Good nutrition will make the ADs work more effectively. You need
Protein - and specifically the amino acid tryptophan that is in protein foods, this is a building block of serotonin.
B Complex - specifically B6, a co-factor in the production of serotonin. B6 is found in seeds, nuts, fish, poultry. B6 is also used for detoxification by the liver as well as many other body functions so if you have been leaning on your liver to detoxify alcohol, environmental toxins, food coloring and preservatives, BC pills and other medications you will have less B6 to produce your own serotonin. This is one of the reasons why depression is listed as a possible side effect of BC pills and other meds.
Other nutrients needed for conversion of tryptophan into serotonin are zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, vitamin c, and folate.
EPA/DHA from fish, fish oil, wild game or grass fed/pastured poultry and their eggs, beef, lamb etc. This helps by making the membranes that surrounded the nerve cells more fluid and more able to send / receive molecules of serotonin.
If you are under the care of a knowledgeable doctor/nutritionist you can take 5HTP with an AD to increase the serotonin more directly, but this is best not to do on your own, without tests to show you are indeed low on serotonin while taking your med.
Some ADs work with dopamine instead of serotonin, but similar nutrients are needed.
Boosting your diet for a couple weeks might make a huge difference. I know it's hard when you're down to eat well, but at least get in some protein shakes and a B complex and a capsule of fish oil that isn't rancid, Nordic Naturals is a good brand.
I didn't think there was a way to test serotonin levels? I've always been told there is no way to do this. Wish there was, would be much easier if I knew if this was just a serotonin issue alone or if my dopamine levels are off again too.
Thanks for the info.
"Diamonds aren't a girl's best friend, freedom is."
Along with what Inner said, and your medical issues I would really consider making sure that your Thyroid is ok if it hasn't been checked. One endocrine issue often means you will develop others.
Lastly there is a new AD that has come out, that has been received really well, and it has little to no sexual side effects, and doesn't have the weaning issue that some of the SSRI's do. It is call Brintellix. It is also an SSRI and has an almost immediate effect the other bonus that I have seen with this is less weight gain.
I'm not telling you need it, but it is something to consider when you rule out any other medical related issues.
Metametrix.com has sample panels, look up urine organic acids, and somewhere on the website are the more in depth explanations.
I'm curious about this urine test though...would my regular doctor order this or do I need to go to a holistic doctor?
Also, I was thinking maybe it's not depression...maybe I'm just tired of this shit. No AD is going to make me happy about the stuff in my life that sucks...right? And if they could, would I want that? Usually my AD's will help me deal with things better...right now nothing is really phasing me at all. I just shrug stuff off...that's not healthy.
Your thoughts around the feeling down being related to your situation rather than the ADs sounds like a good avenue to explore. Is it possible to find a counselor, mentor, confidante to discuss this with in depth?
[This message edited by InnerLight at 11:39 AM, March 20th (Thursday)]