T Nation

Treating Depression


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I also have ADD and mild-moderate depression (it can be pushed to suicidal major depression situationally... or with the wrong meds cough viibryd cough). Originally diagnosed with dysthymia.

After being basically nonresponsive to SSRIs, SNRIs and Viibryd, I was just moved to Lamictal (started yesterday). In fact, I was starting to be convinced that "nothing" would work for me, since we've been at this for a year and a half. It wasn't until my experience with Tramadol that I realized that something might actually work.

ADD-wise, I was given Focalin, but again, nonresponsive.

How did you end up with your caffeine, gingko, ginseng cocktail? How much of each do you use?


Just experimenting tbh lol. I originally tried gingko for memory for school, but it really didn't help that but it did help my mood and focus a bit. Ginseng gives a me a subtle energy and stamina boost. And were all familiar with caffeine I think. Usually the caffeine is either in the form of coffee or Biotest's Spike. I find the Spike to be way better than a 5 hour energy or other similar energy supps. Fewer unwanted side effects and more energy. I will take at least 2 days a week where I don't take any caffeine so I don't burn myself out. I do find the ginseng helps keep that burnt out feeling of caffeine at bay.

1 spike or a morning and sometimes afternoon coffee
100mg ginseng with first meal, occasionally a 2nd if I really need energy and focus
120mg ginkgo twice daily, one at first meal and other late afternoon or early evening


And don't ever stop Lamictal cold turkey. You'll break out in a rash all over your body.


I believe Spike is 300 mg of caffeine. I haven't had one in a long time but it was pretty potent. Do you have headaches or irritability on your two days off?


Nope. I will if I consistently get in 500mg of caffeine in a day. Part of the reason for the 2 days off is to avoid caffeine 'dependency' I guess you could call it.

That's what happened from the week before and during finals for me. I was taking between 500mg-1000mg of coffee a day getting 5-6 hours sleep a night. When it was all over, I was just about totally useless due to headaches, irritability, and drowsiness so I weened off by having one cup of coffee and hot tea through the day. Your mileage may vary.




Damn when I'm depressed lifting weights feels like HELL - SUICIDAL BLACKNESS on every rep.
props to you man.


i have found the following helped me with my very severe depression - regular exercise, especially cardio, waking up early, a healthier diet, and meditation. i also like to go for walks out in nature.
increasing the amount of naam-japna meditation i did, particularly in the early morning and at night, was the final act that cured me. a little bit helped but didn't cure it. when i got to around maybe an hour it cured it. I've been on several different antidepressants and they did not cure it, but did help bring me back from the worst of it. I didn't know about meditation back then, so perhaps I might have been able to avoid using such heavy drugs if I had meditation and supplements to help instead.

There are supplements that can help, which are much less harsh than antidepressants. Look up Dr. Daniel Amen, as he is a psychiatrist who recommends the approach of using gentle methods first, and heavy drugs only as a last resort.

hope that helps.


I also wanted to add that sublingual melatonin may help with sleep issues.


Making restful sleep key... Actually depression can also occur from issues with the circadian rhythm, where one might sleep at later hours into the day time and the body is tricked into being awake, breaking you out of that deep sleep, also looking at computer and cell phone screens late at night can do the same, activating that day time mechanism before sleep.. Depression from over training, lack of sleep, and situational is much, much mild then actual Major Depressive syndrome though... Anything that helps though worth a try..


Yes, Tramadol has an almost immediate (within 2 hours) positive effect on my depressive mood, making me feel just normal, as you say, like I remember feeling as a child. I think it is the euphoric effect from its opioid-action cancelling the depressive dysphoria, because you get tolerant very quickly to this. You have to take more every day or two and even so it poops out within a week or two.

It is great for occasional use in a situational crisis, though, like when you run into the ex who dumped you and you start drowning in the bleakness.

Seriously, though, the fact that opioids are the only thing that make me feel normal for a while makes me wonder if some of us don't have a problem with endorphin metabolism. The serotonin hypothesis for depression has actually never been proved, and IMO is is given too much airtime, especially given the pathetic track record of SSRIs.


