How to Fight Depression and Anxiety: 20 Tips on Fighting Anxiety, Depression, and Fatigue Naturally

June 9, 2011 · 163 comments

How to Fight Depression and Anxiety

How to Fight Depression and Anxiety

Thank you, Jill, for today’s guest post and for your willingness to to share all you’ve been through in your battle with anxiety, depression, and fatigue and how to fight it naturally.  Your story will be a source of hope and healing for many!

By the way, if you have a teen or preteen struggling in these areas, see the post on How to fight depression and anxiety – help for teens.

First, a personal note:

A close friend of mine has fought anxiety issues since she was a teenager and when she tries to go off meds, it rears its ugly head again and leads to panic attacks, chronic pain, and insomnia.  I’m hoping some of these suggestions can help her.  At this point she’s back on the meds, because while she hates the side effects, at least she has a life again.  I’d love for her to try the GAPS Diet for a real chance at total healing (this diet heals the gut, i.e. the digestive and immune system; gut health and brain health are directly connected!), but she’s just not at a place in her life right now where she could pull something like that off.  (The diet is a lot of work, even for someone who is already familiar with things like making bone broths and fermented foods.  It’s definitely doable, but not always easy.)  How I wish that doctors years ago, or even doctors now, knew about this so she wouldn’t have had to suffer for so long…  We’ve asked her to move in with us for a while so I could cook all her meals and give her lots of support, but she has a busy family that need her and she understandably doesn’t want to just step out of her life like that.  (This is a different friend than the one who graciously shared her story of weaning from Paxil.  Be sure to see that post for loads of information on going off meds – don’t miss the comment section!)

I’m praying like crazy that the information, links, and resources in this post will bring my friend, and any of you out there who are suffering, to hope and healing.  Feel free to email me if I can help you in any way.  Kelly@KellytheKitchenKop.com.

And have you seen my post about my “All Natural Chill Pill“?

Also, Rescue Remedy is a very safe, natural supplement for episodes of anxiety that is popular for all ages, and even animals.  You might want to give it a try!

Here’s Jill’s story, and what helped her to get better:

(I’ve shared a few of my own comments in italics.)

Sometimes life drops a bomb in your lap that leaves you reeling.  Other times the stresses of life can gradually wear on a person until something within them breaks and they are thrown into depression, an anxiety disorder, or chronic fatigue.  We are only human after all.  For me it was a bomb in the form of a sexual assault about 12 years ago, which left me struggling for years with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and all of the depression, anxiety, and eventually fatigue that goes with it.  I’m happy to say that I have been free from PTSD symptoms as well as depression and anxiety for several years now.

One of the important aids along my journey was that of implementing dietary and lifestyle approaches to building up my body and mind. It’s surprising how dramatically a major emotional struggle can effect our physical body and health.  And when our bodies are not functioning well, our mental health is further affected and a self-perpetuating cycle can develop.

There were no magic bullets for me, but time, faith, and applying the approaches I am sharing below helped over time to move me out of that cycle and on to wellness.

Much of what I am sharing was discovered by experience and later validated by further research in books and on some good natural health internet sites, as well as guidance from a healthcare provider experienced in natural hormone balance.  I hope that my story will provide some tools as well as hope for others who feel stuck in a cycle of depression, anxiety, and/or exhaustion.

(By the way, although I did not use pharmaceuticals–I tried Paxil very briefly, but my side effects were enough to make me drop the approach completely–I realize that for many people, prescription anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication may be very helpful and even necessary.  None of what I am sharing is intended to replace professional guidance.)

Before jumping in, I think it’s important to start from a perspective that recognizes that God did an amazing job creating us.

When you are in a depressed, anxious, or severely exhausted state it can feel like that’s just how life will be from that point on, but our bodies and minds really were designed to heal–what we need to do is cooperate with the process by providing our body with support that works for that process and not against it.  Of course there are differences between people and what works well for one person may not work for another, but here is a list of basic recommendations for helping the healing process along, and these apply fairly universally:

1.  Cut way back on or completely eliminate sugar and refined carbs (white bread, white pasta, white rice, etc…).  The reason for this is that big fluctuations in blood sugar create stress in our bodies.  Both high and low blood sugar cause your body to release a surge of adrenaline and cortisol, which are stress (fight-or-flight) hormones.  (I would add that lowering your intake of all starches would be helpful, even whole grains can spike blood sugar.) Why add stress to stress?  For people battling anxiety these surges can trigger panic attacks.  Prolonged stress also creates imbalances that can cause hypoglycemia.  This is an example of emotional stress leading to physical problems that in turn add more emotional stress.

2.  Don’t go too long between or skip meals (if you feel hungry, you already have low blood sugar, so healthy between-meal snacks are also good–or several small meals per day instead of 3 big ones), and be sure to include plenty of quality protein and fat with every meal in order to help keep that blood sugar stable.  Stable blood sugar goes a long way in helping to support stable stress hormones.  Definitely not a good time to eat a low fat, low protein (vegetarian), or high carb diet. Butter (not margarine or hydrogenated shortening), olive oil, avocados, coconut oil, walnuts, eggs with the yolks, full-fat raw dairy, grass-fed meats, cod liver oil...all good stuff.  (I would add to this list even more pastured animal fats like lard or beef tallow, too.) Though continually vilified, cholesterol is a building block of hormones, which tend to get out of balance under prolonged stress, so there’s another good reason to remain friends with animal foods.  (Yes!)

3.  Think nutrient dense. Often, people under emotional stress have a difficult time eating or experience changes in metabolism.  I remember having a hard time eating (from nausea, upset stomach, etc…) or after eating it didn’t seem like the calories or nutrition were being absorbed.  You definitely don’t want to waste any eating effort on worthless foods, so bypass processed junk and go for real, whole foods.

4.  Along those same lines, many people battling depression or anxiety have the added complication of stomach or intestinal problems as a result of the stress.  Our brains and gastrointestinal tracts are connected far beyond what most people would imagine and one profoundly affects the other (which is why the GAPS Diet is so effective in battling emotional problems!) Be extra kind to your digestive system and consider adding probiotics (especially if you have frequent diarrhea) or digestive enzymes.  Food preparation can make a big difference as well.  I wish I knew at the time how soothing bone broths could be to your stomach and how easily the nutrients from it are absorbed.  If you are a regular reader of Kelly’s blog you already know about the benefits of traditional food preparation and there’s no better time to apply that knowledge than when your body really needs it!

5.  Many people experiencing stress and fatigue find that they crave salt. As it turns out, we often need more salt during such times–your body will tell you if you need it.  Raw, unprocessed salt (Celtic, Himalayan, Real Salt, etc…) is easier for your body to use properly than regular table salt, plus it contains a full array of trace minerals, which are also needed while under stress.

6.  Try to get plenty of sleep. Don’t let yourself run on empty in any way, whether it be an empty tank from not eating, or an empty tank from being sleep deprived.  Sleep deprivation taxes your adrenals big time (you know the phrase “running on adrenaline”), which contributes to the problem.  Take naps if you need to and sleep in on weekends if you get the chance.  Our bodies and minds do a ton of repair work while we’re sleeping.  Maintaining a consistent, relaxing bedtime routine, sleeping in complete darkness, avoiding overstimulating evening activities (high intensity exercise, stressful conversation/conflict, suspenseful movies, etc…), and avoiding caffeine and sugar (especially in the evenings) all help promote quality sleep.   (Another idea:  even though she’s not Catholic, I just sent my friend a Rosary because she thought it might help her to relax and sleep:  the repetition, the beads to hold in her hands… and who better to fall asleep with than Jesus and His Mom – it’s not just for Catholics!  Also, see this post for more suggestions on how to get more sleep – don’t miss the comments where all the good stuff is.)

7.  Often these stress-related challenges leave people with insomnia, which was a big problem for me.  Melatonin, kava or other sleep-promoting teas, herbs, or supplements can be helpful (my favorite is Relax-All by MRM–it doesn’t drug you or leave you groggy in the morning but helps immensely in promoting quality sleep).  I received some great advice during two separate seasons in my life when I really struggled with insomnia.  The first is if you wake in the middle of the night and you know there is just no way you are going to sleep, rather than stress over it (which makes it worse), get up, brew some herbal tea, and have some quiet time to yourself to pray, read something relaxing or your Bible (no suspense thrillers!), or write in a journal.  If you are going to be awake at night, you might as well make it a quality time.  The other piece of advice I received is in the morning after not sleeping well, focus on the sleep that you DID get rather than on what you did not get and be thankful for it–somehow it seems to double the effects of sleep so that one hour becomes like two.

8.  Eating a small snack with protein before bed will help prevent blood sugar drops in the middle of the night, which can also prevent a middle of the night panic attack and promote undisturbed sleep (that used to be a common time for me to get panic attacks–even now if I go to bed on an empty stomach I can sometimes feel slight shaking and increased heart rate, which keeps me up).  A handful of almonds or a glass of raw, whole milk are good, quick options and can even head off a low blood sugar-induced panic attack if you catch it at the beginning.

9.  Cut back on or gradually eliminate caffeine. It revs you up unnaturally and contributes to exhaustion if you are already at that place.  It stimulates stress hormones too, which you don’t need any extra of.  Tulsi (holy basil) tea is supportive of adrenal health and is a good alternative.  If you want something that tastes like coffee see if you can find Teecchino–it comes in grounds that are just like coffee to brew and has a coffee taste and texture, but is completely herbal and decaffeinated (and yummy).   (You can find Teecchino here.  I also really like Dandy Blend.)

10.  Take about 20 minutes in the afternoons to chill. Put your feet up, drink some relaxing herbal tea or eat a snack, and just relax.  It will switch your gears a bit and recharge your battery, especially if it’s been a busy day.  This is really important in cases of adrenal exhaustion–pushing yourself without breaks will further damage your body, which negatively effects your emotional and mental health even more.

11. Exercise is great physically and mentally and has been proven to be quite effective in healing depression, but don’t overdo it. If you feel exhausted you will start over-taxing your system instead of rebuilding it, so listen to your body. Getting outside in and of itself can be therapeutic, so even a light walk can be great.

