Herbal cure

stjohnswort

The last couple of months haven’t been great for me.  I’ve felt very… thin skinned.

Ever felt like that?

Like the tiniest thing can break through and bring tears to the surface?

At first, I thought it might be hormonal.  It seemed to be in cycles.

I’m nearly 43 and I’ve had a hysterectomy which I’ve been told can trigger early menopause.

(I still have my ovaries… if they are removed you get menopause immediately)

So I’m quietly freaking out because not only am I feeling emotional a lot of the time but I’m thinking: “Shit!  I’m too young to be menopausal!”

It still took me 6 weeks to get to a doctor for a blood test (denial?) and when I did the blood tests came back clear.  I’m not menopausal.  Not even peri-menopausal… although the hormone levels are getting close.

Phew.

So then the question was – why the tears?

Was I depressed?

The doctor offered drugs… but saying yes to drugs seemed like giving up.

“You don’t have to feel like this”, she said.

Sure… but taking prescription drugs… I don’t want to be that person.

Not yet anyway.

So then she suggested I try St John’s Wort.

Two weeks later (denial again?) I gave it a go.

Instant resiliance.  Instant.

Hmmm I thought… what the hell am I taking?

At this point you are probably wondering why I didn’t Dr Google it before I took it… to be honest I just thought – hey it’s herbal, probably won’t make any difference, how effective could it be.

Which just goes to show that you shouldn’t take herbal medicine lightly.

Serious medical trials have been done which suggest that St John’s Wort is more effective than placebos in the treatment of mild to moderately severe forms of depression. (See also)

So… does that mean that I’ve given up?  That I have mild depression?

It’s a scary thought and one I’m choosing not to think about too much at the moment.  I prefer to think that I’m just going through a bad patch and that already things are looking better.

Hey I’m blogging more again… that’s got to be good sign. 

Doesn’t it?

7 Replies to “Herbal cure”

  1. I’ve been ‘that person’ but I was quite sure I was depressed, so it didn’t take much to convince me to try anti-depressants. I’ve had ‘low periods’ since then and have thought fleetingly about getting another prescription but next time I’m feeling like that I’ll try some St John’s Wort. And get more exercise. And cut down on the wine. And sleep more. It’s very easy, apparently, to set up a chemical imbalance through poor lifestyle choices, and I think full-blown depression starts with a little imbalance. That’s been my experience, anyway. Good luck to you and yes, it’s nice to see you blogging more regularly!

  2. I’m getting some. I don’t go to the doctors unless I know what’s wrong with me 🙂 but I have flat times. I usually find some astrological influence to blame… it’s how I manage. I enjoy your blogs.

    1. Joh, thank you… 🙂

      And Trish – yeah I agree with the exercise/diet/sleep treatment too. Trying to motivate myself to do it is the problem although I did climb Jacob’s ladder this morning.

  3. I think it’s great you have a doctor that supports more natural methods. Admittedly, by the time I got the help I needed, I was a bit past the “mild” stage but I’ve since asked about it and not gotten much support. 🙁 Good to hear it’s working for you.

  4. Different things work for different people. I find solace and fulfilment in writing. It staves off the depression. The distraction of contemplating university assignments at my age is my salvation. It is finding meaning in your life, however you find it, that is important. Not all depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain, some of it is existential.

  5. None of us want to feel like one of “those people”: people whose mental state alienates them from others and who sink further and further inside their own lost little worlds. But I think the fact that you have decided to take charge of your situation and try to change it is an indication that you’re far from being one of “those people”.

    It isn’t “giving in” to take medication. [My doctor REFUSED to give me any when I went to see him at the end of last year, in a desperate state. It made me wonder just how bad I’d have to be. He didn’t really REFUSE; but he did kindly but firmly tell me I was doing okay and didn’t need it.] Medication – even of the herbal types – not only takes the pressure off you, it takes the pressure off the people around you who are also shouldering the load of what you’re experiencing.

    Most importantly, what it can do is alleviate all those physical symptoms so that you have the breathing space to figure out what might be bringing this on. And that’s the most important thing of all: getting to the cause.

    And it isn’t ‘giving in’ to have depression any more than it is to be ill in any other way.

    I hope you keep improving. I had never experienced the kind of despair I felt earlier this year and the first time you realise that you’re getting better, it’s like a kind of miracle.

    Best of luck.

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