natural solutions for ADD and depression
October 19, 2008 7:48 PM   Subscribe

I've been undergoing some depressive stuff in my past three years. I've perhaps followed the typical male pattern of trying to gut it out. Over time I've come to the conclusion I need to seek out some assistance. While researching SSRI's I ran across a product that promised relief from ADD symptoms, as well as help with benzo dependence. Loads of testimonials from happy customers, you know the drill.

The product, BeCalmd, has several neurotransmitters in it, phenylalanne glutamine, 5htp, and some vitamins. They say their product is patented and helps 60% of their clientele with symptoms of ADD, depression, and benzo dependence.
Of course, the site says the formula is tweaked just right for it to work properly, so perhaps just buying the neurotransmitters and popping a vitamin might not work....or might it?
Anyone know of this product, or know of any research or confirmation for its claims outside of the company's own literature?
Just wondering if I should give it a shot before giving myself into the clutches of the medical establishment Big Pharma solutions.
posted by D-ten to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Warning letter from FDA re this product.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 8:07 PM on October 19, 2008

Is there a reason that you prefer nonprescription drugs you buy on the internet as opposed to prescription drugs you work with your doctor to choose? If you can tell us what it is you don't trust about the medical testing process that prescription drugs undergo or about the process of working with a doctor, we may be able to give you better advice.
posted by decathecting at 8:44 PM on October 19, 2008

Generally, I wouldn't go for something with a 60% success rate. That means 40% of people weren't helped. Factor in the people who thought were helped but weren't really (placebo effect) and the people who knew they weren't helped but wouldn't admit it (not wanting to look like a loser by admitting they still have the problems), and that failure rate goes even higher.

My opinion would change if a doctor told me that despite such a high failure rate the drug had a better chance of helping me. So go see a doctor.
posted by theichibun at 8:55 PM on October 19, 2008

>Over time I've come to the conclusion I need to seek out some assistance.

Over the counter unregulated dietary supplements isnt "seeiking assistance." Its further avoidance behavior.
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:59 PM on October 19, 2008 [7 favorites]

What damn dirty ape said.

This is what doctors are for.
posted by ook at 9:17 PM on October 19, 2008

giving myself into the clutches of the medical establishment Big Pharma solutions

The people selling BeCalmd are not altruistic angels out to save the world. They're trying to make money. Just like the pharmaceutical companies. Both are trying to market a product for you to consume. It might help, and it might not. One way to figure out which medicines work and which don't is to subject them to rigorous scientific testing. If you go to a doctor and collect some recommendations, you will be perfectly free to look at the research behind the treatments your doctor recommends and compare that to the research behind BeCalmd. No one will force you to take the doctor's prescription at gunpoint. You never have to see him or her again if you don't want to.

Just be careful to remember that just because it isn't coming from Pfizer, that doesn't mean it isn't coming from someone who wants to take advantage of you. And a doctor might actually be a person who takes their profession seriously and wants to help - and has years of specialized training and experience.
posted by prefpara at 9:20 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

Again, go see a doctor. There are even legit, clinically tested antidepressants that have been shown to have positive effects for ADD patients as well.

And since you're interested in natural solutions, and I'd say this even if you weren't, don't forget about all the non-medicinal things that have been shown to help with depression, even in conjunction with medication: exercise (big one), forcing yourself to get out and do something stimulating, SAD lamps/alarm clocks (if that's an issue for you), meditation, eating well, and of course, therapy. It's about more than just popping a pill, but if you're going to take a pill, at least take one that someone, somewhere, has actually studied to see that it's safe and likely to work.
posted by zachlipton at 9:42 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

I've been undergoing some depressive stuff in my past three years. I've perhaps followed the typical male pattern of trying to gut it out. Over time I've come to the conclusion I need to seek out some assistance.

Hello, I am you, for I pretty much posted this exact question to AskMe a year ago. Welcome to the party, brother.

Please go see a doctor. I'm getting awesome results from Lexapro, both in terms of depression/anxiety, which had the added bonus of relaxing me, which therefore increased my ability to focus. Seriously, it was a whole-new-me kind of sea change. Man up, go see a doc, and just spill the beans to him/her. You'll feel better about yourself just having taken that single step.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:19 AM on October 20, 2008

Not a neurobiologist or anything- but my understanding is that just because you are ingesting a chemical that functions as a neurotransmitter within your brain doesn't really mean that the chemical will have the same function after being metabolized. Go to a doctor, or a couple of doctors, and a therapist. Managing medication for a neuro-chemical imbalance is an extremely long and tedious process for most people- one that I've been engaged in since my pre-teens and am still working on- but every incremental step forward makes a world of difference in the quality of your life. best of luck to you.
posted by ryaninoakland at 6:15 AM on October 20, 2008

A note: if you are having some addiction or substance abuse problems you will absolutely need to address that as part of your process of getting well. I made the mistake of not dealing with my alcoholism while trying to get healthy (depression and anxiety). The result was that the Lexapro and then Seratraline I was taking combined with the huge amount of alcohol I was drinking made me crazy. I wanted to die. More than before.

I hope that you avoid that agony. Best of luck.
posted by greekphilosophy at 7:30 AM on October 20, 2008

I will reinforce what greekphilosophy said. If any kind of addiction is at issue, that is something you need to address, possibly with a medical professional. Especially benzo dependence, which is very nasty and has serious effects on mood.

Besides that, see a doctor. Be honest, tell them everything. Brain chemistry isn't something you want to play around with by taking random pills off the internet.
posted by threeturtles at 12:09 PM on October 20, 2008

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