12.  Sunshine is very therapeutic in dealing with depression and stress related issues. Not only does it supply much-needed vitamin D (as long as you are not slathered with sunscreen), but the bright light from the sun positively influences brain chemistry and hormone balance.  Think about all the people who experience winter time depression–we need the sun!  I remember craving sunshine while I was really struggling.  It seemed to mysteriously ease some of my emotional pain and was very soothing, even though I had not yet read any scientific explanation for why that was.  Just don’t go overboard and burn yourself!

13.  Don’t forget to laugh and have fun! Studies prove that laughter is incredibly healing for our minds and bodies.  But I don’t think we need studies to tell us that–we have all experienced the refreshment that comes from a fun day out (at the beach, mountains, or whatever) or after a good laugh. And on the other side of that coin, if you feel like crying, by all means cry.  Tears were made for a reason and a good cry can be at least as stress relieving as a good laugh!

14.  A variety of herbs are helpful for bringing stress hormones into balance–like tulsi (holy basil) mentioned above.  Many Chinese herbs are commonly used for that purpose.  Ginseng can be a bit over stimulating for some people, but rhodiola helps promote “calm” energy and is a better choice for those who are battling panic attacks and is also supportive in relieving depression.  (Find rhodiola here.)  Adaptogens are substances (like some Chinese herbs) that help our bodies adapt to stress and to regulate its stress response.  Many herbs fall under the category of adaptogens–you can find a lot of information online on adaptogens.  Maca root is the root of a cruciferous plant that grows in the mountains of South America (sometimes called Peruvian ginseng) and is another popular adaptogen.  It contains alkaloids that have been found to help support the endocrine system and fight stress and fatigue.  It is less expensive if you buy bags of the raw powder rather than capsules and only a very small amount is used (1/2 to 1 teaspoon a day mixed in water or food), so it lasts a long time.  (Find raw Maca root powder here.)  Amino acid therapy is another natural approach to consider researching.

15.  One of the books I read on stress said that humans are one of the only “animals” who don’t make their own vitamin C!  Interestingly, it said that when animals are under stress their bodies make large additional quantities of vitamin C for their bodies to use. In addition to vitamin C, B vitamins are also important during times of stress and can make a big difference for some people.

16.  Cod liver, fish, or krill oil are recommended for anything stress, anxiety, or depression related. Some studies have shown they can be equally effective as prescription meds for mild to moderate depression, so it really does work, plus it’s actually good for you.  I wouldn’t take any less than 1,000 mg/day, 2,000 or more is probably better (although my understanding is that krill oil absorbs more readily, so apparently you can take less of it).  (Find the fermented cod liver oil here, which I recommend because it’s the most natural and has all the right ratios of vitamin A to vitamin D – experiment with amounts, I’d probably start with 1 Tablespoon/day or 3 caps for those with these type of problems or other health issues.  If you wonder if that’s too much D, you may want to be tested.  Remember I am not a doctor or naturopath!)

UPDATE:  Get the combo oil here with fermented cod liver oil, coconut oil, skate liver oil and butter oil!

17.  There are other more interventional type approaches (such as bio-identical hormone therapy), but I think it’s advisable to seek the guidance of a naturopath or other health care provider well versed in natural treatment of depression, anxiety, and adrenal fatigue before venturing too far beyond the basic recommendations that you would most likely be told to follow anyway.

18.  See below for books that were the most helpful for me.

19.  The vast size of the supplement section designated for stress in any natural foods or supplement store is a testament to the fact that if you are struggling with these issues, you are not alone.  The other side of this is that we sometimes forget that it is normal to experience occasional depression or anxiety, even for periods of time.  The human experience includes the full spectrum of emotions, including difficult as well as wonderful seasons of life and everything in between.  I wonder if we sometimes have unrealistic expectations of ourselves and neglect to give ourselves permission to grieve or otherwise process emotional challenges.  I know how scary it is to “crash” and feel that your mind, emotions, and body are out of control.  Talking with others who understand, especially someone who has been there and made it through, can help to balance hopelessness and remind you of the reality that people are not only fragile, but also resilient.

20.  For me, the above tips were in lieu of meds–I actually tried Paxil briefly and the side effects were awful, so I gave up quickly on that route.  I figured out what I shared by both research and trial and error.  No meds now, or since the first couple months of trying to deal with PTSD way, way back.  Healing was very much gradual–so gradual that sometimes it didn’t feel like I was making progress, but when I looked back over several months and especially a year’s time I could see quite a bit of progress. It’s sort of like 1 1/2 steps forward, 1 big step back.  Really, to be free of the PTSD it was about 5 years, but keep in mind that during those years I was continually, slowly improving, so that by the end of those years I found myself wondering, “Gosh am I ‘normal’ now?  Maybe!”  Of course, what is “normal” anyway? :-)  I like to say it’s a setting on your washing machine.  I’m not sure if anybody really completely arrives at “normal” in this life!

About Jill:

“We live in Waco, TX–just moved last summer after living in Hawaii (on the Big Island) which was after we lived in South Africa–lots of transition in the last few years.  I’m a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of Luke, who is almost 16, and Hannah, who is almost 18 and will be starting college at Baylor University in the fall. My husband, David, is the acute care and outpatient therapy manager (physical, occupational, and speech therapy) at a hospital here in Waco.  I’ve been doing well (PTSD and related health issues) for several years now–probably 7 or 8 years, though I find my stress tolerance level isn’t what I think it used to be.  Of course I’m not as young as I used to be either!”

Resources to check out from Jill:

  • The Bible (this was and still is my anchor to reality and a constant reminder of my inexhaustible source of hope)

More ideas from me:

photo and another

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  • { 155 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Laura--The Sushi Snob June 9, 2011 at 12:15 am

    My husband and I have both battled depression, and eating a whole food diet helps a lot with it. Thank you for your story, Jill!

    Reply

    2 Mary June 9, 2011 at 7:12 am

    Lots of great tips! I have struggled with anxiety, OCD and digestive problems for years. I too have implemented many of these ideas and have experienced quite a bit of healing. I’m currently working on GAPS…and have found it VERY helpful! Nourishing food really can heal the mind. It’s quite amazing.

    Reply

    3 Alison June 9, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Kelly, under number 17 you said you recommend starting with one ‘T.’ per day of CLO. I think you meant one ‘t.’ but maybe should clarify by writing it out! :) Thanks!

    Reply

    4 KitchenKop June 9, 2011 at 8:28 am

    I actually meant Tablespoon, but I’ll fix it (and add clarification), thank you!

    Reply

    5 Heather M June 9, 2011 at 7:40 am

    I believe her adrenals are zapped. And, if they are she will need a doctors help on healing them (dessicated adrenal from a compounding pharmacy) the stuff online is not strong enough. Plus, the nutrient dense food is a must. It is not easy (unfortunately) to find a doctor who is good with adrenals, most of them want to put a person on steroids, which is wrong.

    Reply

    6 Amanda June 9, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Thanks for sharing, Jill. I wish I’d had these wise words of advice back in college when I ended upon Lexapro after three stressful years of school and my best friend having a grand mal seizure in my car while I was driving. I didn’t want to go on drugs, but my doctor convinced me otherwise – along with “healthy” foods (veggies and low fats mostly), lots of sleep, no caffeine and a few trips to a really HORRIBLE counselor.

    The side effects of the medication caused insomnia, exhaustion, nausea (I lived on ginger ale for months) and a drastic weight gain that I STILL haven’t lost over 5 years later – and not for lack of trying. The whole year I took meds was one trial after another – they “couldn’t get the dosage right” – so my prescription bounced up and down and up and down – AHHH! As if being depressed and anxious wasn’t bad enough – now I was fat, exhausted and starting to feel like a lab rat.

    Thank you – again – for sharing your experiences and wisdom. I hope your words will encourage others to try as many natural things as possible before resulting to medication.

    Reply

    7 Genevieve June 9, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Thanks for posting this. I’m currently struggling with PPD in the form of OCD and anxiety. Glad to know that I’m heading down the right path to help myself as I’m doing the majority of these things currently.

    Reply

    8 Jill Boman June 9, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Oh, Genevieve! I’m glad you are already making wise choices to help yourself along. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–I was quite a wreck for a time and I truly believe that if God can pull me out, he can pull anyone out! Hang in there and keep walking forward!

    Reply

    9 Elizabeth Walling June 9, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Wonderful tips! These lay a beautiful foundation for healing mood problems. It was through many of these methods that I recovered from severe mood swings and symptoms of depression myself. It really works!

    I do want to add a suggestion for anyone seeking the natural route for treating depression or anxiety–be wary of tryptophan, 5-HTP and St. John’s Wort (or any supplements designed to raise serotonin levels in the brain). Some people have used these successfully to help with mood problems associated with low serotonin, but there are some folks who have adverse reactions to higher serotonin levels. I’m one of them. I tried taking these types of supplements to help with anxiety and depression, and they only made the problem ten times worse until I quite taking the supplements.

    So I feel obligated to mention it as a caution, because serotonin supplements are so commonly used in natural medicine to treat mood disorders. I’m thinking of doing a blog post on this at some point, but I want to learn more about it before I do.

    Reply

    10 Marissa February 19, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    So what about Krill oil?? Do you think that is safe? I ask because I have been struggling with panic attacks and I just started taking Krill oil and I had another one after taking it. I had them before I started to take it. What do you all think?

    Reply

    11 KitchenKop February 20, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Marissa,

    I think that it’s just like cod liver oil in that you have to be careful where it comes from (we just take the CLO linked to above, so I don’t know of a good source for krill oil) – and it may take more than one dose to start helping, keep that in mind, too.

    Kelly

    Reply

    12 Emily June 9, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    I’m currently recovering from PPD and PTSD as well and I highly recommend the book “Rebuild from Depression: A Nutrient Guide” by Amanda Rose. She talks a lot about the importance of animal fats, liver, etc in our diets and how the effects of nutrient deficiencies can be cumulative over generations.

    Reply

    13 Jill Boman June 9, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    That sounds like an awesome book! Thanks so much for adding that suggestion, Emily!

