(NaturalNews) When most people believe they are experiencing symptoms of depression the first thing they do is run to the doctors office, hoping to be prescribed a pharmaceutical that will magically cure all of their symptoms and make them happy again. Similarly, many doctors are quick to write prescriptions for anti-depressants while neglecting to find the actual root cause of the depression symptoms.
The fact is that many people do not respond well to prescribed antidepressants and many others do not respond at all. Prozac, as an example, has only shown to be effective in approximately 10 percent of users. If you do happen to be one of the responders you will be stuck taking your prescription for a long time. If you do decide to stop taking it you will likely experience withdrawals symptoms and depression, as these drugs are designed to create a dependence. There is a small percentage of the population that may actually benefit from drugs like Prozac, but for the rest of the people taking them, it only benefits the drug companies.
In place of taking pharmaceuticals there are some natural supplements that can work wonders for depression. The main benefit to using supplements over pharmaceuticals is that they are almost always safer and rarely cause side effects. The same cannot be said for pharmaceutical antidepressants. Two of the most notable supplements in this area include SAMe and St. John's Wort.
Discovered in Italy the late 1950's, SAMe or S-Adenosyl methionine, is a combination of ATP and the essential amino acid methionine. Believe it or not, this all-natural depression treatment outsells Prozac in Italy. SAMe has been popular in Europe for the last 20 years. It is clear that the western hemisphere is far behind the rest of the world when it comes to using natural cures.
SAMe is an important molecule that is produced in the body. Some people do not produce enough of it which is a cause of depression. With that said, it makes sense that SAMe may be the only answer for treating depression in certain individuals
Here's what Dr. George Papakostas, psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School, has to say about SAMe - "it's exciting because [SAMe] works differently than what we have now -- it doesn't seem to be associated with the kind of side effects that FDA-approved treatments for this niche have."
The Benefits of SAMe go beyond treating depression. It is also effective in treating arthritis pain and liver disease.
St. John's Wort
St. John's Wort, from the Hypercium perforatum plant, has been used for centuries to treat depression as well as other health conditions. Although the way this herb interacts with the body is not fully understood, it has shown to be safe and effective for treating mild depression. It is thought to work by stopping serotonin from being reabsorbed by brain cells.
In several studies St. John's Wort has been proven more effective when compared to prescription anti-depressants. St. John's Wort does have a reputation for interacting with prescription drugs so you shouldn't take it while you are taking any prescribed anti-depressants.
First treat the root cause of your depression
The fact remains that most of the depression symptoms that the vast majority of people experience are caused by bad diet, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, alcohol, drugs, vitamin deficiencies and the many toxins we are exposed to in everyday life.
Luckily the cure is simple: eat healthy, exercise, get enough sleep and don't drink or do drugs (including pharmaceuticals). If you're still feeling depressed it may be a chemical imbalance. That's when you should reach for supplements like SAMe and St. John's Wort. The very last place you want to visit is prescription anti-depressants.