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Treatments
ST. JOHN'S WORT (HYPERICUM PERFORATUM)

St John's Wort preparations taken by mouth (eg, tablets, capsules or liquids) may interact with some prescription medicines, stopping them from working properly. As with any medication, always discuss this with your prescribing doctor before you start taking St John's Wort.

Further Information

St. John's Wort Friend Or Foe? - provided by Grand United Health Fund

St. John's Wort - provided by Blackmores

Factsheet - Dealing With Anxiety and Depression provided by Herron

GP Factsheet - Treating Anxiety and Depression provided by Herron

depressioNet would like to thank our sponsors
Blackmores and Herron for providing further information on St. John's Wort

COMMENTS
by people who have been using St. John's Wort.

Please send us your comments and experiences with St. John's Wort to share with others.

From the depressioNet Messageboard...
NOTE: You will have to use your 'back' button on your browser to get back here after you have read one of these messages. There is no direct link from the messages to this archives page.

  • Re: St John's Wort - lozzy27 November 30, 2000 (0)
  • Re: St John's Wort - Kevin November 30, 2000 (0)
  • Re: St John's Wort - Peace November 30, 2000 (0)
  • Re: St John's Wort - Brigette November 30, 2000 (0)
  • Re: St John's Wort - Kevin December 1, 2000 (0)
  • Re: St John's Wort - Peace December 1, 2000 (0)
  • Re: St John's Wort - Anthony December 22, 2000 (0)
  • Re: St John's Wort - Stewart Verrells January 1, 2001 (0)
  • Re: St John's Wort - Mark February 18, 2001 (0)

  • St John's Wort - Brigette December 06, 2000 (5)

    After suffering from moderate depression over the last two years or so, I feel I have finally found something that makes me feel good, St Johns Wort.

    My depression mainly came from work pressures and my GP prescribed the standard line up of anti depressants. Starting with Zoloft, which made me feel constantly tired and had little effect. This was followed by Effexor, which also seemed to have little effect, until I missed a dose. I have never felt so out of control. I had to make an excuse to leave work for the day. I spent weeks slowly reducing the dose so I wouldn't suffer too badly from the side effects ( see comments on this drug on this site).

    My next prescribed antidepressent was Lovan (prozac). This didn't seem too bad, and although my work situation became less stressful, I continued to take a low dose of this medication, so I wouldn't slip back into depression.

    This all changed after a recent restructure at work some weeks ago. There were to be major changes to my job role with very little info as to what they would be. Suddenly I was back where I started, full of negativity and self doubt - I was a mess. My GP suggested upping the dose of Lovan which I did, but that just made me feel worse and gave me the shakes.

    This was were I decided to try something different. Research on the internet showed that St John's Wort seemed to be the most effective of the natural remedies. I bought "Nature's Own" St Johns Wort and stopped taking the Lovan. After 2 days on SJW, I felt heeps better, and after a week this feeling has continued. Even at this early stage I think this is the best thing I have done to control my depression and I feel good that it is so natural. It may not work for everyone, but neither do many of the prescription drugs as I found.

    I hope this feeling continues.

    (28/09/2005)

    I just wanted to comment that I have recently been using St Johns Wart (By Blackmores) and it is excellent. I was previously taking Zoloft, however I experienced negative side effects from this medication such as nightmares and suicidal thoughts. Since going off Zoloft (I waited a few days as advised my my pharmicist) and then taking St Johns Wart these symptoms disappeared and I have not felt so well in years.

    I think individuals just have to experiment and find out what works best. I have also started to exercise more which has had a significant impact on my mood as well. However I am more motivated in the first place to do the exercise whereas previously it was much more difficult to get started. I have found that I am more focused and my moods are more even taking St Johns Wart. I also don't get as anxious.

    Just letting you know there is a typing error on the page containing the St Johns Wart article. The article is titled 'St Johns Wart Friend or Foe?'By Berwyn Lewis.

    It reads as follows: The answer: We don't know but it can't be rule out. Whereas it should read: The answer: We don't know but it can't be ruled out.

    I found your site by looking up 'St Johns Wart'. It looks quite comprehensive and I will definitely be using this site as a resource

    (08/04/2005)

    I found it works. It was a very slow process that I didn't even notice. I began to notice that my thought patterns were better. I began to see the foolishness of some of my patterns. I also lost some cravings, particularly for alcohol. Being able to eliminate alcohol helped also.