    Reply

    14 Amy June 9, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    What an inspiring story. Thanks so much for sharing. I would also add that a GOOD therapist can be amazingly helpful for dealing with lingering issues.

    (Oh, and, Kelly, I would not recommend cutting out all starches, as you recommend. There’s good evidence that carbs help people relax and heal their adrenals. Cut the refined, yes, but not whole food carbs.)

    Reply

    15 Kelly the Kitchen Kop June 9, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    I was thinking of the low-carb aspect of the GAPS Diet, but there are other pieces that go with that, and I do know that low carbs can sometimes cause agitation, so it’s good that you mentioned that. :)

    Reply

    16 Amy June 10, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Thanks, and also worth noting that GAPS doesn’t need to be low-carb (and actually isn’t in design, although it is low starch). Anyone on full GAPS wanting to avoid low-carb can make sure they include enough fruit.

    Reply

    17 Rebecca Miller June 9, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    I suffered with depression all of my life. About 11 years ago I started a long almost 10 year process of jumping from one medication to another. I ended up with a laundry list of diagnosis, depression, anxiety, OCD, Bipolar etc. Ya it was bad. Anyway I basically was running out of options with meds and the Doc jokingly said maybe you should just go off all of them. So I did. I did some research about the initial withdrawl process so I was prepared for that, what I didn’t see coming was what started to look like I had randomly developed fibromialgia. I continued researching and that is when I found a blog called Recovery Road. Turns out that many people that take those meds get “worse” after going off and all sorts of horrible things happen for a few years after called a withdrawl process. I am in year 2. Things are improving. It does take looking back over months to see it, at the moment it feels like torture. We started the whole foods diet about 1 1/2 years ago, for my sons sake I never knew how much it could help me. Good article!

    Reply

    18 Jill Boman June 10, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Wow, Rebecca! You have been on a journey! And what a wise woman you have become and what a lot you have to offer others because of all you have experienced! Nothing is wasted.

    Reply

    19 Soli @ I Believe In Butter June 9, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    I’ve had my own struggles with depression over the years, but thankfully at this point it’s very manageable. I did want to second suggestion 10. The last month or so I’ve been feeling very frazzled by the time I got home from work and didn’t want to do anything in the evenings. As soon as I realized this was happening I decided that I would take some time as soon I got home from work to detox/decompress. It was a big help and worked very quickly.

    Kelly, I’m sending good wishes to your friend that her health may improve. Bless you and the family for wanting to take her in. Not a lot of people willing to do that.

    Reply

    20 Katie June 10, 2011 at 6:57 am

    Thanks for the great tips. After having kids I have some anxiety that comes and goes (I hate it). But I have managed to avoid medication and am trying to eat healthier, so I appeciate all the helpful advice.

    I wanted to add a couple more tips; Epsom salt baths are a great way for dealing with anxiety. I have read it is a good way to give your body magnesium which inturn will help calm you down. Also, for depression look up “cold shower therapy”, a good long cold shower has many benefits for those dealing with depression.

    Thanks again!

    Reply

    21 Roxanne June 12, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    This is such a great article. So many people battle with anxiety and depression but never think that it could be linked to food. Not only will these suggestions help these people but it would help anyone and everyone!

    Reply

    22 Annette June 13, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Jill and I have been friends for a good while, both of us struggling with many of the same symptoms (but due to different causes). We’ve cried and prayed and laughed together, and the integrity and loving care with which she wrote this article is a reflection of her heart and determination to help others find life and health again. She is an amazing woman, an extension of God’s heart and hands to others.
    Jill, this is an excellent article! Even though we’ve taken different routes to wholeness, I’m totally blown away by your research and wisdom and careful writing. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Reply

    23 Kelly the Kitchen Kop June 13, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Hi Annette, I couldn’t agree more, I’m so thankful for Jill, too. :)

    Reply

    24 Jill Boman June 14, 2011 at 7:32 am

    Shucks….thanks you guys! That’s very, very sweet!

    Reply

    25 Raine Saunders June 18, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    I have been using the GAPS diet for the last 7-8 weeks to remedy my anxiety issues I was having earlier in the year, and I’m getting great results! I had broken down and taken Xanax out of desperation for about 2 weeks at night so I could sleep when everything else I was trying had failed. I never realized I needed GAPS because my diet has been so healthy for the last 6+ years…and I had completed a long candida cleanse which lasted almost 2 years. But I think the bottom line was that even though I was eating healthy, my gut wasn’t healed, and so these panic-like symptoms were surfacing every now and then when I’d “cheat” (which was pretty few and far between), and then they came to a head in the beginning of the year. And then it became evident that I had to do to something drastic – even more drastic than the way I had been eating for years (according to many people in my life).

    But, the GAPS diet has been making such a huge difference, I just can’t believe it. I can’t recommend it enough to anyone with panic or anxiety issues, or really any health issue. It’s the most health-supporting and gentle protocol I can think of. I surely hope more and more people discover the healing power Dr. McBride discovered for everyone to use. It’s truly a blessing and amazing.

    Reply

    26 Jill Boman June 18, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Thank you for sharing that, Raine! So very interesting! I am excited to try the GAPS diet with my daughter–she is on the full GAPS diet now, but later this summer, when various out-of-town activities are over, we will embark on the intro diet before returning back to the regular GAPS. She has had a tendency towards hypoglycemia for years, sometimes having panic attacks triggered by hypoglycemia (remedied by getting her blood sugar back up)–so I find your comment even more confirming that this is exactly what she needs! We found GAPS in learning more about food allergies, of which she has several, but your comment made me think of the hypoglycemia she tends towards and the anxiety that accompanies it.

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    27 Shauna July 6, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Thank you all so much for sharing your many words of wisdom, I am definitely going to look into this GAPS diet, and see how it can help me. I’ve had recurring Depression off and on for years, and recently Anxiety has reared it’s ugly head. I’ve been working with doctors for almost a year now, with the yo-yo meds, and the therapy, and it just isn’t doing it. I’ve decided now that as soon as I’m approved for disability (hated applying for it, but there’s no way I can work now, it’s so bad!) and have the money for decent food, I’m going to go off all my meds, with a health practitioner’s help of course (I’m currently taking meds for depression, anxiety, PTSD, insomnia, and low thyroid) and turn to as much organic foods as humanly possibly, making my own foods (already made yogurt–yeah!), using whole food supplements… mangosteen juice, which I know helps with depression, spirolina, now kifer, … trying magnets, energy healing… whatever else I can find out that works. The doctors are clueless, I know I can help my body overcome the tremendous stress and emotional trauma that I’ve been dealing with most of my life. Again, thank you all for your suggestions, it feels like I have a real support group here!

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    28 KitchenKop July 7, 2011 at 1:37 am

    We are with you for sure and can’t wait to hear updates! I’m super thankful that you’re planning on doing this only with a practitioners help – this is a big challenge to take on and you’ll definitely need their guidance. :)

    Kelly

    Reply

    29 Jennifer July 10, 2011 at 12:31 am

    I guess I missed this post :D

    Hey Jill, my husband and I live in Waco, TX as well!
    We moved here about a year ago and we are from South Florida (we lived in KY for 2 years before coming here). We are moving around for school as well and My husband is in his last year of his Master’s of Divinity Degree at Truett Seminary. Small world huh? :) I’m attending MCC right now and hoping to do nutrition when I move on. Thanks for this article too, I have been taking a summer course in Anatomy and Physiology and I thought my brain was going to explode :D haha, but thankfully I just got in the CLO and I have been taking it everyday almost, so that seems to help (and of course eating well). My final is on Monday, July 11 and another A&P class starts this Wednesday! Great tips and perfect timing! Just bought beef bones for broth at HEB too so I should be good to go on the soups but I do need to take in the other tips, including going to bed right about now! Thanks again, maybe we’ll run into each one of these days around town or at Baylor! :D
    ~Jen W.

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    30 Jennifer July 10, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Which btw, the time zone is different here, so I am only awake at 11:33pm, not posting at 12:31am …. just in case anyone cared ;)

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    31 Tara September 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Thank you, Jill, not only for this great list of helpful suggestions, but for your honesty and willingness to share your story. I’m in year 2 of PTSD recovery and just now feeling like I am picking up speed and making progress. One doctor put me on an anti-anxiety medication that caused strong suicidal thoughts, and how he handled that was an absolute train wreck. After that I decided to work on things naturally. Sometimes it’s hard. I haven’t told many people and they often don’t understand my behavior. I developed an autoimmune disorder from the on-going level of stress. Still, the changes happen, bit by bit. Going gluten-free helped tremendously. Now I am flirting with a micro-nutrient heavy diet (Sick, Fat and Nearly Dead) and find that is boosting things to a new level. The melatonin helps cut back on severe nightmares, too. So important, in addition to good rest.
    Blessings to you as you continue to heal. I agree that finding a good doctor and good therapist are key. It’s okay to go through several until you find one that fits.

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    32 Jill September 2, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Wow, Tara, sounds like you are on a good path for this leg of your journey! I applaud the proactive approach you’re taking towards your health and the good responsibility for what you learn along the way. I also developed a type of auto-immune issue and going gluten-free (and also low starch/sugar) seems to make a big difference for me as well–very interesting! I also understand well the “not telling many people” and also being misunderstood for “strange” behavior. Unless one has walked through such a bizarre experience as this, they can’t understand the complexities of it or the need for adaptations in order to cope. You will find yourself someday bolstering others who are in a similar place as you are now, sharing wisdom that will help them, and offering a rare understanding ear.

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    33 Sandra February 17, 2012 at 6:32 am

    Hi Jill
    Thank you for sharing your perspective. May the Lord constantly surround you with peace and love and pour out much grace on you for you kindness and generosity in helping us.

    Sandra

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    34 Jill February 17, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Thank you so much, Sandra!

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    35 Doris February 17, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Please note: WATER, WATER, WATER!! Include it every day. And just plain water. Don’t add any of those “helpful” powders. When you feel thirsty you may already be dehydrated. On a cellular level (Note-I’m not a doctor here:). Water helps the cell get rid of waste through one of the cell walls which normally isn’t permeable.

