For millions of individuals, depression can be absolutely devastating. When considering treatment options, we’ve been taught a standard that depression, especially severe depression are managed best with anti-depressants. You’ll likely start feeling better too! Yet, after a while something doesn’t feel right. Often it is suggested you’re “on the wrong medication” or you need to add another medication to help the original medication “work better”. Can you see the downward spiral?
Often, medications deplete your body of vital nutrients you need by impairing digestion, absorption and your body’s ability to store these nutrients. Referred to as “drug-induced nutrient depletion”, what is perceived as worsening depression are simply common side effects of the medication AND/OR being nutritionally depleted.
Three important nutrients that are most commonly depleted by psychiatric medications are:
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) – A molecule found in every cell of your body and plays a key role in the production of energy. It’s also an antioxidant and protects your body and brain from free radical damage. Low levels of CoQ10 can cause brain fog, mental fatigue, difficulty concentrating, memory lapses, depression and irritability.
Magnesium – A vital mineral that participates in biochemical reactions in your body. This includes neurotransmitter, enzyme, and hormonal activity, all of which can have a huge effect on your mood and brain function, anxiety, depression and irritability.
B Vitamins – B vitamins are also depleted by psychiatric medication including B2, B6, B12 and folate. Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, plays a key role in energy metabolism throughout your entire body. Lower levels of vitamin B2 have been found in people with depression, so psychiatric medications can actually make you feel worse in the long run.
Managing your mental health should ALWAYS be discussed with your healthcare provider. Educate yourself and ask for blood work to assess if you are suffering from nutrient depletion and NOT in need of another medication.
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are frequently the underlying CAUSE of mental health issues to begin with. Hopefully, you can avoid side effects, and even control and overcome chronic mental disease without medication, by restoring these missing nutrients with quality supplementation.