Spill the pills
Updated: Jan 22
All views in this article are my own and these are methods that I found that have helped me.
These are my experiences with pills and improving my mental health, everyone is different and some medications and suppliments can react differently depending on the person who takes them. In this article I go through the antidepressants and alternatives I took.
Once you take in something that you have never consumed, listen to your body response.
There are plenty of antidepressants and plenty of variations SSRI, SNRI, NASSA, TCA and MAOI I can only write from my point of view, I have no medical background but these are my experiences with three antidepressants that were given to me.
If you need support for your mental health pleas seek advice from your GP.
If you have been prescribed antidepressants and feel they are either not working for you or you are unhappy with the side effects please talk to your GP about your medication, furthermore if you decide to change dose or stop taking your medication please only do so on the advice of your doctor.
Citalopram was the first antidepressant I was prescribed.
I don't recall having too many issues with this antidepressant other than it caused issues with my sex drive. When this was explained to my doctor he changed my antidepressant to Mirtazapine.
I must have been on citalopram for over a month, not really long enough to know if it helped my mental state at all or notice any other side effects if any that I may have had.
This is where it got interesting for me, I got switched to Mirtazapine and only stayed on the lower 15mg but I took this for a few months. I became more snappy and aggressive in my nature.
I only started to notice my behaviour as it was coming up to Christmas in 2016 I was not myself at all, I just felt angry and to me, this felt out of character. I also started to get agitated at night time, shaking my leg as it helped me calm down somewhat when I was worked up.
As soon as I stopped Mirtazapine I noticed all these symptoms start to disappear and the anger and aggressiveness I had been having started to go and I started to feel more myself, although still feeling depressed I am not really an angry and aggressive person.
When I started to come off I was given Diazepam too, I was struggling with sleep and my agitation at night wasn't helping.
I was then put on Sertraline, I wasn't on this for long at all with only taking a few of these I become like a zombie, everything was slow and I felt like I could more or less be sat there drooling, I wasn't but I can still recall the days at work sat in-front of my computer feeling nothing, I felt emotionless, I had no energy and just generally felt like I couldn't really do much.
I got told about Kalms tablets, no need to be prescribed as they derive from herbs.
I was prescribed with four tablets as these can be addictive. These were prescribed to me because I was having trouble sleeping I am not sure if it was just because of the sleeping or whether it was because I was also coming off of Mirtazapine. Some nights I would get really restless too shaking my leg, getting agitated and these helped me fall asleep more calmly at this time.
After taking Sertraline I then went on to having Kalms Day which I took three times a day.
I ended up taking Kalms and I remained on Kalms for about six months. I know how much of a dark place I was in over the period of taking antidepressants and these symptoms eased and things got better. Taking two of these before bed helped me to sleep and could help stop me being aggitated in bed, my mood started to lift, the noise went out my head and my general mood improved.
I took Kalms along with vitamins as I had done some research into vitamins and how they can improve mental health too.
After going through antidepressants and alterntatives I decided to try vitamins I did a lot of research into which vitamins could benifit me at the time and these were what I used.
The vitamins and minerals I took, which were purchased from Holland and Barrett
Vitamin B Complete B Complex
Containing all the B vitamins I needed which can help aid in better mental health
Vitamin C and Zinc Lozenges
I take these nightly and is the only vitamin I have been persistent in taking.
Cod Liver Oil 1000mg
Also containing Vitamin D this helps get the boost of Vitamin D needed if not getting out in the sun much.
Herbal Authority Ginko Biloba Liquid Extract
I did a lot of research at the time but here is a quick bit of information from the research, you can find a lot more detail with a google search if you want to read much more into vitamins and minerals that can help improve mental health.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Vitamin B1 helps to convert glucose into energy and has a role in nerve function. B1 can stabilise your mood.
Without Vitamin B1 the brain can rapidly run out of energy. This can lead to depression, irritability and anxiety.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Vitamin B2 is primarily involved in converting food into energy and also acts as an antioxidant. B2 can regulate mood and energy.
A deficiency can be a cause of anxiety.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Vitamin B3 helps in cellular signalling, metabolism and DNA production and repair. B3 can stabilise your mood.
Deficiencies in vitamin B3 can produce agitation, stress and anxiety, as well as mental and physical slowness.
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
Vitamin B5 helps your body obtain energy from food and is also involved in hormone and cholesterol production
Without Vitamin B5 you can get chronic stress, fatigue, depression and insomnia.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
This vitamin helps the body process amino acids and is also needed to make serotonin, melatonin and dopamine. B6 forms haemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body.
Vitamin B6 deficiency can cause insomnia, depression, irritability and mental confusion.
An older class of antidepressants, the monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), has also been linked to deficiencies of vitamin B6, but these aren't prescribed much anymore. ~ Verywell Mind
Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
Vitamin B7 is needed for healthy metabolism and creating important enzymes.
One of the effects of a deficiency of Biotin is depression.
Vitamin B9 (Folate)
This B vitamin is needed for DNA synthesis and cell growth. The man-made form of folate is called folic acid. B9 supports proper brain function and can improve your mood.
Folate deficiency symptoms include tiredness, fatigue, weakness and an increased risk of depressed mood
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
A lack in Vitamin B12 can lead to deficiencies in oxygen in the blood as B12 is important to red blood cell production. The body stores B12 in the liver and Vitamin B12 has a close relationship with folate, as both depend on the other to work properly. B12 helps with melatonin and serotonin production, essential for mood and sleep.
A deficiency can lead to to a variety of neurologic and psychiatric symptoms including mood swings, irritability, depression and mania.
Liver and other organs (B1,B2,B3,B5,B6,B7,B9,B12)
Chicken and Turkey (B2,B3,B5,B6,B12)
Salmon and Trout (B1,B2,B3,B5,B6,B12)
Vitamin C can have a positive effect on mental health, it can help improve both mood and cognitive function also studies have shown it can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Citrus fruits, Strawberries
Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts
Red and Green peppers
The sunshine vitamin, the human body absorbs Vitamin D primarily through exposure to the sun. If you are able to get outside when you can, even for 10 minutes, this will increase the amount of Vitamin D your body produces, For those who work indoors or are stuck indoors there are other sources to get your daily intake.
Fish liver oils
Vitamin D fortified food products, like orange juice and cereal
Vitamin E is linked to better mental function. Vitamin E is an antioxident, it is believed to help with reducing oxidative stress, it is used up fast in times of stress or anxiety, supplements may help restore the balance and reduce symptoms.
Nuts and seeds
Plant oils like soy, corn and olive oil
Some fruits and vegetables such as mango, kiwi, avocado and peppers
Other Supplements and minerals
Cod Liver Oil
Many studies have found that the omega-3 fatty acids in cod liver oil can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Also along with the omega-3 fatty acids cod liver oil contains both vitamin A & D which both provide other health benefits.
The omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D in cod liver oil may help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, but more studies are needed. ~ Healthline
Magnesium may be a helpful natural treatment for anxiety and stress. It may aid in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety and may help to stabilise your mood.
Magnesium is sometimes referred to as the stress antidote. ~ Huffington post
Spinach, kale, chard,
Zinc is a mineral crucial for our brain health and mood. We need zinc to make neurotransmitters and has many important processes of the body.
Beef, Lamb and Pork
Nuts and Seeds
Dairy and Eggs
Ginkgo has been repeatedly evaluated for its ability to reduce anxiety and stress. It can enhance mental performance and supports healthy cerebral blood flow, which helps oxygen flow to the brain and also has links to reducing anxiety and depression.