    Regarding Kids: please do not include them on your diet completely. Their growing bodies/brains have other needs. One example: Our pediatrician told us that the medical amount of vitamin D children has been doubled. Check with your pediatrician for the best diet for kids.

    Don’t forget to pray!

    Thank you for all you do!

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    36 Caitlin June 28, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Hi everyone! I am writing with a question. How long would you say (for those of you who have had to experience the withdrawl symptoms from getting off anti-anxiety meds), did your withdrawl period lasted? I got on Paxil 2 years ago and have been trying for almost 1 year to get off of it. I gradually decreased my doses down to just 1 ml every 6 days and just 16 days ago took my last dose. I’m experiencing many of the horrible symptoms that I had before I even got on the stuff (possibly even worse)…anxiety, negative thoughts, insomnia, nausea, weakness and more. I’ve just started 5-htp, cod liver oil, fish oils and many more things that have been mentioned in this blog and have cut out sugar, caffiene, bad oils, etc.
    I’m trying really hard not to go back on Paxil because I hated the side effects and knowing what it was doing to my brain/body, but I’m having a hard time functioning with these withdrawl effects, too. If I knew that there was a light at the end of the tunnel, I’d be able to cope a little better, I think. Thanks for all of your encouragment, btw.

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    37 KitchenKop July 25, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Caitlin, I’m sorry no one answered your question, I didn’t know so I assumed others would jump in, but I’m guessing it’s different for everyone. I pray you’re doing well!

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    38 Tracey July 25, 2012 at 9:08 am

    You know what the bad part is about having so much and not being able to reach out or except any type of help. Most of the things written here is things I know but to me it just feels like i am already dead i am lost. I cannot give directions to find myself because I don’t know where I am. Everyday I take as maybe this could be the day where my suffering ends.

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    39 KitchenKop July 25, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Tracey, you need to take just ONE step right now.

    Do you have a natural health practitioner you could call? If not, I think you should call a medical doctor.

    OR email me with where you live and I’ll try to find someone there to help you. Kelly@KellytheKitchenKop.com

    I’m praying for you, you can do this. It feels crushing, but it’s just a moment of your life that you’ll get through! Do NOT believe the lies that your brain might be telling you, that it will never get better, they really are LIES. You will get better!

    Just take ONE step.

    Hugs!
    Kelly

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    40 Jill July 25, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Oh, Tracey! Your comment breaks my heart. I do understand how you feel. I was in a similar place before, but I have learned that our feelings are not always an accurate measure of reality–sometimes our feelings deceive us. It is crucial that you do not give in to despair. Those feelings and a severely depressed frame of mind cloud our perspective so that it seems as if things will never change. Your comment about being unable to give directions to find yourself because you don’t know where you are is a painfully honest assessment of your situation. But I have good news for you! Lost and hopeless are not the same thing!

    Your comment reminds me of the lost sheep in the story Jesus told in Luke 15 about a lost sheep and a shepherd. He said to a group of people, “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home.” And then in Luke 19 he says that he himself “came to seek and save what was lost.” Whether you believe in Jesus or not at this point, He is seeking you out–you may not know where you are, but He knows exactly where you are! I also believe that He has a future and a purpose for you. If you haven’t yet, now is a good time to begin talking to Him! Whether or not it seems true, He hears you, and has a special love for people like you who are hurting.

    You are in a marathon of sorts right now–Maybe even an Ironman! :-) And like a distance athlete, there are times when it feels like you cannot go on, when it is too painful and you are not able to see the finish. But pressing through those times and continuing to move forward is the only way to the glory of the finish line! I often say that if He can get me through, he can get anyone through! He is not the least bit intimidated by your circumstances, Tracey, and He loves you immensely.

    Promise me that you will contact someone before the week is over, whether that is a friend or family member, or a complete stranger (such as a counselor or pastor), to talk with. And talk to Jesus–whether you “feel” Him or not, He hears you.

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    41 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook July 25, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Done!

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    42 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook July 25, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Thanks for sharing. I’m praying for Tracey.

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    43 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook July 25, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Praying!

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    44 dan July 25, 2012 at 10:59 am

    I’m going to plug my book here, but it is a book I wrote about how I learned how to relax. There is no hocus pocus or spirituality stuff in it, is just about simple meditation.

    It is called “Get Your Zen On” You can find it on amazon. I won’t spam this page with a link.

    Good luck, especially you Tracey. Send me an email and I’ll send you a free copy.

    Reply

    45 dan July 25, 2012 at 10:59 am

    I’ll send TRACEY a free copy. < just for clarification.

    Reply

    46 Tracey July 25, 2012 at 11:32 am
    47 Roseann Fisher July 25, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    I know I have suffered with anxiety, stress and depression in my life and the way I deal with it is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). I found out about it from Dr Mercola’s website. It really helps to reprogram your subconscious mind toward whatever you want to change about yourself or your circumstances. Tracey…I really believe you should look into it. EFT along with a healthy diet and exercise will turn your life around.

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    48 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook July 25, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I’m encouraged to see all of the praying posts….. God is the only answer….I used to suffer from anxiety and severe depression and did the Med thing but the only thing that helped was getting closer to our Creator ….praying also

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    49 Kelly July 25, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Praying too!

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    50 Brandon December 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    I’ve eaten relatively healthy my whole life, not the type to eat a lot of fast foods and hold a sugary diet but I am pretty much always on the run (Between full time school and 30+ hours of work a week) it’s near impossible for me to follow some of these tips. I have begun to cut back on caffeine and other things hoping it will stop the anxiety but so far to no avail. Chest pain, numbness in random places, ringing in the ears, and the feeling of being faint at breath usually lead to an attack. My doctor prescribed me sertraline but I refuse to take it because of what I’ve heard of these type drugs.
    Any suggestions on helping me relax my body & mind?

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    51 Krissy December 10, 2012 at 5:04 am

    I’ve recently read about niacin for anxiety. GABA is also a great option as well to help calm and focus.

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    52 Karen December 10, 2012 at 6:47 am

    I had anxiety for 6 years, after a period of severe stress. I tried several meds, vitamins, 3 different therapists, meditation, etc. the thing that truly helped was a book called “Hope and Help for Your Nerves” by Dr. Claire Weeks. It’s kind of old school, but her plain english explanations about how anxiety forms in our bodies and what we can do in response to it was a lifesaver for me. It took me about 6 months to get her techniques down, and about another 6 months for me to get rid of 95% of my anxiety, but I now am anxiety free except when I don’t get enough sleep for several days in a row.

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    53 Jill December 10, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Karen, that books sounds fascinating! Would you say it is along the lines of behavioral modification therapy? It sounds very empowering practical! Thank you so much for sharing that resource!

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    54 Karen December 10, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I’ve never had behavior specific therapy so I can’t compare it to the book.

    I can’t list everything she talks about here, it would take too long. But basically, Dr. Weekes goes into the mechanics of how anxiety can start in our system, usually caused by “overstimulation” of some or all of the nerve endings in our body. She then explains the specific pattern of the symptoms of anxiety, such as “strange tricks of vision” and “giddiness” (aka lightheadedness). After that, she goes into how there is a very specific pattern to our behavioral response to the “strange sensations” in our body, such as “anxious brooding” and “feelings of unreality”. Lastly, she goes into specific methods we can employ to slowly work our anxiety back down to a managable level, then it finally goes away.

    She also has a recording of some of her radio broadcasts called “Pass Through Panic” which I listened to over and over until her voice was playing in my head when I would have a panic attack and I was able to calm down on my own. She is seriously a lifesaver.

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    55 Jill December 10, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Wow, that just sounds awesome. I have a friend who is a Behavior Modification Therapist and it just sounds kind of similar. More about learning tools/skills than about psychoanalysis, which makes a lot more sense to me when it comes to dealing with anxiety disorders. I read some reviews of the book on amazon.com and it looks like an incredibly helpful book! I am sure it would have helped me during the years I struggled with anxiety so badly. Again, thank you so much for sharing, Karen! I am sure it will help some of the folks here!

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    56 Jill December 7, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Hi, Brandon! My first thought upon reading your comment was, “I think I might have panic attacks if I were a full-time student working 30+ hours too!” There is only so much a person can do before they start paying a physical/mental/emotion price. Is there a way you can reduce either your school hours or your work hours? I think something’s got to give and right now it’s your body that’s giving. In the meantime, there are lots of adaptogens out there (such as rhodiola) that help support our bodies while under stress. That might be an area worth researching. Really, though, it’s a bandaid if the source of the stress continues. I feel for you–it’s been a while since I’ve had any, but I totally understand–those dang panic attacks! They’re awful, and unless a person has experienced them, they just can’t quite get it, can they? Praying for wisdom for you, to see what can be done to improve your situation. Blessings!

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    57 Kimberly December 10, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    I have a plea for anyone battling anxiety, fatigue, and/or depression. I’ve been there, and after years of searching for relief, have finally found it. Please see a doctor who deals naturally with bioidentical hormone replacement. I was in my early 30′s, so I didn’t think I could need it. After years of no relief, I tried a BodyLogic doctor. My life has changed dramatically.

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    58 kathy December 16, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Hi all,

    Struggled with anxiety for years!! Research Copper imbalance. I found out about it from this article a long time ago in Wise Traditions magazine. http://www.westonaprice.org/metabolic-disorders/copper-zinc-imbalance. I have been doing the Nutritional Balancing program for 5 years that is described in this article. Here is another link to one of a couple of write in letters to Wise Tradition talking about success with Nutritional Balancing. http://www.westonaprice.org/letters/letters-summer-2008 I prefer calling it Hair Mineral balancing. You can find a practioner here that will help you in your area. http://drlwilson.com/do%20hair%20analysis.htm. Nutritional balancing is slow and subtle, but combined with eating nutrient dense food it will rock your world. It helped cure me of panic attacks and anxiety. It balances your minerals and heals in many, many ways!! Good luck.

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    59 Jamil Avdiyev December 30, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Plenty of research exists to support the biochemical basis for anxiety, including some the recommendations made on this post, aside form many others. I will add calcium deficiency to that list of potential causes. See http://highbrixnutrientdensefoods.com/2012/11/25/a-nutrition-related-cause-behind-stress-and-what-you-can-do-about-it/.
    I will touch upon a few others that I feel inspired to expand upon.

