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St Johns Wort for Depression.

(5 Posts)
DrGoogleWillSeeYouNow Thu 10-Jan-13 14:13:57

I’m thinking of giving it a try but I’m not decided. I haven’t seen a GP and been diagnosed but I think I’m suffering with very mild depression – low mood, no energy, tired but can’t sleep at bedtime due to racing thoughts, I can get up and function no problem at work and I do what needs doing at home, still get washed, dressed, put on make-up every day, but I don’t seem to get much enjoyment from things that I would have in the past, and I just feel disconnected from life in general iyswim.

I think a contributory factor is that my relationship is floundering, but I can’t help thinking that if I can feel a bit better then I’ll be able to deal with the relationship stuff and sort it out. At the moment I can’t because I don’t trust my own judgement and I’m scared of committing to something one way or another in case it’s the wrong decision.

Has anyone tried St Johns Wort? Did it work and if so, how long did it take to start working? Were you recommended to take it by a GP or did you just start taking it yourself? Did you have any side effects?

Thanks in advance.

kfs Thu 10-Jan-13 21:37:21

I've been taking it for ages. I would say it works. Because it's been so long that I've taken it, I can't remember how long it took to kick in. You've got to read up on it though, it doesn't get on with some other medication (again, memory fails me, it was nothing that I took, so I forgot. When I start taking something new, I usually ask the chemist if it's ok with the SJW).
It's quite popular in Germany, which is how I knew about it, as I come from that neck of the woods. It has no side effect for me. I'd much rather take SJW than anything my GP has ever prescribed for mild depression (for example, setraline, which I could not tolerate at all).
I'd say, give it a go for a few weeks, and if you don't improve, see your GP. Don't expect miracles though, the effect might be quite subtle.

LadyMedea Fri 11-Jan-13 22:49:35

Mind has a good basic guide - http://www.mind.org.uk/mental_health_a-z/8015_st_johns_wort-hypericum_perforatum.

Big warning - it can interfere with contraceptive pill! Use condoms!

orangina Fri 11-Jan-13 23:03:06

I found it made my depression worse a few years ago.... I tried it for a few weeks (many years ago when I was going through a very bad patch) and I can honestly say I don't think I have ever felt worse. Plus it did very strange things to my eyes and eyesight while I was taking it.

In the end, I started taking 5-HTP and Rhodiola instead (plus a large dose of B vits and vit D) which suited me MUCH better.

Lots of talk about all of these on various internet forums if you do a bit of digging......

NanaNina Sat 12-Jan-13 18:44:40

I'm wondering why you aren't consulting a GP, rather than Dr. Google.....you may well be depressed because of your relationship problems, but this is known as reactive depression (meaning you know why you are depressed) on the other hand you could just be feeling down because of the relationship problem, but not clinically depressed. Is there a reason why you won't see a GP. Many people don't want to do this but one third of all GP consultations are related to mental health problems. They usually have a checklist and can tell whether you are mildly, moderately or severely depressed. As you say yours is quite mild.

Have you thought of seeing a therapist as this can be helpful to talk to someone right outside of the situation. It is availanle on the NHS but there is usually a long waiting list. If you can afford it, they are usually around £50 an hour dependent on where you live. If you do go downthis route then google BACP (British Assoc of Counsellors and therapists) you have to be registered to be on this list, so at least you will know you are seeing someone who is properly trained.

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