Saturday, 15 June 2013

Self-Medicating When the Black Dog Looms

For the past two or three weeks I have been struggling once again with the looming clouds of depression.

Trying to carry on a 'normal' way of life can be pretty difficult with black clouds hovering just out of sight and creeping daily nearer.

Luckily for me I now know the signs and do everything I can to evade the clutches of the 'enemy'.

This for me, includes taking a heftier than usual dose of St John's Wort in order to just skate on the surface rather than drown.

There is I know a huge raft of prescribed chemical medication out there for those with similar problems.  Many people find they work for them, and I'm very glad to hear that that is the case, but for me, tablets of anti-depressive drugs, no matter how effective, carry with them the not-so-well documented side effects.

In addition there is the danger of addiction.

For me the ideal treatment for any illness, of body or mind, is one manufactured from natural sources, plants and seeds and oils, rather than the much stronger synthetics manufactured by the pharmaceutical giants.

Sometimes, I know the reasons why the clouds are gathering, sometimes not, but there is a whole series of avoidance tactics I can employ and if they don't work, I then double  my daily dose of St. John's Wort.

There is a problem with all such 'natural' remedies, namely the interference of the EU with almost all the currently available supplements.

I have signed a petition in the probably vain hope of restricting their level of control, but other then that there is nothing to be done but to wait and see how much havoc they will wreak.

Meanwhile the fight goes on to side-step this latest black cloud.

Wish me luck.


  1. Being a depression sufferer myself Ray...I empathize with far my "art" has helped me out...but there are days when the "doom and gloom" descend and there is little light. I perhaps should try St. John's Wort!

  2. I would never dream of recommending any medication, have no training and no expertise at all Theanne.
    All I can say is it works for me, at least to the extent that it lifts my spirits to just above floor level.

  3. Ray, it is good to know that you recognize when things are going out of whack - that must give you at least some sense of having some agency in this situation. I have family members who suffer from depression, and it is sad how it can just suck the life out of everything. Here's hoping that your St John's Wort will help re-orient you, along with the knowledge that you have friends who care for you.

  4. While I greatly appreciate cyber friends, I fear it is the lack of just one really close friend nearby which is at the root of most of my problems Penny.
    As I have said St. John's Wort does at least (for the most part), keep me afloat.

  5. Ray, I'm sorry to hear that the black clouds are looming and admire you for knowing which medications do and don't work for you. I do pray that this latest overshadowing will clear before long.

    1. Thanks Perpetua, I will be seeing my eldest brother this Wednesday (the first time since John's funeral) so that may well prove the necessary booster.

  6. How quickly does StJW work [i.e. make a positive difference to one's mood]? With Prozac and other prescribed SSRI treatments one has to let them build up for a while before any benefit is noticed.

  7. I don't know that I can answer that Colin. It probably depends on the individual.
    What I do know is that I have been taking it since a couple of months after my husband's death (Aug 2009), and while I can't pretend it is an instant mood lifter, the days when I forget to take it I immediately feel a drop in spirits.
    When I am really low I double the dose and do then feel the relief from the black cloud immediately.