    While plenty of scientific evidence exists demonstrating the effectiveness of adaptogens, my experience has been that being successful with herbs requires a lot more than understanding the adaptogenic quality of a particular herb. Success with herbs in many cases requires tremendous amount of knowledge and experience. I have read hundreds of books on herbs from different traditions, including the biochemical school, western traditional, Ayurvedic, and Chinese Medicine. I have also worked with many professionals in the field. It may as simple as finding one herb and as complex as constructing multiple formulas that need to be adjusted over time. If you are a do-it-yourself type, I recommend the following resources: Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief by David Winston, RH;The Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs by Ron Teeguarden; The Healing Power of Ginseng & the Tonic Herbs: The Enlightened Person’s Guide by Paul Bergner. I think it is unwise to ignore the traditions the herbs come from, so I recommend you read up a bit on energetics. I would recommend starting off with the following: (1)Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition by Paul Pritchford; (2) The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine This barely scratches the surface of what you might have to learn to have great success with herbs.

    I would also recommend Dragon Herbs http://www.dragonherbs.com/ as a resource. They have tons of good info on their site and do free consultations over the phone. Their herbalists are outstanding! I recommend Eric Grant. This is a much cheaper choice relative to working with a professional herbalist, such as those of the American Herbalist Guild http://www.americanherbalistsguild.com/.

    Aside from herbs and nutrition, many resources exist with respect to the mental side of stress So, if you find no solution in diet, you may need to look elsewhere. Your root issue may not be biochemical, but psychosomatic. Countless approaches exist. You might have to do some experimenting and see what works. Off the top of my I head, I recommend Focusing by Eugene Gendlin, Tapas Acupressure Technique, The Promise of Energy Psychology: Revolutionary Tools for Dramatic Personal Change by David Fienstein.The Power of Now by Eckhard Tolle, and the work of Byron Katie. Do some searching on amazon if these don’t appeal to you.

    You said “I am pretty much always on the run (Between full time school and 30+ hours of work a week).” Hint: You may be overloading yourself. Most people don’t do too well with that routine. Why have you been always on the run? I think you need to contemplate this question. Might I suggest you try an insight meditation and see what answers you get? Perhaps your issue may be time management. If so, you may find reprogramming your mind in way so that you become more efficient in your life. I recommend do this through hypnosis. See http://www.amazon.com/Neuro-Hypnosis-Self-Hypnosis-Activate-Change-Professional/dp/0393706257/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355978265&sr=1-1&keywords=neuro+hypnosis.

    Several people mentioned EFT and Hope and Help for Your Nerves. It may well turn out that these and the approaches I mentioned may not be enough and address the core of the problem. In that event, I suggest you investigate more powerful approaches such as ISIS or Holotropic Breathwork. You will need to attend a session to these but it may be well worth the effort and cost, considering how transformative these approaches are. See the following for introductory information http://www.clairvision.org/about-us/isis-and-the-clairvision-inner-space-techniques.html, http://books.google.com/books?id=V-0wjs3yLEQC&printsec=frontcover&dq=stanislav+grof&hl=en&sa=X&ei=W5rSUNLuAYHoiQKCwYDgDQ&ved=0CEQQ6AEwAQ.

    Hope this may be of assistance to you and good luck.

    Best Wishes

    Reply

    60 Kristy A. January 2, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Hi Kelly,
    So thankful I found your website. I am 43 and have been having increasingly more problems with depression, motivation, lack of energy, and memory. Finally my doctor suggested ritalin because I would sleep any chance I would get. This has helped tremendously and we have been trying several antidepressant meds but none seem to really work and all have had bad side effects. My Husband was phased out of his job in 2009 , I have four children 19,16, 7, and 6 years old. Plus my parents (I am an only child) who are 89 and 90 will soon be coming to live with us.

    My Husband just passed his nursing boards and is an RN offically and we have been married for 21 years and have a great relationship. My whole family is so supportive. My Parents don’t really know how much I struggle some days just to get simple tasks done, they would worry too much. My point being I don’t know why I’m having these feelings other than hormonal imbalance and possibly premenopause. The loss of memory and feeling like I’m living in a fog all the time. Even my driving scares me sometimes.

    My question is What is the easiest way to start the whole foods diet especially with kids when motivation is so hard? Are there some easy steps to take to get me started. I don’t want to be on these meds but for now this is the only way I can function to be a wife daughter and mother to 4. Thank you so much and God Bless you.

    Reply

    61 KitchenKop January 2, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Hi Kristy, Jill has some great advice for you below!!

    A link that might help you and one I refer to a lot when I’m having overwhelmed days is my ‘fast food meals’ list: http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2008/05/fast-food-healthy-options.html

    Another suggestion I’d make for you is to be very careful about taking on *anything* extra right now. I think as women we often try to do TOO much. You have 4 kids and 2 parents moving in, just keeping up the house and meals is *plenty* for you to take care of each day right now.

    Hang in there and keep us posted.

    Blessings to you, too, for a beautiful 2013. :)

    Kel

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    62 Soli January 2, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    I think as women we often try to do TOO much.

    A hundred times over to this!

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    63 Jill January 2, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Oh, Kristy, God bless you! You’ve kind of got a lot going on right now! Feeling fatigued and having lack of motivation does make eating a less processed, whole foods diet a little more difficult because of the extra energy and time required in making foods by scratch. Keep in mind that you don’t need to prepare complicated, gourmet meals in order to eat well. One suggestion I have is to get into the habit of using a crock pot more. I know mine is a Godsend on busy days–you just throw everything in and dinner magically makes itself! Also, making extra when you cook will provide leftovers for the following day, which also means less work. Can you also delegate kitchen/cooking duties to your older children periodically? I would recommend Dr. lee’s book on premenopause as well as the book mentioned on adrenal fatigue. I’m no doctor, but it does sound like you have some hormonal imbalance going on. If you don’t mind keeping us updated on how you’re doing, I’d love to know. Hang in there, Kristy! I have a feeling this isn’t a permanent state for you!

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    64 Jill January 2, 2013 at 9:32 am

    I will add that Kelly has lots of delicious, simple recipes here on her site that you might really enjoy!

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    65 Kristy A. January 2, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    Thank you so much Kelly and Jill for doing all the hard work and research for all of us who need your information. I feel that God is helping me by allowing me to find resources such as your blog. I will definetly keep you posted on my journey. Thank you for caring and responding so quickly.

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    66 Kristina February 5, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve already taken most of these steps. Caffeine was a huge factor for me, and eliminating it has decreased my anxiety by about 50%. I’m also a big fan of rigorous exercise.

    It seems really hard to find anyone out there who supports a holistic approach. Thank you so much!

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    67 Jill February 5, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Good for you, Kristina! And thanks for sharing what has made such a big difference for you–it is so helpful to others!

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    68 Sheri February 15, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Hi!

    I’m so glad I came across this web site. I am in the process of weaning off of Lexapro. I have been on and off anti-depressants for about 17 years for anxiety. I have been working with my Dr. to wean off the medication, and just took my last pill (2.5mg) last night. I have tried this before, and then end up back on the medication, because I end up having trouble sleeping. I’m hoping these suggestions will help me be able to stay off of it this time.

    My reason for going off them is because I am constantly drowsy and exhausted, and have no energy. I feel like I am at a good place in my life, where I would like to try lliving without being on the Lexapro.

    I am also working with my chiropractor with different supplements. I take Min-Tran at night, and that seems to help me sleep.

    Does anyone have any additional suggestions as to how to make the withdrawl process easier on me? I’ve heard such horror stories of people trying to go off the meds, it scares me! My Dr. said it should be out of my system in 1 week, but I’m curious as to how long it will take for the withdrawl symptoms to be gone, and when will I feel like myself again?

    Thanks in advance! :)

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    69 Kimberly February 15, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Hi Sheri! Just something to think about. All of your symptoms I have had in the past, and for me, I found out they were hormone/adrenal related. I have been taking bioidentical hormone replacement (these are plant based) for the past year, and I feel like a whole new person. It may be something to think about. I wish you well!

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    70 Sheri February 17, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Hi Kimberly!

    Thanks so much for your comment. It’s really interesting that you mention the adrenal gland. My chiropractor actually suggested I try taking a supplement to help the adrenal glands. I haven’t done it yet, but may look into this! I’m so glad to hear that it has helped you feel better! She also wants me to try a gluten free diet, but I just don’t know if I have the energy to devote to that haha!

    Question-are there blood tests that can check the adrenals?

    Thanks again!
    -Sheri

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    71 Kimberly February 17, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Yes. The first thing my doctor did was a full blood and saliva panel. Based on that AND my symptoms, he tailored a vitamin, supplement, and hormone regimen that was specific to my situation. He tweaked it monthly based on symptoms, and he retested blood and saliva at 6 months then tweaked again.

    Gluten free might help, but I didn’t even have the energy to eat a healthy diet until I got my adrenals and hormones lined out, so I hear ya!

    Best of luck to you.

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    72 Sheri February 20, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Hi Kelly,

    Very interesting. I am definitely going to chat with my Dr. about these tests. I am 34 years old, and have a 19 month old son at home. I have felt fatigued like this and anxious, for many years now. Could my hormones really be this out of whack at only 34? Would I want to chat with my OBGYN about the testing? Thanks again!!!

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    73 Kimberly February 20, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    I know this was addressed to Kelly, but I had to reply given my history. I was about 33 when my symptoms started, and the first place I went was my OB/GYN. Unfortunately, she tested my thyroid, and since I was in the “normal” range, said i was fine. All she would do for me is prescribe Prozac. I somehow knew better than to accept that as my final answer. That’s when I searched for a doctor that used bioidentical hormone replacement. I’m 37 now, and I really can’t remember ever having this much energy and feeling this good. You have to decide what’s right for you. I just wanted to tell you my story:) Best of luck!

