Our psychological wellbeing is directly related to our physical state.
In my practice as a counsellor I often meet people who were advised by their GP to take an antidepressant, but are reluctant to do so. Counselling enables you to address the issues that make your life stressful, but I would also suggest small changes in your diet and lifestyle, that will make a big difference.
These are the vitamins and supplements you might consider taking before starting on a serious medication.
Researchers are now discovering that vitamin D may play an important role in our mental health. Vitamin D acts on the areas of your brain that are linked to depression, but it is not yet clearly understood how it works.
There is a growing amount of research into low moods and vitamin D. There does seem to be a link between low levels of vitamin D in the blood and symptoms of depression. However, research hasn’t yet shown clearly whether low vitamin D levels cause depression, or whether low vitamin D levels develop because someone is depressed. However, since vitamin D can greatly benefit your immune system, there is no reason why you should not supplement your diet with it, especially during winter months.
Research indicates that the majority of mentally ill have deficiencies in B-vitamin complex. The recommended daily dose is 25-50mg daily. Even completely balanced and happy people tend to become depressed and experience other symptoms of emotional disturbance when made niacin or folic acid deficient.
Another mineral, essential for our mental wellbeing, is Magnesium. It is important for proper nerve functioning. Recommended dose – 250-500 mg daily. If you are struggling with insomnia, I would really recommend trying Magnesium before sleeping pills.
Omega-3 is another great mood booster – it contains DHA, which forms about half of all the fat in brain cell membranes. It is needed to build and preserve pliable brain cell structures so the brain can work effectively. DHA is shown to improve mood by boosting serotonin levels. You need to take a supplement for at least a month before you will feel the difference. When you buy a supplement, make sure it contains both EHA and DHA.