Melatonin will help regulate your sleep so when you wake up, you’re ready to conquer your day!

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What can Melatonin do for me?

By Shannon Bennett and Dr. Nicole Cain ND, MA

Are you on an antidepressant but have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? Do you feel sleepy, suffer from brain fog, poor memory, and lethargy throughout the day?

If so, you might benefit from the safe, quick acting, and powerful antioxidant called melatonin.

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by a gland in your brain called the pineal gland when it is dark outside. Melatonin release is suppressed when it is light outside or when we are exposed to blue lights– television and phone screens for example.

Melatonin regulates your sleep wake cycle (circadian rhythm), and impacts your mood, and regulates many metabolic functions.

Melatonin is one of the 3 main nutrients depleted by the use of anti-depressants, like Prozac2,3, which is one of the main reasons you may be experiencing insomnia while taking your antidepressant.  

In addition to regulating sleep and correcting jet lag, few people know of melatonin’s use as a powerful antioxidant in alternative treatments for cancer, aging and mental health.

Antioxidants are molecules that bind up all of the harmful free radicals circulating in our bodies, thus decreasing the damage caused by oxidation in our cells. To explain oxidation in a little more detail: Oxidation is the reaction occurring when your half-eaten apple turns brown, when a car rusts and oxidation is the cause or consequence in some diseases. Other common antioxidants include vitamins A, C, and E, n-acetylcysteine and selenium.

Melatonin helps your body regulate hormones, controls irritable bowel, and combats brain fog, difficulty focusing and poor concentration.

Interestingly we see a link between melatonin and the neurotransmitter dopamine. In making dopamine, your brain needs adequate amounts of melatonin. Therefore if you suffer from ADD/ ADHD or any other issues with focus and attention, you might be deficient in melatonin.  

Melatonin is particularly important if you’re a busy, over-worked, over-stressed individual. At this point, you’re probably thinking this supplement should be added to your daily regimen. If you’re one of the 11% of Americans on antidepressants1, you’ll be glad to know that this vital hormone is not going to cause any interactions with your bottled sunshine. In fact, it may benefit you even more than the antidepressant alone.

As mentioned above, Melatonin is also a major building block for the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine. These neurotransmitters happen to be primarily involved in mood regulation, response to stressors and our overall ability to adapt easily and thrive in life.

How good does that sound? To not just survive in life but to THRIVE?

The regulation of these neurotransmitters is intricately involved in the treatment of depression, anxiety and other mental health-related disorders4. Serotonin is the target for SSRIs, impacting the amount available for your body’s use.

To Summarize:

  • Your antidepressant may be depleting your body of melatonin.
  • Melatonin dysregulation leads to insomnia
  • Melatonin is a safe, effective, natural and powerful alternative to medications in helping you sleep again.
  • As an extremely powerful antioxidant, melatonin heals the brain!
  • Melatonin prevents neurdegenerative disorders, for example alzheimers.
  • Melatonin is needed to make dopamine which is the first line treatment in ADHD/ ADD

At Natural Mental Health Supplements we are passionate about creating solutions to the mental health crisis that is occurring in the United States.

By helping one person at a time, one nutrient at a time, we hope to change the world. Step by step. By helping you get on the road to a new life, we know that you will positively impact those around you, and then those around you will impact the world around them.

Our mission is to EMPOWER you in taking back your health.

Antidepressant Companion was specifically formulated to compliment antidepressants as they are working in your body. It does this by providing therapeutic dosages of quality Melatonin to counteract and decrease the negative effects of this known depletion.

Speak with your healthcare provider today about using Antidepressant Companion on your journey to a healthy, and well-rested life!  

References:

  1. http://www.businessinsider.com/countries-largest-antidepressant-drug-users-2016-2
  2. http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=107&pid=33&gid=000712
  3. Br J Psychiatry. 1995 Feb;166(2):196-8. Effect of fluoxetine on melatonin in patients with seasonal affective disorder and matched controls. Childs PA1, Rodin I, Martin NJ, Allen NH, Plaskett L, Smythe PJ, Thompson C.
  4. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 1995;20(7):763-70. Plasma melatonin and cortisol circadian patterns in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder before and after fluoxetine treatment. Monteleone P1, Catapano F, Tortorella A, Di Martino S, Maj M.