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    74 Sheri February 20, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Kimberly-so sorry I meant to respond to you initially, but I typed Kelly by accident. See! I’m out of it! So sorry :) Thanks for your message, I have had my thyroid checked, and that came back normal too. I am definitely going to ask my Dr. about these tests. Thanks for sharing your story with me! :)

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    75 Jill February 15, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Sheri–Did you see this article on Kelly’s blog too? http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2011/03/coming-off-antidepressants-weaning-from-paxil-a-reader-shares-her-story.html There is some really great conversation/suggestions in the comments below the article, as well as a book suggestion (The Mood Cure) that takes a totally different, but natural, approach to getting brain chemistry healthy again.

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    76 Sheri February 17, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Hi Jill!
    Thanks for your response. I will definitely check out this link, and the book too! :)

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    77 Sheri February 21, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    I have a question for anyone that has weaned off antidepressants. I took my last 2.5mg of Lexapro 1 week ago today. I went from 10mg, to 5mg, then 2.5 for a couple weeks, and then one week of 2.5mg every other night.

    Has anyone done this and had a rash while weaning off the meds?! I am going crazy over here. At first I thought I was having a reaction to a new shampoo, so I stopped it, but I have these small itchy red raised bumps on my hands, wrists and fingers. It itches like crazy.

    The only correlation I can think of, is that the itchy bumps started around the time I dropped to 2.5mg of Lexapro.

    Could this be a withdrawl symptom? When I google my symptoms, it keeps bringing up scabies (ewww!) which is totally freaking me out!

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    78 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 21, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    Copper toxicity?

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    79 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 21, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    In addition to further clogging the liver, medications leave toxic residues throughout the body channels. The body tries to rid the residues through the skin, largest organ of elimination. They burn and irritate the skin, causing rash-like symptoms on the surface. Preparing meals and lassi with cilantro and coriander (the cilantro seed) routes the toxins out through the urine and gives the skin a break. Small bits of turmeric in the cooking also assists in cooling and detoxifying the liver.

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    80 Sheri February 26, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Thanks for the suggestions, I appreciate it!!

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    81 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 21, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    In my experience coming off of anti depressants and anti anxiety meds any side effect is possible. While important to use if life is at stake those suckers are toxic. You could try doing some liver support with warm lemon water in the morning and possibly some milk thistle. Give yourself some grace, be patient with yourself and give it time!

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    82 Sheri February 26, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    I know, it is amazing what they can do to your body when you try to stop taking them! I am going to try and stick with it though :) Thanks for the suggestions!

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    83 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 21, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    I would think you are detoxing in the deepest cells of your body.

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    84 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 21, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    please excuse the connection to violence and depression in this article from Dr. Mercola, I’m not trying to make any accusations at all but I posted it because there is information in his link about severe vitamin B deficiency and depression along with dermatitis (skin rash).

    This video from food matters is also excellent.

    http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/how-to-take-niacin-vitamin-b3-for-depression-and-anxiety

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/10/21/pellagra-causes-violent-crimes.aspx

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    85 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 21, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Magnesium, Magnesium, Magnesium.

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    86 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 21, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    It takes months for the body to fully rid itself of the drug. Your mental/ emotional state might rear its ugly head several months from now- just be prepared with supplements/ diet/ self care

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    87 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 21, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Could it be that perhaps your anxiety might have increased somewhat after going off the meds? You might try doing some meditation and soaking in a tub with a little baking soda or even better epsom salts. Not sure I’d combine the two at the same time though. LoL ~ Good Luck!

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    88 Sheri February 26, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Possibly! Thanks for the suggestions :)

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    89 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 21, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    I have done tons of research about side effects of anti-depressants. I will always be on them so I like to know. The only reference I have found between Lexapro and a rash (described just like yours) was a woman asking the exact same question as you. She DID have scabies. Go to the Doctor!!

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    90 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 21, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    I wonder if Epsom salt baths might help detox whatever your body is trying to get rid of through your skin? I’m sure the extra magnesium couldn’t hurt either!

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    91 Sheri February 26, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Worth a try! :)

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    92 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 21, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    She likely needs to wean a little slower. Use food grade liquid bentonite clay (Yerba Prima works) mixed in pure mineral water to absorb toxins (you can also make clay packs with powder to help topically); then try to do kefir to support digestive system/replace probiotics. Definitely follow a supplement protocol that helps balance the body naturally. Organic diet will be essential as well. There are groups online to communicate w/ others who are going/have gone thru the same thing; great to learn from their mistakes.

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    93 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 21, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Coriander/cilantro and turmeric in your foods and bentonite clay in your baths. You need to detox. And LOTS of water

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    94 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 21, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    I get small water-filled itchy bumps on my hands and taking zinc picolinate at night makes them go away. when I run out of zinc they come back

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    95 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 21, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    WHOA! I had this SAME THING happen to me when I tried it. Ironic! Interesting about bentonite clay. :)

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    96 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 21, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    YES! I broke out all along my shins in maddeningly red itchy patches. OTC hydrocortisone cream releived the itching, but it took about a month to completely go away. While I was on 10mg Lexapro I had a smaller version of this itchiness on my legs. It really flared up when I stopped taking the Lexapro

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    97 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 21, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Kate Aubin Morrissey, why do you think you’ll be on them forever? I get a little fearful that I will, too, and just wonder why you say that. :) :) :)

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    98 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 21, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    The main symptoms I had during withdrawal were random flashes of light and dark in my field of vision and I could “hear” my eyeballs moving behind my eyelids. it sounded like a scraping sound. I’ve been off the meds for a year and I still get these symptoms randomly, though they happen rarely now. It takes a long time to get back to normal. But it’s nice to finally feel like myself again. :) stick with it and you won’t regret it.

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    99 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 21, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Yes. They will go away eventually.

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    100 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 21, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    I’m thinking you might want to try and find a homeopathic doctor. Often times, skin issues are really deeper rooted issues.

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    101 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 21, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Amino acids supplements have helped many balance their neurochemistry. There are links to several radio interviews that may be of benefit.
    http://www.moodcure.com/

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    102 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 21, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    You should speak to your doctor, people get rashes from psych meds and it’s generally a sign of a developing allergy or reaction. It’s not withdrawal.

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    103 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 21, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    I weaned off when I was pregnant and my only symptoms were dizzy spells and seeing ‘stars’. Not sure about the rash. I have major anxiety and am trying to live without the meds. I am trying cod liver oil, but so far it isn’t helping my mood.

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    104 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 21, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    I went to a tcm doc for acu and herbs. Helped so much. No harm in going to get the bumps looked at though just in case it is scabies.

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    105 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 21, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    It’s to be expected as the body is ridding itself of toxins and the skin is the largest of the organs to ‘excrete’/sweat out these chemicals. Hang in there. You may want to consider not ingesting anything fast food, flour or sugar so as NOT to tax the system right now. Hugs and Bravo to you.

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    106 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 22, 2013 at 12:29 am

    Sounds like your body is detoxing! Hope it runs its course soon! I applaud you for making the decision to get off the pharmaceuticals! Feel better soon!

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    107 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 22, 2013 at 1:16 am

    Skin issues are liver issues. Get a bottle of milk thistle capsules (and/or dandelion root) and it will help cleanse your liver and your skin. Take with lots of water.

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    108 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 22, 2013 at 1:40 am

    It’s detoxing, and supporting your liver is the best thing…the liver has been under stress from the mess and now it’s function is to ckean

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    109 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 22, 2013 at 1:41 am

    Home Meade bone broth to start, coconut oil to take by mouth and also put on skin, probiotics, then raw keifer

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    110 Margie Buchwalter February 22, 2013 at 6:23 am

    I, like everyone else here, have dealt with anxiety and depression for most of my life; having been on Prozac for many years. Quite a few years ago I started going more natural with as much as possible in my life. I found Dr. Christopher’s Mind-Trac and it has changed many things in my life. I had tried coming off meds but it won’t work. Something in there is way too imbalanced; so one day I was on Prozac, regular dose, and the next I switched to Mind Trac. Not a hiccup! It was nice and still is.

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    111 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 22, 2013 at 7:50 am

    Drinking lots of water is VERY important..it helps flush out the toxins in the body

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    112 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 22, 2013 at 7:50 am

    Drinking lots of water is VERY important..it helps flush out the toxins in the body

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    113 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook February 22, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    No advice here for the rash, but I highly recommend the book The Mood Cure by Julia Ross.

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    114 AJ March 20, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    I’ve struggled with mental health for most my life, and I often take to the net with desperate searches for anything that may help. It bothers me when I stumble on advice to take herbs because they are ‘safe’ and ‘natural’. Herbs are drugs, just not as carefully regulated. Same goes from vitamins. The dose makes the poison. If herbs help you fine, but don’t think that because they say natural they’re safe. Botulinum toxin is natural.

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    115 Sheri March 28, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Has anyone ever tried 5-HTP or L-Tyrosine for anxiety/mild depression? I recently weaned off of Lexapro (I hated the side effects, and didn’t feel like it was helping all that much!) but still feel a little anxious, and just “blah.” I read The Mood Cure by Julia Ross, and thought it was very intriguing about the amino acids. Just wondering if anyone has tried either of them, and if so, would you recommend them? Also, at what dosage? Thanks! :)

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    116 KitchenKop March 29, 2013 at 1:16 am

    Sheri,

    There are a couple mentions of this above in the comments, also in case they didn’t all transfer over here, there are a couple mentions at this Facebook post, too: https://www.facebook.com/KellytheKitchenKop/posts/10151378972426262

    Hope that helps!

    If not, email me and I’ll put this question up on my FB page to try and get more specific responses for you.

