If you find you are withdrawing and isolating yourself from others or experience thoughts of suicide, you may be experiencing depression, a serious medical condition. The condition is widely treated using anti-depressants, which are effective yet may result in serious side effects.
Since prescription anti-depressants are expensive, individuals lacking health insurance often try alternative treatments for depression. These alternative medications can be effective in reducing one’s depression, but there are some alternative depression treatments that might cause more harm than good.
One possible cause of depression is a mineral or vitamin deficiency which, when corrected help to reduce the symptoms allowing the individual to feel better within days. Most of these type supplements for depression pose little danger; however, large amounts of practically any substance can lead to system imbalances causing serious problems.
The following are common alternatives for depression along with the risks of using them.
Saint John’s Wort – This herbal remedy is often successful in providing treatment for depression, but can be dangerous to some individuals. In some countries, it is regulated as a drug, but is considered a natural product in the USA and thus unregulated.
In addition to treating depression, Saint John’s Wort blocks a molecule in the body which affects blood pressure. When this molecule is blocked, blood pressure increases. In individuals who suffer from high blood pressure already, the increase could lead to stroke.
Ginkgo Biloba – Ginkgo Biloba should be avoided by individuals using aspirin therapy or warfarin for blood thinning. In addition, individuals allergic to poison oak, poison ivy, sumac, or mango may also be allergic to Ginkgo Biloba.
Ginsing – Ginsing is sometimes dangerous if mixed with certain prescription drugs or caffeine drinks, including coffee.
When using any alternative treatment, consumers should exercise caution. Just because a product is labeled as natural, it is not automatically safe for everyone. If taking prescription medications or affected by other health conditions, speak to your doctor before choosing these alternative treatments.