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10 Mar 2003

Depressed?
To cut a long story short, I was retrenched a while back and despite being well educated and having lots of experience, I am battling to find meaningful employment. This is not because I am not trying very hard, but rather just because of the current economic climate. I am currently angry a lot and feel completely powerless sometimes and I am thinking that I may have some degree of depression. My question is (since I dont like taking any drugs) do some of these herbal remedies like Mood Tonic work well and do they have any side effects? I think I just need something to get me through this. Any help from the Doc wouls be greatly appreciated.
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Dear Bob,
Well, it's important to make a distinction between Depression, which is a real, chemically-based disorder, which often needs proper anti-depressant medications for the best results ; and depression, including the Blues, discouragement, etc., which do not need such methods, and are more readily helped by counselling.
I know of no evidence whatever that remedies like Mood Tonic have any specific effects, but remember there is a potentially powerful placebo effect that helps us to feel better when taking anything we believe ought to make us better. Those herbal remedies with specific effects on depression, such as St John's Wort, are favoured by some people, but actually work in much the same way as Prozac, by similar chemical actions, so they're not strictly an alternative to medicines.
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