    Kelly

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    117 Lynn April 3, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Very interesting and informative article. However I believe I’m experiencing something much more difficult to combat :-( …. With no disrespect to anyone’s situations or battles. A few years ago I ended some synthetic birth control that I had been taking for a few months. Immediately after ending the birth control, I had begin to lose my hair, my sex drive, and also had gotten bad acne and I’ve never had acne EVER! Not even as a teen. Months later I began experiencing severe vaginal dryness (I was only 24 at the time). So I began stressing over the acne, hair loss, and poor sexual health out of fear that I would never feel confident again or have a sexual relationship with my fiancé again. THEN came the depression, anxiety, insomnia, and fatigue among a number of other symptoms like blurred vision, brain fog, etc. I’m so afraid because I don’t know exactly what’s going on with me and if it can be fixed. The doctors think I’m making this up. They tell me it’s impossible that the birth control could have caused my early symptoms. I don’t feel or look like myself anymore. I’m unhappy. I’ve never been depressed before. I didn’t even know what depression felt like until now. I’m always tired and afraid that I’m going up lose my job because the fatigue and brain fog is affecting my performance. I’m hopeless in this. No doctors will listen to me because my hormone tests came back “normal.” But something isn’t right. My acne ridden skin, depressed mood, anxious state, and dry vagina reminds me everyday that something isn’t right. Do you have any suggestions or know if this can be related to synthetic birth control in my gut. I need some hope. I can’t live like this the rest of my life and I’m only 25 :-(

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    118 Kimberly April 3, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    My heart is breaking for you. I was in my early 30’s when I started having symptoms similar to yours. I would suggest you find a doctor that deals in bioidentical hormone replacement. You may or may not need it, but that kind of doctor will do a complete blood work up as well as a questionnaire about how you feel and your symptoms. My doctor is part of BodyLogicMD. You can check out the website for a doctor near you. My doctor found a number of things that I was deficient in as well as things that were not balanced properly. He works with my nutrition as well as hormone replacement and supplements to correct everything that was out of whack. I am a new person. Please check into this. The birth control probably has left your hormones completely out of balance.

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    119 Lynn April 3, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Thank you so much for your concern and suggestions. It already makes me feel better to know that someone understands and that I am not going crazy. I have emailed a BodyLogicMD doctor in my area for a consultation. I am willing to go to any measures to rid these debilitating symptoms so I can feel and look like myself again. Thank you again :-)

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    120 Jill April 3, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Oh, Lynn! God bless you! Your symptoms shout “hormone imbalance” at the very least! I am not surprised your doctor thought it was in your head–sadly, most of their training is in management of symptoms with drugs, rather than sleuthing the underlying cause, and since your symptoms don’t neatly fit a condition that a particular drug exists for, it “doesn’t exist”. Kimberly’s recommendation is a great one! You certainly need a different healthcare provider who is trained in different approaches and treatment protocols. A naturopath may be another helpful resource for you. Yet another stone to consider un-turning is the fact that birth control pills not only cause major hormone imbalance, but they severely damage gut health. Gut health is intrinsically linked with emotional/mental health. Gut and Psychology Syndrome (mentioned within the article) explores the link in detail and provides an awesome protocol for healing the gut so that the related issues (emotional, psychological, autoimmune, etc…) can resolve themselves. Please report back with your progress, as I am sure many of us here would love to keep up with how you’re doing!

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    121 Lynn April 3, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    What you have just explained makes perfect sense! I am seeking a naturopath in my area and plan to see one ASAP!! Thank you so much for the support and suggestions!! I will most definitely keep you guys posted on my progress. Hopefully I’ll get some positive results with these other avenues i plan to explore :-)

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    122 KitchenKop April 3, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Jill & Kimberly, thanks for your great advice to Lynn. Lynn yes, please do keep us posted and I’ll shoot up a prayer for you!! :)

    Kel

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    123 Michael June 11, 2013 at 2:59 am

    I am just here to give a testament to Jills tips. I have suffered from many many issues for years, from digestive to psychological to hormonal. All my issues have all but vanished by following a very similar protocol that Jill did. By far the most effective for me was the GAPS diet. Not until I followed GAPS did I begin to turn a corner. Follow the tips above and I am sure everyone will improve drastically. And also be wary of bioidentical hormone replacement, it should be a last ditch effort and used only if ABSOLUTELY necessary, there are many ways to balance hormones naturally without all the scary and potentially dangerous side effects Thank you Kelly and Jill. And good luck to everyone.

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    124 KitchenKop June 11, 2013 at 3:11 am

    Thanks so much for sharing Michael!!! I’m thankful you’re doing so well. Your comment will give others hope. :)
    Kelly

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    125 Jill June 11, 2013 at 8:40 am

    That is so encouraging, Michael! Thank you so very much for sharing your experience. People desperately need to hear testimonies like yours!

    Very interesting about the GAPS diet too! I didn’t know about it back when I was really struggling, but since the writing of this article, we have used it successfully to reverse multiple food allergies in my daughter, so I know it is a powerful tool! Extremely cool to hear how it helped your depression and anxiety!

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    126 Michael July 6, 2013 at 3:00 am

    Thank you so much! I’m going through a really hard time right now. I’m very young– only 21 years old. Entering my senior year of college and it’s really starting to sink in that I’m entering the real world and I’m doing it all by myself. I have no what I’m doing with my life and I don’t have anyone to talk to about it. I’m very introverted so I’ve found it difficult to develop and maintain friendships. Reading other people’s success stories of how they beat depression gives me much hope. I can’t wait until I find my little slice of happiness.

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    127 Jill July 6, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Hang in there, Michael! You are in a tough season, but remember, it is only a season. I can tell you from both personal experience and observation, that it is perfectly normal to not know what you will do with your life. You don’t have to have it all figured out right now, and even if you thought you had it all figured out, you’d probably find yourself making some direction changes down the road anyway. Life is a journey, not a destination. I’m laughing to myself because even now, in our mid 40’s my husband and I are looking at possibly making a huge change (career, where we live, etc…) soon! This is life, and it’s o.k!

    My daughter is entering her junior year at a University this fall, and she is currently getting a lot out of career counseling through her university. The career counselor has had her take personality and personal interest tests and has had some great brain-storming/exploration type conversations with my her that have been really affirming and also helped open her eyes to new possibilities she’d not considered before. You might want to check with your college to see if you can get some career counseling–it’s actually been really fun for my daughter, who is also an introvert!

    Sometimes it seems like everyone else has it all together and figured out, but in reality, that’s just not the case. You are in good company! Try to get in with a career counselor at your college, and/or connect with someone in person that you can talk to. Keeping anxious thoughts to ourselves only magnifies them, but talking them out tends to weaken their hold on us.

    God bless you, Michael! I’m really glad that you opened up here! I’ll pray for God to nudge you in a good direction! :-)

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    128 KitchenKop July 6, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Jill, you are awesome, that was great advice. I’d like to second what you said about how it might SEEM that everyone else has it all figured out, but it’s really only a very small amount of kids who know exactly what they’re doing as they leave college, and also as Jill said, most will end up switching things around a few times anyway. Michael, I’ll pray, too!

    Kelly

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    129 Elmer Fittery July 7, 2013 at 10:21 am

    No person I have ever know had an explanation for why God allows something like Sandy Hook to happen other than “God’s ways are mysterious”

    Just a comment from a 67 year old that grew up going to Church for the first 18 years of his life.

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    130 KitchenKop July 7, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Hi Elmer,

    Such evil events like this rock my world, too, so I have to lean on what I know for sure…

    1. God hates what happened at Sandy Hook even more than we do.
    2. He doesn’t take away our free will, even if it sometimes means letting evil happen. If he took away every person’s ability to choose good or evil, then following Him would mean nothing more than commanding His robots to do what He asks. That’s not a true relationship, which is what He wants with us.

    The rest I have to just let go of and not try to figure out, but trust that someday I’ll ‘get it’ – I can do that because I see so much evidence of Him all around me and His absolute goodness and love that I can’t doubt it. (The love in my family and friendships, sunsets, the smell of rain, sipping coffee on my deck listening to birds sing, the way He has come to my aid over and over – not that He takes away all pain or suffering, but He’s always there with me, I could go on and on…)

    I am praying that you will make the choice to walk with Him again even if you can’t figure every single thing out in our universe. It’s all too big for us to grasp it right now.

    Here’s more reading about this stuff at my other blog if you’re interested: http://christianity101blog.com/category/christianity-faqs-read-1st/

    Take care,
    Kelly

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    131 Misa July 9, 2013 at 8:04 am

    Jill, do you have a blog, website or any other resource for survivors of random sexual assaults, especially as adults? I endured a random violent sexual assault 12 years ago at age 26, which resulted in PTSD and anxiety that I have beat via medication, counseling and leaning on God’s peace and strength. However I still need some occasional maintenance, especially during times of increased stress. I find plenty of resources on childhood sexual abuse and spousal sexual abuse, but not much for victims of a random sexual assault as an adult. Thanks for any resources you can share and God bless you. By the way, I totally agree with what Kelly wrote yesterday and that is how I still trust God in spite of what happened to me: 1. During my 5 hour assault, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that God mourned and hurt with me. 2. What happened to me happened because God’s gift of free will to every human was twisted and used for evil by the man who assaulted me. Same thing goes for Sandy Hook and other depraved acts of man – they are acts of man, not acts of God. God gave us free will, so He has to allow us to use it, even when our “using it” yields horrible results. If He controlled the results, it wouldn’t be truly free will. Lastly, a book that helped me tremendously with my grief was “Turn My Mourning into Dancing” by Henri Nouwen.

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    132 KitchenKop July 9, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Hi Misa,

    Jill would like to share some things with you, is it OK if I give her your email address?

    Kelly

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    133 Melissa August 8, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    I have suffered with depression and anxiety my whole life. I’m currently taking celexa. I have got to try some of these suggestions! I’m trying sshto come off caffeine cause I know it causes more anxiety and I’ve also been trying to quit smoking. I love reading encouraging words from others and their stories. I felt alone for years and thinking I was going crazy not knowing others suffered with anxiety & depression. may God bless each and everyone and don’t forget to pray daily!!!

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    134 Greg Weber September 1, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Some helpful ideas about combating depression naturally, but I find your comments about Jesus and God offensive. That has no place in an article about healing emotional trauma, seeing as how humans’ false belief in the existence of “God” is the single biggest cause of hatred, opression, cruelty, rape and PTSD on the planet.

    There is no God, but peoples’ belief in one gives them carte blanche to do all manner of horrible things to each other. Leave out the religious BS next time.

    Other than that, good article.