    I certainly wouldn't consider it a "happy pill" because of how long it takes to work and how it worked on me.

    But it is good.

    (21/02/2005)

    I took this medication for depression. I slept better at night whilst taking these tablets and my depression lifted to some extent.

    However the constipation was ghastly and I had supplement psyllium husks with several Coloxyl tablets each night.

    (24/03/2004)

    I began taking st. johns wort about 6 weeks ago, after struggling with a mild to moderate depression for about 6 months. I had been to a councellor, yet she didn't help much, so while feeling discouraged about trying another councellor, and not wanting to see a doctor just to be put on anti-depressants, I thought I'd give st. Johns wort a try.

    I've now been taking two 'Herron' St. John's Wort vitamins almost every day for the past 6 weeks. While at first I saw no effect, I kept taking the vitamins, almost forgetting that I was taking them, and not feeling very hopeful that they would help me. However, the past couple of weeks I've noticed how far I've come since I began taking them. I don't get down in the dumps about everything as much as I used to, even when I get bad news I'm handling it so much better. I also feel more energetic and have been socialising a lot more than I had been, I feel like I'm almost back to my old self before I strarted feeling this depression. Even others have noticed the change. Nothing else in my life or diet or excersise routine had changed over the past couple of months, so I believe St. Johns wort has done wonders for me, I reccommend it for anyone who does not have severe depression.

    (09/12/2003)

    Having suffered depression ever since becoming menopausal (to date 6 years of it). I tried EVERYTHING. In that time I took Prozac for six months (about four years ago) and have just recently started it again. My life is back!!! I found St Johns Wort didn't do it for me, and didn't notice any changes in my moods. It was with a sense of failure I did go back on Prozac but with the realisation that in some cases (me being one) it just had to be. The sense of failure and guilt occurred because I felt the natural remedies should be doing me good. There needs to be a balance between the traditional (natural) and modern remedies, each having it's own place in the order of things.

    (26/02/2003)

    I had been taking Hypericum on and off, usually for few months at a time, for 5-6 years now. The past 2 years been pretty bad, so i had been on it for extended periods of time...

    I tried zoloft once and the experience was so bad that i wanted to cut my head off to feel better. I said to the doctor after, "No wonder they call it anti-depressant, you are too sick to feel depressed!!"

    I take the recommended dosage on the bottle, depending on the brand, but Blackmores work well for me, 3 times a day. I also tried the liquid one but they seem to work erratically on me, either too severe so that I get a heavy sensation in my head, or none at all.

    It takes a good week or 10 days to lift the heavy depression, but when I feel suicidal or have extreme thoughts or paranoia, eating disorder due to anxiety or panic attacks, either starving myself or eating a lot at a time, I have no eating problems unless i am under extreme stress...then I can't rationalise what is enough or what is not.....these cease within few days....

    And I get good sleep patterns...

    Work with your body...is the only answer, and best to see a naturopath before embarking on self-therapy....after a while, you know what to do......

    ALWAYS SEEK PROFESSIONAL AND MEDICAL HELP FIRST BEFORE SELF-HELP....

    I had consulted doctors and had spent over a year with a good psychologist, working under hypnotherapy, and just talking...

    (06/06/2002)

    I took St John's Wort for a mild depression early in 2001. It worked wonders for me, allowing me a break from the constant internal chatter of my grieving mind. In essence, I was able to ignore those parts of my thought process that brought me down and basically have some peace that allowed more positive thoughts and experiences the chance to have an impression.

    Two important things: finding the right dose and timing of dosage for myself. I started with 3 per day with meals, but that turned me into a manic jiggly fruitloop. Very high - fun, but completely unsustainable, plus I had trouble getting to sleep. So I decided to take 2 every morning and that worked wonders for the 4-5 months. Second, when I was coming off them, I did it extremely slowly and only pulled back the next step (i.e. from 2/day to 1/day and then 1 every second day and so on until completely off) when I felt ready. I'd had a few experiences (and have spoken with another friend about this) of not having them with me for a few days and so going without. I felt really black on those occasions and so highly recommend a slow and considered coming off period.