Antidepressant Side Effects

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A Counselor discusses his observations on Antidepressant Side Effects

By Paul Krauss, MA, LPC

As a Licensed Professional Counselor, working in an outpatient setting with patients of various backgrounds and ages, one of the most common struggles I see is depression. Some people can overcome their depression through counseling alone, yet many will need extra support for a period of time.

Consulting with a psychiatrist can get you the boost you need to get through tough times. Antidepressants are not only utilized for depression symptoms, but some are prescribed for off-label uses, such as anxiety symptoms and generalized anxiety disorder. Patients regularly report to me that taking an antidepressant has helped relieve their depression or anxiety symptoms and they are feeling better.

The downside to antidepressant medications is that many patients experience side effects. These side effects can range from mildly irritating, yet manageable, to absolutely frustrating, and crippling.  I can recall many sessions  when a patient was beside themselves with frustration after they realized that they must stay on their antidepressant for therapeutic support, but are sick and tired of the side effects. This is one of the hardest parts of my job as a therapist.  I cannot advocate or recommend for a patient to get off meds, for obvious legal and ethical reasons, but it breaks my heart to see my patients suffering so. Balancing the side effects in order to feel better mentally, but at the same time feel physically worse is incredibly difficult. It’s an awful paradox that far too many people taking antidepressant medications find themselves in.

In my practice, I often hear complaints about 5 common physical side effects that accompany my patients feeling mentally better on their antidepressant medications.  They are low libido, fatigue, weight gain, dry mouth, and insomnia.   Below are some general comments on antidepressant side effects based on my observations and conversations with my patients.

  • Low Libido.
    • Obviously, this is quite a nuisance to many people. Whether in a relationship or not, having difficulties with one’s libido can lead to low mood, low self-esteem, and interpersonal problems….as well as worsening anxiety or depression. Unfortunately, low libido is a side effect of many antidepressant medications.

 

  • “Cloudy head”, fatigue & drowsiness.
    • You wouldn’t think it, but I hear complaints of this diabolical trio all the time. Many patients report difficulties performing at work, recalling facts, and having the energy to be social at all. This is quite a frustration. Being tired all of the time is no picnic. Antidepressant medications are notorious for side effects associated with feeling cloudy headed, fatigued, & drowsy.

 

  • Insomnia.
    • Say no more! So you have been taking an antidepressant and your depression and/or anxiety has gone away, but you can’t sleep? Insomnia is a physical side effect that has terrible effects on people mentally as well.This problem alone is enough for someone to question whether the antidepressant medication is worth the relief.

 

  • Weight Gain.
    • So you’re attempting to pull out of a depressive episode or you are attempting to conquer social anxiety but you’re simultaneously gaining weight. Weight gain alone can be cause for increased depression, increased social anxiety, and low self-esteem. Antidepressant medications can bring relief for sufferers of depression and anxiety, but some patients wonder if the weight gain is worth it.

 

  • Dry Mouth.
    • This many not seem like a big deal, but if you work in an office cubicle and are constantly getting up to refill your water cup or go to the bathroom–this can decrease comfort and productivity at work. Not to mention anyone who sings or does any speaking for work or for leisure, will suffer if they experience dry mouth. Dry mouth can also cause serious dental issues, which obviously can impact your sense of well-being. Antidepressant medications are notorious for causing dry mouth.

My words of advice as a counselor are very simple: First, you are not alone. These issues are common and more people than you would ever guess share stories with me, just like yours.  Second, these side effects are a physiological response to a very vital and potentially life-saving medication.  Physiological responses have biological solutions.  These problems are fixable.  In conclusion, there are options available that will allow you to overcome these side effects. Keep searching, keep learning, and make sure to ask your doctor or get a second opinion from another doctor.

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