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    135 Roseann Fisher September 3, 2013 at 3:09 am

    Greg…I believe this site aims to look at ALL possibilities with regard to helping to combat anxiety, depression and fatigue. There are those who find that faith in a higher power like God or Jesus to be comforting and very helpful in combating depression and anxiety. It is THEIR choice of medicine so to speak. There are 20 choices given here, so if a person doesn’t believe in God, they are free to try one of the other 19 choices. Simple as that. No need for you to be offended. If a drug were listed instead of faith in God, would you feel offended then too? No, you wouldn’t. So think of faith in a higher power such as God as being medicine for some people.

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    136 Kelly September 3, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Way to go Roseann!!!

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    137 Anupama Prabhakar September 3, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Kushmanda ghrita is an ayurvedic medicine to treat all kind of mental illness like depression, insomnia, hypersomnia by its medhya rasayana drugs properties. This remedies has been tested on many patients in India at Banaras Hindu University. More details can be found here
    http://www.bimbima.com/health/post/2013/08/30/treatment-of-mental-illness-with-kushmanda-ghrita.aspx

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    138 Eduard From The High Desert September 13, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Fantastic blog, I will share it with some friends of mine that have recently started experiencing these problems. I myself have suffered ups and downs of severe anxiety and depression to the point of no return. It is overwhelming and I think one of the core problems with this is that the stigma that it carries with it. When I talk to people about that stuff, they automatically associate it with negativity, being a bad or unstable person which may be or become psychotic, etc… The more you let these stigmas get to you, the harder it is to get help or start helping yourself. There are times when it’s so bad you feel like you are literally going insane. I’ve begun combining a lot of these things you mentioned into my lifestyle after I recently moved from Los Angeles to a more rural area. I’ve been functioning barely since 2007 when some life events from that point on triggered a massive relapse of my depression and anxiety, worse than the previous times. Another thing I didn’t read in the article, (I probably missed it) is that besides caffeine, people need to stop, or severely limit (preferably the first) their consumption of alcohol or anything that affects our body and minds in such drastic ways. Alcohol is something I’ve always liked but there came a point when I realized that, either I stop drinking it and benefit from full healing or just keep going in circles, and YES it helps a lot in some cases, and lets you have a few hours or minutes of “fun” and almost no anxiety (again in some cases) but after its all done, you are left twice as bad as before. I’m still battling it out and I’ve found that doing many of those things you listed are indeed very beneficial, and the most basic and easily reachable for most people to start is simply by changing the way you think, which is difficult at first but not impossible. Behavioral modification starts with you, and what you tell yourself, if you focus on the negative aspect of what you are going through you are empowering those bad feelings. Another thing is making yourself active and setting up a work out routine. It is essential and I can’t stress it enough (no pun intended) that I swear when I go a week or two without working out, I immediately feel stronger sensations of anxiety and depression, and if I let it get to me that dreaded “KNOT” in the throat that can sometimes be so bad as to feel like you wanna throw up or you’re chocking. I like many people reading this blog are surely tired of not living life and having succumbed to such a debilitating ailment. Talk about it, with people you trust and are good friends, even if you don’t want to “burden” them, chances are they will understand and be supportive and you will realize that it lightens the load little by little. There is also a somewhat older book that I am reading that gives insight on how Anxiety propagates itself, “Aine Tubridy – When Panic Attacks” and I think it’s a really good book. As always you can’t rely on one thing as there is no such thing as a magic pill, or procedure (think Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind) and even if there was, the chances of something triggering it again are more than sufficient to scare ya. Last but definitely least. Diet, what you it is incredibly important in so many ways than most people understand. Work with different healthy diets, and see what works for you. An ideal diet is one where you feel great after eating, reduced stomach acidity and intestinal discomforts. Also I won’t elaborate here but have any of you heard of Kefir (milk based) or the Water Kefir (tibicos)? I’ve been making Water Kefir soda, (all natural) and can be mixed with teas to make a really healthy drink that has many benefits, starting with your digestive system (which research suggest is tied deeply to your overall and mental well-being). Some of us are allergic to certain foods and we don’t realize it, even if not life threatening it also contributes to stress! The less processed the better, moderation in everything and of course get organic whenever possible. My journey is not yet over, and I will keep pushing as long as I got 1 hair of motivation, I’ve beaten it before and I know I can do it again.

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    139 Jill September 13, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Eduard, you are awesome. I mean it. People like you are heroes because you keep on walking and keep on believing when others quit. And it’s those exact qualities that will help it get better too. Your attitude rocks and you are an inspiration to me. God bless you, and thank you for sharing your experience and your wisdom. People need to hear what you have learned. So many feel alone, that they are the only ones who feel the way they do, and that’s why talking about it is important–it helps do away with that stigma you talked about. Stigmas keep people isolated and under the illusion that they are they only ones. Keep on, Eduard! You are doing good!

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    140 Eduard From The High Desert September 14, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Thanks Jill,
    It has never been easy and I don’t ever expect it to be, such is life. I have considered that maybe I should start a blog, I know there are many of resources out there in the internet but I think it would be great to share my experiences, my current state and it would be great to motivate others that feel alone in the struggle. Thanks you for the kind words and for your effort in shedding light to those in the dark and god bless you and everyone else out there, and may we all find inner peace.

    As a side note,

    You handled that GREG fellow quite well, people get offended for everything now in day. I myself ain’t too religious and I have my own set of believes. I respect peoples choices and I expect them to respect mine.

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    141 Eleanor November 8, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    I love all these tips from a nutritional standpoint. Some folks might be interested in spiritual beliefs, which I touch on a my recent blog post on dealing with depression in my own life. Just head on over to my blog to read more! Thanks for this!

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    142 Kali November 11, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    I just wanted to mention that vegetarian diets are not low in protein..please do not try to urge people away from vegetarian diets as they are extremely healthy and they lower your chances dramatically of having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, osteoporosis (dairy free vegetarians), reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, and vegetarians on average live longer than meat eaters. I didn’t read the comments and I apologize if this has already been stated.

    I also want to make it clear that I mean this in the most respectful way and I am not trying to be confrontational. I loved the article though and I plan to implement most of these changes to help battle with my depression.

    Also I would like to add to your list, house cleaning. Apparently they have deemed a clean house to be essential to your survival instinct. The science behind it is that good hygiene is important for your health; cleaning your “nest” relieves your stress and causes overall happiness even though at the beginning it may seem to make it worse (long list of chores). I guess they did a study on it and found that like 85% of people who cleaned their house had a HUGE release of the feel good hormones and were in a better general mood when they kept up on their house duties.

    :) Thanks for the article!

    Reply

    143 Vieve November 13, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    There is no way for me to read through all of the comments. In a simple word: MAGNESIUM. Anyone battling anxiety, depression, insomnia and a whole host of other issues; heart palpitations, asthma…on and on, need to look into magnesium deficiency. I have been helped in several areas by increasing my dietary magnesium, primarily through raw pumpkin seeds (look for them grown in the USA- most come from China), raw sunflower seeds and almonds. It’s life changing.

    Reply

    144 Jill November 13, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Excellent suggestion, Vieve! I actually didn’t know much about magnesium at the time I wrote this, but would probably have added that in if I were to write it today. Thank you for chiming in!

    Reply

    145 AS December 4, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Jill,
    Thanks for the great article. I am a father of a kid who is showing signs of anxiety. I wanted to get some specific suggestions from you. Is it possible to get in touch with you via e-mail?
    Thanks

    Reply

    146 Nata December 6, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Hi.In the past years I had 4 miscarriages. Because of that I developed some health problems.The worst in my list is depression.I could not admit that I have depression.I asked God to help me. I found a remedy for my depression. He led mi to share my problems with one of my neighbors and she ,by surprise, had the same problems in the past. So we started a Bible study and pray together. It really helps me. She asked me to look at the root of my problem and than to look at it from the side, what God wants to teach me?Not from the first session but slowly I felt relieved. He is with us all the time.He is gona help each of us who will ask Him.Just ask. It works 100%. Please pray and He will send you help.I got help trough my neighbor. Also Bible studies every day and One Minute Devotions for Women by Carolyn Larsen (my husband bought me as a present last month).God bless all of you!

    Reply

    147 Ashley December 26, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    I have been taking fish oil, just 1200 mg daily, and it includes 1000 IU Vit D as well, for a couple months for ADHD, and I feel that it has been effective in helping me focus. The past week or so I have been taking a calcium/magnesium/zinc supplement, as magnesium is supposed to be good for muscle relaxation, which I also have problems with, and anxiety. I also have been taking green tea extract twice a day for the past week or so. With the calcium/magnesium/zinc and the green tea I notice an immediate difference in my anxiety.
    I think it’s important to really take care of yourself physically, and then you just end up doing better mentally and emotionally.

    Reply

    148 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook January 13, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    New Chapter brand Holy Basil super critical force is amazing for anxiety & mood balancing. Google it for more info. Super supplements or Amazon is where you can get it.

    Reply

    149 joyce March 17, 2014 at 2:26 am

    Holy Basil (which is Tulsi) never touched my anxiety–I found no difference what so ever after months of use….

    Reply

    150 %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook January 13, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    We’ve had success with Sam-E. It is a supplement that has to be taken regularly, but it has helped even things out.

    Reply

    151 joyce March 17, 2014 at 1:52 am

    Too bad the Teechino )(sp?) contains GLUTEN; what a bummer–why can’t these people just get things right–nobody wants added GLUTEN in their diet anymore these days; especially in a coffee substitute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This also coming after Sarah the Healthy Home Economist TOTALLY Misrepresented findings from CYREX Labs that Coffee cross reacts with Gluten. After other people did the research for her, it turns out that Cyrex used INSTANT COFFEE in their test, not organic coffee or even cheaper store brands. God knows why they used instant coffee, I don’t know anyone who drinks instant! It really threw the Celiac community off-balance until the truth came out!

    Reply

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    153 hk April 11, 2014 at 8:38 am

    I don’t normally comment on these things, but this is very intriguing. You seem like someone I’d know and be friends with :). I’ve written down many of your tips and will be going out today to investigate them. Kudos to you for seeking out multiple venues to help you get back to enjoying your family. Thanks for sharing your journey.

    Reply

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    155 Larry August 26, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    I just wanted to say thank you for the tips. I have been suffering from both stress and anxiety and your right in any situation things could be worse. Take Care

    Reply

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