Actually for me it works better for pain than Vicodin. Depends on the person and the type of pain.


i wanted to add that flower remedies may help. try spirit in nature orange essence for depression, and tomato for anxiety. or bach flower essences. they have three, mustard, gorse, and gentium. you can read the descriptions to see what works for you. i haven't tried any of these but i have tried flower remedies for other things and they worked.


Pretty interesting study on the possible mechanism of depression.



So does anyone know any nootroopics or supps along those lines? I wonder if that's why those Biotest spike tablets work like a like anti-adhd and anti-depressant at the same time for me.


I guarantee you that first off if you can have complete unconditional acceptance and allow yourself to feel the emotions fully without clinging to feeling better or pushing stuff away you will get way further in recovery then from a supplement or pill... Fully feel into the different emotions with absolutely no judgement or analyzing any of it.. just feel..

Some may push this advice aside but that's fine for those that at least want to try I urge you to just see if you can let things be as they are fully without pushing anything away or grasping onto anything and experiment with how that feels.


All the touchy feely and herby supplementy things help me zip, as does therapy, so I finally broke down and started an AD, Remeron, a couple of weeks ago. Supposed to have fewer sides than SRIs, especially sexually. So far nada, and it doesn't even help my insomnia like it's supposed to.

The only good days I have is when I take lots of benzos to knock me out the night before. The next day I just feel normal. This makes me think my depression may be just a consequence of insomnia, not the other way around.


Bingo, was the first thing I tried when someone came in complaining of depression.

I fixed their sleep first and amazing how many people are just fucking sleep deprived.


Thanks everyone for your contributions in this thread. It has been very helpful. Thanks DJ/Derek for bumping this thread or I would not have seen it and read it.

I am 35, married, <2 year old daughter. I've been in a senior sales role for over 3.5 years and many factors contributed to me not being happy at work that progressively worsened for me (at least how I viewed the things happening to me at work). I did not like my line manager for a period (until line reporting was changed last year). My assessment is on the sales I bring in but I was handling nearly 70% operations duties.

I did not see a light for career development not know where I would be or what I would do in the future. I work in a time zone that can talk to Australia through to USA EST in one day, the strain of emails from 7AM to 10PM really got to me. Every "holiday" I'm still checking emails.

I work in an office with 4 people where I am the most senior I lacked anyone of a similar level to discuss face to face on issues, strategies or even to joke around with. "Cabin Fever" was the best expression I could locate at the time. I've gone through episodes (hours) of feeling helpless, upset, inadequate, and just felt like ending it all even though I know very well there are people both family and friends who love me dearly. In those episodes it felt overwhelmed and like the walls were caving in.

My language was definitely negative (even in this post). There was a period last year I removed a lot of my friends of social media just kept trying to close in/go into my cave. I thought it would help to be more alone, it didn't.

I discovered BJJ about 7 months ago and in that I've truly discovered an activity that I love and can aspire to be better in. The focus during class (away from my wandering mind) and the cardio release really helped my mood. I felt I cleansed negative energy in the process. I am feel very grateful for finding it and I will invest more time in it.

I have tried to understand everyone's point of view in this thread and have considered the medical and holistic/self help paths. In the last few days:
I downloaded Power of Now on Kindle.
Increased my Vitamin D intake (I am dark skinned).
Ensuring I eat every few hours, I'm type 2 D.
Turn off the phone after 9PM (working towards that being an hour or more earlier). Stop using the phone in a darker room.
Cold Showers (need to try that).
I started entering into a Gratitude journal on Evernote. I figured if I think about what I'm grateful for things will seem happier relatively.
I am considering changing my work environment (starting the process).
I've talked about what I'm going through with a few friends.
Need to get into a more regimented sleep pattern (same time, same number of hours).

Sorry to hear some of the situations you all have gone through. Will work through this for me for the better.