The fibromyalgia depression you may experience can be traced to a number of causes, but the first plan of action you need to take for fibromyalgia depression is fulfilling your nutritional needs.
Your body needs protein (made up of amino acids) to make all the happy chemicals in your brain. For you, supplementation may be necessary. Vegetable protein is healthier than animal protein, but hard to get enough of in your diet. Animals raised on farms don't have the nutrient value of free-range fed animals.
There are products sold only through doctors that contain certain amino acids specifically for depression. These are prescribed after testing your neurotransmitter levels. Your neurotransmitters are serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.
We have all heard of serotonin, right? Well, there are three others to support, too. It is common for those with fibromyalgia and/or depression to be low on their levels of neurotransmitters.
A biologically complete soy protein includes all of the essential amino acids that your body and brain needs, instead of a select few like some supplements.
I had stopped taking my protein supplement for a few years, trying to save money. I got very depressed. I have struggled with depression all my life, so it was not only fibromyalgia depression.
My doctor prescribed amino acids in place of antidepressants. (I couldn't find an antidepressant that was effective without debilitating side effects.) These amino acids, though expensive, did help my depression quite a bit. But if I missed a dose, it would set me back four days, which was a bummer.
I have resumed taking a quality, biologically complete soy protein, which contains all essential amino acids. (I slowly weaned off the amino acid supplements from my doctor over the period of a year.) My depression is pretty much gone. Yes, I have doubled my dose of protein to get the results that I needed, but it benefits my whole body, not just my fibromyalgia depression.
There is much hype these days about fibromyalgia and 5-htp. 5-htp alone is not the answer for many people. One company, with patented products providing a variety (though not all) amino acids, mentions that only 15% of fibromyalgia sufferers are helped by 5-htp. At the same time, another doctor recommends 5-htp for sleep and IBS. He has a certain protocol for determining how much 5-htp you need. Look for Dr. Rodger Murphree on the Internet and his book called "Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome".
5-Hydroxytrytophan (5-htp) is an amino acid found in protein. But it is only one amino acid. There are many amino acids that exist in your body. Some can be made in your body. Others have to be provided through your diet. The ones that have to be provided through your diet are the essential amino acids.
There are nine essential amino acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, valine. This is what you need to be taking, not just one or even four amino acids. Your body, which includes your brain, needs all nine essential amino acids. They are literally must-haves for your body to function correctly.
The biologically complete soy protein that I take even has these amino acids in the same ratios found in the body. This leads to amazing results for fibromyalgia depression!
Change your life for the better. The more unhealthy you are, the more you need nutrients and the more you will notice the difference.
I've also added shark liver oil to my diet to aid my depression. The DHA in this product is essential for proper functioning of the brain. Do not miss this key nutrient. You also need to be aware of toxins in fish oils. I've found a terrific source. Here are some additional nutrition guidelines to help in alleviating fibromyalgia depression.
B-Complex is another important nutrient for fibromyalgia depression. It should contain 100% of Biotin, which is often provided at 10% because it is expensive to put into supplements. B-vitamins will nourish your central nervous system.
Lecithin insulates your central nervous system, coating your nerves. It also nourishes brain cells and is essential for nerve transmission.
Biologically complete raw protein (not heat processed or isolated) provides amino acids to increase serotonin and other neurotransmitters.
Pre- and pro-biotics can help reduce toxin load.
You may add herbs to the nutrition program above if more support is needed. In my opinion, herbs are not effective if you do not provide your nutritional needs first.
Do not take any herbs for fibromyalgia depression while taking antidepressant medication. This is extremely important. Herbs work similar to drugs, so you can get too much when combined with drugs.
Ginkgo biloba improves oxygen, hormone, and nutrient availability to the brain.
St. John's Wort stimulates serotonin production, but can also make your skin sensitive to the sun.
Ginseng can strengthen and replenish glands.
Medication should be a last resort, not a first choice like it is in modern society.
But please, depression is serious. Do not go off any medication without consulting your doctor. These suggestions are not meant to treat or diagnose, only to present your options.
Many doctors will prescribe anti-depressants for fibromyalgia pain relief, not addressing the fibromyalgia depression. I did not find pain relief with this tactic. (I did gain 15 pounds in a month, along with numerous stretch marks on my hips!) Others have found some relief, but you cannot eliminate your pain this way.
