j033, on Dec 12 2008, 12:04 PM, said:
Anyone have any experiences with these? Which one is better?
I'm currently taking SJW to treat a persistent case of depression, and i am feeling a little better, but not great either. I read that Rhodiola effects both Serotonin, and Dopamine, whereas SJW only effects Serotonin, so that would seem like a good one to take instead..
I too eat healthily, exercise moderately, and meditate. I went through a series of major and very stressful events which lasted four years and ended two years ago. I've alway suffered from mild depression and have just found it difficult to bounce back from the events of those four years. I'm constantly exhausted and I seem to spend more energy catching myself thinking negatively and turning those thoughts into positive thoughts than I do anything else. I was put on Rhodiola by a qualified, registered naturopath. It was mixed in a tincture with other herbs - such as Squaw herb - to rebalance my hormonal systems (at 53, I've also just started to miss periods every few months), alleviate my moderate depression and boost my flagging metabolism to help me lose weight (10kgs). This treatment also included exercise and diet - although the diet barely differed from what I was already eating and the requirement of an hour's cardio and weights every day was really difficult (and stressful!) to meet. After four months, I can tell you that it hasn't been a great success. Yes, I lost 1.5 kgs, but have plateaued over the last 3 months, and yes, I've had more energy but it has been of a jittery kind, more akin to ingesting too much caffeine, and it made my already disturbed sleep patterns even worse.
The naturopath told me that Rhodiola was the only herb she had put in the mixture which would actively boost my energy levels so I can only assume it was this which cause the jittery energy. She adjusted it many times but the jitteriness never went and I could never take the tincture later than midday otherwise I could not sleep. In the end, I had two tinctures - one for morning and one for night. The depression never lifted either - in fact, I think it is worse, if only because I feel I'm going nowhere despite my effort to turn things around.
I prefer to avoid doctors unless absolutely necessary - I refuse to take Prozac or other anti-depressants as I think they are only for severe depression which I don't believe I have, and I've had it with CBT. I was managing OK before those four years! I have tried St John's Wort before and recall that it did work (better than SAMe which I have also tried), although it does take a few weeks for any real effect to kick in and you do need a clinically recommended does (which is 1.8g standardised to 900 ug hypericin) - you can double check that on the internet as it hs been reported from clinical trials). I've stopped going to the naturopath as I just can't afford it anymore but I have some tincture left and I'm wondering if I should finish it off while the St John's Wort is ramping up. If I do, I'll let you know what happens.
Never give up, never surrender!