have stage 4 breast cancer and I need to come in here to see if there is anything that can help me," so they let us in.
Alpha-Stim: Technology that Helps!
I was fortunate enough to come across a product called the Alpha-Stim. Like the name suggests, the machine stimulates alpha brain waves. It's a small, hand-held device with a cord that has padded clips that you attach to your earlobes. The pads are moistened with a conductivity fluid.
Like most alternative medicine/products, this one was not covered by insurance. I fought with my insurance company, but to no avail. I provided them with the studies, but since they were not done in America, they did not count.
I waited a several more years because I felt I could not come up with the $500 needed to purchase the device. If I had done the math, I would have saved that much from the co-pays on my medication in about two years.
When I finally bought the machine, I used it everyday for an hour. Within a week I felt significantly better. Eventually, I was able to use it less and less and now I just use it periodically. Even when my medication was working reasonably well, I never felt as good as when I started using the Alpha-Stim.
Although insurance does not cover the device, you still have to get a prescription from your doctor in order to order one. Luckily, my doctor does not feel threatened by my tendency to use all things natural and it was easy to get the prescription. Other health practitioners may not be so cooperative.
If you are not sure if this is the right path for you, I believe you can also rent the device.
To learn more, go to www.alpha-stim.com.
Serotonin: The New Science
Many people take Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SRIs) for depression. Serotonin is the Neurotransmitter that keeps us feeling safe and secure. The current research tells us that 95% of serotonin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract and that taking probiotics can make that environment more conducive to producing serotonin. In addition, the supplement 5-HTP can provide serotonin without the side effects of medications.
Always consult with your medical provider when considering any changes.
Alternatives to Traditional Talk Therapy
In recent years, I have been exploring and finding other natural therapies for depression, anxiety and other conditions. About five years ago, I tried hypnotherapy for the first time. I went due to extreme menopausal symptoms where I thought I was going to punch someone at a meeting or break down and cry while teaching a class. I would literally jump out of bed in the middle of the night because I thought I was on fire from hot flashes. I was so amazed at how powerful one session was that I went on to become a Certified Hypnotherapist myself. Through those studies and further exploration, I have found that hypnotherapy, guided imagery and other mind-body practices are extremely effective for many health issues. More and more science is now proving what those of us who have experienced these therapies know first hand. You can start exploring and experiencing these by finding YouTube videos to try out. I have a link to some resources on my website, www.positivemoves.us.