For true pain relief, please see the Solutions tab in the left-hand column in this website.
The Basic Fibromyalgia Supplement Program that I used to relieve my fibromyalgia is a terrific beginning nutritional program. You may need some fine-tuning to support your depression. All my clients and customers receive free ongoing nutritional advice. Take my Nutritional Assessment to uncover all of your possible deficiencies.
Believe me, I know it is depressing to be in pain all the time and not be able to get a good night's sleep. You can reduce your pain! What I do is help you decifer what strategies and nutrients will help you get rid of your pain and depression. Isn't that what you have prayed for? You need a nutritional program that is guaranteed to work. With the supplements that I recommend on your Nutritional Assessment, you are guaranteed to feel better, or your money back, plain and simple.
I cannot promise that I will cure you, but I know I can help you. Let's reduce your symptoms instead of suffering or covering up your symptoms with drugs!
OK, back to fibromyalgia depression. First, let us look at why antidepressant medications do not always work.
Antidepressants that are in the families of Prozac, Zoloft, and Wellbutrin work to block the serotonin or other neurotransmitter uptakes so that there are more neurotransmitters for your brain to use. Blocking the uptake means they have not been picked up and taken out of circulation, where they are unable to be used. This keeps more available for your brain.
But, if your body is not producing any serotonin or other neurotransmitters, there is nothing to block (keep in your system) and your brain still does not have anything to work with.
This is why these families of antidepressants are not always super effective. My experience with them is that I was on a more even keel. I did not fall very low into depression but I never felt truly happy either.
Following the supplement recommendations from my Nutritional Assessment, (which means following the brand recommendations also, because they are pure and made from whole foods) can safely boost the effectiveness of antidepressants to help relieve fibromyalgia depression. Do not use herbs when on medications unless you consult a professional herbalist.
You must work with your doctor and decide if it is appropriate for you to change the dose of an antidepressant, try another antidepressant or try an alternative therapy. This is very important! You have to wean off antidepressants gradually and it is easy to slip into a deep depression as you go off (until your body adjusts, anyway), so be very careful and, again, work with your doctor.
Look at your life. If you hate your job, your life, the way things have turned out, you are not going to be happy.
If you constantly have negative thoughts running through your brain, you have to change them. Is your job making you sick or are you too sick to work? This could be a sign that you need to make a change.
If you believe your life is horrible and will never get better, so life shall be for you. What you focus on, you will get, be it positive or negative.
If you feel, deep down, that you do not deserve to feel good, then you will not recover. You can get better but you have to believe it is possible before it will happen. Listen to what you say to yourself in your mind. Is it negative? Is it realistic?
Your fibromyalgia depression can be made worse by not listening to that little voice in your head.
It is truly amazing how much energy you will have to get the laundry and dishes done when you are trying to get them out of the way, so that you can work on something that you love. Check out this link for building a website about your Passion. Pursue your passion. When you do, time will fly, you will not want to go to sleep (hard to believe, huh?), and you cannot wait to get out of bed in the morning to continue your life. Doesn't that sound great? It can happen. You do have choices.
I have also found the book "How to Make a Living Without a Job" very helpful. I could not find this at Amazon.com, it is a little old, so you will have to look at your local library.
Very important, you have to love yourself. Of course, we all know this, but practicing it is much harder.
Do you say to yourself that you hate this or that about yourself when you look in the mirror? Find something positive to focus on. Stop cutting yourself down!
When you know depression is holding you back, check out Freedom From Depression Now! cd. You can get it for a 14-day free trial.
Think Right Now is a fabulous company that helps you move forward, instead of being stuck in the same old patterns. Check out their free Life Transformation Kit. I love this company!
Whether you want to alleviate fibromyalgia depression, lose weight, boost self-esteem, get organized, or heal your body, the cd's from this company will change your thinking and make these things possible. If you do not change your thoughts, you will not change your depression or your life.
A last suggestion that has now been proven to boost serotonin levels is to perform an act of kindness, receive an act of kindness, or even just witness an act of kindness.
I know what it is like to lose hope, thinking that you will never get better. Do not believe it. There is hope.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The statements and products are not intended to diagnose, cure, prevent or treat any diseases. The information here is not provided by medical professionals and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your physician before beginning any course of treatment.