Natural Alternative to Paxil

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According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated one in four adults deals with some type of mental disorder related to depression. Paxil is one of the most prescribed drugs for depression, anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Paxil has potentially serious side effects, such as dizziness, sweating, tremors, depressed libido, nausea and vomiting, constipation, increased thoughts of suicide and a higher incidence of suicide in younger people. The drug is no longer prescribed for those under 18.

Natural Alternatives

Due to the side effects of Paxil, and other prescription antidepressants, many people diagnosed with depression seek alternative treatment options. Psychotherapy is the primary non-drug choice patients utilize. Psychotherapy can help patients find the root of their problems and to learn new strategies for coping. A professional counselor can often help you in just a few sessions, and long-term therapy is rarely required.

Other natural alternatives include exercise, meditation, massage, acupuncture, vitamins and herbs.

Serotonin

Deficiency in serotonin levels is one of the main causes of depression. Several prescription antidepressants work on the serotonin release system in the brain to increase serotonin levels. Mediation, yoga, acupuncture and massage all release endorphins and boost serotonin levels without having unpleasant side effects and withdrawals.

Vitamins

Vitamin deficiencies, particularly in folic acid, omega 3s and B vitamins, can contribute to symptoms of depression. It's important to take a daily multivitamin and to supplement with Omega 3s, found in fish oil. Eggs, broccoli, salmon, tuna, asparagus, oranges, trout and spinach are excellent sources of folic acid, omega 3s and B vitamins.

Herbs

Several herbs can be helpful to manage depression:

St. John's Wort contains hypericin and can help alleviate depression and anxiety. A typical dosage is 900mgs daily. Pregnant women should avoid St. John's Wort.

Gingko Biloba improves circulation to the brain, improves memory and concentration and is particularly useful for elderly people who are depressed. It isn't as effective as other herbs but can provide a boost when used in conjunction with something like St. John's Wort. You typically take 80mgs three times daily.

Siberian ginseng is adaptogenic and can improve several conditions, from high blood pressure to depression. It acts as a MAO inhibitor to alleviate symptoms of depression. A person can take 400 to1,200mgs daily for eight weeks, followed by a two-week rest period, repeated as needed. Siberian ginseng appears to be safe for pregnant women.

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