Citation: Kars. "Good PMS Aid but Sketchy Depressive Episode: An Experience with St John's Wort (exp114747)". Erowid.org. Sep 30, 2020. erowid.org/exp/114747
I have PTSD (diagnosed) induced depression, possibly another undiagnosed marker for depression, social anxiety, nerve pain from a physical disability, and often bad PMS. I need something to really take the edge off without relying on daily pharma. I smoke weed a couple times a month but usually avoid it when trying a new drug or supplement.
I used St John's Wort in the past and had mixed feelings about it. My first experience would date back to 2014ish. I took it for about 3 weeks at 1 pill a day (because more scared me). I did feel less anxiety, but I didn't feel less depressed - just an even meh. I took it for PMS and the immense stress I felt looking for a job without luck for over a year. Less anxiety was enough for me. Eventually I stop taking it though because I start feeling rather sluggish.
So when I remembered this experience, I started using it as an emergency measure for PMS. Mine is so intense, I get a severe mood dip, mood swings that can happen every few minutes, and suicidal thoughts. It usually lasts anywhere from a couple hours to a day, but it is not a good day. Taking St John's Wort when I felt the PMS coming at least would keep me level for those days
Taking St John's Wort when I felt the PMS coming at least would keep me level for those days
enough to not hit those suicidal notes or be screaming at people beyond my control. Again, I don't want to be on intense antidepressants so I was willing to try this routine. This seems to work fairly well at 1 pill (300mg).
Fast forward to 2020 and I'm going through life stress and COVID and tense relationships with my partner and friends. I'm really struggling with depression, enough I think about going to emergency because my mood just crashes at any tiny stress (random sobbing) and I feel like hurting myself. Fortunately with lifelong depressive episodes, I can stay objective and I know what it is. So I thought, maybe the St John's Wort at a higher dosage for a while would do the trick? I start taking 2x 300mg daily.
Day 1-3 I start feeling better because it takes the edge of any anxiety. It gets easier to enjoy things.
After day 3, I start feeling flat. At least I'm not upset, but I just don't care about anything and still feel depressed. Whatever. You're supposed to take any antidepressant for 3 weeks to see effects so I kept going.
Day 4 onward, I actually start feeling worse. I start getting muscle aches and migraines, and when I hit that higher stress level my emotions crash again. Some of those migraines were weather induced, but then I realize a lot weren't. I spend a lot of time lying down, low energy, with headaches and weird pains and zero motivation to even sit up. My pain medication doesn't seem to work and I'm bloated as heck. I went to a museum with my partner one day, and found myself crying in public. I'm fairly private so this is really an extreme for me.
At about 2 weeks I start feeling cloudy enough I manage to start forgetting to take it, and amazingly...my symptoms start clearing a bit. I just stick to taking my vitamins that are recommended for women (zinc, calc., magnesium, folic acid) since eventually my period will roll back around and double the effect of whatever was happening here. I start feeling normal again, or my normal which is roughly just meh with small moments of content / happy.
If I had to describe the feeling another way, it felt like St John's Wort had built up in my system. It can be helpful but clearly needs to be taken cautiously and start LOW, not like the bottle says.
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