Combating Depression, Anxiety and Insomnia

Combating Depression, Anxiety and Insomnia

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Naturally Fighting the Blues One Step at a Time

Depression, anxiety and insomnia all run in my family. Lucky me, eh? (Yes, I am from Michigan and I say “eh”.) I’ve written about my bouts of anxiety and how I suffer from chronic insomnia. Neither of which are fun. In fact, everything I have tried in the past has not worked for me and I’ve had terrible side effects. I’ve tried prescription medicine which has left me feeling loopy, forgetful, off balance and has even put me in the emergency room. I do not seem to do very well on prescription medicine when it comes to my mental health; I am very, very sensitive. Perhaps this could be my weight loss and my chemical balance being all messed up, I cannot really say.

Regardless, suffering from lack of sleep has made me extremely moody and my mouth becomes a volcano, stuff just spews out and then I feel remorse which leads to me feeling depressed and then I just want to sleep during the day or lack motivation to do anything because I’m too busy feeling sorry for myself. The to-do list piles up and then the anxiety begins and the vicious circle repeats itself.

Over-and-over!

It’s a lot of fun (I say sarcastically). I don’t want to put a label on myself saying I officially suffer from depression, so-to speak. Not because I’m ashamed of it, after-all one-in four people in the U.S. suffer from some type of mental health issue. It’s real; I know this and have experienced it first hand with family members.  The reason I don’t want to put this label on myself is I cannot really put my finger on how I’m feeling all the time, it’s like a roller coaster and when I talked to my doctor we both had a tough time pin-pointing the real issue at hand. Our minds, our hormones, our chemical make-up and biology…its complicated business and there isn’t a one size fits all solution for everyone and not every person with symptoms experiences the same thing. So no, I don’t officially suffer from depression or anxiety I am combating the symptoms and suffering from this vicious cycle for some reason and we’re trying to figure that out.

A Natural Prescription to Help with Depression, Anxiety and Insomnia

What we’ve come to conclude and try for the next two weeks has to do with nutrition, supplements and exercise. The doctor suspects I am deficient in vitamin D and living in Michigan where we still have two feet of snow on the ground, I concur with her.  In fact the research shows that low levels of vitamin D can lead to anxiety or depression. Interesting because I always feel much happier during the summer months and friends and family tote me as a sun worshiper. I guess my body knows what it needs so I follow the sun! For now I’ll take 2,000 IU of Vitamin D each morning, my multivitamin and at night 10mg of melatonin along with the Gentle Sleep Complex which contains Valerian. I guess the doctor says that there are studies supporting the combination of the two might help those who suffer from chronic insomnia and for me 3mg or 5 mg of melatonin doesn’t work so the maximum dose has been recommended. Everyone has to find the dose that works for them I guess? In addition,  when it is sunny out I’ll enjoy the sunshine (with sunscreen) for at least 15 minutes each day and exercise a minimum of 30 minutes. I always feel better when I exercise but the bad weather has certainly impacted this and for me, I prefer to take walks. I love being outside and walking in the fresh air!

Will this work for me? Could it work for you? It is so hard to say but using supplements, exercise and sunshine to help me feel better seems like a much better alternative than the latter, which put me in the emergency room and feeling very out-of body. This is my battle with feeling down, not sleeping and struggling with the constant anxiety over my to-list. Hopefully sharing my story and what I’m doing and what works for me will help you in some way shape or form but I highly suggest before making ANY changes in your diet or taking new supplements you talk with your personal physician. I’d love to hear from you and get your feedback, support and hear your story.

Disclaimer:  I link to the Shaklee Corporation products because this is what I use personally and what I recommend to others. I am a social media consultant for the Shaklee Corporation but I am not paid to link to their products or suggest this brand, it is just my opinion that these products are superior.

 

Poquette is a K12.com 3rd grade teacher, a social media and marketing consultant (in her free time), blogger and children’s book author. She has a knack for vetting bloggers, creating blogger campaigns and connecting brands and bloggers. She speaks locally, regionally and nationally on blogging, social media and education. She’s worked with top name brands and has been mentioned and featured in the New York Times, ABC News Online, The Wall Street Journal and several others.
  • CD

    Hi,

    Have you been tested for your Vitamin D levels to make sure you are really deficient? My doctor recommends a liquid form for me to take because she told me that Vit D in pill form does not get absorbed as well. I take Biotics Research Corporation Bio-D-Mulsion Forte. I also take 2,000 IU a day. One thing I have just begun is to meditate for 5 to 10 minutes when my anxiety gets particularly bad and it has helped. For awhile I was using a supplement to help me sleep with Valerian and GABA but I cannot recall the name of the product now. I’m sorry you are going through this. I too have anxiety and depression and it is a very tough juggling act to find something that really helps!

  • greenandcleanmom

    Hi CD, no I have not officially been tested but my symptoms are pointing in that direction and seeing that we live where it is winter for like 9 months out of the year, it is very likely. In fact it is very common here. We are going to try this route for 2 weeks to see if I notice any difference and this will be a good indicator. Just being outside in the sun today and taking the vitamin D yesterday and today has made me feel 10 times better so I am hopeful.

  • http://twitter.com/TheSamiCone Sami Cone

    Thanks for sharing, Sommer! I recently had my first panic attack and because I had no idea they existed, I literally felt like I was dying! I think it’s so important for us to share stories like these. http://samicone.com/i-had-a-panic-attack/

  • Kate

    I appreciate you sharing this Sommer. It’s amazing what a combination of things can coexist in a person…you are also such a dynamo!

    Someone I am close to (whose confidentiality I’ll protect by not being more specific) is diagnosed with depression and works on the research end of the pharmaceutical industry. “S” has tried a variety of conventional drugs, but based on his experience and the research he’s examined is not taking prescriptions and, like you, is treating it with vitamin D and exercise. Sunshine is less of an issue where he lives, but I know he gets exposure every day walking dogs.

    Anyway, my point being that someone who is in a very strong position to assess the options has taken the same approach and is pleased with the results. I hope this approach proves very helpful to you!

  • greenandcleanmom

    Thanks you Kate. It is hard to share this type of stuff but I have learned that it usually helps others and frankly, I’m not perfect and don’t want people to think I am. We all have stuff we are dealing with and I know from the outside it can look like everything is perfect but we all know that is most likely not the case. I want people to see me for being real. Thank you for your support, I appreciate you telling me about your friend, it helps!

  • greenandcleanmom

    Hi Sami! Wow, you had something very scary happen to you and I’m so glad your friend was there for you at church. I have not had a panic attack but I know people who have – it is awful. I will pray for us both. Keep me posted and let me know how I can support you. Hugs!

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