    (24/12/2001)

    My daughter is 18 and away from home. I didn't know whether her feelings of sadness each day were depression or homesickness. After a recent bout of wanting to leave her job (which she loved) and wanting to come home (but won't have any friends or be happy) I thought depression may be the problem (as it is in the family). I couldn't get her into a doctor or visit her for a couple of weeks and read the article about SJW. She has been on it now for only 4 days and is a different person. She is no longer sad and is sleeping again. . Friends are commenting that she is happier. Time will tell but it appears to be working well. I am pleased I found out about it before going onto antidepressents.

    (17/09/2001)

    After a year of taking Aropax, then a six months of no medication I slipped again into panic disorder, then depression. I tried all of the old tools of meditation, and self talk but it got worse. I tried adding St Johns Wart and began feeling a bit better, but really tired. I still have the early morning wake up call and start the day with feelings of doom.

    I went to see a nutritionist at Sandra Cabot's place and they recommend taking a holistic diet which includes St Johns Wart made up with magnesium. It did not seem to be any better than the basic, and the idea of a diet was too traumatic in my depressed state.

    I have taken an arapax today, the first couple of hours were awful. All of the defences I had put up using SJW and meditation/affirmation seemed to break down, I felt really sad, but as the day progressed I feel as if I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    I think if you can get onto the SJW as soon as you feel a bit sad it would probably help, but using it when the depression has a real hold seemed too difficult.

    (14/03/2001)

    For the major part of the last seventeen years I have been on prescribed antidepressants.
    Three months ago I went off my Zoloft because it appeared, after approximately five years, to have ceased to work.
    Since then, I have become aware that other health issues were increasing my level of stress and affecting my level of despair.
    My GP who works in a Holistic approach suggested I try Elezac - a St John's Wort prescribed dosage.
    I take three a day. And found it works - but not if I take less.
    My diagnosis is that of 'agitated' endogenous depression.
    I have noticed that I am more 'able to make decisions' since stopping the Zoloft. Does the medical form of antidepressants, even those without sedatives, dull our senses?

    (Louise)
    (01/04/2001)

    Hello, just wanted to contribute my story. I have just gone off Aropax and on to Zoloft and now have gone off antidepressants and am taking St John's Wort three times a day. After 4 years of taking medication I am back to normal and feel alive and not drugged. I am not tired and struggling to get through the day with my children, medication makes you so tired all the time and people do not beleive that you can be so tired.

    I have sexual urges and a libido which I have not had since taking medication. It is wonderful and my husband tells me that he has his old woman back which is lovely to hear.

    I was very sceptical about going on to St John's Wort because I was afraid to go off my anti-depressants, now I wish that I had tried it years ago. Still I have my life back and am really happy. I would dearly love to help or talk with anyone with depression as I find that it helps if you talk about it. After all it is nothing to be ashamed of it is just one of those things that we as human beings have no control over!

    My e-mail address is meganjoe1@ozemail.com.au. I will always be there for someone as my friends and family have been for me over the past rough 4 years

    (Megan)
    (17/04/2001)

    I tend to go through cycles of depression which vary from mild to severe and have had a lot of trouble getting help from medical practitioners. When I found one who took me seriously he decided not to put me on traditional anti-depressants because of the variability of my mood swings.

    In despair I tried St John's Wort with only the hope that it might stabilise my mood and decrease the severity so I stopped thinking of hurting myself. After about 2 weeks I noticed that my thoughts rarely consisted of ways in which to cease existing, I slept far less (previously hypersomnia) and actually wanted to get out of bed and DO things in the morning when I woke. After about a month I found myself looking forward to social events where I could talk to people instead of wanting to curl up and hide in a dark corner.

    It is a hassle taking it 3 times a day (with food) and I stopped while on holiday recently because I felt okay but after only two days I began slipping back down the black hole and my friends commented I was 'zoning out' an awful lot.

    So I have started up again and have decided it isn't just the placebo effect as it takes a while to work its magic. I'm sure if the changes in my thoughts were due to the placebo effect it wouldn't take so long. If taking SJW 3 times/day helps restore my confidence in myself as a worthwhile person I will be trying really hard to keep it up.

    Thankyou dNet for the valuable information.

    (02/09/2001)

    WARNING: If you are taking prescription medication you should advise your health care professional before taking hypericum.


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